A Special Guest Recovery Writer and Soon To Be New Author. Meet My Amazing Friend Deb Morgan …

A Special Guest Recovery Writer and Soon To Be New Author. Meet My Amazing Friend Deb Morgan …

“We all have a recovery story to tell ~ at least one within us to share”

When we come to a point in recovery that we are ready to advocate and begin to share it, it can be a powerful tool to help those just beginning their recovery journey. That is why and what my dear friend Deb Morgan is about to do. And, no, she’s the Deb Morgan from DEXTER …LOL.

She is a part of an amazing project and book that will be released early spring with some other amazing authors. She lives in Oregon where I lived for many years and I am so jealous as Deb knows Oregon is where my heart will always be! I surely won’t spoil any in-depth info of her book she’ll be in and finishing touches are still being done.

I thought I’d give you a preview in sharing her most recent blog post to give my friends here who visit a little of what’s to come from by Deb.  She did, however, share some early reading feedback that the book just might be the next “Chicken Soup For The Soul” a self-help book series.

The book project is being arranged by a guy who I am sure when you learn who? Everyone will be very familiar with who he is. The first book and subsequent titles in the series consist of inspirational true stories about ordinary people’s lives, overcoming, and much more. I am excited for Deb and can’t wait to read her book this spring!

Enjoy this post by Deb and make sure you visit her blog titled ‘Deb-Spot-Telling My Truth One Word At A Time’

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ADDICTION: The Trigger   By 12/12/2019 / Addiction

I don’t know any addict that woke up one morning and said: “I think I will become an addict today.” It just doesn’t happen that way. It is a slow progressive process, that hides. Some don’t ever get addicted or try a drug that makes them feel good, or normal.

Over ninety percent of the addicts have had a multitude of trauma in their lives. Trauma that was so deeply troubling that is broke part of their soul. Or it could be a mental condition and they self-medicated to feel normal. I picked Percocet. After living through trauma from the day I was born, I tried other drugs before settling on pills. Then Percocet became my drug of choice. This drug would eventually attack and I would come close to complete destruction of myself, my family, my life!

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The Trigger?

So what is a “Trigger”? It’s the final thing causing a person to go into full addiction. I am asked why people go to cocaine or heroin, crack, etc.? It tells your brain what you have to put into your body to stave off withdrawal. You see, just because someone starts with alcohol that does not mean it will be their final drug of choice.
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Our brain doesn’t care our body needs a drug, causing steady normality. Drug and Alcoholism are the same diseases just in different wrapping paper. Crack and methamphetamine are the poor man’s drugs. Cocaine is for the rich and people who can afford it. Heroin is a replacement for opiates, cheaper on the street and hard to get from doctors.

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Addiction begins with the hope that something “out there” can instantly fill up the emptiness inside. ~ Jean Kilborne~

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So What Happens Next?

In closing the human mind has an extremely strong power of denial and deception. People who are in the throws of drug addiction cannot see it and their brain won’t accept it. Addiction starts out innocent enough. I drank with my friends at school.

I hated the taste of hard liquor I thought I would never drink it again. So did I keep drinking it? Of course, at the time it was fun, I was young and rebelling against the pain in my life. It would come to be my nemesis in a different form and face.

One I would fight for my life with.

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WHO Is Deb Morgan?


I started writing and talking openly about my journey about 5 years ago. Writing my story and getting it out in the world as far as I could is my goal.

I started out thinking someday I would get a book written and had no idea how to begin to do it. So I started writing, then a website, then an opportunity for a radio show, then another and I just kept refusing to give up. I was asked to be on a show a few months ago in 2019, from there life would change to the point where I don’t even know which way it is going.

I have had 15 radio spots, 2 podcasts, and was invited to be in a book titled Simply amazing women coming mothers day 2020. I will then publish my book “TRAPPED” in 2020. ” There will be another book on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain in 2021. Then there are a couple more on the chart that is coming.  A dream isn’t a dream anymore when we do the work, it can become a reality. “ I am living proof of that.

When we want something bad enough that will be helpful for someone else, that is the hope that it does exactly that, help and give hope. Deb resides outside Eugene, Oregon with her family.

 

An Important Message and Op-Ed Letter and Submission – Our Nation needs Treatment. By My Friend and Advocate Ken Abraham.

Ken Abraham, CEO at “Get A Pardon” & Founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE. He resides in Dover, Delaware.

Ken Abraham

Ken currently advocates and educating for much-needed change to fix our criminal justice system, former trial lawyer Ken Abraham is a veteran of over 500 jury trials and more than 200 non-jury trials. He lost 2. Highlights of his legal career include trying the first case in the state under the new death penalty law (1976); and representing the first defendant in the state to be tried under a mandatory minimum sentencing law. He is unusually well prepared to do what he does!

After 10 years practicing law, Ken moved to Florida and went into business. He now heads CCJ and says, The dysfunction of the system affects everyone. People are being harmed by our “criminal justice system” every day. Apathy? It’s inexcusable. Get INVOLVED!”

Our Nation needs Treatment 

 

 

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Our nation is plagued by several unsolved major systemic problems. Some are in the spotlight, like the War on Drugs and mass incarceration. But three recent front-page stories, about the slayings of Molly Tibbett and the rape and murder of Celia Barquin Arozamena, the female golfer slain in broad daylight.

Who cannot the remember of the Las Vegas mass shooting by Stephen Craig Paddock (we still do not know the motive of this deranged mind) …I assume a problem gambler that just reminds me of the huge problem we do not talk about: America’s neglect of addictions and our mentally ill. We now know that the mass shooter in the Rite-Aid distribution center had been diagnosed with a mental illness, and all of the aforementioned murderers were mentally ill.


We need federal and state governments to step up and acknowledge this huge plague, and DO something about it. The primary purpose of government is to protect its citizens, yet people are dying every day due to government in-actions. There are dozens of articles on my website full of facts about this problem. Some are: depending on which study you read (nobody knows the actual number).

But between 35% and 55% of all violent crimes – rapes and murders – are committed by people with one or more diagnosed mental illness. Mental Health “treatment” in our prisons is a total joke and shameful, virtually nonexistent. At least 45%, and perhaps 60% of all inmates have one or more mental illness (again, the exact number is unknown).

And … our neglect of the mentally ill is costing us more than $444 Billion annually! That is an astonishing amount of money, but far worse are the societal and personal costs of our inattention to mental illness: the pain and suffering, the anguish, the loss now reaching our youth!

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Accurate statistics regarding our homeless Americans are even more elusive than the data on inmates. Best estimates are that about 3 million to 3.5 million homeless people inhabit America. I can find NO reliable study on how many may have or suffer mental illness, but based on my extensive experience with such people, at DIMH and on the streets, I would say that at least 30 % have one or more serious mental illnesses.

How many of them could become possibly working, tax-paying citizens, if they had adequate health and mental care? A million, I can safely say. Many addicts have mental illness, most often depression, by far the most widespread undiagnosed mental health illness in America. Many politicians and others finally now see that they need treatment, not prison, yet we lack the resources they need. We must call upon everyone involved – legislators, social workers, police, prison officials, victims, prosecutors, and public defenders – to “raise a ruckus” and get governments’ attention on this issue.

We need proper training for police and for prison workers, effective non-custodial treatment programs, aftercare, and more. Until they do “raise a ruckus”, more people will die from the inaction, just as surely as people are dying in the streets every day due to our failed “war on drugs”.

 

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Ken Abraham, Deputy Attorney General 1974-1979, founder of “Citizens for Criminal Justice, Dover, DE

 

    Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE

               MAKE it a great day!  ~  Ken Abraham

 

                   www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net

              Founder, Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, (CCJ)

 

           430 Kings Hwy., Suite 414, Dover, DE 19901

      Founder, “Adopt a Prisoner” Church Reentry Program,

          And founder of no more organizations this decade! 

                               1-302-423-4067

                                 

 

 

 

 

A Very Special Recovery Guest and Now a New Published Author and Advocate. Meet Jason Hyland.

A Very Special Recovery Guest and Now a New Published Author and Advocate. Meet Jason Hyland.

“Those of us maintaining long-term sobriety know that addictions don’t care if you are rich, famous, a sports pro, have status, …ADDICTION has no boundaries on who it “Touches.”  ~Author/Advocate Catherine Townsend-Lyon
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Through the years within my recovery and writing journey, I have met many amazingly talented people who have become friends and like me, they feel writing is a necessary part of maintaining our recovery and a part of the advocacy work we do. While writing two years for a popular recovery magazine, I have met and interviewed many high profile people turned friends like my buddies, former NFL pros Vance Johnson, Randy Grimes, and also tattoo artist Kat Von D! …No, I don’t get “star struck” at all, as my friend Jason Hyland is no different.

He was well on his way to go from the minors into the Major League of Baseball family until addictions derailed those dreams. Coming from a home with an alcoholic father passed to Jason, now clean and sober, he has a unique gift of inspiring and motivating others to enjoy your life even when maintaining recovery.

As Jason shares of himself; “I am a former minor professional baseball player. Boston bred, thick & thru. And I’m Living the Dream!” Not surprising as I find him humorous and to be an exceptional writer and author of his first published book that was released just this past June 2018 titled; Stop Thinking Like That: No Matter What.”

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Jason’s book is now available in both paperback and e-book formats on Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart Online.  I am about to read it myself and will definitely come back when done reading it and add my ‘Book Review’ here on my Recovery Blog, Amazon, which he has all 5-star reviews, and GoodReads. Here is more about the new release and it shares a wee bit more of what Jason does to “pay it forward” to those who still suffer from addiction.

