Monday, October 31, 2016

Love Addiction Self Assesment: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Love Addiction Self-Assessment

Please respond to the following questions with a “Yes” or “No” answer.(Please circle your answers.)

1. Have you ever tried to control how often you would see someone romantically?  .... Yes /No

2. Do you ever get “high” from romance, fantasy or intrigue? ... Yes/ No

3. Do you feel desperation or uneasiness when away from your lover or sexual partner? ….Yes/ No  

4. Do you believe that a romantic relationship will make your life bearable? ..... Yes/ No

5. Are you unable to stop seeing a specific person even though you know that person is destructive to you?  .... Yes/ No

6. Do you have difficulty being alone?  ..... Yes/ No

7. Do you feel that life would have little or no meaning without a love relationship?  ..... Yes/ No

8. Do you replace ended relationships immediately? … Yes/ No

9. Do you find that you have a pattern of repeating unhealthy relationships? …. Yes/ No

10. Does attention to your romantic relationships help you to cope with or escape from life’s problems? .. Yes/ No

11. Do you find yourself flirting with or sexualizing someone even if you do not mean to? ... Yes/ No

12. Do you ever find yourself in relationships you are unable to leave?  ..... Yes/ No.

13. Do you feel that you don’t want anyone to know about your sexual or romantic activities?  .. Yes/ No

14. Have you had sex with someone so that they will like you better or love you more?   …. Yes/ No

15. Do you make promises to yourself concerning your sexual or romantic behaviour that you find you cannot follow?  ….. Yes/ No

16. Do you believe that someone can “fix” you or “make it better”? ….  Yes/ No

17. Do you feel that you’re not “really alive” unless you are with your sexual/romantic partner?  … Yes/ No

18. Have you ever threatened your financial stability, reputation, or standing in the community by pursuing a love relationship?   …. Yes/ No

19. Do you believe that the problems in your love life result from continuing to remain with the “wrong” person? …..Yes /No

20. Do you often feel an instant closeness and complete connection with people you just met?  …. Yes/ No

21. Do you need to have sex, or “fall in love” in order to feel like a “real man” or a “real woman”?  ….. Yes/ No

22. Are you unable to concentrate on other areas of your life because of romantic thoughts or feelings you are having about another person?    … Yes/ No

23. Have you ever wished you could stop or control your sexual and romantic activities for a given period of time? ……Yes/ No

24. Do you feel that your life is unmanageable because of your excessive relationship needs?  …. Yes /No

25. Have you ever thought that there might be more you could do with your life if you were not so driven by sexual and romantic pursuits?  …. Yes/ No.

If you answer YES to at least 3 of the above questions then you may need further assesment and help. Call us today for personal and confidential HELP. PHONE us TODAY 0432 944 027

Sunday, October 30, 2016

ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS: Are you in an abusive relationship? By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Quiz: Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

Sometimes when you're in an intense or passionate relationship, it's hard to recognize when lines are being crossed. You can get comfortable with dysfunction and not realize when you are being abused, especially if your partner hasn't yet become physically violent. Abusive relationships in AUSTRALIA are on the rise, often fuelled by various addictions.

Go through the following checklist to find out whether your relationship is unhealthy and could be dangerous:

Does your partner: 

Isolate you from friends, family members or supporters?

Embarrass you with put-downs?
Look or act in ways that scare you?

Control what you do or who you see or talk to? 
Manipulate you with control of money?

Dominate all decisions?

Criticize your parenting and threaten to take away or hurt your children?

Prevent you from working or attending school?

Deny or downplay abuse or try to blame you for "provoking" it?

Destroy your property?

Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?

Shove you, slap you, choke you or hit you?

Force you to drop charges?

Threaten to commit suicide?

Threaten to kill you?

If you answered yes to even one of these warning signs, you may be in an abusive relationship FOR HELP CALL US TODAY PH 0432 944 027

Saturday, October 29, 2016



The most common reason that people give for not wanting to go through drug or alcohol rehab is that they are afraid of the social or professional ramifications. Specifically, they are most afraid that entering any type of rehabilitation program will damage their careers in some way.

Studies have shown that about 1.5Mill people in AUSTRALIA that suffer from drug and alcohol  addiction which they never seek professional help. Not only are these individuals damaging their physical and mental health, they are also putting their safety, and the safety of others, at great risk.

