PROVIDING HOPE TO ADDICTS AND THEIR FAMILIES
With Candace Plattor
When it comes to addiction, is it helpful to let addicts and their families believe that they are powerless and have a disease?
In the episode, we talk with Candace Plattor who is offering addicts and their families hope by letting them know that they have the power to choose whether they want to continue in active addiction or not.
What’s Inspiring about Candace’s story?
“I was an opioid addict for 15 years, resulting from doctors’ prescriptions for Crohn’s Disease. I now have 31+ years clean and sober and I am an Addictions Therapist (for 28 years), working exclusively with families who are struggling with addiction. I am also a world-renowned speaker and the author of the award-winning book “Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself: The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction.” ~ Candace Plattor
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Candace’s Inspirational Quotes and Notes (paraphrased)
Candace was born in Brooklyn New York and moved around a lot when she was a child. She says when she found Vancouver she was home.
Candace’s parents were working all the time getting their Masters and Doctorate degrees and didn’t have much time for her brother and her. There was also some addiction issues and there were a number of ways in which her parents weren’t really present for her. She was a shy kid and having to be the new kid every year or two as her family moved around was really hard.
Candace decided to be a teacher and to be there for the kids who were having a hard time.
Eventually, she went into the counselling field. She had some counselling during her life and found it to be very helpful.
She worked in the Downtown Eastside Vancouver which is the poorest postal code in Canada. She worked there as an addictions counsellor for 16 years. This was after she had her own break down with addiction.
Candace developed Crohn’s disease and was prescribed opioids and addictive medications like Valium codeine and other oxys. She was on these for about 15 years until she hit bottom. She now has 31 years clean and sober.
Candace hit bottom 31 years ago when she started to think about killing herself. She got in touch with a suicide prevention place and ended up signing herself into a psych ward. She met some people there who were going to Narcotics Anonymous right across the street and she started going with them.
There were some really good things in NA, but the problem for Candace was saying that she was powerless. The problem was she had already made the choice that she was done with her addiction and that she was going to stop what she was doing.
Also in 12 Step Program’s they look at addiction as a disease. With Crohn’s Disease she can’t just say she’s not going to have it anymore, so she has a hard time saying that addiction is a disease because she believes that she can just let go of addiction and she can’t just let go of Crohn’s.
Now she works from a choice model. She believes we are not powerless or hopeless. We have a choice as to whether not we’re going to go into active recovery.
Not everyone agrees, but there are a lot of people who come to Candace because of the perspective that she has and the approach she takes.
When the pain of using becomes greater than the pain of not using, you stop using.
If you can look at what the addiction is doing to your body, if it means more to you to be healthy then to indulge in something that isn’t good for you then you will stop. If it doesn’t, then you won’t stop.
Whatever we can do to feel better about ourselves and make healthy choices, Candace thinks we should do that and she loves helping people do that.
Work your actions out to the logical conclusion.
Candace thinks inner child work is very important too because a lot of us are still wounded from things that took place when we were a child. We need to become our own parent and repair it ourselves. As a parent would you let your child eat a whole plate of cookies, or let your child stay up till two in the morning when you have to get up at six am?
We need to remember what felt good to us in a healthy way and go do that. And get some help if you need to in order to go do that.
We need to befriend ourselves. There are reasons why people become addicted and there are reasons why we hide from our pain. Candace doesn’t want to use those reasons anymore.
All kinds of drugs are being laced with fentanyl.
Candace wrote an article for the Huffington Post about the power of choice and not being powerless. She got a lot of pushback. The title was “What if addiction isn’t a disease? Within hours she had over 200 responses and a lot of them weren’t very kind. She was basically cyber-bullied and wasn’t sure that she would ever speak about the subject again.
Candace says it took her a little while to grow a thicker skin. Which she did. And she really strongly believes what she believes about addiction. She is now glad that that happened. Because it has made her stronger.
Some thoughts are that addiction is genetic or happens because of conditions in the home. Even if it is all of these things Candace says it’s a choice. Even if it’s genetic it’s still a choice. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.
Candace believes to tell an addict they are powerless is dangerous. She sees it as enabling and not as a loving act. Some families have a hard time believing that and like to argue for their limitations.
When Candace was in the first few years of her addiction she never thought that she could do anything to help the world. When she wrote her book, that all changed. She says addicts can change and can contribute in really positive ways to the world. We just have to help them get there.
Candace’s Get Inspired Action Challenge
If you are involved with an addict who still in addiction, love that person enough to do the right things for them. Stop enabling them. Stop arguing for their limitations. Stop believing that they can’t do this because they can. Stop believing that they are powerless because they aren’t.
Get In Touch With Candace
On October 20th, get inspired!
About Get Inspired Talks
The Get Inspired Talks Podcast is a series of interviews with thought-leaders and change makers who want to inform, inspire and activate humanity with their important message. The series will give you hope, uplift your mood, rejuvenate your spirits and activate you to address tough local and global challenges. At Get Inspired Talks we believe that it’s not information or inspiration that matters … it’s action. The Get Inspired Talks Podcast pairs information with inspiration to make action happen. Accordingly, the theme for every The Get Inspired Talks Podcast is “Inspiring Brave Actions”.