About Jason’s Book

Hyland’s charismatic, witty, and candid writing style brings you onto the couch with him as he takes you through the wallows of addiction and alcoholism at its greatest depths, to a rejuvenated, motivated, inspirational rebirth. He is an example that addiction does not discriminate and puts to rest the stigmas attached. He was a man who seamlessly had it all with a bright future ahead, but the power behind drugs and alcohol took a stranglehold on him, halting any progression. Stop Thinking Like That is not your typical addiction story leaving you sad and depressed, rather you end each chapter inspired and uplifted.


After a nearly two-decades-long run in and out of the bowels of the diseases, he finally surrendered and found the courage to ask for help. His journey in recovery gives hope to anyone facing great challenges in life, that no matter how far down you have dropped, you can pick yourself up, and be even better than you ever imagined. During his first couple months sober, a newfound passion and burning rush filled him within. This passion has brought to light what is now Stop Thinking Like That.


All the while living in a sober-home with upwards of eighteen other addicts and alcoholics, he relentlessly pursued his passion of spreading the message of hope. His tireless efforts ooze through the pages in his quest to find the greatest version of himself that exists. He leaves you wanting to jump out of your chair and attack life, with constant motivation and reminders of what we are capable of despite how lost we may feel we are.

Hold on tight, because this journey is one exhilarating roller coaster ride that will leave you inspired to be a better person and with the drive to help others. No matter the adversities you face in life, you can overcome them and live out the life you always dreamed of.

Hyland is living proof that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. 
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Now, Jason and I met on Twitter and he is my “Re-Tweet King!” When we see each other on Twitter, we have a chat through DMing each other as I learned pretty quick how amazing he was and how he truly cares about those suffering from addiction! As a matter of fact, he was so generous that the very firstRecoveryfest Music Concert” put on by ” Above The Noise Recovery Foundation” – Jason gave away 20 Free Tickets to it as Macklemore performed and many others!


He inspires and will motivate you to not just “Live Life Within Recovery,” he “Inspires” you to “Live Your Life 2 The Fullest” while maintaining recovery! I do believe the photo above Proves my point! Lol. As he shares on his ‘Tweet Profile,’ he describes himself like THIS:  
“Bestselling Author of Stop Thinking Like That. Former minor leaguer turned addict turned Recovery Coach, I live to Inspire, Motivate & Spread HOPE thru Sobriety 7/24/17!”

So, he was willing and gracious enough to answer some interview question about his talented writing style as the book reviews for his new book are exceptional, so he had to have done a pretty good job writing his first book … Here are my interview questions I asked him from more of a “writers perspective” and how he answered.

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1) What inspired you to write a book?

I entered detox on July 24, 2017, and with me, I brought an empty notebook. I figured I would have a lot of alone time on my hands and thought journaling would help take up as much as possible. I journaled every night about basic things, from what I ate that day, any people I may have conversated with, like those who liked me, who doesn’t like me, etc, etc, just stuff like that.

Nothing major, just used for time consumption. Then one day I wrote a story about what my mornings were like during the heart of my addictions to alcohol and opiates. To this day, every time I read that piece I’d get goosebumps and it brings me immediately back to that environment. I was shocked at how great this piece came out so I brought it to a counselor at the 6-month program I was now living at, whom I trusted and she was amazed, as well. She said she felt all 5 senses through my writing of the imagery, and I said I might be onto something.

I had shared in my early weeks of recovery, and during one of the group sessions that I was going to write a book, and of course, everyone thought I was crazy.  But after this piece, I knew it was going to happen. I went out and bought a 5-star notebook with plans to use each section for a particular characteristic needed to succeed in not just recovery, but life itself. On the first page I wrote down the chapters names, and at the point, each chapter would be about one of the characteristics and I’d include a personal story relevant to the trait.

This, of course, isn’t how the book turned out to be, but the journey had begun. At one point I was writing in three different notebooks while reading a book a week on personal development and inspirational stories. My mind was being consumed with nothing but positivity and it oozed out of me into my writing. Something within me kept telling me to keep writing, this feeling was so real, burning in my belly, to continue no matter what. Naysayers, critics, haters, family, friends, no one believed in me, but that was okay because all that matters was that I believed in myself.

 

2) Tell us about your writing process

The program I admitted myself in we could not have a cell phone, internet access, or a car, so I had to utilize the 2-hour gaps we were allowed to leave the house as best I could. I would write in my notebooks at night and then walk to the library to type it up the following day. I did this nonstop literally until I graduated that program on February 23, 2018.

It is great to look back on all the notebooks, print-outs, mini notebooks with certain words I liked from a book a read and wanted to put into my book, and so forth. I did the math and estimate I spent around a 1,000 hours between writing ‘Stop Thinking Like That: No Matter What’ and then editing and publishing. The most tedious and time-consuming part was uploading my book onto Createspace, Amazon’s publishing platform. Writing came easy to me, and while doing so you’re not thinking about things such as fonts, formatting, page #s, etc., so I researched the best fonts for a self-help genre and taught myself everything on the fly.

Literally, from the first page to the last, and front cover to back, I did it. I hired someone from Morocco from the Fiverr to put the book cover together based on a design I drew in, you guessed it, a notebook. I have the pictures to show the drawing to the actual cover, and it is a beautiful sight.

3) What advice would you give other addiction-recovery writers?

Do NOT listen to the noise. There will be a lot of people trying to make you go about your recovery their way, try to slow you down, or to tell you that you can’t, it is all BULLSH*T!

Don’t listen to anyone, just follow your gut instincts. The further along you get the more people will try and hold you back. Those are the ones you do not need around. Toxicity is not allowed. AND just as importantly, be HONEST! People want to know you’re authentic and real, so don’t fear to be as raw and candid as you must.

Remember, writing is your therapy first, others second, so do whatever it takes to keep you on the right path. You will notice more people joining your side and rooting you on the more honest you are, as well as people reaching out to you because they realize they aren’t alone in this battle. Your truth speaks wonders.

 

4) How did you decide how to publish your book?

A family friend has published multiple bestselling books, so I reached out to him for advice.  His only advice was “to keep writing,” stating many people ask him for help, but then never follow through.  I followed through, and he continued guiding me on the process.  He suggested self-publishing my first book for two reasons; build an audience for future works, and to save/make maximum money.

I wasn’t working obviously while in rehab, so I didn’t have the funds to work with a publishing company, nor utilize an editor but was fortunate that my much-smarter-than-me girlfriend offered to edit the endless amounts of work I continuously sent her.” The closer I neared the finish line the more motivated I got. I knew the end result before I even got there. I sent my mother an email back in November which I saved, stating simply,  “I will become a bestselling author!”

Within 2 weeks of  ‘Stop Thinking Like that;’ and the help of pre-orders, made it became at release a #1 national bestseller in multiple categories in both paperback and Kindle, at the same time! It was such a proud moment, I had tears streaming from my eyes because I did it.

Not only to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to as mom always stated, but to show all those who are struggling and feel hopeless that they too can achieve anything they want.  I am nobody special, I was at the bottom stealing from family, going through rubbish for cans, and stealing toilet paper from Burger King bathrooms. Today, I can now call myself a bestselling sober author. I set out on a mission to show anyone and everyone that “The sky truly is the Limit.”



5) Why a recovery book?

Funny thing is, it isn’t really a recovery book, but more so self-help and personal development book. And it is NOT a memoir by any means, although it does include some personal stories about where drugs and alcohol took me, the power they had over me, and hitting bottom.

It is about finding yourself at your bottom, then crawling, digging, scratching, and kicking your way out behind discipline, perseverance, good ‘ole fashion’ hard work, and most importantly faith in yourself. It is about realizing you can still achieve all your goals in life, live out the life you’ve always dreamed of and then some. It doesn’t matter how far down you may be today, your new life can start at the snap of a finger.

I have been blessed to have this second chance, and it didn’t take long to realize I had a purpose. That was to use and share my story to help others as ‘Stop Thinking Like That’ has opened up those many doors for me.

6) What do you think about the future of book publishing for addiction/recovery books?

I know you will start seeing more addiction/recovery books being published for two reasons:

1) – Self-publishing has given the average writer the chance to show their work to the world. I am not alone in saying many do write to help their recovery, as people like myself can take all those journals, notes, and stories, and put them into a book with our name on the cover.

2)With addiction being an American crisis and epidemic, everyone knows someone that is affected by addiction, no one is immune. The general public is now aware that it doesn’t matter how much money you make, where you live, what color you are, or what job you may have, ADDICTION DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE. You are seeing more individuals building up the courage to come out and tell their story.

It is not about being anonymous anymore, people realize they are not alone and that it is okay to be vulnerable, which I believe is a sign of strength. It takes courage and vulnerability to allow yourself open up to the world. It is how we can not only heal ourselves but help others at the same time.  Admitting you need help is VERY difficult, anyone will tell you that. So when we do find that courage to do so, we realize we don’t have all the answers, and that takes guts.

7) What types of genres you write or would like to write?

I have read upwards of 30 books in the first 6 months of my recovery all about personal development and helping me become a better human being. From; ‘Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People’ to Chris Herren’s ‘Basketball Junkie,’  to Tony Robbins and John Maxwell. Everything I read helped me in one way or the other, and I quoted around a dozen of the books I read in my book. I am a very positive person because I have witnessed firsthand the power of a positive mind.

The human brain is extremely powerful, and a determined mind is the most powerful thing known to man. I love reading about success stories, industry titans, everyday people overcoming massive odds, and building up my “knowledge brigade” aka my brain. I like to learn, and there is an infinite amount of knowledge to discover within the pages of any book.

8)  Will, you write another book and why?

YES! Because I want to help as many people as I possibly can and for whatever reason, my Higher Power whom I choose to call God has given me the platform to do so with writing.  And it certainly doesn’t hurt that I really enjoy writing, too

 

9) Lastly, what is one funny thing NO ONE Knows about you?
When I was young my mother would put me to sleep by playing jazz music, in particular, Kenny G…and I still do that to this day. 🙂

Readers, you will enjoy seeing Jason on this “Catching Up with Katy, State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives video! – I welcome a very special guest Author, Jason Hyland.” 
An amazing in-depth interview with Jason worth a watch!

http://haverhillcommunitytv.org/video/april-2018-jason-hyland

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I want to thank Jason for allowing me to share some his story and about his amazing writing style with all my recovery friends and visitors. Please take a listen to Jason’s full story above and below at an outdoor Recovery Speaking event! They both are heartfelt and uplifting and a true example of how we can make it through the other side!