Ramifications of Seeking Help

Since so many people are afraid to seek help for their addictions, it is important to try to understand their reasoning. Many people believe that if they enter any type of drug or alcohol addiction treatment, they will either be ostracized at work or fired from their jobs. Even if they have insurance coverage that would pay for at least a portion of their addiction treatment expenses, these individuals are still reluctant to seek help because they are afraid of their employers’ reactions or the general public finding out.

Researchers have discovered that people’s fears are often greater than the realities that would be facing them if they would only come forward and admit to needing help. For example, someone who is addicted to alcohol might feel so guilty and self-conscious about their problem that they are afraid if they come forward, others will judge them as harshly as they are judging themselves.

While it certainly is possible for people to experience negative reactions from coworkers or employers when it becomes known that they have some type of addiction, the reality is that most often the reactions of others are not nearly as bad as people anticipate they will be.

Why Addiction Treatment Is Important

A very important thing to remember is that your health is the most important thing in your life. Even in these tough economic times, your health and well being is still more important than a job. In addition, statistics have shown that people are actually more likely to keep their jobs if they enter treatment for their addiction than they are if they simply let their addictions go untreated.

Think about it: If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, your life at some point is going to begin to unravel and, eventually, it will probably begin to spin out of control. If your addictions become the focal point of your life, you will probably wind up losing your job because of poor attendance or poor performance. As a general rule, people who regularly use drugs or abuse alcohol are much more likely to become chronically unemployed, as they will reach a point where they are simply no longer capable of holding down a job.

People who receive drug or alcohol addiction treatment, on the other hand, not only stand a better chance of keeping the jobs they already have, they are also far more likely to obtain better jobs after they have completed rehab. Even if you find it necessary to quit your job or take a leave of absence while you are going through treatment, you are likely to be able to find another job once you leave rehab.


If you are really worried about losing your job, reputation or public profile, your best option might is to employ one of our highly experienced RECOERY COACHES.There will be no risk of anyone finding out.  Always remember that you are entitled to your privacy and that your treatment is nobody else’s business.

If you or someone you love is in the grips of any addiction call us today in confidence for immediate help. PHONE us TODAY for a private and confidential RECOVERY COACH who will work with you from your own private residence.
 PH 0432 944 027

Thursday, October 27, 2016

TRUST ISSUES when you love someone in the grips of ADDICTION: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Addiction has a way of damaging everything in it’s path: Careers, families, marriages, opportunities, freedom, health. While it can rip a path of destruction, do you know one of the first things to go? 
 Often times, long before loved ones lose their patience, respect or sometimes even their love – trust goes out the window.

Sometimes, it’s a slow chipping before the final blow to lose trust: Small, repeated lies about whereabouts, a dead cell phone, a lost wallet, or sobriety. Other times, the offenses are much larger. Either way, the lies, the strange behavior, endless broken promises and constant senses of doubt and worry have left you in a trust-less relationship. And relationships without trust aren’t healthy for anyone.

The repeated abuse of trust.

There are few people more difficult to trust than those in active addiction. After all, the disease of addiction thrives on support – and support can only happen with the right pieces in place. A person in active addiction often needs to craft truth-bending stories or break promises in order to get the drugs they are physically, mentally and emotionally addicted to.

A family member can go through an emotional rollercoaster as their trust is broken, patched back up, and shattered once again. Family members want to believe their loved one is telling the truth – that they’re sober and ready to do whatever it takes. Family members want to believe their loved one when they beg for forgiveness because they learned their lesson, really learned their lesson this time. Family members want to believe it will be different this time.

The repeated lies and broken promises, however, change things. Our usual expectations are reversed. Lies are inevitable. Distrust is inherent. Let downs are an everyday occurrence.

With that being said, you may wonder how you can ever trust a loved one with an addiction. The following tips can help:

  1. Understand exactly what you are dealing with.

    The lies told to support the addiction aren’t about you, the things you have (or haven’t) done – and they aren’t even about your loved one lacking values or morals. The lies are a result of the brain changes caused by alcohol or drugs. You are dealing with the disease of addiction.

    When you can step back and look at the lies as part of the disease – rather than a part of your loved one – it makes it a little easier to separate the two. Your loved one’s behavioral illness has influenced his or her thoughts and actions, poor decisions and behaviors that have harmed you. Distinguishing the person you know and love from the words and actions that have harmed you is an excellent first step in learning to trust again.
  2. Trust yourself.

    Unfortunately, one of the side effects of addiction can be the blame game. With addiction in play, everyone is hurting: the person who is using, his or her family or friends. Where there is pain, there is often blame.

