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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

rolling stone

image credit... chris phillips

i have been working with more and more clients who are on probation. probationers are intrinsically different than clients who are voluntarily seeking sobriety.  the concept of probation is certainly in need of a 21st century refurbishment, but until that happens the one that is in place is the standard. people get put on probation to facilitate them getting out of custody, but still retaining some constraints and restrictions on their behavior for a non-specific period of time. it's a release from custody with strings.

strangely enough, many of the people i work with who are on probation somehow are challenged to reel in their behaviors to ensure they stay out of jail. this nasty bitch tina does get a slimy grip on them. the dopamine allure becomes so overpowering. they lose the ability to address normal life situations with both feet on the ground. if something a bit challenging comes along, first instinct is to tap the dopamine valve and hide in sketchville.

it becomes numbing to consistently interact with people who are unable to find their center. it's as if they are happiest when they are disconnected and barely tethered. it would seem that probation works for some, but i am not sure what it really accomplishes.  jail time, job training, and boot camp may accomplish more.

i wonder sometimes if recidivism has more to do with the possibilities in front of someone than it is the consequences. if a guy can't see any possibility, then it is not a far reach to ask "why try".

i fired someone i was working with this week. they have been consistently fabricating stories, placating, lying, using, manipulating, and generally being a weasel. of course, these traits are consistent with someone with an addiction. and if outpatient treatment isn't effective, and probation isn't effective, then a higher level of care may be needed. and i shared that opinion with a probation officer. but it's also not my style to discharge someone with addiction because they are using. however, consequences are in order, so i transferred care to another provider as well. if they want to stay in treatment, they will have a different counselor and they will have do another intake of sorts to talk about the reasons for a new counselor.

i am not at all sure if this tactic will have effect. i do know that i am weary of acting as cheesecloth to this individuals hogwash. and i think i need to follow my instinct here. having boundaries is still kinda new, but it is definitely growing on me.

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