Meet Darren Prince. He Runs a Successful Business, Has a Four-Time International Best Selling Memoir, and is a Caring Advocate Through His Aiming High Foundation. A Recovery Interview.

Meet Darren Prince. He Runs a Successful Business, Has a Four-Time International Best Selling Memoir, and is a Caring Advocate Through His Aiming High Foundation. A Recovery Interview.

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I am very happy and honored to welcome a good friend who is also a fellow author and recovery advocate, Darren Prince. He has written an amazing memoir titled, Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top. 

It became a bestseller in four countries as he shares his powerful story of drug addiction and what it takes to recover. I feel it needs to be read by everyone who not only maintains recovery, but also parents, and anyone who knows someone afflicted by any addiction. I say “any addiction” because it doesn’t matter the type or what preference the addiction is as addicts, the “cycle,” we get sucked into along with the habits and behaviors we learn are the same from one addiction to another.

Now that we are in the biggest drug epidemic in our country with opioid addiction, other pain killers, meth, etc., and the overdoses claiming too many precious lives each day, we need more helpful and caring advocates like Darren out here that bring the solutions through action to help others break free from addiction and have a desire to recover. He is now doing this through his active advocacy and through his new Aiming High Foundation (.org)
Darren and I met at a speaking event last year that was held here in Arizona where I live within the front lawn of our State Capitol to raise awareness of addiction for another friend. That was my first taste of having to plan a recovery event from beginning to end. Won’t be doing that again anytime soon! Lol.  When I reached out to Darren to ask if he would like to come and speak at this event? I quickly learned that Darren doesn’t do anything small. He Goes BIG or doesn’t do it at all! Lol. It’s why I say he is so caring and has a generous heart. He also helped with some bumps for our event with media and social media and I learned a lot from him and sure appreciated that!

Now, besides Darren coming to Arizona to speak, and I thank him for doing so, again, he sent me boxes prior to his arrival. They were many copies of his new book! Darren signed them graciously for attendees at the event.  Now, I better add that we also had “The Beast,” or I won’t hear the end of it…LOL, former NFL pro who played center for Tampa Bay Bucs, Mr. Randy Grimes… Who, today, goes by SoberCenter #60! Lol. He signed football for attendees too!

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Simply an amazing event to share Recovery from Addiction with Arizonians. Let’s learn more about Darren Prince, as I am also excited that we are working together on the “Literary and Book Marketing” side of things. Since I enjoyed reading ‘Aiming High’ so much? I want everyone to know about it!

WHY?

Because those of us who maintain recovery know that reading another’s experience, strength, and hope can be powerful tools for those new to recovery.

📚📚 ~Catherine Lyon

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Aiming High FACEBOOK and TWITTER TEASER
(Banner Courtesy of Terry of Author Shout (dot) com)

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About The Book -Aiming High
by Darren Prince (Author), Kristen McGuiness (Author), Earvin “Magic” Johnson (Foreword) (Author)

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Aiming High is the astonishing story of sports and celebrity agent Darren Prince, who battled addiction while representing some of the most iconic figures in the world. After a drug overdose, many demoralizing nights, and mornings where he couldn’t get out of bed without a prescription in hand, Darren hit rock bottom at the top–and in the process discovered the true meaning of success.

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ABOUT DARREN and AIMING HIGH FOUNDATION(.org)

Darren is all about “Coming Clean” and “Raising Awareness” as he enjoys sharing his testimony through his advocacy work, especially speaking to young teens at high schools, middle schools, young adults at community colleges, and universities through his new foundation to help others avoid the pitfalls of addiction. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Los Angeles area.

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Darren Prince, well-known sports and celebrity agent,
has now taken on a new role of author and advocate – this time representing recovery and hope for those who struggle with addiction! His astonishing story within the pages of his memoir battled addiction while representing some of the most iconic figures in the world. After a drug overdose and couldn’t get out of bed without a prescription in hand, Darren hit rock bottom at the top–and in the process discovered the true meaning of success…

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MY INTERVIEW WITH RECOVERY ADVOCATE, DARREN PRINCE

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1.) How long have you maintained recovery and what inspired you to write?
I have maintained my recovery path for 11+years now. After my father passed away, I got several signs that it was time to write and tell my story to help others.
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2.) Tell us about your writing process?
By chance, I met with a publisher named Anna David, she partnered me with writer Kristen McGuiness, and the rest is history. An international best-seller in four countries, and I am happy it was written and has helped many people.
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3.) How did you come to want to share your story and why?
I’ve learned that my test has become my testimony, and everyone knows somebody who is suffering from opioid addiction. We learn in treatment and maintaining recovery that sharing your journey is a powerful tool to help those new to recovery from addictions.
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4.) Who in Recovery Inspires You?
Chris Herren, Brandon Novak, and many other spiritual brothers and sisters are changing the game of recovery advocacy. We support each other and network to save more lives from opioid addiction.
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5.) What advice would you give other recovery writers and authors?
People need to be inspired into action and create change in their life. If you can write and speak your truth to help others? It is and would be the enormous privilege of your life.

6.) Who is your publisher, and how did you decide how to publish your book?
Anna David of Light Hustler Publisher. Anna knew my vision for this book before I even thought it. We would take the world on a journey from the grips of drug addiction and share the beauty of spiritual healing within the written words recovering. And doing so while working and representing many iconic figures of our time.
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7.) What do you consider your book genre to be?
It is nonfiction in memoir form. May appeal mostly to males, however, because of the recovery component, we have had quite a big female following as well because drug addiction doesn’t discriminate.

8.) Now lastly, What do you think about the future of book publishing during and after this Coronavirus pandemic?
I think it will be bigger than ever. People need to be motivated and inspired. Even though this pandemic has had a negative impact around the world, the blessing is positive for giving readers an inspiring book like mine that has an uplifting message while reading during this historic time.
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A Sport and Celebrity Agent's Battle Against Addiction           (Courtesy of The Epoch Times – Ali, Darren, Joe Fraiser)

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I do hope all my recovery warriors will stop by Darren’s Official Advocacy Website and Blog to learn all the ways Darren is “paying it forward” to those who may be suffering from the grip of addiction. Not only does he help teens and young college adults, but he helps “At-Risk” executives and professionals who may work in high-stress jobs.

If you are in the need of an addiction expert for your next virtual conference or event and who cares about others, who is an inspiring speaker and a sought after recovery keynote? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Darren Prince …

As Darren shares; “This Addiction Epidemic is REAL!” 

~Darren Prince of Prince Marketing Group and his Support the Aiming High Foundation.

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DhL6wN2VQAAmO0YDarren                    (Forward Written by NBA Icon, Magic Johnson)

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BIG CONGRATS DARREN for being chosen!!

“So grateful to have my AIMING HIGH FOUNDATION selected as one of 3 charities benefitting the #AmericaStrong Unity Wristband CHALLENGE honoring our COVID-19 heroes, raising money for COVID-19 related charities! Visit AmericaStrongUSA.com and take the CHALLENGE. #AmericaStrong  “

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Links to Purchase Audiobook version
Paperback – E-book
Click links for book samples, reviews and to purchase
Buy AIMING HIGH – Paperback – Ebook – My Book Orders (dot) com
Buy Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top Audiobook at Amazon
Buy Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top Audiobook at Audible
Buy Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top at iTunes


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About the Author

Learn more about the author on their website
Follow the author on Amazon

Follow The Author on Social Media:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram
LinkedIn
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DEAR MR. PRESIDENT… Did You Forget There Is An Opioid EPIDEMIC Happening Before There Was A COVID-19 Pandemic? A Special Message From Advocate & Author of “American Fix,” Ryan Hampton.

I ADVOCATE and SUPPORT All Forms of Recovery From Any Addiction.

Addiction Does Not Discriminate…

 

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In these unknown and uncertain times, it seems while this COVID-19 Pandemic is still spreading throughout our country, there is still a “BATTLE of an EPIDEMIC” happening in this country.  It also seems our Government, our President, and Legislators have forgotten and are NOT LISTENING.

They have worked faster than I have ever seen in my lifetime getting funding for this pandemic, but where is our immediate assistance for the DRUG EPIDEMIC?  We have surely lost way more lives since this OPIOID CRISIS in AMERICA has begun and we are still losing precious lives every day over and above the virus pandemic…Especially when we read headlines like this!

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Officials worry large potential spikes in overdose deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic

Health officials worry extended isolation could exacerbate the problem. Must read by ABC NEWS.

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When will our President, Vice President, and all of the Government start taking addiction seriously?
Why can’t they rush through more funding for an EPIDEMIC like they are for this Virus PANDEMIC?

Is it a class war fair?

It is because they think all addicts just ‘Choose To Be Addicts and SICK?’

Like this crisis and epidemic is not IMPORTANT ENOUGH?

Isn’t any life saved not a LIFE?

Shouldn’t ALL SICK PEOPLE DESERVE HELP and HOPE?

I think it is safe to say during this pandemic, and with so much funding being sent out everywhere to stop the bleeding of our economy, businesses, the mortgage and financial sectors, and slipping into recession and a huge amount of the job market all going to hell, where do you think they will start cutting funding first? Yes, you guessed it, addiction treatment, and mental health services! I could go on and on but I’ll let my friend Ryan Hampton share his message I got this week from him.

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Those suffering from substance use disorders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Jacksonville, Florida, the fire and rescue department reported a 20 percent increase in overdose emergency calls in March. In Columbus, Ohio, the county coroner’s office saw a surge in overdose deaths, including 12 in a 24-hour period the first week of April. And in New York State, at least four counties have acknowledged an increase in reported overdoses, including Erie County, where officials saw at least 110 drug overdoses, including 36 deaths, reported since the beginning of March.