    During your loved one’s active addiction, you may have been accused of things you’re shocked that he or she could imagine. You may have spent countless hours defending yourself against hurtful accusations. Your faith and trust in yourself may be lacking.

    When learning to trust another person, you must know how to trust yourself: Trust your instincts and trust your assessment of the situation – regardless of whether or not your addicted loved one agrees with you or not. Trust that you do not have to gain their acceptance of everything and trust that you are your own person – no matter how great your love for him or her.

    Trusting yourself opens the door to trusting others.
  3. Communicate openly and honestly.

    Communication is one of the most important tools in life – especially in relationships and recovery.  Many times, the way in which we communicate with each other contributes to how our relationships are grown and strengthened.

    Because addiction can strain communication, recovering those open lines can be a process. Things to keep in mind in order to improve conversations and communication include:
    1. Thinking through what you want to communicate.
      When words can break or build, take your time to think before speaking. It won’t be easy – especially in the heat of the moment or when you feel hurt or attacked. In the long run, those few extra moments to gather your thoughts can go a long way.
    2. Using “I” statements.
      You know what it is like to feel attacked. Not good, right? One way to avoid this type of communication is by conveying how you are feeling – and beginning statements with the word “I”.
    3. Create a conducive environment.
      Emotions can escalate quickly in chaotic environments. In order to avoid confusion, misunderstandings and frustration – plan to have conversations in an environment that is private, quiet and calm. This way, you’ll both feel more comfortable and safe in opening up.
  4. Set healthy boundaries.

    Boundaries are key in creating healthy relationships – and in building trust; the establish guidelines for appropriate behaviors, responsibilities, words and actions. When your boundaries are malleable or don’t exist, you open yourself up to lose what makes you, you. A lack of healthy boundaries when a loved one is addiction can mean that you will be lied to, cheated on and stolen from.

    Check out our suggestions for seven of the most important boundaries to set when a loved one is addicted.
  5. Know that it takes time.

    Trust can take years to build and even longer to rebuild – but it can also be broken with one single action. It will take many honest answers and reliable actions before your trust can begin to grow.

    Allowing your loved one to begin to earn your trust will take time, observation of their commitment to recovery, changes in their lifestyle, improvement in their behaviors and a change in their words. Healing will over time as you witness a constant effort to maintain trustworthy actions and behaviors.

    Healing, forgiving and trusting are all processes. Let them unfold. FOR HELP TODAY CALL US FOR PRIVATE CONFIDENTIAL SUPPORT. PH 0432 944 027

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

RESENTMENT towards an ADDICTICED parent: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

The Early Wounds Of Addiction

Growing up in a household infused with addiction, without a doubt can have a major impact on children. Kids of addicted adults find themselves in situations and with emotions that no one should have to deal with at an early age:
  • Taking care of their parents when they are intoxicated, hungover or withdrawing
  • Taking care of other siblings, to make sure food, clothes, and necessities are available
  • Taking care of themselves beyond their years
  • Enduring emotional or physical neglect
  • Enduring emotional or physical abuse
  • Withholding emotion
  • Acting out
  • Anxiety about speaking to a parent or adult
Because children are virtually powerless to manage or to stop these types of situations, or their parents’ behavior, they find it difficult to express themselves in a healthy way. Instead, they find themselves acting out their anger by getting into trouble at school or after school, or even reacting inwardly – covering up their anger with shame, guilt or low self-esteem.

Unresolved Issues, Unresolved Anger

It’s estimated that more than 28 million Americans are children of addicted parents – and roughly 17 million of those people are now adults themselves.
When a person is raised by a parent with a drug or alcohol addiction, they’re not only more prone to developing their own addictions, they also tend to grow up with unresolved issues and unresolved anger.
Holding on to unresolved anger and issues into adulthood can cause bitterness, mistrust, fear, anxiety, depression and resentment. Because adult children of addicted parents don’t always understand the depth of their pain and often carry the above burdens, they find it difficult to forgive and try to move forward in the relationship and in life.

Releasing Resentment

The weight of anger and resentment in our hearts can hurt us, the child of addiction, more than it hurts the other person – our addicted parent. It’s like the old expression: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

There is no doubt that if you grew up in an addicted home, you faced an injustice. Forgiving a mother or father for their addiction and your childhood is difficult because they have caused damage in your life. You never experienced a “normal childhood” – as “normal” was only a pattern of chaos, instability, secrets, lies, shame, fear and possibly even neglect or abuse. You didn’t experience the opportunities and support that your friends did. You still fear being abandoned – and often require the approval of others. You may even have difficulty in expressing yourself because you are your own biggest critic.

