I “CELEBRATE National Recovery Month” Along Side SAMHSA Each Year. Share Your Voice for Recovery…

Join the Voices for Recovery:  Together we are stronger.  National Recovery Month 2019 30th anniversary.

Connect with people in recovery by reviewing the personal stories of people recovering from mental and/or substance use disorders.


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Like myself and many of us across the country, people in recovery are celebrating their successes and sharing them with others in an effort to educate the public about treatment, how it works, for whom, and why. Dual diagnosis with those suffering also suffer mental health challenges and both are on the rise.

Since many stories and voices and the successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, OUR personal stories, or Voices for Recovery, provide a vehicle for people to share their recovery stories and an important tool for those looking to RECOVER!

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Here is more from SAMHSA on just how to share your voices at: RECOVERYMONTH.GOV

 

National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives.

This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help.

Now in its 30th year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

As part of the 30th anniversary, Recovery Month is introducing a new logo that signifies the true meaning and values of the Recovery Month observance. The new Recovery Month logo features an “r” symbol; representing r is for Recovery and the need to support the millions of individuals who are proudly living their lives in recovery, as well as their family members and loved ones.

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Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding of the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.

Recovery Month also highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective preventiontreatment, and recovery services for those in need.

Each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share the successes of treatment and recovery. The 2019 Recovery Month observance will focus on community members, first responders, the healthcare community, and youth and emerging leaders highlighting the various entities that support recovery within our society.

The 2019 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support recovery. It reminds us that mental and substance use disorders affect us all, and that we are all part of the solution. The observance will highlight inspiring stories to help thousands of people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and personal growth. Learn more about this year’s and past year themes.

SAMHSA creates a Recovery Month toolkit to help individuals and organizations plan events and activities to increase awareness about mental and substance use disorders, treatment and recovery. The kit provides media outreach templates, tips for event planning and community outreach, audience-specific information and data on behavioral health conditions, and resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials include SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for 24-hour, free, and confidential information and treatment referral as well as other SAMHSA resources for locating services.

Additional Recovery Month resources are available on the Recovery Month website. Resources include logos, r is for Recovery symbolbanners, posters, and customizable flyers, posters, T-shirt designs, and one-pagertelevision and radio public service announcementsan event calendar to post and share your Recovery Month events or locate events in your community and social media outreach through FacebookTwitter, and YouTubeNote some materials are available in English and Spanish.

History

Over the years, Recovery Month has inspired millions of people to raise awareness about mental and substance use disorders, share their stories of recovery, and encourage others who are still in need of services and support.

Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month, which honored the work of substance use treatment professionals in the field. The observance evolved into National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in 1998 when it expanded to include celebrating the accomplishment of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The observance evolved once again in 2011 to National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to include mental illness.


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Support Organizations

Currently, more than 200 federal, state, and local government entities, as well as nonprofit organizations and associations affiliated with prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental and substance use disorders, comprise the Recovery Month Planning Partners. The Planning Partners collaborate and assist SAMHSA in the development, dissemination, and promotion of materials as well as independently hosting Recovery Month events and activities in their local communities.

Review the Recovery Month: 20 Years of Excellence and Achievement Timeline – 2009 (PDF | 357 KB), which showcases the many strides the treatment and recovery field has made and details the campaign’s success and evolution of Treatment Works! to National Recovery Month.
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catherine-townsend-lyon

My Book Now on Amazon!

“My After Thoughts – Honoring Bobby H. & His Sister Ronda Hatefi, This Past Weekends National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling – My Story”

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends & New Visitors,

 




“It was a big weekend for Raising Awareness of Predatory Gambling! I blogged from morning until night with several posts I hope helped some or all who came to visit my recovery blog this past weekend”…

There were many events that took place all over the United States and around the world to ‘Honor The Memory’ of Ronda’s brother Bobby Hafemann who in 1995 to his life by suicide related to his problems with gambling. Bobby was only 28 years old.
Ronda commemorates Bobby’s birthday every year on September 29 through Problem Gamblers Awareness Day. She also chairs the Lane County Problem Gambling Advisory Committee.

But this year, my good friends and the fine folks of  Stop Predatory Gambling  helped to honor Bobby and his sister with the very First National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling this past weekend! Sept 26th & 27th 2015. Now since I suffer Agoraphobia, I took to my blog and social media and blogged about “All Things Gambling Addiction & Recovery!” I also wanted to thank Ronda, as I put my last post up late last night, and shared throughout social media, she had some nice words and re-shared my post links on her Facebook page.

So, I thought I would do one more post as an after event wrap up by sharing some of my book with all that shares when I learned, shown and became addicted to The Oregon Lottery Video Poker & Slot Machines. I stopped going to the Indian casinos. All I had to do was walk up the street to gamble on the machines that were through the Oregon Lottery. Access is a BIG factor with problem and addicted gamblers. And these machines are everywhere throughout the state. So is the part from my current book/memoir of how I learned about the Oregon Lottery .. .. .
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Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.


( Click to purchase from Amazon )

“After a visit to Oregon with my parents, my best friend, Debbie, who had lived next door to me in California for many years, decided to move to Oregon. She stayed with us until she got settled at her new job. About the same time, the state of Oregon passed a bill to allow video poker machines in places that served food, such as bars, taverns and delis. The lottery already had Keno games online. For my addiction, that was a downfall for me when I started compulsively gambling later on. It was so accessible.”

If you live in Oregon, you know what I mean. If you think about it, gambling is socially accepted. It’s pretty much everywhere you go – even in our children’s schools, with raffles, casino fundraisers, in our churches with bingo, and at our gas stations, markets and grocery stores with Megabucks, Powerball, Mega-millions drawings and scratch-off tickets. So, for an addicted gambler, it seems action really is everywhere, and when you’re addicted, you have no self-control. You feel as though you’re constantly teetering on a high wire.

