As I was saying, I was working on this proposal with the Circle of Life program on the Fort Berthold Reservation, and we were reviewing the current research on family therapy for people addicted to meth. They are the substance abuse prevention and treatment experts and I am working with them to create a game that models what effective counselors do, just like our current games model what effective teachers do.
All of these treatment models assume that everyone in the family has to change. Now, I will admit up front that neither I nor anyone in my family has ever been addicted to anything, so I have no personal experience. I'm certainly willing to consider that if your 13-year-old son or daughter is addicted to meth, you took a wrong turn somewhere on the parenting journey. For one thing, how can you not know where your kid is for that amount of time?
It seems like, though, a lot of this treatment requires the people who are NOT addicted to change. When I read statements like,
"If you are too critical about their appearance, drug use or other behavior, you'll drive the person away and then the opportunity for treatment will be lost."
"Because access to the drug is so important to an addict, you may need to accept having the dealer around until you can convince your loved one to enter treatment."
I found it all very confusing, and there is a reason that I focused on statistics and assessment instead of counseling. That's why I was wise enough to partner with the Circle of Life people. I know my own weaknesses.
Isn't denial supposed to be one of the problems of people with addiction? So aren't you feeding into that?
But then if you go along with the denial, or don't confront the person, then it's enabling their addiction. But if you don't go along with it, then it's not accepting the person and then worsening their problem or driving them away?
It's all very confusing to me, and I think it is not just me because the rate of failure in therapy is pretty high. Not as high as the failure rate for startups, but still pretty high.
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