Synopsis: Matt Finch interviews Jeff Jones of The Family Recovery Solution on how families can best help and support their loved ones facing a substance use disorder (with healthy boundaries and NO tough love tactics). This is the ultimate episode showcasing the power of family for addiction recovery (when family conditions are optimized).
About Jeff Jones & The Family Recovery Solution
Jeff Jones is a therapist, addiction counselor, interventionist, family coach, and creator of The Family Recovery Solution. Jeff loves guiding families towards their best solutions. His mission is to provide families, experiencing any stage of addiction, practical strategies that first, empower getting their loved one safe and second, rebuild connections.
Jeff is at his best when he is helping people open to new ways of thinking about addiction, specifically recognizing that the old way of thinking is not solving the problem, and realizing that strengthening the family’s role in solutions is a significant complement to current solutions.
Jeff teaches that the ultimate goal is for family members to share with other family members-a new conversation, where families get their loved one safe, while remaining connected over time (and with clear boundaries).
Counseling and addiction: working in private practice, agencies, and treatment centers.
- UCD-HSC, MA in Couples and Family Counseling — 2006
- Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado (LPC) — 2008
- Certified Addiction Counselor III in Colorado (CACIII) — 2008
Intervention and recovery coaching: working face to face, on the phone and online.
- Applying skills from numerous intervention trainings — 2010 to present
- Certified Intervention Professional — 2014 to present
- Recovery Coaching training — 2010 to present
Here are the main topics discussed in this episode:
- Why Jeff became an addiction professional
- Trauma in the family growing up and how this shapes us
- How Jeff stopped his substance misuse and became passionate and fulfilled growing his new business
- Why Jeff focuses on “the whole family system” for addiction recovery
- Families of addicted loved ones often become overwhelmed and burnt out from helping and not seeing permanent positive change
- Why Jeff agrees with the definition of addiction formulated by Dr. Gabor Maté, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
- How family members can look for moments when they’re talking to the individual personhood of their loved one
- How family members can notice when they’re not talking to the personhood of their loved one, but rather “addiction”
- How families can have crucial conversations in a relaxed and loving state to get on the same page and actually make a positive difference
- The “shaming” language of traditional rehab and sober culture (eg words like addict, alcoholic, denial, enabling, codependency) and how Jeff saw this firsthand and often negatively impacted treatment outcomes
- How family members can create conditions for the addiction healing process of their loved one
- Why family members have so much power to influence addiction recovery success if they know what to do, what to say, and how to be
- How family members can look for signs of addiction in their loved ones and address these with them one-on-one or as a family, in a healthy and nonjudgmental manner
- Amino acid therapy for addiction recovery
- The importance of figuring out each family member’s “belief system” in regards to addiction and treatment
- Why Jeff encourages family members to view their loved one as “an individual that has an addiction” vs viewing them as an “ADDICT” – addiction is a disorder while the word addict refers to an identity
- How people with certain genetic heritage have been shown to be more prone to depression, anxiety, and alcohol use disorder
- How Jeff helps families through virtual coaching
Learn more about Jeff Jones:
Speaker 1 (00:00:02): I really like to help families. And you know, the individual with addiction understand there's addiction. And there's the personhood of my loved one's own individual person. There's both. And for family members to thin their thinking, their mindset, their understanding to be able to separate this in their mind when they can do that, they're less likely going to try to talk to their loved one and assume that they're talking to the person hood of their loved one. I always say, assume you're talking to addiction. I really see family change as a significant piece. That's missing to increase the statistics of addiction that we have right now.
Speaker 2 (00:00:56): Thanks for tuning into the elevation recovery podcast. Your hub for addiction, recovery strategies hosted by Chris Scott and Matt bench.
Speaker 3 (00:01:07): This is episode one 70, I'm your host, Matt Finch. And today our featured guest is Jeff Jones is a therapist addiction, counselor interventionist, family coach, and the creator of the family recovery solution. Here's a direct quote from the about page of Jeff Jones website, the family recovery solution.com quote, culture enables addiction, but trickles down onto families mistakenly. They can feel at fault. In the 1980s therapy adopted the shaming language of codependency, reinforcing the blame of families, families doing their best and an untenable situation to help a loved one, struggling have been negatively labeled by professionals. Why then would families reach out to help a loved one when they risk being seen as the problem? The mixed messages I was familiar with growing up were playing out on a large scale in the culture families, our major stakeholders in the addiction crisis, families are in the best position to influence the solution, but carrying the cultural shame is an obstacle to their empowerment and coaching and a safe environment encourages the wisdom of the family to naturally emerge at its own pace. Jeff has a master's in couples and family counseling. He's a licensed professional counselor in Colorado, and he's a certified addiction counselor level three in Colorado, a certified intervention professional, and he's been recovery coaching from 2010 to present to help families learn the tools, information, and skills necessary to help their loved one recover. I had a really great time talking with Jeff. I think you're just going to love this conversation that we have without further ado. Let me now present you with today's featured guest Jeff Jones.
Speaker 1 (00:03:01): My approach is like, instead of just looking at the individual, um, I look at both the individual and the family and I've done some family stuff that, um, I think has been pretty unique and kind of walked people into more, you know, paying more attention to nutrition, just good food and, um, amino acids and kind of like, so the whole family can be healthier, you know,
Speaker 3 (00:03:37): The whole system. Yeah. Cause it is a system that the is part of their physical environment and it's part of their social environment. When did you, I always like to start off and then the conversation just goes in some of the most beautiful places, but I'd love to start off at how you came into this line of work. I love to hear about how people get interested in working with people. You know, most of us had a past with it, but certainly not everyone at all. Um, and so some of the, actually the most awesome addiction professionals I've met, never had an addiction before, but they just really know their stuff. So how did you come in to fall in love with this population?