 

 

You can connect with Jason on social media and visit his  Website ~JasonHyland.   –  Twitter –  Instagram –  Facebook –  Amazon Profile and Book Purchase!

September Is National Recovery Month. My Thoughts and a Wee Bit of Venting…

September Is National Recovery Month. My Thoughts and a Wee Bit of Venting…

As we celebrate National Recovery Month another year, not much has seemed to change regarding addiction. The opioid epidemic and alcoholism rates are still rising, just as more expansion has been rising with more gambling options being legalized like the one for legal online sports betting now in several states.

So how does recovery fit into this as we are losing more and more lives to all addictions every day? Why are we celebrating when it seems all addictions are getting out of control instead of better? I feel our Government needs to step up and take some part of the ownership and accountability of this problem as they don’t seem to be doing enough and just side kicking it to all the individual states in the US to handle it “on there own.”

“This to me and to many in the addiction and recovery arena and to me is just unacceptable” …

My good friend Ryan Hampton from ‘United to Face Addiction’ and ‘The Voices Project’ has worked tirelessly, including on Capitol Hill to get laws changed and put new laws and legislation on the books regarding opioid epidemic and treatment, rehabs, and sober living facilities. To force higher standards that will actually help those looking to recover. We need more longer-term after-care for those who reach out for recovery. Not just paid for and only a 28-day treatment stay. This DOES include gambling addiction and treatment where Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling lays out in this article …

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Is it wrong for the addiction/recovery community, parents, advocates, feel that our Government could be doing more? Is it not right for me if I was still an addict to ask for a longer treatment stay for free and not be in bondage of the Insurance Companies on how I chose to be free from any addiction? We all know most cannot afford addiction treatment is we have NO INSURANCE right? Even the cost alone if YOU HAVE INSURANCE is way too much for what we receive and WHY treatment is cut off by about the 28th to 30 days benchmark.

So how do we change this arena? Many advocates and those who work out in the field know this is an area in desperate need of changing. Lord knows I don’t have the answers but I will continue to advocate loudly for these and many more changes. I tip my hat off to those like Ryan, Les, and even my co-writing partner Vance who travel all over the US, even to our White House to advocate loudly for change.

Change in how addicts get treatment paid for or if they have no insurance, and to shatter Stigma around those who do because STIGMA can prevent addicts to reach out and get help. It’s why I advocate and share a wealth of HOPE … I will close with this FB Post by Vance Johnson who is a recovering addict, former NFL Pro, and what he had to say that hit home for me. I am so blessed to be writing his memoir with me and to have him as a dear friend.  ~Catherine Lyon

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Whatever you misdiagnose, whether illness, relationships, even politics, you miss treating.  This post is deep so stick with me.

Recently I’ve run into a ton backlash and opposition with my 4.5 years being clean.

From family to friends and in between, some are convinced that I’m not clean for the right reasons. Start with Religion… Some think this new walk that I walk in Christ delivering me from the bondage of addiction is “Fake News” and only a reason for my new supposed found fame. I was addicted to fame, and fame made me drink and use drugs.

When I lost that fame and status as a pro-NFL player and after walking away from the game, I drank and drugged myself into a coma. Let’s move to Politics.

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I grew up around democrats, became independent, and decided at one point that only Republicans are true believers in God. I’m not dogging politics, it’s needed…. but what you misdiagnose you miss treating! Whether politics or religion, most of it can be agenda driven and being agenda driven can make you interpret circumstances incorrectly.

In relationships, you may have got information about your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse, even your children that sheds a light on them that moves you directly into judgment. All because of your misdiagnoses and believing lies shaped in truth, that’s actually formed by an agenda.

Years of doubt, demonic interpretation has damaged your relationship. Although you see them never walk away from his or her commitment to love you, take care of your children and has never strayed.

Their devotion and walk in Christ echo their lifestyle. Don’t let religious or political prophecy become deluded or distorted by people saying they know what God is thinking.

In the Bible, Paul said lustfully pursue the gifts of the Spirit, especially that you may prophesy. I travel all over the country and share my testimony to thousands. I run into people all over, and the Spirit of God has led me to speak into people’s lives, and pray over them. I share the good news about what Christ has done for me in this new walk. I’ve seen miracles and lives touched while standing boldly redeemed and in conviction to Share Hope.

Thanks for letting go deep here, just wanted to share personal thoughts in this new transparent life I lead, to show myself approved in God’s eye, not man’s eyes… I encourage all of you to recognize what may be the spirit of deception.


You can think it’s a righteous stand while being “fed a lie.” No matter where the lie comes from.


Own your Faith, Own Your Sobriety.  ~Vance Johnson 


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Guest Article Share by SoberRecovery That Addresses – Is Addiction a Choice, a Disease, or Both? By Caitlin Thiede

Guest Article Share by SoberRecovery That Addresses – Is Addiction a Choice, a Disease, or Both? By Caitlin Thiede

Welcome Recovery Friends and New Visitors,

This topic has been a question and debate that has been around a long time. Do addicts make the choice to destroy their lives? Or is addiction really an illness and disease? Or is both? When I visit other addiction/recovery websites and online magazines to be informed, educated, and learn more about recovery, I seem to find some engaging articles.

Since my own addiction I maintain recovery from, this question always seems to get a lot of comments because gambling addiction is still so underground. The action of gambling is still seen in the light of “just a few hours of fun and entertaining,” so how could an activity like this produce addicts? Part of that comes from Stigma. I can tell you I have read a lot of negative comments from people I assume have never been touched by a gambling problem or know someone with one. So you won’t seem to receive empathy or understanding from someone like this.

It is why I write, blog, and advocate. I want to change the landscape around and the conversation that needs to begin about addicted gambling. Addicted compulsive gambling doesn’t happen over night. Just like many other addictions. But it is time to bring it into the light and out of the shadows. So let’s read this article and learn if addiction is a choice, a disease, or both …Catherine

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Addiction is claiming the lives of people at an alarming rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 33,091 deaths from opioids in 2015. This number is largely reflected by an increasing use of synthetic opioids and heroin.

The Clean Slate

After going through 12 Step Processes and other recovery treatments to eventually overcome addiction firsthand, Steven Slate, who authored an addiction site named “The Clean Slate,” is starting new conversations on how we approach addiction. Slate is most famous for his TED Talk speech on “Addiction Is A Choice.” Through the TED Talk and his organization “The Clean Slate,” he is advocating a deeper look beyond the age old debate of addiction as a disease vs. addiction as a choice.

Slate’s website states regarding the addiction as a disease theory:

“On the issue of ‘addiction,’ you will change it when you cease to believe that heavy drug and alcohol use is your best option for finding happiness. Work on changing that belief if you want to change your habit.

Believing in the ‘underlying causes of addiction’ (and/or ‘self-medication’) model creates a more complicated problem. If you invest in this idea, then every time life sends a problem your way, or when you feel the very normal emotions of sadness, depression, stress, or anxiety – then you will feel as if you must use drugs and alcohol. If you cease to believe that heavy drug or alcohol use is your best option for happiness then you will cease the heavy use of drugs and alcohol – regardless of whether you continue to face depression, stress, anxiety, etc.”

His site continues with the answer to a challenge his “choice” theory often faces:

“You say addiction is a choice, so what do you suggest people do, use willpower to quit?
‘Addicts’ have no less or no more ‘willpower’ than anyone else. Every behavior that every person makes at any given time is, in a sense, an expression of willpower. … Essentially, if you choose to think differently about drugs and alcohol, and about how they fit into your life and competing goals, then your desire for them will change.”

Although this may sound outrageously optimistic to some, Slate’s perspective on the issue is relevant to every psychiatrist, doctor, clinician and addict who may be in treatment. His site poses (and answers) the most important question of all—is our approach towards diagnosing addicts making them feel empowered or leaving them feeling powerless?

Pros & Cons of Each Viewpoint

When researching articles of addiction as a disease, it accurately argues the brain’s physical changes in response to a drug. Addiction is the malfunctioning of brain and nerve endings due to excessive dopamine levels. A normal brain would respond “happily” to pleasurable things such as good food, healthy relationships, and rewarding experiences. However, an addicted brain sends signals to nerve endings that there is something wrong. What would trigger “happy” feelings for a normal brain is no longer enough for the addicted brain.

The pros of the “addiction as a disease” argument is that it circumvents the demonization of the drug user. On the other hand, this judgment can also lead to addicts indulging in self-destructive behavior because they feel there is something innately wrong with them. This viewpoint also sends messages that addicts are at the mercy of something bigger than them, and it may leave them feeling like a helpless victim stuck in a never-ending cycle.

Alternatively, the “addiction as a choice” viewpoint rightfully defends the addict as a person of will. This attitude translates into empowerment, and can boost the user’s confidence and self-esteem as they conquer the most unfavorable circumstances, symptoms, and mindsets. On the down side, this outlook can encourage a lack of compassion for addicts because they “could have done better.”

The Verdict

All arguments aside, this ongoing debate concerning addiction highlights a significant flaw in our system; rallying for a label may be prioritized above rallying for the success of an individual. Instead of focusing on why someone becomes an addict, we need to redirect the conversation to how an addict can heal. No matter why or how someone gets to this point in their lives, our only job as professionals, friends and family is to love them unconditionally. Of course, not to judge their choices or debate the root of their addiction. If you or someone you love is an addict, remind them that they aren’t alone.

