Drug and Alcohol Abuse – Relapse Prevention

In addiction recovery, we also have to look at where you left on your developmental track in the first place. While you numbed out, developmental pieces in your life got put on hold. So, now that you are getting your life back on track, being sober, doing what you need to do; you also have to look at what it was in the first place that you were avoiding dealing with. Was it some pain? Trauma?

A drug addiction counselor can help you get past the numbing or desire to hide from pain. Something like abandonment, or rejection, not feeling lovable is enough to get everything of dramatic response going. You can settle it all down with support. Working with the emotions, healing the underlying grief and loss issues, looking at inner child unmet needs allows you to move forward into health and balance.

A Helping Hand

Most people need a direction, a road map to get them from one point to another. The recovery steps build into long term life management. With supports in place, better coping skills, practice at working through problems that everyone experiences, life can be manageable in most situations.

Relapse is when something catches you, and you go into triggers of woundedness, despair, and lose sight of yourself as capable of sobriety and addiction- free living. I have heard clients talk of a heartbreak, a job loss, or some significant change that seems bigger then what they see themselves as capable of coping with. Sometimes even after decades of sobriety and addiction free living, there is a relapse!… Again, the recovery steps are put into place.

The Prevention is to keep the supports in place, the 12 step group, the community supports, the creative, social pieces of life that make life enjoyable. Checking in and balancing with psychological tuneups is part of well-being. Some safety sensitive jobs require ongoing monitoring with a therapist for up to 2 years, reports are sent in as part of compliance steps required by the employer. Whether it is self -initiated or the employer initiated, I can do long term sobriety and recovery monitoring. By looking at risk reduction, personal coping skills and supports needed; you can live the life you want.

Substance Abuse Counselor – Education and Recovery

Know what you are up against. There are different stages of recovery. Many people find comfort and motivation in a 12 STEP recovery program like AA, or Wellbreity. Individual and group support on a social level in the community is precious.

Some people can go “Cold Turkey” and just endure the discomfort of withdrawal from the addiction. In some cases it is recommended that you be in a medically supervised program like the Phoenix Center in Kamloops. There is a Methadone program in Kamloops, for those who need a gradual reduction of drug, and to reduce risk. It is best to have a family doctor oversee severe addiction management. There are prescriptions available to support the body in detoxifying. Most treatment programs require a doctor’s examination as part of the application process.

Recovery steps start with an awareness of where you are functioning in your life. Addiction severity can go from pre-contemplation- where you think there may be a problem, to a severe addiction going into full blown mental health sickness, with some or many symptoms.

Talk to Someone About it

As a substance abuse counselor I can screen you and we assess how severe your addiction is. Depending on what steps you are willing to take, we plan recovery steps together. You can get your life back on track, get your supports in place and live sober.

At the severe addiction level, health, family, job and other aspects of “Normal” life fall apart for an individual. The addict’s family are often in despair and traumatized at the severe level. Often at this stage the addict’s life starts to crumble: loss of job, divorce, loss of $ financial stability, maybe bankruptcy, loss of friends and estrangement of extended family, as well as immediate family. Level of violence, poverty, sickness, and further loss of personal control. Because of an inability to self regulate, there may be a police or criminal activity record, or pending jail.

Often there are psychological issues that need to be worked through as part of recovery: grief and loss, inner child and trauma work, sexuality and self image, proper use of personal power, managing conflict before it gets to rage, use of emotional intelligence skills.

I work with clients in various stages of addiction, and support them to balance their bodies, their lives and to build relationships in their lives. It starts with you.

Crystal Clear Energy Medicine
Phone: (250) 852-1580
750 Fortune Dr #32
Kamloops, BC V2B 2L2

Creating Stability & Reducing Stress

Creating Stability in your life allows you to reduce and manage stress, and thus be able to cope in daily life tasks.

1. Safety and physical needs have to be addressed to bring your body to balance.

We need safety, basic physical needs to be met, a sense of belonging, loving support, opportunities to learn and develop so we can grow, mature into healthy balanced people. Some people cope with sickness, developmental problems, injuries and poor environments. In which case, how do you adapt to the physical requirements, how do you make it all work out in the best way you can with what you have? What other resources are available to create a better outcome?

2. Structure and healthy support systems help you on an external level.

Resources within an individual and within the family can be pulled together for mutual benefit. Having family working as a team, helps you to feel that someone is protecting your back. Community support used to be easy- now we move around so much, we do not necessarily even know our neighbors anymore. Many of the community supports have become commercialized.

We still have family based religious organizations and churches, community events, and friends and family to call upon in times of crisis. When you are part of community, making secondary relationships, socializing with others, you can anchor yourselves more, this is part of stability we can generate for ourselves. Volunteering, being part of something bigger than ourselves is good for us to have a healthy world view.