Speaker 1 (00:04:21): Yeah, so, um, I assume this is part of our recorded conversation. So I'll just jump into that. Thanks for asking me that question because it's kind of an obvious thing. And so I became a therapist probably 15 or 16 years ago. And, um, I, at the end of that, I was like, wow, they're like, I've learned so much about so many different things. And you know, I really want to focus on one thing that I'm passionate about and really go into it. And, you know, I can't be a generalist. I, I can't like, I don't feel competent that I can do everything. And I love the idea of, um, collaborating with people that have other skills and forming a team around a family that wants change. So I dove deep into what was most passionate to me. And when I asked that question, what do I want to focus on?
Speaker 1 (00:05:34): As a therapist, I looked at my own family and, um, you know, in my family, my mother's father, my grandfather who showered more love and attention upon me than anybody in my whole life. Um, he was also the alcoholic and as a child of like seven, eight, nine years old, didn't really understand that he was an alcoholic. But what I understood is that he loved me unconditionally and I felt this and it just like changed my world. And, you know, I grew up in a family that like there was no substance use addiction. There was no big craziness, but there was trauma that my mom never spoke about between her and her father, my grandfather and my mom, because she never healed from that trauma. She created a system in her family that is very reminiscent of families with addiction. And so as I be like a therapist and I learned more and I worked in different places around addiction and I've, I started doing some, um, intervention.
Speaker 1 (00:06:52): I was a part of an intervention team with a nationally known intervention expert. And it was, it was a great opportunity, but I also saw patterns that, that bothered me, that I didn't like one pattern of what intervention is do that can potentially retraumatize the family. And then the other thing in working with families, I saw them doing, they like good natured families that really wanted to support their loved one and help them change. They didn't really know how to do that. And they were doing some of the same things over and over again. And it reminded me so much of my own family. I'm going, Oh my gosh, this and I saw for myself, you know, I have my drugs and alcohol years. And, um, and I got out of that largely by starting a business that I was passionate about through a lot of my focus into that, which one could easily transfer to work addiction, which I know is real.
Speaker 1 (00:07:59): Um, but anyhow, I, I did that and I really like after I sold that business and I took some time off in the middle of my life, I really got to see how I had limited a lot of my own kind of who I think I am and what I can do and my own behaviors. And I really saw how I had learned this in my own family. And like so many family members experienced what I experienced as a child and as a young adult and, and they probably experienced a lot more intensity of it. And I thought that decision, okay, we, we, we have to find a way to, you know, show people that this is not their fault. You know, that addiction in the family happens and it has an impact on people. And one of the biggest problems is I think our culture one enables addiction, but it also enables denial of impact.
Speaker 1 (00:09:10): And so an aisle of impact happens in families, just like it did with my mother, just like it did with me, you know? And so I have been on this mission to really, um, try to support families, to look through a new lens, see a new picture, you know, and to make new choices and to understand this is not their fault. Addiction is not their fault. They can't control it. You know, there's things that they can do to influence it for sure. But the, and they try to control it. And I understand why, but I really want families to know, you know, that this is not their fault. And I've had people say, Jeff, but families have done things that are their fault. That isn't really helpful. And I go, yeah, yeah, that's right. But when they did that, their nervous system was so jacked up, you know, that they felt they had absolutely no other choices. So in that moment, that was their best choice. So I am quite passionate about like a both and kind of focus with addiction, meaning the whole family system, but then the individual that has the, you know, the biggest problem, um, the, the, the addiction and there's been chaos and harm come out of that. And all kinds of behaviors that we know about that align with addiction
Speaker 3 (00:10:52): When there's resentment from the, from the family members who are seeing this behavior and thinking, because their behavior may be bad, that they're a bad person when really their brain is just so wired now for the drugs that it's, the brain is the controlling, what they're doing in there. It's so hard for them to stop with the broken disabled prefrontal cortex. So, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm understanding that you help, not only the, the main client, but also the family to understand addiction, the holistic aspect of it, the family aspect of it, the environmental, all that. So you help them understand addiction, what their roles are in it, the things that they might've been doing that are prolonged in the addiction, the ideas and beliefs they have, how it's my fault, or what am I, what can I do differently to fix them?
Speaker 3 (00:11:48): So you help to enhance their knowledge because when people don't know about addiction, it is very, it's hard to overcome when you do know yourself, when you do know about addiction, but most people are so ignorant. They don't know about addiction. The families don't know the person doesn't know, and they're just struggling. So it's just a big mess. And it's sad too, because the way I think about it is all the people that are addicted to alcohol and opioids. That's like in America alone, that's a huge percentage of the population. So I'm just thinking in a numbers way, look at all the, the workforce, the people that could be building businesses like you did. And people, the people that could be writing, wonderful books, um, contributing to the country and everything. But a lot of the country is sick and it's due to the ignorance.
Speaker 3 (00:12:42): You're talking about the stigma and people not addressing the whole family with when I coach people, whenever even one family member gets involved, whether it's a spouse or a parent, um, sometimes a sibling that I'm sure you've experienced this too. It exponentially increases success rates when the family is in, they have their role, they're supportive, compassionate, and they, you know, it's like, so talk about, talk about that. When, what are some of the things that you've seen regarding people coming to you for the first time and being in a certain bad spot, and then through working with you through the, how does that whole system work?
