Addiction Recovery

7: Entitlement Complex of the Addict

November 27, 2023 Steven T. Ginsburg Season 1 Episode 7
Addiction Recovery
7: Entitlement Complex of the Addict
Show Notes Transcript

Ever wondered why addiction seems to create a universe with the suffering individual at its center? How devastating impact does the entitled behavior of these individuals have on the people and organizations around them? Join us in a riveting chat with Steven T Ginsburg, the founder of Restore Detox Centers, as we grapple with these and other pertinent questions. Steven enlightens us with his unique insights on how entitlement and enabling behavior contribute to addiction's devastating cycle. Be prepared to look at addiction recovery from a fresh perspective.

The episode is packed with rich anecdotes and powerful advice drawn from Steven's vast experience. We delve into the critical issue of how the sense of entitlement affects the effectiveness of treatment programs. Steven shares how they nurture and motivate patients at Restore Detox Centers to acknowledge their self-centered behavior, triggering a shift in their perspective. If you're seeking a deeper understanding of the complexities of addiction recovery or looking for effective ways to help a loved one in their recovery journey, this episode is a must-listen. Let's confront addiction together and inspire change!

Helpful Links:
Learn more about Restore Detox Centers
Filling the Void book by Steven T. Ginsburg
Overcoming the Fear and Lies of Addiction e-book
How to Love and Set Boundaries Without Enabling Addiction e-book
Call Us for Addiction Recovery:  1-800-982-5530

DISCLAIMER:

Welcome to the Addiction Recovery podcast, brought to you by Restore Detox Centers. We are dedicated to providing valuable and insightful information on addiction recovery. However, it is essential to understand that the content shared in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for individual circumstances. The topics discussed in this podcast are based on general knowledge and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice or treatment.

It is important to note that the views and opinions expressed by the podcast hosts, guests, or contributors are their own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Restore Detox Centers. We strongly advise listeners to consult with qualified professionals, such as addiction counselors, therapists, or medical practitioners, before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided in this podcast. Please be aware that listening to this podcast does not establish a client-provider relationship with Restore Detox Centers.

Steve Coughran:

This is the Addiction Recovery Podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Hey everybody, Welcome back to another episode of Addiction Recovery. I'm here with Steven and we're going to be talking about entitlement today. I know this is definitely a hot button for you, so, Steven, let's go ahead and jump right in.

Steven Ginsburg:

Absolutely. I really appreciate this. Obviously, when we are tackling relevant subjects to the solution, anything and everything we can cover is part of helping deliver people from addiction and alcoholism. I love it. Steven T Ginsburg.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, absolutely. Let me just share an observation with you, and then I want you to chime in from your background and your experience when I've worked with companies and I've turned them around in the past. Oftentimes I'll go into these companies and their cultures. They're being plagued, usually by one or a handful of individuals. The same thing I observe in families as well, where somebody's struggling with addiction and a family is suffering in so many different ways because that one person acts like they're at the center of the universe and it's just nothing else matters. Their behavior may be totally destructive to the rest of the family, but it doesn't seem like they care. Or maybe the drugs and alcohol have just taken over and now they're acting completely irrationally. Because I believe that people are good nature and I believe that people have good intentions. Talk a little bit about this, stephen. Let's kick things off with this idea, because are addicts just selfish people or are they blinded by just the drugs and alcohol? Share your experience in this regards with me, steven.

Steven Ginsburg:

Absolutely, and you are really hitting on an area that is an absolute button for myself, because, to your point, we see so much of this at Restore as we would and should, because it is a very large ingredient in the recipe, if you would, for addiction and alcoholism. Is this feeling and this philosophy of entitlement that active addicts and alcoholics can carry, and that is very often fostered from people in their lives who are enabling them, also a hot topic of mine. As you well know, people who are in active addiction and active alcoholism feel that they have a right to every resource imaginable, that they have a right to things being resolved for them by others, and feel that they have a right to be exempt from, whether it's rules of society, rules of a family or rules of an employer. They feel like they are inherently exempt and all of these elements funnel into this dark cloud of entitlement that just hovers over them as they are active in their addiction and alcoholism.

