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Posted by on in Drug Addiction


As you or a loved one decide enough is enough and it is time to recover from an addiction, the first step will likely include a detoxification from the substance. The withdrawal and detox process can be painful, difficult, and even intimidating to navigate. One option to consider is medical detoxification, which involves safely helping an individual withdraw from a substance with the help of appropriate medication, under medical supervision. As you consider this option, take the time to educate yourself on what medical detox involves and how to find the right treatment center for your particular situation.

Medical Detox

Detoxification is the removal of chemicals from the body, in this case a drug or alcohol. Medical detoxification is performed with the help of a medical professional and involves using medication to assist with the withdrawal process. The goal is to help the person eliminate any medical risks caused by no longer using the substance.

Withdrawal and detoxification are difficult and are often accompanied with the following symptoms:

  • abdominal pain
  • anxiety
  • body pain
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • nausea
  • sneezing
  • sniffing
  • sweating
  • vomiting
  • general weakness

The duration and length of withdrawal symptoms varies and depends on the length and severity of the addiction, the individual’s physical and mental health, and other factors that may be unique to the individual. When faced on their own, these symptoms can develop into more dangerous complications such as hallucinations, convulsions, heart problems, seizures, insomnia, intense cravings, and anxiety. These can cause the individual to forego recovery, relapse into their addictive habits, and overdose. This process can even lead to death. This makes proper medical detoxification that much more important to provide the best potential for recovery.

Tagged in: detox recovery

Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Readers, and Donors,

"Finding Our Way Back Home"

I think my last update was  bit short, and forgot to finish what I was sharing!! Well, my AADD is still alive and well. It is a daily challenge sometimes living with Mental health issues, and more challenging living in recovery and being 'dual diagnosed. I'm happy to say book 2 is almost ready to go!

I'm also happy to say that my current book is still selling well, but to me? It is spreading the word and informing others through my book about gambling addiction the disease! I also received more 5 star Amazon & Barnes and Noble Book Reviews! WOW!

I have some awesome news! A couple of events I have been invited to and excited to share them! First, in June 2015, I will be "Recovery Guest" on Blog Talk Radio! I will pass along the links and times as soon as I get them, so you all can tune in and listen.


