As I continue to promote and advocate for the Jennifer Act I am constantly encouraged by those individuals and organizations that are working diligently to help those suffering from addiction. Below you will find some useful resources and partners. If you have a resource you would like to add please email it to me.
Resources and Partners
1. NET Training Institute – Center for Addiction & Recovery Resources
The NET Institute offers over 450 hours of self-paced online addiction training. Technology enabled learning (distance learning) offers many benefits such as: affordability, consistency and quality of education content, self-paced flexibility in the timing of the course offerings (i.e. start date / length of program), and the ability to accommodate a learner’s other responsibilities, such as full-time jobs or family needs. The NET Institute offers a unique learning experience through a state-of-the art technology platform which is conveniently available 24 hours a day. This means that you can get started right away and learn from anywhere in the world around the clock year-round.
NTI’s recovery, counseling and addiction course work meets the criteria established by predominant national and international organizations which offer credentials in addiction. NTI’s curriculum and training materials consistently meet professional standards recognized by the federal agency called SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services in the US federal government. NTI’s training materials meet the standards in SAMHSA’s Treatment Assistance Publication: TAP 21: Addiction Counseling Competencies: Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes.
2. PLS Print – Printing company in Clearwater, Florida that provides graphic design, printing, and mailing services.
PLS Print is a proud sponsor of The Jennifer Act and other substance abuse prevention and awareness organizations. They provide printing and graphic design work at reduced prices as a way of showing support for this important issue of drug and alcohol abuse. Visit the website plsprint.com to find out more about this company.
3. addictscience.com – This is a great resource written by a former drug and alcohol abuser who fully understands the science behind addiction and how it effects the mind.
This website is a comprehensive guide to understanding the disease of addiction. Written by Steve Castleman, this guide can help addicts, former addicts or loved ones trying to understand addiction.
Helping Support A Loved One Through Addiction
With any sort of addiction, fear seems to be the one insidious element that imposes itself upon the addict and their loved ones. Anxiety is something that pervades the lives of anyone touched by the extremes of addiction. There seems to be much in the way of stigma regarding how problems with drug abuse are tackled, and also how it impacts upon the lives of the sufferer and their family. However, the most important thing anyone can do is to try and seek help.
Seeking help for drug addicts
Talking is perhaps the most greatly underestimated way of helping with the tackling of drug issues. It is important to remember that situations such as these are incredibly sensitive and must be approached with care and thought. The last thing anyone facing a battle with addiction needs, is to be forced into a corner or made to feel like they are being argued with.
One of the first steps to take, once the subject has been broached is to engage help from an Intervention Specialist. These are groups of people who will seek to aid the addict and their family to take the first steps on the road to recovery and very often will use a “whole person” approach to healing, that is to say, each program would be individually tailored to meet the needs and requirements of the addict and how they see their lives.
Making sure that throughout, you instil the fact that as a parent, carer or loved one you will support and stand by your child as a recovering addict. This can go a long way to encouraging and maintaining a positive outlook on the withdrawal and recovery process.
Many people often assume that addiction to drugs means that the person has a predisposition to the abuse of illegal substances only. This is not the case. It is also very common nowadays to find people who are becoming addicted to simple over the counter medications such as painkillers or other medications that contain opiates, such as cough preparations.
Signs and symptoms of addiction can vary from person to person and it does depend on the type of substance they may be abusing. If, for instance, they are taking something to give them a high, they may go for long periods of time without sleep or food. On the other hand, if they are taking substances to relax or give them a feeling of calm, they may want to sleep for long periods of time and withdraw from the outside world completely.
Common physical symptoms can include weight loss and depression, lack of personal care and issues with poor dental hygiene.
An addiction takes over most areas of life. Where they may once have been exemplary employees or dedicated to their family, they may start to neglect these areas or become lax in attitude towards them. Sometimes, a signal that there may be a problem comes in the form of money worries. An addict may begin to sell their belongings in order to feed their habit, or they may start to fall into debt.
