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What Does it Mean to Be Sober?

Posted by The Easier Softer Way
The Easier Softer Way
The Easier Softer Way has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 03 February 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

Waterfall L.A. ArboretumRecently, I have heard a lot of talk about what exactly it means to be sober. Somebody mentioned they were sober because they had stopped using drugs, but they still drank. Somebody else argued that they had never drank or used in their entire life, and they understood what it was like to be sober. Finally, a non-alcoholic friend asked me about caffeine, smoking, and prescription medication, and their relationship with sobriety.

Just Drinking

This example of somebody who quit hard drugs and just drinks is very common. I did this myself for years. Although some people benefit from this tactic, it is absolutely not sober. My personal experience was that I was simply no better off switching drugs. As my sponsor puts it, it is like switching seats on the Titanic. I still repressed feelings and pain. I didn't look within or grow. Although marijuana may physically be less harmful than methamphetamine, it is no better for my spirit.

However, it is not for me to judge how other people choose to live their lives. If somebody can quit using crack but continue drinking alcohol, then I support them. My personal Buddhist beliefs are that I should not ingest anything that leads to heedlessness, but I would never push this on somebody else (just as I don't want somebody pushing their religion on me). Just because I wasn't able to continue using one substance while quitting another does not mean everyone will have the same experience. However, this simply does not make one sober.

Having an Addiction

Although the word sober actually means not intoxicated, there is a different connotation in recovery circles. Being sober implies that the person once went through an addiction. If somebody never picks up or uses in their life, they are technically sober. However, they are not sober in the same way that somebody is who has gone through an addiction. This does not make their sobriety any less valuable or important. However, it is just not the same.

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Substance Abuse And Violence In Teens

Posted by DanBrown
DanBrown
DanBrown has not set their biography yet
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on Saturday, 01 February 2014
in Other Addictions 0 Comments

Teenagers usually consider their adolescent years as a time to try out different things and experiment with what they see others doing usually out of boredom or peer pressure or simply for fun. It is only natural for curiosity to get the better of them as they are young adults with raging hormones and an inquisitive mind. They strive to be cool and want to “fit in” with what they consider as the happening crowd in society and this pressure to fit in is what drives their activities and interests.

Many teens try alcohol, drugs and tobacco at some point or another. Most of them get over it after a couple of trials and move back to normal life, while some get latched on to them and are unable to resist the urge to take them every day. They become so dependent on these substances that they find it difficult to function in their day to day life without taking them. This abnormal dependency is called substance abuse.

Substance abuse does not only affect the life of the user and his family but can also end up becoming a matter of legal concern in the user’s neighborhood. It has been found that substance abuse, if not controlled or treated, can increase the chances of the development of a violent streak in the user. If you or your loved one has been on the receiving end of violent acts at the hands of a substance abuser, you can seek legal recourse against this crime by engaging an experienced dangerous drugs and pharmaceuticals attorney.

What most parents usually worry about is that their child might get addicted to drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana and so on. But what they tend to overlook is that they are more likely to get addicted to substances like alcohol and tobacco which are available more easily than any of the other drugs. Teenage alcoholism is not unheard of and most teenagers will get hooked on to anything that is easily within their reach.

The Link between Substance Abuse and Violence

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The Most Important Thing for Parents in Recovery to Know

Posted by blwood
blwood
Barbara Wood is a licensed psychologist who practices in Bethesda, Maryland an
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on Friday, 31 January 2014
in Co-dependency 0 Comments

 

I recently updated Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home, a book I wrote in 1992 to help parents in recovery from addiction  and co-dependence to heal relationships with their children. As I re-read and edited the book, I reflected on its essential message.  I  was heartened to discover that over 20 additional years of treating addicted  individuals and their families  has only  strengthened my views about the most important things  families in recovery need to know. Moreover,  the central idea  I was trying to convey then still seems to me to be the most important thing for parents in recovery to remember: A child’s chances of remaining healthy when a family plunges into crisis depends, to a great extent, on the ability of at least one parent (or other  adult caretaker) to remain emotionally sober–that is, stable, supportive and capable of holding the child’s most basic needs in mind.