 

“I think we need to consider the role that social isolation coupled with non-stop reporting on the pandemic may have on the feelings of desperation and hopelessness among those struggling with substance abuse,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York James Kennedy Jr. said in a statement. “Amidst the current crisis, we need to remember that substance abuse existed long before COVID-19, and it will likely remain long after we have wiped out the virus.”

(ABC NEWS Article)

 

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This message from Ryan Hampton is very important to read and share out through Social Media while tagging our President and all Legislators! 

They NEED TO HEAR OUR VOICES OF RECOVERY and ADVOCACY around this issue!
As Ryan’s book description shares:

“Nearly every American knows someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis. Addiction is a trans-partisan issue that impacts individuals from every walk of life. Millions of Americans, tired of watching their loved ones die while politicians ignore this issue.
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Where is the solution?
Where is the hope?
Where’s the outrage?”
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~In “American Fix” an outline of the challenges that the recovery movement currently faces, and offers a concrete, comprehensive plan of action towards making America’s addiction crisis a thing of the past.”

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Image may contain: 4 people, including Ryan Hampton, people smiling{Hardest Activist and Advocate I Know!}

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Published by Medium on May 10, 2020. Original article can be found here.

 

By: Ryan Hampton. The Author of American Fix

If we look up from what’s right in front of us — a global pandemic — we’ll remember that we’ve been battling a public health crisis for more than a decade. The opioid epidemic alone has stolen more than 450,000 lives from us since 1999, but the total number of deaths related to substance use is around 1.75 million for that same period.

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Before this virus swept through the U.S., we were starting to see real change in the opioid crisis — both in the health systems and the decline of drug overdose deaths. Overdose death rates decreased by 4.1% from 2017 to 2018 in the U.S. This is not to deemphasize the pandemic’s impact on our country or the critical response needed, but to remind America that the opioid epidemic did not go away when COVID-19 reared its head. We can’t forget about people living with addiction.

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Now we’re simultaneously facing two crises, putting patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) at a significantly higher risk for overdose, death, and relapse. When there is so much uncertainty for those with addiction about how to continue receiving care during this time, it’s essential that addiction treatment programs continue to receive federal and state support so that we don’t lose our foothold on combating the opioid crisis.

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Nationally we’re seeing increased unemployment and poverty, mandatory changes to daily routines, and increased anxiety and stress which are only magnified for people managing addiction. These added stressors can disrupt a person’s recovery journey by overwhelming their coping mechanisms. Addiction is a disease of isolation, so the necessary physical distancing protocols that yank people out of their routines and their communities and trap them alone with anxiety (and even boredom) is dangerous to recovery.

 

Not only that, but the pandemic is shifting how people can receive treatment. Many support groups and counseling sessions are being provided virtually. But how about people who use medication-assisted treatment? A significant portion of people in treatment pays out of pocket for their care. With a rising number of Americans losing their jobs due to the pandemic, including people in recovery, their ability to afford life-saving care is in danger.
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The addiction treatment organizations are struggling too. They are spending more money to put protocols in place in response to COVID-19 while dealing with employee absences and patients forgoing treatment. Yes, federal and state regulators have loosened requirements for care at outpatient opioid treatment programs (OTPs), which is important. But if the OTPs don’t have the funding needed to continue operating in this new environment, these regulation modifications are irrelevant. Without ongoing treatment, those in addiction recovery are at risk of relapse and overdose.

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Before COVID-19 hit, our nation was at a turning point in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The coronavirus pandemic not only threatens thousands of lives, but it also threatens to completely derail the progress we’ve made in digging this country out of one of the worst human-made epidemics in history. If people living with addiction can’t get the care they need, they too will die.
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In a time when a pandemic is causing so much uncertainty, people living with OUD need stability. Addiction advocacy groups and others in the industry have issued a formal request to the federal government asking for $38.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding for direct payments to behavioral health organizations, which will help ensure they remain open and operating during the COVID-19 crisis.

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While this sounds like a lot, let me put this request into perspective: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of opioid misuse alone in the U.S. is $78.5 billion a year. We only need a small fraction of that cost to save lives.
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The bottom line is this: we need to make sure organizations that help people in recovery — opioid treatment programs, community behavioral health centers, peer support organizations, and others — get the resources they need to continue providing addiction and mental health care.

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Ryan Hampton is the organizing director at the Recovery Advocacy Project, author of “American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis — and How to End It” and national addiction recovery activist.

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National Overdose Awareness Day. In Remembrance of Those Lost From Drug Overdose. Recovery is Possible.

National Overdose Awareness Day. In Remembrance of Those Lost From Drug Overdose. Recovery is Possible.

Today is a day of awareness, education, and to speak out as many are “FED UP” with the loss of life from drug addiction. It is time to have the conversation about what our President and Government plans to do about this raging epidemic. It needs to be addressed NOW, not later. As the body count rises of loved ones, ones who would never dream of becoming a drug addict. They may have had surgery and within a week or so become addicted to painkillers better known as OPIOIDS.

These are our mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. They are living and breathing real humans who may have never tried or used drugs in the past. It is also our kids. Our teens and college young adults. According to the US Drug Overdose .GOV website there have been 72,000.00 estimated in 2017 that was reported. I’m sure unreported cases would make this number higher 2 fold! Visit the site for the full report.

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The U.S. government does not track death rates for every drug. However, the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does collect information on many of the more commonly used drugs. The CDC also has a searchable database, called CDC Wonder.

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Drugs Involved in U.S. Overdose Deaths, 1999 to 2017             

Drugs Involved in U.S. Overdose Deaths* – Among the more than 72,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2017*, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with nearly 30,000 overdose deaths. Source: CDC WONDER

Total U.S. Drug Deaths

Total U.S. Drug Deaths* – More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids—a 2-fold increase in a decade. Source: CDC WONDER

* Provisional counts for 2017 are based on data available through 12/17 but are not yet finalized. Counts through 2016 are based on final annual data.*

 

Number of Deaths Involving All Drugs

National Overdose Deaths—

Number of Deaths Involving All Drugs. The figure above is a bar chart showing the total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving all drugs from 2002 to 2016 and provisional 2017 data. The chart is overlayed by a line graph showing the number of deaths of females and males from 2002 to 2016. From 2002 to 2017 there was a 3.1-fold increase in the total number of deaths. (Please visit overdose death rates for the full report.)

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If you know a loved one or family member is suffering from drug addiction, do something NOW to get them help! Don’t let “Insurance” or lack of it to “Dictate” whether or not you receiving help. Look for treatment providers giving out Grants or Scholarships for treatment.

Reach out to advocates who have connections, or check with your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or St. Vincent De Paul organizations for help finding treatment for a loved one. Or even your local churches may have some resources. Just don’t give up looking. If you own a home, do a 1st or 2nd mortgage loan on it. WHY? YOU CAN NOT put a PRICE on saving a LIFE…

A Resources If You Have No Insurance Coverage For Addiction Treatment

How to Find a State-Funded Rehab Center – American Addiction Centers

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/state-funded/

National Helpline | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health …

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

Apr 19, 2018 – This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support … If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state 

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How to Get Into Rehab Without Insurance – Rehabs.com

https://luxury.rehabs.com/drug-rehab/rehab-without-insurance/

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FIND AND ATTEND A OVERDOSE EVENT:

South Florida Is!!
Friday, August 31 at 3 PM – 8 PM EDT
Starts in about 2 hours · 90°F Mostly Cloudy

WHERE? Florida Atlantic University  777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, Florida 33431

DALLAS TEXAS IS! Today starting now till 3PM at Lake Cliff Park!!

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An advocate of Gambling Addiction, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

My Recovery Guest Today – Meet Aaron Emerson…”Hope From DOPE”

My Recovery Guest Today – Meet Aaron Emerson…”Hope From DOPE”

Most all know just how difficult maintaining recovery can be. Especially when we come out of rehab or treatment and in early recovery. No one knows this better than my dear friend and advocate, Aaron Emerson. I have been a supporter and friends with Aaron for a couple years now. I can tell you this guy “Never Gives Up.” 

Yes, we all may have relapsed before, but Aaron is very adamant in sharing what he learns if and when we all at times have a slip. The most important fact is, Aaron is Honest, Real, and Transparent about the ups and downs of maintaining recovery.

So, that is what is my point is with this post and having Aaron share some of his story with all of us today, courtesy of his latest newsletter … “Hope From Dope” is a newsletter written by Aaron Emerson, a recovering addict, and alcoholic. It contains his writings from his Hope From Dope blog, updates on his recovery and more. 

“HE IS A FIGHTER” and he never gives up with “God In His Corner!”

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Treatment Works; My Story ~ By Aaron Emerson.

 

 

“I have been to rehab 7 times” …

Yes, seven times I have checked myself into rehab. Many of those times I did it to simply get my family off my back and a couple more times because I was homeless and didn’t have anywhere else to go. 

But this last time, well, I entered rehab totally broken, ashamed, hopeless and humiliated. At the same time, though, I was finally ready to do everything they asked me to do and willing to give recovery a try again.

It was a rehab in Memphis, Michigan called Sacred Heart. Based on the 12 Steps, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and family support, it is a treatment center that mainly serves low-income individuals from Michigan. It is a terrific place that employs therapists and workers who are recovering addicts themselves. And, well, it saved my life.

The day I checked myself into Sacred Heart, I had two warrants out for my arrest for stealing a credit card. I was a broken person, my relationships were all shattered and nobody trusted me.

Years prior, I had been living a life of recovery after several years of heroin addiction and it was the happiest I’d ever been. However, after I let up on how many meetings I went to and distancing myself from my recovery program, I drank some beers at a wedding, triggering a downward spiral of a couple more years of on and off drinking and drug use.


So, walking into Sacred Heart on December 8, I was humiliated that after building a life of recovery, I was now back in active addiction, facing some criminal charges. I had shared my story at area high schools and been featured in news stories about recovery. But here I was, strung out and hopeless once again.

