14 Dec How to Set Boundaries with Addicts
Toronto Intervention Specialist, Andy Bhatti, knows setting healthy boundaries is not something that many addicts and alcoholics are naturally inclined to know how to do. He agrees that many of them have spent years testing the limits of their relationships, basically seeing how far they can push the people around them before they break. Alcoholism and addiction are very self centered diseases and it is nearly impossible for an addict in the crux of their addiction to think about anything else besides themselves and their own needs.
Helping a loved one in Ontario who has an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be one of the toughest challenges in any relationship. The hardest part of dealing with addiction is not getting drawn into it emotionally. If you do not protect your well-being, you could easily give in to manipulation or codependency. For this reason, setting boundaries is crucial to your emotional health and your loved one’s recovery.
Setting Boundaries in Addiction
Boundaries are not there to control the behavior or thoughts of the addicted person. Boundaries are rules and guidelines that you establish to protect yourself and other people close to you and the addicted person. They ensure that you are not taken advantage of or abused by your loved one. Examples of boundaries may include…
- No drugs or alcohol are allowed in the house.
- No friends who drink or use drugs are allowed in the house.
- Refuse to bail you out of jail if you are arrested for drugs.
- I will no longer allow you to abuse me when you are drunk.
- Refuse to give you money.
- I will no longer cover for you if you get in trouble at work.
Setting Boundaries in Your Home
Be specific with your boundaries. If you are going to get your message across, you need to set precise boundaries. If you tell someone they have hurt your feelings they may not know what you are talking about or remember what they did. Ensure that the boundary you are setting is specific and correlates to the behavior you want to address. Avoid vague language or concepts that keep the person guessing as to what they have done wrong. If you tell someone that every time they get drunk at a party, they insult you in front of other people and it embarresses you. Follow it up with examples of when and what’s happened so the addicted person will have a clearer understanding of why and what the rule or guideline you are about to make is.
A local Interventionist in Toronto is able to sit with you and the family to help create the boundaries before the addict is approached. Having an outside addiction specialist approach the addict or alcoholic with the family has a far better success rate in getting the person into a Tronto treatment program so they can find term recovery from drugs and or alcohol.
Include Consequences for Breaking the Boundary
Here’s where we help. One of the things you may learn in a family therapy program in Toronto is that actions have consequences – whether intended or not. When a person understands the consequences of their actions, they are more likely to stop their behavior. When setting boundaries, make sure you include the consequence with the rule.
For instance, what can your addicted loved one expect the next time they steal money from you? What will happen if your spouse walks in drunk at 2:30am again? If they know the consequences, they may reconsider their behavior or force them into wanting to get help with quitting drinking or using.
Enforce the Boundaries with Action
Boundaries with no consequences are no boundaries at all. Instead, they are useless attempts to control the addicted person or get their attention. Remember that setting boundaries are for your safety and well-being. If you do not enforce the boundary, you are hurting yourself more than the addicted person.
One way of enforcing a boundary is to stage an intervention with your loved one. You may have a plan to speak with them and encourage them to join a private substance abuse treatment program in Toronto or elsewhere. Alternatively, if they refuse to listen to you, you may need to leave or kick them out of the house. Having an Interventionist there to walk everyone through the process and calm the situation may be extremely helping at avoiding escalation. The addicted person needs to understand that you are serious about helping them and protecting your family. Make sure you have an action plan for enforcing the boundaries and follow through with it.
5 Ways to Set Boundaries in Sobriety (Toronto, On)
This is probably one of the least talked about problems that a recovering addict or alcoholic will face, but yet it can really cause a great deal of damage. There is often talk of the people around the addict having to set healthy boundaries with the addict so that they do not lose their mind, but it is very rarely discussed how the addict can go about doing this. But yet, not having healthy boundaries has more than likely led to the relapse of many addicts and alcoholics in Toronto and not knowing how to create relational boundaries has created a great deal of pain and confusion in the lives of recovering addicts.
In reality, Toronto addicts and alcoholics who are in recovery will have to face things that are incredibly foreign to most other people on this planet. They will have to learn how to deal with friends who relapse, and how to either maintain that friendship or cut them off. They will have to deal with partners who may have a lot of trauma in their past and therefore have an incredibly difficult time cultivating healthy and meaningful relationships, and they will have to deal with their own codependency, which can and has, ruined many a relationship.
So with all of that said, let’s take a look at how a person in recovery in Toronto can go about setting proper boundaries and just what that will mean for the relationships in their lives.