Yes, it is completely understandable to wonder how you could ever forgive the adult who raised you to harbor these feelings. However, resentment lives within you day in and day out: Dwelling on how your addicted parent impacted your life negatively doesn’t help you move forward in your health, happiness or life. Resentment is toxic and it will hold you back.
Even if you’re unable to fully forgive at this point, releasing resentment will help you to heal.
Releasing resentment from a parent’s addiction runs much deeper than the surface. It often involves letting go of repeated wrong-doings – usually years and years worth of hurt. However, moving towards forgiveness and letting go of resentment of an addicted parent is possible.

How To Let Go

Understand that letting go of resentment means to release someone of the debt they owe you for the pain they caused.

Harboring a grudge is like allowing a destructive tenant into your home: He lives in your house, but tears it apart. Bottling up the resentment that you have for your parent or parents will do you more damage than good. While it is easier said than done, consciously making an effort to move on from those powerful, negative feelings and thoughts is the best thing for you. You can’t heal the past, you can’t heal your parent, but you can work on your own healing.

Think about what will happen to you if you continue to resent your parent.
When we let resentment infuse into our hearts and our minds, it’s echoed into our personalities and our characters. The pain that a parent caused in our lives can be felt through other relationships, through our friendships and jobs. When we don’t release our parents from the offenses that they caused, the effects stretch far beyond anything we can imagine. By choosing not to let go – as letting go and forgiving are a choice – we risk damages to ourselves.

Separate your parent from the addiction.

Understanding the disease of addiction will show you that your parent isn’t their addiction – and the addiction isn’t your parent: The addiction is what harmed you. The addiction is what caused you pain and suffering as a child. The addiction influenced your parent’s action and behavior. Your parent did not have control over this addiction – your mother or father was dealing with an illness.
With patience in the process, dealing with anger and resentment towards an addicted parent can eventually lead to self-confidence, healthier relationships and even a sense of relief and peace. Letting go of resentment is the one thing that will allow you to move towards a brighter future – and it starts with you, not your parent. You are worth the healing. FOR HELP TODAY PH 0432 944 027

ADDICTION doesnt just affect the person using: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

“It’s my choice to use/drink. It doesn’t affect anyone but me.”

The above statement is one of the biggest lies that addicted people tell themselves and others.
I watched an absolutely heartbreaking story in the news earlier this week about 16-year-old boy who now helps others by sharing his story of surviving his parents’ drug addiction. The oldest of three children, Zaine lost both of his parents to heroin overdoses and is now left with his grandmother, caring for his two younger sisters.
“It’s been hell,” the 16-year-old told reporters. “You can try to imagine what it’s like, but it’s even worse than you imagine.” 
Unfortunately, when there is an addicted person or people in the family – it has a profound effect on everyone in the family. And for that person or people who are using – they are too sick with addiction to see how their drug or alcohol use is hurting everyone else.
 Casualties of the Disease of Addiction.
While the addicted person may seem like the only person who is sick, it’s not the case. Gradually, addiction can affect the thought process and behavior of each family member to the point that they become different people as well. Family members may enable the behavior of their loved one by giving into their demands, ignoring the chaos, blaming themselves, or obsessing over their loved one’s behaviors, actions or whereabouts. They can become so preoccupied with their loved one’s drinking or drug use, they’ll obsess about ways to control it. Family members may experience emotions that leave them “intoxicated” in a sense: Shame, guilt, resentment, self-pity, worry and anger. They may even try to numb themselves with substances, as well.
When family members may hear the excuse that, “It’s my choice and it doesn’t hurt anyone else,” they may feel bad that they are hurt, too. They may try to “cover” for their addicted loved one or keep secrets to protect their addiction.
When these types of behaviors occur, it limits each family member’s ability to be mentally and emotionally present to other people, children or loved ones in their lives – making them casualties of addiction, too.
 The Four Phases of the Addicted Family.
Because of the above factors, family members can often times follow the same type of downward spiral as the person using substances – even if they’re completely sober. There are four distinct phases that family members of addicted people tend to go through in this spiral:

    1. Concern.
      Addiction to drugs or alcohol don’t typically happen overnight. It usually involves small changes, and gradually builds. At first, family members may notice these small changes in their loved one and realize there may be a problem. In phase one, family members react to the addiction out of genuine concern for their loved one. Unfortunately, at this point, most family members are only just beginning to experience the effects of their loved one’s drug and alcohol use. Often times in this phase, family members don’t understand the extent to which addiction will impact their lives.