PLEASE Browse There directory of treatment centers to find one that may be a good fit, or call 800-772-8219 to speak to a treatment specialist today. You can also subcribe by visiting here at SoberRecovery!

Let’s Learn The Value of “Interventions” From Expert, Randy Grimes.

Let’s Learn The Value of “Interventions” From Expert, Randy Grimes.

“My wife reached out to the NFL and got me help from my drug addictions. From all I had done with pain medications and then some, I found the benzos were the hardest to beat because of the seizures and my own fear.  Now, us once broken people get to go out and help other broken people. That is what I get to do today maintaining recovery”…  ~Randy Grimes, Former NFL Pro Athlete


I’d like all my recovery friends and recovery readers to meet a wonderful man who has been to hell and back with addictions. I welcome Randy Grimes!  Yes, you may know him as an 80’s former college football star at Baylor University of Texas and in 1983 to 1992  the drafted into The NFL after for The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  But one thing Randy knows when that is all over?

He and many professional players are left with many injuries, surgeries, and suffering much pain after their career is over.  They also try to find in their lives, “What’s Next?”  When football is over, they go on a journey looking for “now what.”  Randy found his calling and feels his new journey is now started along with his bride, Lydia to help families and those afflicted know there is Hope & Help from ALL Addictions.

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Randy knows GOD had him go through the negative to learn lessons, wisdom, and faith to set him up for all the positive he is doing today.  He is now an interventionist, a speaker, and shares his experience, hope, and strength through helping addicts and their families now at Transformations Treatment Center, located in Delray Beach, Florida.  Randy and Lydia, his wife, continue to share their experience with addiction and recovery using their knowledge and experiences healing to help not only athletes but any family struggling with their journey to recovery.

The work Randy does is a true inspiration to many like myself and to many of my recovery friends like Vance Johnson, Kristin Walker, Marilyn Davis, Dr. Kevin Coughlin just to name a few. It is always a “breath of fresh air” when “God” brings certain people in our lives for however long or short and I am a firm believer for a purpose.

“We as advocates doing outreach see at times other advocates doing work but sometimes not from the heart, for a true calling,  just for an agenda. Randy is not one of those people. He is open-minded, big-hearted and truly cares about those suffering or dying from drug addiction and tries to reach them and their families with HOPE and HELP. As he says; “The time is now, not tomorrow, or wait to try something else first. Stop ignoring what is right in front of you.”  Here is more of an in-depth look at the work he does.

 

The Time To Stop the cycle of addiction is Now!
We are here 24/7 to help guide your family, answer your questions and set up a potentially lifesaving intervention for your loved one Now at Transformations Recovery Center…

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More About Randy Grimes”

Randy is a BRI-1 Interventionist – Marketing and Business Development Executive at Transformations Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center

As a former professional football player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Randy Grimes had spent many years battling an addiction to painkillers that he had developed while trying to treat career-related injuries. He now uses his inspiring story of recovery to help victims of drug and alcohol abuse through his work at Transformations Interventionist and National Director of Business Development/Strategy
A strong advocate for recovery, Randy launched “Athletes in Recovery,” to help athletes find addiction treatment and recovery resources. Randy and Transformations Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center have partnered with the NFL Player Care FoundationAfter the Impact FundGridiron Greats, and the Baseball Assistance Team to bring further awareness and treatment services to professional athletes and their families. As a result, hundreds of former professional athletes have since been treated.

Randy’s passion does not end with athletes; Randy believes that “when families get well, addicts get well.” Randy has performed countless interventions across the U.S. and in five countries—bringing hope and healing when all seems lost.

Randy has been married for 36 years to his college sweetheart, Lydia, who is also a Certified Family Addiction Coach. Randy is regularly a keynoter for corporate events and conferences—and a commentator on numerous national TV networks and media including NFL Network, Anderson Cooper, Father Albert, CNN, Fox Sports, MSNBC, Fox News, SiriusXM Sports, and countless others.


“Randy has been an exemplary ambassador for the Intervention industry and is a quality example of the power of professional treatment. He has helped numerous families find balance and peace of mind by getting their addicted loved ones the help they need for their drug and alcohol addiction. He enjoys speaking and speaks with others like Vance Johnson, also a former NFL pro for the Denver Broncos, as Randy was instrumental in an intervention and getting Vance the help he needed from addiction as well as many other pro athletes.”

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I have been blessed many times over in my own recovery journey with GOD’S precious gifts of keeping me connected with supportive and real “recovery warriors” like these two guys! When we get our long-term sobriety in check? It is a blessing and an honor to be able to help others still suffering from addictions. And, meeting new advocates, coaches, interventionists, and new recovery friends like Randy is just “The Icing on My Recovery Cake!” Lol!

As Randy mentioned to my dear friend Kristin Walker, Host of everythingEHR ~ Mental Health News Radio “It seems we always hear the negative side about treatment, rehab and other places and not enough about all the Positive hard work they do to help people from addictions as so many are losing their battle and family losing loved ones.” You can hear the full Guest Interview with Randy on Kristin’s Show as it is a powerful and informative intimate testimony by Randy…So click on the blue link and give this interview with Randy a listen.

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I want to personally thank Randy for allowing me to share just a wee bit of all he does along with his wife, Lydia. We need some many more warriors out here sharing a message of Hope, Faith, Healing, and Sharing Help to those looking to claim their lives back from the enemy and the bonds of addiction!

Author/Recovery Writer, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 
CAT ~ “Your Recovery Starts Here!”

 

 

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 🙂  

 

Recovery Guest Author, Christine H. Is Here With A New Special Article…

Recovery Guest Author, Christine H. Is Here With A New Special Article…

The Line Between Use and Abuse

 

Once upon a time, the term “addiction” was reserved for dependence on mind-altering chemicals. However, now a dependence on anything from video games to shopping is termed “addiction.” It can be a confusing world when something that’s usually a healthy coping behavior (like going to the gym) can turn into a mental disorder.

Everyone needs an outlet. Somewhere to channel the stresses of life when they just get to be too much. And everyone needs a diversion. However, how do you determine where exactly your habit turns into an addiction? Where is the line between use and abuse?

Here are 5 questions that can help you get a better perspective on whether or not your coping mechanism has turned into something that can be harmful instead of helpful for your life.

 

Have you tried to stop numerous times and failed?

 

This is one of the most notable characteristics of addiction, but it can also be the most commonly misunderstood. Individuals are often dismayed when they find that even though they had resolved to change their behavior, they fail. However, this in and of itself isn’t a marker of addiction. After all, how many people actually keep their New Year’s Resolutions? How many people start a diet that only lasts a few days? That doesn’t that they’re addicted to spending money or not working out or sneaking junk food. It might mean that they were ineffective in goal setting, or that they’re not sufficiently motivated to change behavior.

The big difference is when you resolve to change behavior because you ARE properly motivated. If you notice that your behavior is costing you too much, and still can’t seem to stop, you might be working with addiction rather than a bad habit. The next couple questions can help you clarify.

 

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Is it hurting your health?

Often, people first start to consider addiction a problem because of a talk with a physician. When a certain behavior is hurting your body, it’s a cause for concern. Occasional use of something doesn’t have the same effects on your body as habitual use, one of the common stages of addiction. A doctor won’t refer you to an addiction professional for just a few drinks… unless you have liver disease and you still won’t stop drinking.

Usually, this measure only comes into play for addictions that have a direct effect on your physical health. This includes food disorders, adrenaline-seeking behavior, and exercise addiction. Often, we don’t see the signs that a doctor will. However, if you’re getting concerned about some of your own behaviors, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it, being completely upfront about what you’re doing so that they can determine whether it’s threatening your health.

Is it threatening your relationships?


There are some addictions that will never have a toll on our physical health, but they have a huge impact on our relationships. These additions might include pornography or gambling or online gaming. These types of addictions also don’t seem to have an “outer” looking appearance to a person like a drug addict or alcoholic. And the afflicted person has no idea how the addiction is damaging their health on the inside. Many have hypertension or high blood pressure, heart disease, or even becoming a diabetic without knowing.

Often, this is a tricky situation to sort out. You might feel like there’s nothing unusual or harmful about your behavior, but someone you love is concerned and wants you to change. It’s possible that sometimes your loved one is overreacting. But it’s also true that relationships require investment from both parties. If you’re unable to change your behavior in order to nurture those relationships that are most important to you, it might be a problem. Relationships and families depend on healthy boundaries that are made with love and followed with consideration.

Do you need more and more for the desired effect?


One of the first signs of any addiction
is that you need to escalate your usage in order to get the same desired effect. This is because your body is becoming slowly inured to the effects. So in order to experience the same hit of dopamine in the brain, you need to have more and more of the substance (or behavior.) This happens most notably with alcohol. Once the body is used to operating as normal with alcohol in the system, you need more and more in order to get drunk.

However, it can be the same with other substances or behaviors. If you find that you need more and more, that’s when things start to get dangerous, whether you’re shopping or adrenaline-seeking. This effect drives us to do things that we know could be harmful and cross boundaries we know we shouldn’t.

 

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Do you feel ashamed after using?

This might be the most telling sign of an addiction. If you’re ashamed after a certain behavior, it’s a sign that you know that you need to change… and yet you’re not. Shame can be subtle, and hard to recognize in many of us. Shame might manifest itself as:

  • Anger
  • Despair
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Perfectionism in other aspects of your life
  • Numbing your feelings (often by indulging more often in the thing that makes you feel ashamed)

 

If you or a loved one are exhibiting these signs of addiction, reach out for help. Get help early before you become so thoroughly entrenched that it costs you valuable things in your life.


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About The Author:

Christine is a professional writer and an avid reader who’s passionate about storytelling in all its forms. At any given moment, she’s in the middle of at least three books on anything from human psychology to ninjas. Although she’s a marathon swimmer and enjoys camping in the mountains, she believes there’s nothing better than a carton of ice cream and a Dawson’s Creek marathon.