Speaker 1 (00:13:22): Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you for the question. And it's, um, complicated, and it can be convoluted because when people come to me, they're at various stages. And, um, you know, generally what I've seen is, um, is that families call when they have tried and tried and tried for years, and there's been many different painful things happen, a lot of wounding, and there's been some people in the family that they have they're over, it, they've distanced themself. Um, they they've pulled away. Um, and so a lot of times, by the time families reach out there, they're just overwhelmed. They're burnt out. Or oftentimes one person in the family will have compassion, fatigue, you know, meaning we burn out and compassion, fatigue, compassion, fatigue is like, um, I can't stop trying to help, even though I tried and tried and tried and tried and tried, and nothing seems to be working, I just can't stop myself because I am so aware that my loved one could die or put themselves at more risk, more harm.
Speaker 1 (00:15:00): And so, so that's compassion, fatigue, where burnout is more like the ambivalence, like, Oh my God, we've been doing this over and over. And we've tried a, B and C and D and nothing's worked, and this is an impossible situation. And we just need to cut them off, you know, or the tough love kind of thinking. And, um, I'm, I'm not a big fan of the tough love kind of thinking, but when families come to me, one of the first things that I try to help them understand is that, you know, addiction in our culture has different definitions and it's confusing. And even addiction professionals are confused because there's different definitions. And like the, um, society of addiction medicine, the American, a, a Sam, they have one definition. A lot of the national organizations definition is, you know, it's chronic relapsing brain disease. Um, and, and th the, the definition that I really like comes from Dr.
Speaker 1 (00:16:18): Gabor Montay, which is any, you know, behavior that initially brings pleasure or relief. And I do it over a long period of time. I, I crave it. I can't stop it and it creates harm. And so with that definition, I mean, I, I've kind of said this in like a room of people, like who could say that they've never been in that situation, you know, done a behavior that they do over and over again, it create some problems. They, they, they can't stop doing it. So it's like in that definition, there's nothing about substance use. So what I like about that definition is it kind of takes away the us, them the, in a, we, the family and you, the addicted individual kind of thing. And it's like, Hey, we're all in this together. And we all have ways to cope. So in working with families, one of the first things that I want to do is to help families understand that they're dealing, they're talking with, dealing with living with a family member, who they may feel as a stranger.
Speaker 1 (00:17:47): And, you know, one of the reasons why is because the brain impairment just what you said, you know? And so I really like to help families and, you know, the individual with addiction understand there's addiction. And there's the personhood of my loved one, or one's own individual personhood. There's both. And for family members to, in their thinking, their mindset, their understanding to be able to separate this in their mind, you know, there that when they can do that, they're not, they're less likely going to try to talk to their level, their loved one, and assume that they're talking to the personhood of their loved one. I always say, you know, assume you're talking to addiction. You know, I is it's, it's like, that is a small little thing, but it takes people a long time to really understand, you know, um, these two different things.
Speaker 1 (00:18:57): And like, if they are talking to addiction, they're going to use one strategy. They're going to know that, you know, there's a big potential for addiction to use them betray their trust lies, you know, dah, dah, dah, all the stuff we know about. And there are times there's moments when family members really get this. What I've seen is then they, they can look for the moments when they can connect with the personhood of their loved one. And I've, I've heard that happen. I mean, the majority of stuff I do right now is online. So I haven't seen that as much as I've heard that. Um, but when that happens, family members, they really feel that, that connection within themselves, that they have this thread of connection to their loved one. And it's like that, that they come alive with, with that. And it's the relationship families have leveraged with the relationship as like the Johann Hari video, you know, the opposite of addiction, isn't sobriety.
Speaker 1 (00:20:14): The opposite of addiction is connection. Well, so families, they are have a hundred percent ideally control over their own connection. That's their responsibility. So instead of trying to convince someone else to do something, I want them to do like, Hey, I want you to listen to me. I want you to connect with me. I want you to go to this treatment or that treatment or whatever. The first step is like, let's connect. And then actually that the first step for the family, like the family member or someone outside of addiction, or the individual with addiction, you know, the first step is I need to calm myself down. I need to breathe. Like I, if I go into a situation and I'm all activated and my nervous system is all jacked up and I'm in fight or flight, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to fight or flight kind of thing. And if I can call myself down. And so what I try to let family members know the first step is calm yourself down. Be clear about your mindset. You know, there's a good chance. You're going to be talked to addiction, not your loved one, your loved one may show up, and then you can go in. But until then, you know, you're in this polarized conversation with addiction.
Speaker 3 (00:21:46): That's really that I was really looking forward to this interview because given the length of time you've been doing this and given some of the mutual people, we know, I just knew I was going to learn some really cool stuff. I've never heard of anyone put it that way. And it kind of reminds me of thinking of it, like the archetype of an addict, right? The archetype of the addict. And when, when you get that they're lying, they're stealing, they're cheating, or, you know, you just can never trust them. But then there are those glimpses where you can really tell that's that person's that their true self that's and my, my co-hosts and I leave. And really don't like the words, addict and sobriety. And it's like addicts, addicts, and alcoholics, a bad enough word, but the word addict, right? Oh, it just sounds like there's more to this person than they're just an addict.
