POA Questions

     Please feel free to request a blog entry on any particular subject or question. That being said, I don’t tell people what to do specifically, nor do I want to. It is much better to figure out the answers on your own (See Don’t Listen To Me). What I do here, despite some periodic and impulsive accusations to the contrary, is to share what I have learned through my own experience and you can take from that what you will.

Should addicts with mental issues not take anything? 

     Active addicts are going to present with any number of mental disorders, including but not limited to depression, hypomania, psychosis, anxiety, dissociative disorder, narcissism, ADD, PTSD and you name it, all of which may be entirely drug-induced. It is therefore crucial to achieve sobriety unmedicated and remain unmedicated until the fizz settles, if you will. Once sober, we must also embark on a rigorous program of action to determine what leftover mental skews, if any, may be dissolved without drugs.

     If an addict rolls into treatment, talks to a doctor, gets slapped with a few disorders and put on a pile of powerful psychotropics right away, we will never know how much of his mental illness was purely drug-induced and how much of it was residing separately from the addiction. You may end up drugging the living shit out of someone who doesn’t even need to medicated. Why make a zombie out a perfectly capable, talented and charismatic human being? We must let things settle and work on ourselves for a good a year or so in order to accurately determine if we truly cannot function without meds, and even then, the addict may be fooling himself and others about how dysfunctional they really are. How can we clearly see what’s inside if we do anything short of this?

Aren’t drugs that reduce cravings good for addicts who really want to work hard but just need a little help? 

     First of all, no addict taking Naltrexone etc really wants to work hard or go to any lengths. Addicts who half-ass any portion of their recovery will possess weak recovery or fail altogether. Addicts who really want to change and give 100% to their growth don’t need any help or hand-holding. Furthermore, any recovery that is assisted will have cracks in it. Think building a foundation. If someone lends you a few cinderblocks and then takes them away once you are done building, your foundation will have some rather large holes in it. The best chance to lay a solid foundation is to build it ourselves, and this is true for any of us, even the somewhat unimpressive and half-witted addicts out there.

     Second, there is no such thing as a drug that can effectively reduce cravings, or obsessions rather, as cravings refer to the physical process of withdrawal. Once we are cleaned out, there are no cravings. At that point it is purely mental, and nothing can prevent the mental obsession from occurring. The mental obsession is a deep-seated malady, a sort of random and sudden lunacy, the result of a profound spiritual illness. An illness of this sort can only be removed through the effort of the being in which it inhabits. No drug can do the kind of work that we can only do for ourselves [with God].

     There is no reducing obsessions via pharmaceutical intervention, and drugs that claim to do this are just placebos. It isn’t possible. It has always amazed me the degree of ignorance among the medical community when it comes to addiction. But much more important than getting too deep into that is the fact that any drug we take to aid our recovery will negate that portion of our recovery. In other words, we will fail to accomplish for ourselves what the drug has accomplished for us. Drugs of this nature in fact rob us of our recovery.

      Finally, it is pointless to simultaneously take some sort of ‘crave-reduction’ drug and reach out to God at the same time, as we cannot really expect God to fix us if we are also copping out with an easier, softer way. We cannot scam our way into becoming recovered, and isn’t that what you want for your child, to be fully recovered and free, as opposed to simply ‘in recovery’, struggling, and holding on by a thread? It doesn’t work that way. Half measures avail us nothing, and taking naltrexone etc. is a half measure. God doesn’t help bullshitters and addicts looking for an easy way out, and I bet you that any one of us on all sorts of meds to make us feel more comfortable are still lying through what’s left of our teeth and filled to the brim with bullshit.

What is the biggest mistake a POA can make? 

     There is actually no such thing as a “POA mistake” because addicts are 100% responsible for everything they do and everything that happens to them as a result of what they do. As well, no parent, regardless of how loving and wonderful and saintly they may be, can prevent a child from becoming an addict or fix them once they get there. That is crucial to understand. It is the truth.

     But I guess if I had to pick something, I’d say the biggest mistake a POA can make is buying our bullshit (NOTHING we say can be believed) as well as following the bullshit advice of sources such as Beyond Addiction and so forth. Kindness and science hurt as opposed to help addicts. How do I put this without sounding… fuck it, I’ll just say what needs to be said because let’s face it, that’s what you come here for. Showering an addict with love is equivalent to trying to kill them. Treat us instead like you would treat any addict who is robbing you blind. Look, it’d be great to have a normal relationship with us, but you can’t… until perhaps we find God and become free.

     OMG, why? How could you say such a thing? 

     Because we are pathological and narcissistic liars (even when we act vulnerable and open up about our feelings and turn into sad, little pity pots) and our #1 and only priority in life is getting high, so we will use you and manipulate your love and your compassion to the ends of the earth. If you let us, we will suck you dry in every possible way until you are nothing but a rotting carcass… unless, of course, we kill ourselves first. So just tell us that you love us but do not under any circumstance be a party to our suicide mission. See How Not To Help Addicts.

    I also wouldn’t follow the advice of 99% of mainstream addiction modalities or professionals, as treatment in America is a farce and really just business as usual. Academics, doctors and nearly everybody else seem to know next to nothing about addiction and what is really necessary to treat it, or rather, to free us from it.

