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May 2016 -
23
May

The Chicken or the Egg: The Nature of Self-Esteem

Addicts often suffer from extremely low self-esteem brought on by multiple negative life experiences and crises. Often as individuals begin in recovery, they are plagued with guilt around their actions and behaviors during their addiction. At times this is so strong it is one of the factors that keep individuals in their addiction.

This guilt may be associated with many different experiences, including events that often happen to individuals because of their addiction. Obtaining one’s drug of choice can often be difficult and addicts often engage in behaviors they would never dream of doing if they were sober. Addicts often put themselves in dangerous situations. They steal, engage in prostitution, sell drugs, become involved with the wrong crowd and other such negative activities. These behaviors often lead individuals into dangerous situations which can have serious and damaging consequences. Often addicts get beat up, hospitalized or jailed because of their addiction. All of this destructive behavior can lead to self-blame and contribute to low self-esteem.

Sometimes it is hard to tell what came first, the chicken or the egg. Sometimes an individuals’ low self-esteem leads them into their addiction. Often a trauma such as child abuse/neglect creates self-blame in children which in turn manifests as low self-esteem. This can often cause an individual to use substances to escape that pain.

At times, the emotional pain of traumatic events, such as losing a loved one, can lead to substance abuse and addiction. The addiction eventually adds to the pain of the loss, then again leads to guilt, self-blame and low self-esteem.

In short, the majority of addicts suffer from low self-esteem in one form or another and for some reason or another. Often the fear of feeling the sadness and shame associated with low self-esteem is used as an excuse to continue to use.

The good news is, there is help for low self-esteem. Treatment through the recovery process can help individuals heal, forgive themselves, learn and grow. When one decides to choose sobriety, it is very scary. The first thing to know, however, is facing the feelings of low self-esteem is not nearly as painful as the fear of facing those feelings. With help, individuals can begin to see their own self-worth and begin to contribute to others and society in a meaningful way which then increases self-esteem.

Treatment can also help individuals face their traumas and change the negative recordings that run through their heads and contribute to the feelings of self-blame and low self-esteem. Treatment helps provide the strength to look at the scary things of the past, face them and move forward. This in turn provides individuals with the ability to make choices for themselves that are positive and that move their lives in a positive direction.

At Cenikor, we believe that treatment is three-fold and consists of counseling to heal and grow on the emotional level, behavioral to learn how to change negative behaviors to enable individuals to make positive choices, and occupational to provide an avenue for individuals to contribute to society and make a living wage. If you would like further information, please visit our website at www.cenikor.org or contact us at 888-236-4567. We are happy to help.

23
May

Substance Abuse Treatment is a Cost Effective Alternative

The number of adults involved in the criminal justice system has soared from about 1.8 million in 1980 to 7 million today. The connection between drug abuse and crime is well documented by research. Drug abuse is implicated in at least three types of drug related offenses: (1) offenses defined by drug possession or sales; (2) offenses directly related to drug abuse (e.g., thief to acquire money for drugs); and (3) offenses related to a criminogenic lifestyle that predisposes the drug abuser to engage in illegal activity.[1] For instance, one-half to two-thirds of inmates in jails and State and Federal prisons meet standard diagnostic criteria (DSM) for alcohol/drug dependence or abuse. Yet only 7% to 17% of these inmates receive substance abuse treatment services in jail or prison, so that most of the over 650,000 inmates released back into our communities each year have not received needed substance abuse treatment services.[2]

The total estimated costs of drug abuse and addiction due to use of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs are estimated at $524 billion a year. Illicit drug use alone accounts for $181 billion in health care, productivity loss, crime, incarceration and drug enforcement.[3] Studies demonstrate it is actually less expensive for jurisdictions to treat substance-abusing offenders than to house them untreated in jail or prison. It is estimated that every dollar invested in substance abuse treatment yields $7 in benefits. The net benefits are primarily due to reduced costs of crime and increased employment earnings. The total costs related to crime and incarceration decreased by $7,500 per person treated, while employment earnings increased by $3,400.[4]