Speaker 3 (00:22:42): That is one that's namely, it's like naming them by the life issue they're currently experiencing right now that they haven't figured out how to handle. And this is very a topic I want to go into too, because it's easy for me to even think back to when I was like, my uncle was an alcoholic and a drug addict back then, right. He was a person that came back from Vietnam after getting dear John's, as soon as he got to Vietnam, dear John, and you know, what the people went through back then. So he came back, he was just totally addicted to heroin and everything. This guy had mental health and substance use disorders. Uh, co-morbidities hardcore died, died in a dirty hotel room with a needle, stuck in his arm with the overdose when he was 40 years old. And the last time I saw him, we had my dad and I had taken him out to lunch.
Speaker 3 (00:23:36): It was my dad's brother. I was 13. We went to a taco shop and the way he was eating this bean tostada with, he was just like Barbara. It was totally disgusting. I felt really embarrassed. And I judged him like what a pathetic, not knowing any of the stuff that he had gone through. Yeah. Then all of a sudden I was that same person with mental health and alcohol. And there were lots of people, even friends and family that were looking at me just like that. Like, man, what is he doing? He's such an idiot. Even after I cleaned my stuff up and became a counselor, started working at an opioid treatment program, you know, six months a year into working there. And I'm looking at these, some of these people and I'm even noticing myself, not really like, well, yeah, I was judging them.
Speaker 3 (00:24:27): I was going, Oh man. And I used to be worse than most of those people. So I had to catch myself real quick, doing that. Even someone that's a certified drug and alcohol counselor, I noticed myself looking at their behaviors and listening to the lies and starting to think that was them. But it was me talking and looking at addiction. Like you said, when I love that to be able to teach families that, because that one tip that you've provided alone can be very helpful as well as having conversations when you're in a parasympathetic nervous system response, rather than the fight or flight to where your adrenaline cortisol, uh, is nor adrenaline's going crazy. So you're arguing, you're defensive, you're attacking, uh, you don't want to hear the other person, but from a heart-centered relaxed place. Uh, it reminds me of this one great book called crucial conversations. Um, had really good tips on, on there. You've probably, that's probably a pretty common one for therapists to, but, um, yeah, your turn. So I don't want to take too much time. I want to know.
Speaker 1 (00:25:32): Yeah. Well, Matt, I love what you're saying here. One, you, you, you first started talking about the addiction language and I, you know, I it's, it's like for me, a lot of the addiction language and addiction language in treatment centers with addiction professionals, you know, like, which I know is changing, it's slow, but it's still pretty shaming language, you know? And like what you were saying about like, just calling someone an addict. And they're more than that. And I know people in AA, I have friends who are AA people and love AA, and it's like been in it for years. And they have like, when they say, hi, my name is Jeff. I'm an alcoholic, or I'm an addict or something like that. I think that's like a reminder to them of that part of themselves that can sabotage them in a heartbeat. And so that's how it's helpful.
Speaker 1 (00:26:41): But on the front front end, meaning before people acknowledge their relationship with addiction, it feels shaming. And I feel like I'm shaming someone else if I call them an addict. So I always use the word individual with addiction kind of thing. And I know for family members and I've, I've worked in treatment centers where I'm doing a little family group and I'm being asked to like, I'm, I'm going well, what do you want me to focus on? And they'd just go, Oh, codependency or enabling and, you know, and have like handouts and worksheets and stuff like, like that. And I watched what people did when they would receive this language or this worksheet. And it's like, what they would do is they would lean back arms fold, and they just kind of listen with a slight nod. And the subtext there is I'll listen to you as long as you have my loved one, but as soon as they get out, we're done here.
Speaker 1 (00:27:50): You know? So that was not building connection, building relationship. The F the family didn't have ongoing support. And then the family needs ongoing support because, you know, they, if they end up using the same behaviors, the same kind of relational behaviors after their loved one gets out of treatment that they were doing before their loved one went to treatment. That is going to be a problem that is going to encourage their loved one, who just learned these new skills and best case scenario. They want to come back and really practice and integrate and use these skills every day in their life. You know, it's going to be harder for them to do that with the same kind of relational dynamics of family members. So what ends up happening is, um, higher relapse rates, more conflict conversations, no method of communication to heal and repair old wounds.
Speaker 1 (00:29:03): And for children that grow up in systems like that, they end up kind of carrying those behaviors into their adulthood, just like I did, you know, um, and then they create their own family and the potential for them to do that over again. So I, I really see the family change as a significant piece. That's missing to increase the, or improve the statistics of addiction that we have. Right. I mean, a couple years ago, when I'd be talking about this, it was like 150 people a day die, you know, because of an addiction related situation, you know, 150 people they die. That's like, in my mind, that's a lot, you know, and if family
Speaker 3 (00:30:06): And you're not talking about overdose, right, this is something different than overdoses. No, this is, this is just
Speaker 1 (00:30:14): People dying from addiction. And this was a statistic that I got from, um, facing addiction. Um, I think it was facing addiction.org, which that organization has split off for the funds kind of went somewhere else, or that organization may not even be happening anymore. But the point that I'm trying to make is the statistics of the amount of people that die every day from addiction could be improved. When family members have an understanding of what they can do to create conditions in their family that are going to be more in alignment with their goals, or another way to say it is create conditions in the family that are in hospitable, the active addiction, you know, and so all families have a different way of being a family together. And just because one person has addiction and they go through a healing process where they go to a treatment center or not, you know, they go through a healing process.