When the video poker machines were approved by the state, the machines also popped up everywhere. Why drive to Las Vegas, Reno or Lake Tahoe, or go to an Indian casino, when you can go up the street to gamble? In the town where I live, there were little sandwich delis opening up around town and, as long as they served food and soft drinks, they could have up to six poker machines in their stores. They also sold beer, wine coolers and the cheapest cigarettes in town. They offered all types of lottery services and games.

As my husband continued working out-of-town for the next several months, and with my friend Debbie staying with me, she and I would often go have lunch at one of these deli’s. Around the same time, she and I would take weekend trips to the Indian casino, or go to the deli for lunch a lot more often. As that year went by, I also noticed I’d spend a little more money than I should have. I believe it was because of the easy access to gambling, and too much time on my hands. Was I addicted at this point? Hardly. That would soon change, though. As I look back now, I was experiencing a few “red flags” of addiction, but not recognizing them.

I remember having built-up feelings of excitement before I went, knowing I’d get to gamble if we went to lunch, or if we were going to the casino. The only thing I did was play Keno if we went to lunch at our local deli. I had never played the new video poker machines there, which were operated by the state lottery. One day, in early 1998, Deb and I went to have our usual lunch at the deli on a Saturday. We started talking three retired gentlemen, who were also having lunch and playing Keno while they ate. One of them finished his lunch and was on the other side of the deli playing one of the video poker machines, so I walked over to watch him play. He was winning. He had about $ 140 worth of credits on his machine. I asked him how much of that money did he start with. He said only $ 10. Well, you don’t have to tell a person who works in a bank how much profit he’d made so far.

Flush Fever

He was playing a game called “Flush Fever,” and explained how the game worked. I think that’s the day my life changed. The machine next to him was open, so I sat next to him and put in only $ 5 and won $ 45. I thought, ‘Wow, that sure was easy money.’ So I cashed out my ticket, sat back down next to him and played again. I started with $ 10 – it was a quarter game, so I increased my bet to 75 cents a hand. The machine started paying again. See, it’s the allure of the game and thinking you’re winning every time you play. That’s why winning, for an addicted gambler, is bad. It will keep a person’s ass on that chair gambling.

As I was playing, the guy next to me got up and was getting ready to leave. For as long as I’m alive, I will always remember what happened next: He leaned over my shoulder and said to me, “When you’re ahead, always cash out, and know when to leave with THEIR money, because I’d really hate myself if you got hooked on these machines.” Oh, if only I had listened to his sage wisdom.

“I still look back, all these years later, and remember what that man said to me. He never knew how that day changed my life, because I never saw him there again.” .. .. ..
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“Before I write about the woman I am, you need to know the little girl I was.”

“The cruelest lies are often told in silence.”  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“This book is dedicated to my loving husband of 22 years. (Now 26 years this Sept 29th!) Tom, without you, your unconditional love for me and support throughout the years of my gambling addiction and recovery, I never would have made it back to reality. You have made me a better person for not just giving up on me, and for always knowing the true woman you married all those years ago. We both know now that no matter what life throws at us, we can weather any storm that comes our way. We deserve to have peace and serenity for the rest of our days together.”

“I also dedicate this book to all those who suffer from this illness, or those who may be afflicted with this insidious, insane addiction. Know that there is help out there, and hope, if you choose recovery. This illness is treatable, and there is life after gambling addiction. Our path to recovery may be rocky or difficult at times, but know you’re not alone.”

“There are others out there suffering from this destructive addiction.”

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate 🙂 XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling & No More For Profit State Lotteries.”

    

(Oregon State Lottery Video & Slot Style Machines)

 

“Here is a place I spent many wasted hours, and so much money gambled away. No, I didn’t wake one day and say, I think I will become an addicted gambler today and destroy my life, destroy all that I have worked hard for, become so addicted that I want to kill myself not once, but twice.”

Sadly, that is most of the truth of what happened to me. And not just me, my husband as well. WHY?
I know some of the reasons why, but I am still learning and doing the work needed in my continuing 8 1/2 year recovery journey to find some of the answers. I’m still in therapy, and I still have emotional/mental health issues to this day. Yes, some of my disorders are a direct effect of my years of compulsive addicted gambling.

“These machines and all other lottery offerings are everywhere in Oregon.”

I stopped going to the Indian Casinos. WHY? Well, why drive many miles to the nearest casino when I can just walk up the street to a Lottery Retail shop and play my choice of six machines to gamble.
And don’t let me count the hundreds of times I would lie to my husband as to where I was going, and 3 hours later he was coming in looking for me everywhere they has video lottery machines!!! I came to Oregon to make a better life, to find the man of my dreams, get married, buy a house, and that was all taken away due to my gambling addiction.

It has been a long road. And sadly? I am not the only one from Oregon that this happened to. I now live in Glendale, AZ … due to my husband’s current job. So here are some stories of others from the many of media articles that have been written about good people who also became addicted to gambling thanks to the heavy access of the Oregon State Lottery poker and slot machines.

I still remember the that day when I learned about the state lottery video poker machines. It changed my life. Since many who have visited my blog know much of my story, or have read my book, I wanted to share some others from Oregon who have gone through hell due to the Oregon lottery machines .. .. ..
(Courtesy of The Oregonian Newspaper.)

“The Oregonian invited readers to share Oregon Lottery experiences in a questionnaire. Because of the personal nature of comments, many asked that their names be withheld all or in part.”

A 67-year-old Hillsboro, OR woman:

How much do you spend on a typical outing to play video poker or line games?

It used to be $500. That was the most I could access from my ATM. They recently changed it to $600, so now I spend $600. Sometimes I even go to the bank and write a check for another $500. Don’t ask me why I do this, but I have destroyed our lives.

Have you ever lost more than you could afford?