About the only thing I had going for me that day was that for the last week, I hadn’t used drugs or drank. After the cops were called on me for acting violently after a night of drinking, an Ingham County Sheriff’s Sergeant helped convince me to check into treatment and get my life together for my daughter.

I actually listened to him. The way he treated me like someone who needed help and not as a crazy criminal really gave me hope. I was used to cops doing everything they could to stick me with charges and lock me away, so when an officer who was high up on the chain in law enforcement showed me compassion and seemed to really care about me and my daughter, it triggered me to try to get sober and go back to rehab.

And since that night when Sgt. Harrison helped me instead of locking me up, I haven’t used drugs. Rehab went very well and Sacred Heart helped me get some stability in my life. When I left a few weeks later, I was sober and motivated to get to a meeting as soon as I got out.

I did and two days later I turned myself in to handle the warrants. I got a personal bond and a month later was sentenced to Drug Court in East Lansing, which provides treatment and therapy instead of jail or prison. Drug Court has introduced me to a very good support system and given me a strict, balanced life to build around.

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I now have a job working 30 hours a week, go to meetings and therapy each day and am trying to be the best father I can be to my seven-year-old daughter. My life is extremely busy with work and all the meetings and therapy, but it is helping me. I feel like I have a very sustainable foundation in my recovery. I have a sponsor and a recovery coach that I call every day and another recovery coach that helps me and my family piece back together our relationships.

Out of all the sponsors, recovery coaches, therapists and probation officers I have in my life, I genuinely feel like each one of them cares deeply for me and plays very important but different pieces of the puzzle. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Sgt. Harrison motivating me to go to Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart truly helped me develop a foundation to get my life back together and I will forever be grateful for that.

It doesn’t matter how many times you have fallen, it is never impossible to stand back up and fight! It doesn’t matter if you have never been to rehab or if you’ve been to treatment ten times, never give up! While in active addiction, it seems impossible to ever get sober and be happy without drugs and alcohol. That is a lie the disease of addiction tells you. The memories and hope I am experiencing today is something to cherish.

Never give up. Don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed to admit you have a problem and need help. It takes a lot of strength and courage to check yourself into treatment or ask for help, but it is the first step to building a happy life of sobriety.

Treatment works!

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THANK YOU, Aaron, for being my Guest Today!

You can follow Aaron’s journey and share your support by visiting his website “Hope From DOPE”  and by connecting with him here on Facebook too!
Please check out his book as well now available and e-book now only $3.99 here on Amazon Kindle… 

To Hell And Back: Heroin And Recovery: My Life Of Addiction And Recovery Told Through Past Journals by [Emerson, Aaron]

“We The People Declare A State of Emergency ~ Today Is Overdose Awareness Day!”

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“WE THE PEOPLE ARE FED UP WITH WASHINGTON, D.C. ~ TODAY IS ‘International Overdose Awareness Day!”

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Facing Addiction

Dear Author & Recovery Advocate, Catherine Lyon,

Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. We all know someone, who has suffered the ultimate loss. Our family, our friends, our neighbors, our children. Nobody is immune from the addiction crisis. Today is a day to remember, reflect, and speak out. Overdoses are preventable. We must do more.
This is a national emergency. Several weeks ago, President Trump stated his intention to declare a national emergency around the opioid epidemic. Since his statement – NO NATIONAL EMERGENCY HAS BEEN DECLARED.

Words are one thing, taking action is another. Action is what we need. Please, take a moment today and sign our letter to President Trump urging him to turn his words into action and officially declare a national emergency.

White House
What would a national emergency mean?

It could open up various new funding streams from the federal government. It could mean increased access to medically assisted treatment. And it could loosen restrictions on using Medicaid dollars to gain access to treatment.

Show the President you are willing to do more than talk – show him and his administration you are willing to act. Please, take a moment today to sign our letter urging President Trump to turn his words into action and officially declare this national emergency here: sign our letter to President Trump!!

Thank you for all you do.
 

With warm regards,
 

Michael King,
Director of Outreach & Engagement


A Special Message From ~ “The Addicts Mom” Who Advocates Tirelessly About Her Son & Helping Other Moms…

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AUGUST 31st 2017 IS “Fed Up” Day of Remembrance ~ TAM Hero

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“Another TAM Hero – The Core Centers of Recovery for helped Darrell N Michelle Jaskulski son Kyle achieve recovery. We are so grateful to Stuart Goffman and his wonderful staff at the Core for their outstanding treatment.”


Voices of The Addict’s Mom

When Treatment Works By Michelle Jaskulski


“I want to share with everyone the story of my son Kyle, and his recent experience with treatment. We are very hopeful that he is truly on the road to life-long recovery.”

The week after Easter, my 24-year-old son, Kyle, after four years of struggling with opioids, heroin, and other drugs, finally was willing to accept help in the form of inpatient substance abuse treatment. I called every facility in our state of Wisconsin looking for help, but there were so many obstacles, including lack of appropriate insurance coverage, too much down payment money required, or a month long wait-list. To further complicate matters, Kyle was on probation.

Because TAM Founder, Barbara Theodosiou, has openly “Shared Without Shame” for ten years, she and TAM are very well-known in South Florida, and across the nation. Stuart Goffman of The Core Centers in Fort Lauderdale was touched by Barbara’s tragic story of Daniel and how some of the people in the treatment industry had taken advantage of Daniel during his many attempts at recovery. Stuart wanted to establish a relationship with TAM. I felt relieved when Barbara and Stuart and I spoke on the phone about bringing Kyle to The Core. Stuart was very attentive to not only Kyle’s needs, but to mine as the mother of an addicted child.

The staff at The Core was very helpful and welcoming. Kyle was homesick because we are a close family and he was very far from home! In addition, this was his first attempt at inpatient treatment. The staff practice client-centered methods of treatment and they worked with Kyle to help him adjust to his new environment. The staff encouraged open communication with our son, so Kyle and his counselor called us once a week to go over his progress and his plans. With each call, we could tell he was getting better, stronger and more determined to recover. He had to learn to be independent and cope with his struggles, by developing life skills. Through group tasks, the young people learned to cooperate with each other and became Kyle’s second family.

When it was time for Kyle to come home, the staff helped Kyle with a smooth transition. Members of the staff also wrote letters of support to Kyle’s probation officer, who at the time wanted to revoke him for leaving the state.  Ultimately, Kyle did not get revoked and has been back home with us since the beginning of July. He has continued to work his recovery, going to a weekly group, and he has found a full-time job. He is not only paying off his restitution, he is working out at the gym each day.

I am really proud of the efforts and progress my son has made over the last several months. I’ve asked him what he thinks are the reasons for his success, and he attributes it to the community-like atmosphere and care that The Core offers as a small center. I want to thank everyone at the center for helping Kyle begin his life again, with hopes for a successful future.   ~Michelle Jaskulski


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Stuart Goffman, CFO and a Co-Founder of The Core Centers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, feel’s very fortunate that in his youth, he “never had any connection to the recovery world.” When Stuart moved to Florida, however, a good friend became a serious alcoholic and Stuart was both was saddened and amazed at his choices and behavior. Stuart tried to help his friend through tough love, encouragement and positive solutions.

However, according to Stuart, “I didn’t understand that addiction is a disease, and tough love doesn’t always work.”

Through his experiences with his friend, Stuart learned about addiction, recovery, and sobriety. He decided to found The Core Centers to treat clients the way he would want to be treated. Stuart hired an expert staff that practice patient-centered treatment in a family-like atmosphere. His staff is committed to helping each and every individual in their care achieve success in their recovery in order that they may have an opportunity to live a productive, happy future…..


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Please also visit and become a supporter by signing up for ” The Addicts Mom Website for helpful resources and her story!

AND THIS MY Recovery Friends is how treatment, recovery, and aftercare should work!!   “Sometimes it takes a village.”

Catherine 🙂  

 

“My Recovery Spotlight of The Month is Carol of Yes2Sobriety and Sobriety is Freedom”. . . .

Please meet my new friend and recovery supporter ‘Carol’ of the website: YES2Sobriety as she is our Spotlighted Recovery Website of the Month!

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SOBRIETYISFREEDOM

AND ADDICTION IS THE PRISON

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ABOUT CAROL:

Hello, and THANK-YOU for visiting  yes2sobriety.com — sobriety is freedom.  I hope that yes2sobriety.com becomes the place where you go, to ask for help, advice, information or even just to vent about anything at all.  Also, a place of inspiration and hopefully, a place for you to inspire others with your personal story.

My name is Carol, and I am a recovering heroin addict.  I have been battling my addiction carolon and off for twenty years.  I tried any and everything to get and stay sober.  Now, that I am out of this hell that I created for myself, the HEROIN PRISON. I am so grateful that it can’t be put into words.  Breaking the chains that I was bound by for so many years is such a feeling of freedom, literally.  I also am extremely grateful for this website it has been a huge part in helping me, maintain my sobriety.

Recovery is no cake walk. If someone said it is then they are full of shit!!(Oh, sorry about the language but if that bothers you than you are on the wrong website.)  No matter how hard it gets, believes me, it’s  ALL Worth It!!! I am finally living life and loving it.  Instead of numbing my feelings and emotions I feel them and I love it!!!  There is nothing like a good laugh or cry to let you know you are alive. Like they say in NA or AA, My worst day sober is still better than my best day high. And, that is so friggin true. Today, I am finally willing to do whatever it takes to maintain my sobriety.

Today, I am extremely grateful not only for my life but the people in it.  Especially my teenage daughter who I am amazed by every day. I have a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and funny daughter.  That I can’t be more proud of.  Sometimes, I do wonder how in the hell did I get so lucky to have such an awesome kid.  She is my INSPIRATION.  My dream about being sober is now my reality.  I don’t deny that it takes hard work and dedication but so does being an addict. (Shit, that is a full-time job in itself)  It is all worth it though because of the fact that Sobriety is Freedom!!