Speaker 1 (00:31:26): Um, it's like everyone, ideally everyone changes. And if they don't, um, then those statistics of that I quoted like from a couple years ago, 150 plus people a day dying. They're not going to change because when we look at them to change, we look at government like more funding needs to go here. More funding needs. Of course, that's important, you know, but for family members to really see that they have some power here and family members actually working together in a community, um, and, and, and understanding that they're not alone, you know, that they're in there with like-minded people who can empathize with them. That is, is my vision. You know, I, I tried doing that several years ago. I was a little premature, um, because not enough people, like I lost money on it. I, I like, uh, w what is it? Um, you know, build it and they will come kind of thing. Well, that didn't. So I learned some things, but I still think that's a beautiful vision, and I think it can happen.
Speaker 3 (00:32:49): Uh, I want to share a quick story. That's totally about this topic, because I think it'll help to fuse it together and help people that are listening. Get a good example, because this is really the family aspect. So in my own experience, 17 years, total of addiction, whether it was cannabis or alcohol or opioids or benzos, I went through a lot of different addictions. And whenever I was hiding it from my family, I could never do it when I was hiding it from my girl. I'll do the last two years of my addiction. I was hiding it from my girlfriend, that I was living with an upstate New York. I was taking Oxycontin and all sorts of other pills. Sometimes I was snorting Suboxone, back then they had tablets. You could snort it. So I was hiding it from her. I was hiding it from some of my friends, definitely that I was taking it daily.
Speaker 3 (00:33:43): No one knew I was taking opioids daily. And so my girlfriend didn't know, my parents didn't know, no one knew I was addicted. People knew, everyone knew I took pills, time to time. And then moving back to California from upstate New York, I was living with my parents and I was doing heroin. I was stealing my mom's jewelry. And I was asking, I needed money to pay a certain bill or something and, or asking for money for gas. And I was going to buy half grams or grams of heroin. And I was smoking the heroin and I had a year and a half year old Todd little daughter, baby toddler. Some of the time I was taking care of her. So just totally. And they didn't even know. They started to look at my behavior going, something is not right, but you know, that, that addict psyche, the addiction, the, the, the archetype of the addiction was so strongly, hardly ever talked to me.
Speaker 3 (00:34:37): And it was that person was running the show because I didn't want to get sick and go through withdrawal. So no matter how much I hit it, hiding it from people due to shame and maybe not really wanting to quit, that just prolonged it for years and years and years. And it just, I lost, you know, molars and I law, and I was, had horrible credit. I've made my life goes so downhill for so long. It was only when I was passed out on my parents' couch, in the living room that my dad went over to my cell phone, opened it up. Cause you know, he was like, something's going on? And they, they knew, found out that I was, uh, on heroin and stuff and like, Oh my gosh, I saw texts between my heroin dealer. And I, and that right there was, it was, it was not much longer after that, that I became totally off because not only their compassion, their support, but also they had leverage.
Speaker 3 (00:35:30): I didn't have a job. I didn't have a place to live. They could call CPS on me. They could kick me out, could get cus they had the power. Finally. They never had it before. Um, they had so much leverage over me, but it was mixed with understanding, love, compassion, and biochemical restoration. Another family member, uh, sent me a bunch of supplements with, um, things to rebuild GABA, dopamine endorphin. So it was the combination of my family's love and the leverage they had against me, their rules with another family members, uh, nutrient support to help me rebuild those brain chemicals. And that was finally it. And then fitness. So fitness, faith and family, too many people don't tell their families until it's too late. You know, it's like the earlier someone tells someone the less, they're going to feel guilty about it because that, that deep guilt and shame from hiding it from your girlfriend or your spouse or your parents. Um, that just for me, that just propelled the addiction, the shame, the stigma, the, the, just all the guilt from the things that I did. And ah, so I think families, one of the most important topics, uh, along with biochemical desperation, you know, powerful combination and a lot of people don't use either one of those family or biochemical repair.
Speaker 1 (00:36:55): Right. That's true. I love the story that you just told there. And, you know, um, specifically like I, early on in the story, I think I heard you saying that your family was starting to get a little bit aware. Something was off and they didn't really know. And you know, I think that's it. I mean, I, and I'm ideally I think that is a great time for family members to be proactive and to use what you just said there about love and compassion, to be curious and ask questions, questions about like, Hey, I see you struggling over there. Something doesn't look right. Or, you know, your eyes are red or you, like, we used to do this thing together. We used to have this hobby together. We used to have these kinds of conversations and we haven't had that for a long time and I'm really aware of it.
Speaker 1 (00:38:00): And, and the piece that I really want to emphasize there for family members is to, is to emphasize the loss, the loss, they feel about the relationship with their loved one. But like going back to your story, I think it's beautiful that your dad, like when your dad did notice he got it, he talked to you with love and compassion and then another family member had the, the biochemical repair or kind of understanding to plant that, to eat or open up that pathway for you. And, you know, the, the biochemical piece of this, I think he's is really huge because that's like with normal addiction professionals, that's not the normal way to look at it. The normal way to look at it is just, you know, go to AA meetings every day. If you feel like you're struggling go twice a day, you know? Um, and, and AA is like, there's a lot of beautiful things that I love about AA.
Speaker 1 (00:39:13): Um, like it's all over the world and stuff like that. But AA meetings from a biochemical repair kind of standpoint, um, what I've observed is like, they it's, it's, it's like the message is we don't drink alcohol here, but Hey, do you got any smokes? Do you know, there's some, there's a bowl of jolly ranchers over in this corner. And in this corner, there's a bunch of coffee and help yourself. And so, as we all know, you know, sugar and caffeine and nicotine, they feed those same pathways that, you know, the addiction kind of has exploited over and over and over again. And for someone to not use, they're going to be struggling inside, you know, and like I've heard AA sponsors say, you know, if you ever feel like relapse, if you got to relapse, you know, just have jolly ranchers in your pocket or something like that and have a couple.