Posted by on in Drug Addiction
Addiction is the great equalizer.
Why? Because it cuts across every demographic, psychographic and geographic profile that there is. It hits rich and poor, young and old, black and white, big and tall, skinny and fat. It doesn't care how educated you are or what you think about politics, music, or sports. It doesn't care  what your profession is. Addiction cuts across America and the world. As addicts we all have the same traits. Just as my dog wags his tail because because he's a dog. So we addicts behave in certain ways, very distinguishable and identifiable ways,traits and characteristics, because we are addicts.
Addiction attacks the top executive at a Fortune 500 company, a housewife,  bus driver,a teacher or student and brings them all to the exact same point. A point of desperation, a point of severe suffering , a point where they know their addiction has entrapped them and is out of control, even if they won't admit it to others, or even themselves.
Like a small army of ants can bring down even the strongest and largest buildings that were thought to have such great foundations. We watch as they come crumbling down . The same is true for the addict, addiction eats away at the very core of a persons mind, heart,emotion, soul, body and being. The end result is always destruction.No matter how much they did or what drug they did. The addiction had the same effect on everybody. It destroyed them. And that is why it's the great equalizer.      
Do you need a reality check?
How many times have you heard that phrase, "you need a reality check?" That usually means we think that somebody is involved in delusional thinking. That they don't see the truth, facts and the actual circumstances that are happening around them. Thus their definition of reality is not only inaccurate and perverted, but the saddest part is they really think it's real. Now the Russian philosopher Dostoevsky  stated and argued that 2+2 = 5 if indeed that is your belief.  In essence stating that people create their own reality. From a philosophical standpoint we may be able to embrace that concept of thinking. However from a reality standpoint, it just doesn't work. Here's why. Let's assume my perception of the speed limit is it should be 100 miles an hour. So I believe that is the speed limit and so I went 100 miles an hour. When the flashing red lights appear in my rear mirror and the police pull me over and write me a ticket for speeding, regardless of what I tell them my own reality is, they will tell me the reality of the world. So therefore the reality of society and circumstance and law is a reality under which we are all bound by.
The addicted person often lives in a world and mindset governed by, and created by, their own definition of reality. Which is usually quite different than their friends, family, society and the world's definitions. The addicts definition of reality is that he can do whatever he wants to make himself feel good at the expense of anyone else. The addicts definition is, we always put our own self desires ahead of anybody else's, regardless of the consequences to other people. As long as we get what we want then nothing else matters. That is truly the reality of the addict. Whether they have consciously chosen to embrace it, or their addiction has overcome them and put them in that position and perception of reality, that is what they think and what their actions are based on. Would it be logical for a person to continue using drugs and alcohol to the extent that it causes him to lose their job, their drivers license, their family and eventually wind up in jail, or dead. Obviously if you were asked that question on an exam, you would answer 'NO" that's not logical, rational or a good idea, and its a terrible perception of reality to have. Yet that is exactly the perception that the addict has. So yes oftentimes the addicts thinking is delusional and above all they need a reality check.
However many addicts are in denial. They refuse to accept the world's reality and insist upon accepting and implementing their own warped, perverted definition of reality which justifies them getting anything they want, anyway they have too, at any cost, no matter who they hurt, and blaming everyone else for their circumstance and situation except themselves. Their reality also includes  thinking that the only place they can be accepted, feel-good,  and get relief and escape from the worlds demands, obligations and requirements is by using drugs or alcohol.
Now the good news. Oftentimes in recovery the scales come off the addicts eyes and by learning new information and by gaining new knowledge and by having a spiritual awakening, the addict actually sees the reality of life as it truly is. They come to learn to accept themselves for who they are and what they are and see how they can be better and live joyfully and function in the world as it is, instead of creating an alternative addiction world, where they survive miserably until they die or go to prison. So the good news is there's hope for every addicted person. I have learned never to give up on anyone. As God has shown me many miracles in the lives of addicted people who I thought were beyond help and hope.  God showed me no one  is beyond help or hope as long as they are still breathing. Our job is to make sure that when the addicted person seeks help, there's qualified help and information available to show them the way and the path to a better life. We do that by teaching them what their options to recovery are and connecting them with the people who can walk them down the path of success.
The great news is that there is a recovery program available for each and every addict that can bring them out of their addiction into the free, joyful, happy life God intended for them to have. So a suitable recovery program is also a great equalizer. It works for all addicts, if they are willing to embrace it, regardless of how long they have been addicted, how much they have used and what they have used.