Now, don’t you want to be free from whatever is keeping you down?  Whatever the addiction is, we all deserve happiness and by changing your lifestyle, that’s a start, and you are on your way to a new life filled with happiness.  Please, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to email me, Carol, at yes2sobriety@gmail.com …

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When I visited Carol’s website in December, this post really struck a cord with me and touched my own recovery. Even though my journey is from gambling and alcohol addictions, we all know that addiction is addiction, and we all come from many types of addicted paths, BUT? We all have come from the Depths of HELL …

 

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NEVER GOING BACK, TO HELL

As I am sitting here and contemplating my life, the past, present, and future I am so grateful that I am not chasing that bag of dope anymore.  Now, in saying that do I think about it, you better believe I do and that’s just a part of addiction.  The difference for me today is I don’t act on my thoughts and that is a huge accomplishment for me.  In the past when I thought I did before I even had the chance to rethink my thought I was already onpast will stay there my way to cop (pick up my shit).

So, what I am saying is that it’s okay to think about it and it’s normal.  The part that is not okay is the doing it.  Now, I snap out of that thought pretty quick because I am literally so happy and content with my life that I am not doing anything to fuck that up. Because fucking up used to be my middle name.  I was an expert that I could do it in my sleep. 🙂 There’s a saying in I think NA/AA that goes like this my worst day sober is better than my best day high.  Now, I can honestly say that is so true.  My life is far from perfect and perfect it will never be, that’s not what I am looking for.

I just want to live peaceful no drama and limited stress.  And to be happy, I know it’s simple but I haven’t been truly happy for so long that I appreciate it immensely, you have no idea.  It’s not much but it’s all I need and I will not let my sobriety to ever be compromised.  It means too much to me and I will do whatever it takes to maintain it because I can say I am never going back to where I was.  Thanks for reading and please leave any comments or feedback below, I always love to read what you think.

 

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One area that Carol and I both agree on as far as recovery? She lives and works her life with three key important areas like I do, “Mind, Body, and Soul.” In order to live a real, honest and authentic recovery we need to do these three things Carol firmly believes IN:

RETRAIN YOUR  MIND

EXERCISE YOUR  BODY

NOURISH YOUR  SOUL

 

Please Connect with Carol on Social Media!

gofundme.com/carols-dream-2-drive
Facebook
Twitter

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***Presented By “Recovery Starts Here! ~ Author, Catherine Lyon”***

 

My Recovery New Year Featured Author, Danny Range and His New Book: “Warren’s Finest” … Amazing!

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When those who recover from addiction share their story? We know it can be a powerful tool to help others who still suffer can learn no matter how down in hell you are? anyone can recover. This book by Author, Danny Range is a fine example that “IT CAN BE DONE.”


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Product Details

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About The Book:

Authored by Danny Range

Haven’t heard of the man known as “Warren’s Finest,” AKA Danny Range? Born in a broken and poverty ridden city, he had infinite potential as a businessman and unlimited people skills, but an unfathomably bad alcohol and drug problem almost ended his life at age nineteen. He left the city in an attempt to find himself and start a new life, then gave in to the temptation to return to the poisonous lifestyle he was remembered for. He spent the majority of his young life giving in to every guilty pleasure imaginable, until the day he lifted his bloody face off of a cold hard floor, got clean, and went on to be his family’s first college graduate. He then dedicated his life to straying people away from diving into the destructive lifestyle that he once proclaimed himself “The King” of. He encouraged them to chase their own dreams, as sharing his experiences to change lives became his.

This is his story…

 

 

👑Danny Range👑

📝Author 👔Businessman 🙏Philanthropist My story shows the world you can overcome anything!”

My Book Review & Others:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars I Highly Suggest This One!, January 2, 2017
This review is from: Warren’s Finest (Paperback)

I was honored to receive a copy for an honest review. An AMAZING RIDE!

When those who recover from addiction share their story? We know it can be a powerful tool to help others who still suffer can learn no matter how down in hell you are? Anyone can recover. This book by Author, Danny Range is a fine example that “IT CAN BE DONE.”

All parents I feel need to read this book. Addictions of all kinds are now reaching our teens, this book is an in-depth look at addiction from all sides. Danny did an exceptional job with sharing his good, bad, and the hell we go through when in depths of addiction. And this read pulls you in for an amazing ride of thrills and mystery as he had lead a very unique life.

But? Bottomline is anyone can recovery. Thank you, Danny, for writing this book! I look for more books from in the future. Thank you for helping many with finding recovery!

 

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5.0 out of 5 stars Many of these kids with no hope of good job prospect turn to drugs and their life turns …, December 21, 2016
This review is from: Warren’s Finest (Paperback)

This book demonstrated the raw emotions of a young adult growing up in an area decimated by the decline of manufacturing in our country. Many of these kids with no hope of good job prospect turn to drugs and their life turns into nothing but a struggle. Drugs are readily available in these areas, unfortunately. The author does a great job of writing about becoming addicted to drugs than going through the immense uphill climb of getting off addiction. Definitely, a great book to give to someone struggling with addiction or even a junior high school/high school student who you don’t want to see go through the struggle. Highly Suggest This Book!

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Please Connect with The Author – Danny Range

On Twitter
On Instagram

warrensfinest “Proud to announce this is now officially the account for my book, “Warren’s Finest,” that I will self-publish sometime in 2016. The book is a story I have created based on the events of my own life and I am using this book to sacrifice my own reputation in order to show others that you can overcome anything if you put your mind to it. I went from white trash, drug using, porch monkey to the first person in his entire family to attend and graduate college, as I now live as a successful businessman in the Columbus, Ohio area and am currently clean of all drugs.”

“People that know me from who I was when I lived in Warren can and will tell you plenty about me that is mostly negative and likely deserving, but I’m here to hope you follow the changed and positive man I have become. I’m now officially taking this project seriously and chasing my dreams of being able to provide a life for my mother, brother, and future family that I never got to have. Bigs things to come from me in the next year and a half.”

Your follows are appreciated and any negativity from here on out will be blocked.
His page is strictly for positive people that understand being on a mission like I am. I believe in myself, even if most of my friends don’t and the family that know about this doesn’t. That’s all that matters. As my manuscript, which I encourage you all to ask to read, says in its final sentence, “Enjoy the ride..” #ChaseYourDreams  “His Instagram Message” ….

 

The Author, Danny Range .  .  .  .

 

Going Cold Turkey from Heroin Feels Like Hell. Our Guest Article Today.

Going Cold Turkey from Heroin Feels Like Hell. Our Guest Article Today.

“Going Cold Turkey From Heroin Feels Like Hell.  ~ By Aleksandre McMenamin

 

Anyone who has ever used heroin can attest to the fact that it is one of the most euphoric experiences that your brain can feel. There is an immense joy that is felt when using heroin; a pleasurable sensation that is without equal, feeling vastly better than anything your meager memory can recall. Even the elation of sex is incomparable, chemically, with the gamut of gratifying feelings that heroin creates for you. This is why heroin is the most addictive substance on the planet, and one whose presence is substantially growing in different regions of America. Nobody ever tells you all of the incredible catharsis that comes from using heroin. You only hear about the destructive nature of it, but the reasons why it is such a powerful temptation are too often disregarded.

Understanding the feeling of heroin is crucial to understanding why people use it, and why it is so difficult to stop using. Although there are many forms of treatment for heroin addiction, the one way that every addict has tried, at least once (and probably multiple times), is just stopping. It sounds so simple! Simply don’t use heroin, again. This process is called “cold turkey,” and it is hell.

The most initial and apparent effects of quitting heroin cold turkey are ones that are physical in nature. Within 24 hours after heroin has left your body, an intense feeling of nausea begins to saturate your body. At first, you will experience aches and soreness anywhere that you can feel. Your body is telling you that need that shot, and as far as you are concerned, you absolutely do. Every fiber of your being will be telling you to get heroin, and to do so at any cost.

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cooking the heroin.

For those who are able to get past this initial feeling, the nightmare has only started. Soon, you will begin to sweat, profusely. Your body is shaking so much that it is literally exhausting any and all energy that you have. Your skin will be burning up, but also experiencing a cold chill that echoes throughout your body, inescapably. This is the shock that occurs when your body finally realizes that another dose may not be coming. Because of exhaustion, you will need to keep eating and drinking water, but will probably not be able to keep anything down. Your stomach will reject everything that you put inside of it.

At this point, the tiredness will reach an extreme point. Never before in your life will you have needed to rest more than you will now, and the hunger is only making it worse. Getting up and walking somewhere will take concentrated effort and a great deal of pain. Every step feels like a marathon, in and of itself, because the exhaustion and discoordination are taking over every aspect of yourself. Sleep does not come easily, though, because the worst part of this journey is nothing physical, but entirely psychological.

Heroin is an exhilarating drug, but all of the incredible feelings are ones that are created by the drug, thus making your brain dependent on these artificial emotions. This stifles your brain’s ability to create its own endorphins, which means no dopamine. This is, by far, the most dangerous aspect of heroin, as well as the most destructive part of going cold turkey. At this point in the process, you have lost all of the endorphins that were generated from the heroin use, but your brain is unable to produce its own. Scientifically, this is a process that can be broken down, but the real feeling is unexplainable.

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dramatic shot, teen heroin user - after shooting up
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Happiness will be impossible. The ultimate feeling of despair sets in, and you can’t believe that anything you had ever experienced before had even qualified as anguish, in your mind. As hard as you might try, you cannot think of one happy thing. Every aspect of self-doubt that sits, like a maid-in-waiting, in the back of your mind will be brought to your conscious mind. In your mind, every notion of joy and exultation that you see experienced in the world is an affront to the most inescapable of truths: we are alone. Any meaning that you ever placed on your own existence is an insult to this fact, which permeates every thought. For the next several days, the thought of suicide will always be on your mind, and it will seem like an inevitable option.