Community-based treatment is an effective alternative and provides a workable solution to reintegrate substance-abusing offenders back into the community. Community-based treatment provides a pathway to employment, education and other prosocial and non-criminogenic behaviors that build communities and promote public safety. An in-depth study of a Delaware prison revealed that compared to in-prison substance abuse treatment, a transitional program composed of a combination of work release, drug treatment, and aftercare services provided a more effective environment for successful offender reentry. [5]

Substance abuse treatment services can be incorporated into criminal justice system in a variety of cost effective ways. These include treatment as a condition of probation, drug courts that blend judicial monitoring and sanctions with treatment, treatment in prison followed by community-based treatment after discharge, and treatment under parole or probation.[6]

At Cenikor, we believe that treatment is an effective alternative to prison. Treatment is an important aspect of assisting individuals in curbing their habits and forming new goals that make them become productive citizens in the communities in which they live. If you would like further information, please visit our website at www.cenikor.org or contact us at 888-236-4567. We are happy to help.

 

[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse (July 2006). Treatment for Drug Abuser in the Criminal Justice System

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse (May 2011). Treating Offenders with Drug Problems: Integrating Public Health and Public Safety

[3] Ibid

[4] Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (August 2006). Economic Benefits of Treating Substance Abuse Outweigh Costs

[5] Justice Policy Institute (January 2008). Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety

[6] National Institute on Drug Abuse (July 2006). Treatment for Drug Abuser in the Criminal Justice System

23
May

Tips for Parents: Signs Your Child May Be Using Drugs or Alcohol

In a perfect world our children would get good grades, respect us at all times, and never ever use drugs. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol are prevalent in our society today. We cannot shelter them from all the harmful things in life so we must become educated on the signs and symptoms. This will allow us, as parents, to educate our children and intervene before things go from bad to worse.
Most people are aware of the physical signs of drug and alcohol use, but often times, the mental and behavioral symptoms go unnoticed. Some of the most common physical signs of drug use are losing/gaining weight, too much/too little sleep, red eyes, intense hunger or lack of appetite, decrease in energy, slurred speech, a staggering gait, increased cough and colds, and dilated pupils. It is the mental and behavioral changes in a child that could mean many different things, so asking the right questions is key. There could be memory loss, inability to concentrate, irritability, withdrawing from family and friends, dishonesty, grades declining, and secretiveness. Some of these mental and behavioral signs could mean other things as well, such as, being bullied or picked on, depression, anxiety, or self-esteem problems. If you are beginning to see a combination of the physical, mental and behavioral symptoms in your child, start asking questions.
Do not yell, accuse, or demand answers. Just talk calmly and ask about the recent changes you have noticed. You would rather your child get defensive and angry for asking (and they will), then to stick your head in the sand, only to find out later that they are using drugs and you now have to live with the guilt of not confronting them. If you do have a strong suspicion of your child using drugs or alcohol, intervene and get them the help they need before it escalates to more serious consequences and addiction.
It is difficult to face the fact that our child needs treatment. Cenikor Foundation is dedicated to providing quality behavioral health care services to the communities we serve through a continuum of care for adults and adolescents. If you have a loved one needs help and is struggling with an addiction, call us at 888-236-4567 or visit us online at www.cenikor.org to learn about our programs.

23
May

Common Myths of Substance Abuse

In my time as an addiction counselor, I have come across many myths of addiction that undermine recovery.
First myth, addiction is a choice. In my experience, most addicts would not choose to be addicts. For many people whose lives have been affected by addiction, their lives have turned upside down. Addiction has destroyed their relationships, jobs, education, health, and has created havoc with their emotions. Would you choose this for yourself or a loved one?
Second myth, addicts must hit rock bottom before they seek help. I feel this is one myth that hurts addicts more than any other. This myth causes addicts to continue to go back into using time and time again because “I haven’t hit rock bottom”, or “I haven’t lost everything.” There is always something more than could happen to you. The lowest rock bottom is the loss of your life. Do you really want to lose that?
Third myth, addiction is the addict’s problem. In my time working with addicts and their families, I have been told time and time again from families, “that’s their problem, they’re the addict.” However, addiction affects all aspects of the person’s life, including their communication and relationships with their families. It is important for families to be involved in their loved one’s treatment in order to work on improving their communication and learning more about addiction and recovery.
Lastly, the myth that addicts are bad people. This is a common myth until someone in your life is impacted by the disease of addiction. Addicts are people, who have made some bad choices. Addiction does not discriminate across socioeconomic backgrounds, career paths, age, gender, etc.
Cenikor assists individuals understand the facts and break down these myths of addiction. Cenikor Foundation is dedicated to providing quality behavioral health care services to the communities we serve through a continuum of care for adults and adolescents. If you have a loved one needs help and is struggling with an addiction, call us at 888-236-4567 or visit us online at www.cenikor.org to learn about our programs.

