Holidays and Boundaries

It’s been a busy couple of weeks over at AiR. Our staff attended the Association of Intervention Specialists meeting in Palm Springs, visiting and getting a pulse on the intervention field around the world. You can see pictures of some of the conference attendees on our Facebook page. We had the opportunity to spend some time with our good friends around the country; nice to see everyone in the same place, and good to learn about the treatment centers who supported the meeting. In other news, Carole Bennett, a columnist for the Huffington Post, is a clinical psychologist

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with a long family history of dealing with addiction. She posted a great article this week about setting boundaries around addiction over the holidays. Some good advice she shared: “Pick a boundary or boundaries that are important to you and MUST be adhered to by the alcoholic/addict or they will not be welcome to participate in the family festivities. Keep it simple and doable. Like with any boundary or condition, it must be accompanied with clear ramifications if those boundaries are not met.” She also stresses the importance of following through with consequences should a loved one violate boundaries; after all, the holidays can be a time where family members are more forgiving of upsetting behaviors. The final quote from the article: “When discussing your needs, desires and expectations with the alcoholic/addict, keep your voice calm,

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stay neutral and don’t engage. Please don’t bring up old examples of how the alcoholic/addict let you down in the past or defend your position. In doing so, you might provoke an argument which serves no purpose.” The point is this- make sure that, as a family member of an addict or alcoholic, boundaries are set and kept. This can provide a calmer, and more fun, holiday season. If the addict or alcoholic is making choices and decisions that are detrimental to the family’s health, be sure to enforce those boundaries. It can be incredibly difficult during the holiday season; however, don’t forget that addiction truly is a life or death situation. Also, for those smokers out there, this Thursday is the Great American Smokeout, so if you’ve been struggling to quit, now’s the time to give it another shot! Take Care.

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