September – National Recovery Month
Hello! My name is Elisabeth (Lisa) Ferraro and I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with Quince Orchard Psychotherapy. I have been at the practice for four years but have been practicing as a clinician since 2004, with specializations in Addictions, Grief, Anxiety and Depression. I primarily work with individuals but have experience with couples and groups as well. My therapy style is person-centered, emphasizing empathy and client strengths while also teaching cognitive behavioral techniques.
Having worked with many individuals in recovery from Substance Use Disorder, supporting those in recovery as well as the families of those in recovery is a passion of mine. In 1989, September became National Recovery Month as a way to bring attention to finding evidenced-based practices for helping individuals heal from addiction. Addiction is something that affects millions of individuals in all stages of life and in all socioeconomic status levels. What is recovery? Recovery is more than just stopping and avoiding using substances. The process includes addressing the triggers, mental health issues and trauma that contribute to the disease of addiction as well as finding healthier coping strategies to navigate through life. In order to heal from addiction, support from others is needed.
A few ways to help someone struggling with addiction:
1. Meet them where they are. Maybe they aren’t ready to stop drinking or using drugs. If so, consider helping them with harm reduction (e.g., attend a FREE presentation on Narcan and make sure you or they have Narcan in case of an opioid overdose. Most community agencies have free trainings that include a free dose of Narcan*. Medicaid also covers most of the cost so that someone with Medicaid can receive Narcan for a co-pay of $1 at any pharmacy. You could also familiarize yourself with warning signs of overdose/alcohol poisoning and safety steps such as recovery position. Let them know they can call 911 if they or a friend are experiencing an overdose – they will not be in legal trouble)
2. Attend a support meeting. Did you know that free support groups exist for family members of those struggling with addiction? Groups like Al-Anon or the CRAFT approach (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) can be helpful for family members of those with addictions:
3. Encourage them to seek support. Some examples of support that are available to individuals with addiction:
a. Attending an in-person or virtual 12-step meeting (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery)
b. Spending time with sober friends or family
c. Going to Outpatient or Intensive Outpatient Programs for Substance Use Disorder, attending therapy, and encouraging them to seek positive social support.
4. Set boundaries. Someone in active addiction often engages in behaviors that can be stressful for family members (e.g., theft, deceit, verbal or physical abuse). Try to remember that people in active addiction are not acting out of their usual moral compass. They are compromised by their active addiction. That said, you do not need to subject yourself to abuse and can set limits regarding contact, living arrangements and financial support.
Recovery is possible – especially with the help of loved ones!
For more information, please see resources below:
*FREE NARCAN TRAINING IN FREDERICK & MONTGOMERY COUNTY
https://www.aa.org/find-aa – Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting Locator
https://www.na.org/meetingsearch – Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Locator
https://www.celebraterecovery.com/ – Celebrate Recovery
https://www.smartrecovery.org/ – SMART Recovery
https://www.samhsa.gov/ – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration