The Allies in Recovery Blog

He’s Spending His Earnings on Drugs

He’s Spending His Earnings on Drugs

Controlling an addicted loved one’s access to money is a constant concern for the family. Some options exist to help ‘control’ their spending and these serve as a helpful roadblock. Ultimately, the best option is the CRAFT approach.

Learning to Mother Again

Learning to Mother Again

The family drug court is granting this mother in recovery more access to her child. But the grandparents, who are raising their granddaughter, are concerned that their daughter is not ready. How can they support their daughter when they themselves are unsure of her ability to return to parenting?

An Extract from David Sheff’s ‘Beautiful Boy’

An Extract from David Sheff’s ‘Beautiful Boy’

David Sheff’s story about his son’s addiction and recovery has led him to several realizations about himself as a parent his own need to recover from the experience. He found that his constant suffering and struggle through near crises with his son was easier to deal with than focusing on himself. Today, their relationship has evolved into one of independence, acceptance, compassion and always love.

Addiction Is Confounding, but with CRAFT There Are No Gray Areas

Addiction Is Confounding, but with CRAFT There Are No Gray Areas

When drugs and alcohol take over, the family is drawn into the needs of the addiction, blamed when resources come up short, attacked when they refuse to provide the “help” requested. It is so hard to know what to do or what “helping” looks like. Come out of the gray area and learn how to respond to your Loved One’s addiction.

Will She Relapse if She Goes Back to College?

Will She Relapse if She Goes Back to College?

When a child goes off to college while in recovery, a parent is justifiably worried. Suddenly their child is far from home, where there was a strong support system that guided them into recovery. Colleges today however, are much more aware of substance use disorders and many have adapted accordingly. With some planning ahead, students can maintain their sobriety in college.

Podcast: “Good Time Charlies : A Conversation with Award-Winning Journalist Rob Koebel”

Podcast: “Good Time Charlies : A Conversation with Award-Winning Journalist Rob Koebel”

Special guest Rob Koebel, actor, writer and award-winning journalist joins Annie and Laurie to talk about about his descent into alcoholism starting at an early age, and the decades that went by without anyone noticing there was a serious problem. His journey to recovery has been a long struggle but one which he is putting to good use by helping others understand the reality behind the “Good-time Charlie” drinker.

Podcast: “Interview with Activist Alicia Cook”

Podcast: “Interview with Activist Alicia Cook”

In our next podcast, Annie and Laurie welcome special guest Alicia Cook, an established writer and award-winning activist on addiction issues. Their discussion covers a range of topics from the very personal, Alicia Cook’s own experience with her cousin’s death from overdose 10 years ago, to her work today as an activist helping families affected by addiction. This very open discussion about the opioid epidemic reveals some harsh truths but also shows a way forward.

Podcast: “From Addiction to Recovery, How Our Goals Evolved”

Podcast: “From Addiction to Recovery, How Our Goals Evolved”

Annie and Laurie open up about where the focus was when they first became aware of their sons’ addiction, all the way through to where their goals and focuses are now. How did their goals evolve over time and how they depend on who your loved one is: a child, a spouse, a parent. They also conduct a short quiz to determine where one might be in the stressful process.

Podcast: “Interview with Annie’s Son Elliot”

Podcast: “Interview with Annie’s Son Elliot”

On this week’s Coming Up for Air podcast, Annie and Laurie talk with Annie’s son Elliot, whose opiate dependency and recovery is detailed in Annie’s book “Unhooked.” Elliot opens up with an honest, raw perspective of where a son or daughter’s mind might be while in active addiction, what would have helped from his point of view, what to not take personally as the parent of someone struggling deep in substance use disorder. He also tells us what life looks like for someone in their 20’s pursuing sobriety yet wanting a fun, active lifestyle.

