100 million Americans – 100 million! – are affected by a loved one’s alcohol or other drug (AOD) misuse. These are the moms, dads, husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, grandparents raising their grandchildren, boyfriends, girlfriends, and close friends.
AOD misuse ranges from routine binge drinking or heavy week-end drug use to dependence, commonly referred to as alcoholism or addiction. The impact on family and friends of a loved one’s misuse is profound and primarily the result of the chronic stress they are under in their battle to “help” their loved one stop the misuse.
I’m Lisa Frederiksen, founder of BreakingTheCycles.com, and I refer to this impact as secondhand drinking | secondhand drugging (SHD). As a family member in long-term recovery from my secondhand drinking impacts, my work is focused on helping the family reclaim their lives in the midst of their loved one’s substance misuse. One of the significant side benefits of the family getting help is their improved ability to better support their loved one seek and succeed in treatment and long term recovery.
Individual and Family Consulting and Coaching Services
I am a Nationally Certified Family Recovery Coach (NCFRC) and a Nationally Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (NCARC-1) and always available for initial phone calls from readers who have found my work through an Internet search or referral from a friend, therapist, or treatment center and want more information or just to talk. My number is 650-362-3026, and I’m in California on Pacific Standard Time. There is no charge for these initial phone calls, and if I don’t answer, please know I will call you back.
If after an initial phone call, you would like more help, I offer the following consulting and coaching services online through Go To Meeting or in the family home, if preferred:
- Family Education Consultations – a comprehensive educational session during which I share the research behind the facts about addiction (substance use disorder) as a brain disease, the difference between addiction and substance misuse, how a person develops the disease, what constitutes effective treatment, why co-occurring disorders treatment (meaning to have both a substance use and mental disorder) is critical to long-term recovery, how the family can and cannot help, and similar topics. The person with the substance use disorder is more than welcome to participate (or not).
- Individual and/or Family Recovery Recovery Coaching – this consists of working with me as a professional Family Recovery Coach via phone, Go To Meeting or in person. This may include a parent, couple, or the entire family – with or without the person with the substance use disorder (addiction or abuse). The objectives are determined by the client and may include: how to set healthy boundaries, understand cravings and relapse, help with legal concerns, learning what constitutes effective treatment, reconnecting as a couple or family on things besides the addiction, gaining more education on the brain disease, itself, developing a better understanding of what stress does to the family member’s health, and as importantly, helping family members regain their physical and emotional health and quality of life whether their loved one seeks treatment or not.
- Finding Effective Treatment Consulting – there is so much out there to learn and understand in order to identify treatment that will be effective for YOUR loved one. I help people become informed consumers of effective treatment. I do not make referrals to specific treatment centers, but I do help people identify what they should be looking for based on what they tell me of their loved one’s situation, including the list of questions they will want answered when contacting a potential treatment center in order to make their final decision. I also help them narrow their search to the centers that meet their criteria.
- Continuing Care Plan Consulting – once the stay in rehab is complete, the “Now what?” and fear of a relapse and what to do if there is one can be crushing. I work with families to develop a Family Continuing Care Plan (CCP) that involves the person in recovery and the family members with whom they will be living or engaged with after rehab. It is an important step toward ensuring long-term recovery by helping all concerned talk about the issues, action plans, agreements, boundaries, continuing care needs, and the like. A CCP is not a “be all, end all,” rather it’s a beginning. The process provides a way for family members to express their fears, hopes, expectations, and understandings in a safe, moderated setting to develop a “game plan” for how to proceed. Once the Plan is in place, I then coach families via weekly sessions via Go To Meeting or in the family home to address concerns and successes and necessary modifications.
Please know I am not a therapist, psychologist, or medical doctor.
If you don’t find what you are looking for, please use the contact form to send me a confidential email or call me at 650-362-3026 (PST). I have been researching, writing and consulting in this area since 2003 and can help you find the answer(s) for your particular situation. The important important take-away is that there is hope and a way out. It really can and does get better.
In the Meantime – Helping Families Understand Alcohol or Drug Abuse vs Alcoholism | Addiction
Often families and friends are at their wits end by the time they are visiting a site like this. Helping them understand what it is they may be dealing with (whether its substance abuse or addiction, for example) is a first step. Armed with this knowledge, families and the person with the substance misuse problem are better able to let go of some of the blame, shame, denial and anger that gets in the way of moving forward or making next step-decisions. It can also serve as an intervention of sorts, and if the person with the substance abuse problem is present, it often prompts them to take next steps to address their drinking or drug abuse problem.
To get a better sense of how I use simplified brain and science-based research in my consulting sessions with individuals and families, please watch my short, 10 minute video, “Alcoholism is a Disease and It’s Not Alcohol Abuse.” Additionally, you may find the following articles helpful, as well:
Additional Resources Found on BreakingTheCycles.com
- Quick Guide to Secondhand Drinking: A Phenomenon That Affects Millions
- Quick Guide to Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn’t
- Faces of Recovery – stories shared by persons living in recovery from substance use disorders
- Key Concepts – Shatter the Shame of Addiction
- Lisa’s YouTube Videos