I cannot begin to tell you the agony and shame that I have suffered from gambling. We are right now in a position that we could lose everything. I have spent more than we had so many times that I cannot remember them all. I spent my husband’s entire retirement of 33 years with [a state agency], and we owe over $100,000 to the IRS with a lien on our home. All of our credit cards are maxed out. We had to borrow money on our vehicle once to cover my gambling, and my husband’s brother has given us over $12,000 to cover. Now he can’t give us any more and I still continue to overspend.

When you play, do you sometimes feel you have a problem stopping even though you know you should?

I know I have a problem and I stopped for a while. I love to gamble. I am addicted to trying to beat them. I just don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. I understand how much we have lost, and it makes me so disgusted with myself. No one knows except my husband and I how bad it is. We are so ashamed. I just can’t talk to anyone about it. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address this issue. If I won the lottery today, I would be right back at the machines trying to win. Excitement junkie? Bipolar? Depressed? Suicidal? Stupid? Delusional? Maybe all of those things. I think I have spent almost a million dollars in three years on gambling and the consequences.

Do you know other people who have a problem with gambling?

Yes, my sister. She actually is the one who got me started. We started going to Spirit Mountain because she had a friend who was taking her. We would go occasionally. Then it was stupid to drive all the way to Spirit Mountain when we could just go to the local lotto. Now she is 63 and living from paycheck to paycheck, maxed out on credit and trying to find more ways to be able to gamble. I am a decent, educated, financial services professional who has no excuse for not understanding the consequences. I just don’t understand.

Has your life been affected by problem gambling?

OMG, I can’t begin to tell you. We don’t do the things we used to do. We are going to lose everything we have, I hate and despise what I have done, and I just want to turn back the clock and do it differently.

Do you think the benefits from Oregon Lottery revenues — to schools, parks and such — outweigh the harm caused by problem gambling?

You’ve got to be kidding! I’m sure much more of that money would have gone to retailers and businesses that would have paid much more in taxes than the lottery. What a racket! I am sure that the people I sit next to must be in the same boat! I cannot imagine how many people do the same thing, but if they are like me, they don’t want anyone to know and you NEVER TELL ANYONE. It is the most well-kept secret in the world.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I am so addicted. I would go today if I had any money left. I love it. When my husband first retired, we would go all over Oregon and Washington to all the Indian casinos gambling. It was awesome, exciting, fun and sometimes rewarding. We know every casino and have our favorites. My only regret is that I have no money to continue to go. Sick, reasonable, unbelievable? What is wrong with me?
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Pat, a 42-year-old Albany, Oregon man:

How much (did) you spend on a typical outing to play video poker or line games?

On average I would say that I lost between $100 and $300 a day.

What (did) you enjoy about playing lottery games?

At first I enjoyed the chance at winning. When the games got me hooked and turned me into a video poker zombie, I did not enjoy them anymore.

Have you ever won a big prize?

I have won over $5,000 in one night on various machines. The thrill of the big payouts was a wonderful high. But other times I’s win and put every penny back in the machine thinking I’d hit a bigger win!

Have you ever lost more than you can afford?

I have lost an entire paycheck in less than an hour. By the end of my active gambling, I did not care whether I won or lost. I only wanted to keep putting money in the machine. I felt out of control of my actions and needed only to put money in to feel like I was alive.

When you play, do you sometimes feel you have a problem stopping even though you know you should?

I could not stop until I was out of money, but then bar owners let me right personal checks for cash to keep playing. They should not allow this.

Have you ever sought help for gambling addiction?

[This year], I received a gambling addiction assessment and started in the gambling addiction program through Linn County alcohol and drug prevention offices. I have been clean from gambling since Feb 23. I owe my healthy mental state to this program. I feel that the Oregon Lottery video poker machines hypnotized me and turned me into a person that only cared about putting money into these machines.

I do not ever want to go through that mental hell again, and I hope that other people that have a problem can realize that there is wonderful help out there. I feel that the Oregon Lottery expanded so rapidly that people were not aware of the dangers that having easy access to gambling can have on people. I believe that the reported percentage of problem gamblers is far too low and that the lawmakers in this state are unaware of the widespread epidemic that problem gambling has become.

Has your life been affected by problem gambling?

Where do I start? It ruined me financially and personally. It ruined my relationship with my girlfriend whom I loved dearly. It took all of my self-esteem. It sent me into a deep, dark depression that has taken me about nine months to come out of. I realize that I am responsible for my own actions, but when you realize that your addiction to these video games has left you with no more control over your life and that these games are not only approved by but also advertised by the leadership of this state, it gives me a bad feeling about the direction that we are going as a society.
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34-year-old Milwaukie, Oregon woman & mother:

Do you know other people who have a problem with gambling?

My mother started gambling and now has a gambling problem. It has been devastating. She moved to California where she has had less temptation, but every time she visits, she gets sucked back in. I never experienced or saw addiction before, and I cannot believe how powerful it is.

“An example of how it takes over”: She was visiting me and my young son, and I let her borrow my car to go to the mall. We had plans to go out for a mother-daughter night that evening. She skipped out on me and did not return home until 3 a.m. She had been gone for over 12 hours. I had no way to reach her since she forgot her cell phone at home. When she came home I was furious, felt betrayed, and she was emotional and guilt-stricken. It ended up she had gambled (video poker) the whole time. There have been so many incidents like this where we can’t trust her or she put gambling before her family/responsibilities.

I am furious that … everywhere I go more places with the [Oregon Lottery] logo keep popping up. Strip malls now have not one but sometimes two video poker cafe’s. Family establishments such as Shari’s have them. They are everywhere! But unlike alcohol, which has some limits to times that you can buy it or consume it publicly, gambling is available 24 hours everywhere!