Addicts create their own reality.
We know that because of their addiction, most addicts are unable to deal with the demands, pressures and obligations of life. So in order to cope and to satisfy the desire to have what they want, when they want, no matter who it hurts, addicted people create their own reality. In this world they are obligated to no one but themselves. They are right about everything. Everyone is wrong about anything that relates to them. Everyone else but them, is to blame for their troubles.
They attempt to keep their emotional state and mood at a constant high level by continuing to indulge in their addiction. Thus they continue to use drugs or alcohol and have come to the point where they are dependent on the alcohol or drugs to elevate their  mood to an acceptable or  “bearable” level. The addiction has taken control of them and very often they will engage in risky, certainly detrimental and sometimes criminal behavior. For instance, missing appointments and not showing up for work is common. Blowing off obligations and responsibilities to family and friends is common. Not taking care of their physical health or appearance is common. Spending excessive amounts of money and time indulging their addiction is common. Stealing and lying are also common. The addiction now owns them and controls them so that the only time they can feel calm and in control is when they are indulging in their addiction. The fact of the matter is their lives are spinning out of control and they no longer have control. Yet that is the irony and insidious nature of the disease, it distorts reality completely for those under its grip.
The addicted person’s reality is focused and anchored upon making sure that they are able to indulge their addictions at any and all costs, including physical, financial, spiritual, emotional, and relationship costs. Usually addicted people will suffer in every one of those areas as a result of their ongoing addiction. The sad reality that they are trapped in their addiction is now very clear to the addicted person however, usually, they will ignore this fact and continue spiraling downward in their addictive behavior. They are now literally engulfed by the addiction. It has become the only way of life they know, it is their default survival mechanism. It is what they live for and what they mistakenly believe is the only thing that gives them pleasure, control or peace. In fact they have completely lost touch with reality and their addiction has completely overtaken them. As sad as it is, this is an often necessary step to the recovery process. It is our hope and desire that we see the addicted person “hit bottom” as soon as possible, so that they have felt enough pain, and are willing to do what it takes to begin the recovery journey, which is the ONLY WAY to get back their true life and break free from the bondage and prison of addiction.
Clear Signs Of Addiction.
There are clear signs of addiction that are reflective of the addictive personality... one of them is the addicted person's indulgence in their addiction of choice whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling or other addictive behavior. These behaviors are indulged in by the addict in order to escape the painful realities of life that cause the addict unhappiness. These are the same realities of life that someone who is not addicted would have no trouble handling, being a part of and enjoying. But for the addict, the everyday responsibilities and circumstances that make up "daily living" need to be avoided at all costs.
So the addicted person creates their own reality, their own world, where they are in charge. Their own world where there is no perceived and no responsibility. They create this only and often by indulging in their addiction of choice. Much to the dismay of family and friends, who see their life spiraling downward, the addicted person continues to indulge more and more in their addiction. We know that our bodies build up tolerance to addiction of choice. So that it takes up more of the drug,  or more alcohol or more gambling, for their addictive behavior to provide them with an acceptable amount of "relief" from life's issues.  Thus we see the alcoholic drinking more, the drug addict using more and the gambler gambling more. The tragic thing about addiction is that even though they use more they are unable to have the addiction make them feel as good as they did when they first started indulging their addiction, because now the addiction is no longer pleasurable, but in fact very painful to the addict themselves. It is painful emotionally, spiritually, physically, psychologically and affects every aspect of their life.  They are addicted… and they are unable to break free of this addictive behavior without embracing a recovery program. But first and most importantly they need to hit bottom. To come to the point in their own life where they are willing to accept the help that is available to them, that can show them the way,that can break them free of addiction.
The key to it, which is one of the great tragedies for loved ones of addicted people, is we can't choose it for them, they have to choose it themselves. They have to hit bottom and be willing to turn around and want a different way of life and be willing to do what it takes to get it. The better life is exists…there is a road map and path to it through many suitable recovery programs. However the addict himself must choose to recover. I join you in praying that time has come for those you love who are struggling with addiction.
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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, and Welcome All,

