HuffPost: Should Families Abandon Their Loved Ones?

MadonnaMadonna, gazillionaire hitmaker, lives large in London.  Madonna’s brother, Anthony Ciccone, alcoholic homeless man, lives under under a bridge in Michigan. Brother Anthony says that his sister has abandoned him because of his addiction…

For the family of a loved one in the hellish maelstrom of co-occuring disorders (i.e., a psychiatric disability and a substance abuse addiction), there may come many torturous moments when abandonment may seem like the only option left. Addictions are often ruinous. Enormous resentments can bend a family to the breaking post. Yet we must always remember that 50% of all loved ones with psychiatric disabilities also wrestle with addiction.

There is no end of advice to such family members. “Detach with love.” “Don’t care more for one’s recovery than one cares for it himself.” “Protect yourself.” Madonna brother“Exercise tough love.” “Let go and let God.” There is wisdom in all these injunctions. But these are more easily said than done, especially for loving parents.

Psychodyssey has just discovered that The Huffington Post recently ran an excellent video panel of very interesting experts on the family struggle. It includes: Dr. David Sack, addiction psychiatrist and CEO of Elements Behavioral Health in California, Dr. Robert Meyers, psychologist and inventor of the CRAFT, the Community Reinforcement and Family Training” approach to family support; Mr. David Sheff, author of “A Beautiful Boy” (one of most riveting books I have ever read uon the effects of son’s addiction on his father), and Mr. Tom Scarborough, former high school teacher, current CEO of Nouvelle Candle, and former alcoholic. We commend it to your viewing. To see the panel discussion (20 minutes), click here.

Abandoning Addicts

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