What irritates me the most is how much Oregon Lottery advertises that they give back to Oregon. Has there been any study showing the costs related to gambling? I would bet that the costs associated with problem gambling have a far greater toll on our state than what Oregon Lottery contributes. For example, my mother who has always been very good with money now is behind in her property taxes and is in debt for the first time in her life. Everything she worked hard for is now at risk of being lost just before she retires .. .. ..
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I can tell you that these stories by other Oregon residents sound so much like my own, and many other stories I have heard sitting in the rooms of GA meetings. Ironically, when living in Oregon, my inpatient and outpatient treatment programs were paid for by “The Oregon Lottery” through Options of So. Oregon, a gambling, drug, alcohol and mental health treatment center.  The Oregon Lottery also paid for my two crisis stays in their crisis center a bit over two weeks each time. WHY was I there?
I went there from the hospital to the crisis center after both my suicide attempts. That is how bad my gambling addiction had gotten.

Another misconception that addicted gamblers are poor, low life type people. That could not be farther from the truth. I myself spent most my career working years in the banking industry.  Again, attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings, and in my treatment group meetings, there were all type of people being effected by problem gambling like, lawyers, policemen, doctors, surgeons, accountants, seniors and more.  So there is no truth to that.

And of course, my earlier blog post today of Bobby H. of Eugene, OR. He was not so lucky. He lost his life due to gambling addiction and being addicted to the Oregon Lottery Machines. It’s why I am blogging all this weekend, in Honor of his memory.

Is gambling addiction just the addicts choice? Many think so. But it’s not. Many people have this personality trait to be addicts. That is just my opinion. Good people don’t choose to become addicted gamblers and destroy their lives “Just for the fun it!” .. .. .. .
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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate.
This is my story of Gambling. . . .

 

Product Details

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat)

May 14, 2013 | Kindle eBook

 

This Weekend Is “National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling!”

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends, Supporters and New Visitor’s,

“THIS is a SPECIAL weekend for me to take action and share my gambling addiction and recovery with as many as I can reach along with the fantastic friends over at Stop Predatory Gambling. Les, Melynda, and Ronda Hatefi have worked hard to “Honor The Memory of Ronda’s brother, Bobby Hafemann who took his own life by suicide from addicted gambling, and to make this weekend happen!  Bobby had become addicted to Oregon State Lottery sponsored Video Poker Machines when they were introduced everywhere throughout the State of Oregon.
And so was I.


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I lived in Southern Oregon for over 26 years before moving to Arizona. It is the Government & State’s way of Legalizing Gambling for profit.”
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~ “Bobby Hafemann took his life because he became addicted to electronic gambling machines. Who was the primary sponsor and beneficiary of the machines that led to his death? His own state government.”

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Oregon's Problem Gamblers Awareness Day: 'Gambling took that from us'
(courtesy of the Oregonian News)

Here is Bobby Hafemann’s story. I will be sharing my own experiences with these state-run video poker machines this weekend. So I hope you will come and visit several time to “Honor Bobby’s Memory” and support my 8 1/2 years in recovery from addicted compulsive gambling.

Bobby’s Story:

Oregon’s Problem Gamblers Awareness Day: ‘Gambling took that from us’

“Having A Heart Of Gratitude & Believing In A Power Greater Than Ourselves Can Restore Us In RECOVERY!”


“Do you believe in a power great than yourself in your Recovery? Do you have Gratitude in your Recovery? Tell me about it!”

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Sarah Beth Wheeler's photo.

“When we begin our recovery journey, we come to recovery very broken and spiritually drained. I know I was when I finally got a foothold into my long-term recovery.  We begin to do the inside recovery work of all our character defects, habits and behaviors.  It’s a hard thing to do to finally look in the mirror and say to yourself,  “I’m a very sick person within addiction.”  But as we do the work, we begin to transform ourselves back, and many times, back to a better person then when we were sick within addiction.”
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For myself, I could not have made it this far within my recovery without a whole lot of  “GRATITUDE” and not have made it without “Believing in a Power Greater than myself.” For me? That is the Grace of God.

I have always believed in him, but when we are filled with guilt, shame and embarrassment, we can not imagine our HP still caring or loving us within all the sick drama of addiction. Drama is also a good word to use about how addiction had made all of the area’s in our lives so unmanageable. That is what all addictions do. They invade all area’s of your life.


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“So what is gratitude? The very definition is: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”  OK, now what does it mean in a biblical sense? What does our Higher Power/God say about gratitude?”

Thankfulness is a prominent Bible theme. First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Did you catch that? Give thanks in all circumstances. Thankfulness should be a way of life for us, naturally flowing from our hearts and mouths.”
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Every addict deserves a second chance in life.  God sent his son to die on the cross of Calvary to give each of us that as a gift of Gratitude and Change that each one of us in recovery are worthy of!!  That is why I am Celebrating my recovery along with many millions of others for National Recovery month.
Lets celebrate the changes we have made in our lives through recovery, and by believing in that greater power that gives us our strength and humbleness in our recovery. To be  there for others by being of recovery service and “paying it forward” to those who are new or having a tough go in their recovery.
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That’s what I feel about gratitude, and having thankfulness. I can tell you all honestly, that is where your peace and serenity is going to come from within your recovery journey. When you start doing the work needed, using the tools of what you learn to stay in recovery, your recovery will take off to higher places you could never imagine. It did for me. And it will for too.

“JUST BELIEVE” .. .. .. ..

 

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate of Gambling Addiction

 

 

Guest Featured Author & Article: 20 Questions To Ask When Considering Inpatient Rehab.

Hello And Welcome Recovery Friends,

In honor of National Recovery Month, I’ve had many ‘Featured Recovery Guest Authors’ here to celebrate and share along with me here on my blog. So we have a new Recovery Guest Author, Alek Sabin who has written a special article for all of us. Now we all know how taunting it was when we started early recovery, what was the best way to seek help and approach the decision. Do we get treatment, therapy, church, go to inpatient or outpatient rehab or treatment?

There are so many choices these days, but lack of federal funding is still standing in the way for others who can afford rehab or treatment. Now that’s another blog post for the future! I do think this article by Alek can help answer some of these questions and concerns, and lead new comers to recovery in the right direction.. ..