Getting outside, playing, making friends, developing interests and hobbies can enrich our experiences. Having a garden, an animal to connect with gives us inspiration. Watching children play, participating in sports helps us feel good about ourselves. Keeping in contact with neighbors, secondary business people like doctors, dentists, shop keepers helps us feel like we belong in the community. As we age, the routine of going to the coffee shop for the same order becomes an important part of moving, visibility and part of socializing.

3. Valuing and loving yourself helps you on the self management- the inner level.

Finding ways to express gratitude, and compassion for yourself and others is a good start. Feed yourself healthy food- not just chemicals, over processed food like substances. Alive foods actually nurture our nerves, our brains, organs, allow our bodies to function properly. Finding something in your life to share has benefits for others. Do you have some humor? A compliment? A service you can do that generates good will for others?

Spending time playing with animals is so fun, helps you to enjoy and love yourself as well. What was the best thing that happened to you today? The more you put your attention on what is going right, the easier it is to get momentum for positive change in your life. Paying attention to your self talk is so important. Be gentle with yourself.

4. Find healthy ways to participate in an adult role within community, to build relationships.

I have noticed that even taking a dog for a walk, you can generate conversations with passers by. Being outside doing gardening, there are people who will start to comment, smile and encourage you. Saying hello to the store clerk, taking an interest in their day- all helps you feel connections to others. Invite someone out for a walk, a bike ride.When you share loving kindness, it comes back to you.

5. Find personal balance within the aspects of Emotional, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual experiencing in your life.

Meditations, getting out in nature, bike riding, reading, doing my business, earning an income, picking weeds, hosting family suppers are some of the things I do for balance. Getting out and having adventures, kayaking and hiking are important to me, help me keep my balance.

During an intake, together we can assess where you are, and what your life goals are, and what your addiction recovery can look like. What does recovery or stability mean to you?

Working With Multi Generational Addiction Patterns

How many times have you been told “you are just like your mother!” or your father? Many times we see multi-generational trauma patterns passed down the lineage. A great example of this is war post traumatic stress disorder untreated, that then gets experienced through lack of calm, attuned parenting to the children. The mental health of the parents makes a huge difference in their ability to parent. Mal-adaptive coping and parenting gets passed down by experiences to the children through epi-genetics, role modeling and internalization of values and beliefs.


Having one addicted parent increases the likelihood of children getting caught in the addiction cycle. The more chronic, and the more extreme the breakdown of family functioning as the result of the addiction- the more difficult it is to break the pattern. Yet, I know many wonderful people who have been sober for decades because they chose to live differently.

To be sober requires being real with yourself and with other people in your life. There are 12 step programs that offer amazing support within community, so you can experience yourself more fully. Counseling is a great step to get you started at looking at the darker sides of the addiction pattern, helping you to move through it. Addiction recovery is a lifelong focus.

Violence is the Misuse of Power

Violating someone’s personal boundaries is an intrusion, a violation of their safety at some level. In the face of working with violence in the home, safety rules have to be enforceable. Creating a safety plan with others is always the first step in dealing with the violence. Violence can come in the form of verbal abuse, physical abuse or threat of and destruction of property or threat of.

When children see others get beaten up, it is just as devastating as if they had been beaten up directly. If facing violence, establish safety rules first, even if you have to call in police or someone to help you. Counselling can help you set up healthy boundaries and safety plans to help you get back on track. Healthy communication, emotional literacy skills, self regulation creates peace.

Bully Power

This is mis-using your personal power, not appreciating or understanding how to work with personal boundaries. Being indifferent to the impact of your behavior on other people’s or animal’s experiences. A false sense or exaggerated image of yourself can get in the way of fairness, and being appropriate in social or work situations.

When there is a distorted image of yourself, other people ‘s dignity is sacrificed for perceived short falls. Intentionally causing shame, humiliation, and suffering of someone else is sick. What is the pay off from mis-behaviour? What benefit keeps this pattern going? Counselling can help you get this pattern shut down.

Servitude and Sacrifice

This has to be looked as part of gender roles and family, cultural expectations. In the short term a person can go on the sacrifice wheel, and maybe work overtime, or go without resources that other members of the family get. There are times when the family needs to rally around the specific care needs of a baby, young children, or seniors. In these cases, resources are available to help, to support the family, the individual.

A short term process means that there can be a balancing, a recovery and a normalization. When there are long term servitude and sacrifices required it can have effect on the personality and function of the individual. Anxiety, depression, loss of personal power can degenerate into mental health concerns.