Speaker 1 (00:40:18): And that helps. And it does, you know, boom. Um, but so does glutamine having some glutamine in your pocket and opening the capsule and putting it on your tongue, and that will stop a craving in a pretty quick amount of time. So there's a lot of, um, natural amino acids that can really help rebuild the nutrients in the body that the body needs to make the neuro make the brain chemicals that have been depleted by whatever addiction and in the work that you do. I'm just like learning about that. But I assume that's a big part of what you do as well.
Speaker 3 (00:41:08): Yeah. And I had a visual that was pretty profound and potentially could help a lot of people if implemented, I'm thinking like, wait a second. What if they made a new and updated version edition of the big book? Because the founders, bill and Bob, they even did studies on things like hypoglycemia and niacin. And so I wonder if they will be laughing in their graves or crying in their graves that in their test, they all their tests revealed about 90% of the people they tested that were had alcohol use disorder were all hypoglycemic 90%, huh? There might be a, uh, certainly a correlation, but is it a causation? So they were studying this stuff. And then when you go to most AA meetings, they have the simple sugars, the white flour cakes and cookies and cupcakes, and they have the cheap coffee with the chemical creamer and they have cigarettes and vaporizers.
Speaker 3 (00:42:10): So all of these things, exacerbate hypoglycemia and keep hypoglycemia alive. If you're smoking, drinking coffee and eating sweets, you're going to be hypoglycemic and you're going to crave alcohol. And if you do drink the alcohol hypoglycemic, it's going to make you feel great. And you're not going to want to stop because it'll just make you go into a huge fear and stress. So what if they exp what if they get a new edition of the big book and the one for any and all of them, but just to have one little chapter on hypoglycemia, amino acid therapy just mean it could be a 10, 15 page chapter, just put that in there. And that's part of maybe like the first step is admitting you're powerless, you know, maybe step three, step four. After turning your life over to God is came to believe that nutrient repair would help to restore our brain and get, be a good, uh, holistic piece to do, to add to the tr uh, the AA meetings, you
Speaker 1 (00:43:06): Know, the
Speaker 3 (00:43:08): Connection to spirituality. Like I used to, you know, there were some good, really good ones that I went to. I met a lot of great people. It wasn't a place that intuitively I felt I was supposed to be at forever. And I always knew from the beginning, there had to be something else. They kept telling me it was the only way to do life when you were as bad off as I was. I didn't believe that. Not from the very beginning, despite my parents, my mom telling me a bunch, you got to go to eight. Cause her, her father did. And that's the only way he could quit. So the amount of information I got that was all telling me, if you don't stay really close to this program, your, your life's never going to be good. You're going to die. So it wasn't something that I want to do forever, but I learned a lot from that and it did help me and I am glad it's there.
Speaker 3 (00:43:54): And I think it's wonderful, but I do think that it's a little bit too little bit too dogmatize and kind of cultish certain people, not the program necessarily, but just certain people that have kind of embedded the teachings from the book as kind of like a part of their ego to where, if you, if you say things that you don't like about the program, they feel like you're attacking them. And so they get, you know, so it's, but I think it's wonderful. It could be improved maybe, maybe one day at, well, that would be fantastic.
Speaker 1 (00:44:28): Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I, I love what you're saying. And I think that could be a wonderful, wonderful addition to like the big book, because AA is already so global around the world. And I mean, just in the County that I live in, this was probably three or four years ago. It was like 170 AA meetings that happened every in the County, you know, and that's, that's like, that's a really big deal. And some of them are, you know, a lot of the AA meetings are very specific to one kind of addiction or one population. Um, so not every day a meeting is going to fit for everyone, but the idea, like, I love your idea of this kind of, you know, Adam, another chapter in that fourth step or something, you know, kind of
Speaker 3 (00:45:30): We're in 2021 with the amount of advances in neuroscience and health and wellness and addiction, you know, they can incorporate some of those new things.
Speaker 1 (00:45:43): Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 3 (00:45:45): And San Diego, there's tons too. I live in San Diego, California AA is, I'm not sure the status now. They might be doing them in person again, because, uh, the governor recently started to loosen up restrictions. He had, like, we had over, I guess there was over a million signatures to recall them. So he's like, okay, I better open the state, but yeah, here, there's probably hundreds and hundreds in San Diego County. There's probably several hundred meetings. That's a pretty happening place, you know, lots of people with addictions in San Diego.
Speaker 1 (00:46:17): So, so one of the things that I see that under the conversation that we're having right now is, um, belief systems. What is your belief system? What is my belief system? Whoever's listening to this? What is their belief system? And chances are good. We're going to have a little bit different belief system and that's okay. You know, at least I think it's okay. I know in like I look at addiction as an addiction disruption sure. There's one person at the epicenter of that disruption, but there's a bunch of people around that epicenter that have an impact, you know, and I really, um, I think it's worth really understanding that addiction has impacted the belief system of all of us and addiction. And I know, you know, this, but black and white thinking and rigid belief systems goes hand in hand with addiction. The more chaos and threat and danger goes up, the more black and white thinking happens.