20 Questions to Ask When Considering Inpatient Rehab ~ By: Alek Sabin

If you or a loved one are planning on checking into an inpatient rehabilitation facility, it is important to have all the knowledge necessary to find the right place for you. Knowing what to ask or look for in a rehab facility could make treatment smoother and more effective, and could even end up saving your life. Here are some questions you should consider asking any inpatient rehab facility that you may be checking in to:

 1.) How much will it cost?

The cost of inpatient rehabilitation varies greatly, with some places charging monthly payments as low as $7,500 to some as high as $120,000! Always know what you are getting for the cost. How much of that money is actually going towards helping the patient get better? What does this facility offer compared to other rehabilitation clinics of the same price?

 2.) Will insurance cover it?

Insurance companies always want their customers to take the cheapest health care option, and especially when it comes to inpatient rehabilitation. The truth, however, is that the cheapest options won’t always guarantee treatments with results. Always remember that, despite the initial cost, rehabilitation will be cheaper in the long run when stacked up against the costs of poor health, career instability, and damaged relationships that can be brought about by substance abuse. If the right place for you isn’t covered by your current provider, other methods of payment can be discussed with the rehabilitation facility.

 3.) How long will it last?

The answer to this question differs greatly from case to case. Not only are certain substances more addictive than others, but the effects of treatment can vary from person to person. Most psychologists recommend a stay of 90 days for the brain to recover, but other programs can be upward of a year depending on the severity of the addiction. Sometimes, the switch may be made from inpatient to outpatient rehabilitation to help cushion the costs of treatment, assuming that the patient has made strides in their recovery.

 4.) What is their track record?

Always ask how successful they have been with treating other patients with similar addictions. How does that rank up against other facilities? Your health, and even life, could be at stake. Don’t take for granted that you are at the right place until you know that you have the best odds you can get.

 5.) What about outpatient rehabilitation?

While outpatient rehabilitation can be great for some, it can also be dangerous to delay getting patients with harmful addictions the help that they need from inpatient rehabilitation. Ask some health professionals what they recommend depending on the situation. Certain drugs may practically require inpatient rehabilitation (such as heroin), while others may be easier to kick.

 6.) How much therapy will the patient get daily?

It’s important to know how much treatment a patient will actually receive at a facility. Some clinics have a physician work with you 2-3 times a day, while others will be closer to 5-6. Always make sure that the level of care provided is conducive to your recovery needs.

 7.) Is there 24-hour care?

Most inpatient facilities will have nurses on staff around the clock. This is one of the primary advantages that inpatient rehabilitation can give. If you feel that this level of care is important to your recovery, double-check and make sure this is a service that they offer.

 8.) How often do the doctors visit?

During every patient’s journey to recovery, they will be assigned a rehabilitation doctor who is responsible for them during their stay. It’s important that this doctor be able to note progress in a patient’s physical and mental health. Because of this, patients should always ask how often the doctors check up on their well-being.
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 9.) What if I require other medical attention?

Most inpatient rehab facilities are equipped to handle symptoms that a patient may develop from extended substance abuse. However, patients should be certain to specify any separate health concerns that they may have, and ask how the facility will be able to address those.

10.) Do they address mental health?

Sometimes the cause of a person’s addiction may have more to do with mental health, such as depression. It’s important to make certain that the facility will cater to those needs, and has the personnel to do so.

 11.) What about my work?

Inpatient rehabilitation requires a patient’s absence from work and other commitments for months at a time. Luckily, most facilities deal with employers on a regular basis, and are able to communicate the importance that recovery will make a happier, more productive employee.

 12.) What procedures take place when the patient is checked in?

Upon being checked in, most inpatient facilities will conduct an orientation for you and your family. Afterwards, they will begin intake, where some places will take your personal effects and put them aside during the duration of your stay. After intake, most facilities will give the patient several exams so that they can better know how to begin treatment. Ask, and be prepared for check in to your inpatient facility.

 13.) What things should I pack?

Different facilities will have different standards when it comes to what patients should bring with them. Some places will allow almost everything, including pets, to come along for the patient’s extended stay, while others prefer patients to not even bring their own clothes. Ask your inpatient rehab facility what their policy is. Either way, be sure to pack a toothbrush.

 14.) What is the ratio of staff to patients?

If a facility has a lower ratio of staff to patients, there is a good possibility that the patient’s individual needs could be overlooked, and that treatment could be less effective. Always find out how many patients will be there during your stay, and then ask how many staff are on premise at any given time.

15.) Can family visit, or even stay?

Some facilities have strict hours or days when family can visit, while some don’t allow visiting at all. Many places typically allow one family member to stay overnight if needed. Make sure you are fully aware of visitation policies and what they mean before checking into rehabilitation.

 16.) What activities are there?

Patients won’t just be seeing physicians while they are in rehabilitation. Most inpatient rehab facilities will provide therapeutic activities for patients to enjoy in their free time while they are there. Some of these are a way of calming the mind, while others offer a positive reinforcement of “sober time.” Ask about these activities, and make sure there is something you will enjoy doing.
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 17.) Should the patient attend rehab further from home?

Depending on the person, and a variety of factors, it might be beneficial for a patient to attend rehabilitation at a facility that is further away from their home. To see if this is the right option for you and your situation, make sure to ask a rehab doctor before checking in.

 18.) Will my primary physician have access to my rehab medical information?

After the rehabilitation period, a patient’s primary physician must have access to medication prescriptions or medical notes by the rehab doctor. It is important to talk to the facility and clarify this process before beginning rehabilitation.

 19.) Can I get my medication in rehab?

Inpatient rehabilitation facilities will allow most medications that patients have been prescribed before being checked in. However, some medications may affect the patient’s treatment, and must be reconsidered before moving forward. Make sure to talk to the rehab doctor about any medications you are taking before getting checked in.

 20.) What happens in the case of relapse?