    2. Defense.
      Think about the five stages of loss and grief: One of the first reactions to learning of the terminal illness or death of a loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. Because reality can bring such a sense of overwhelming emotions, our defense mechanism is to buffer the shock, grief and fear. Families with an addicted loved one enter a similar phase by blocking out the reality of the situation. Family members become so enthralled with their addicted loved one’s behavior, the “protect” them by lying to friends, other family members, spouses and employers.

      In phase two, family members not only tolerate their addicted loved one’s behavior and actions, they feel increasingly responsible for the problems that begin to arise. While the person using the substance may experience blackouts from drinking or drug use, family members experience their own “blackouts” – by forgetting or denying negative actions or behavior of their loved one, and trying to minimize the consequences.

    3. Adaptation.
      After repeatedly denying and defending their loved one’s behaviors, family members tend to enter into a phase of adaptation, meaning they change their own behaviors in order to adapt to the addicted person’s behavior.

      We often say that family members “lose themselves” in their loved one’s addiction – and this is the phase in which it happens. A parent, grandparent, partner or spouse may try to become the “perfect person” for their loved one; hoping that the way that they behave will make their addicted one happy. Unfortunately, this is the phase that many family members begin to feel as though they are failures – and they end up needing medical or mental health care of their own. By this point, family members may give so much of themselves to their loved one that they have nothing left to take care of themselves. This can mean physically, emotionally, mentally or financially.
    4. Exhaustion.By phase four, addiction has completely overtaken the family – and family members defend their shame, guilt, fear, resentment, anger and self-pity. There is a good chance that family members will begin to experience severe anxiety and depression, and completely lose their self-confidence and self-worth. Fear rules their lives.Exhaustion is the bottom for family members.
Much like with the addicted person, family members shouldn’t wait until they reach their bottom to get help. Whether you are in phase 1 or phase 4 – there is help and there is hope for both addiction – and the family impacted by it. Don’t wait to hit the bottom: You risk losing your sanity, your health and potentially even your life. FOR HELP TODAY PH 0432 944 027

Keeping Secrets For Your Addicted Loved One Is Deadly: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Keeping Secrets For Your Addicted Loved One Is Deadly

