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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

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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Tagged in: 10th tradition 12 step 12 step recovery AA abstinence accurate self-appraisal action program action steps addict addiction addiction help addiction memoir addiction recovery Addiction Specialist addictive behavior addicts affected affirmations Alcoholics Anonymous answers anxiety anxiety and recovery ask for help Asking for help attitude of gratitude awareness balance being a loving mirror being a loving person being of service Big Book Caring for those who still suffer co-addiction co-occurring disorder compassion courage dealing with a using loved one depression discomfort drug abuse drug addiction emotional management emotional maturity emotional regulation emotional sobriety emotions faith family recovery fear first step goal setting goals gratitude gratitude journey Guest Blogger guilt healing HELPING OTHERS higher self inadequacy inner satisfaction intervention inventory letting go Life Challenges life on life's terms literature memoir mental health mindfulness mindfulness and recovery Motivation My Story openness positive energy program of recovery recovery recovery talk relapse prevention Resilience right action right intention self care Self Love self-compassion self-confidence self-esteem self-help self-honesty serenity shame sobriety sponsor stepwork struggle substance abuse suffering suffering addicts Support surrender tenth tradition thinking thinking errors Trying to save a Life turn it over twelve step recovery twelve steps Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions twelve steps of aa twelve traditions twelve traditions of aa why i used drugs
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Posted by on in Other Addictions

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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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

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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I first have some exciting news to share! I have been invited by Award Winning Author, and Political Historian, CL Gammon to be his “Guest Author” on his radio show. It will take place here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/clgammon on Saturday March 22nd 2014….6pm ET and 3pm PT. So please mark your calendars to join in the discussion. Will be talking about my current book, “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat) and about recovery from addicted compulsive gambling.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

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.

What I realize now is that I have been acting in a self-serving way and it is not my right, part or need to interfere in other people's business.  Even when I am asked, I can say no thank you to matters that do not directly involve me. No matter what people do, say or how much they attack, I can choose to have faith in the Truth and not allow other people's drama to rent mental space in my head or interfere with my great life.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome Newbies,

