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Young Adults, Addiction and Families
At some point in the development of addiction, an individual loses the ability to choose as their altered brain chemistry and “hijacked biology” takes over. An individual no longer has control of their lives, in spite of steadfast belief to the contrary. These lives spiral out of control as individuals become locked in patterns of survival based reactivity and compulsory behavior. Failed attempts to self-control this “insanity” further create unmanageability and an existence characterized by emotional volatility and irrational behavior. This description of addiction applies to both the identified individual with a Substance Use Disorder as well as parents, family and care givers. In this “co-unmanageability”, personal boundaries are compromised, become porous and innapropriate. Guilt and then shame accumulates, further driving a downward spiral. Personal accountability becomes misplaced. Parents seeking to be helpful and supportive can literally “love their children to death”.
As clinicians in our support of the journey back from these dark places, it is critical that we provide help to young adults and their families who have been impacted by addiction and mental health challenges. Solutions to this powerful, cunning and baffling disease of brain and relationships emerge as individuals become aware of their needs, especially sub-concious and emotional ones, and are able to speak them more openly to others. Healthy confrontation creates clarity and helps individuals take appropriate responsibility for their lives. They seek support and healthy connection with others. Healing and recovery begin.
The wilderness environments surrounding Four Circles in the North Carolina woods provide a unique and ideal backdrop for resolving the struggles involved in healing addiction. Participants are able to free themselves of distraction and remove themselves from the storms and drama of daily living. Mindfulness expands as participants come face to face with both the beauty and challenge of the sometimes harsh outdoors. Young adults mature quickly by coming face to face with their fears, their sorrows and their poor judgment.
As a result of attending this seminar, Participants will understand the individual and family impact areas of the disease of addiction and articulate a framework to address these problems.
Participants will be able to describe how experiential and wilderness therapy, in tandem with a 12-step philosophy, addresses the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual damage done in addiction and sets the stage for recovery.
Participants will gain a framework for the “clinical continuum of care” as it relates to young adults and their families in recovery.
Participants will articulate how levels of mental health impact the development and treatment of Substance Use Disorders.
Participants will have the opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope with regard to what works and what resources are needed for this population.