Helping Friends And Family Stay Sober
Nov 15, 2005, 21:29

(NAPSI)-Holidays can be stressful for all of us, especially people recovering from drug or alcohol dependence. They face special challenges, including the temptation to indulge at holiday parties, as well as the challenge to rekindle relationships and compassion with family members who may not understand their addiction.

"People in recovery may be left alone at the holidays," explains Dr. Leonardo Lado, an addiction psychiatrist in Miami, FL. "Sometimes their families don't want to see them because they do not understand the disease of addiction." But family members and friends can provide needed support during the holiday season.

Dr. Lado offers this advice for friends and family members:

• Reach out to the recovering person and let them know they are welcome.

• Avoid bringing attention to a friend's recovery or treating them differently.

• Be understanding if a recovering friend declines an invitation to join your party, where the temptation to indulge may make them uncomfortable.

• Instead, offer to celebrate the holidays with that person by meeting for coffee or desserts.

• Provide "safe" party alternatives such as non-alcoholic beverages.

"For the recovering person, being with family is a reminder of the good things to come from getting clean and sober," Dr. Lado explains. "They realize they don't have to get high to enjoy the holidays."

For those whose loved one is still dependent on drugs or alcohol, Dr. Lado offers this advice: "The best holiday gift you can give someone is to encourage them to seek treatment and accompany them to a treatment center." People dependent on drugs or alcohol have new hope due to the development of better treatments for addiction.

Dr. Lado provides innovative new medical treatments for alcohol, cocaine or methamphetamine dependence at The Village South treatment facility in Miami, FL. Called Prometa™, the treatments are designed to address the neurochemical imbalances in the brain that are caused by chronic substance abuse, and which are associated with the craving and compulsion that drives addicts to use.

"Addiction is a brain disease," Dr. Lado explained, "but until recently our medical options for treating the biology of addiction have been limited. New treatments such as Prometa allow us to target some of the underlying medical aspects of the disease." Even with the new treatment, individuals have the best chance of achieving sustained recovery through participation in counseling, group therapy, support groups or similar, ongoing activities that address the behavioral component of addiction. "Importantly, the treatment also includes nutritional supplements and provides that patients enroll in a recovery-oriented continuing care program, making Prometa a comprehensive approach to managing alcohol, cocaine or methamphetamine addiction."

"A great gift is to encourage a friend or a loved one to seek treatment," concluded Dr. Lado. "Realizing there is hope is the first step to getting your life back on track."

Only the treating physician can determine if Prometa is right for any individual. Prometa treatments are provided at substance treatment centers in many locations across the U.S. While the effectiveness of the Prometa treatment protocols has not yet been proven, clinical studies are underway.

For more information, call toll-free 866-514-1264 or go to www.

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