While this is not always an easy thing to do, setting boundaries in your relationships is a very important aspect of self-care in recovery. Relationships that do not have clearly defined boundaries, or have no boundaries whatsoever, are bound to take their toll on the people involved and given enough time, can and will endanger their sobriety.
Learn How to Say No
This can be very difficult for people in recovery because we do not want to upset anyone. Not everyone in recovery is like this, but there are a great many who just cannot say no to a person because they fear that doing so will ruin their relationship. They believe, whether they are consciously aware of it or not, that people only like them for what they can offer and so they always have to say yes or they will be forgotten. It is important to understand that this is not true and that it is not only okay but also necessary to say no from time to time. There are times when you need to push back and even if you get a little bit of flack from the person you just said no to, it is okay.
Take Care of Yourself
Oftentimes, boundaries in relationships can get blurred and confused when each person is not taking care of themselves. For a person in sobriety, this means that they are not tending to their program. When this occurs the person will not be operating from a healthy place and in turn, they will be less apt to focus on themselves and more apt to focus on others. This can cause them to overstep boundaries and start to meddle in things that are none of their business.
Ask for What You Need
Sometimes people will not ask for what they need in a relationship because they are afraid it is selfish, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is important that you state what you need because otherwise, it is very easy to get resentful when you feel like your needs aren’t met or you aren’t getting your fair share. By stating explicitly what you need, and expect, you create the boundaries you need for a healthy relationship.
Listen to Your Intuition
Many times in a relationship, whether romantic or otherwise, we will ignore what our gut is telling us because we do not want to believe that it is unhealthy. By following the dictates of your intuition you will more than likely be able to create healthier relationships and cut out relationships that are not good for you.
Stay True to Your Word
This can be difficult sometimes, but when you set a boundary it is important that you stick to it. Do not go back and forth or waver because doing so will only destroy the boundaries you created and replace them with unhealthy ones. Even in sobriety addicts and alcoholics will attempt to test the limits and so if this occurs in your relationships stay true to your word and keep your boundaries intact. Not to mention that when you go back on your word you make it more difficult in the future to set boundaries for yourself.
Relationships can be one of the most difficult things for people to maintain, but by ensuring that you have proper boundaries in place, they do not need to cause you an inordinate amount of pain or concern. With boundaries in place, you will no longer have to worry about whether you are being taken advantage of and you can do away with any resentments before they crop up. You will be able to foster better relationships and in turn enjoy your recovery all the more.
Helping the Recovering Addict or Alcoholic Learn to Set Boundaries and Recover from Addiction in Toronto
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be applied in the treatment of many different types of problematic substance use. People treated with CBT techniques in Ontario learn to recognize and change their maladaptive behaviors. CBT can help people with coping skills, setting boundaries and identifying risky situations and what to do about them to prevent relapse. This approach is helpful because it can be paired with other techniques. The skills learned through CBT continue to be of benefit long after the initial therapy, and it can be used to treat co-occurring mental or physical health disorders as well.
- Contingency Management (CM) may also be effective in treating several types of substance use disorder for example, alcohol, opioids, marijuana, and stimulants and is used to encourage or reinforce sobriety. This method provides material rewards as motivation for desirable behaviors, such as maintaining sobriety. A major benefit of CM is that it can result in a reduction in the two of the biggest treatment-related issues in Toronto; dropping out and relapse.
- Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a method of resolving ambivalence in recovering individuals to allow them to embrace their treatment efforts to best change their problematic substance use behavior. One benefit of treatment centres in Toronto offering MI is that, despite being facilitated by a therapist, those in recovery develop their own motivation and a plan for change over the course of several sessions, which can provide them with more of a sense of control over the course of their treatment.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can be adapted for many substance abuse cases in Ontario, but mainly focuses on treating severe personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder. DBT works to reduce cravings, help patients avoid situations or opportunities to relapse, assist in giving up actions that reinforce substance use, and learn healthy coping skills.
- Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) helps patients understand their own thoughts and then helps to develop better habits including thinking in more rational ways and maintaining healthier more positive emotions. The base for REBT is the idea rational thinking comes from within; external situations are not what give one the feeling of happy or unhappy.
- Matrix Model employs a combination of various therapeutic techniques and was originally developed for the treatment of individuals with stimulant addictions. Against this backdrop of various techniques, therapists focus on rewarding good behaviors and teaching patients to believe in themselves; self-esteem, dignity, and self-worth. The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes the Matrix Model in Toronto as mostly focused on relapse prevention, family and group therapies, drug education, and self-help participation.