Relapse doesn’t mean that the rehabilitation failed. It just means that the patient has relapsed and must take more steps towards recovery. Talk to the inpatient facility before checking in to see what steps they will plan on taking in the case of a relapse.
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National Recovery Month Guest Article By, Claudiu Revnic and from Castle Craig Treatment Center.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and Visitors,

In celebrating National Recovery Month, I have been doing many special events here on my recovery blog all month-long. And today is no different.  Many of us in recovery also have daily challenges with being ‘dual diagnosed’ with other health issues other than just living in recovery from addictions. I myself also suffer and live with Mental and Emotional health issues.

So when I came across this fantastic article on the blog of the fine folks over in the UK, Castle Craig Hospital, who treat alcohol and drug addictions, I just had to share it. They have a wonderful blog on their website by fine recovery authors. This one caught my attention about addiction and bipolar. I have these challenges, so I knew others here could benefit from this article. As we all know, addiction is addiction no matter the type.
So I feel it’s an appropriate article to share with you all.. .. ..

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Castle Craig Hospital - An alcohol & drug rehab clinic


Article By:  Claudiu Revnic Blog Contributor of Castle Craig

Claudiu Revnic
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Is Bipolarity A Catalyst for Addiction?

The mechanism linking bipolarity and addiction is multi-dimensional.

People with bipolar disorder are more prone to addiction than those suffering from any other mental health condition.

In some cases, depression or mania might not be symptoms of bipolarity, but the adverse effects of substance abuse.

The NHS defines bipolarity as a “condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another”. People who suffer from this condition oscillate between depression and mania, which is a state of intense euphoria.

Many people with bipolar disorder experience problematic use of alcohol and drugs. The link between bipolarity and addiction is stronger than one would expect.

Some studies point out that about 50% of people with bipolar disorder have substance abuse problems. Also, they are around 4 times more likely to develop drug and alcohol addiction than the general population. People with bipolar disorder are more prone to addiction than those suffering from any other mental health condition.The question is why do so many people with bipolar disorder resort to heavy drinking and drug use?

Probable Causes

There is no consensus in the medical community over what causes people with bipolar disorder to abuse alcohol and drugs. Some argue that there is a genetic trigger for the link between bipolarity and addiction. Others emphasize that people with bipolar disorder use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate their extreme states.

Castle Craig psychiatrist Professor Jonathan Chick argues that there is a complex of factors:

“The mechanism linking bipolarity and addiction is probably multi-dimensional, with emotional instability being one aspect. This emotional instability is then self-treated by some with alcohol and/or drugs.“

What If Substance Abuse Is Really The Problem?

Dr. Jim Craig, another psychiatrist at Castle Craig, points out that there are cases where the substance addiction comes before bipolar disorder:

“A number of individuals start with alcohol problems and then the bipolar disorder emerges after a few years. Whether the alcoholism is actually causing the bipolar disorder in those minority of individuals is still not clear.”

In some cases the states of depression or mania might not be symptoms of bipolarity. They might be the adverse effects of substance abuse.

Dr. Jim Craig also explains that identifying the link between drinking and depressive illnesses can be problematic: “It does happen that a patient has got an alcohol problem and it may be difficult to find out if they have a depressive illness. Alcohol itself is a depressant that disturbs sleep and can alter the mood.”

This requires careful monitoring after the patient has finished residential rehab: “If the depression doesn’t return and the patient is abstinent, that is pretty good evidence that the depression is a result of the alcohol” says Dr. Craig. “If it does return, then they have a primary depressive illness. In that case they need antidepressants.”

Please Visit Their Helpful site for more recovery articles at: http://www.castlecraig.co.uk/blog/ ‘Castle Craig Hospital’

“Presented To By Recovery Starts Here by Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon”

Its National Recovery Month All September Long On My Recovery Blog!

* HAPPY NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH RECOVERY FRIENDS & VISITORS!*

RecoveryMonth2015
Celebrate National Recovery Month!!

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I Welcome everyone to “Gambling Recovery Starts Here!”

These are just some of the wonderful Events I have planned, or have accomplished in HONOR of National Recovery Month September 2015!

Sharing our voices and story is a powerful tool to help those who are fresh in recovery, but it also reminds those in long-term recovery to always be ‘diligent and non-complacent’ in our own recoveries. It is now time for collective voice and faces of recovery join together for a common good. That is to help ‘Raise Awareness, Educate and Inform the public about addictions, and that recovery HAPPENS.’  And to share how we can change the landscape of Stigma and Understanding in this country around those of us who live life in Recovery!

So here are a few things I will be doing this Month and into the first week of October to celebrate! So I hope you will join me and share your voices with me here in my comment section all month-long!
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List of Events & Happenings I’m Doing! What are you doing?

Now I kicked off the month with a fabulous Recovery/Christian Blog Talk Radio Guest Interview! My host, Dale Garrett was a wonderful interviewer, and we talk about a lot of addiction and recovery areas. My show was appropriately called:  THE EYEWITNESS: WHO SAY’S GOD DOSEN’T PERFORM MIRACLES IN RECOVERY?

Now, if you click on the link above, it will take you to the show that was recorded, and you can listen at your leisure. Dale is the Author of his own book, written his own memoir to share his story of drug addiction and recovery.

He truly has been to HELL and back, and his book is appropriately called:“My 7 Seconds In Hell” and I can tell you his story is very powerful. So I thank Dale Garrett for having me on his show, and he will be in “The Hot Seat” next himself on September 11th 2015!
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Cover Photo

LIKE A POENIX FROM THE ASHES . . .

Event for God Allows U Turns There”s Life After drug”s · Hosted by Dale Garrett

The link for this upcoming show: Sept 11th Dale Garrett Interview ~ God Allows U Turns
Another way to Celebrate National Recovery Month? Read Dales Book!
 

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Product Details

Auto-delivered wirelessly ~ Go download yours Today!

