Families, Ask “Is This Rehab Safe?”

Kevin Drouin set out to protect his family from drugs, but he soon found himself searching a local rehab center. He gives us the inside scoop of what goes on in rehab and the one question every family should ask.

Kevin Drouin and his family live 20 minutes north of Boston, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. More drugs flow through Lawrence than Boston; it’s the center of the Northeast drug trade. With drugs come overdoses, and no one is safe. Day after day, young people from good families in very affluent neighborhoods are dying. Two years ago, amidst this growing epidemic, Kevin asked himself a tough question, “What if it were my own child?” His answer, “Get a dog that finds drugs.” Thus, Kevin’s business, Tough Love Intervention, was born.

When Kevin Met Moxie

Formerly trained for police work, Kevin was able to purchase Moxie after her original assignment fell through. Labrador Retrievers are very social, and they are eager to please, making them highly trainable. They also have soft mouths, so they won’t bite. Above all, Labs have an excellent sense of smell. Moxie’s sense of smell is more than 100 times greater than Kevin’s.

After completing her initial training, Moxie learned how to detect various drugs. Moxie is trained and certified to detect:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Crack Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Marijuana
  • Hashish

When Moxie Goes To The Rehab Center

Moxie searching rehab centerEven though Tough Love Intervention is not affiliated with any law enforcement agency, their presence sends a ripple of fear throughout the rehab center. Why? Because not all treatment centers are secure. In the past two years of searching with K-9s, Kevin has uncovered this inherent truth,

“If you force someone into treatment, that isn’t ready, they will pollute everyone in the facility.”

Moxie and Kevin have found drugs in a patient’s nightstand under a Bible. At another location, Moxie found drugs stashed inside a porta-potty. Recently, the pair was searching a young girl’s room. She was only 25 years old. It was her fourth relapse and fifth treatment center.

People go to rehabs to get clean, so the idea of drugs at the center is shocking at best. In the worst cases, it’s deadly. “Treatment centers have new addicts coming in every day,” Drouin explains. Jails are secure because they continually conduct strict searches. Rehab centers don’t have that luxury. One rehab Kevin worked with knew their food wasn’t so good.  When they let patients order pizzas and subs, drugs came in too.

Ask The Expert

Parents often ask Kevin, “Where should I send my son?” His answer is simple,

“Every treatment center will look you in the eye and tell you they have a zero tolerance policy. Ask them, ‘How do you maintain that policy?’ Make sure sober means sober. Treatment means treatment. Detox means detox.”


Want help, but not sure where to start? Click on the button below to try our self-assessment guide:

 

 

 


Tough Love Intervention for Rehab CenterTough Love Intervention is one of Recovery Guidance’s founding professionals. Click here to find out more about the services Kevin and Moxie provide.

Ten Things To Know Before You Seek Addiction Treatment

Searching for effective addiction treatment can be overwhelming. There’s many, many options, and each option offers many, many choices.  Since almost all of them promise a full recovery, it’s hard to know which service you need or where to even begin. Here’s ten simple facts to put your mind at ease before you start searching.

1. Addiction Can Happen To Anyone

And anyone can be addicted to any number of substances such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Stimulants (amphetamine, Ritalin, methamphetamine)
  • Cocaine
  • Sedatives (tranquilizers, sleep medications, anti-anxiety medications)
  • Opioids (heroin, fentanyl, carfentanyl, and prescribed pain relievers, such as oxycontin, vicodin and lortab)
  • Marijuana

You can become addicted if you just drink beer.  You can become addicted if you just use marijuana.  Because some of these substances are more powerful or potent than others, addiction can be faster with them.  All of the above substances can produce an addiction.

2. Virtually All Addiction Begins During Adolescence – Over 90%

Many wise, older people think young kids get addicted because because adolescence is a period of experimentation and rebellion.  On the contrary, addiction so often begins in adolescence because drugs affect the brain. Developing adolescent brains are more vulnerable.

The adolescent brain (12 – 25) is more susceptible to drug effects than the adult brain.

3. Addiction Is Not Related To Intelligence Or Social Standing

Many intelligent individuals from “good families” become addicted.

4. Addiction Is Partially Hereditary

Like most other chronic illnesses, addiction is more likely among those who have an addicted family member.  Addiction is also more likely among those with a psychiatric illness like depression, anxiety, or thought disorder. This is why smoking marijuana every week may be harmless to some individuals, but it’s seriously addicting to others.

5. Addiction Is A Chronic Illnesses That Affects the Brain

Addiction is a chronic illness or disease. This disease affects the motivational, stress and inhibitory circuits of the brain. As a result, the new brain functions sometimes lead to disturbing behaviors like:

  • Lying
  • Inability to fulfill promises
  • Impulsivity
  • Mood changes

Addiction does NOT happen all at once, and sometimes it takes years of substance misuse to produce these brain changes.  These changes last for many months, even after the substance use stops. Some people may never return to their “normal” pre-addictive functioning.

