Addictionland - Addiction Recovery Blog

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When To Restrain, Surrender and Accept

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
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on Thursday, 27 March 2014
in Alcoholism 0 Comments

Yesterday, I attended a recovery meeting for women in which many of the women shared about their dependency on a multitude of things other than drugs or alcohol. One woman with many years of sobriety shared about her addiction to the phone app Candy Crush, while another woman newly sober stated she could not stop eating M&Ms.

When I walked through the doors of my first recovery meeting, I believed it would be impossible for me to stop relying upon the variety of substances I needed to cope. A wise elder suggested that I concern myself with the primary addiction which would destroy my life first. For me, that was alcohol and drugs, since the combination landed me in an emergency room.

It is hard for a newcomer to understand that recovery takes time and it is important for us to accept ourselves and conditions we are uncomfortable with in order to recover. Knowing myself and my addiction very well after 15 years of recovery, I do not tempt my addictive side with games like Candy Crush. As for my food addiction, I am able to ingest sugar today without being set off on a binge.

These circumstances and decisions come naturally when I continue to work a spiritual program of action on a daily basis. The point I am making is time takes time and easy does it. We did not get addicted in a day and we will not turn around those addictive patterns in a day.

Consciousness will enlarge any thing we put our attention on. The literature says that alcoholics have magnifying minds. This means that the most important thing I can do on a daily basis is put my attention, as often as possible, on the positive thoughts, actions and a Power greater than myself. The more I focus on the good I want to grow in my life, the more that goodness will grow.

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How can we be of service to those that are still suffering?

Posted by Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty is an interventionist, Registered Addiction Specialist intern an
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on Thursday, 27 March 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

This is my last blog as the addiction expert for the month of March.  I want to thank Cate for including me in such an inspirational cause and for those who took the time to read my blog, it was a blessing to be part of such an important website with so many goals, education, and support.  I do hope that my posts were able to help others the way they have helped me and they certainly reminded me of where I came from and of the progess I have made in the past six years.  It has not been easy reliving my past, but in order to reach out to even just one person, to me it has been entirely worth it.

I will leave my last blog with the notion of being of service.  Being of service is a gift that you receive while in sobriety, or even working on a better version of yourself, it is an intrigal tool in maintaining a level head and in getting out of your head, while in turn, assisting others in need.

I feel as though I have been given a special and unique way to be of service, by helping to pass laws in Washington, DC, being a spokesperson for the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, making a public service announcement for the Alliance for Consumer Education, and when not working in treatment assiting other addicts, alcoholics, those with eating disorders and co-occurring disorders, I am able to help people in need from around the country.  I use my company website to post only positive, life-enriching quotes.

But being of service does not have to be that grand.  Being of service is saying hello to a newcomer in a meeting, passing on your experience, strength, and hope by leading a meeting, being an active participant, a sponsor, or simply leading by example.  Because not only do these actions help those around you, people that can relate to what you have been through or what you are going through, it benefits you as well.  Even as much as a positive comment or smile can help someone who is having a difficult day, as I'm sure you can relate, and I'm sure there has been a time when someone's random act of kindness has changed your day, if only for a moment, but definitely for the better.

This is not something that is specific to AA, NA, OA, etc., this is a practice that assists us in our daily lives.  I find that the more positive acts I do in my daily life for others, the easier it is to fight away that depression and anxiety, and the more it gives me purpose.

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Inhalant Prevention Info and Coming Back Towards Life

Posted by Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty is an interventionist, Registered Addiction Specialist intern an
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on Tuesday, 25 March 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

Inhalant Abuse and Prevention Update:  The Alliance for Consumer Education has put together a site where you can go and make a pledge to talk to your child about the dangers of inhalant use, as Children are 50% less likely to try an inhalant if an adult role model talks to them about the dangers of inhalant abuse.  I have attached the following link for those who might be interested.

http://www.inhalant.org/nipaw/talk-child/

They also have public service announcements related to inhalant abuse from those affected, family members from children who have passed away, as well as former users, like myself.  I did a public service announcement with my mother and sister some years back for the Alliance for Consumer Education and the results of their effectiveness are amazing.

Www.inhalant.org also offers an Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit, quiz, and lesson plans for anyone looking.

 

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Overcoming Addiction: Support Group Therapy

Posted by seo@stephouserecovery.com
seo@stephouserecovery.com
seo@stephouserecovery.com has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 25 March 2014
in Recommended Reading 0 Comments

When overcoming an addiction of any kind no one should try to go it alone. It is a difficult process with a lot of ups and downs. For this reason it is important to have a reliable support group around you that you can lean on when it gets difficult. Friends and family are key to overcoming addiction, but there is another resource for those overcoming an addiction that can be very beneficial. This resource is support groups.