 

What Every Parent Should Know about Pain Meds ~ Our Guest Article.

What Every Parent Should Know about Pain Meds ~ Our Guest Article.

We as parents already know about the raging drug epidemic happening in our communities, so let’s make sure we start “at home” to make all medications in the safe and put away from your kids, teens, and young adults. Yes, parents, it needs to start with you…

Guest Article By Christine H.

Deaths caused by prescription pain medication overdose are skyrocketing. Between 2000 and 2015, most areas in North America saw opioid deaths quadruple. It’s at a point where it’s being called a public health crisis. But however bad a situation regarding addiction is… it’s always hard to imagine that it has anything to do with us or our family.

The truth is that opioid addiction is something that affects people at every age, from every walk of life. It’s easy to hide, so for the most part, people who find out that their children are struggling with opioid addiction are completely floored and surprised. Because these pain medications are often originally prescribed by a doctor, it’s hard to know where the line is between use and abuse.

So, in the name of prevention and education, here are some important facts that every parent should know about the opioid epidemic.

1: Opioids are some of the most addictive substances we know of

Opiates and opioids are substances derived from the poppy plant, like opium of historical significance, or morphine that we use in hospitals today. Opioids are used to treat pain, and they’re often prescribed for sports injuries, recovery from surgery, and chronic pain conditions.

Some of the most commonly prescribed opiates are OxyContin®, Percocet®, Codeine, Demerol®, and Methadone®. One of the things that make opiates so addictive is that the body quickly builds a tolerance to them, which means that you’ll need more and more of the substance in order to get the same effects. Following closely on the heels of tolerance is dependence, where someone’s body actually needs the substance in order to simply feel normal. At this point, it’s really hard to distinguish when someone needs pain management, and when they’re addicted. For this reason, opiates need to be closely monitored by a doctor to ensure that the medication is doing what it needs to do without being abused.

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2: The most common street opioid is heroin?

In our minds, there’s a big leap between using more pills than the doctor prescribed, and going out to purchase a street drug like heroin. However, once addiction takes control and someone’s supply of prescription pain medications is cut off, it’s not uncommon for people to turn to a different, accessible form of the substance. Often, this can get really scary because the dosage of street heroin isn’t as carefully monitored (of course) and it can be very easy for someone to mismanage it.


However, it’s important to remember that as scary as this transition is,
prescription opioids can be just as dangerous. In fact, in Utah, twice as many people die from prescription opioids as from heroin.

3: Addiction isn’t the end

If you think that someone you love is at risk of opioid addiction, it can be hard to deal with. It’s difficult to know how to confront and handle the problem effectively. This is real and scary. However, addiction is not the end. If you worry that someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, learn to recognize the signs, and work to remove the stigma. Let them know that you care and they’re not alone, and encourage them to seek professional treatment.

In addition to professional treatment for addiction, an important resource is Naloxone. If someone is taking opioids, they could be at risk of an overdose. Naloxone is a safe medication that counters the effects of an overdose long enough for professional help to arrive. Educate yourself about it, and if you live in an area where laymen can safely purchase and carry it, then have a kit on hand.

 

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What Can You Do?

  • Talk honestly with your children about substance abuse, including alcohol, drugs, and prescription medication. And start the conversation early! As this article states, some state drug education programs are starting as early as Kindergarten because forewarned students are forearmed. Educate yourself about addiction, and open up the conversation to understand your child’s concerns and questions. Avoid using scare tactics and exaggerations. Numerous studies have found that the most effective drug education is in honest conversation, not in facts and figures, or even dramatically terrifying stories.

  • There are alternative pain treatment methods. Neither you nor your children have to take opioids. If your doctor prescribes them for someone in your family, talk to them about it and ask for alternative treatment. According to the CDC, safer options are available, and often, they can be more effective in managing pain. Be savvy about any medications that your family is taking. Read the labels and understand the side effects and risks.

  • Keep all of your medications in a safe place, in child-proof containers. Monitor them closely, and don’t share medications with family members that they’re not prescribed for. For example, never use grandma’s old Lortab® in order to treat one of your kid’s toothaches, however severe.

  • Speaking of old Lortab®, always safely dispose of medication when you don’t need it anymore or it expires. Pain medication isn’t like antibiotics; you don’t need to take the whole prescribed amount. Take leftover medication to any pharmacy, and they can take care of it for you.

  • Remember that even when you take opioids as prescribed, there are still dangers. Be alert to the possible problems, and don’t dismiss concerns as they crop up.

Article was written by Author, Christine H. 

“Lets Talk War Stories of Addiction and The Criminal Consequences”

Hello and Welcome all Recovery Friends,

 

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I wanted to write and share a little about the damages and consequences many of face when we were deep within our addictions. One of those can be losing your freedom due to jail, criminal records or doing jail or prison time. I had visited a friend’s blog this morning, and he had just been released from prison five days ago. I have followed some of his journey on his blog while he was there. And I can tell you, there is nothing worse than having your freedoms of life taken away from you.

See I know this first hand as I had this happen myself, just no prison time. Back in 2006,  I made the poor choice to steal from someone due to financial problems of my own. This person filed charges, by which she had every right to do so. I was arrested at my home, taken to jail, booked, and then released. Talk about shame and embarrassment. It was the lowest point in my life besides my two failed suicide attempts. I was living in Oregon at the time, in a small community, so everyone of course read about it in our local newspaper.

I had spent over 20 years in the banking field, so I knew many people and business people in my town. So it was again pretty embarrassing to know they all may have read about my downfall.

FREEDOM,  Are YOU HEARING ME? GET YOUR FREEDOM BACK.

He was talking about how he was becoming addicted to his tech stuff. His cell phone, the internet and social media, and how much had changed just in the seven years that he was away in prison. I SO understood what my friend, fresh out of prison was feeling and going through. I’m addicted to the same, but? I have chosen to be addicted to social media and the internet for two excellent reasons, and these reasons are blessings of my hard work in recovery and given from my higher power.

I use them for my recovery to help others, share hope in recovery, inform and educate others about gambling, alcohol, and other addictions, as I blog my recovery journey. I also use it for a ‘Home Business.’  Again, as you may know, I promote other authors with a small ‘Book & Social Media Promotions’ job for extra income. And here is why, which I know you all in recovery will understand.

In 2006, I chose to steal from someone while I cleaned her home. It is all in my book. I was arrested, charged, given two years probation, and loads of community service. I’m still paying my fees and the little balance left of my restitution to this day. So with having a criminal record, no one would hire me. So I had to think outside the box and figure a way to make money from home. I also suffer severe depression and agoraphobia, so I don’t work outside my home anymore.

BAM! Book promoting and authoring more recovery books came to mind! I’m not rich yet, but I have made enough to pay our rent some months, and that not only feels good/ but are blessings in recovery.  It also raises your self-worth, confidence and gives you freedom from addiction!


 

We need to learn while in recovery to take ownership and accountability of the choices we had made within our addictions. No matter how long it takes to work through them? It can be done, or you will never feel that full sense of freedom from your past if you don’t. And boy did I have a lot to process and overcome of my past starting as a hurt, traumatized little girl. That holds true for the other obstacles that come from just life trials and storms besides addiction.

There are many ways to accomplish this. Many choose treatment or rehab, depending on the type of addiction you are recovering from. Many turn to 12 step programs, or even to their church. Doesn’t matter what route you choose, just do it. We can change those bad habits and behaviors we tend to learn within addiction/ and replace them with awesome ones. It’s what I told my friend in his blog comment section. He feels he is becoming addicted to his cell, the internet, and social media sites.

So I told him to change his priority of why he is using them. I use them to help others in recovery, and that is what helps ME stay in recovery. Sharing my story, sharing my hope to others so they too can help others. Same with my book promotions. I enjoy helping other authors promote their books. And I work just as hard for them as I do when I help others in recovery.

I never dreamed how my life could take such a positive turn from the damage and devastation of gambling addiction and alcohol abuse I battled. Never dreamed I’d be a published author in my lifetime. But when we are in addiction, we just don’t see anything but the addiction. What a life legacy I get to leave behind for others who come to recovery after I’m gone. Awesome! Just don’t give up on those dreams.

So go ahead and take your freedom Back from Addiction Today!!
You are worth it!

May God Bless You Abundantly Friends,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon XOXO
Author and Recovery Advocate

I Welcome Dustin John To My Recovery Blog Today And His Fantastic Blog~”My Sober Life”…

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome new Friends,

 

Many of us on this crazy journey of recovery come across some pretty amazing people. And my Guest Blogger is no different. We have met on many social media sites, and he too has been in recovery for a long awhile. When I first visited his blog, I was struck on how very open and candid Dustin was. I like that! Because in order for us to help others in recovery, or help those reaching out for a helping hand on how to even start the recovery journey, we need not ‘Sugar Coat’ recovery at all.

We need to be able to share our inner most feelings of all we have been through with addiction. We lay our hearts bare in order for others to know they are NOT alone, they CAN recover, and there are many of us IN recovery who can if they Live or Die from any type of addiction. And that’s what my good friend Dustin seems to always accomplish on his blog when sharing his own personal testimony of where he had been, to where he is today!