Even though sleep is the only hope you have of escaping the horror of your waking existence, it will be nigh impossible. By this point, the shock your body is experiencing will reach its apex. Every nerve will feel like it is being burned alive, individually. Only after hours of this pain will the exhaustion overtake you so you can get an hour of rest. However, due to the psychological aspects of heroin withdrawal, your active mind will fill every moment of rest with images that can only be equated with hell. Nightmares begin to define your existence, as you wake up to paranoia and hallucinations and go to sleep to the world that you imagine you deserve (which is the greatest punishment).

These effects can last weeks, at varying degrees of intensity. It is not a steady drop off. One day, you will think that everything is getting better and that you are on the other side of this, but the next day could be just as bad as the first. And after the effects of heroin withdrawal finally wear off, you begin to realize that you will never truly be free of it. After decades of sobriety pass, the craving never really leaves you, like a parasite in the back of your mind that refuses to die.

Because of all the physical and psychological risks of heroin withdrawal, it is incredibly dangerous to simply quit “cold turkey.” Today, there are plenty of tools to detox from heroin addiction, safely (such as Subutex Titration, which is wonderfully explained in this article here). 

If you are suffering from heroin addiction, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to speak with a health professional today and to give yourself the best chance to get better and move on with life.

“Hate The Addiction Not The Addict.”

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If you need help from drug addiction? Please visit Narcotics Anonymous Today
SUICIDE is never an OPTION to Stop Addiction: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline    CALL: 1-800-273-8255  Available every day  24 hours a day  .  .  .  .

 

 

“Presented By: “Recovery Starts Here ~ Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon”

 

Recovery News~Meet The Author for Those In Mason, MI!

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Hello, And Welcome Recovery Friends!


Today is a share for all of those who live in or near Mason, MI …
My dear friend and fellow Author, Aaron Emerson will be having a Meet and Greet reception and book signing on April 8th, 2016. Here is a share from his recovery blog with all the details, so you won’t want to MISS this Special Event!

My Book Signing Is April 8!

By Aaron Emerson

I received some great news the other day so it is with great excitement I announce it here on my blog: I am having a book signing on April 8 at Bestseller Books & Coffee in Mason.
The book signing will held from 5 to 7 p.m. so if you aren’t doing anything or if you are getting out of work, stop on over.

Bestsellers is a bookstore and coffee shop in downtown Mason, located at 360 S. Jefferson Street right across the street from the iconic courthouse. My books are selling for $13.99 and you can purchase as many copies as you want. You can also request a message from me written inside the book for you or someone else.
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This is something I am really excited about, as a lot of my hard work on putting this book together is coming to fruition. I really hope I can see you there. If you want, bring over a friend or purchase a copy for someone else if you haven’t already purchased a book. If you already have a copy, you can still bring it in to get signed. I just want to see some faces!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me in this journey, whether that has been a big or small role. It has been a goal of mine for several years to write a memoir and I could never have done it without help and support from so many people.

The book – To Hell And Back: Heroin And Recovery – is a memoir I wrote on my addiction to heroin and my first year of recovery. It is written in the form of my journals I wrote while I was going through everything, so, in a way, it is like getting inside the mind of an addict.

If you can’t make the book signing, you can purchase a copy here on my blog through PayPal by clicking HERE or on Amazon with a credit card by clicking HERE  . . .

Product Details
( Click book to Amazon for purchase)

 

About Aaron’s Book:

Aaron Emerson grew up as the son of a successful minister in Mason, Michigan. Blessed with a loving, caring family, he had the makings of a great life. At 14, however, his dad was unexpectedly fired from the church he helped build, right after the tragic passing of his cousin.

Aaron turned to marijuana and alcohol, finding pleasure in covering up the pain he was experiencing. A year later, he was introduced to prescription pills and eventually became addicted to oxycontin. Once oxycontin became too expensive and hard to find, he made the decision to switch to a cheaper, more potent drug: heroin.

Heroin would take Aaron through a life of hardcore addiction, lengthy jail stints, and several near-death experiences. After years of addiction that saw a once middle-class teenager turn into a felon and become homeless, a journey to find recovery transpired.

That journey took Aaron to several rehabs and through many heartbreaking relapses. However, recovery from his addiction was ultimately found, and now he shares his story around the state to raise awareness and spread hope.

Throughout his addiction and recovery, Aaron journaled and wrote about all of his experiences. He has now published his journal entries full of addiction, jail, rehab, overdose, relapse, and recovery. This book is the collection of all of those writings that shaped his life for several years.
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Aaron’s Message:

“My name is Aaron Emerson and I sincerely appreciate you visiting my blog. I am a 24-year-old from the small town of Mason, Michigan. I am a writer, author, and reporter that often writes and blogs about addiction, recovery, God and hope. Many of my writings relate to my recovery from a heroin addiction that almost took my life. By the grace of God, I am alive to share my story and a lot of my life is devoted to spreading the hope I have found.”


Let’s be clear: if you are alive, there is hope! I hope you can sense that attitude in my writings and blog. If I can help one person find recovery or inspire one young boy or girl to not make the same choices I did, well, I will feel I have accomplished my goal.

My first book, “To Hell And Back: Heroin And Recovery” was released on January 6, 2016, and is a memoir about my addiction and my first year of recovery. It takes you into the mind of an addict in his addiction and eventual attempts to find sobriety. Click here to buy the book!

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Visit: Aaron’s Blog here.
Follow & Like Him On: His Facebook Page!
Follow: Him On Twitter Too!

 

 

“Great Job New Author, Aaron Emerson Makes ‘The Lansing State Journal’ Newspaper!”

“Great Job New Author, Aaron Emerson Makes ‘The Lansing State Journal’ Newspaper!”

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

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When my awesome recovery friends have wonderful news and events happening? You know I love to share the excitement right along with them and brag a little. So I am very happy to share that my good buddy and fellow new author, Aaron Emerson and his new book release made the Papers! So of course, I wanted to share it for all of my visitors and friends. His book is a powerful true story of his life with drug addiction and recovery, but also the impact it had on his family. It is getting excellent Amazon book reviews so I say go put it on your reading list.

Here is the fantastic article, and courtesy of “The Lansing (MI) State Journal” newspaper and write-up about Aaron and his new book release here: To Hell And Back: Heroin And Recovery: My Life Of Addiction And Recovery Told Through Past Journals ~ Kindle Edition . . .

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Aaron Emerson, 24, sits with his parents Wes and Rhonda,
(Aaron Emerson, 24, sits with his parents Wes and Rhonda, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at their home in Mason. Aaron Emerson is in recovery, of his heroin addiction. His parents have a prescription for Narcan, an anti-overdose drug, that they keep in the house in case he relapses. Wes is pastor at New Life Fellowship church in Leslie.)
(Photo: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal) . . .

 

The Article on Lansing State Journal:

One night in 2012, Aaron Emerson stumbled out of his bedroom and down a hall near the living room where his father was sitting.

He was dizzy and his eyes started to close. He passed out against a door not too far from his father.

“I don’t remember anything about the drive to the hospital,” Emerson, 24, said Wednesday in that same living room in his parent’s house in rural Mason. “I think they would’ve called the ambulance, but sometimes out here the ambulance takes quite a while.”

That ambulance, if it had been called, would’ve carried naloxone hydrochloride, better known as the anti-heroin overdose drug Narcan. It would’ve been administered to Emerson, who was overdosing on a mixture of heroin and Xanax he and a friend had used in his room.

If this had happened in 2016, Wes Emerson, Aaron’s father, would’ve walked to the closet in his bedroom and grabbed the Narcan kit that sits on a shelf. He would’ve called the ambulance and administered the drug to his son, likely bringing him out of the overdose right there.

Even though Aaron has been clean and in recovery for two years, the Emerson’s, law enforcement and other families fighting heroin addictions throughout Michigan have a new tool to address the dramatic increase in heroin overdoses that experts have called a scourge and an epidemic.

The greater access to Narcan, which is available over the counter in more than a dozen states — but not in Michigan — rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose.

Obtaining it, with a prescription in Michigan, was the next important step for an increasing number of families caught in the horrors of heroin addiction.

Between 2003 and 2010, Ingham County averaged just more than 14 opioid-related deaths a year, according to data from the health department. It’s the category that includes heroin and prescription painkillers.

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The county estimates there were 50 such deaths last year, based on preliminary numbers, and there were 57 in 2014.

There was some hesitation by Wes and Rhonda Emerson, Aaron’s mother, about whether getting Narcan would be a sign that they expect their son to relapse. He had done it once before after a year of recovery.

“But when you really evaluate it and look at it,” Rhonda Emerson said, “if something God forbid happened and we didn’t have it when we could’ve had it, we would feel really bad.”
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To read the full article with graphs and interviews of drug addiction professionals, other addicts and The Rest of Aaron’s full interview? Please visit this link below:
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2016/01/22/heroin-ingham-county-narcan/78319842/
Lansing State Journal . . .

To purchase Aaron’s new book, visit Amazon Kindle Store here link below:
To Hell And Back ~ Aaron Emerson, Author
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Product Details

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“Spotlight Presented By ~ Recovery Starts Here by Author, Catherine Lyon”

Sharing My Wonderful Recovery Friend Sandy Swenson. Seeing Addiction from a Mothers Point of View.

“A Re-Share of a Heart Breaking Mother Who’s Son is an Addict, my Good Friend and Advocate Sandy Swenson” . . . .

The Joey Song by Sandy Swenson

The Joey Song  by Sandy Swenson . . .
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Sandy Swenson

One hug.

Once a year.

I hold you tight, my son. Probably too tight, but I need the strength of my love to soak into your soul, and my arms must absorb the love I know you have for me. I memorize this moment.

