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Intervention HELPS to Save Lives

intervention

If you have a loved one or employee struggling with substance use disorder or other dysfunctional behavior, then the information in this blog post could literally save their life.

You have probably heard that someone with a substance use disorder needs to hit a rock bottom before they will be open to help. There is truth to that. But the part you may not be aware of is that we do not have to helplessly wait around for our loved one to hit that bottom.

In fact, doing so could lead to their suffering a fatal overdose. Harvard University, in conjunction with the Boston Police Department, did a study where they sent undercover officers to multiple locations in the Boston area to purchase illegal drugs on the street. The drugs were then taken back to a lab for analysis.

The findings were very scary–most of the drugs purchased by the undercover officers tested positive for substances other than what the dealers claimed they were. For example, what was sold as heroin was often a synthetic opioid or some other combination of substances which often included the very deadly drug fentanyl.

These findings show that loved ones with a substance use disorder may just be one use away from a fatal overdose. And with 160 fatal overdoses daily in our country, simply waiting around for our loved ones to hit rock bottom may prove to be a fatal decision. All too frequently these days, rock bottom can be death.

Ken Seeley, interventionist on the long running, multi Emmy Award winning TV show A&E’s INTERVENTION has developed the HELPS model to guide interventionists and families to work together in raising the bottom, or creating a rock bottom, to help save a loved one’s life and move them into recovery. The HELPS model looks at five areas where the consequences of addiction take their toll.

HELPS Model

Health–Addiction is a physical disease affecting the user’s body from the inside out. Consequences range from liver disease, skin abscesses, premature aging, psychiatric disorders, memory loss, central nervous system damage, and eventually death. Sometimes it is a health issue that motivates the loved one to move towards recovery.

Environmental–It has been proven that environmental factors strongly influences or arrests the development and subsequent behaviors of someone with substance use disorder. Are you supporting the recovery of the loved one, or enabling their addictive behavior?

Legal–Addiction frequently involves legal consequences such as DUI’s, arrests, marital separation, divorce, loss of child custody, and exclusion from wills. Often times the loved one will engage in illegal activities in order to support or maintain their habit.

Personal finances–Addiction creates financial crisis including job termination, eviction, foreclosure, and even bankruptcy. Supporting a loved one by giving them money, paying their bills or employing them can enable their addiction.

Spiritual–Has your loved one lost faith, hope and peace in their life? Addiction is also a spiritual affliction that robs the loved one of their spirituality leaving them to feel hopeless and alone.

By identifying which of the five areas above are affecting your loved one, then determining how to leverage that area and set healthy boundaries and consequences in a respectful and family-unified manner, HELPS manually raises the rock bottom instead of playing the deadly game of waiting for the loved one to hit rock bottom on their own–which could mean a fatal overdose.

The disease of addiction is taking too many lives and we have to find smarter, more effective ways to save our loved one’s lives. Using the HELPS model is a smart way to go.

If you think you or a loved one may have an addiction, please feel free to call or email me for a free consultation. Addiction is serious, but intervention and treatment can save lives.

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CIP

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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5 Easy Tips To Be Happier and More Productive!

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

It’s so hard to be your best when you’re stressed! Hard to focus, hard to see the big picture, and really hard to be productive. Productivity isn’t just about time management and work–it’s also about having fun, time with family and time to pursue your dreams.

Here are 5 Easy Tips To Be Happier and More Productive that I often share with my clients.

1. The “Top 3 Priorities” Rule: Throw out to-do lists that are miles long! They will just create anxiety and leave you feeling like a failure when you fail to cross everything off the list. Instead, make a list everyday of your Top 3 Priorities–the 3 most important things for you to accomplish that day. The 3 things that move you closer to your work or life goals. Then make sure you do those three things!

Side note–it’s also wise to have a list of your Top 3 Priorities for life in general!

