Friday, December 5, 2008

Meth Addiction and The Holidays; Part 2

The holiday is upon us. For many people who cope with a meth addict who is a loved one, this time of year can be very difficult. Here you will find some important tips on the subject of meth addiction and the holidays.

Think ahead about alcohol.

Alcohol is often a big part of family get togethers during the holidays. For a family with a meth addict struggling with an addiction, think seriously about whether to include alcohol as a part of the party. It might be too tempting for the addict struggling for the day to stay clean. For the meth addict who has promised himself that he will stay clean, the alcohol might lower his/her inhibition. Or, if he can’t find any other drugs, the meth addict may use alcohol as the drug of choice.

It may seem relaxing at the time, but the physiological effects will cause stress, depression or other substance-induced disorders. Try taking the family to a restaurant where alcohol is not served.

Ready the house.

Decide what areas of your home will be open to everyone. Decide what bathroom will be used. Put away easily removable items or hide valuables where they will be hard to find. Lock any rooms beforehand that you want people to stay out of.

Tell everybody about the private areas, and ask them to respect your privacy.

Use some positive statements and a little humor.

Humor is a powerful tool to make everyone feel comfortable and get rid of uncomfortable situations, but if used sarcastically, it can have a harmful effect. So, put everything you say in a positive way – look for the good in all and say it out loud. People will model positive behavior.

Learn to be flexible.
It’s recommended to have a schedule and to do your best to stick to it, but, stuff happens. The best way to deal with this is to roll with the punches and expect the unexpected. This helps with lowering expectations and setting realistic expectations.

Make the rules.

Make rules for appropriate behavior and forbid drug use and tell everyone. If there is anything that you don’t want brought up, let everyone know. This could be subjects you don’t want other relatives or family members bringing up with the addict that might set things off. Or, it might be subjects that you don’t want the meth addict to talk about. Make sure that all ‘heads of the house’ agree on how to handle this. If one of these topics comes up, remember silence is golden. Often the person who brings up a forbidden topic simply wants an argument. The other party who might be drawn into an argument has the option of either arguing or not. You can step in and ask the rules be respected.

If you decide to respond, do it with logic and fact, and not emotion. If you do get into an argument, take a break The bottom line: Set Your Limits and Stick To Them -- take care of your own wellbeing.

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