addiction | Kay Trotter

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All Posts Tagged: addiction

You can help prevent suicide

prevent suicideShow You Care: Let the person know you really care. Talk about your feelings and ask about his or hers. Listen carefully to what they have to say.

  • “It sounds like you’re angry (or jealous or something else), and it’s okay to be angry.”
  •  “I’m worried about you, about how you feel.”
  •  ”You mean a lot to me. I want to help.”
  •  ”I’m here, if you need someone to talk to.”

Ask The Question: Talking with people about suicide won’t put the idea in their heads. Be direct in a caring, non-confrontational way. Get the conversation started.

Challenge their Thinking; It’s also about helping them see that death won’t solve their problem

  • ‘It’s okay to feel angry, but it’s not okay to kill yourself.’
  • ‘I care about you, but I can’t give in to you when you act this way, so now I have to call someone here to keep you safe.’
  • ‘How are you going to feel the respect and attention you’re looking for if you are dead? You’ll be gone forever.’
  • ‘Do you really want to go away forever? You’ll leave a big hole of pain in your family and friends, who love you very much.’

Create Time-to-talk: The goal is to keep the person safe long enough to get to a time and place where there can be some good talking.

  • Go for a drive. Take them to a place where they might calm down.
  •  ‘Go for a walk or drive him ‘round the community. Only drop him back home when he’s really tired. But still watch over him.’
  • ‘Take him away from the thing that was making him angry.’
  • ‘Go to a coffee shop.’ (laughter)
  • ‘Or the beach.’ (more laughter)
  •  ‘Go to a place that’s safe for them but doesn’t facilitate their suicide fantasy, or give in to what they’re asking for.’
  • ‘Sometimes the safest place might be the emergency room.’

After they calm down and get some slept, you can make connections, like with family or support workers. Then you can talk about it more.

  • ‘Do something that makes him happy. Just ask them gently. You can listen to them. Get their story.’
  •  ‘Remind them about their family. People they care about. You can ask them, “What are the troubles in your life?”’
  • ‘Ask them simple questions. Get them to think about what they are doing. Like, “How are you feeling when you     say you want to kill yourself?” or “What are the things that make you feel this way?’
  • Help them break it down, so they can see the process of when they do this, identifying emotional     states and suicidal triggers.’
  •  ‘You can help them think about other things they can do when they feel this way again.’

Get Help: Never talk of suicide as a secret.

  • “I know where we can get some help.”
  • ”Let’s talk to someone who can help.”
  • “I can go with you to get some help.”
  • “Let’s call the crisis line, now.”

Sometimes you can be the most help by referring your friend to someone with professional skills such as:

  • Someone the person already has connections with.
  • Trustworthy family member. Someone the young person has respect for Support working together with the family member. “Family is important to provide support. It’s a partnership: support working with family and vice versa.”
  • Someone who can help build coping mechanisms and help them talk about their strengths.
  • Connect with a mental health professional or someone who can follow-up separately with the person making the threat.
  •  Someone who can talk to the whole community about suicide.
  • Anyone SAFE –  “Sometimes, to keep them safe, there might be no one left to call but the police.”

What NOT to say

  • ‘Go for it’
  • ‘Make my day.’
  •  ‘Go ahead.’
  •  ‘I dare you.’
  • ‘Here’s the rope.’
  • Giving them a challenge so they feel they have to prove it, like, ‘You don’t really mean it’ or ‘I don’t believe you.’
  • Saying something dismissive, like, ‘It can’t be that bad’ or ‘You always say that.’
  • Saying something that might make them feel more angry or alone, like, ‘Who’s it going to hurt?’ or ‘No one cares.’


Do something now: Don’t assume that they will get better without help or that they will seek help on their own.

Acknowledge your reaction: It’s natural to feel panic and shock, but take time to listen and think before you act.

Be there for them: Spend time with the person and express your care and concern.

Ask if they are thinking of suicide: Asking can sometimes be very hard but it shows that you have noticed things, been listening, that you care and that they’re not alone.

Check out their safety: If a person is considering suicide it is important to know how much they have thought about it. Do they have a plan?

Decide what to do: What you decide to do needs to take into account the safety concerns that you have. Don’t agree to keep it a secret.

Take action: The person can get help from a range of professional and supportive people
Ask for a promise: if thoughts of suicide return, it is important for the person to again reach out and tell someone.

Look after yourself: It is difficult and emotionally draining to support someone who is suicidal, especially over an extended period.