2. Be 10 Minutes Early for All Meetings: Make it a habit to plan on arriving 10 minutes early for all of your meetings or appointments. If you encounter a delay, you will still be on time. If you arrive early use the extra time wisely–pray, meditate, send a note to a friend or loved one, or even write your Top 3 Priorities for the next day!

3. Delegate: One of my favorite sayings is “Only do what only you can do!“. Find one task at home or work that you can delegate to someone else. You don’t have to do everything yourself! Sometimes when we fail to delegate, we rob others of the opportunity to serve, grow or learn.

4. Take a 5 Minute Fun Break When Feeling Stressed: If you find yourself on the verge of getting stressed out, then take 5 minutes to do something fun like play with your pet, watch a funny video on Youtube (only 5 minutes! Be careful–Youtube is where time goes to die!), go for a walk, or do some deep breathing. The point is that your mind-shift will get you back on track and give you a productivity boost.

5. Manage Your Transitions: When you have short gaps of time between meetings and tasks avoid distractions that have no payoff. Instead of wasting time on social media, keep a list of 15 minute or less “filler tasks” (like online banking, returning emails, etc.) and get something done instead!

Challenge: pick one of the above and implement it tomorrow!

You do not have to do all 5 tips right away, but doing at least some of the tips will lead to increased happiness and productivity. You may also find that it’s easier for you to leave your work at work and enjoy more of your home life!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Email me at randy@randymoraitis.com to share your thoughts or for info on counseling or coaching. Find me on the web at www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)
Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

5 Tips for Families in Recovery

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Do you have a family member in recovery from addiction? Maybe drugs, maybe alcohol, maybe both? If so, then you know all about the pain, the stress, and the fears that are part of your family culture.

I also know all about the pain, stress and fears–you see I write this post not only as a counselor who deals with families affected by addiction on a daily basis, but also as a person whose family has been impacted by addiction for several generations.

There are a lot of metaphors used to describe what it’s like to have a family member who is an addict:
it’s like living in the eye of a storm.
it’s like always having to walk on eggshells.

While the sayings give a glimpse into what it’s like to have an addict in the family, they really don’t express the depth of the pain and anguish that family members–parents, children, siblings–go through when their loved one is afflicted by addiction.

Here are 5 tips to help families to move in the direction of healing.

But first, a very important question: Are you a family with someone in recovery, or are you a family in recovery? 

Families who see themselves as simply having someone in recovery are much less likely to have healing than families who see themselves as a family in recovery.

Addiction is a family disease. It’s not just the problem of the addict, it’s the whole family’s problem! The best possible scenario is when the whole family works on getting healthier. Be a family in recovery!

5 Tips for Families in Recovery

These tips are designed to give families a big picture outlook on what to expect on the recovery journey and how to best move the family from unhealthy to healthy.

1. Be Aware–the members of the addicts family will still have about the same level of stress and anxiety during the first 4-12 months of their loved one’s sobriety. They may still be dealing with financial or legal fallout from when the addict was using. Or they may be expecting a relapse and dreading every phone call.

2. Be Awarethings might actually get worse during the first 4-12 months of the loved one’s sobriety. They may discover serious health issues or have to serve jail time. Family members may be frustrated with huge bills from treatment.

3. Be Aware–intense family or marriage therapy is counterproductive during the first 4-12 months. Instead focus on getting the family structure back in place, work on individual issues, and work on parenting and family operations.

4. Be Aware–during the first 4-12 months abandonment may be added to the family experience. Either the addict feels abandoned by the family, or the family feels abandoned by the addict. An addict working a healthy recovery program will often go to many meetings and start hanging out with a new crowd. This may make their family feel abandoned at first. It’s OK. Let go and focus on your personal growth and healing.