We all know how hard it can be to live life in recovery from gambling addiction, or from any addiction quite frankly. But, many of also live with other daily challenges in recovery as well.
Sitting in the rooms of GA, it seems to be more common now that many of us also have "Dual Diagnosis" . . .  Meaning, we maybe recovering from 2 or more addictions, or like myself, I live in recovery and battle Mental/Emotional health disorders as well. And this can be pretty challenging on some days. So I thought I would share a 'freelance recovery article' I was invited to write for a rehab website about this topic. It also seems to becoming the norm that many addicts are also now becoming addicted to gambling as they try to use gambling as a "quick source of fast money" to indulge in
what ever their TRUE addiction is. Maybe they gambling to make a fast buck to score more drugs, or buy the alcohol they so desperately want to feed their addiction? 

But now these same people end up with a dual addictions because they get hooked on gambling. But most importantly, my experience is with addiction and living with mental illness. And one of my disorders is a direct effect of my past compulsive gambling. So here is more on this topic and article share. . . . .


So how does one recover from gambling addiction while living with mental illness? It can be difficult and a bumpy ride, but it can be done. I did it, and am doing it, and you can too! A personal share of what life was like. . .

“All I remember is waking up in the hospital. I heard people talking about me saying, when the police came to my home, there were knives all around me on the couch and floor of my living-room. Then I blacked out again.” “I woke up next in a mental/addiction crisis center with my wrists wrapped, feeling very sick to my stomach, and remained there for the next 14 days” . . .

This is where my recovery and behavioral health journey began. To be able to recover from gambling addiction, and while there, I was diagnosed with bipolar ll with severe depression, mild mania with anxiety, PTSD, and many negative behavioral habits I had picked up in my many years of addicted gambling.

See, I was suffering undiagnosed mental illness for years without ever knowing it. And I turned to addicted gambling and alcohol abuse to zone out & cope by wanting to not feel the hurt and pains I had not processed. That day, I was supposed to be attending my best friend’s funeral and celebration of life! Well, instead, I had a very bad gambling binge/slip that almost cost me my life. Many ask me, “How can you just waste your money like that? I tell them, “it’s not about the money, it’s about the disease of gambling addiction, and the bad choices and behaviors that comes with it”. . . “that it is not about the money wasted, gambling addiction almost cost me my life by  way of 2 failed suicides.”

So what is Gambling Addiction?

There are many definitions for problem and gambling addiction. Some claim it’s a mental health disorder, some say it’s a cognitive behavioral issue, and even some say it’s an impulse control problem. From personal experience, it was all three and more. But all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits is a gambling addiction. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.
And I experienced all of the above. I was sick.


Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Obviously the first key to recovery is admitting you have a problem. People who do not think they have a problem will not seek help. However the first phase of recovery, (after you have admitted there is a problem) is to focus on a few primary areas. First, make sure that your primary concern is abstinence, not using drugs or alcohol. You have to focus on the things you need to do to make sure that you do not return to old behaviors and triggers that cause you to use drugs and alcohol again. In addition, we want you to start to get educated and gain new knowledge of what addiction is and the effects it causes. Knowledge is power, knowledge is wisdom, with knowledge comes understanding and the ability to change. Then we also want you to begin to learn refusal and coping skills, so you can use these skills to learn to deal with the stress and situations around you that previously had you running to indulge your addictions. 

The first phase of recovery can seem overwhelming, but in reality it is not. Just think of it as if you were learning a new language and you heard these foreign words the first time. Of course they seem foreign to you at first because you don't know what they mean or how to use them. It's the same with addiction recovery. Yet as you go and learn, you become familiar with the meanings of the words and you gain understanding. Soon you are speaking a new language, in our case living a new life of recovery. It becomes a natural, reflex action. Then you get all the benefits from it!  

The beginning  of the recovery journey (Phase 1 as I like to call it)  is an exciting phase for those hungry and broken and seeking a better way of life, because they want the information, knowledge and tools necessary to overcome their addiction. For those who do not want to deal with their addiction problem and have not or will not admit their addiction is a problem, Phase 1 is often difficult and full of conflicts, because they are still resisting getting sober. They have not let go of their addiction, they had not surrendered it, it still controls them and they still wish to indulge in it. 

It’s not enough to tell addicts that recovery is a better way of life. We must show them how it works. Just as it’s not enough to tell me the computer is a good tool and can make my life easier. You have to teach me how it works for me to get the full benefit of it. It’s the same with recovery.

Now remember, you can have all the information and knowledge you need, but if you don't use it, it's worthless. You get no benefit from it.  So the bottom line is it’s not about what you say, it’s about what you do. I will often tell addicted people I am helping that they shouldn't make any promises to their loved ones, friends or employers regarding their stopping their addictions. Why? Because those promises carry no weight anymore. The addicted person has made many promises and has failed to live up to most, if not all of them. Their friends and loved ones and families won’t believe the words anyway. What the friends, families, and loved ones will believe, is seeing a changed life, based on the new actions and behavior of the addicted person. 