2-1-1 – Local Suicide Intervention
800-435-7609 – National Teen Suicide Hotline



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How to recognize addiction in your teen

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drugs Use and Health, 9.5 percent of youths aged 12 to17 were using illicit drugs.  Many teenagers use drugs or alcohol just to experiment them, out of curiosity or to fit in with the crowd that they want to hang out with.  While some lucky teens experiment and stop or continue to use here and there without getting hooked up, but several stay addicted to drugs or alcohol and later turn into chronic addicts.  It is hard to say who will develop dependency and who will not.

However, the following circumstances can make teenagers more vulnerable:

  • Teens who grow up in a drug infested areas
  • Teen who hang out with grownup who are involved in the wrong activities
  • Teens who are unhappy and experiencing depression, stress or anxiety
  • Teens with low self – esteem
  • Teens who are uncomfortable with others around them
  • Teens who are abused physically, emotionally or sexually and
  • Teens who have anger issues and are defiant

Most teens start with alcohol or marijuana and gradually progress to using other hard drugs.  When teenagers begin using drugs sooner or later they start experiencing negative consequences such as losing interest in studies, cutting classes, playing hooky, violence, unprotected sex, risk of accidents, suicidal or homicidal ideation.

The most common early warning signs are:

  • Sudden mood changesBajeerao Patil
  • Irritability
  • Signs of low-self esteem
  • Uncommon behaviors
  • Staying too long in bed
  • Staying up too long
  • Lack of interest in general activities
  • Poor choices
  • Impaired judgment
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent long-lasting cough
  • Tired or red eyes
  • Frequent arguments
  • Defiance
  • Letting on discipline
  • Unwillingness to follow directions
  • Aloofness
  • Repeated health complaints
  • Lying or dishonesty
  • Things start disappearing from the house including money
  • Decreased interest in school
  • Falling grades
  • Cutting classes
  • Breaking laws
  • Weird sense of dressing (carelessness)
  • Mysterious friends
  • Change in friend circles
  • Spending more time outside the house or in the basement of the house
  • Negative attitude
  • Depression

Mind you, the above-mentioned signs can be of some other problems too.  If necessary you must consult your family physician without unnecessary delay.  Parents can play an important role in preventing their teenage children from using drugs by having open communication, educating them about drugs, demonstrating responsible behaviors (role modeling), and keeping an eye on their behaviors including being mindful of the company they keep.  Once a friend of mine suspected that his fourteen years old son was smoking marijuana, but he wasn’t sure about it.  His son had started bringing home his friends who had never had visited them before.  My friend didn’t know how to find out the truth.  He confronted his son, but his son created a scene and stopped talking to his dad for a while.  However, later his father smelled marijuana in the basement and also found some traces of marijuana there.  The son couldn’t lie any longer.  After the use of marijuana was confirmed, his father warned him not to bring his wayward friends home and also lovingly told his son not to hang out with his friends who are using marijuana or any other drugs.  Now my friend’s son has already completed a degree in Engineering and has well paid job.  Luckily, his marijuana use was found out before it got out of hand by his vigilant parents.  You think about it.

Struggling with addictionthere is help!

PatilPhotoGuest Author | Bajeerao Patil

Bajeerao Patil has been treating addictions as a drug and alcohol counselor for over 25 years. He has Masters Degrees in Social Work and Human Resources. He is an avid teacher of addiction and recovery.  He is affiliated with the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association.  Bajeerao Patil is an author of Insanity Beyond Understanding and Lifelong Sobriety. To learn more about Bajeerao Patil and his work, visit and



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Family Dynamics and Addiction

Is drug or alcohol use/abuse a symptom of a deeper issue for my child or our family dynamic?

There are many reasons why any one individual could turn to drug and alcohol abuse. For many, it is a means to help relax after a stressful moment. Others may partake in order to make a “good time even better.” Regardless of the reasoning, even the most innocent of situations could cause a downward spiral depending on the situation of the individual. For children, this could become a situational hazard that can set them on a dark path for the rest of their lives.

A study performed in 2008 showed that at least 39-percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 have tried alcohol at least once in their life. Many of these children try it as a result of curiosity. They wish to learn the allure alcohol has for parents and society members. Most of the time, a child may display disgust with the drink and won’t touch another for several years to come. However, there are those that continue the experience for much of the same reasons adults will. Can we see ourselves mirrored in our children?