As you grew from boy to man, child to addict, I had to let go of the things I could not change and the things that weren’t mine to control (after trying for so long to change and control them). I had to let go before the ugly words and behaviors slithering in on the underbelly of addiction did irreparable damage to the relationship that had once been so good. Or killed the boy I was trying to save.

My love is all I have left to give you.

(That, and one too-tight hug for each of the past seven April’s.)

I hold you tight, my son. Wrapping you in my arms, I feel the power of our dusty bond. A silent exchange of hope and strength and eternalness, of a love that has been bruised but never broken. I kiss your cheek, leaving a lip-sticky mom mark, and now, again, I must let you go. I open my arms — empty but now full — arms which will keep you snug and close to my heart, until next time. Next year.

In letting go of you, Joey, I’m holding on tight to so much.

In letting go of you, I’m letting you know that I believe in you. I believe you will find your way back.

One hug.

Once a year.

I’m keeping your place warm.

Letting Go is NOT the same thing as giving up .  .  .
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Enter to win one of ten signed copies of The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/135217-the-joey-song-a-mother-s-story-of-her-son-s-addiction
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About My Beautiful Friend, Sandy Swenson:

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“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”  -Maya Angelou

“There’s only so much parents can do to shape their children’s lives. Sandra Swenson learned that the hard way, when one of her two sons followed the straight and narrow—while the other spiraled into addiction.”
-Bethesda Magazine

 

Her new Book Now on Amazon
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AmazonBarnes and Noble
CLICK HERE TO READ AN  EXCERPT

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Sandy Swenson is the mother of two sons—one of whom is an alcoholic and drug addict. The Joey Song chronicles her journey through the place where love and addiction meet.

A vagabond since college, Sandy found community service opportunities wherever she moved. Between unpacking boxes, hanging curtains, and figuring out where her kids would attend school, Sandy volunteered as a first grade teacher in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia; co-founded a volunteer group dedicated to providing life-altering medical care to orphans in India; and photographed cleft surgery patients for Operation Smile in Dharamsala.

As a member of the Junior Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase, Sandy created the Bistro Boyz – a program in which she and a team of Bistro Galz meet weekly with young men from the National Center for Children and Families’ Greentree Adolescent Program to plan menus, budget, grocery shop, cook, and share meals together. In 2012, the National Center for Children and Families awarded the Junior Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase the Spirit Award for Humanitarian Advocacy.
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In both 2011 and 2012 the Maryland Federation of Women’s Clubs awarded the Bistro Boyz program the Advocates for Children Award. And, in 2013 the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs — the largest philanthropic women’s organization in the world — nominated the Bistro Boyz program for their International Advocates for Children Award to be awarded in June.

Sandy loves to garden, read and travel, and enjoys every moment spent with her son Rick, a recent graduate from American University in Washington, D.C. Sandy now lives in Austin, Texas.

**I hope you will stop by and visit Sandy at her helpful blog, as she pours her heart onto the posts she shares there. I can tell you that all she has been through with having a son who is an addict, she never gives up HOPE**
http://www.sandyswenson.com

GOD BLESS ALL!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Recovery Advocate

Personal Blogs
blog links

All Addictions Seem To Even Touch Our Children, Our Friends And Neighbors Too!

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, And New Visitors,

 

I have a wonderful ‘Guest Share’ for you all today, but first I have to share that I’m a bit sad for my next door neighbor. He just turned 45, and he fell off the “Drug” wagon. He had just gotten 97 days clean, and it only took for both his son’s to come by with drugs on them, and he relapsed. Not lapsed, he has relapsed, meaning he has done drugs since Thursday. He had worked so hard to get past the part in early recovery to start ‘feeling’ his emotions again. I know how hard it is in those early days of recovery, as the urges and triggers just seem to never end. But each day clean, sober, and away from the bet, makes those feelings start to get less and less.

The problem is, many will relapse within the first 90 days of leaving treatment. We forget to start using those New Life Skills and Tools that we learned in treatment right away. We don’t get that ‘First Step’, of total surrender done right away as our start of Step Work. It’s why we need to have a ‘Relapse Prevention plan’ ready to go when we leave treatment.

And a GOOD PHONE LIST to call someone when those triggers and urges hit us. And they will hit you, and test you! So all I can do for my neighbor is try to talk a little recovery sense to him when he is outside. But, I know ultimately it it’s him who needs to choose recovery. I can talk to him until I’m blue in the face. If he isn’t ready, then he isn’t ready, but I do worry for him.

And it’s why I also want to share a very good friend of mine, ‘Sandy Swenson’ and her blog. Her son is also a drug addict, and I truly learn a lot from her life trials of a mother coping with a son who is an addict. I’m so very inspired by Sandy, her courage and strength to go on living knowing her son is out there addicted. Again, we can not make or force someone we care and love for “CHOOSE RECOVERY”.  The addicted person has to do that for themselves to reclaim their life back!


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Here is a little about my good friend ‘Sandy Swenson’, and more about her blog, and how she gives other moms and parents  insights on what it’s like having a child addicted to drugs.

Sandy Swenson

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The Place Where Love And Addiction Meet • Mother of two sons, one of whom is an addict • Author • Open book ~ “Find Joy On Your Journey”
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“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” -Maya Angelou

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There’s only so much parents can do to shape their children’s lives. Sandra Swenson learned that the hard way, when one of her two sons followed the straight and narrow—while the other spiraled into addiction.

-Bethesda Magazine

Sandy Swenson is the mother of two sons—one of whom is an alcoholic and drug addict. The Joey Song chronicles her journey through the place where love and addiction meet.
A vagabond since college, Sandy found community service opportunities wherever she moved. Between unpacking boxes, hanging curtains, and figuring out where her kids would attend school, Sandy volunteered as a first grade teacher in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia; co-founded a volunteer group dedicated to providing life-altering medical care to orphans in India; and photographed cleft surgery patients for Operation Smile in Dharamsala.

Sandy loves to garden, read and travel, and enjoys every moment spent with her son Rick, a recent graduate from American University in Washington, D.C. Sandy now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
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Here is more about Sandy’s Book and Mission.

The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story Of Her Son’s Addiction  ‘written by Sandy Swenson’

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Sandy lives where love and addiction meet—a place where help enables and  hope hurts. When addiction steals her son, Sandy fights for his survival, trying to stay on the right side of an invisible line between helping him to live and helping him to die. By age 20, Joey overdoses, attempts suicide, quits college, survives a near-fatal car accident, does time behind bars, and is kicked out of rehab more than once. Increasingly manipulative, delusional, and hateful, the sweet Joey from childhood is lost to the addict wearing his face.
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Working with an interventionist, a judge, and tracking Joey’s movements online, Sandy does what she can to save Joey from himself until it hurts more to hang on than it hurts to let go. Through Family Programs, Al-Anon, reading, and learning from her mistakes, Sandy discovers that sometimes love means doing nothing, and that Letting Go is not the same thing as giving up. She also learns that she needs to work on surviving her son’s addiction while coming to terms with the fact that he may not.
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Years pass. Friends and family no longer ask about Joey; they no longer know what to say. Joey is not in recovery, but Sandy works on hers, trying to keep the poison that is consuming Joey from destroying the rest of her family and her life. She starts a program to teach young men living in a group home how to budget, grocery shop, and cook, hoping that someone will someday help her own son in some way that she cannot. As in the song she sang to him so many times, Sandy keeps Joey down in her heart to stay. There is a place in her life that is exactly his size. One she hopes he will someday want to fill.

CLICK HERE TO READ AN EXCERPT.

Central Recovery Press — September 2014

Swenson Book Development

*Now what do I enjoy most about Sandy’s blog? Is her heart felt, insightful, and complete honesty of her blog posts. Here is one that ‘touched’ me so just the other day.*
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☼ Before My Son Was An Addict, He Was A Child (Not A Monster): Addiction Can Happen To Anyone
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Every addict was once a childBefore my son was an addict, he was a child.

My child.

But he could have been anyone’s child. He could have been (or might yet be) yours.

Until the troubles started, I never thought my child would become an addict. It never crossed my mind.Until one day it did.

Before my son was an addict, he liked to put stuffed animals on my pillow at night. He liked to fish and camp, was an Eagle Scout, wanted to be a marine biologist, and was awarded scholarships from several colleges. He also sometimes lied and said things that were mean and sulked and was crabby; in other words, Joey was perfectly normal.
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There’s a widely held belief that addicts are bad people, but the truth is, addiction is not an issue for moral judgment. Addiction begins where dalliance becomes disease. It can happen to anyone who has taken a sip or puff or snort (which our culture entices every young person to do), or even a pill prescribed for pain. Even though my son has done some bad things while being an addict, my son is not a bad person. When addiction scooped up my child, it did so indiscriminately; Joey, at his core, is one of the least bad people I know.

Before my son was an addict, I used to judge the dusty addict on the corner very harshly. But now I know that being an addict isn’t something anyone would choose (not to be confused with someone who is using; there is great distinction between the two). Now I know that the addict on the corner has been my sweet child (and could someday be yours). I wish I hadn’t waited for the worst to happen before I opened my eyes and heart. Before I looked beneath the addict’s dust to the person he was meant to be. To the person my child could just as easily have become — and did.

Before my son was an addict,  he was a child.  Not a monster.

Addiction can happen to anyone…

See also: My Son’s Addiction Is A Tragic Disease, Not A Disgrace and Please Don’t Enable The Addict To Harm My Son
I want to say, “Thank You” to Sandy for letting me share her with all of you today. I’m certain if there are parents who come to visit my blog, and they are going through the same experience as Sandy, you will find some peace and understanding and support when you visit Sandy’s blog. As I always do say, go by and visit her blog, and let her know you found her by way of  *Catherine Lyon’s Recovery Blog* ~ Thanks everyone!
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Much Happiness & Blessings All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author Of  “Addicted To Dimes”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

 

 

 


“Having A Tough Time In Recovery? Well just “Wiggle Your Butt” And “JUST BRING IT”!

