Essentials about Substance Use, Abuse, Addictions, Divorce, and Divorce Attorneys

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1 Essentials about Substance Use, Abuse, Addictions, Divorce, and Divorce Attorneys

2 Use, Abuse and Addiction Social use once in a while, take it or leave it, truly no big deal Abuse: Beginning to become habitual, look forward to it, really enjoy, take its presence in your life for granted, use more than need to. Addiction; Never intended to get there lose control, compulsion to use, continue to use in the face of negative effects

3 What Research Has Shown us Growing up in an alcoholic home or a home where there is drug addiction impacts everyone in the home. Addiction is called A Family Disease because it affects everyone in the home. Children s emotional, social and cognitive development can be impaired by stress which often accompanies the presence of addiction at home Betty Ford Institute, Children s Program

4 Addiction and Families Volumes have been written about the alcoholic home and the adult child of an alcoholic. These same issues are present for addiction in any form alcohol, recreational drugs, harder drugs, prescription drugs, and medical marijuana

5 Addiction and Domestic Law Attorneys If you are in a role that is going to impact the welfare of children, by giving advice to parents or fighting for a parent s parenting desires: Shouldn t you find out: 1) If your client and the children may be affected by this disease 2) How you can negotiate a settlement that has the best chances of helping everyone thrive?

6 3 Questions Addiction Specialists Want Answered 1. Has the person or does the person lose control once they begin using a substance (use more than they intend) 2. Does the person have a compulsion to use (justify their usage with a reason, excuse or explanation) Does the person continue to use in the face of negative effects or negative consequences (such as DUIs, accidents, missing work, missing children s events, domestic violence, etc.)

7 What to do with the Answers? If there are two or three yes responses to those main questions ask for a substance abuse evaluation. IF only one yes, may want to wait or ask the person if they are interested in learning more and refer to a CAC III for a screening and further assessment if indicated in the screening (based on being a genetic, progressive, disease)

8 The Disease of Addiction (Including Alcoholism and other Drugs) This is a relapseable, chronic, progressive, often fatal disease. Once you enter into the disease you are not able to go back to social usage. Hence the term recovering alcoholic rather than a recovered alcoholic Thus a thorough evaluation is needed if you suspect the disease may be present

9 What we Know in the Field There are more people becoming addicted to pain medications originally prescribed by a (well meaning) doctor. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise Prescription based drug addiction can be harmful to children when a parent: a) drives impaired, b) makes decisions in an impaired state, c) is emotionally and/or physically absent due to prescription drug abuse

10 Prescription Drug Abuse Continued The State Pharmacological website has an area where certain doctors and law enforcement personnel can look up a person s prescription history for a number of years to see if patterns of abuse exist. People have a different level of denial when they abuse prescriptions they have been prescribed for a perceived good reason.

11 Medical Marijuana Just because someone has a prescription for medical marijuana doesn t mean their use is needed, legitimate, or not affecting their children. Some research shows people will test impaired for driving up to 24 hours after smoking a social dose of marijuana implications for parents driving their children while smoking medical marijuana.

12 New Drugs to Watch Out for Synthetics and Over the Counter: K2 or Spice brands of synthetic cannabinoid. Liquid sprayed onto transport medium of anything. 3X 800 X the potency of THC. Sometime sold as aromatic incense Possibility of hallucination, decrease in body temperature, partial paralysis, temporary inability to feel pain, seizures, anxiety, agitation

13 K2, Spice Continued More intense, longer duration high Varying batch by batch to elude testing Spice is sold over the counter, in convenience stores, head shops, internet, truck stops, and smoke shops, hookah bars $20-60 for 1-3 grams or $2.00 a high lasting 6-8 hours Illegal in Colorado, not hard to get a hold of Very cheap, very good, very addictive

14 Synthetic Stimulants Bath Salts On par with Cocaine however more powerful than cocaine can snort it, smoke it, or shoot it Addiction similar to cocaine and Methamphetamine (Meth) Synthetics will be more dangerous for people Typically manufactured to be more potent to the brain All brain changes and physical changes more powerful e.g drug induced psychosis, heart attack, stroke

15 What to look for in a Substance Abuse Evaluator Do they have a strong background in substance abuse? Are they a CAC II or CAC III Certified Addictions Counselor Level II or III from the State of Colorado? Do they have experience doing substance abuse evaluations? Do they conduct a thorough interview? Do they use accepted paper pencil tests/instruments including screening and assessment instruments? Do they talk to ancillary sources? Do they write up their results? Can they make recommendations for treatment options if asked

16 What to Look for in an Evaluation Does it include relevant background information? Have they explained the instruments used and the results? Have they included ancillary source information? Have they looked at the big picture? Have you asked for recommendations based on the results of the evaluation?

17 Remember A substance abuse evaluator cannot make recommendations for parenting time because they have not conducted a thorough evaluation of all people involved. They can get in trouble with the State Regulatory Agency if they go there. They can only talk about the results of their substance abuse evaluation. They may be able to make recommendations for the form and duration of treatment and monitoring they would recommend; or they may come up with a number of options to discuss. They cannot predict a person s success. Nobody can. This is a chronic, progressive, relapseable, often fatal disease and you do not have to relapse.

18 I am available to Consult with you about your challenging or positional clients Work with your clients as a Divorce Coach: 1) helping them move through the divorce process 2) teaching communication, empathy, and compassion skills they can use with their children and the other parent 3) Deal with trauma issues the divorce triggers Family Therapy as needed Conduct Substance Abuse Evaluations Conduct interventions, individual and family treatment

19 Thank You! Joanne Baum, PhD., LCSW, CAC III Offices in Denver and Evergreen

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