Recovery is possible for all addict / alcoholics

Mistakes families make with their Addict/Alcoholic Child

Choosing the right treatment makes the difference between success & failure

most addicts relapse after treatment because they didn't get what they needed from a short-term program

For lasting recovery that helps the whole family
Ph 405-248-2124
faith-based residential treatment / Out-Patient / On-line
Addictions - Alcoholism - Behavioral - Mental health

Until real change occurs, the addict/alcoholic will still think & act the same way.

This is the point of needing to 'change'. So the person may recover, learn news of thinking, new ways of handling their life-situations.

Think about this for a moment, when a person seeks out recovery they still possess all the characteristics they did during their drinking /dysfunctional days.

So, just because the person desires a change, doesn't mean that they ARE changed... at least not yet.

Easy for families to believe that because their loved-one is sober they must be a different person

... not so fast

And, so it with every addict/alcoholic, once their recovery process has begun, they still bring to the table all the defects that keep them sick, such as;

  • Wanting their new life now with as little effort as possible
  • Attitude of elitism- "I'm not like these people"
  • Expecting quick fixes & giving only half-measures
These characteristics, and more, will all come out in the early process of recovery, and it's important that they do so they can be addressed and redirected.

I have observed and documented the specifics of this early-recovery behavior over an 18 year period, and can tell you, every addict/alcoholic exhibits these traits, some more than others, but everyone does them on their road to recovery.

The only one's who fail on this recovery road are the one's who are able to manipulate their families into believing the lies, who then rescue their adult-child from what should've been a life-changing experience.

Please don't make this mistake!
Keeping reading until you reach the PHASE ONE, TWO

What you're about to read

s an exact process that every Addict/Alcoholic goes through in their journey for change

Why it goes wrong and how to change it!

You will learn why the Addict/Alcoholic fails time & time again.

How short-term drug treatments actually enable the addiction- process with 30-day revolving doors... Leaving just enough time to feel better without solidifying anything.

The development of Addiction is predictable

Which means...

Recovery is also predictable & possible for every Addict/Alcoholic

Every Addict/Alcoholic wants their family to believe they are unique. That they require a 'special' solution.

Masters of Manipulation

When families believe this 'special' solution-idea it keeps everyone confused every time it fails.

  • "I'm not like these people, I just need a new car, new job, new apartment, new bank card, etc..."
  • "I'm done with drinking & using - I just need to get back to work"
Focusing on changing external things are not real recovery solutions, they will not change an Addict/Alcoholics.

It doesn't work for Cancer patients and it won't work for Addict/Alcoholics.

Qualifications for some tough-talk

I'm the Co-founder and Director of Justin's Lighthouse residential recovery program for the past 18years. Our program has worked with 1000's of addicts, alcoholics, and their families.

I have a front-row seat to exactly how addicts behave in resistance to the process of change (early recovery), and the families who continue to enable them, even though they don't think they do.

When parents say; "Oh, we don't give them money, anymore" this does not constitute breaking free from codependency.

Codependency also comes in the form of emotional rescuing, which can be just as destructive for the Addict.

Catering to feelings keeps expectations low

Agreeing with them when they make poor choices, in favor of their feelings is like giving the Addict permissions to violate their values and break whatever responsibility they were supposed to live up to.

If the Addict can convince their family that they are the 'victim of an injustice' and cause the family to jump onto their side of the fight (when none exists), then the Addict has successfully manipulated, once again!

The 'Fight' is actually defined as 'R.E.S.P.O.N.S.I.B.I.L.I.T.Y' in which the addict is merely attempting to avoid.

Hey, it's worked in the past and the Addict won't stop this behavior until they start getting different responses.

More about me...

I am also a recovering addict, with a brother who died in his addiction.

The son of an alcoholic father, and, the son of a heart-broken Mama-Bear who never stopped saying; "I wish I had said; 'No' more often", regarding my younger brother, until the day she died.

My professional credentials include various degrees, including, a PhD in behavioral sciences (emphasis: Adolescent behavior), as well as certifications from the state dept. of mental health & substance-abuse, plus, commendations for services specifically for Justin's Lighthouse.

A wealth of knowledge and experience
I have personally been on every side of this disease and want you to benefit from my experiences.

I come from a place of love and genuine concern for your family.

Some of things you will read will be hard to hear.

The truth isn't always pleasant.

Please keep this in mind, if your adult-child was dying from cancer you would read every word and follow every instruction...

Now, apply that same logic to Addiction because that's what's happening - your adult-child is dying in their addiction...

There is so much hope!

Because recovery is not a 'maybe'-thing!
Every person who has ever completed the Justin's Lighthouse program has maintained sobriety and lives a productive life.

We have seen some failures with one common denominator...
When Families fall for the Phase 2 Crisis Building and rescue their adult-child, the Addict has always and will always relapse.

When families trust us in this process and follow our instructions, their Adult-Child always gets better...