Posted by on in Alcoholism

Jeremiah Gardner of Hazelden Betty Ford and Daniel D. Maurer (formerly of Williston, ND now in Saint Paul, MN) share their perspective that life after recovery, after quitting drinking and drugging, doesn't stink. In fact, life is just beginning.



You like this one. Enjoy!

Dan the Story Man


Posted by on in Recommended Reading

One of the biggest problems people who are new to recovery encounter is how to fill up all their new free time. Before, our lives were consumed with thinking about drugs, finding drugs, and taking drugs. Rinse, and repeat. Keeping yourself busy is a challenge when you're new to recovery, and your life depends on succeeding. If you're left with too much idle time, it's too easy to return to using. What do you do when your life doesn't revolve around drugs or alcohol?

I wrote the books 365 Ways to Have Fun Sober and How to Have Fun in Recovery to help people transition to a sober lifestyle. These books offer suggestions on how to enjoy life sober and how to fill up your spare time. If you or anyone you know is struggling to enjoy life in recovery, I encourage you to check out my books.



Below is another exclusive from 365 Ways to Have Fun Sober. Here, you can read all of the suggestions for the month of February. Keep on with your quest to improve your life and enjoy it. There are so many interesting and fun things to do in this world, and you deserve to experience all life has to offer. If you enjoy this excerpt, please check out the rest in the Kindle store! You can also follow me on Twitter @LisaMHann


Posted by on in Recommended Reading

One of the biggest problems people who are new to recovery encounter is how to fill up all their new free time. Before, our lives were consumed with thinking about drugs, finding drugs, and taking drugs. Rinse, and repeat. Keeping yourself busy is a challenge when you're new to recovery, and your life depends on succeeding. If you're left with too much idle time, it's too easy to return to using. What do you do when your life doesn't revolve around drugs or alcohol?

I wrote the books 365 Ways to Have Fun Sober and How to Have Fun in Recovery to help people transition to a sober lifestyle. These books offer suggestions on how to enjoy life sober and how to fill up your spare time. If you or anyone you know is struggling to enjoy life in recovery, I encourage you to check out my books.


Below is an excerpt from 365 Ways to Have Fun Sober. Here, you can read all of the suggestions for the month of January. It's 2015 now, and it's the perfect time to start transforming your life into the one you want. There are so many interesting and fun things to do in this world, and you deserve to experience all life has to offer. If you enjoy this exclusive excerpt, please check out the rest in the Kindle store! It's actually an excellent book for anyone who's bored or looking for new ideas, recovery or not! You can also follow me on Twitter @LisaMHann


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Posted by on in Recommended Reading


Hello, Addictionland! Happy New Year! I am so grateful to be your addiction expert for the month of January 2015! If you have any questions or want to talk, I encourage you to comment or contact me on Twitter @LisaMHann.



When I first entered recovery nearly five years ago, one of the questions I had was, "How am I going to have fun now?" I heard that question a lot from other newly recovered addicts, too, so I decided to write two ebooks dedicated to addressing that concern. How to Have Fun in Recovery and 365 Ways to Have Fun Sober offer practical solutions for all people who are struggling to enjoy life.


Posted by on in Drug Addiction

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Midwestern Mama continues observing the comings and goings of Methadone and Suboxone treatment participants.

Other than the first day my son started the HIOP (high-intensity, out -patient) treatment program, I haven’t returned to the waiting room – at nearly 22 years old, he’s a big boy and doesn’t need Mom to come in with him nor does he want me to.  Now, I wait in the parking lot and let me say it’s no less insightful.

Each morning, we arrive between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m.  There are taxi cabs, medical transportation vans and cars of all models – from luxury vehicles to ready-for-the-junkyard clunkers held together with duct tape (yes, I have actually seen this).  Some people walk from the nearby bus stop while others ride bikes.


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