If you’re not exactly sure what a support group is, how it works or who should join one, then read on. A support group might be the solution for yourself or a loved one.

What is a Support Group?

A support group is a group of people who get together for the sake of encouraging each other because of similar addictions. The most popular and common support group around is alcoholics anonymous, better known as AA.

In these groups participation is encouraged, but not required. Participation simply looks like one talking about themselves and their issues. Who they are and what brought them there. It is common that in support groups each person is assigned a sponsor or an accountability partner. These are people that you can call when you are feeling the need to abuse a substance. They are those who will frequently check up on you to make sure you are doing alright. They offer advice and encouragement.

If you find yourself in a very intense and destructive addiction situation then you may need to admit yourself into a rehabilitation clinic or detox center. These facilities also offer support groups in-house.

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Treatment Options for Addiction and Teen Defiance

Posted by camryenwalker
camryenwalker
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on Tuesday, 25 March 2014
in Other Addictions 0 Comments

your teen’s experimentation with drugs and alcohol may be the cause, or at least a trigger, of the defiant behavior?

If so, the time to get control of your teen’s negative behavior is now. Oftentimes, parents try to ignore bad behavior, hoping it will just “grow” away. But, things just end up going from bad to worse. In time, you also end up losing your credibility as an influential authority figure in your teen’s life. And, once that’s gone, it’s extremely hard to gain it back.

Now, throw in the issues of addiction. People can become addicted to just about anything: alcohol, narcotics, prescription drugs, shopping, eating, social networking, internet use, exercising, video games, pornography, and even sex. When it comes to teen addiction, it’s important for parents to take action immediately. Ignoring the problem, or taking a passive approach, will only lead to even more defiant behaviors.

The Myth about Hitting Rock Bottom

American culture, along with various infamous alcohol and drug addiction programs, are sticklers about the “hitting rock bottom” myth. The general idea is that an addict must sink to the lowest depths possible before he/she will accept help. Now, don’t get it wrong. When parents seek help for teen addictions, it’s often the direct result of the family hitting rock bottom, not the teen specifically.

When it comes to teens, however, it’s best that parents get help for both addiction and teen defiance long before teens reach the bottom of the pit. In most cases, teens who are forced into treatment do just as well as teens who seek out treatment for themselves. As a matter of fact, there’s some really innovative technology available these days, related to addiction treatment. So, even defiant teens who are violently against treatment have been known to sober up and straighten up, with professional help.

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Senior Population Is At Great Risk Due To Casino Expansions...

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
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on Saturday, 22 March 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments
Is It Time to Slow Down The Expansion Of Casino’s And State Lotteries? YES!!

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Senior Citizens Feeling the Grip of Gambling Addiction
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With the availability of casinos in more than half of the U.S. states, senior citizens are becoming more and more addicted to gambling.

According to the Las Vegas Problem Gambling Center, around 40% of the people they see are over the age of 50 and more disturbing is that often chronic health conditions within this group are related to gambling addiction.

Some years ago, San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor who is in her 60’s and who was addicted to video poker, landed herself in a $13 million debt to various casinos and even at one point, she used more than $3 million from a charity foundation that her late husband had set up.

The problem seems to be growing daily as the number of casinos in the U.S. has grown from being limited to Atlantic City and Nevada while now, these casinos are available in more than 30 states with more on the way.

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Defeating the Mental Trap

Posted by Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty
Allison Fogarty is an interventionist, Registered Addiction Specialist intern an
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on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

I'm sure that many of you can relate to coincidences like when you learn about a new word, you find that you hear it more, but when in reality it's just something new that has come into your awareness, it was really there all along.  This is of course something that happens to me often, but has certainly been my experience since I have been writing this blog, as it is now always in my awareness to look for opportunities for what to discuss next and they just keep popping into my life!

Working in the addiction field, and the job I have in particular, keeps me very focused but also very isolated.  Working in addiction also creates a sort of bubble, being that my clients are all trying to get out of their active addiction, my co-workers are all in recovery, and the doctors are addictionologists.  I had been in California for four or five years and didn’t realize that I was protecting myself in a way, by not branching out of my comfort zone.  So it wasn’t until about two years ago, that I started to go out to new places and interact with new people that have never struggled with an addiction.  (People that experience temporary stress instead of chronic anxiety are still a wonder to me!)

