Since 1966, it has been Cumberland Heights’ mission to transform lives, giving hope to those affected by alcohol and drugs. Cumberland Heights recognizes addiction is a family disease and wants to provide support whenever possible. Our Family & Community Education Program is designed to provide education and support for those seeking recovery and those already taking the steps to transform their lives. Please join us on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, from 7:00-8:30PM at Indian Lake Peninsula Church at 235 Indian Lake Rd, Hendersonville, TN 37075 to learn more about how you can support yourself and your loved ones and what is available to you throughout this process.
Parents battling addiction may lack the ability to provide structure and support for their children. This can be an incredibly stressful time, as children often do not understand why or how their parent became addicted to substances and often blame themselves. The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACA) notes that children face a number of stressors when parental addiction is involved, such as conflict within the home, increased isolation and decreased family cohesion. If you are a parent who has been working diligently in recovery and have reached a place where you want to reconnect with your child, you must realize that it will take time.
A study conducted at Western Sydney University in Australia emphasized the importance of empathy and emotion regulation when it comes to re-connecting with one’s child. There are three main aspects to this:
Cognitive empathy – being able to understand what your child may be going through and perceiving what his or her feelings may be
Emotional reactivity – the ability to respond emotionally to your child’s pain
Social skills – being able to gauge the effect of your behavior on your child and on others
Many 12-Step programs endorse this, but it’s important to admit to your child the pain you’ve caused them and explain that it wasn’t their fault. It will take time to rebuild trust, but acknowledging how you’ve affected them is a great place to start. As you work towards strengthening this relationship, maintain open communication and remind yourself to see things through your child’s point of view. They’re hurt and they may be very upset and unsure if they can trust you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t repair your relationship with them, it just means that you’ll have to prove to them – with your words and actions – that you are on the path of recovery and will be staying there.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.
If you talk to anyone who has worked with James Luna during his tenure at Cumberland Heights, you’ll hear all kinds of anecdotes about his impact and personality. There is one theme you’ll hear over and over – that James was a no-nonsense kind of guy. In recovery, James often told people things they didn’t want to hear but needed to. It always came from a place of love.
James was Clinical Director of the Men’s Program for 19 years. As his obituary states “His own personal recovery, that spanned decades, was paralleled only by the love and energy he put into patients and friends alike struggling with alcohol and drug addictions. His life’s work will be remembered by the thousands he touched who are now, in turn, helping others themselves.”
Cumberland Heights Board Member Rob Crichton had this to say about James:
“I first met James Luna 31 years ago. James was quite a force at Friendship House. I suppose you could put him in the category of the ‘tough love’ type. Staying sober and participating in the program was top priority. He introduced me to a rather rough looking fellow in the coffee bar at 202 one afternoon and informed me I was going to be his sponsor. What an experience. James was emphatic to put it mildly. He also called it like he saw it in the meetings, not cross talking, but he always let you know where he stood. I admired his AA orthodoxy especially in a meeting.”
Many years later I became reacquainted with James after he became employed at Cumberland Heights, but something had changed. James was much more mellow. The rough edges seemed to have smoothed out. I cannot tell you how this happened. Perhaps it was his marriage to Dawn or being in the Cumberland environment, but he had transformed into a much gentler person. We worked on two projects together at Cumberland Heights and I felt totally comfortable around him. It felt like we were beginning to be friends.
“One thing is for certain in my experience – James Luna was always a good man regardless what chapter of life he was in.”
Vivian Jo Bell, who works in Medical Records said, “I found him to be direct, honest, grateful and compassionate. My favorite memory of James is 22 years ago. I was diagnosed with cancer. James Luna was the first person to come to me just to talk and offer prayers.”
Our Chief Clinical Officer Cinde Stewart Freeman had this to say about James:
“I met James during my first 60 days in recovery. I didn’t know how to talk to people and I was afraid this recovery thing wouldn’t work for me. James caught my attention in meetings because he spoke rarely, concisely, and always something that rang as true to me. During a day that I was really struggling, I got my nerve up and asked the $1,000,000 question. ‘James, how do you get faith?’ I think my voice was shaking; I know my hands still were. I thought he was going to give me a mystical and deeply theological answer that would change my world. He looked at me closely and then simply said, ‘Well, Cinde, you lived through things that you thought you couldn’t live through, and when you look back, you realize that God helped you. That’s how you get faith.’ At the time, it seemed too easy to be true and much too simple. As the years have gone by, James and I have had many conversations about God and the nature of spirituality. I learned so much wisdom from him. But I am not sure that anything he taught me was as powerful as that first simple truth – a truth that turned out to be mystical, deeply theological, and that did indeed change my world. Godspeed, my friend. I love you.”