Here is a little more about “Dustin John”, and about his must visit blog tilted; “My Sober Life” at: http://www.jdusty45.wordpress.com

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sober from alcohol and other drugs since February 1, 2012 and I have been sober from heroin for over 5 years.
Dustin John –
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My Sober Life

My Soundingboard of Hope, Freedom and Happiness

 “I am 33 years old. For the better part of 13 years I was using heroin and other drugs. I have been sober since February 1, 2012. After seeing the devastation that addiction and alcoholism causes in families across the world, I wanted to share my story in hope that my past mistakes will help others who are plagued by addiction and alcoholism. Sobriety is possible and when it is truly found, peace and happiness will follow” …

A Bit Of Dustin’s Back Story:

At the age of 20, I was married before the ink had fully dried on my high school diploma. At the time, I thought I had the perfect life. I had a pretty wife, a steady growing credit score, a nice home with 2 cars, a great job and some financial stability. Having my life in order at such a young age gave me a sense of satisfaction a sense of wholeness and responsibility. I felt like I had reached the “American Dream” if such a thing ever existed. We even had the white picket fence in a neat little row against the freshly laid concrete sidewalk. I had installed new white stickers on our mailbox that advertised our union as a small new family. “The Johns’”
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Within the first year of my marriage, there was so much tension in our home you had to cut through it with a pair of pruning shears. It was constant, it was thick and it was very depressing. There was persistent arguing and squabbling over trivial matters, day in and day out. I was extremely young, naïve and inexperienced in the relationship field but I did the best I could in keeping our relationship afloat. It was like trying to scoop water out of the sinking Titanic- with a thimble. It finally dawned on me that no matter what I did, it wouldn’t be enough. I would never be able to make my partner happy.

I viewed my partner as my “life-long” companion where infidelities, lies, manipulation and divorce did not exist. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I knew my wife and I were finished. The endless fighting and verbal boxing matches had us at the breaking point. Her infidelities had driven in the final wedge. At that point, I had lost my ability to love her, or at least that is how it felt. I gave her a week to move out of our home.

The emptiness of my home mirrored my empty soul and I knew that being alone in that solitude wasn’t the best idea. After a few phone calls to friends, my home became a regular karaoke lounge with drunken hacky sack tournaments in the kitchen. I’m not sure why we thought alcohol and hacky sack went together because you would never get more than two kicks before someone would either fall over drunk, or kick the sack behind the stove which would usually end the game instantly. Regardless of our insanity it- coupled with drugs and alcohol, was helping to suppress my emotions.
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*And That is How The Cycle Of Addiction can begin…. This was a part of another extensive interview Dustin had done on another website titled; “Breaking The Cycles” and you can read the full interview, courtesy of  http://www.breakingthecycles.com/blog/2014/06/15/dustin-john-todays-face-of-addiction-recovery/
It’s another fantastic recovery blog. I wanted to share a little of Dustin’s interview from there, as it shows one of the reasons many of us turn to addiction in the first place. I can be from life trauma and events, or many other reasons, but we USE to try to cope or escape hurt, pain, life disappointments, loss, tragic events, and more.

Dustin and myself are no different. We may not have been raised to know there are much healthier ways to process life’s trials and events. Here is a perfect example from Dustin’s own blog, “My Sober Life” as to why I’m truly inspired by him deeply. I always feel that our Higher Power has had a huge part in my meeting Dustin.
It’s one of the blessings and rewards of life*!
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Get High or Get Higher Power?
Courtesy of Dustin John ….

deity-229216_1920.
I have been wanting to do a blog on my version of God; or more accurately, my higher power for many weeks now but I kept putting it off. The topic is controversial to say the least- mainly if the status quo deity is put into question. Religion beliefs are often a topic in recovery and I feel that having an honest and open discussion is relevant and absolutely necessary in my own personal recovery. Some of you may disagree with my beliefs and that is perfectly fine. My goal is not to argue that my higher power is right or wrong or that any of my reader’s belief’s are incorrect. I am only explaining my experience and what works for me.

Many conversations in the rooms of AA/NA, give strong evidence that many addicts struggle with finding, keeping and believing in a God or any form of higher power. I want to explain my higher power so that others who are struggling can see that they are not alone in their struggles. I also want to explain how I finally found what I believe to be my higher power.

GROWING UP

I was raised in the LDS church as a young child. Up until my mid 20s, I believed in the Judeo-Christian ethical standards as well as a living, breathing deity who had a flowing white beard and had a homestead somewhere above the highest of clouds. After continually struggling to make even a single right turn into the driveway of virtue, I began to question what kind of Satan-spawn I had become. The harder I tried to do right by God, the further he faded from me. No coffee or caffeine? No hot drinks? No nicotine? No masturbation? God must have known me quite well. I was doomed right out of the placenta bursting gate.

THE CRUX

Despite my appalling past; homelessness, IV drug use, robbery, theft etc., I have always thought I was a decent and respectful human being. It may be difficult to believe that, and after reading that previous sentence, I think I may have threw up a little from the ridiculousness of my statement. Anyone who has been addicted to drugs I’m sure can relate. I knew I had done some really terrible things and for God and my sober self, that was a big problem.
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The thought of going to hell drove me to study religion and to study it passionately. Both sides. Both arguments and even other religions. So that is what I did. I studied Christian, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Taoism. After studying these religions* and reading their doctrines, I began to study agnosticism and atheism. I knew I couldn’t make any accurate or true claims about anything if I didn’t understand both sides of the religious coin belief and non-belief.

THE SEARCH

After countless hours of work, I came to my own conclusion based on empirical evidence, logical consistency, and facts. I now consider myself to be an atheist. However, just because I do not believe that Gods or Deities’ exist, does not mean I do not have a higher power.

CRUX-BASED FINDINGS

When I first realized I was in fact, a strong atheist, I began to feel an emptiness. Like my life was missing something crucial. A pinging vibration of hollowness echoed throughout my body. “If I did not believe that Gods’ exist, how could I ever stay sober?” AA/NA taught me that to continue a happy and fulfilling sober lifestyle, I had to find a higher power!

THE SEARCH CONTINUES

I had heard in a meeting one time that someone was using a doorknob as their higher power but I felt more powerful than a doorknob. After-all, I could turn one and walk through a door so I knew the doorknob would not suffice as my higher power. I think the point of a higher power is choosing something that is more powerful than me and something I CAN’T control- unlike the turning of a doorknob. That is however, only my amateur opinion. If a doorknob works for someone as a HP, then grab hold of it!

FINDING MY HIGHER POWER

My HP had to be something much smarter than me, much stronger than me, something I could not control, something I do not understand, something that would keep me safe and something I COULD allow to run my life so I didn’t screw it up again. After pondering these strict and crucial requirements for my next potential higher power, I finally realized this higher power was right in front of me the entire time. It was with me throughout my entire life and it knew me much better than I knew myself. It is thousands of time stronger than me and it is thousands of times smarter than me. Its capabilities are known to be almost limitless.This amazing higher power I am describing is the subconscious mind.
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Actual X-ray of my big yellow-purple brain dots.
JUST SOME THOUGHTS

Being conscience of our unconscious mind is extremely helpful for living a successful life; even if you think having it (subconscious) as your higher power is ludicrous. For many years, I thought of my subconscious mind as an abstract concept and I never put much “thought” into it. Today, I work to provide a conduit of clear communication between my conscious and subconscious mind. A working relationship between the two is essential for my daily recovery. Having this deity-free higher power has continued to keep me sober and has help me understand so many things that used to baffle me.
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I welcome all troll-free comments but if any of my readers are having a hard time with God or a higher power, please feel free to comment. Also, I would love to hear any of your thoughts on this topic. I appreciate all my readers support. Thank you all!

Dustin J.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” –Andre Gide
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Now all my recovery buddy’s know that when I have a Blog Guest, I only ask 3 questions of them as to not put on any pressure! LOL. Dustin seems to handle any Just Fine! 🙂
So here is my 3 questions I asked of him, and how he answered them for us! …
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Q ~ Knowing you live life in recovery, how did you decide to write & blog about it and your journey?

Back in 2008, I asked my father if I should try and write a book about my addiction and what my family had been through. It was quite the tale and we had all learned a great deal by doing everything the wrong way for many years. My father knew that the amount of people suffering from the disease of addiction were legion so we began putting ink on paper.
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Because of numerous relapses between 2008-2012, the book was finally edited, re-drafted, edited, chopped, edited, rewritten and then we finalized the perfected manuscript in late 2013. From robberies at gunpoint to traveling across the western states’, wrecking stolen vehicles and hitchhiking with a murderous tow truck driver, my story leaves no stones unturned in my fight for survival. . Being held hostage by a crowd of burly chainsaw wielding psychopaths’, I somehow find my way out. A mysterious masked boy on a bus sees my life unfolding and tries to warn me of my fate years in advance.
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I wrote a chapter telling my story from the addicts perspective and my father wrote a chapter describing the same timeframe but from the family’s eye-view.  Luckily we finished the final manuscript just days before my father passed away.

“Every addict who is looking for long-term sobriety, myself included, have many multi-faceted triggers and emotions that will send us swerving off the sober path. We will all eventually have to learn to deal with death and we need to do it without drinking, drugging, or other self-destructive behaviors. Losing my father (age 59) was a devastating blow to my family. His death was untimely and it shook me to my core. I have yet to give in to my addiction over my father’s death and having an online sounding board has been a huge help for me. It has also given me the opportunity to share things that were not discussed in our book. I learn new things about addiction almost every day and being able to share those new thoughts and ideas make blogging a substantial recovery tool.”
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Q ~ Since your sobriety, what has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you?

would have to be marrying the woman of my dreams. We met playing Texas Hold’em online. When I first began chatting with her, I didn’t realize she lived almost 8,000 miles away. She is a blonde haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian from Finland who can swear at me in 4 different languages. She has never done any kind of drugs and that was new to me, weird and completely awesome. After a 2 year, really long distance relationship and a couple of trips back and forth to Finland, we began the never-ending pile of documents required for her citizenship. We were married June 9, 2012. She has been my guiding light, my rainstorm in the desert, my everything.
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Q ~  As far as your recovery, what was it that made you decide to get clean and sober?

