Putting A Face Behind Addicted Compulsive Gambling. Meet Adnan Alisic & His New Book “ARIZONA DREAM”. .

A true story straight out of the News Headlines about an Addicted Gambler ~ Lets put faces behind Gambling Addiction the Disease. . .
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“Not only is a group of men charged in the theft of $2 million cash from an armored truck at an East Valley casino, but they could also be accused of stealing from some Hollywood scripts. A FBI search warrant affidavit and federal indictment records provide new details of the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick that some movie buffs might find familiar.”

Attempted Casino Arizona robbery like a Hollywood movie” ~ said the Associated Press ~

ASSOCIATED PRESS – The attempted robbery of $2 million from a casino on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community east of Phoenix sounds more like a Hollywood movie than a real-life incident, according to newly released court documents.

Officials are charging Ismar K, Adnan Alisic, Bakil, and Daniel M{ not wanting to use the others charged – full names}, with conspiracy, interference with commerce by threats, violence and robbery, and use of a firearm in a crime of violence in the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick, according to their indictment and a FBI search warrant affidavit outlined.

Adnan Alisic made fake manhole covers so they would be lighter and easier to lift, and then switched them with two others the day before the robbery. The men placed ladders and ropes in the manholes and parked an all-terrain vehicle in the sewer system so they could race the money from one manhole to the other. Holes were cut in the floorboards of two vans for access to the manhole covers, a trick Steve McQueen pulled in 1972’s “The Getaway.”
The men’s gear included blue coveralls, gas masks, pepper spray, bear attack deterrent, smoke grenades, cell phones, two-way radios, a 9-millimeter handgun and a plastic pellet gun.

On the night of the attempted robbery, Bakir M and Daniel M parked a white van across the street from the casino and then got into a Lexus to watch the robbery. After ramming their green van into an armored car, K and Alisic jumped out and sprayed one of the guards with pepper spray. The two grabbed bags of money and fled to the first manhole cover. They set off a smoke grenade, but couldn’t raise the manhole cover.
So, the group fled. . . .

So these were the news headlines and in newspapers of The Associated Press, The Arizona Republic and East Valley Tribune newspapers in Arizona back in July & October 2006.

Now fast forward to today.

What really happened that day back in July 2006? Most importantly, why did this crime take place? What happened to those who were arrested? Well as many of you know, I’m not a news reporter or even a professional writer. I’m just another face behind this disease! And I share what I feel strongly about, and my passion for recovery from this addiction.

I can give however give you an answer from one of the men that was involved and caught, taken into custody, charged, prosecuted, and is still in a federal prison today.
He reached out to me recently by email, asking if I could help him promote his new book about his story of addicted gambling, and of course I said, “YES”. . .

So please meet Adnan Alisic. Now a writer, and new author of his explosive debut book titled; Arizona Dream: A true story of a real life “Ocean’s Eleven” and
currently he is in Adams County Correctional Institution, a Federal Prison in Natchez, Mississippi. His release date is not until 2021, but this is where his book was written.

Like me, Adnan is another face behind gambling addiction. These are some of his thoughts, words, feelings looking back, and taking not only ownership for what he has done, but also accountability for the poor choices we all make when entangled in the depths of HELL called addicted gambling. It’s a very cunning and devastating disease.

We all come from different paths, and many, many different stories of addiction to gambling.
Some stories are more sensationalized then others, but the public needs to know about the faces behind this addiction and their stories.

So here is more of Adnan’s story, back story, and about his new shocking reveals in his debut book release of “Arizona Dream: a true story of a “real life ocean’s eleven” now available on Amazon books and Barnes and Noble online.

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Product Details

Arizona Dream: A true story of a real-life “Ocean’s Eleven”

Haunted by the demons from his past, Adnan Alisic escapes Bosnia and comes to Phoenix, Arizona, where he starts a new life. Fueled by ambition on and drive, he starts a successful car dealership, settles down, and lives the American Dream.

Tortured by his past, he seeks relief in gambling and loses everything. After being tossed out of the casino, Adnan vows to get back at them.

Forced by the gambling debt and driven by the revenge against the casino, he plans an elaborate casino heist. After discovering the tunnel running under the casino, he devises an intricate scheme to get his money back and pay off the debt.

From ethnic cleansing and mass killings in Bosnia, to gambling and underground tunnels in Arizona, you will read Arizona Dream until l the last page where you’ll find the real reason and motivation behind the heist. . . .

“In likable, plain-spoken, and insightful prose, full of lush and vivid detail, Adnan Alisic reflects on the suspenseful twists and turns of his one-of-a-kind life path. From the first page to the last, I was completely riveted. This is one hell of a book.”  – Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart is an Idiot, and creator of FOUND Magazine. . .

About The Author Adnan Alisic, and how his book came to light:

Entangled in a gambling addiction, he was forced to execute this sensational casino heist. He is currently serving seventeen-and-a-half years in federal prison in Mississippi.

“Haunted by the atrocities of war, a Bosnian refugee pursuing the elusive American dream finds himself committing the heist of the century.”