1. Teenage Justification – Some teens will drink for no other reason than to demonstrate their own sense of being old enough to control their own lives. Other teens will utilize drugs and alcohol as a way to “fit in” with peers. Unfortunately, the process of fitting in could create an addiction to the feeling of belonging as well as the mind-altering state the chemicals provide. For many teenagers, it is a basic need to be liked by those of the same age group. Out of fear that they won’t fit in, they partake in behaviors that the teens rationally wouldn’t subject themselves to.

2. Parental Influence – As children learn a great deal of their behavior from parents as they grow, the influence of using drugs and alcohol can be great. In their young minds, they glorify the parents and assume that this is the behavior that is expected of them as they age. However, the extreme side of the behavior can also be attributed to the actions of the parent while under the influence of a substance. It is two distinct points of view that can have radical motivations of remaining sober or becoming an abuser.

Read more on the role families play in the fight against drugs at The American Mental Health Alliance website, where you will find two great articles; Part I: Impact on the Family and Part II: how recovery for the family offers much-needed hope and healing when it addresses substance abuse as a family disease.

3. A Vacation from Reality – One of the most predominant reasons why so many turn to drugs and alcohol is the feeling of euphoria that is granted. A life can be so disturbingly stressful that an individual needs to have a vacation from reality. For children, many situations are being experienced for the first time. This can become overwhelming for some and the drug or alcohol option could provide reprieve to the situation. Children don’t have the benefits of experience to fall back on and could become addicted to the sensations drugs and alcohol can provide. A child cannot raise him or herself and they do require the wisdom of someone who can help them through trying times.

Feeling overwhelmed, confused, angry, scared and guilty are all perfectly normal feelings for both you and your teen. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence number one recommendation for parents is to “Take an Active Role in Your Child’s Life.” As the main thing you need to do as parents to be effectively involved in preventing alcohol and drug problems for children.

4. In the Media – A study completed in 2003 showed children between the ages of 12 and 17 were more likely to use marijuana by six times and five times more likely to drink alcohol if they watched at least one “R” rated movie per month. What the study doesn’t show is how often the parent is involved in the child’s life and decision making. Raising a child to respect the difference between fiction and reality could skew those results. An eight-year-old who is taught the difference between fantasy and reality is less likely to have nightmares regarding movies and television shows. Could this style of parenting influence the decisions of children in regards to alcohol and drugs?

Your skills as a parent have a great influence in how your child reacts to specific stimuli. Although you want them to find their own paths as they develop, you shouldn’t stand back and watch them make profound mistakes. It’s your responsibility to root out problems and control the situation before it gets out of hand. It’s your role to guide them into being a productive member of society, not their friend. Children will abuse drugs and alcohol for the same reasons adults do. However, the children can benefit from the parent stepping in and getting to the heart of the problem that is causing the behavior in the first place.

Rachel Thomas Guest Blogger

Rachel Thomas

Author Bio:

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to @


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Addiction. It doesn’t just hurt YOU, it hurts your FAMILY.

Beth gets home from school and finds her mom passed out at the kitchen table. She knows her mom has been drinking all day, just like she does every day. Beth also knows it will be up to her to get dinner on the table and put her younger brother to bed. She is grateful her dad will help her mom upstairs when he gets home from work.

Unfortunately, when there is an addict in the family, it has a profound impact on the entire family. And, for that person who is out of control, they cannot see how it is hurting the family.

Even worse, family members enable the addict’s behavior by giving in to them. Beth makes excuses for her mom and takes over the role her mother should be filling. Or, the daughter of a food addict may purchase junk food to appease the mother. Or, the wife of a sex addict may tell herself she is not satisfying her husband. In other words, they are all enabling the addict to continue their dependency and, ultimately, becoming partially responsible for the behavior.

The Difference Between Use & Abuse

An individual who uses alcohol can have a glass of wine with dinner and forget about it a few hours later. An individual who abuses alcohol will drink to excess and may suffer repercussions.

Casualties of the Disease

Over time, addiction gradually affects the thinking and behavior of each family member until they reach the point where they wonder how they got to be the people they’ve become. They become preoccupied with the addict’s drinking, eating or using either by obsessing about it and ways to control it, or by trying to numb themselves to it and its effects.

As a result of the denial, which is the hallmark of the disease, the family tells themselves it’s not that bad. They cover up for the addict or try to punish them for their behavior. Their lives become centered on the addiction. When this occurs it limits each person’s ability to be emotionally available to the children or other loved ones in their lives, which means they too become casualties of the disease.

The Four Stages of Family Illness

There are four stages of family illness before the family either “bottoms out” or enters recovery.