You’ve probably heard the old saying, you’re only as sick as your secrets. Everyone’s had secrets at one time or another. But if you’re addicted, secrets can kill you. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word secret as:keeping information hidden from others. For substance abusers this information is their addiction and hiding it, is a full time job.  Addicts hide what they use, how much they use, when they use, how they use, how they get their substance, how much money they’re spending on it and who they’re hurting in the process. People with substance use disorder don’t realize how sick they are. Addiction is a brain disease that hijacks your thinking. It impairs your reasoning and replaces honest thoughts, with dishonest ones. Addicted folks minimize their usage and become defensive when confronted on it. They will blame those closest to them for their behavior and avoid responsibility by manipulating the truth.
To complicate matters further, many addicts have been diagnosed with a mental illness that may or may not be accurate. Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders are only a few of the mental health issues that addicted individuals use to justify using. Working in a dual diagnosis clinic I speak with people who state they use because they’re depressed, or bipolar, or feel anxious, or suicidal. Friends and family buy in, and feel more compassionate thus enabling their addicted loved one to continue spiraling downwards. Families are uncomfortable confronting their sick loved one and might make excuses for them, such as; they wouldn’t be using if they weren’t depressed/anxious/etc.
To accurately diagnose a mental health condition, you must have all the facts. This is where things really fall apart. I have yet to meet an addict in active addiction who will tell the truth. Not because they’re bad guys, but because they’re sick and delusional. Imagine this, you’ve been on a crystal meth binge and you haven’t eaten, slept or showered in days. You walk into your doctor’s office and tell him you’re not sleeping or eating. You describe the energy you had – you cleaned your entire house, tried to write a book, and even painted a few pictures – but the energy you were feeling then and which kept you up and wide-awake for days, is gone. Now you’re too depressed to even shower. What you don’t tell your doctor, is that you were using crystal meth.  Without all the facts the diagnose you receive, is likely false.
People who struggle with addiction bend the truth. And they’re not the only ones! Their friends and families do, too.
When your spouse is addicted you feel angry, hurt and betrayed. The love of your life is cheating on you – with their DOC – and you can’t compete. You know something’s not right and eventually you catch on. You may even threaten to kick them out if they continue to use, which they do. So out they go and then it begins.  You wonder where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing. Your imagination goes wild. Are they dead? Are they cheating? You feel so anxious thinking about what they might be doing, you change your mind and ask them to come home. Thus starting a revolving door which might go on for years. You make excuses for them because you don’t want other people to know what you’re willing to put up with. Your miserable and your behavior becomes just as unhealthy as theirs.
When your child is addicted you feel guilty and anxious. Your instinct is to protect them, and fix all their problems. You worry that their addiction is somehow your fault. You blame others for not having enough empathy. You walk on egg shells. You don’t want to upset them by saying what’s really on your mind. You give in to their demands because you feel anxious when they’re mad at you and you don’t want them to dislike you. You’re consumed by their illness and can’t stop worrying about them. Because you over-function in your role, you create a crippling, dysfunctional and dependent relationship that enables your adult child to avoid the consequences of their actions and under-function in all other areas of their life.
When your friend is addicted you feel concerned. You’ve witnessed them getting wasted and you’ve probably joined in. Only you could stop, and they couldn’t. You know all their secrets – secrets that their spouse or parents likely have never heard. These secrets weigh heavily on you and you wonder what you should do. You know they’re headed for disaster but you don’t want to get them in trouble by telling. You’ve been pals since high school and you never ratted one another out. But you’re not in high school anymore and your buddy is clearly killing himself. The thought crosses your mind to walk away, but a little voice inside your head knows better.
The above are three different scenarios, but we all know or love someone whose life has been affected by addiction. Loving someone who struggles with this illness is like being between a rock and a hard place. There are no easy answers. No matter what you do, you’re going to feel guilty for doing it. If your addicted loved one is pleased with your actions, you’re probably enabling their illness. If they’re mad at you, you likely made the right choice. However whether they’re happy with you or not, is not the issue here. The real concern is their life.  To put it bluntly, if you’re keeping their secrets – you’re helping them to die. The most loving and compassionate thing you can do for anyone struggling with addiction, is to reach out for help and tell someone.
If you or someone you love needs help, please call this confidential support  PH 0432 944 027

Stigma of ADDICTION: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

Stigma of ADDICTION. 

Stigma is one of the meanest and most difficult aspects of addiction 

Stigma is one of the meanest and most difficult aspects of addiction because it makes it harder for individuals and families to deal with their problems and get the help they need. Society imposes stigma - and its damage - on addicts and their families because many of us still believe that addiction is a character flaw or weakness that probably can't be cured. 

The stigma against people with addictions is so deeply rooted that it continues even in the face of the scientific evidence that addiction is a treatable disease and even when we know people in our families and communities living wonderful lives in long-term recovery.

Stigma is the reason there is so much social and legal discrimination against people with addictions. It explains why addicts and their families hide the disease. Discrimination always hurts stigmatized groups because they are excluded from the rules that apply to "normal" people. So insurance companies get away with refusing to pay for alcohol or drug treatment, or with charging higher deductibles and co-pays than for treating any other disease. People who need the help are often afraid to speak up. State and federal agencies feel safe in denying food stamps and baby formula to mothers who have past drug convictions because mothers who used drugs have few supporters in the political system and face lots of people who think they must be "bad mothers." Though studies have found that helping employees to recover is more cost-effective than termination, some employers believe that firing an employee with a drinking problem is a lot easier than providing rehabilitation. A firestorm of protest would erupt if employers treated workers with cancer or heart disease the same way.

People who are victims of stigma internalize the hate it carries, transforming it to shame and hiding from its effects. Too often, people with alcohol and drug problems and their families begin to accept the ideas that addiction is their own fault and that maybe they are too weak to do anything about it. In many ways, hiding an addiction problem is the rational thing to do because seeking help can mean losing a job and medical insurance, or even losing your child when a social service agency declares you an unfit parent because you have an alcohol or drug problem.

The stress of hiding often causes other medical and social problems for the individuals and their families. This is especially true when an adolescent has an alcohol or drug problem. Fear often prompts kids to conceal the problem from parents. Then, when parents find out, stigma makes them feel guilty and somehow negligent. Illness and family dysfunction explode. When that happens, parents find it even harder to fight for the care and resources their child urgently needs from a social and medical system that blames the family and the child.