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome New Friends,

 

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Todays recovery message is to “Just Get Your Wiggle Butt” in gear and don’t be afraid to dig in and do the work needed to start, stay, and have a CATTASTIC RECOVERY LIFE!!
Many know I am a cat lover, and sadly when we had to relocate from beautiful So. Oregon to hot, dusty Arizona, I had to leave my 2 kids, ( Kitty Cats) Buttons & Callie behind with a good friend of ours until will get back to Oregon. My hubby works for a large grocery store chain and is starting meat-cutters school for them soon. The closest training school was here in Arizona, or the ones back East, and I wasn’t going there! No Way!…LOL.

So for my recovery journey here in Arizona has been an interesting change. I was blessed to have a good friend of mine, and fellow author herself, Marilyn Lancelot, who is my Sponsor while here in Arizona. HHHMMMMM….I wonder if she knows that?…LOL.

She is an awesome woman with long-term recovery from compulsive addicted gambling and alcohol like myself. But it really doesn’t matter how long you have in recovery, as addicted gamblers, we know we are only “ONE BET AWAY” from destruction! So you need to have a good sponsor in your life, good supportive people too. But mostly today, I wanted to give you all some “Support & Encouragement” in your recovery. Yes, it can be tough & hard to get the REAL work started in recovery. Many who are new may not know, or feel where they should start.
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The best thing to get started is to make meetings. No matter what addiction your needing help recovering from, there are many supportive meetings you can make in person, or even on the phone, and your computer! I attend “Gamblers Anonymous” in person, but mostly on-line, thanks to my mental & emotional disorders I suffer. There are many different places you can go for all types of addiction help.
One is called; “In The Rooms ~ A Global Recovery Community” http://www.intherooms.com/

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Another good place for addicted gamblers is, Gamblers Anonymous, http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/
There are website meetings to for Drug & Alcohol recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.aa.org/
For Drug Abuse.  http://www.na.org/  You can also find information, articles, and free treatment help here at My Addiction, http://www.myaddiction.com/   and their sister support site for help is; Support Groups, http://www.supportgroups.com/
So go explore and see if these can help get you going. They all are awesome communities.

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So always remember when you “Believe In A Power Greater Than Yourself In Recovery,” anything is possible!
When we do the work needed in our recovery, we all can be like “DAVID” and face down those triggers, urges, and “Nah-Sayers” who try to keep *Stigma* alive. As each one of us “Succeed In Our Recovery” and  take our life back? That’s another chip off the “Ole Stigma” rock! Find your recovery “courage” and take back your LIFE! As my favorite WWE Wrestler
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says, “JUST BRING IT”! ( Yes I love wrestling! )
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.Ooooo La La BABY!

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Always asked, “What’s the key to success?”

The key is, there is no key.

Be humble, hungry and always be the hardest worker in the room.

Always asked, "Whats the key to success?"

The key is, there is no key. 

Be humble, hungry and always be the hardest worker in the room.
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THAT’S RECOVERY!
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God Bless All,
Author, Cat Townsend-Lyon 🙂

Another Actor Gone To Soon~”Tribute” To “Philip Seymour Hoffman”


“Philip Seymour Hoffman among thousands of addiction victims”

My heart is breaking again today with another “Beautiful, Talented man who was in recovery until recently, and is now passed, and gone way to soon. 46 is way to young to die of drug overdose. All of us in recovery fight our “Battles and Demons,” it seems the demon has won. When is this tragic loss of life trend going to end? What can I do more to help others in recovery STAY in recovery? It’s just so painful to see a person who had long-term recovery end their life this way. It hurts my heart to the very center.
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I have to say, the first movie I saw Philip in that caught my eye was, “Twister.” He played a weather storm chaser, and his humor is what caught my eye. And continued following his movie career with Stellar Performances and his Oscar-winning movie, “Capote” also movies “Punch Drunk Love”… and “Hard Eight.”
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*HERE ARE JUST A FEW SNIPPETS TO WHAT THE MEDIA IS SAYING ABOUT HIS PASSING*
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(AP-) “Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the most acclaimed character actors and ambitious performers of his generation, was found dead of an apparent drug overdose inside his New York apartment on Sunday, police said. He was 46.

A business associate discovered Hoffman in his bathroom with a needle stuck in his left forearm at about 11:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, police said. Two glassine envelopes containing what was thought to be heroin were near his body, and five empty envelopes were found in the trash, police said. The city medical examiner has not yet determined a cause of death.”
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“LOS ANGELES (AP) — Philip Seymour Hoffman suffered from a chronic medical  condition that required ongoing treatment. An admitted drug addict who first  sought professional help more than two decades ago, Hoffman apparently succumbed  to his illness with an overdose despite a return to rehab last March.

A father of three with a thriving career, the Oscar winner died Sunday with a  needle in his arm and baggies of what appeared to be heroin nearby. New York  City medical examiners were conducting an autopsy on Hoffman’s body Monday as  investigators scrutinize evidence found in his apartment.

His death, which came after a long period of sobriety that ended last year,  “epitomizes the tragedy of drug addiction in our society,” said Dr. Nora Volkow,  director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.”
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“Here you have an extraordinarily talented actor who had the resources, who  had been in treatment, who obviously realized the problem of drugs and had been  able to stay clean,” she said, adding that Hoffman’s case shows how devastating  addiction can be.

Success has no more bearing on drug addiction than it does on heart failure,  doctors say: Both can be fatal without consistent care. And while rehab may be  part of treatment, it’s no antidote. Amy Winehouse and Cory Monteith had both  been to rehab before eventually dying from overdoses.

“Addiction is a chronic, progressive illness. No one can be cured,” said Dr.  Akikur Reza Mohammad, a psychiatrist and addiction-medicine specialist who works  as a professor at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and is founding chief of Inspire  Malibu Treatment Center. “If someone is suffering from addiction, they cannot  relax at any time. The brain neurochemistry changes… so these people are prone  to relapse.”
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*The above statement made about “Addiction” is Important and very True!*
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For myself, I was able to get a hold on the overuse of alcohol when I was addicted to gambling, but the gambling was my “Real Demon” to grasp long-term recovery from. Like above, all addictions can NOT be cured, but in our 12-step meetings and treatment, we find it CAN BE ARRESTED. I always tell my own people I sponsor who start their own recovery right up front, that the ONLY thing Addiction & Recovery have in common is being “Selfish”…You act selfish while in the middle of addiction, as you care about Nothing but that! And in Recovery, you have to BE selfish to recover. You have to make yourself and your recovery #1 in order to attain long-term recovery.
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**See, addiction has no bounds on who it claims. And it can be any type of addiction. Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, Sex, Porn, Food, and the list goes on. For awareness and education purposes, this is the definition of the word “Addiction”**
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Addiction is the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences,[1] or a neurological impairment leading to such behaviors.[2]

Addictions can include, but are not limited to, drug abuse, exercise addiction, food addiction, sexual addiction, computer addiction and gambling. Classic hallmarks of addiction include impaired control over substances or behavior, preoccupation with substance or behavior, continued use despite consequences, and denial.[3] Habits and patterns associated with addiction are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), coupled with delayed deleterious effects (long-term costs).[4]

Physiological dependence occurs when the body has to adjust to the substance by incorporating the substance into its ‘normal’ functioning.[5] This state creates the conditions of tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is the process by which the body continually adapts to the substance and requires increasingly larger amounts to achieve the original effects. Withdrawal refers to physical and psychological symptoms experienced when reducing or discontinuing a substance that the body has become dependent on. Symptoms of withdrawal generally include but are not limited to anxiety, irritability, intense cravings for the substance, nausea, hallucinations, headaches, cold sweats, and tremors.
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As I close, I feel that addiction doesn’t care about YOU, ME or anyone. No matter the vice, it will take lives. It doesn’t care if you’re an “Actor or a Mom.” If you are “Rich or Poor, Black or White, a Woman or a Man”…..
And I don’t know about you,  but we need to continue to raise “awareness,  share info, and educate” everyone on the dangers of “ALL ADDICTIONS”! And that’s what I intend to do! Yes, another LIFE gone to soon again…..
“R.I.P Philip ~ Your now home”
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GOD BLESS ALL,
AUTHOR, CATHERINE TOWNSEND-LYON

 

*A Heart~Felt *SHARE* from a Good Friend’s Blog*

Hello Recovery Friends, Awesome Followers, and Seeker’s,

Now I know I promised this WEEK was going to be all about “Addicted Compulsive Gambling” the Disease,….but when I received my News Letter in my Email from my good friend, “Sandy Swenson”…I just had to Re~Blogg her Post from her informative blog. No matter WHAT type of Addiction we all may suffer, or maybe in recovery from, I think you can feel as a “Mother”, the “Heart Break” she must have had while writing this post.

Sandy is a *TRUE INSPIRATION* to me and, to many others as she shares her feelings in every thing she does on her Beautiful Blog. I hope if you find a little time in your day to stop by her blog and take a look around, you’ll find she IS A FANTASTIC WOMAN!……

Sandy Swenson

Sandy Swenson

The Place Where Love And Addiction Meet • Mother of two sons, one of whom is an addict •  Author • Open book

*Find Joy On Your Journey…..A Little about Sandy*

Life was good. Then my son became an addict.

The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story From the Place Where Love and Addiction Meet chronicles my journey of finding a way to survive my son’s addiction even if he does not.

When Joey was a toddler, I would sing to him the only song I knew all the words to: I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart; I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.

He called it the Joey Song.

Well, Joey is down in my heart to stay — no matter what happens. And, I’ve learned the importance of keeping joy down in my heart — no matter what happens — too.