Steve Coughran:

Okay, let me ask you this Do you think drug and alcohol abuse starts with selfishness in this entitlement attitude, or is it something that evolves over time? Or is there any correlation to drug and alcohol abuse and this attitude of entitlement and selfishness?

Steven Ginsburg:

I believe there's an inherent relationship and I you know, when you look at the word disease. I like to break it down a little further and look at dis-ease, and part of that dis-ease is this remarkably selfish self-centeredness that, again, it's cultivated, it's fostered through the behavior and the conduct and others' needs and things other people would want, or or things where you would be acting in a cordial manner or a selfless manner, those very quickly go by the wayside so that the master of addiction and alcoholism can be and will be served.

Steve Coughran:

That's interesting, so let me ask you this then how does an addict's attitude of entitlement impact the recovery journey and the effectiveness of the treatment programs that you

Steven Ginsburg:

offer at Restore, steven T Ginsburg. It's one of the areas of opportunity where we have to have looked, first and foremost, in a loving and nurturing way. We've got to empower and equip the person who's suffering to be able to step back and look at their conduct and look at what has become of their circumstances because of their conduct, and help them have it be their own idea where they are seeing that they are acting in a self-centered nature, where they feel like, hey, I'm owed something, and help them have a paradigm shift where really the best thing for you to do is realize it's not what you're owed, it's what you owe. And what you owe is living amends to the people you love and what you owe is living amends to yourself. But this self-centeredness, this feeling of entitlement that you're entitled to have what you need, provided it's being fed through the darkness of your illness. So so we put them on the hook and take them off of it at the same time, but we've got to foster awareness. What I don't want to do and what we don't believe in is we're not gonna sit there and beat them up about it. We're not gonna sit there and shame them about it. That causes any individual to shut down, not to embrace, and have a willingness to look at what's ailing them.

Steve Coughran:

Hmm, that's a great point. And I mean you've been there. You've been in these dark periods million. I've been there too. And I look back on these times in my life and I'm like, oh my gosh, I was so selfish like I didn't care about any anybody else. I just cared about me in satisfying my own appetites. And it wasn't until you know later on where I realized like, oh my gosh, how selfish am I. And you know my behaviors had major implications on the lives of other people, which was totally unfair, that I Realized that I had a change. And look, I'm not perfect. Sure, I probably still do things that Impacts people in negative ways, and you know, I'm probably selfish in some ways still, but I'm constantly working at it because I'm much more self-aware. So how do you get somebody to become self-aware when they're in this place, because they probably don't necessarily see it all the time. What are your thoughts on that?

Steven Ginsburg:

I've agreed and I think one of the elements is to assess Some of the cost, and I'm not just speaking fiscally. There's emotional costs, there's physical costs, often from our loved ones. There's certainly Financial costs, some of the costs that have been suffered by the people we love and the people that we are surrounded by, and that cost has occurred because of the active addiction and alcoholism. So we're doing some degree of a Self-inventory in real time in the treatment process and having the individual understand hey, that drive you had, that focus on self, that selfish and selfless focus on self only, has Driven and drive these costs to others and it's produced this pattern of behavior where, at any cost, you would go to any length to make sure you had the drugs and or the drugs and alcohol that you needed. Yes, I have absolutely been a part of that. And then there's a great flip side. Very quickly and Once we're able to help the individual see that element of it, it's a great tool, because then on the other side of it there's another facet that can be looked at. Hey, we need to also be willing to go to any length for what? For our recovery, just like we went to any length to have the drugs and alcohol that we needed.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, absolutely so. Let's talk about specific strategies. You kind of touched on them earlier. But if somebody's listening to this and like, yes, I totally agree, I'm either in that place or a loved one is in that place of entitlement, what can they do specifically to Overcome this, to start to resolve this type

Steven Ginsburg:

of issue. One of the most important things they can do Inherently and it's easy to say but sometimes very challenging to do is stop providing any resource and again, resources are not just fiscal, steve. Don't provide any emotional or physical or Support of any sort that enables and perpetuates the disease. Really streamline your support one fold to the person who's suffering, to where they have a pathway to get the help they need, and anything other than that choice, the support that has been provided is pulled away. Very, very easy to say, very tough to do, but that is a perfect way to take the battery out of the mechanism of self centeredness.