6. Most People Who Become Addicted Ultimately Recover

People who struggle with addiction are not a lost cause. Recovery rates for most addictions are similar to the recovery rates for other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Recovery really means three things:

  1. Eliminating or significantly reducing all substance use. Uncontrolled substance use is the cardinal symptom of addiction.
  2. Improving overall health and function. Stopping substance use will be hollow unless it is accompanied by improved quality of life.
  3. Learning to recognize and self-manage threats to relapse. Returning to normal life involves cravings and relapse threats, but these can be managed.

Over 4 million formerly addicted individuals are now in stable recovery.  Many people recover without treatment, but good treatment accelerates the process.

7. An Addicted Person Doesn’t Have To “Hit Bottom

Some people say, “there is nothing you can do until a person is ready to stop,”  but this simply isn’t true.  Families and society in general can help people find recovery in two ways:

  1. By applying constructive but steady pressure
  2. By assisting in the treatment process

 

Many people seek recovery because someone gave them an ultimatum.  Yet others get into recovery after trying many options.  To be successful, people need continuing support from a boss, spouse, or family member.

8. There Are No Short-term Treatments

Have you heard about ultra-rapid detoxes, one-week detoxes and 30-day programs?  All of these can be helpful, but they are just the beginning phase of treatment. None are effective by themselves.  Like all other chronic illnesses, recovery is more likely with continuing care and monitoring.

9. Medications Can Help Gain And Maintain Recovery

The FDA has approved medications help people recovery from cigarette, opioid and alcohol addictions. At this point, not all treatment providers offer these medications. These medications aren’t appropriate for all cases, but many people find medications to be an important piece of their treatment plan.

10. Family Participation Improves Their Recovery

What can you do to help?

  1. Support your loved ones. Your constructive support and encouragement is invaluable.
  2. Learn about their treatment and respect their choices.
  3. Be willing to un-learn some destructive attitudes and behaviors. (All families have them.)
  4. Share responsibilities for developing new, constructive attitudes and behaviors.

 

Good treatment involves the whole family. Now that you are armed with the truth about addiction and treatment, click here to take our our self-assessment guide.

5 Don’ts For Staging An Intervention

She’s had ANOTHER DUI. He lost ANOTHER job. That’s it! We’re staging an intervention!

Addiction leaves a wide path of destruction, and people are exhausted from fearing the worst. We hope our loved one, who might be angry at first, will admit the problem and promise to quit. Then we hope they actually keep their promise.

Unfortunately, Disney doesn’t plan interventions. In reality, interventions are risky and messy. They can backfire, plain and simple. Before you set the stage for disaster, consider these five don’ts.

1. Don’t Point Fingers And Lay Blame

Saying how you feel works best. Some examples:

  • I am afraid I won’t have money for groceries
  • I am afraid we’ll lose the house
  • I’m terrified you’ll get arrested or die
  • I want to know where you are after 10:00 p.m.
  • I need to have the car to drive

2. Don’t Make Threats You Won’t Keep

Before you intervene, decide which behaviors you can and cannot accept. What will you do the next time unacceptable behavior occurs? Be honest with yourself about your limits. Will you be strong enough to do what you say?

3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Silence In The Intervention

Even though you may feel hurt and betrayed, an intervention is not the time to point fingers and lay blame.  Write your thoughts down before the intervention. Be brief and amazing. A popular recovery tool says to:

“Say what you mean. Mean what you say, and don’t say it mean.”

Practice your speech. Stay calm. Be specific when talking about incidents and issues. Focus on how you feel instead of what they are doing. Then wait. In silence.

Give your loved one time to process what just happened. Then wait some more. If you do not care for their response, consider keeping quiet. Smile if you can.

4. Don’t Give Up

Interventions are hard for everyone involved, and emotions may run high. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is step back and let everyone regroup. The last thing you want and the substance user needs is to feel like everyone is against them. Try to see your loved one as someone else’s child or spouse.

If the intervention doesn’t go as planned or you believe it failed, reconnect with the substance user.  Assure them of your love and support. This doesn’t mean that you have to placate them or tell them you didn’t mean what you said.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

A trained professional can help reduce these risks and keep the intervention from going sour. Recovery Guidance lists Recovery Professionals like counselors and interventionists, who specialize in this type of care. You can find resources in your area by clicking on the Recovery Professionals tab and selecting the Intervention Services specialization.

Search for intervention

Be sure to:

  1. Ask about the professional’s credentials and certifications.
  2. Make sure you are both on the same page for the intervention.

Recovery Physicians can also help your family discuss abuse concerns and treatment options.


Want help, but not sure where to start? Click here to try our self-assessment guide.