Ališic’s debut memoir, composed entirely in prison, begins in the mid-1990s: “This is my story as I remember it,” he writes in the foreword-and if even half of it is true, it’s enough adventure for 10 lifetimes. The author escaped the clutches of ruthless Serbian militants following Yugoslavia’s breakup, relocated to Phoenix and achieved success selling used cars. But the only thing more rewarding than making money was spending it, and with the help of the nearby Casino Arizona, Ališic did just that. What should have been merely recreational begins to invade him in a way he could never have imagined.

Helpless against gambling’s siren song, his small empire crumbled as his company’s profits fueled his habit. Although the finer details of his business operations tend to be long-winded, even extraneous, they underscore just how easily the blackjack table ripped away what took so long to build. As his desperation increased, Ališic’s financiers threatened to sue; his unsupervised employees embezzled from the company coffers; and his cherished girlfriend, Selma, left him – his world falling apart.

“Last night, I gambled away a 2002 Mustang,” he confides. “I realized that the more I was going there, the more I craved it. Not because I wanted to be there. Not because I liked it. But because I knew I wasn’t a loser, and I wanted to even the score.” In this case, evening the score meant boosting $2 million from Casino Arizona. Yet his self-styled description of his story as a “real-life Ocean’s Eleven” sells the reality short.

Far from the devil-may-care attitude of those films, his memoir reveals the scheme as the remarkably human outcome of a life marked by anguish and the hope of redemption. A series of harrowing flashbacks to Bosnia-illegally selling cigarettes in Prijedor, leaping into a sewage canal while outrunning a barrage of bullets, witnessing a massacre, being tortured nearly to death-transforms Ališic into a hero worthy of anyone’s admiration.

Here is what others are saying about Adnan’s book:

“A riveting read from beginning to end, “Arizona Dream” is an expertly written, true-life tale that reads like a thriller novel, documenting author Adnan Ališić as an extraordinary storyteller. This is the stuff from which Hollywood blockbuster movies are made.”
– Midwest Book Review

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So as I wrote earlier, Adnan happen to reach out to me by email. He wanted to know if I could help promote his book for him. At first I was wondering if this a spam email or joke. But as I read his email, it was clear he to was another victim of gambling addiction the disease. Another face behind this cunning addiction. It didn’t occur to me that Adnan was emailing me from federal prison. So I wrote him back with a few questions, and shared a little of my story with him.
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So I did some research to see what I could find about his story, as I now live in Arizona temporary myself. There are many news reports from the Arizona Republic newspaper here in Phoenix, AZ. And a few from the Associated Press. Of course, being a recovering addicted gambler myself, I wasn’t real surprised about what these 4 men, including Adnan had done.

I knew how Adnan felt about feeling taken for a ride by Indian Casinos, and for me, State Lottery. I also felt the same way he did when sitting in a cold jail cell waiting to be booked and processed for my crime. The reality of what you did hits you like a ton of bricks! All because of the strain of financial devastation, and overwhelming gambling debts. And this part of the work we do in recovery is sometimes missed, or not enough work done in taking our financial inventory.

And as Adnan said in his own words to me in his email; “In the beginning there were quite a few reporters who wanted to talk to me — but at that time I refused to talk to them, and as you know, the media only reported whatever was available from police reports and court records, so this is the time for the public to know the full story and put a face behind a compulsive gambler.”

And Adnan is right! media and news reports always seem to spin things to make more out of a story. And it is way past the time to talk about this. Not just his story, but the stories behind the faces of those who have been destroyed by this insidious addiction. It’s really not about the money, or the crazy shit we do all for the love of our addiction, or the financial aftermath of it all.

It’s about what it does to the human condition. It takes every part of us emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. We allow this addiction to invade our thinking, thoughts, actions, and choices when we are so invaded by addictions.
All addictions do that.

But through hard work in recovery, we can get better, recover, and be better than we were before addicted gambling consumed us. I know Adnan still has many miles to walk, but at least he now has the ability to see what his errors and choices have cost him, and he has taken accountability for them. Having your freedom taken away is a hard thing to process.

Having to relearn awareness of our feelings about ourselves is very important in recovery, because we have learned to escape from feeling anything. We become comfortably numb.
So I choose to be of recovery service to Adnan. WHY?
His Story Needs To Be Heard. . . .

Because like myself, he to was brave enough to write and publish his personal story about his addicted gambling addiction, the disease. I commend him, and all those who do. That is how we can continue to raise awareness, shatter the stigma, educate and inform others of this addiction!

If you’d like to support Adnan in recovery, buy his book here: http://www.amazon.com/Arizona-Dream-Real-life-Oceans-Eleven-ebook/dp/B00OZ0S9WC  {Now an e-book promo price .99 cents}

Send him an email of support here:  alisic.adnan6@gmail.com
Visit his website: www.arizonadreambook.com
Follow him on FB: https://facebook.com/Arizonadream

And I will keep you posted on how he is doing to here in future blog posts.

God Bless Recovery Friends,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂
http://www.amazon.com/Arizona-Dream-real-life-Oceans-Eleven/dp/B00OZ0S9WC

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