James had a way with words, both spoken and on paper. You may be one of the millions who read his articles on Grapevine, AA’s monthly publication. And few could forget his goodbye letter to Cumberland Heights when he retired in 2012.
It read in part:
“To have been allowed a minor part in this unfolding passion play of God after his wounded and devastated children for the past 25 years has been, for me, nothing short of…words are often insufficient in this realm. Fortunately, God has languages that need no words.”
A Life Celebration will be held for James Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home and Cremation Center. A reception will follow at The Pavilion.
Addiction is a family disease that stresses the family to the breaking point, impacts the stability of the home, the family’s unity, mental health, physical health, finances, and overall family dynamics.
Join us to learn about how your family might be affected and what you can do to support yourself, your family and your loved ones who may be struggling with substance use.
The mission of Cumberland Heights is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by drugs and alcohol. Addiction is a chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal disease. We carefully provide the highest quality care for adults, adolescents, and families who suffer from, or are affected by, this devastating disease.
Engaging and treating adolescents with substance use disorders and their families present many challenges including the increasing acuity and complexity of the problem and a limited array of service delivery options and evidence-based treatments. This presentation will provide an overview of current trends and perspectives on adolescent substance use disorders as well as a review of effective screening, assessment and engagement strategies for the adolescent and his family. An overview of evidence-based interventions, as well as a systems-based intensive outpatient model of treatment, will be presented. Case presentation and discussion will allow participants to address real-world challenges and opportunities.
Gary L. Sauls, LCAS & Paul Nagy, LPC, LCAS, CCS from Duke University
Date & Time:
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
Registration begins at 8:00am
Original Article By: Stephanie Langston, WKRN News Channel 2, Nashville
Posted: Aug 02, 2018 05:55 PM CDT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A family is sharing their story of heartache after losing their son to addiction. Now, they are doing what they can to raise awareness about the crisis.
VIEW THE GREG WITTHAUER STORY
It was a battle the Witthauer’s faced for years. They told News 2 despite numerous rehab facilities, the disease was too powerful for their son Greg. “I lost my brother to this disease, but losing my child was much worse,” Karen Witthauer said with tears in her eyes.
At the age of 13, her son Greg had his first taste of drugs. “They smoked marijuana on the beach and then it was head to the ground from there.”
His use increased, and after being dismissed from the soccer team for a drug offense he entered rehab at 15. But he soon relapsed. “He was trying to find something that he could control that would make him feel better. The whole progression, he went through cocaine and from opiates to pills to heroin,” Greg’s father Mark told News 2.
The struggle didn’t get any easier. Several rehabs later and some legal issues finally gave Greg some clean time, almost two years.
“He was working, and he was doing really really well. He bought a car and his job was stable and he was really proud of himself, you could tell,” said Karen. However, a back injury landed Greg a Lortab prescription and he was back using fulltime. “He only had 10. He gave him a prescription for 10 and that was all it took,” stated Karen.
The Witthauer’s said he was never able to put together a long stretch of sobriety again. This time he spent three months in a Florida rehab. “and he was gone within two weeks,” said his mom.
Greg was found in his car near Percy Priest. He had overdosed on heroin likely laced with meth.
“We knew in our hearts that he had probably overdosed somewhere but even though you still get that phone call and it’s like the whole world just starts spinning around,” explained his father. Today Karen wears a bracelet that reads “always have heart,” the same tattoo her son had across his chest. “Even though he had the disease of addiction, I was very proud of my child, very proud of the man that he was, I was proud of his heart, of how he treated people.”
In his sober time, they said Greg wanted to help others struggling with addiction. Now they hope to carry on his mission.
The Witthauer’s started a fundraiser called always have a heart in their son’s honor that goes to support those in treatment.
Participants of this family counseling training will discuss the principles of Twelve Step recovery and how the principles hold a congruence with ethical practice and the ethos of professional self-care. Participants will create a symbol to represent their adherence to modeling principled practice when delivering family services.
WHO: Ann Rainey & Barbara Larew-Adams WHAT: Family Counseling Training WHEN: Wednesday 08/22 & Thursday 08/23 from 8:00AM – 4:00PM both days WHERE:Frist Family Life Center (FLC) Rooms 114/115 (on the campus of Cumberland Heights) COST: FREE for CH Employees!
Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the impact of substance abuse on family members
Participants will examine the characteristics of relationship addiction and codependency
Participants will be shown the family is an interactive, interrelated system
Participants will explore ways to integrate the principles of recovery in family work
Participants will be taught primary goals and objectives of early recovery for individuals, couples and families
Participants will experience the application of the Karpman Triangle and the Empowerment Triangle as tools of family work
Participants will learn developmental needs of self-worth and how living with addiction can erode healthy self-worth
Participants will be able to distinguish and to describe for individuals, couples and families the shame and guilt
Participants will identify core issues of shame and its impact on the individuals and the family as whole entity
Participants will be shown tools and techniques to enrich the bonding and boundaries in family work
Participants will be shown a minimum of three ways to intervene on unhealthy family relational patterns
Participants will be taught the 7 C’s of addiction recovery and ways to use these with children, adolescents and adults
Participants will experience and practice the use of experiential tools, including the empty chair, as means of clarifying and deepening family recovery
Participants will witness and participate in the use of sculpting with families
Participants will clarify ways to identify and to curb countertransference when working with families, including tools of professional self-care and the maintaining of boundaries
God. Program. Family. In this talk I share a bit of my personal story and the powerlessness I felt when my husband relapsed. I had been working my own program, but when the relapse happened, my fear was bigger than my program, and my fear was certainly bigger than my faith. This tells the story of how I came to understand what surrender really means and what it looked like when I turned over my will and my life. Embracing God’s will for my life meant having faith enough to be obedient to the uncomfortable – and not just the uncomfortable but becoming obedient to the unenforceable. That’s really what living in today is all about. Can I have faith enough, just for today?
Sunday is Mother’s Day and in an effort to recognize those amazing women in our lives, Cumberland Heights staff members share what makes their Moms so special.
Here’s my Momma and me on my wedding day! My favorite thing about her is her ability to make everyone around her laugh. She is the most hilarious person I know with a heart of gold! Her favorite saying is ‘wear your seat belt’ or ‘did you pack a snack?’
~ Lauren Osborne, Patient Accounting
As close to perfection that God has ever gotten when he made my mother Patricia!
~ Frank Vega, Utilization Review
This is my mom and my son. This was taken less than a year before she lost her battle with cancer. What I love about her is that she is responsible for me becoming the person that I am today. She walked through some of the hardest moments of my life with me and never gave up. When she was diagnosed with Cancer, she stood up and fought as hard as she could, until she had nothing left and because of my recovery, I was able to stand right beside her.
I love this picture because it shows two humans at opposite stages in life.
~ Stacy Bridges, Business Development
My favorite thing about my Mom is her strength. Life hasn’t always been easy for her, but she has remained loving and graceful through it all. I am lucky to have her! I love when she says, ‘Have a groovy day!’ and ‘Home again. Home again. Jiggity Jig!’
~ Rachel Smith, Patient Registrar
My Mom turned 92 Last December. She’s the best Mom anyone could ever hope for. I love her dearly!!!
~ Wanda Yates, Medical Records
Mama always said, ‘You can do anything you set your mind to’ – but of course I was an only child and she thought I was perfect! She always called me the light of her life and really made me feel special.
~ Martha Farabee, Chief Development and Marketing Officer
Why is your Mom special to you? Please share some moments below!
Cumberland Heights recognizes addiction is a family disease and developed its family program to help educate and guide patients’ families as they navigate their way toward recovery. In our Family Program we show families how to rebuild vital pieces of their relationships, including trust, boundaries, and communication by utilizing experiential and therapeutic group exercise.
If you find yourself stuck in any of the following patterns you may find a family program helpful:
Repeatedly bailing your loved one out – of jail, financial problems, and other tight spots
Giving them “one more chance” – then another…and another…
Ignoring the problem – because they get defensive when you bring it up, you hope it will magically go away, or they will grow out of it
Joining them in the behavior when you know they have a problem with it – drinking, gambling, etc.
Joining them in blaming others – for their own feelings, problems and misfortunes
Accepting their justifications, excuses and rationalizations – “I’m destroying myself with alcohol because I’m depressed.”
Avoiding problems – keeping the peace, believing a lack of conflict will help
Doing things for them they should be able to do for themselves
Softening or removing natural consequences
Trying to fix them or their problem or situation
Repeatedly coming to the rescue
Feeling Responsible for their problem
Trying to control your loved one’s behaviors, whereabouts, activities, friends, etc.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop
Walking on eggshells
Being caught in the middle attempting to keep or create peace
Isolating from friends or family
Making excuses for inappropriate behaviors
Unable to focus due to preoccupation with your loved one
Feeling exhausted, unappreciated, and cannot seem to do enough
If you or a loved one would like to speak directly with one of our licensed admissions staff, please call us now at (800) 646-9998 or submit the following information. If outside business hours, we will get back to you the following day.
Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?
Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.