It's not rocket science or magic potions, it's addiction science!
You will learn about all these things when you enroll in Justin's lighthouse

Let's begin the journey of every Addict/Alcoholic as they seek out recovery

They want recovery, but will always default back to resistance because that's what's programmed and conditioned.

The solution lies in breaking the conditioning


Phase One

Beginning recovery/ Entering Treatment (The faking Phase / Go-along-to-get-along)

This phase is about pretending to have it all together - Can't show any weakness.

Superficial Characteristics

  • Try to show everyone how smart, funny, nice, and charming they are
  • Keep to themselves -don't make any waves
  • Need to be liked by everyone.
  • Act like they are open to learning but just for "show"
  • Apply all new information to "someone they know", but never self.
  • Tune out the core substance of critical information
  • Keep a mental running scorecard in their head of everyone else's defects (will use it in phase 2)
  • Pay lip-service, talk a good recovery game- w/out following any advice
  • Look good on outside, comply with basic rules (this is to avoid conflict, not actually do right)
  • Constantly thinking how different they are from others & really don't need much help
  • Begin to question if they really have any major problems
  • Believe they have a better way of doing things, but never talk about it (fear of conflict)
  • Believe they already "know everything" ("already been to rehab, already read big book")
  • Manipulate behavior to make it look like we are serious about recovery
  • Look at recovery as something to get through as quickly as possible
  • Constantly looking for fun or busy things to do (avoid slowing down & feeling)
  • Do absolute minimum to get by to avoid conflict
  • Resist getting honest with themselves but can tell you everything wrong with the world
  • Believe if they can "just get back to work", or, if their family would simply "get me an apartment"
  • All conversations are centered around getting or doing something, else (self-absorbed)
  • Very much disconnected from the seriousness of their problems
  • Hung-up on shortcuts, think they are too unique to establish any significant change
  • Do things they want to do well - Ignore important things,
  • Really believe they are doing everything they're supposed to be doing
  • Still being sneaky, manipulating their family, gossiping, criticizing those around them

Transition period

The superficiality of Phase One can continue up to 1-5 months.

Pretending to change. Trying to look good on the outside but not actually doing anything different.

Eventually, the pressure of living a double life builds until they can no longer suppress it. The resistance to change has become so great, they must either manipulate a rescue from their family or they will explode and gain a full release of emotions

(this is when real change begins).

If the family falls for these "perceived injustice claims" and rescues their adult-child, even if they simply sympathize with them by agreeing with the Addict in their "injustice" claims, the alcoholic/addict will relapse sooner or later.

These are the facts!

Without Change it's not possible to get different results!

The Addict/Alcoholic creates their own distress and chaos through "Crisis Building"

Crisis building is a technique that every Addict/Alcoholic has perfected as a method of manipulation.

The sole intent is to get what they and to avoid personal responsibility

Playing the victim of an Injustice is well-oiled tool for the Addict/Alcoholic.

Until the Family stops reacting to it and starts redirecting the Addict/Alcoholic back into their own personal responsibility for every situation, nothing will change.

The Chaos Continues!

When 'crisis building', the Addict/Alcoholic is not actually experiencing anything that others don't have to deal with.

The difference, however, is simply the Addict/Alcoholic has never applied skills towards problem-solving, but rather, only to avoid problems by seeking a rescue.

They have simply mastered the art of instant-gratification and impulsivity.

Crisis building has also become a tool-of-manipulation when seeking a rescue.

I'm sorry parents...

But, this has worked in the past and that's why the Addict/Alcoholic keeps using it.

Irresponsibility is literally killing the Addict/Alcoholic

Until the alcoholic/addict completes a real transformation, they will always default back to what they know during times of stress...Drinking & using!

Phase Two

Faking has run its course(typically by day 30-90)

  • Show more negative aspects of their personality -more defiant-more secretive
  • Openly displaying their discontent. Want everyone to know how turned-off they are
  • Elitism kicks-in, believe they are "too good" or "better-than"
  • Use the phone to complain to their families about how "tough" their situation is
  • Keep self-distracted with busyness, gossip, complaining
  • Slack on things they used to excel-at
  • Still haven't done anything significant towards their recovery
  • Seek-out allies to agree with them in their gossip (now a danger to group-mates)
  • Paint picture for their family that they are always a 'victim" of some injustice
  • "Nobody understands me",
  • Complaints & manipulation with their families increase. All conversations at this point are intended to invoke victim-hood- to get family to "rescue' them. (old technique but families fall for it)
  • Resistance to surrender is at all time high
  • Excuses are in full force; Complain-Complain-Complain / If only, If only, if only...
  • Anxiety is building, which causes cravings and irritability
  • No regard for how our behavior affects those around us.
  • Say "I'm not even thinking about drinking" (While secretly figuring out how to drink or use)
  • Tell families they are the "only one in rehab who takes it seriously, and therefore must be able to leave, at once!))
  • Become more demanding
  • Easily break commitments- Words have no meaning
  • The mental pressure is so great at this point IT'S ABOUT TO EXPLODE...