If you or someone you love call us today for confidential assessment and admission process. Confidentiality assured. PH 0432 944 027

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ADDICTION: A rougue system in the BRAIN. By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

A rougue system in the BRAIN

Drug and Alcohol abuse damages a person's ability to make decisions.

* Healthy people have interacting systems in their brain that signal when to take action (go) and when to refrain (stop).
* When someone is addicted, it's as if the "go" system is running off on its own instead of interacting with the "stop" system.

Our brain controls our decision making, letting us know when to go forward with an action and when to stop. Scientists have learned which parts of the brain send these messages. And they know that for addicted people, these "stop" and "go" systems are impaired.

The brain's reward, or "go" system, is basic to all humans. Called the mesolimbic dopamine system, it evolved to help us pursue things necessary for survival such as food or sex. Conversely, the brain's frontal lobes or "stop" system evolved to help us weigh the consequences of our impulses. For example, this system will help keep us from driving through a red light when we're in a hurry, because the brain will tell us that doing so would be both dangerous and illegal. In this case, the "stop" system sends a message that the consequences of doing what the "go" system wants are too negative.

When things are working right, the 'go' circuitry and the 'stop' circuitry really are interconnected and are really talking to each other to help you weigh the consequences of a decision and decide when to go or not to go. It's not that they're separable. They're interactive. They're interlinked That means that even when you are in a great hurry and risk missing an appointment, you still do not run the red light. "Go" and "stop" have communicated with each other, and "stop" has prevailed.

For addicted people, however, "it is as though [the systems] have become functionally disconnected. It is as though the 'go' system is sort of running off on its own. This is a rogue system now, and is not interacting in a regular, seamless, integrated way with the 'stop' system."

When an addicted person, even one who is working to recover, gets certain signs, or triggers, such as conflict with a companion, the "go" system overwhelms the part of the brain that's telling them, "Stop! This is a very bad idea!" The trigger can be something essential to the addicted person's life: one recovered writer realized that his addiction was partly triggered by the deadline pressure of his chosen profession as a journalist, and was prompted to start a new career; other recovering people often move from their old neighborhoods to be away from triggers. But a trigger can also be something as subtle as a scent that reminds a person of the place where they used to buy drugs.

When that trigger surfaces, instead of being able to say, 'What? Wait a minute. Think about what happened last week. You lost your job. You almost lost your life,' the 'stop' system doesn't seem to get into the picture at all. It's all about 'go.'

Addiction is a disease not a disgrace. It is treatable so if you or someone you love is in the grips of addiction call us today for immediate help PH 0432 944 027

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Insanity of Alcoholism: Understanding the thinking of Alcoholics: By Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

The Insanity of Alcoholism

Understanding the thinking of Alcoholics

Sadly, well intentioned folks try to protect the alcoholic from him/herself (enabling) or try to predict what they will do next (no crystal ball available). There are hundreds of wise sayings amongst alcoholics in recovery. Some are meant to make you think and some are meant to be taken very literally. Alcoholics Anonymous refers to, “the insanity of our disease.” This is a very literal statement. I can tell you a bit about understanding the active alcoholic but I cannot make it make sense to you because understanding the active alcoholic requires stripping away a lot of rational thought, the acknowledgement and willingness to learn from mistakes, the ability to recognise obvious patterns of behaviour, and quite often, the application of common sense.
There are at least a hundred forms of alcoholism. What I am describing here is the person who is still drinking, is high functioning, and has not yet lost the things they hold dear. The disease of addiction dictates that they will lose these things in time and the rule of threes dictates a grim long term prognosis (jail, institution, and/or death).
Alcoholics think, act, believe, and feel based on distorted perceptions or themselves and the world around them. They live at the extremes of all or nothing. There is no moderation, no middle ground, no compromise, and no grey area in their world view. To varying degrees, alcoholics live in denial of their destructiveness (self and others) and this further distorts what they are able to make sense of.


Alcoholics are the very best liars because they are able to use rationalisation and justification to convince themselves that a lie is truth. This happens subconsciously. They are not aware that they are, if you’ll pardon the term – mind screwing themselves. Alcoholics adopt a language that facilitates lying in a way that sounds very well intentioned. Their favourite word is, “probably.” This word implies intention where in fact none exists. An alcoholic who tells you they will probably do something is highly unlikely to do it. Using words like these provides them a loop hole – an escape hatch in which no absolutes are given and no promises made. The alcoholic relies on words and phrases like: possibly, maybe, would, could, should, I’d like to, I want to, I need to. These words mean nothing. They sound good but almost always lead to disappointment. Progressively, alcoholism blurs every line and impacts every interaction, every relationship, every part of the alcoholic’s world.

