Workshops to focus on cycle of addiction

Oxford Treatment Center
2017 Community Workshop Series
Second Quarter: Addiction & Relapse

Tupelo Outpatient Office
Thursday, June 1, 6-7:30 p.m.
Contact: Mark Russell, 662.679.0639

Olive Branch Outpatient Office
Thursday, June 8, 6-7:30 p.m.
Contact: Angela Quadrani, 901.484.1929

Oxford Outpatient Office
Thursday, June 22, 6-7:30 p.m.
Contact: Mark Russell, 662.679.0639

All workshops are free and open to the public

Chip Peterson clinical director for oxford treatment center

Chip Peterson, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, CADC

Oxford Treatment Center’s 2017 Community Workshop Series continues this summer, with Second Quarter talks focusing on the cycle of addiction and the role of denial.

Chip Peterson, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, CADC, will speak on the topic at all three of Oxford Treatment Center’s outpatient office locations.

“What we’ll be talking about gets to the heart of why an addict’s perspective can be very different from what we see from the outside,” said Peterson, Clinical Director for Oxford Treatment Center.

“Family members will often say, ‘Why can’t they see what’s going on? They’re ruining their life. They’ve lost these jobs and been to jail.’

A rational person would look at their life and say, ‘It’s not worth it to do this anymore.’ The answer is: They’re in denial about their disease.”

Peterson said denial is a natural defense mechanism that sets in when people violate their own value system, to help them cope with resulting negative feelings like guilt and isolation. For example, he said, a person in active addiction might value honesty and relationships, and yet steal money from a family member to buy drugs.

“As people continually use drugs and alcohol, and violate their value system over and over, the pool of negative feelings gets larger — and the system of denial also continues to grow,” he said. “That’s our main enemy when people come into treatment: They’re not able to see clearly what the disease of addiction has done in their life.”

Peterson’s experience at Oxford Treatment Center includes providing direct patient care in all clinical programs, as well as serving as a group facilitator in the Family Program.

The talks are geared for family members, friends, neighbors, pastors and mental health professionals, with opportunities to ask questions during and after.

“We will also talk about solutions for overcoming denial,” he said. “A large part of our focus in treatment is putting chinks in that armor of denial. But the family can also play an important role in helping a loved one break that cycle and get back on track.”

The Community Workshop Series is free of charge and refreshments will be provided. In addition to the workshops, Oxford Treatment Center’s outpatient offices also provide an ongoing free support group for those who have a loved one in addiction or recovery. Family Hope & Healing meets Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at all three outpatient offices.

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