About The Book:
Ever wonder what would happen if a meth lab blew up with you in it? Wonder no more…the following is a true account of a meth lab gone bad where he was severely burned from the waist up and sent to prison. Anyone fighting addictions involving meth should read this. There is hope. Inside see the hope that he found and you can too. . .
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Another Event that happened all month in August to Kick Off My Celebration . . .

Was done by my Dear Friend and Fellow Author and Recovery Coach, Melissa Killeen of  Recovery Coach New York City  She was kind enough to share excerpts from my current book titled; Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat. She has a done a fabulous 4 part blog series about me and my book on her wonderful website/blog.

So if you’d like to visit and read it? Just click on her link above and read her blog. I THANK her as well for the opportunity she provided to share a little of my book! Catherine will feature segments of her book “Addicted to Dimes” in this  … Continue reading
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Now my next project is in the works with the Fine Folks of  HEROES In Recovery” As I was invited to share my voice and story of gambling addiction with alcohol abuse, and how I am recovering now over 8 1/2 years. They provide a platform for anyone who would like to share their stories and testimonies of addiction and recovery. They have some pretty amazing people and voices over on their website here: Heroes In Recovery ~ Celebrating Recovery

My story will be added to the other 977 voices in recovery soon!! So keep a watch out as I will share the link ALL over Social Media to keep raising awareness of Recovery! Here is a little about what they DO!

WHAT IS HEROES IN RECOVERY?

Heroes in Recovery celebrates the heroic efforts of those who seek the addiction and mental health help they need without feeling ashamed or isolated. This grassroots movement is intended to remove the social stigma and to connect those in recovery through sharing our stories and engaging in community together.
MY STORY NOW RELEASED HERE

Heroes in Recovery has a simple mission: to eliminate the social stigma that keeps individuals with addiction and mental health issues from seeking help, to share stories of recovery  for the purpose of encouragement and inspiration, and to create an engaged sober community that empowers people to get involved, give back, and live healthy, active lives.

We’re holding events across the country, seeking to inspire a sense of community wherever we can. One of our main events is our series of Heroes 6K races – not 5K, but 6K – to create awareness about the need for treatment and to support those who are in recovery. We chose a 6K to symbolize the extra effort it takes to sustain recovery and so that each kilometer would represent one of the six letters in the word “HEROES.”  Our inaugural 6K was held in 2011 on a race course in Leiper’s Fork, Tenn., during the month of September (National Recovery Month). Since then, we have had a number of successful races across the country, and the number of races— and participants— continues to grow!

The Heroes movement has begun with strong momentum, but it still needs your help. We’re asking people in recovery to share their stories with us so that others who are struggling can realize that there’s life on the other side of drugs and alcohol . . . .

AND, since I am ‘dual diagnosed’ myself, their mission I stand behind as they do fantastic work for many us!
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Now my next event is one very close to my HEART, and happens the last weekend in September.

It’s in conjunction with my wonderful friends over at “Stop Predatory Gambling”….
Les Bernal has set up a weekend just for a man from my home state of Oregon who committed Suicide because he became addicted to gambling of the Video Poker & Slot Style machines OK’d and sponsored by the Oregon State Lottery, and it is a Legal Gambling racket of many States & Federal Government. And while I had lived in So. Oregon for over 25 years, I too got hooked on those video/slot machines the State of Oregon is profiting from . . . .

About This Event & More Info: National Day Of Action ~ Stop Predatory Gambling

National Day of Action

Sat. 9/26/15 & Sun. 9/27/15 ~ ~ In Memory of Bobby Hafemann

“To highlight the voices and stories of the millions of Americans like Bobby Hafemann, we are organizing the first-ever National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling on Sat. Sept. 26 and Sun. Sept. 27. We will publicize how this public policy is dishonest, financially damaging to citizens and contributing to the unfairness and inequality in our country.

Bobby Hafemann took his life because he became addicted to electronic gambling machines. Who was the primary sponsor and beneficiary of the machines that led to his death? His own state government. 

Bobby’s sister, Ronda Hatefi, has organized an annual day in her state for the last twenty years to remember her brother and all of those citizens who have been damaged by government-sponsored gambling.

To highlight the voices and stories of the millions of Americans like Bobby Hafemann, we are organizing the first-ever National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling . , .

Bobby Hafemann of Oregon took his life because he became addicted to electronic gambling machines.Who was the primary sponsor and beneficiary of the machines that led to his death? His own state government.

Bobby’s sister, Ronda Hatefi, has organized an annual day in her state for the last twenty years to remember her brother and all of those citizens who have been damaged by government-sponsored gambling.

To highlight the voices and stories of the millions of Americans like Bobby Hafemann, we are organizing the first-ever Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling. We will publicize how this public policy is dishonest, financially damaging to citizens and contributing to the unfairness and inequality in our country.

Planning for more than 100 actions is underway in 20 different states across America as well Australia..

Our Purpose: There will be at least 100 separate actions across the United States on the weekend of 9/26-9/27 to call attention to the millions of Americans like Bobby Hafemann, Melynda Litchfield and Jenise Brown who have been damaged by government-sponsored gambling.
Our Message: Predatory gambling cheats and damages all of us– even those citizens who don’t gamble.

Your Role: Please commit two hours on the weekend of 9/26-9/27 to participate locally in some way.

Possible Actions Include: The “action” can be anything you (or your group) want it to be. It could be a prayer vigil, a sign-holding visibility with homemade signs, participating in a “Freedom Players” event at a regional casino (or at a local restaurant/tavern with video gambling machines) The ideas are limitless.”

**Well I know I will! I’m going to be blogging on both days here on my Gambling Recovery Blog. But not going to reveal just yet what I will blogging about.**

BE A PART OF IT AND LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE!

 

Really? It Does Good Things?” I have never seen that happen much in Oregon.  As the Oregon Lottery says, profits are to go to schools and keep our parks clean and open? But many were still closing, and many schools programs cut or taken out all together.” Don’t drink the KOOLAID people! Someone is NOT telling the truth?