I Found Comfort in the Chaos

I Found Comfort in the Chaos

When a loved one enters treatment, there is often a feeling of emptiness which comes suddenly after a prolonged period of anxiety and stress. The source of constant focus and worry has gone off into treatment but the strong emotions associated with their presence may linger. Laurie MacDougall shares how she coped in this situation, learning how to let go and take care of herself.

Podcast: “Annie and Laurie Tell Their Own Stories”

Podcast: “Annie and Laurie Tell Their Own Stories”

Laurie and Annie tell their own stories as mothers facing an addicted loved one. They discuss their backgrounds and family dynamics, speak about their lives leading up to and through their personal experiences with the national opiate crisis. Their compelling stories confirm that addiction is a disease and it’s a family disease that can happen to any family in any community.

Podcast: “CRAFT! Where Have You Been All My Life?”

Podcast: “CRAFT! Where Have You Been All My Life?”

In today’s podcast, Annie and Laurie welcome Allies in Recovery founder, Dominique Simon-Levine, to explain the CRAFT method for helping families support an addicted loved one into treatment and through recovery. They share their personal experiences in implementing the CRAFT methodology and why it became their ‘strategy of choice’ not only in helping their addicted loved one, but also in looking after their own well-being.

Reaching Level 10 Stress…and Stepping Away

Reaching Level 10 Stress…and Stepping Away

The long-term stress I experienced caused me to become very forgetful, hasty in my decisions, confused and socially awkward. I also noticed that during that time of my life I became very clumsy. It became obvious to me that I was heading for a crash if I didn’t get ahead of my stress. I knew I had to develop different responses. I knew that I didn’t want addiction, terror and chaos calling the shots anymore.

Is Your Hope at the Mercy of Others?

Is Your Hope at the Mercy of Others?

Through recovery work, I have learned to stop expecting people to be different and to reduce the frustration that comes from trying to cause a person to get better, or trying to mold them into how I think they should be (even if it’s reasonable). When I put these demands and expectations down, I can love people for who they actually are.

You Oughta Be Ashamed of Yourself!

You Oughta Be Ashamed of Yourself!

Positive reinforcement, as basic and childlike as that sounds, is a motivating force for progress. Speaking to someone’s goodness despite their wrong choices unlocks their worth. “You’re not a bad person, you’re just headed in a bad direction.” Or maybe “You shouldn’t be ashamed of yourself, maybe just aware of faulty patterns so you can choose different ones.” That’s a great way to start motivating someone. Versus, “I told you so, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

You Are a Reward

You Are a Reward

You might be grumbling. You might be accusing, guilting or complaining. Or trying desperately to prevent them from going out. You might be brooding in a cold silence. This might be hard to believe, but your presence and your conversation, however negative, are something your loved one counts on, and expects from you.

What I Did to Get Better

What I Did to Get Better

If I’m out at a party at a friend’s house, staying present in the party, in the moment, and enjoying every single moment with them, because that’s where I’m at right now … [this] helped me to have some joy and love right then, in that moment …

Who Should Pay for Sober Housing?

Who Should Pay for Sober Housing?

Treatment doesn’t see its role as helping the newly sober person to manage financially. They rarely ask the question, “So where is the job?” … “How is this person going to pay for the sober house?” … “How is this person going to get to their appointments?” They certainly don’t see their role as providing inpatient treatment until such time as the person is financially stable.

What Happens If Sober Housing Doesn’t Work Out?

What Happens If Sober Housing Doesn’t Work Out?

In order to start anew with the process of sobriety, a resident who has relapsed should be sent to a more intensive level of treatment (for example: clinical stabilization services or CSS in Massachusetts), but too often nothing is available and the only option is detox. Here is some useful information for pursuing the next level of treatment.

If You’ve Got Pen & Paper, You’ve Got Power

If You’ve Got Pen & Paper, You’ve Got Power

A number of studies have shown that writing regularly in a journal can improve both mental and physical health. The best way to care for your loved one is to care for yourself, and devoting time to writing and self-evaluation is a key part of Allies in Recovery’s program. Here are some tips for making the most of the tools offered on our member site.

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