Speaker 1 (00:47:36): And actually it's really necessary because it's like this is life and death. And we don't have time to think about the gray here. It's like make a decision and our bodies are designed to do that. You know, so, but I know a lot of times we don't really look at belief systems, you know, and, um, how the belief systems comes, our thinking and out of thinking comes, our actions are what we do. And that's why like before, when I was talking about separating addiction from the personhood of your loved one, that's, that's a belief, you know, because it challenges like, you know, thousands of years ago, the belief was that someone in addiction, they were possessed by the devil or something, you know? And then from there, I think the belief system went to, um, you know, like the morality conduct, but it's still, you know, like looking at that person as if they're deficient or a bad seed or, you know, that they're, they're, they're hopeless.
Speaker 1 (00:48:55): Um, and I don't see it that way. So I'm really trying to explore and understand, and with the families I work with to kind of help them see an expanded picture to where they can in their own time, start to question their thinking, their beliefs, you know, and I think it's like, it's a helpful thing for all of us to do really. Um, and I'm like what you said about the big book and putting biochemical repair in there. That's a belief system thing too. And, you know, in, so part of my belief is that, um, the biochemical repair is a whole different business model than pharmaceuticals. And, you know, just looking at addiction through a medical lens, um, because it's like that medical lens and pharmaceuticals, like the addiction industry, if I can call it, that kind of feeds the pharmaceutical industry and there's a kind of a systemic relationship there.
Speaker 1 (00:50:13): And so the biochemical thing flies in the face of that, you know, there's a lot of like when I talk to people, they're like, well, w where can I get these amino acids? And I'm going well, like everywhere, a health food store, you can get them from Amazon again. Yeah. So everywhere, exactly like what you said. So it's like, there's a number of different challenges going on here at the same time. And so I really try to encourage people to look at all these different factors that contribute, or as you were saying, the difference between correlation and causation and the difference between factors that contribute and just kind of saying that X equals Y this addiction is because of this kind of thing. When, in M in my mind, it's because a lot of different things,
Speaker 3 (00:51:18): So right. It's
Speaker 1 (00:51:19): Oh my gosh, it's incredibly nuanced. And when I'm working with families, they don't really want to hear this. They're just like, Jeff, tell us what to do. Just tell us what to do. And I'm like, well, you know, I could do that. Um, but if I tell you what to do, will you do it? So that's one question. And, and a lot of times it's like, well, if, if it, they don't say this, but this is kind of what I hear. If it aligns with my belief system, I'll do it. If it doesn't align with my belief system, I want to, and then whoever's trying to coach families, they get into this polarized thing. And you know, what I'm trying to do is to slow down and help family see this bigger picture. And when they do that, they can understand what's important to them.
Speaker 1 (00:52:11): And they can start making decisions that align with their belief systems. And like, not just do tough love because they're exhausted. And they had some friend who said, you got to do tough love, or it's never gonna work. You know? So you're, you're absolutely correct. It is incredibly nuanced here. There's a lot of different pieces and I'm, you know, really a big fan of kind of building teams of professionals around families that want to make change and even individuals that want to make change and having release of information signed. And, and yeah, so there there's, I think a lot can be done, but if we just expect that we need to wait till the right funding from government or something like that to really make change. My sense is we're going to wait a long time.
Speaker 3 (00:53:12): Yeah. Very long time. If you're waiting for the government, especially with, and you said this towards the beginning, too, things are moving in the right direction, but it's so slow. And in the meantime, while it's going, so people are suffering and you brought up a few things that are just my favorite topics, some of my favorite topics, belief, systems, and identity. And so for instance, I'll tell my clients are all write an article about it or something to where the people that believe that they can overcome addiction, and also believe that they, that they can make a really awesome life without the substance. Those are the ones that typically have higher chances than the ones that maybe they do believe they can do it, but, Oh, it's going to be so long and it's going to be so hard. And maybe they don't necessarily believe that they'll be able to have a great life without this certain substance, and then audition.
Speaker 3 (00:54:10): In addition to that, with identity, for some people going to the meetings and saying, hi, my name's Matt. And I'm an alcoholic, or Hey, Bob addict alcoholic for a lot of people, that's an empowering identity for them. Yeah. For me, it wasn't for me and empowering identity highs. My name's Matt. And if someone asks, I used to have a severe addiction for almost 20 years, but then I did a lot of work for many years. And now I'm, I'm not an addict. I'm an alcoholic. I overcame addiction, but I'd had workaholism and I had caffeine addiction. And I had to work through all those too. And I'm still a total work in progress, but I don't associate, I'm not an addict, but for some people, like you were saying, it helps hold that. So they remember one time at an AA meeting this guy, he was an old timer.
Speaker 3 (00:54:57): He was really cool, but he said that I got a broken thinker and I got a bro. I got it. It doesn't remember the bad times. I got a broken thinker that forgets all the bad stuff and tells me that I can drink. And this guy was just so cool. And it was just, you know, so for a lot of people that identity of alcoholic addict, even if they're 30, 40 years clean on the program, it's empowering for them, for them. It's so nuanced. And it's so person, family environment, specific belief system specific biochemical individuality specific. So when you go to the traditional treatment programs, they're like, Oh, Hey, here's your counselor. Here's the group. Here's the 12 step meetings. You got to do three of this. You got to get him signed off. You got to go see the psychiatrist to see if you need any medicine.