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I honestly didn’t want to. I had to. That’s how powerless I am.  I love the feeling of using heroin and other drugs. The problem is I can’t do it anymore. I was standing on the reaper’s doorstep in 2006. I was facing a 1-10 year prison sentence and I was hoping drugs would take my life before I got caught by the authorities. I was completely worn out; homeless, running from the law, shooting heroin and cocaine into my arms many times a day, committing more and more horrendous crimes every day. I was not slowing down. My liver was failing, my bruised and battered veins were collapsing and I weighed 112 pounds (including the stolen lawn mower I was pushing).
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I was finally arrested in July of 2006. When all my court appearances had been settled, I was given 13 months in a maximum security facility and tens of thousands in fines and restitution. I had tried to get sober many times before this but I never could gather more than a few weeks of sobriety. Being housed with rapists, murderers and hard-core criminal’s for over a year was eye-opening to say the least. It wasn’t the career I had in mind and I knew I had to make some life-altering decisions from that point forward. I was truly willing to do whatever it took to stay sober.
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I was able to gather over two and a half years of sobriety after my sentencing. I had stopped attending meetings and working with other addicts. Within 6 months I had relapsed. I asked a judge to throw me back in jail so I could get sober again. He did of course (30 day sentence) and I have been sober since February 1, 2012. I have been clean from heroin for over five and a half years.
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I want to say “Thank You” to Dustin John for letting me share his Recovery & Sober Life today. He is a true inspiration to many of us recovery bloggers out here in Recoveryville!  Please take some time to go visit his blog and find a wealth of information, and honest sharing about how to “Stay Clean & Sober”!! I know he thinks I’m going to let him get away with mentioning “TEXAS’ EM” in his Guest Spot!! Bad, Bad, Boy DUSTIN! LOL…
You can contact with Dustin here:

To follow more of my story, information about addiction, and to stay tuned for my book hitting the shelves, please follow my blog at www.jdusty45.wordpress.com

You can also find me on Twitter at @DustinLJohn

Contact me by email  jdusty45@yahoo.com

“Thanks everyone for coming by and visiting! God Bless,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

 

 

Weekend ReBlog From My Good Pal Maggie Of Blog “Sober Courage”~Weekends Can Be Tough!

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, And New Friends,

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I wanted to share an awesome recovery blog post of my good friend Maggie over at http://sobercourage.com/2014/07/11/100-fun-things-to-do/ Courtesy of “Sober Courage”…..

Now I know I could just use the ‘Reblog’ function, but I wanted to copy it and share the whole post here on my blog. WHY?
Well,….she has 100 fun things, but I think she has only made it to 50 Fun Things! So, I thought we could help her out a little by going to her or my comments and ADD more of what you all do for fun on Friday, or the whole weekend to have LIFE BALANCE in recovery!

Because we all know how the weekends can be when you’re in early recovery. We need to learn, or re-visit those past hobbies and fun things we did before addiction came and stole them all away. So here is the recovery Re-blog.  Her we go!
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Happy Sober Friday!

 fun

 

Friday Night Pep-Talk: 100 Fun Things To Do Sober
Posted by Maggie Shores on July 11, 2014

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There is always the worry when quitting drinking, that once you do, your life will become horribly boring! I have to be honest here, and say that in the beginning, life will definitely feel a bit boring. After all, we were used to doing everything while drinking, so it is no coincidence that we tend to associated all the fun activities with drinking too. Then we take away the drinking, and all of a sudden it seems that the fun is all gone too!

But, OK, let’s be honest here again, where those activities actually fun!? Maybe the first few hours, right? But if you drank anything like me, eventually you would find yourself falling down drunk and in a blackout, and have no recollection of any of this great fun the next day. Ugh. I don’t miss those days!

Having fun in sobriety can be a whole new learning process. Like a toddler learning how to walk, being sober means re-learning everything we thought we once knew how to do only while drinking.  So start with a few things and keep trying something every week. The greatest part of this process is that you may find some new things that are actually really fun to do sober! You can start right now!

I am building a list of 100 fun activities that we can do instead of drink, and I am hoping that you all will pitch in with suggestions so we can make it to 100!! So, please leave your fun ideas in the comments section, and I will be updating this list throughout the day!

Lets fill it up!

  1. Start a free blog at WordPress.
  2. Bake cupcakes or a cake, and decorate. There are many ideas at Bake Decorate Celebrate
  3. Visit a museum, or a historical landmark.
  4. Go to a spa and get pampered.
  5. Make a tie dye t-shirt. Check out these ideas here: Spoonful.com
  6. Explore a city or a town close by, if you are on the east coast, Annapolis, MD is awesome!
  7. Find things to donate to Goodwill.
  8. Go to the local hardware store (Home Depot) – I am telling you, it’s an amazing place really!
  9. Make a pop-up greeting card (YouTube).
  10. Read the dictionary – you’d be surprised what great words you can find.
  11. Make Fruit Leather – aka Fruit Roll- up – see this easy recipe at Simply Recipeskevin
  12. Watch an old “feel good” movie. – My favorite: Singles!
  13. Join  Photo a Day Challenge – Check out this prompt for the day at Fat Mum Slim
  14. Rearrange the furniture in your house.
  15. Learn about something at About.com.
  16. Try on ALL the clothes in your closet.
  17. Start a garden – Here is a how to at BHG.
  18. Pamper yourself with a facial.
  19. Redecorate your bedroom.
  20. Go to the zoo, or find a petting zoo.
  21. Check out In The Rooms www.intherooms.com, a great recovery community.
  22. Learn how to make something at wikiHow.
  23. Get lost on Pinterest.
  24. Meditate! There are many ways to do this and you don’t have to be an expert either.
    Check the How to Meditate site.
  25. See a movie at the drive-in! Oh this is definitely on my list to do!
  26. Bring a blanket and lie on the grass at an outdoor concert.
  27. Make homemade ice cream, there are many great recipes at AllRecipes.com.
  28. Take a fitness class, martial arts, rock climbing, yoga. Sometimes first time classes are free or discounted.
  29. You want to chat? Click the Google + button at the bottom, or MagzShores on Twitter,
    or email: sobercourage@gmail.com.
  30. Take an art class at the local community center.
  31. Research your ancestor at Ancestry.com, they have a 14 day free trail.
  32. Create a Photo Book of your greatest memories, or a recent vacation. See Shutterfly
  33. Learn origami with this tutorial. You don’t have to be Japanese to be good at it.
  34. Design your dream room or make 3D structures on Sketchup!
    The program is completely free!
  35. Take a class to learn how to play a musical instrument.luminosity
  36. Sell your stuff online, you can use eBay, CraigsList and now even on Amazon!
  37. Pick something you love, and then make a website on it! Get started at Webs.
  38. Get a pedicure or a manicure, they are fairly inexpensive and make you feel well pampered.
  39. Listen to your old CDs; I have boxes of those!
  40. Make a wiki page at WikiPedia.
  41. Take some fun quizzes. Are you left brained or right brained? Take the test out Here.
  42. Take up fabric crafts. Knitting, sewing, and
    crochet are fun to do.
  43. Play some fun mind games and sharpen your mind at Luminosity. com.
  44. Do crossword puzzles. You can find free kakuro puzzles at Kakuro.com
    and free Sodoku puzzles at Livewire Puzzles.
  45. Design your own T-Shirts! www.cafepress.com
  46. ___________

What do you do for fun?

*OK Recovery Friends,…. Can you add any others to this Fabulous List of Maggie’s? Lets see if we can. If you have some not listed you can add in comments or email Maggie above. Lets make her proud! Happy Weekend Recovery Friends*…
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Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author Of  “Addicted To Dimes”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

“Join Me Please For Addiction & Recovery Day Of Prayer” July 1st And Everyday…

Welcome Recovery Friends, Seeker’s, And New Visitors,

 

Please join in a day of  “Prayer For Those In Recovery” and those who struggle from Gambling, Drug, Alcohol, Porn, Sex, Food, and All Addictions on July 1st 1024, and everyday….

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Guideposts   http://www.guideposts.org/ourprayer/prayer-events/dop/2473295/pr?utm_source=DOP_Addiction_062914_1&utm_medium=Email
(Courtesy Of OurPrayer.org )

*Serenity Prayer*
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God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
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*The Complete Serenity Prayer*
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God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.
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For so many people in desperate situations — seeking peace, strength, and wisdom — those simple words, whispered to a “God as they understand him,” have seen them through the darkest hours.
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They have come to believe that those qualities can come only from a power greater than themselves. And because they believe, they find the serenity, courage and wisdom they seek from somewhere outside themselves to face another situation, another step, and another day. Although literally millions of people — in and out of the recovery community — have been helped and strengthened by those few lines.
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*I know it saved my life from Gambling Addiction & Alcohol*….

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God Bless All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author Of Addicted To Dimes
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

 

 

 

“It’s Time To Talk About It! Join Our Talk About Addiction & Recovery On Twitter”

Hello Recovery Friends, Seeker’s, and Welcome New Friends!

Just a reminder and this months #ADDICTIONCHAT SCHEDULE for MARCH is here!
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EVERYONE is WELCOME to come join me and many recovery friends, professionals, addiction specialists, for TWEETCHAT every WENSDAY NIGHT on TWITTER. It is an hour-long Q & A discussion about all types of addictions and recovery topics. Even if your NOT in recovery or have any addiction, it’s open to all who want to understand what addiction is all about and how it is effecting their “Communities”! We try to “Raise Awareness, Inform, Educate, and Share.”

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The times are as follows: 9pm ET,  6pm PT  and all you do to join in is go to http://www.tweetchat.com/Addictionchat  SIGN IN and your ready to go! It’s that easy. It’s a live stream. In the EVENT Live stream  is down, then just go to  (#hashtag)  #Addictionchat, click “All” and you’ll see everyone there. SO I HOPE you will come join the conversation, because it is time to “Talk About Addictions & Recovery”! That’s how *STIGMA* is shattered!
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God Bless Everyone!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂
http://www.gofundme.com/5zeqjo Come Support my Recovery!