And I say this all the time, I have no ill will to those who can gamble normally, and for the entertainment of it, nor do I think gambling needs to be banned. What I do think should happen is the expansion of both Indian Casinos and State Lottery need to stop or slow way down. Look, do the math, we know they don’t make money or profits from the “once a month Bing player”. . . . they are making profits of those who are problem or addicted gamblers. It’s that simple.

And like for myself, no person being strung out, financially and emotionally devastated from this addiction should EVER have to contemplate SUICIDE to stop gambling addiction. Sadly, Bobby did.
And so did I try twice!  For some Higher Power had a hand in both my suicide attempts to fail. And I believe it is because of what I do today,  as I try and help those still sucked on the cunning “cycle” of the disease of addicted gambling.  I am to be of recovery service to other recovering addicts. To write, blog and share my experience with others to help shatter the stigma.
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Now another event that is still in the works, is another fabulous recovery platform and internet radio show that I have been invited to be a recovery guest on. This special guy, “O” I met just last month, and you know I keep telling you all  that GOD always brings people in our lives at just the right times!
Well my friend “Omar Pinto” just call him “O” a fantastic recovery podcaster has been kind enough to connect with me,  and will be taping an interview together to be aired for later this month! Here is a wee bit about “O” and The SHAIR Podcast ~

Omar Pinto

Omar Pinto
About – The SHAIR Podcast  ~  Addiction and Recovery Stories: The SHAIR Podcast
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Hi there, my name’s Omar but everybody calls me “O”. I am the host and founder of The SHAIR Podcast.”SHAIR pronounced “share”, spelled S-H-A-I-R, is an acronym for “Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery”. It’s a podcast where we bring you amazing life changing success stories from addicts and alcoholics all over the world who share their inspiring journey of recovery and we will release a brand new episode every Tuesday on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.
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The episodes will last between an hour and an hour and a half. During each episode, recovering addicts and alcoholics will share their stories with us, their battles against drugs and alcohol, the wreckage it caused in their lives, when they hit rock bottom, and finally their journey into recovery up until today. My hope is that these stories will inspire millions to stay clean and sober . . . .Just take a listen to one of his fantastic interviews ~ The SHAIR Podcast – Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery.Click on any of the EPISODES below to LISTEN NOW!029: Randy H. “The Monkey on My Back” now 15 years sober, takes us through 20 years of drug dealing, addiction and alcoholism.

028: Amber Leone Murphy “Can’t Keep a Sober Girl Down” (August 25, 2015) now 9 years
sober shares with us her 10 year battle with alcoholism . . . .
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Now my last event I will be par-taking will be in the 1st week of October to round out my celebrating National Recovery Month.  And it IS about time the government hears many voices of addiction and recovery. Time to step up funding to these areas as well as mental health services. So who better to pull this off?  10.04.15 UNITE to FACE ADDICTION That is Who!

Facing Addiction

And I may not be able to make it to Washington DC, but I can submit my story and will also be blogging both days as well. I was invited by one of the “Community Outreach Founders, Michael King”  and The Unite to Face Addiction team. I know this rally is going to make huge waves on our State Capitol!! Here is what this movement is for, and a little about Michael King .. .. ..

Who We Are

The UNITE to Face Addiction rally is being organized by Facing Addiction Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to finding solutions to the addiction crisis, as well as an independent coalition of national, state, and local non-profit organizations.

Vision 

Bring together the best resources in the field in order to reduce the human and social costs of addiction, every year, until this public health crisis is eliminated.

Mission

  • Build a grassroots constituency to give the millions affected by addiction a voice
  • “Rebrand addiction” to create the understanding, empathy, outrage and demand urgently needed to advance solutions
  • Increase access to effective prevention, treatment and recovery programs
  • Translate scientific innovation into useful tools and services
  • Advocate for governments to implement evidence-based policies and regulatory practices to end addiction
  • Widely share the proof of long-term recovery

Michael King Photo

Michael King (VA and West Coast At-Large) lives in Seattle, WA and has spent over a decade working on political campaigns, ranging from state and local races in the Pacific Northwest as well as US Senate and Presidential campaigns.  He has an extensive background in field organization, communications and campaign management, and is the proud father of two young children.

Founding Board of Directors

  • John Silverman, Chairman: Owner, SilverSEAL Corporation – New York, NY
  • Todd Hollander, Vice Chairman: Private Investor – New York, NY
  • Terry Meyerhoff Rubenstein, Secretary: Director, Meyerhoff Family Office – Baltimore, MD
  • Charles E. Johnson: Managing Director, TANO Capital – San Francisco, CA
  • Janet Zagorin: Client Services Officer, Sidley Austin LLP – New York, NY
  • Robin Kiam Aviv: Non-Profit Advisor – New York, NY
  • R. Steven Hicks: Chairman, Capstar Partners – Austin, TX
  • Stacie Mathewson: Founder, The Stacie Mathewson Foundation – Reno, NV

Facing Addiction Leadership Staff

  • Jim Hood: Co-Founder & Post-Event Organization Director
  • Greg Williams: Co-Founder & UNITE to Face Addiction Campaign Director
  • Johan Sorensen: Chief Strategy Officer
  • Dara Meyer: Event Director

Some of the FUN Events going on while in DC!

 

HORIZONTAL_Website CTA
Joe2

1 Photo Credit Zack Whitford     Sheryl

johnny    FRAY0077.PRESS.8x10MAIN
“Just to name a few of the Fine Entertainers That Support Recovery & Will be Performing!”
And of course a whole host of Recovery Events planned all weekend, so I urge you to go check out their ‘other events tab’ to see all the recovery education workshops, meetings and more by various addiction and recovery organizations by clicking on the link!
All And Other Events At Facing Addiction Rally 
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So, **HAPPY NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH FRIENDS**

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate ~ Lets Gather As ONE!!

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