Treatment and recovery options
Treatment varies from person to person, what suits one addict might not suit another, it very much depends on the severity of the addiction, the support network the addict has around them and also their own mental and physical condition. Generally speaking, treatment falls into two categories:
Inpatient Treatment: This is where an addict will be placed into the care of a hospital or treatment facility for a period of time (usually between one to three months). Here, they will begin a detox process under the care of trained medical staff. Withdrawal symptoms from substances usually kick in very quickly, and in a treatment facility like this can be kept under check. A program of medications may be given to help the addict cope with any symptoms and also talking therapies, group therapies and other activities designed to distract and give relaxation will be advised upon.
Outpatient Treatment: This is treatment that offers a little more in the way of flexibility for sufferers and their families who wish to remain together, or for those addicts for whom it is not possible to have inpatient treatment. Counsellors are usually on hand to help with problems on a daily basis and each day the addict must check in at a treatment center. Often times it will be required that the patient attends a facility for a sessions of treatment and counselling for a few hours of every day before being discharged to spend the night at home. During these sessions, the same sorts of therapies as would be prescribed for an inpatient are given.
Cures and relapses
Once help for drug addiction and treatment for quitting substance abuse has been undertaken, it may be that at some point a relapse occurs. It is very important to understand that relapses can be a very common part of the recovery process and that it does not mean the addict is slipping back or will take the path to full blown addiction again.
A cure is something that is possible to achieve and maintain with the right help and support in place. It’s important to recognise that many drug addicts report that for a long period of time after withdrawal and stoppage of drug use they can still experience cravings for the substances they have chosen to quit. This is also an entirely normal part of the recovery process.
Support for families and parents
As a parent, carer or loved one, the support you can offer your child is the most important thing. However, it’s important to recognise that you too will be feeling under pressure, maybe even angry, as well as upset. A wealth of emotions that can be just as overwhelming as the ones the addict experiences can be felt by you.
Talking to parents of other addicts who have come through treatment can be of great help, as can finding help and information from online sources like drugabuse.gov. It’s important for you to be strong, but it’s also important for you to know that there is help available for you, in times when it feels like you need someone to turn to as well.
4. Addiction Treatment and Your Health Coverage – A useful article describing how health insurance coverage effects addiction treatment.
View the PDF – Addiction Treatment and Your Health Coverage.
5. AddictionCenter.com – A great resource for those who are struggling, or have a loved one that is struggling, with addiction. They have resources for treatment centers and counselors.
5. The Moyer Foundation – Through the generosity of a giving community, The Moyer Foundation supports programs that directly serve critical needs of children in severe distress. Since its inception, The Moyer Foundation has raised millions of dollars to help support hundreds of different programs that help children in distress in a variety of ways.
In addition to helping children in Washington State, The Moyer Foundation created and funds Camp Erin, the largest network of free bereavement camps in the country for children and teens who are grieving a significant loss; Camp Mariposa, for children affected by addiction in their families; and community partnerships to help raise awareness and support initiatives that share in the mission of helping children in distress.
7. RehabCenter.net – At RehabCenter.net, we give you all the information you will need to choose the best rehab strategy, find aftercare support, determine whether your health insurance covers your treatment, and win back your life.
8. addictionresource.com – Addiction Resource was founded in 2005 to provide a community for those recovering from addiction and to help patients find the highest quality care for a successful recovery. Our goal is to provide resources to help patients and their loved ones so that they may stay on the road to recovery, and can successfully overcome addiction for life. We believe in our ability to help improve the lives of others, and belief is what motivates us to educate and support our readers every day.
9. rehabnet.com – What is RehabNet.com? Their Mission: Let’s not forget our seniors and their families. Let’s give them the best support, information, resources and tools to overcome addiction and pursue lifelong recovery. We are here to help you and your loved one every step of the way.
10. addictionpolicyforum.org – The Addiction Policy Forum is a diverse partnership of organizations, policymakers and stakeholders committed to working together to elevate awareness around addiction and to improve national policy through a comprehensive response that includes prevention, treatment, recovery and criminal justice reform.