I’m not ashamed that my son is an addict; I’m sad he’s an addict. So, no more silence. I hope that on the pages of my book, this website, and my blog you find comfort and strength for your own difficult journey. You are not alone. We can be one strong voice against addiction; let’s sing The Joey Song together.

 

☼ Dear Joey: A Love Letter To My Son The Addict

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Dear Joey,

I miss you. I ache for you to fill your place in my life.

Will I ever again feel your hug? Hear your laugh? See you proud?

I don’t want you to be an addict. I don’t want you to push me away. I don’t want you to die. I want you to be sober and happy and to fulfill your dreams and fill your soul. I want you to be Joey. But addiction is sucking the life out of you. Sucking the you out of you.

I’m haunted by the difficult life you are living; I’m sad for the life you could have but are missing; and I grieve for the loss of my son who is still alive. I stopped trying to contact you, not because I stopped caring, but because I had to stop the self-inflicted pain.

I made a lot of mistakes trying to help you, sometimes treating you like an adult when you were acting like a child, and treating you like a child though you’re an adult. I tried warm fuzzy love and I tried tough love. I tried keeping you from hitting bottom, bringing the bottom up to you, and getting you into treatment when I thought you’d hit bottom. And I struggled to recognize the difference between helping and enabling — I tried so hard to stay on the right side of an invisible line between helping you to live and helping you to die.

Through trial and error and lack of results, I learned that I can’t fix this for you. And I learned that I love you enough to bear the toughest love of all.

Sometimes love means doing nothing rather than doing something.

But, Joey, Letting Go is not the same thing as giving up.

There is a place in my life that is exactly your size.

I’m keeping it warm.

Love,

Mom

**I DON’T think much more need be said**
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Two Interesting Stories ~~ Mental Health in the Black Community & CVS on Drugs…..

 Recovery Friends, Followers, and Seeker’s,

I happen to be scanning the Web, and I came across a couple Informative Articles I though should be *Shared* and I had no idea about some of the issues in which these two articles speak about. I like to share information as much as I can with the Public, as educating and knowledge is very Powerful in Recovery, and in Life. My first I’ll share is from a link a good friend of mine, *Deborah Palmer* shared on one of my many addiction Groups I follow on LinkedIn…….It’s from *Ebony* on-line, they have a Wellness page, and they write about Mental Health illness & disorders prevalent in the African-American Community……
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BLACK SUICIDE: When Prayer Is Not Enough

In the wake of a young star’s death, psychologist Donald E.  Grant, Jr. says mental health is not something we can simply put in God’s  hands
Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/wellness-empowerment/black-suicide-when-prayer-is-not-enough-405#ixzz2cj4vHpD3 Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook

Mental health concerns are among the  biggest and most dangerously tabooed topics in Black America.  A  comedian once said that the only mental condition in the Black community was “a  nervous breakdown”. This speaks to the millions of Blacks in the shadows  suffering alone, managing the weight of the world in silent bent knee  prayer.  Perhaps if we ignore it for long enough or fail to name it, it  will magically disappear.

One of Black America’s most tabooed topics recently re-entered our  consciousness, our Twitter feeds and our Facebook timelines.  Lee Thompson  Young, best known as Disney’s “Jett Jackson” and a current TNT leading man, was  found dead in his home from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound.  Black social  media was buzzing with demands for mental health awareness, touting this level  of intimacy with psychology that felt diametrically opposed to what the  realities of Black mental health show.

Although Black suicide has historically been low  when compared to other groups, don’t be fooled.  From 1981-1994, Black suicide  rates grew by a ghastly 83%. Today suicide is the third leading cause of  death among young African American men. In 2010, over  80% of all Black suicides were males. Women of most all ethnicities attempt  suicide at a higher rate than men, yet men complete the task at a higher rate; a  stomach pump does nothing for a gun-shot wound to the head. Black  women are less likely than any other American demographic to commit  suicide.

By all accounts, Young, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi  Fraternity, Inc., was a likeable star on his way to being actualized as a true  Hollywood talent.  With all this he still chooses this fatal act of  intra-personal aggression. Given the consistent vilification of Black men and  the existential emasculation associated with vulnerability, might there be an  inherent self-destructive mechanism by which we operate?  We must  understand that participation in counseling is not synonymous with weakness.  It’s clear that a very naked discussion on mental health is long overdue.   Who will lead this charge in a community where these issues remain cloaked in  invisibility?

Research has  indicated that familiarity with professional counseling services plays a  huge role in whether one will actually make an appointment with a mental health  professional6.  Blacks  under utilize mental health services across all socio-demographic domains5  and are dying silently as a result.  Statistically,  Blacks are disproportionately impacted by risk factors and experiences that  increase psychic stress, hopelessness and trauma; factors that all contribute to  suicidality.

Why do so many of us still refuse to get help? We are well represented in  the barber shops and beauty salons on Friday, in the nightclubs on Saturday and  at church on Sunday…yet our presence in the therapy room remains nil.  Do  we believe that we can style, party and pray ourselves to mental wellness?   I do see psychic value in a fresh haircut, a strong social support system and  sturdy spiritual foundation. I do, however, have a problem with our community’s  practice of praying ‘demons’ out of people plagued by schizophrenia, or beating  the defiance out of a boy suffering from undiagnosed bi-polar disorder.

Many strong and resilient qualities exist throughout Black  communities.  The natural selection of those Africans who survived  colonialism and the Middle Passage left a gene pool worth note.  We cannot  leave our legacy to untended psychological injuries.  Access to mental  health services has improved in most communities and is often offered at low to  no cost.  Our culture sanctions the rejection of this rich experience,  limiting our exposure to its value.

We must make an intentional and strategic shift, opening dialogue about our  mental health and unique wellness needs.  We must demand that the  psychological community offer culturally congruent services and train culturally  competent clinicians.  Families must acknowledge that Aunt Sally suffered  from major depression, she did not just have a nervous breakdown.   Adjudicating bodies must see that Johnny suffered from PTSD and was not just an  incorrigible kid on drugs.  If we are serious about positively impacting  suicide, fatherlessness, incarceration, misogyny and illiteracy among Blacks, we  must act now.  As I pray for Lee Thompson Young’s family, I also pray that  the Black community discontinues its sole reliance on prayer as a scapegoat to  confronting real life issues.  We must learn to tolerate the anxiety  associated with vulnerability and not run.

Dr. Donald E. Grant, Jr.  is a professional psychologist and  the Executive Director of Mindful Training Solutions. Follow him on Twitter: @DrGrantJr


**I had NO idea about the Stats of Mental Health issues in the Black Community, that is why I found this Article So Interesting. There is a couple other Articles below I left the links for so you can check them out**…….

More Ebony

**This next Article I also found interesting as well. I think it’s very RARE of a Large Pharmacy Company like CVS would go the Lengths it has on cracking down on Doctors who will GIVE ANYONE What EVER they need why it comes to DRUGS, and I FEEL it is WHY we are seeing such high influx of Prescription Drug Overdose’s and Suicides lately. The worst offenders I’m sorry to say are the *SO CALLED PAIN Management Centers popping up everywhere**………..

CVS cuts access to opioid painkillers  for suspect doctors

Published August 22, 2013

CVS Caremark Corp said on Wednesday that it has taken the unusual step of  cutting off access to powerful painkillers for more than 36 doctors and other  healthcare providers found to prescribe the drugs at an alarmingly high  rate.

 

The drugstore chain, which was drawn into a government crackdown on  prescription painkiller abuse last year, began revoking the dispensing  privileges of certain providers in late 2012, said CVS Chief Medical Officer  Troyen Brennan.

“This isn’t a definitive solution to the problem,” Brennan told Reuters. “We  wanted to share what it was that we did and have other people in healthcare,  including other pharmacies, look at what we did and discuss what some more  comprehensive solutions might be.”

CVS disclosed the suspensions in an article published on Wednesday on the  website of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abuse of opioid prescription painkillers like Oxycontin ranks as the No. 2  cause of accidental death in the United States, CVS said. In 2009, painkiller  use was cited in more than 15,500 overdose deaths, according to the U.S. Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has targeted large pharmacy chains  like CVS and rival Walgreen Co, as well as distributors such as Cardinal Health,  to stem the flow of prescription drugs where abuse is suspected.

The DEA revoked the controlled substance licenses of two CVS drugstores in  Florida last September. In June, Walgreen reached a record $80 million  settlement with the DEA to resolve allegations that its negligence in  record-keeping and dispensing allowed the highly addictive drugs to reach  abusers and be sold illegally.

Brennan said that CVS has not yet discussed its findings about suspect  providers with the DEA or others.

CVS said the suspensions followed an analysis of prescriptions brought to its  drugstores from March 2010 through January 2012 for hydrocodone, oxycodone,  alprazolam, methadone and carisoprodol.

CVS said it first identified several dozen healthcare providers — from a  database of nearly 1 million — with extreme patterns of prescribing high-risk  drugs. CVS checked their prescription rates versus other providers in the same  specialty and geographic region, the ages of the patients and the number of  patients paying with cash for the drugs.

For instance, one “outlier prescriber” in the field of preventive medicine  was prescribing on average more than 44,000 doses of high-risk drugs, compared  with 662 for similar providers.

CVS asked 42 providers for more details about their prescribing habits. Six  of those 42 gave what CVS said were legitimate reasons for the high volume of  prescriptions, such as a medical director at a hospice prescribing  painkillers.

The company said its stores and its mail-order pharmacy will no longer  dispense controlled substances for 36 providers who it said could not justify  their prescribing habits. Brennan said that an additional “handful” have been  suspended as the company continues its analysis…..

**I really hope that the many Large Pharmacy Chains throughout this country get on board, and do what CVS is doing. Maybe it will SLOW down these Doctors, and Doctor Shoppers, and lower the needless Drug overdoses and needless lives being lost**..

**Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon*
Recovering Addict of 6yrs…