     If you listen to snake oil salesmen like that joker on CNN that sells his Alcoholism & Addiction Cure book and a $78,560 stay in his Malibu hot tub, your child will most likely overdose at some point after relapsing repeatedly. His four points have simply been lifted or stolen from a Psych. 101 textbook and are absent a shred of originality or authenticity. To claim that a few very common and provincial strategies that have utterly failed drug addicts are a new and novel cure for drug addiction is definitely some sell-side bullshit. Plus, if this guy knew anything about addiction, he would know that nobody should ever be claiming to cure addiction because addiction cannot be cured with human methods and man-made remedies.

     You shouldn’t be surprised, though, that this guy would be pumping this shit on CNN, given that everybody reporting on CNN are total frauds and liars.

10 thoughts on “POA Questions

  1. You need to reflect on the experience of the Washingtonians, whose political views ruined their message. The folks at Fox News are liars, too.

  2. Lol. Who said I watch Fox News? They're all liars and the entire left/right paradigm is a hoax. That's the problem with you people, it's one extreme or the other. The left and right are the same thing, but they love to keep everybody bickering and distracted. All news outlets are state-sponsored, whether Fox, CNN, CNBC or MSNBC. If you subscribe to either party, you are conditoned and it would take too long for me to uncondition you, so my advice would be to do some unbiased reading and check out some alternative news sources. A little financial IQ wouldn't hurt either 😉 God bless you.

  3. Politics aside, I am putting my son out on the streets today. Well I should say he put himself out by his actions. I'm heartbroken, scared and am holding on to the shreds of faith I have left after this long tortured ordeal of being a parent of an addict. I have no idea what is going to happen, I can barely breathe today but I cannot go on any longer subsidizing his habit in every manipulative way you can think of. Thank you again and again for the truth you speak here Charlie.

  4. I really needed to read this today Charlie. As a POA or Parent in general you are supposed to protect your child! If a child is sick you take care of them. When it comes to drugs you can't turn that off immediately.

    I have gone through so many emotions as a POA. And of course you do anything and everything to help your child….until you can't. Until you finally realize you can't.

    Even though we made him leave 5 weeks ago, I made the mistake of hoping that we could still have a decent relationship.
    This weekend I realized that was no longer an option. And that deeply hurts. I wanted to at least talk to him a few times a week or have lunch with him let him know how much I love him. But it appears even that is too much contact.

    This has been one hell of a journey for the last 9 years. POA's or at least me always think of that incredibly sweet child who was glued to my side and would proudly announce even as a teenager (and still does) that he is and will forever be a “mama's boy.” All the love he is capable of giving and how kind he was and even still can be.

    It is hard to let all of that go. To realize what your child has become and what he is capable of all to chase that damn high.

    I wish every POA would read your book and blog. Even if they don't understand why you write what you do one day they will.

  5. Hello – I just found your blog and I am thankful for it. Does POA stand for Parent Of an Addict? I feel so lost – my son is very young and I can't help but feel that there is something I can do to encourage him to live a sober life. The previous blog posts you mention are very helpful. My son is still in high school and has put us through so much pain and heartache the past year. He has had several bouts of 3 months of sobriety in the past year, and has tried AA, but is not committed to continuing the program. We have been looking at Practical Recovery as an alternative. He of course does not want to do anything, but my husband and I can't sit back and continue like this. He just wants to be a “normal teenager” and he pretty much has been coming and going and doing as he pleases. Mostly it pleases him to come home during the week, but come the weekend it pleases him to be obstinate and difficult. He is prone to run away and has even told us that he is fine with living homeless. All because he can't follow our house rules. We have drawn a line in the sand and are insisting that he abstain from smoking pot and drinking. His dad has said it's a zero tolerance policy. I just want him to finish high school. I am so lost. Your post on How Not To Help an Addict really resonated with me. I ordered your book on Saturday and look forward to reading it. Thank you for your blog posts.

  6. Tori, Your comment brings tears to my eyes. My son is still in high school and we have been living this nightmare for only a year. I can't imagine how much pain you are in after nine years. My son is difficult by nature and not the love bug that your son sounds like he is. My other son however is an angel and so loving and kind-hearted and is definitely a mama's boy. I can't imagine how much more heart-broken I would be if he was the alcoholic. I just ordered Charlie's book and look forward to it helping me.

  7. God bless you and thank you for reading and reaching out about your son. POA does indeed stand for Parent Of an Addict. I can't tell you what to do but I do believe that ultimately there is nothing anybody can do to stop an addict. He will only change when he becomes willing to change.

    That being said, what I would do is simply tell him that you love him and that what he is doing is killing you and breaking your heart, and also that if he continues using, he will experience indescribable suffering and depression down the road. Life will get tougher and tougher and he will begin to lose all things precious in life.

    Many of us, when we are young, have no idea what we are bringing upon ourselves by using drugs and drinking alcohol. We have no idea of the long-term damage we are committing to ourselves. Sadly, when we are young, we haven't suffered properly yet, but one thing parents can to help their child suffer (counter-instinctual, I know, but necessary) is to remove things that help them not to suffer, remove things that make them comfortable and help keep them deluded about the effectiveness of using drugs. Remove all sources of comfort, be it time, love, money, etc. Keeping an addict comfortable is keeping him or her sick and therefore helping to kill them. Hate to be so blunt, but that's the truth.

    I will certainly pray hard for your son today, and I am very grateful to you for coming here and reading and sharing.

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