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Co-Addiction Free

with Addie Lee

My Blog


Glossary of Terms for Co-Addiction Free

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 6:47 PM
A Co's Blog provides viewers with definitions of co-addiction, addiction, and recovery. Other descriptive terms are defined also.                                                                            Be in the "know"
           As a recovered co, I believe It is imperative that you understand the terms that I use to inform you about co-addiction, addiction and recovery. These are terms that I learned as I participated in counseling from a chemical dependency counselor (Ms. Alice Lebron, LCSW), attended co-dependency support group meetings and  researched for myself by reading books from the lean book offerings in the field of co-addiction that were published.They are defined below in the Glossary. Acquainting yourself with these terms makes it easier to know just what I am talking about. You may be familiar with many of them and others will be new to you. Since there is minimal information about co-addiction, it is critical that this knowledge becomes part of your usable vocabulary.
                                                                          Glossary of Terms
Alcoholic/addict:  A person or persons whose continued excessive use of alcoholic drinks leads to an inability to control usage and whose life spirals out of control physically, mentally and spiritually because of this compulsive, chemical dependence.
Co-alcoholic/addict: A person or person or persons whose addiction is the alcoholic/addict, who reacts to the accompanying behaviors in unhealthy ways, which are neither helpful to her/himself or the afflicted.
Enabler: Another term describing the co-alcoholic/addict whose role is to protect one's own and the family's respect. S/he is motivated by the realistic fear that s/he and the family will have to share the negative consequences of the addict's behavior. The enabler feels intense shame with no way out except to try to control the situation however s/he can.
Disease model: "Alcoholism is a threefold disease affecting the body, mind and spirit." The addict is genuinely ill, suffering from a diagnosible, progressive, ultimately fatal disease. There is no permanent cure for it - relapse is always as close as the next drink - but it can be arrested and with proper help, the alcoholic can regain health and sobriety. When recognized as a disease, it can be arrested short of total tragedy - provided its victim gets suitable help soon enough.
Antabuse (Disulfiram):  A tablet taken with liquid that is used as a treatment for alcoholism. It will not cure alcoholism but is a powerful deterrent to drinking. In combination with alcohol, it produces a metabolic change that causes severe temporary toxicity - vomiting.
"Alky": Alky is a slang name for the alcoholic and is generally used to refer to the sick person in communication. The alcoholic refers to him/herself by this word as well.
Grass: A slang name for marijuana.
Mary Jane: Another slang name for marijuana.
Denial: Major overall power of influence that prevents the co-addict or addict from admitting the truth of the reality of alcoholism in their lives. "The addict builds a solid denial system concerning the usage, the related problems and the behaviors. The denial is comprised of rationalization, justification, suppression, repression, and projection and supported by the 'no-talk-rule'."
No-Talk Rule: The addict establishes a "No-Talk Rule" very early in the development of the addiction. The addict does not want others talking about the drinking/usage or any problems related to the drinking/usage. The addict uses anger and self-pity to enforce this rule. This rule is also very powerful in covering up the addiction and supporting the delusion of the drinking/using not being a problem. Breaking this rule is very important in intervening, whether it is formal or informal intervention.
Formal Intervention: Characterized by creating an opportunity in which a social worker or chemical dependency counselor along with the family members, friends,co-workers, etc. privately confront the alcoholic/addict with their concerns about the addictive behaviors using lists and/or descriptions of offending behaviors and how it has hurt them. The goal of this confrontation is to get the alcoholic/addict to see that the behaviors are directly caused or related to the offending behaviors and that she/he needs professional help. This help can come in the form of in-patient treatment for a specific number of required days or out-patient treatment by going to AA or NA meetings and a chemical dependency counselor for counseling.
Informal Intervention: Different from the formal intervention whereby the co or other concerned family member or co-worker describes the addict's behavior in a certain situation and then saying these 3 things:
                1. I want you to stop drinking or using drugs.
                2. I want you to go to AA or NA meetings.
                3. I want you to go to a chemical dependency counselor.
The confronting person will preface the description by saying "I love you" or "I like you", or "I care about you": This may have to be done numerous times before the addict is ready to acknowledge that help is necessary. Guidance from a chemical dependency counselor can aid the confronter  in determining the specific times to do this and provide support.
Twelve-step Program: Alcoholics Anonymous has allowed numerous twelve-step programs to adopt its steps and traditions.
The Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step Program The Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step Program was created by the co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, with twelve suggested steps to recovery from alcoholism, which, if followed in order, can lead the alcoholic to recovery from the disease of alcoholism. "In a broad sense, the Steps are spiritual beliefs reflecting elements of many religions and philosophies of the world. In their simple words, the Twelve Steps encompass a magnificent body of ideas whose study will be rewarded by the enrichment of our characters and personalities, a deeper understanding of the relationship to others, and a sustaining confidence and serenity that will help us live more fully each day." (From ALCOHOLISM THE FAMILY DISEASE)
Al-Anon Program: The Al-Anon program is a spiritual way of life based on the suggested Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Relatives and friends of alcoholics/addicts, who have been deeply affected by close contact with the alcoholic/addict, attend Al-Anon program meetings from which other members offer their friendship, strength and hope. They share their experiences in coping with the disease of alcoholism and how the program helps in giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic. Study of this program and its Twelve Steps will strengthen members for the solving of many difficult problems.
Serenity Prayer: A prayer that is read at most group meetings of A.A. and Al-anon and often analyzed in group discussions. It also serves as inspiration to individuals in daily meditation:
                       "God, grant me the serenity,
                        To accept the things I cannot change,
                        Courage to change the things I can,
                        And wisdom to know the difference."
Dry-Drunk Syndrome: "Dry-drunk: is a term describing the state of the alcoholic who is uncomfortable when he is not drinking and/or using. The dry-drunk syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur together and constitute an abnormality. Since the abnormality of the alcoholic's attitude and behavior during his drinking career is generally recognized, the persistence of the character traits after the alcoholic stops drinking might seem equally abnormal.  Therefore, the term "dry-drunk" alludes to the absence of favorable change in the attitudes and behavior of the alcoholic who is not drinking.  From this lack of change it is inferred that the alcoholic (man or woman) is experiencing discomfort in his life. The syndrome can occur in all alcoholics and there is little doubt as to the source of the discomfort. The phase "dry-drunk" has two significant words for the alcoholic:
      *  "Dry" simply refers to the fact that he abstains from drinking, whereas
      *  "Drunk" signifies a deeply pathological condition resulting from this use of alcohol in the past.
Taken together these words suggest intoxication without alcohol. Since intoxication comes from the Greek word for "poison", dry-drunk implies a state of mind and a mode of behavior that are poisonous to the alcoholic's well-being. This is the reason the addict needs counseling. The counselor educates the addict about the syndrome and therefore, helps to relieve some of the "craziness" the addict feels and brings an understanding of where this behavior fits in the recovery process. This information assists the co in the same way because the co or family members do not understand why the addicted is behaving the same way as when he was drinking/using. The expectation is that once the addict stops drinking and or using, normal behavior will fit into place immediately. This, of course, is not true.
AA or Al-Anon Sponsor: An established member of one of these groups who acts as an adviser, friend and teacher to a newcomer, supporting him/her in understanding the program and assisting the newcomer with working the Twelve Steps by sharing their experience, strength and hope when he/she recovered. The sponsor/friend usually accompanies his "student" to the formal meetings, makes home visits and/or arranges regular contact for support and shepherds the recovering person on their road to an addiction-free life.
AA and Al-Anon Service: The AA or Al-Anon members dedicate a portion of their time to assisting troubled persons who are seeking help to deal with their addiction or co-addiction. This may include visits to the person's home, hospital or institution or recovery center. Active members consider this service as another tool the recovered person uses to remain clean and sober as well as giving a validation of their changed, healthier lives. AA or Al-Anon service also includes the member taking an active role in local or area meetings as an officer in the organization. Assuming the role of a speaker at AA conferences is another way to spread the word of recovery from addiction or co-addiction to both longtime members as well as newcomers.