The benefit, however, of the bubble realization was that all of that prep work that I had been doing (working with a sponsor, doing the steps, going to multiple types of therapy to figure out the core issues as to why I was using inhalants, then working on those core issues) was in preparation for returning to the real world and all its challenges and this time having a more positive impact, on myself and on those around me, and it was time to use them!  The tools I have learned (especially emotional regulation, coping skills, and trigger identification) and the resources I have developed have been crucial in my relapse prevention, because life sure does throw me some curveballs and when I did come out of hiding, I found that some of my wreckage from my past was still there waiting for me.  I am definitely grateful that I was given the opportunity to have a second chance, to get to be the same person, but a better version.  By doing the footwork, it allows me to look at the same situations but have different reactions and therefore different outcomes than I would have in the past.

I feel that in order to be effective in communicating with people who are also struggling and/or looking for solutions or education, I need to write about things that truly affect me emotionally, because if what I'm writing doesn't induce some sort of feelings for me, how could it in someone else?  So full disclosure in the hopes that someone can relate and hopefully allowing me to be of service.

The reason that the ability to have different reactions that produce different and better outcomes is on my mind is due to some events that occurred in my week.  I felt discouraged this week for two reasons, and I feel like they have happened while I have volunteered to write this blog for a reason.  I am a person that falls victim to a certain type of mental trap, where your brain immediately jumps into negative thinking or disaster mode when you hear certain things that are not ideal.  In the treatment facilities I work with, we refer to it as addict brain.

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Addiction and Defiance, and the Road to Recover

Posted by camryenwalker
camryenwalker
camryenwalker has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 18 March 2014
in Other Addictions 0 Comments

According to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Yet, this can be very difficult for many teens, who often live in denial when it comes to addictions.

However, no matter how long and complicated your teen’s addiction story is, there are motivating factors behind it. Typically these reasons fall into one, two or all three of these categories:

  1. Avoidance
  2. Escape
  3. Enhancement

How do teen behavioral specialist come to these conclusions? Well, teens who mask their feelings with addictive substances are doing one of the following three things:

  1. Trying to avoid dealing with something which causes them hurt
  2. Trying to escape from something they’re already dealing with, but hoping to avoid continuing to handle
  3. Trying to enhance, improve or heighten something about themselves

Guiding Your Teen towards the Road to Recovery

In the beginning, addictive substances are good at helping with all three of these categories. However, as time goes on, they no longer work anymore. But, now the teen is addicted to the substance, causing increasingly defiant behavior. So, what should a parent do to guide a teen towards the road to recovery?

When it comes to helping others with addictions, famous quotes can often put fear in the minds of parents. Some insist on what experts call “tough love”, an empowering tool that helps parents, and other co-dependents, learn to just say “no.” Then, there’s the famous consensus that a person “must hit rock bottom” before they can recover. Although this is true for some, it’s simply not the case with everyone.

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"March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month~ Just a little Recovery Ramblings"

Posted by kitcatlyon
kitcatlyon
I live life in Recovery, but my PASSION is writing and blogging to help others a
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on Monday, 17 March 2014
in Gambling Addiction 0 Comments

Welcome Recovery Friends And New Friends!

I thought I’d come share a few goings on with all of my recovery friends, and share a little of my past experiences of my own of addicted gambling….
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LETTING GO OF THE DRAMA

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
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on Thursday, 13 March 2014
in Anger Addiction 0 Comments

Recently, I became more aware of the way "drama" has infiltrated my life, thinking and fulfillment.  Early on, I witnessed plenty of drama, which included melt downs, loud arguments, silent withdrawls, he said-she said, woe is me and ain't it just terrible!

In recovery, I became aware of how the witnessing of drama turned into personal drama as a way of life.  In place of healthy coping mechanisms, I too learned to rely on substances instead of handling my upsets and issues head on.  I learned to rely on drama to provide me with a sense of purpose, excitement and entitlement.

Now, after fifteen years sober and recent encounters with other highly neurotic, dramatic and unstable people, I finally see what it is that God is trying to teach me.  Thankfully, I have learned many coping mechanisms over the last fifteen years and I know what to do when I am triggered by outside or inner drama.

Additionally, I clearly see that it is my job to politely say "No, thank you" to the drama queens in my life and allow them to have their fits without getting entangled.  I can still love and support certain individuals but I no longer have to be their confidante in order to be valuable.  I believed if I wasn't "there" for these people, they would be angry with me, punish me and possibly perish.

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