Steve Coughran:

So can you give me some examples of you know resources that you're referring to? Are you talking about? A kid goes to a parent, says I need $50 for gas or for this or for that, and you know they're going to go out there and probably buy drugs or alcohol with it or do other things. Or is it like taking away their place to live in the house, or what are you talking about specifically, Steven?

Steven Ginsburg:

Oh, I want to give you yeses across the board. Hey, if you're not going to go and get the help you need, you're not going to have a roof over your head. Hey, if you're not going to go and get the help you need, let's just keep it towards a parent-child relationship. For the moment, you're not going to have a cell phone to make phone calls or send text messages with. If you're not going to get the help you need the money that you supposedly need for gas which I know is going to go for gas, drugs and alcohol you're not going to have those funds. Let's expand the horizon. The example you know if there is an employer and this can be a very delicate situation, but with the right HR support and otherwise and there's a said employee who is an asset and it's always better to repair than replace it could be very simply you go to this employee, this team member, with HR helping you and coming along for the ride, and let them know. You know, we want you to be here, we want you to continue to be part of this company or this endeavors future. If you're not willing to get the help, you need to ensure that we can't keep you here, or if we go one more step, steven, then we'll move on. If it's something with a spouse, you know, no, we don't want families breaking up, but families are going to have broken up anyhow behind addiction and alcoholism. You cannot perpetuate a husband or wife continuing to be in the household, be in the family and active addiction and alcoholism. So you ask them to accept the help that's being offered or you ask them to leave the household.

Steve Coughran:

Hmm, interesting. So your husband, your wife, your partner, they're getting drunk, they're getting high all the time. You're essentially saying you go to them and say look, you know like this isn't working. You know, I don't want this happening in our house, around our kids, around me. I don't like the way that you act, that you, you know, treat other people. You need to go get help or you need to leave the home. Is that what you're saying essentially?

Steven Ginsburg:

A billion percent and again, I am not making the light of how traumatic that can be, but it pales in comparison to the trauma of self-centered entitlement that addiction and alcoholism perpetuates. And we are feeding that machine by supporting the behavior and conduct without consequences and without ultimatums Support of ones where they have the ability to get the help they need or face the issue, but they can't just be allowed to do the same things they're doing and then hope a different result occurs, because it will not.

Steve Coughran:

Okay. Well, what would you say to somebody who defends their children's entitlement attitude and they say, look, they're just a teenager. Teenagers are selfish. You know, I was one selfish, you were one selfish as a teenager. Just let them be. What would you say to that?

Steven Ginsburg:

I will be very transparent and very candid, but prepare yourself for the answer. That very attitude could be the tipping point that ultimately leads me to seeing you at your child's memorial service. That's what I'd say to it, steve, and I'm not being heartless. People die from addiction and alcoholism. Go ahead and just pull up the news, hit Google, see how many teens and young adults are dying from fentanyl. You are feeding into and endangering your child or children by supporting that attitude and outlook and behavior.

Steve Coughran:

Love it. Well, steven, this has been another wonderful conversation. You know a lot of great insights here. Let's go ahead and wrap it at this point. If anybody who's listening, if you have any questions, any comments, any feedback, if you want to reach out to us, you can contact us at hello at RestoreDetoxCenterscom. We would love to hear from you. We always like getting feedback from the community. And that's a wrap. Thanks for joining us and Steven. Amazing episode.

Steven Ginsburg:

Steve, thank you so much. One final note please, if you are out there and in some way, shape or form this is relevant, I prayerfully am asking you be bold, be courageous, be an advocate for the solution. Do not perpetuate the disease of alcoholism and addiction, and if you need help or you have questions or we can somehow come alongside your family, please know that it's a very heartfelt, genuine offer. We are here to be contacted and we will do everything we can to help you. God bless you. All and everyone have a sober and a safe day.