5. Be wise–I highly recommend all family members get connected with appropriate groups such as Al-Anon, CoDa, Lifelines, AA, NA or other support group. This will help bring healing to all the individual members of the family and help prevent the family from falling back into old, unhealthy patterns.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Comment below or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com. Visit my website www.randymoraitis.com for info on counseling or coaching, and our nonprofit foundation CarePossible at www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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The Top 5 Wisdom on the Way Blog Posts of 2014

Here are the Top 5 Wisdom on the Way Blog Posts of 2014

What was your favorite blog post of 2014?  I would love to hear your comments! You can email me at randy@carepossible.org.

Websites:
www.carepossible.org
www.thecrossing.com
www.randymoraitis.com

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The Power of No!


Those who know me well know that I am a huge fan of healthy boundaries. So when I came across these tips on Finding Your Voice to say No by psychologist Judith Sills, Ph.D., I just had to share. If you are new to saying no and setting boundaries, give these tips a try– you will be empowered!

Finding Your Voice

1. Replace your automatic Yes with “I’ll think about it.” This puts you in control, softens the ground for a NO and gives you time to think things through to make a healthy choice.

2. Soften your language. Try “I’m not comfortable with that”, or “I’d rather not”, or “let’s agree to disagree”. You are still delivering a clear “no”, but softening your language may make it go down better.

3. Contain your feelings. Even though you may not feel like it, No is best delivered pleasantly with an air of calm. Outward calm quiets your inner turmoil and reduces the negative impact of your No on your audience.

4. Refer to your commitment to others. Say No without appearing selfish by stating how you would love to help, but must keep your prior commitment to your mother, child, etc., and you can’t let them down.

5. Realize you represent others. When you realize it is not just your own interest at stake, but that of your family’s, you will feel more assertive in giving a No to a low-ball offer or intrusion on your time.

6. Rehearse. This strategy is best for ongoing situations such as a demanding boss or recurring relational conflict with a spouse, friend, or family member. By rehearsing, you are prepared to respond with a calm, respectful No.

With some regular practice finding your voice, you just may get to the place where you can respond to any inappropriate, uncomfortable, excessive request with a firm one-word, no explanation verdict–No.

I wish you well in setting and maintaining healthy boundaries!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Email: randy@randymoraitis.com

Websites: www.carepossible.com, www.randymoraitis.com

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Treating Anxiety

anxiety

Anxiety Disorders affect millions of Americans filling them with dread, fear, and uncertainty. In my last blog I shared a brief history of anxiety in society which you can view here: History of Anxiety

This post is focused on treating anxiety. Those who struggle with anxiety experience physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual symptoms, so it makes sense that treatment for anxiety address these four types of symptoms.

Here are the four areas to focus on when treating anxiety. The most complete treatment program will cover each of the four areas.

1. PHYSICAL–this category looks at how the following impacts one’s anxiety:

  • Medications–some help, while others may increase anxiety.
  • Caffeine, alcohol, drugs–these can greatly increase anxiety.
  • Thyroid, adrenal function, anemia, asthma, etc–be aware that these factors may increase anxiety.
  • Food allergies/sensitivities–may play a role in increasing anxiety.
  • Sufficient sleep–can help reduce anxiety.
  • Supplements–may help reduce anxiety.
  • Physical exercise–very helpful in reducing anxiety.

2. EMOTIONAL–looks at the feeling involved and how to have emotional health:

  • Feelings underlying panic attacks–understanding and examining these feelings can lead to healing.
  • Emotionally tagging events–when the brain stores a memory of an event, it also stores an emotion associated with the event.
  • Evaluate your upbringing–learn to let go of anger, frustration, and control issues from your past.
  • Therapies–there are different types of therapy that can treat the emotional side of anxiety including cognitive-behavioral therapy, EMDR therapy, neurofeedback, Alpha-stim therapy, and more.

3. RELATIONAL–this area examines how we interact with others:

  • Choose to be around uplifting people.
  • Get out of toxic relationships.
  • Know and stay in your stress zone.
  • Do not isolate or shut down.
  • Avoid pushy, high maintenance, or unpredictable people.
  • Learn to say no and have healthy boundaries!