Categories: Education-co-addiction, addiction and recovery

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Reply cairnsjudo
1:06 PM on May 20, 2013 
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
Reply Addie Lee
9:33 PM on June 14, 2013 
I believe if you follow the saying "First Things First", you will begin by taking one step at a time to understand the disease of Alcoholism, Co-alcoholism and Recovery. If you find yourself in the enabler role, visit a local Al-Anon meeting and listen to the stories of the attendees. Talk with members after the meeting, sharing your questions and concerns, take program literature home with you to study. Retun to the same meeting next week or choose another where you are comfortable. Slowly, some of your questions will be answered and the ideas less overwhelming. Reading my book "It's Okay To Be Dumfounded, Just Don't Stay That Way" From Co-Addicfion, Addiction to Recovery may provide answers also as I wrote it following the step by step process I took seeking help for myself, finding that help and reaching the recovery I so desperately wanted formyself, my husband and my family.
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5:43 AM on October 12, 2013 
cairnsjudo says...
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

Thank you for allowing your inspirational story to come to light.
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5:49 AM on October 12, 2013 
cairnsjudo says...
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

Thank you for allowing your inspirational story to come to light.
Reply Addie Lee
7:57 AM on October 12, 2013 
cairnsjudo says...
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

I am glad my story was helpful to you. That is my provide new information on co-addiction, addiction and recovery which will open the door to strength and hope and testimony to the fact that there is recovery from these conditions. People who are carrying the burden of addiction can have that load lifted if they seek help and do whatever it takes to live a healthy life free from addiction. Commitment is the key. Good Karma!