Fire house Management

Putting blinders on a horse leaves it with no peripheral vision – such is the worldview of the alcoholic. They may attend to many things, but in order to do so they must turn their attention away from one thing and toward another. Multitasking for the alcoholic means making many messes at once. There is no balance for the active alcoholic. As one area of their life declines they will often focus their attention on it and take it to an extreme. As this happens, another part of their life declines and gradually their life becomes dictated by “fire house management” – every course of action becomes based on the most pressing problem. This is an inevitably downward spiral, though some alcoholics manage to maintain it for a very long time.

External Locus of Control

As alcoholics tend to drink progressively more they will generally conceal the frequency and amount they drink. They will tell you they only had three glasses of wine and this is true. What they have not told you is that each glass was a 16 ounce tumbler. It is not only the drinking that gets hidden; it is also the negative affects alcohol produces in their lives. Alcoholics develop what counsellors call “an external locus of control.” Progressively, everything is someone else’s fault. If their job is going poorly it’s because their boss hates them. If their marriage suffers then their spouse is unreasonable. If they fail as parents they will see their children as ungrateful. Everything and everyone becomes a reason to drink. The spiralling alcoholic will often say that they don’t even want to drink but that circumstances like their horrible job/spouse/kids “force” them to.

Self-Pity and the Sense of Entitlement

Alcoholics often have a bizarre sense of entitlement. They reason that having such a difficult/stressful/demanding life entitles them to act in ways that are immature, irresponsible, and selfish. To observe their behaviour is to conclude a belief that the world must owe them something. The active alcoholic wallows in self-pity and concludes that they are a victim of life. As they demand more from the world they expect less and less from themselves.

Appearance over Substance

The quickest route to self destruction for alcoholics are the words, “Screw it.” This is a declaration that everything is already screwed so they might as well drink. When people decide to stop drinking we encourage them to notice that “It” is actually, “Me.” This is evident in, “It’s not worth it.” On some level the alcoholic always knows the truth and they are usually working hard not to know it. They pretend and demand that those close to them buy into the fantasy that all is well. Life becomes progressively less about anything substantive and progressively more about maintaining appearances. This is well explained in Pink’s song, “Family Portrait.” “In our family portrait we look pretty happy. We look pretty normal…”

Master Manipulators

Alcoholics are master manipulators. They may not have been con artists before they started drinking but they come to have remarkable skills. They are the folks who can sell ice to Eskimos. They will pick a fight with you because they want to leave and they will have you believing it’s your fault. They show little or no accountability. They may have had integrity before their addiction kicked in but it will be conspicuously absent from their lives as they spiral. There is often one exception to this rule for each alcoholic – one thing they do especially well and it will most generally be their sole source of self esteem. We have known a large number of alcoholics who have incredible work ethics because being a good worker is the one thing they know they’re good at…well, they will say that and drinking.

Alcoholism - A Unique Disease

The disease of alcoholism gradually and insidiously strips everything away from a person. We have been asked countless times whether alcoholism is truly a disease or a choice. In truth it is both. Alcoholism is unique as a disease in that it not only hides from view – it also lies to its carrier about its presence. The person who is active in addiction has a unique choice relative to all other diseases. The alcoholic can go into remission at any time and many do. We see that alcoholics will abstain from drinking for a time to prove to themselves or others that they are not addicted, only to return later with a vengeance.

Treatment and Recovery

Recovery from alcoholism involves far more than sobriety. Recovery from alcoholism involves changing every part of a person’s life. The person who only stops drinking is what we refer to as a “dry drunk” meaning that they are every bit as unhealthy they have simply stopped drinking – a small percentage of folks manage this long term. In my professional opinion, real recovery is only made possible by the combination of Addiction TREATMENT including ongoing Recovery Coaching, plus the ongoing 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are countless positive things that can be added to the program of AA and their importance cannot be overstated. People in recovery need the support of family and friends. Sadly, I meet too many friends and family who are unwittingly enabling (protecting an alcoholic from the natural consequences of their behaviour) the alcoholic and this always results in a person staying stuck in addiction.
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