Happy New Year and Happy 2018 to you and yours!
I am happy you have found a landing place here in my Arena. This is a place where I talk about important issues surrounding co-occurring disorders of addiction and mental health issues, as well as exploring ways to advocate for children and youth who are struggling with mental health and behavioral health issues.
A while back, I wrote about the importance of "living in community" when it came to recovery from addiction and co-occuring behaviors. My discussion was based on the book by Johann Hari "Chasing The Scream" and discussed very poignant views on addiction and how our society needs to view addiction through a new and different lens. (You can view that post here) I am very thrilled to have come across this incredible graphic video version of Hari's theory on YouTube, and had to post it for you to experience.Take a look:
During the time that I wrote my original post (May 2015), as a family we had decided to take our son, who at the time was struggling mightily with his co-occurring disorder and specifically with his addiction issues, back into our home. Here is an excerpt from that post:
"What Mr. Hari endorses in his writings is about taking a more compassionate approach towards the addicts in your life. Instead of turning them out of the family, and shunning the whole of them as a society, the way to evoke true and lasting change is by bringing them back into the communal fold, offer them jobs and life purpose, in short, help them to feel a part of a happy community, and they will have reason enough to stop using drugs, and become involved within their community."I am happy to report that after 2.5 years of bringing our son back into "our community" he IS doing much better. He still struggles mightily from his addiction, and this goes without mentioning that there have been several times I have had to confront him with the ultimatum that he can either take his drugs and leave our home OR he can stop, hand over all his drugs and his paraphernalia, and remain in our home. This falls within the category of setting boundaries, which thankfully, I am much better at doing these days. This also goes without saying that I have struggled mightily with said boundary setting, BUT have been able to get to a better place with boundaries after years of work surrounding Al-Anon and Codependency. It has not been easy, but it has been worth every minute of the work I have put into my personal recovery. (More on this later)
In sum, I believe each family has to make a decision that works well for themselves. I have heard accounts of teens who steal from the family (my son does not do this, thankfully), teens who bring drugs into the family home that absolutely cannot have drugs in the home due to the parent's job status, and teens who create too much havoc for younger siblings, who have every right to grow up in a safe, well-managed environment. Many parameters must be met and agreed upon between the youth and the family (BOUNDARIES!) in order for the option of "living in community" to successfully take place. For families who cannot create this as a workable solution, I believe as a society, we must formulate new ways of treatment for co-occurring disorders that do a better job of creating a welcoming and engaging community, a living environment that mimics what we can create for those lucky rats (from the video). That, in my humble opinion, is an option for success that may possibly work.