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*THIS IS WHAT RECOVERY SHOULD BE!*
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So welcome recovery boys and girls! LET’S wrap up Part 3 of  “Gambling Addiction Relapse Prevention” and the Guide. In my last blog post we covered the important area’s of how to have a relapse plan, and how to deal with “Positive & Negative” feelings and emotions, deal with HIGH RISK situations, and to not TEMPT your control or yourself by going to Risky places. And we learned the difference between Lapse and Relapse. So will close out by learning to avoid Slips, Awareness of our Behaviors & the Chain, coping with Triggers, and why you need a Daily Relapse Plan.
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I remember an old standing joke we had in my Gamblers Anonymous meeting group in So. Oregon. When the Oregon Lottery had introduced Video Poker Slot Machines, many little lottery retail shops were popping up all over our community. And as long as they sold food, beverages, and beer and wine, they can have 6 of these poker machines inside the store. They SOLD the Cheapest Smokes in town, so we’d joke that “WE ONLY WENT INTO The lottery store for cheap packs of smokes, but because it’s a “Risky Place” for us in recovery, we’d end up Gambling and Spend WAY MORE then That Cheap Pack of Smokes! So then it became the most costly pack of smokes because you’d drop a couple hundred dollars gambling”!!! So much for the cheap pack of smokes in town! So my point is, Please,……"DON’T TRUST or TEMPT YOURSELF In Early Recovery"!
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The Slip Plan:
You must have a plan in case you slip. It is foolish to think that you will never have a problem again. You must plan what you are going to do if you have problems. A study found of recovering addicts, that thirty-three percent of patients lapsed within two weeks of leaving treatment. Sixty percent lapsed within three months. At the end of eight months, sixty-three percent had used.
The worst thing you can do when you slip is to think that you completely failed in recovery. This is inaccurate thinking. You are not a total failure. You haven’t lost everything. You have made a mistake, and you need to learn from it. You let some part of your program go, and you are paying for it. You need to examine exactly what happened and get back into recovery.
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A slip is an emergency. It is a matter of life and death. You must take immediate action to prevent the slip from becoming a full relapse. You must call someone in the program, preferably your sponsor, and tell that person what happened. You need to carefully examine why you slipped. You cannot gamble and use the tools of recovery at the same time. Something went wrong. You didn’t use your new skills. You must make a plan of action to recover from your slip. You cannot do this by yourself. You are in denial. You don’t know the whole truth. If you did, you wouldn’t have relapsed.
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Call your sponsor or a professional counselor and have him or her develop a new treatment plan for you. You may need to attend more meetings. You may need to see a counselor. You may need a new sponsor. You may need outpatient treatment. You may need inpatient treatment. You have to get honest with yourself. You need to develop a plan and follow it. You need someone else to agree to keep an eye on you for a while. Do not try to do this alone. What we cannot do alone, we can do together.
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*THIS IS VERY TRUE* WE CAN RECOVER With the help and support of recovery friends!*
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The Behavior Chain:
All behavior occurs in a certain sequence. First there is the TRIGGER. This is the external event that starts the behavioral sequence. After the trigger, there comes THINKING. Much of this thinking comes very fast, and you will not consciously pick it up unless you stop and focus on it. The thoughts trigger FEELINGS, which give you energy and direction for action. Next comes the BEHAVIOR, or the action initiated by the trigger. Lastly, there is always CONSEQUENCES for any action.
Diagrammed, the behavior chain looks like this:
TRIGGER—THINKING— FEELINGS—BEHAVIOR—CONSEQUENCE…
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Lets go through a behavior sequence and see how it works. On the way home from work, George, a recovering compulsive gambler, passes the convenience store (This is the trigger). He thinks “I’ve had a hard day. Maybe I’ll do a couple of scratch off lottery tickets to unwind” (The trigger initiates thinking). George craves gambling (The thinking initiates feeling). George turns into the convenience store and begins gambling (The feelings initiates behavior). George relapses (The behavior has a consequence).
Let’s work through another example. It’s is eleven o’clock at night and Betty is not asleep (Trigger). She thinks “I’ll never get to sleep tonight unless I gamble” (Thinking). She feels an increase in her anxiety about not sleeping (Feeling). She gets up and gambles (Behavior). She losses all her money and is so depressed she can’t work the next morning (Consequence).
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How To Cope With Triggers:
At every point along the behavior chain you work on preventing relapse. First you need to look at your triggers carefully. What environmental events lead you to gambling? We have gone over some of these when we examined high-risk situations. Determined what people, places, or things make you vulnerable to relapse. Stay away from these triggers as much as possible. If a trigger occurs, use your new coping skills.
Don’t let the trigger initiate old behavior. Stop and think. Don’t let your thinking get out of control. Challenge your thinking and get accurate about what’s real. Let’s look at some inaccurate thoughts.
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1. It’s not going to hurt.
2. No one’s going to Know.
3. I need to relax.
4. I’ve had a hard day.
5. I’m just going to spend a couple of bucks.
6. My friends want me to gamble.
7. It’s the only way I can sleep.
8. I never had a problem with sports gambling.
9. I can do anything I want.
10. I’m lonely.
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All of these inaccurate THOUGHTS can be used to fuel the craving that leads to relapse. You must stop and challenge your thinking until you are thinking accurately. You must replace inaccurate thoughts with accurate ones. You are a compulsive gambler. If you gamble you could die. That is the truth. Think through the first bet. Get honest with yourself.
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HOW TO COPE WITH CRAVINGS:

If you think inaccurately you will begin craving. This is the powerful feeling that drives compulsive gambling. Craving is like an ocean wave. It will build and then, wash over you. Craving doesn’t last long if you move away from gambling. If you move closer to a gambling situation, The craving will increase until you gamble. Immediately on feeling a desire to gamble think this thought:
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“THAT IS NO LONGER AN OPTION FOR ME.”
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Now, what are your options? If you are in trouble. You are craving. What are you going to do to prevent relapse? You must move away from the gambling situation. Perhaps you need to call your sponsor; go to a meeting; turn it over; call your counselor; or visit a friend. You must do something else other than thinking about gambling. Don’t sit there and ponder about gambling. You will lose that debate. This illness is called the great debater. If you leave it unchecked, it will seduce you into gambling.
The illness must lie to work. You must uncover the lie as quickly as possible and get it back to the truth. You must take the appropriate action necessary to maintain your recovery.
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Develop A Daily relapse Prevention Program
If you work a daily program of recovery your chances of success greatly increase. You need to evaluate your recovery daily and keep a log. Especially in early recovery!
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THIS IS YOUR DAILY INVENTORY:

1. Assess all relapse warning signs.
A. What symptoms did I see in myself today?
B. What am I going to do about them?
2. Assess love of self.
A. What did I do to love myself today?
B. What am I going to do tomorrow?
3. Assess love of others.
A. What did I do to love others today?
B. What am I going to do tomorrow?
4. Assess love of God.
A. What did I do to love God today?
B. What am I going to do tomorrow?
5. Assess sleep pattern.
A. How am I sleeping?
6. Assess exercise.
A. Am I getting enough exercise?
7. Assess nutrition.
A. Am I eating right.
8. Review total recovery program.
A. How am I doing in recovery?
B. What is the next step in my recovery program?
9. Read the Combo Book, or other recovery literature.
A. Pray and meditate for a few minutes.
B. Relax completely.
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Fill out this inventory every day and keep a journal about how you are doing. You will be amazed as, from time to time you read back over your journal. You will be amazed at how much you have grown.
Create a card that indicates on one side the names of people you will call in case of emergency. On the other side list the ten reasons you want to stay free from gambling. Never forget these reasons. read this list often and carry it with you at all times in your Combo Book. If you struggle in recovery take it out and read it to yourself. And remember: “TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME”!
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Even though I have this “Relapse Prevention Guide Workbook” listed on my Recovery Resources Page, I have wanted to break it down in 3 sections to share and go over it in a little more detail and hope I have accomplished that! I also hope all who can benefit from it will “Copy & Paste” it to somewhere for yourself to use anytime in your recovery. I feel it is a MUST HAVE in early recovery. I said it many times, but it has really helped me stay SAFE in my own recovery!
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We never look far ahead in our recovery, as life can throw some major events in our path that no matter HOW much clean time you have, you could be triggered into a relapse. Maybe not today, but maybe when a parent pass’s or other relative, or a break-up of a marriage, loss of a child. We never know what tomorrow will bring each day, so better to be ready and have a plan in place when it may.

Early recovery is also a time to really have a sound relapse plan. I haven’t said it much, but I really want my Recovery blog to be a place where others can come and share WHAT works for them, interact in the comment section, or just ask a question. A”ddicted Compulsive Gambling is a REAL Disease”! I’d like to share some informative websites that I have come to rely on for resources about gambling addiction, and who I’ve “Pledged” my blog to RAISE AWARENESS of “Problem Gambling Awareness Month” all MARCH long…..
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1.) http://www.gamblinghelper.com Become a member for help & support.
2.) http://www.azccg.org The Arizona Council On Compulsive Gambling, info & support.
3.) http://www.ncpgambling.org The National Council Of Problem Gambling.
4.) http://www.grippedbygambling.com My Good Friend & Author, Marilyn Lancelot’s helpful website.
5.) http://femalegamblers.info Another FEMALE only Gambling Support Site by Marilyn.
6.  http://www.actcounseling.com Fantastic Counseling Services for Gambling Addiction.
7.) http://addictionblog.org Help and Info on all types of Addictions

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I have many more listed on my Recovery Resources Page at: http://catherinelyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com and try hard to keep updating and adding new places to get Help, Treatment, and Support from addicted compulsive gambling. They are all well worth the visit!
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Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

PS…Don’t forget to leave your “Thoughts & Comments” because “It’s Time To Talk About It”!!

