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Rock Street, San Francisco

Cultures are diverse and changing; so has moral values shifted grounds in decades. Substance abuse, drug addiction and drinking problems crave the life of many people who walk on the street: we meet them at school, in the playground, at work, in the religious houses and even at home.

We are daily affected by the impact of the kind of life they have chosen for themselves. Whether by violence or diseases, we are touched by the feelings and repercussions of their infirmities. That can not be denied. And daily we face the cross before us to assist some of them turn a new leaf or join on their seats while they drink away their precious life.

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It is difficult to deny the ephemeral impacts of their choice of drugs or drinks, as they are driven away in awe of the moment by the impact of the substance on brain cells: they exit our world and enter a new one with friends and folks on familial soil, engaging in acts of pleasure and relaxation. There, the brain catches the glimpse of every event with utmost dignity and intense concentration. That is the kind of ‘enjoyment’ there. This is not an attempt to condemn Brenda or her friends. No, it is not. It is simply a way to lay the foundation for the seeming challenges underway for the unlocking of the potentials of my client.She has got a lot, and another opportunity steer her in the face to show her sobriety or choose otherwise.

Indeed, she has a choice to make: to join her friends or stick to her treatment plan in dignity. Here is where I come in. As a counselor to an alcoholic, I would see it first as a privilege to contribute to a life, to change the course of a journey towards a better direction and be a part of a conscious, self-determined decision to make a change: the change from drinking alcohol in excess to one of sobriety and solitude.It is important as a start point for us to create a good rapport/communication bridge so that we can interact freely and be able to discuss issues without suspicion. When this is achieved with informal exchange of ideas, then it becomes easy for me to begin business. First, there are two things I would love to know: what is her level of intimacy with this couple friend, and the implication of turning down the invitation, in her own words? I would be particularly interested in hearing her challenge the way she understands and sees it. She needs to say what she sees in the present challenge.

I also want to know the readiness on her path to continue the treatment plan or not. I would reiterate in her ears the attendant problems of alcoholism such as: hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, neurologic problems, cardiovascular disease, gastritis, and reproductive failures, among others. I would equally make her understand that I am ready to be the judge in the case but to guide towards an informed decision, which she would reach herself. In this case, she would not make a major life changing decision until she is a year into her program.The decision is to go there or not. The choice would be based on the implication of the decision on her current treatment. It is effective to stay away to reduce trigger, and avoid withdrawal symptoms.

She could also embark on the use of drugs to continue her program, such as Disulfiram (known as Antabuse) anti-alcohol, Clonidine: antihypertensive or Naltrexone: reduce cravings for alcohol. She also needs to incorporate into her treatment: Alcoholics Anonymous in her locality which we may know. It would be necessary to sign the form:Any discussion between _________ (the Counsellor) and ______ (the client) is of a general nature only. You should not rely on it as a substitute for treatment, aftercare, or other professional advice or treatment. Where I supply information on specific disease/recovery options, this does not constitute a recommendation. You should always seek advice from a qualified health care professional before deciding on making any life changing decisions, especially within the first year of recovery.

REFERENCE: Books recommended

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