Certainly other factors, like the child’s basic temperament,  influence a child's resilience in the face of extraordinary stress. However, even  sunny, hardy children   experience fear, sadness, anger, and many other kinds of emotional distress when a family is struggling to cope with severe illness. And typically, the younger children are, the less able they are to soothe themselves and maintain a hopeful and confident outlook when frightening things happen. Their cognitive and emotional resources are just too immature to help them assess the situation accurately and  imagine a path forward for themselves and the people they love. So a parent’s ability to maintain his or her own emotional footing, and to  notice and respond appropriately to a child’s pain is critical.  (Please continue reading.)

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SURGERY POSSIBLE WITHOUT PAIN PILLS

Posted by Cate
Cate
Cate Stevens. Founder of Addictionland.com, has over fifteen years of recovery f
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on Friday, 31 January 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

I am a recovered drug addict.  While pills were never my thing, I still used them when I didn't have other alternatives to numb out. Additionally, I have witnessed other people in recovery pick up one pill to treat pain and the body doesn't know the difference between medication and recreation.

As a result, I decided long ago that should I ever require surgery, I would only take a narcotic if it was a dire emergency.  So far, in the past year alone, I have had two surgeries (one on my ankle to remove a nodule and, now, an umbilical hernia repair). I have opted to use Tylenol alone to address my pain. Even after my C-Section in 2006, I only used extra strength Motrin to relieve the pain and it worked.

I follow this course because I have a great respect for my disease of addiction.  While I havent used anything in close to 15 years, I still believe that I could pick up where I left off if I put drugs that feel nice into my body.  I have never lost that fear and I am grateful for it.  I believe it is a reasonable fear and I value my recovery way too much to toss it away for a pill. One is too many and a thousand never enough.


Best,

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WHAT ADDICTS KNOW

Posted by ChrisLawford
ChrisLawford
Christopher Kennedy Lawford, actor, writer, lawyer, activist and public speaker,
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on Friday, 31 January 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

In "What Addicts Know," Christopher Kennedy Lawford revisits the topic of addiction and provides an eye-opening explanation as to how our culture has become dependent on the instant gratification of gambling, drugs, alcohol, technology, and material possessions. Here's an excerpt.

The “Gifts” of Addiction

'What Addicts Know'
BenBella

I've dealt with a wide variety of individuals afflicted with the disease of addiction, and in my estimation they are the most interesting, fascinating, and gifted people I've come across. They are also the most challenging; addicts are deviously manipulative and self-absorbed. Their illness causes suffering and pain for themselves, their loved ones, and the rest of society. Yet from their struggle comes an opportunity for all.

Recovery is about exposing and healing the darker sides of being human. And honing the skills necessary for sustained recovery from addiction reveals a life-enhancing recipe that can benefit everyone. From the darkness come exquisite, profound gifts.

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How to Cross the Bridge to Recovery

Posted by CathyTaugh
CathyTaugh
Cathy Taughinbaugh has experienced the devastation of substance abuse and addict
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on Thursday, 30 January 2014
in Co-dependency 0 Comments

For a family member it can be hard to let go of the attachment to a loved one’s recovery.

We want to be in our comfort zone, yet we may not know how to let go of our worry and concern.

If we let go, we could lose control of the one attachment we have to our child. It can be like a balloon that we let float away. We wonder which direction the balloon will take, and if the balloon will ever fully recover and return to us.

Recovery and healing are inside jobs. It helps to have people who care, give you encouragement, support and love. Sometimes the fear is that our family member won’t seek recovery, at least not on our time table and maybe not at all.

For a family member, this fear can take over our life. With time hopefully we are able to let go and see our attachment for what it is. It may be a way of blaming others for our pain, or it may be a way to control those around us.