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Welcome Recovery Friends and New Seekers,


Here are parts 2 & 3 to round out mt series on "Gambling Relapse Prevention" and it can be used for all types of addictions. In early recovery, we MUST have a "Daily Plan" ready at any time when we feel a build up, triggers, or urges come our way. It's a really good idea to start a daily journel as well. With journaling, you'll be able to loook back at them later on in your recovery and SEE hoe much growth you achieve on your journey. And remember to Live in the Moment, don't dwell on your past, and ODAAT!....*Cat*
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Now I know many may think, WHY is she doing all this? I’ll tell you why. I shared in my book about “WHY” I started writing again to begin with. It was a newspaper story I read about a woman at an “Indian Casino Hotel.” She had a room there and must have had a very bad Relapse or Slip, because she shot herself with a shotgun in her room. There was a note left, but police only disclosed a part of the note, “and please tell my family I’m sorry, I had relapsed and could not stop my gambling.”
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When I read that, a tear came down my cheek, as I could feel that woman’s pain. I knew exactly how she felt when she pulled that trigger. It’s because I almost was her, and could have been her! So I swore I would do all I could to help others who suffer, and who are stuck on the” INSANE CYCLE” of compulsive addicted gambling. NOT one more person should ever feel that “SUICIDE” is the only “OPTION” to quit your addicted gambling. I’m tired of all the loss of precious LIFE from Suicide from ALL TYPES of ADDICTIONS.
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*WE NEED TO REMEMBER~WE ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS*!!

So get your tool box out and a notepad for PART 2 of Relapse Prevention….
I happen to read an article about Addiction & The Brain. There is a little part that I’ll share here, because it explains how the brain gets involved in the confusion of addicts and addictions….”Courtesy from http://www.azccg.org Which is a fantastic resource for Gambling Addiction help and information, “Arizona Council Of Compulsive Gambling.”
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“Individuals who are more biologically at risk for addiction are likely to have a neurobiological basis for deficits in experiencing pleasure, reward and satisfaction. Additionally, they are more likely to be emotionally unstable and impulsive, or experience either over- or under-arousal. Addictive substances and behaviors act in some ways to “fix” such neurobiological risk factors. However, the addictive “cure” only serves to intensify the problem, by further aggravating the underlying biological problems.
Taken alone, this discussion of addiction in relation to the biology of the brain probably seems disheartening. But the mind is a component of the addiction equation, as well, and next month I’ll discuss tools for reducing our subservience to the brain’s neurotransmitter systems.

However, it is important to recognize that medication helps the brain to function. While this may aid an individual to better utilize the mind, medication does not necessarily “heal” the mind or, by itself, stop addictive behavior. Ideally, the mind will be used to make healthy choices, not choosing to seek escape, euphoria, or relief via the quick fix of our  addiction.  However, we can change the chemistry of our brains through activities such as relaxation, prayer, meditation, eating mindfully, exercising and such. When you take a few minutes to breathe deeply and slowly, your brain chemistry automatically changes, your brain waves change.

One example is, when a compulsive gambler is gambling she or he changes the brain in the same way, since many gamblers report that gambling relaxes them. While this may seem true on the surface, gambling and other addictive behaviors only provide the illusion of providing this type of relief. If we took a brain image of someone who was gambling and compared it to someone who was meditating, we would have vastly different pictures.”…..
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*This to me was fascinating. The brain is very complex, and I know a few of my mental disorders are a direct effect from my brain being over used or not enough chemicals in other area’s of my brain. And Yes, medication does help me, A LOT. So, now we have learned a little about the addicted brain, and my last post we talked about FEELINGS, and making a plan to prevent Relapse, and to USE the “Skills & Tools” we learn to cope with “urges, triggers, and everyday life. Here is the next area you need to explore to help keep you safe, and part of your relapse plan,*
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IN EARLY RECOVERY YOU NEED TO:~ (Use the list of 37 Warning Signs in Part 1)
Here a just a few…
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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

March 16th marks the beginning of the week for National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week!

I work in assisting the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, a contact I made after my episode of Intervention, when I joined Director Harvey Weiss to speak on a panel with others affected by inhalant abuse in Washington DC.  Many of the people that I have spoken with were once inhalant addicts themselves or friends and family (especially parents) of inhalant users who devistatingly passed away while using inhalants. This is an organization that works on reducing, preventing, and making the public aware of inhalant abuse, a goal that we both have in common.