23
May

Funding Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment

Individuals and families dealing with substance abuse or other mental health issues are already under a great deal of stress. Once a decision is made to seek treatment, the next steps are finding an appropriate provider and finding the resources to pay for critical treatment. This can add a great deal of additional stress for the individual and family and sometimes prevent a person from seeking treatment altogether. Given Cenikor’s continuum of care and funding options, virtually anyone who comes to Cenikor in need of treatment will be able to find a way to access the care they need.

For persons with private insurance that will cover part or all of their treatment, our adolescent and adult short-term inpatient, detoxification, and outpatient programs accept many private insurance plans. If a client is covered by Medicaid, these Cenikor programs also accept many of the Medicaid plans currently operating in Texas and Louisiana. Cenikor has also partnered with American Healthcare Lending to assist clients with meeting any co-pays, deductibles or self pay. Useful information and links to individual provider websites are available at www.cenikor.org by selecting the Payment Options button on the main page.

Persons who do not have Insurance or Medicaid always have the option to pay for their treatment out-of-pocket. These clients may be able to get help through state funding available in Texas (Department of State Health Services –DSHS) and Louisiana (Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership – LBHP) that will cover the cost of short-term residential and outpatient treatment.

If none of these options fit for the individual, our long-term residential treatment programs are available for a one-time admission fee of only $450 for in-state residents (additional fees apply for non-residents). Detailed information about all of the Cenikor programs is available by clicking Services at the top of the main website page.

Cenikor has been known for a number of years as “A Place for Change”. This is true now more than ever. Given our variety of programs, locations, and funding options, almost anyone in our service areas that is truly sincere about changing themselves has the opportunity to break through any financial barriers to access and change their life for the better.

23
May

Diversifying funding streams at your Non-Profit

As the Director of Development for Cenikor, I understand the importance of having a broad-based business model, which is the most sustainable model going forward for non-profits today. As funds become less available and more restricted, non-profits have to be able to secure and leverage funding from all sources including: government, private foundations and philanthropic to ensure financial stability.

I believe that through sharing with communities unmet needs, leveraging relationships with government entities and other providers that we can create funding opportunities to expand services for clients. There is an art to researching, cultivating, applying, winning and managing grants and contracts from all sources. Each individual funder has unique guidelines and focus for which their funds can be utilized.

Once you have identified your project’s goals and funding needs, it is time to research grants. A foundation is a type of nonprofit organization that exists in order to give money away for charitable purposes. There are several types of foundations and related types of funders, including ones that are run by family members, members of the community, and corporations. There are several free sites that provide information on active foundation’s such as Guidestar and the Foundation Center’s Foundation Directory Online Professional. For government grants and contracts, the main sites are Grants.gov, USA.gov for Nonprofits and Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

Before applying for any grants, be sure to read the application thoroughly because you want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the information being asked. There’s more to applying than just filling in forms and writing letters. Most larger funders will have guidelines to follow and staff who you can talk to about your application. Many funders publish information about recently funded projects in their accounts or websites. Finding out as much as you can about the specific funder you plan to approach, and taking every opportunity to ensure they know about you is the name of the game.

Now that you have your funding, it is time for donor-centrism which is another way of saying “building trust.” A donor’s relationship with your organization deepens based on how much trust you can create with the donor. Donor-centered is like customer-centered. And when you’re customer-centered and donor-centered, you build loyalty. And you want loyal donors. You have to connect personally with your donors. Create opportunities for the donors to engage more deeply, if they so desire. I know. It takes time to nurture relationships. And maybe you’re just a one-person shop. But you have board members and other volunteers who care about your mission. Engage them in the relationship-building process.

There’s so much you can do – at low-cost or no cost. Relationship building is where you invest your time and money. Its relationship building that builds donor loyalty and keeps your donors.

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