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Committing to Recovery

Posted by The Easier Softer Way
The Easier Softer Way
The Easier Softer Way has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 29 January 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

IMG_1879Attending twelve-step meetings regularly, you are bound to hear somebody recommend that you get a commitment. Personally, I am one of the people that suggests even the newest of my sponsees get commitments. Commitments have been one of the greatest tools in my sobriety, are relatively simple, and the return on investment is huge.

Getting commitments have several benefits. First, I truly felt like a part of the recovery group I was in. My home group meets every morning, and has about 4o-50 people. Everyone knows each other, and coming in new to this meeting was a little scary. I got a few commitments on different days, and everyone quickly learned my name. People recognized me even when I didn't recognize them. Even though I still wasn't completely self-confident, I felt much better about attending the meeting. Even if I had the simplest commitment, I felt as I was an integral part, just as I had seen other with commitment as integral parts.

Having commitments has also helped me show up when I don't want to. Often, I wake up in the morning and do not feel like going to my regular meeting. My mind tells me I don't need to, that I should sleep in, etc. However, a commitment helps me show up and be responsible even when I don't feel like doing so. Almost always, I show up on these days in a bad mood and leave with great gratitude that I came. Commitments really have helped me keep some consistency in my sobriety.

Commitments are great ways to be of service on a regular basis as well. Although taking commitments does a lot for us, it also is a great way to help others. Meetings need people to take commitments in order to run. Without commitment-takers, meetings would fall apart. Whether you set up the meeting, clean cigarette butts, or make the sponsorship announcement, taking a commitment is a great service to the group as a whole. Because it is a form of service, commitments help us build esteem and connect with the community.

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Messed Up On Molly #drugfacts

Posted by jgwhite
jgwhite
jgwhite has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 29 January 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

In light of National Drug Facts Week (Jan. 27- Feb. 2), Here's a video we recently created about the popular "party" drug Molly and its harmful side effects.

The synthetic drug market, which includes Molly, is the fastest growing drug problem in America. Help us spread awareness about the aggressive and harmful effects the drug has on your brain.

VIDEO: http://www.clarityway.com/blog/what-does-molly-do-video/

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Giving Thanks to Suffering

Posted by The Easier Softer Way
The Easier Softer Way
The Easier Softer Way has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 23 January 2014
in Alcoholism 0 Comments

Giving Thanks to SufferingI was recently asked to speak at a meeting in which the speaker chose a reading from As Bill Sees It. I flipped open the book randomly, and came to the entry on page 226 entitled Give Thanks from the March 1962 episode of the Grapevine. It read:

Though I still find it difficult to accept today's pain and anxiety with any great degree of serenity - as those more advanced in the spiritual life seem able to do - I can give thanks for present pain nevertheless.

I find the willingness to do this by contemplating the lessons learned from past suffering - lessons which have led to the blessings I now enjoy. I can remember how the agonies of alcoholism, the pain of rebellion and thwarted pride, have often led me to God's grace, and so to a new freedom.

I have not read every page of As Bill Sees It, but I don't know if I could have turned to a page that I agree with more. Although I do not practice this in every moment, I try my best to. Turning toward our suffering and not running from it is a indispensable practice. The tendency of recovering addicts to run from unpleasant feelings is often a result of what is taught in twelve-step programs: to call your sponsor, go to a meeting, or help a newcomer.

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How to Let Go of Shame

Posted by CathyTaugh
CathyTaugh
Cathy Taughinbaugh has experienced the devastation of substance abuse and addict
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on Wednesday, 22 January 2014
in Drug Addiction 0 Comments

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive.”  ~ Brené Brown

Do you feel shame because of your addiction?

The thing is, there is plenty of shame to go around when it comes to addiction.

Family members, especially parents, feel it as well. I felt anxious when I realized that someone in my family could not manage their life. I felt responsible and yet shame and fear stopped me from asking for help.

Addiction and shame go hand in hand. It is hard to understand where one starts and the  other ends. Addiction leaves us feeling powerless, isolated and unworthy whether we are the addicted person or the family member. There is a strong sense of secrecy and silence about addiction. It feels like something that is easier to hide and just not talk about.

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