4. SPIRITUAL–feelings of anxiety are so deep, that a spiritual side of treatment is very effective.

  • Community–stay involved and connected in your local church.
  • Prayer–pray regularly, including prayers for a spirit of power and peace.
  • Verse memorization–memorize verses that give you peace and comfort and focus on these verses during times of anxiety.
  • Do not get caught up in the world–riches, fame, power–instead focus on the spiritual side of life.
  • Music–listening to uplifting music, such as praise and worship music, can reduce anxiety.

Anxiety is real and can be devastating. The good news is that there is hope and healing available for those with anxiety disorders. If you struggle with anxiety, contact a physician or mental health care professional right away to get on a path of healing.I have helped many groups and individuals have healing from their anxiety and would love to help you or your loved one. For more info lease email me at randy@randymoraitis.com or call 949-303-8264.

Websites: www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com.

About Randy Moraitis
Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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Boundaries For Leaders–Book Review

Boundaries For Leaders was written by Dr. Henry Cloud, best known as the coauthor of the bestselling book Boundaries. I am a huge fan of Boundaries and really believe that it should be required reading for every human being. As a counselor it has been my observation that many problems experienced by individuals and families are often related to boundary issues.

So it was with great anticipation that I read Dr. Cloud’s new book Boundaries For Leaders, subtitled Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge.

This book was intended for, and marketed towards, executives and leaders who want to create successful organizations with satisfied employees and customers. However, I believe the principles taught by Dr. Cloud, based on his years of experience as a psychologist, life coach, and business consultant, can apply to anyone who has influence over others including parents, community leaders, and church leaders.

Boundaries for Leaders is full of tried and tested tools and techniques that leaders can use to inspire maximum performance from those they lead, as well create a mentally healthy organization.

According to Dr. Cloud a leader must, “accept that you are ridiculously in charge and that you are responsible for establishing the climate for success, setting the terms and expectations for performance with your people, for your organization, and for yourself.” (p. 235)

Some of Dr. Cloud’s suggestions for leaders include:

  • Create an emotional environment that is free of the wrong kinds of stress.
  • Build teams that are deeply connected.
  • Help people to think optimistically and root out pessimism.

The bottom line: leaders get what they create and what they allow! (Side-note–so do parents!)

I highly recommend this book for everyone as I believe we all have the potential to be leaders wherever we are. Add it to your summer reading list and watch yourself become ridiculously in charge!

I would love to hear your thoughts!
Email randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites: www.thecrossing.com or www.randymoraitis.com

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FAQs About Addiction

addiction

Here is a brief list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) I receive about addiction:

1. How do I know if it really is an addiction? 

When a person requires increasing amounts of a habit forming substance, or compulsive behavior, they likely have an addiction. If there are negative consequences because of the substance use or behavior, this is usually a clear indicator that there is an addiction requiring treatment.

2. What should I do if think I am addicted?

According to the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) addiction is a bio-psycho-social-spiritual affliction that is very difficult to treat without help. If you think you are struggling with an addiction, seek help immediately! A great first step is to attend a support group such as AA or NA. Depending on the addiction, a medically supervised detox may be necessary, so consulting with a physician or checking into an addiction treatment center is advised.

3. What should I do if I suspect a loved on of having an addiction?

  • Confront them in love and let them know how their behavior makes you feel. Do not pretend as if nothing is wrong.
  • Do not enable your loved one! Do not give them money and do not cover for them. Let them experience the consequences of their choices.
  • Go to an Al-Anon meeting or similar support group for friends and families of addicts.
  • Do your best to get your loved one into treatment. Different parts of the treatment program include: detox, rehab, sober living, working a 12 step program with a sponsor, counseling, and having a recovery coach to aid in relapse prevention.
  • Consider an intervention if you have difficulty getting your loved on into treatment.

Addiction is a life and death problem. If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, get help now. For a list of resources to get you started click here.

As always, I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to email me or visit my website.