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Am I an Alcoholic? – Defining a Drinking Problem
“Alcohol is the anaesthesia by which we endure the operation of life."  ~George Bernard Shaw ~ Those of us who love alcoholics do them a profound service if we can refrain from defining their problems for them and instead make a sincere effort to understand what is right about their alcohol use. Drinking is an adaptive behaviour. It came into being for the person as a solution to a problem and is serving a function for them…holding them together, making it bearable to live within their own skin, allowing them to keep going, providing relief of some sort. Unfortunately, it is...
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Embracing Discomfort Is Where The Recovery Gold Is
“This capacity leads us to the very heart of what makes recovery sustainable, and life worth living, because almost everything that human beings deeply crave lies on the other side of avoiding discomfort.” Very often, people come to treatment expecting to be fixed,…for all the struggle to just melt away and be replaced by an easy, comfortable life. Sounds great doesn’t it? Most human beings are partial to chasing this beautiful fantasy in some way, shape or form, particularly during times of struggle, but wouldn’t something incredibly vital be lost if we were ever granted such an instant miracle? Haven’t...
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Byron Private Attends Parliamentary Inquiry
Byron Private recently made a written submission to the NSW parliamentary inquiry into the provision of drug rehabilitation services in regional, rural and remote NSW. We were privileged to then be invited as one of just two private operators in our area to personally meet with the committee members and discuss our view. From a regulatory perspective, it was noted that the addiction treatment industry is largely unregulated.  The parliamentary committee took the time to understand Byron Private’s comprehensive governance model, including the participation of highly qualified professionals, adoption of international best practices, and voluntary attainment of ISO accreditation.  It...
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Facing Easter with an Eating Disorder
For many, Easter represents a time of connection with family and friends, enjoying a few too many Easter eggs and simply taking a break from our busy lives. For those however that are struggling with eating disorders it can be flavoured with intense fear and shame. I certainly was one of the latter, where every Easter I would end up in a vicious binge purge cycle that would take weeks sometimes months to come out of. No matter how much I tried to exert my willpower, set up a program of eating or tell myself I just wouldn’t, it would only...
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Who is Rehab For?
“I used to think a drug addict was someone who lived on the far edges of society, wild-eyed, shaven-headed and living in a filthy squat. Then I became one.” What kind of people go to rehab? Well, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Junkies and raging alcoholics, down-on-their-luck knockabouts, hotel-trashing musicians, disgraced footballers, celebrities who melt down in the overwhelm of their fame and fortune, ...the stereotypes abound, laced together by common assumptions about such people…that they are people with poor self-control, little will power or questionable moral values, people with deep-seated psychological issues, people who are somehow different from or...
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Disease vs Moral Model of Addiction
Considerable research has been conducted attempting to explain the causes of addiction in particular the arguments for both the medical and moral models of explaining addiction. The clear difference between these models are the causes they attribute to drug and alcohol abuse and the role of free will. A critical review of the literature for and against addiction as a personal choice versus a disease model one concludes that discourses on addiction and applied treatment are often influenced by what is funding them. It excludes the complex interplay of the social and environmental history of the individual, their brain chemistry...
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Shame in the Addiction Process
Frequent connection is made between the role of shame in addiction, eating disorders and co-dependency. Maria’s article on shame and addiction highlights that when the cycle of addiction and self-loathing are acted out without awareness the cycle can never be changed. With overwhelming feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, or self-loathing individuals experiencing toxic shame are separated not only from others but also from themselves, unable to see through the persistent, debilitating and unconscious beliefs that only supports a spiral back into addiction and other maladaptive behaviours. Byron Private's Family Therapist and Constellation Facilitator Maria Dolenc highlights her experience and understanding of shame...
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