Stage 1: Concern — This is the stage where family members are acting out of a genuine concern. They are only beginning to experience the effects of alcohol and drug abuse by a loved one. Family members at this stage have no idea what they are up against.

Stage 2: Defense — This happens when family members block out the reality of the situation and are going in and out of denial. During this stage, families are preoccupied with the addict’s/alcoholic’s behavior. They protect the addict by lying to other family members, employers, or to others about his/her behavior.

Stage 3: Adaptation — During this phase, family members try to change their own behavior to adapt to the chemically dependent person’s behavior. This is a critical phase that may cause family members to either become obsessed with the addict, or they may begin to drink or use drugs themselves.

Family members may attempt to become “the perfect person” hoping that will make the addict/alcoholic happy and change his/her ways. It is at this time that family members may begin to feel they are “losing their minds,” become absent minded, feel like failures, and need medical or mental health care. They often give so much to others that they have nothing left to take care of themselves.

Stage 4: Exhaustion — This is when family members defend their use of intoxicant emotions, just like the addict defends his use of drugs or alcohol. They lose their self-worth and experience severe anxiety or depression. All excuses fail and fear rules their lives. They have reached their “bottom.”

Just as when addicts reach their bottom, family members must choose to admit the problem and recover, face insanity or death. They absolutely cannot go on the way things are.

Time to Get Help

The effects of drug or alcohol abuse on families is a serious issue. Unfortunately, there is little the family can do themselves. We recommend finding a treatment center where the afflicted addict can get some professional help.

Family members can also get help through counseling and support groups.

Our loved ones are the most important things on this earth. Don’t let them lose their lives – figuratively or literally. Talk with them about their substance abuse, get educated, and encourage them to ask for help. Family relationships can always be repaired, what most important is saving the addict’s life – and yours.

Addiction Treatment Resources

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism

Narcotics Anonymous  vision is that every addict in the world has the chance to experience our message in his or  her own language and culture and find the opportunity for a new way of life.

Santé Center for Healing Santé is situated on a beautiful hilltop in rural Argyle, Texas and treats adults that are suffer from addictive disorders including chemical dependency and process addiction.

Caron Treatment Centers-Texas provides comprehensive gender-separate chemical dependency treatment programs to meet the needs of young adults and adults.

Dr. Kay Sudekum Trotter – Counseling Services  addictions treatment drug/alochol, Internet and pornography) focuses on identifying the source of stressful situations or unpleasant feelings while recognizing how problematic usage is affecting the individual’s life.

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Struggling with Addiction? We can help!

Addiction can take a significant toll on an individual’s personal, occupational and family life. Whether a chemical addiction (drugs or alcohol) or a behavioral addiction (sex, gambling, technology), the first step in getting help is recognizing the problem.

Here are some key aspects to explore:

  • Do you find yourself craving more of the same object in order to obtain previous ‘highs’?
  • Have people been pointing out that you may have a problem?
  • Are you constantly obsessing over the behavior? Does every conversation end up on said topic?
  • Is your work, school, personal or family life struggling as a result of the problem?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be struggling with addiction. In regards to substance addiction, the DSM-IV, the ‘bible’ of psychiatry, recognizes three levels of diagnosis: use, abuse, and dependence. “Substance use” refers to more casual, low-risk addictive behaviors. Abuse indicates that the problem is more severe, and dependence refers to full blown emotional or physical dependence on the substance, indicating withdrawals. Behavioral addiction is measured differently. What most people would term ‘sex addiction’ or ‘gambling addiction’ are referred to as compulsive behaviors. Technological addiction, like playing farmville for 10 hours a day, is not recognized as an official diagnosis. However, more professionals are starting to recognize the destructive effects of technological overuse on individual’s personal, family, and occupational lives.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the first step is seeking treatment. For an individual who is on the ‘use’ end of the spectrum, a combination of talk therapy and medication could be appropriate.



Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Resources

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism

Narcotics Anonymous  vision is that every addict in the world has the chance to experience our message in his or  her own language and culture and find the opportunity for a new way of life.

Santé Center for Healing Santé is situated on a beautiful hilltop in rural Argyle, Texas and treats adults that are suffer from addictive disorders including chemical dependency and process addiction.

Caron Treatment Centers-Texas provides comprehensive gender-separate chemical dependency treatment programs to meet the needs of young adults and adults.

Dr. Kay Sudekum Trotter – Counseling Services  addictions treatment (chemical, Internet and pornography) focuses on identifying the source of stressful situations or unpleasant feelings while recognizing how problematic usage is affecting the individual’s life.


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