- 12-Step Programs in Toronto aim to promote continued abstinence by engaging people in recovery with 12-Step peer support groups. Meetings are hosted by several different 12-Step fellowships, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other 12 step programs are non-professional and do not offer any medical help or advice. Peer support provided by other recovering addicts and alcoholics is all that can be offered.
Medications and Treatments
When combined with counselling and behavioral therapies to assist in a patient’s recovery, medications play an important role in many addiction treatment protocols. Various medications may be used to help reduce cravings and manage withdrawal from opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other sedative. Private detox and treatment centres in Toronto and around Ontario may offer their clients these options to make their detox more comfortable.
Opioid agonist medications such as buprenorphine and methadone as well as antagonist therapy with naltrexone may be used to help those with an addiction to opioids. For those in recovery from alcohol use disorders, medications like acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone can be used to decrease continued drinking behavior.
Additional medications may be used off-label for symptomatic support during withdrawal and treatment, as well as to address any co-occurring mental or medical health issues.
Alternative Therapies in Toronto for Substance Abuse
There are alternate types of therapies available in Toronto and the surrounding areas that can be used to complement the more standard treatment types listed above to aid recovery. Though these techniques do serve as adequate substitutes for the substance abuse treatment programs themselves, they can help promote recovery through stress management and overall well being.
Some of the complementary therapies in Toronto are:
- Exercise. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and release uncomfortable emotions. With some substances, early abstinence can be associated with weight gain, and exercise can help to manage this as well.
- Meditation. Recovery can be a stressful time, and meditation can have a positive impact on anxiety, depression, and overall health. Mindfulness meditation is one way to maximize the benefits one gets out of treatment and is a technique that can be practiced easily after treatment is completed.
- Yoga. Yoga is another activity that comes in a variety of forms, with some gentle styles that focus on breathing and relaxation and others that are more strenuous. Yoga can have various benefits, including a reduction in stress or physical tension and feeling more self-aware, peaceful, stronger, or physically fit.
- Massage. This technique is another way to help reduce physical tension and assist in learning to relax without relying on a substance.Massage can become part of your self-care routine and even be used to reward yourself for small milestones in your recovery journey. Some early studies show that massage could possibly help in managing various symptoms associated with different types of substance withdrawal.
- Equine-assisted therapy. The idea of using various therapy animals has been gaining popularity, and studies have illustrated that programs that incorporate horses into the treatment process have better outcomes for participants. People in these programs may stay in treatment longer and be more likely to finish treatment. They report that going to the stable lets them develop a persona other than that of a patient and helps them feel accepted, valued, capable, and emotionally supported.
Seeking Treatment for Addiction or Alcoholism and Intervention Help in Toronto, Ontario
Setting boundaries is hard. However, they may be the one thing that changes your loved one’s life. If you or a loved one wants to learn more about addiction boundaries in Ontario, contact us at Andy Bhatti Interventions & Addiction Services 1-888-960-3209. We offer private detox and addiction treatment therapies in Toronto for all types of addictions and mental health issues.
An accredited drug and alcohol detox centre in Toronto will teach addiction boundaries. As the spouse, parent, or child of the addicted person, you can participate in individual or family therapy, as well as support groups to learn more about setting boundaries. By applying boundaries in your relationship, you are more likely to maintain your mental stability and save yourself and your family.
Addiction Interventionist, Andy Bhatti stresses that addiction affects each person differently, so it is important for treatment to be individualized. Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Over time, needs will change, and so should treatment plans.
If you are one of the thousands of people in Ontario caught in the grasp of addiction or alcoholism and you no longer want to live under its constant tyranny, then call our drug and alcohol addiction professionals in Toronto at Andy Bhatti Interventions & Addiction Services 1-888-960-3209.
If you are a family member who is actively involved in the lives and care of the person with a substance abuse disorder or an alcoholic we can help answer questions and facility an intervention in Toronto. Our interventions include the pre planning and the confrontation session which follows. The goal is to get your loved one into long term recovery by agreeing to go to drug and/or alcohol detox and treatment in Toronto. engaging the person in t\. Interventions do save lives. We are local and we care not only for you during the intervention and treatment period but also by providing ongoing counselling and aftercare programs through the private detox and treatment facilities we work with in Ontario. Don’t hesitate to call us anytime at Andy Bhatti Interventions & Addiction Services 1-888-960-3209.