*I Lost a Sister-In-Law & Aunt to Prescription OVERDOSE & SUICIDE ~~ So I Felt The Need To Share*…..

Hello friends, followers, and Seekers,

**In these recent weeks and month’s we have LOST way to any PRECIOUS LIVES to Prescription Overdose, Suicide, Alcohol, and MUCH more! I happen to come across this Article that I felt  IMPORTANT to share. Even though my *DEMON* I am recovering from is “Addicted Compulsive Gambling” & a past of a few to many Cocktails now & then, ADDICTION does comes in Many Forms.

I was touched by Prescription Overdose recently by the DEATH of My Sister-in-Law this past Nov. 2012, and also in the late 70’s, of my Aunt Connie as well. SO I understand how devastating it is for those who lose a Loved One from this disease. It just breaks my heart of all those we have lost lately in the *Entertainment Industry,* and goes to show that EVEN with Money and Fame, we are all JUST Humans trying to survive, and are NOT that far apart in deep-rooted demons and addictions that have NO BOUNDS on WHO it will TAKE!……I think we can agree that Money nor Fame will not fill the Dark Whole inside our hearts when we turn to addiction. So I hope this Article will help all!!**……….

When Relapse Turns Deadly: What You Need to Know About Drug Overdose

Posted: 07/22/2013  6:33 pm

Psychiatrist and CEO of Elements Behavioral Health…..

Friends and fans are reeling in the wake of Glee actor Cory Monteith’s overdose on a mixture of heroin and alcohol. Suffering a similar fate as Kriss Kross rapper Chris Kelly and others who have passed this year, his lengthy battle with drugs ended tragically on July 13 in his hotel room.

Could his story have ended differently? What can others learn from this tragedy? Monteith’s passing highlights important lessons for anyone who struggles with addiction or cares about an addict (which, with 23 million people suffering from addiction, is most of us).

While celebrity overdoses draw the public’s attention, 100 people die from drug overdoses every day in the U.S. After increasing every year from 1999 to 2010, drug overdose is now the No. 1 cause of accidental death, surpassing car accidents. This increase is largely attributed to the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned that more women are dying from prescription painkiller overdoses than ever before, a 400 percent increase in just the last decade.

A Post-Rehab Danger

It is a sad irony that rehab is life-saving, yet the weeks and months immediately following checkout are among the most vulnerable times in an addict’s recovery. It can take up to a year for the areas of the brain responsible for impulse control and emotion regulation to return to normal functioning. In addition, people are often still struggling with powerful drug cravings and then return to an environment where they are surrounded by reminders of their drug use.

Particularly when addicts receive short-term treatment (30 days or less), they haven’t had much time to address the issues underlying their addiction or practice their new coping skills. Old, familiar coping strategies remain far more comfortable and automatic. A recovering addict who thinks they’ve got their drug problem under control after a short stay in rehab is likely to return to life as usual rather than creating a new life in recovery, greatly increasing the risk of relapse.

Relapse is part of the disease of addiction. Many people go on to achieve lasting recovery following one or more slips. However, in the weeks and months following a stay in rehab, addicts need a great deal of education and support not only to protect their recovery but also their lives. The risk of accidental overdose rises sharply during this time, largely because of reduced tolerance.

People who use a drug regularly develop a tolerance for it; that is, they require larger doses to get the same effects. Just as quickly, tolerance can diminish. After even a brief period of abstinence, which often takes place in detox, rehab or prison, the brain becomes less accustomed to — or less tolerant of — the presence of drugs. As a result of this increased sensitivity, if an addict goes back to the same dose they used prior to rehab, they are at high risk of fatal overdose.

Most overdoses occur when multiple drugs are abused, most commonly alcohol, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax, cocaine and heroin. Illicit drugs are often implicated in drug overdoses because their potency is unpredictable and they reach the brain rapidly. Other risk factors for drug overdose include taking drugs alone (two-thirds of overdoses occur when a person is using at home alone) and having experienced a non-fatal overdose in the past.

Most overdoses occur because the drugs that are used stopped the person’s breathing. This effect is most profound with opiates (drugs similar to morphine and heroin, including prescription painkillers). Overdoses due to prescription drugs now exceed all other causes and the tragedy is that many of these can be prevented by a simple and safe medicine that blocks the effects of opiates on breathing.

One approach is a medication called naltrexone. Naltrexone can be given as a single monthly injection (Vivitrol) that virtually abolishes the risk of an accidental overdose in someone who uses after treatment. Why isn’t this being used more often? The answer is complex. Many recovering drug users don’t accept that they remain vulnerable to relapse. Family members don’t want to “make an issue” of going on Vivitrol when their relative is doing so much better at the end of treatment. Relapse is perceived by many as a choice, so they don’t believe a drug can make a difference.

The reality is that Vivitrol helps in two important ways: It decreases drug cravings, making relapse less likely, and it prevents an accidental overdose if the person slips so that a single bad choice does not become a death sentence.

A Long-Term Approach to a Lifelong Problem

Although many people believe that going to rehab is a permanent solution to a drug problem, it is actually the start of a lifelong process — a process that often involves an intricate dance of forward and backward progress. Relapse can’t always be prevented, but accidental drug overdose can. So what can be done?

The only sure-fire way to prevent overdose is to avoid using drugs. However, refraining from mixing drugs, using drugs alone, or using at the same level as before a period of abstinence are essential once the decision to use has been made. Loved ones can work with addicts on an overdose plan that covers who to call and what to do in the moments before relapse.

Follow-up care is another important protective factor. As a chronic disease similar to diabetes and heart disease, addiction requires ongoing care. Research shows that long-term treatment (90 days or more) improves outcomes, especially if the addict makes a gradual transition back into regular life. This may involve outpatient treatment, ongoing therapy, support groups or a sober living home.

Drug overdoses are among the most tragic outcomes of addiction. For most people, relapse is not the end of recovery; it’s another step on the journey. But those who accidentally overdose — often people who are sincerely trying to get better — make one miscalculation and suffer the only fate that means hope is lost.

David Sack, M.D., is board-certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine. He is CEO of Elements Behavioral Health, a network of mental health and addiction treatment centers that includes Promises, The Ranch, Right Step, The Recovery Place, The Sexual Recovery…..

**This really is an Interesting and helpful Article. Many Don’t understand about *Compulsive Gambling*  as well because it’s not only Everywhere, but it is SO SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE, and think it’s all ABOUT the Little Old Lady going to Play BINGO at here local Church!! But it is *The FASTEST Growing Addiction Today! GAMBLING addiction has the HIGHEST SUICIDE RATE than any other addiction…..AND…..out of the 16+ Million Problem Gamblers in only the USA, “HALF” that Number are now late TEENS & Young College age students and young adults…….

IS this ACCEPTABLE to YOU PARENTS??…….I didn’t think so. Please see my List of Post s & PAGES  *About Addicted Compulsive Gambling* to learn more about this Cunning Disease. Being in a very dark place a couple of times myself, I can truly understand how people can get to a real low bottom, even without addiction problems.

**UPDATE AS OF MON 8/19/2013/ 5:26PM Pacific Time**** ANOTHER STARS LIGHT DIMMED TODAY A FEW HOURS AGO****

Image: Lee Thompson Young as Det. Barry Frost in the TV series 'Rizzoli & Isles' (© Darren Michaels/TNT/AP)
  • Stars mourn loss of Lee Thompson Young
                                Photo: ME1/WENN

    Entertainment Tonight

    Lee Thompson Young, who starred on Disney’s “The Famous Jett Jackson,” was found dead Monday morning of an apparent suicide by gunshot, police confirm to ET.

    He was 29 years old.

    Police responded at about 9:45 a.m. Monday. According to reports, his body was discovered by his landlord who was alerted by staffers from TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” in which Young currently appears, when he didn’t show up to work this morning.

    Aside from his most famous role as Jett Jackson, Young also had a role as running back Chris Comer in “Friday Night Lights.”

    “It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning,” longtime manager Jonathan Baruch said on Monday. “Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

    At the time of his death, Young was working on TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles as Detective Barry Frost.

    LAPD Media Relations tells E! News, “Lee Thompson Young’s coworkers noticed that he didn’t turn up to work this morning. They sent the police to his home in North Hollywood. The police arrived a little after 8 a.m. and found him deceased in his apartment. They have not released the cause of death yet.”

    According to Police, Young’s body was found at his residence with a gun-shot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted.

    “Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and off screen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.”

    **ANOTHER SAD LOSS OF PRESIOUS LIFE……MY HEART AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO HIS FAMILY At this time of sorrow. WORDS can NEVER Express the feelings and thoughts of loss like this…….It HAS BEEN A WAKE CALL for myself, Again If I’d been successful in Both my Suicide Attempts, I NOW SEE CLEARLY HOW IT EFFECTS EVERYONE YOU LOVE THAT IS AROUND YOU……I’m at a Loss for Words…..**
    *AUTHOR, CATHERINE TOWNSEND-LYON*

Addiction says…..

What a POWERFUL POST……Sometimes we need the SHOCK VALUE to get the Real Message!! My girl LORELIE has a way with Words! *Catherine*

Living In A World Of Hope

death

Hey little girl, come over here. I’ve got something you might need.

A pill to make you pretty, oh yes, indeed!

My name is addiction, I’m a snake in the grass,

When I’m finished with you – you’ll be kissing my ass.

I am cunning, and baffling, and powerful too.

I’m larger than life and bigger than you.

Shit nothing I say, is ever true.

Still, for me, there isn’t anything, you won’t do.

At first, I’ll be, your very best friend,

I’ll love you to DEATH – till the very end.

I’ll steal your thoughts, but you won’t know,

It’s no longer you, who’ll be running the show.

Your life will change, oh right away,

You’ll wake up wanting me, every day.

People will tell you, to leave me alone,

But you won’t listen, for you I own.

No one else, can interfere,

For if they do, they’ll pay…

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