This is avoided when the Addict/Alcoholic believes that "if they run away" from any responsibility (including rehab) they aren't welcome at home, no more car payments, gift cards, rent, gas money, nothing!

If the family's words haven't had much meaning then the Addict/Alcoholic won't believe and will continue to test this

Solutions are coming, keep reading

In 18 years of working with Addicts and Families I have heard this statement a 1000 times...

"My parents don't really mean it. They seem serious but they always give-in. I'm just riding it out".

Families have to recondition the Addict's thinking. This takes time and requires guidance from professionals.

Justin's Lighthouse excels in working through this dynamic between families and the Addict.

Yes, there are loving ways to present boundaries, and when moderated with addiction professionals the chances of having a positive impact are far greater than if the family simply says; "you do this or we disown you!"

More Examples of Manipulation

These usually involve pulling on the heart strings of Mama-Bear.

We recommend Al-Anon to learn how to overcome enabling behaviors.

When enrolled at Justin's Lighthouse families are part of the process

  • "We never do any groups!",
  • "There's no food here"
  • "Nobody understands me"
  • "My Counselor doesn't know what he's talking about"
  • "My roommate is so messy"
  • "I'm the only one who is serious"
  • "I'm doing great, everybody else is slacking"
  • "I just need to go home so I can fix all these problems"

What's happening in this manipulation scenario is the addict is trying to convey a picture of injustice and great discomfort. Can be physical or emotional.

This technique has worked for some time to trigger a quick, swift reaction of rescue by the family. Even an emotional rescue can keep the addict stuck.

Example of emotional rescuing

'Oh, you poor baby! - it sounds like people are being mean - doing you wrong" This affirms the addict's "victim-hood" status and is a good way to keep them from ever growing up.

Underneath the manipulation is really an effort to avoid personal responsibility.

Irresponsibility drives Addiction!

Healthy Family response
Instead of reacting to the Addicts emotions (attempt to manipulate), it's vital that families redirect the Addict back to the solution...

Such as, practicing the new coping skills they are being taught.

That's why they're in rehab!
They don't have a drug/alcohol problem, the Addict has an irresponsibility problem and drugs & alcohol is their way of coping

Redirect - Redirect - Redirect
"I'm really sorry, son/daughter, that you're having this experience.

What are you learning at rehab that would help YOU work through this problem?"

Remember, it's not a real problem. It's a manipulation to get family to rescue them, once again, so they can avoid having to continue in any serious work.

A re-directive response will begin to reprogram the Addict's brain that it's time to grow-up

This is key if lasting-recovery is ever to be achieved!

Phase 2 ends with an explosion or implosion

The level of intensity increases until they...

  • Run Away
  • Get Rescued by Family to resume their addiction
  • Sticks it out and has a break-through, a release of a lifetime of bitterness, anger, and self-centeredness

The chance for real-change increases exponentially if the Addict/Alcoholic is enrolled in a long-term program.

This crazy cycle will happen while they are still in rehab and most like push through it, as long as the family doesn't rescue them.

The Addict cannot believe for one second that you okay with them breaking yet another responsibility

And then, you better be willing to make your words have meaning and cut them off!

This could be the difference between them living or dying!

We're talking about Adult-Children, here...

Definition Of ADULT


Let's be honest, it's not easy growing up, and yes, there is absolutely genetic factors involved with Addiction and Alcoholism.

As result of poor coping skills and immaturity, the addiction is manifested through bad behavior. When the behavior is changed, the thinking will follow, which ultimately allows for the brain to heal.

New perspectives are gained, and self-esteem is developed

Families must stop rescuing bad behavior! Nobody has ever been comforted or nurtured into recovery. I'm not talking about "tough-love" either.

'Rescuing' is robbing the adult child of the opportunity to learn-HOW for them-self

The Addict/Alcoholic is very sick and needs to be treated as such

There are so many factors involved in achieving a genuine transformation that it rarely happens outside the realm of serious professional help.

Programs that have the expertise, knowledge of lived experienced, and understand the science of addiction, to truly have lasting impact
Now, for the moment of truth in every Addict's journey...

What Happens Next is Life & Death

This is the most crucial point in any addict/alcoholic's life.

This is that moment in life where the Addict must finally make a decision for themselves that could change the course of their life (if they choose right).

Usually what happens once the family stands firm, holds their ground by empathizing while redirecting the Addict/alcoholic has a break-through!

"We love you, but we aren't helping you self-destruct, anymore"

When this moment happens while still in treatment, the Addict/Alcoholic has the benefit of professionals to move Them through this period (while coordinating with the family)

Everybody stays on the same page, thus, moving the Addict into the 'right' lane, instead of their own impulses

Break-Through, Recovery continues!

Welcome to Phase Three!

When the real work begins!

Typically happens from 6-9 mos of sobriety

You can learn more about Phase 3 by enrolling in the Justin's Lighthouse recovery program

We teach families how to grow & heal!