Speaker 3 (00:55:50): That's cookie cutter. What you and I are talking about is complete opposite of that cookie cutter or pretty cookie cutter versus so customized that the person needs a huge team to work with the family, to deal with the biochemical, find out what their genetics are like, what food allergies they have. I mean, you can get so specific and nuanced with this. So it's refreshing when I get to talk with people like that because you and I, obviously our belief systems, and so anyone that's associated with the Alliance of addiction solutions, I'm always knowing that that's going to be a conversation where we're going to have a lot of matching, uh, beliefs regarding traditional treatment and regarding addiction. But, and also I look forward to people that have been doing this for longer than me, because I always learned, I mean, you've been doing it longer. You've seen more, you've learned more, uh, it's just a time thing. And so, plus the way you think with your personality, the experiences you've had, I get to just absorb all this information and I get more tools in my repertoire. I hate that word, but this has been great. Where can people find you? Where can people learn more? Where can people hire you if they want to work with you?
Speaker 1 (00:57:08): Yeah. Yeah. So before I go into that, I want to go back to what you were saying about the biochemical thing with families and specifically, you know, families with Irish descent or Scandinavian descent or coastal Indian descent kind of thing, though, from my, and I learned this from Christina, Vasa lock in her course, but it's like people with that kind of heritage, they have this genetic imbalance from the gecko where they don't have enough GLA and they're in their system. And, you know, I, through, um, Joan, Matthew Larson's book, seven weeks to sobriety, I really saw how she lays out these different kinds of drinkers. And one of them is this, you know, person with a history of, of this and what I've done before. When I start to hear that as a family intervention is just suggest, um, or a Juul or evening Primrose oil, which has GLA in there and it's, and it's just like, Hey, we're going to do this as a family.
Speaker 1 (00:58:30): We're going to become healthier. That's what we want. That that's our family goal kind of thing. And when the body starts to get GLA, you know, they're going to want to drink less they're B because the alcohol is this quick solution for them. And it, it it's like if they don't have the alcohol, depression, depression, depression, depression, it just gets bigger and bigger. They have a little bit of alcohol at ma magically is gone, you know, and this is like this biochemical stuff it's real. And you know, it's a family intervention. It sounds so simple, but it's a different belief system. It's a different thought. Any, anyhow, I regress your question about where can people find me? So my website is www.thefamilyrecoverysolution.com. And I PR everything I've done for last year has been a hundred percent online. And what I love about online and I've been doing online for years is families don't live in, in the same area.
Speaker 1 (00:59:41): And it's a great thing to get families that live all over the place to be aligned with the same information, you know, for them to be able to ask questions, process it, understand it together. And then, um, kind of once they understand that, start to work with it and make decisions as a group based on common understanding. So there's a lot of wonderful things on the internet that I'm, that I love. Um, and so the website is one way for people to get ahold of me. And another would be my email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. That's another way. My phone number, um, (720) 314-3543 texts. Um, and so I am, you know, I have, like I said, I've been on this, this mission to, um, kind of bring forward more of a, both hand way of working with addiction, both and meaning with the family and the individual.
Speaker 1 (01:01:00): And I really like it when I can be in the family role. And there's someone else who's doing the individual work. And, you know, and I've done this with families where I'm playing both roles. And the one that I'm thinking of, you know, happened within the last several months, and I got the person off of heroin with, you know, this big D phenylalanine protocol. And, and this is what you did. So I would love to kind of have a relationship. Um, and I did this, I got the person off of heroin and I was working with them individually once their brain was functioning enough. Um, and I, and, and it's like, I ended up doing dual relationship consciously doing dual relationship. It eventually became a problem. You know, now th this young woman who got off a heroin, she no longer trusts me. Yeah. So it's like having someone like yourself who works with the individual and you build that rapport and they trust you, it's, it's, it's like, that's optimal. And I, so I'm learning, you know, and, and, and my own kind of temptation or impulse to want to help and help. And, Oh my God, we're so close. Like I fell in just like a lot of family members through. So yeah,
Speaker 3 (01:02:43): Sometimes it works too, but sometimes, sometimes it's what's needed, but sometimes it's not. And the only way to know that is to kind of flirt with it and then, but yeah, the teams, I love it. And well, you're also regarding your expertise, you took, uh, Christina vessel locks course on. So you're just from that your understanding of the biochemical aspect of not only addiction, but also recovery further, uh, kind of background specific things. Like I had never heard that about the Irish native American. I think you said Scandinavian. I have all of that in my genetics, all of it. And so, and so my family has been plagued for generations, with anxiety, depression, alcoholism, and even schizophrenia and stuff. And so when I took, started taking GLA, it was for dry skin. I had really bad dry skin. And I was like, looking for things.
Speaker 3 (01:03:40): I was like, this gamma linolenic acid I'll make a six. So I started to take that and my dry skin went away, but that was years before alcohol came so important stuff for people to know big time. You're a wealth of information. Thanks for, uh, telling my audience, all the wonderful things that you've gone through and all the tips for them and to the audience. If anyone is thinking about working with Jeff, learn more, I checked out his website and now I've talked to him personally, this is going to be someone that I'm going to be referring a lot, a lot of people to, uh, because we're like Kendra. I can tell that you're another one of the, like, you're, you're doing your own thing and your own place virtual, but now we're getting this kind of bigger, bigger and bigger groups. So where I have more referrals to give people and vice versa and get people directed to the right places, resources, whether it's free, or they want to spend a little money because certainly having more resources is always a bit more good. Resources is preferable to having little amount of resources, because then with the nuances and the customizations and the belief systems people will do what feels right for them, you know, not what the world's telling them, but thanks so much. Have a great one. We'll be talking again.
Speaker 1 (01:05:02): All right, Matt, thank you so much. I appreciate your inviting me.
Speaker 2 (01:05:17): [inaudible].
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