In their most recent newsletter, the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) defines inhalant abuse as "the intentional misuse, via inhalation, of common household, school and workplace products and chemicals to “get high.”  This definition also infers two primary inhalant abuse slang terms:  “Sniffing” and “Huffing.” In a sense the Process of“huffing” defines the slang terms for the Activity i.e. bagging (huffing from a bag); Glading (misusing air freshener); etc."

NIPC also regularly provides the public with updates and facts imperitive to spread the awareness and prevention of inhalant abuse.  Here is an update of some of the most recent facts:

1.  Any time an inhalant is used, it could be a fatal episode.  This could be the first time you ever use inhalants, or the 100th.  NIPC notes that there is research showing that "of those people who died from huffing, about one-third died at first time use."

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends and New Visitors,


Since my last post, I'm Celebrating along side "The National Council Of Problem Gambling" all month long here on my Recovery Blog. As it is "Problem Gambling Awareness Month"....
So I "pledged" my blog to them to write, blog, and Advocate all things gambling recovery!


Yes boys and girls it’s time to take notes and open your “Skills” tool box and fill it with a few more tips on how to stay away from the “Relapse”….. http://www.ncpgambling.org
In my 1st blog post I spoke about the importance of "Step one," (if you follow & work the 12 Steps) and how it truly is the first HONEST step to starting recovery. You need to be willing to admit YOU are an addict as that it IS half the battle of your work.


We also know about “Phone Lists” that You should have one and USE it. I can not tell you how many times  calling another in recovery helped talk me out of my “trigger or urge” to go gamble. Most all the time the person can talk you out of it by reminding you the “HELL” of going out and having to start your time all over again. So lets talk a little about how to not have relapses while in recovery. As you can have none in yours, and if someone tells you otherwise they are full of SHIT! Relapse does NOT have to happen, nor “Be The Norm” as some councilors, therapists,, and specialists tell you. Many recover without a “binge or relapse.”

I have an excellent “Recovery Relapse Prevention Guide” work-book here on my blog on my recovery resources pages that was given to me when I started my long-term recovery 7 years ago. YES, it took me a few tries, 2 binges that almost killed me, and ended up in the hospital twice and in an Addiction/Mental Crisis Center twice, that’s why I rely on a STRONG Relapse Guide. I’ll be sharing from this guide snippets to help you so you won’t have to go through what I did! Here is a little from the guide;

RELAPSE PREVENTION

Relapse prevention is one of the most important aspects of treatment. In a study of many different addictions, approximately one/thirds of the patients relapsed within the first two weeks, sixty percent relapsed within the first three months, and sixty-seven within twelve months.
Most patients relapse within three months of leaving treatment. This is the period of highest risk. Members of Gamblers Anonymous must be willing to do almost anything to prevent relapse. They need to see themselves as clinging to an ice- covered cliff with their recovery support group holding the only rope. The most important thing they can do is go to meetings. Members who are working a daily program of recovery will not relapse. These behaviors are incompatible. Relapse is a process that begins long before making the first bet….
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Now I think we can all agree that those are lousy odds of recovery when we first start out, or if you’re coming out of treatment. But I learned the hard way that IT’S TRUE. The 2nd most important thing after admitting you are Powerless over your addiction is to find a Treatment program. There are many websites that offer Good Treatment Options. A couple that come to mind are, My Addiction http://www.myaddiction.com and http://gambling.supportgroups.com/ on support groups, set yourself up with a user & password and your enter a world of support, some Free treatment options for addicted gambling, and it’s confidential and anonymous! And also Gamblers Anonymous is an excellent resource too:

http://www.gamblersanonymous.org

*Here is a little more from the relapse guide, and feel free to “Copy & Paste” the guide for yourself to use, and it can be used for all types of Addictions*
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The Relapse Prevention Exercise for Gamblers is prevention, and requires working a daily program of recovery. The member must take his or her personal inventory at the end of every day. If any of the relapse symptoms become clear, immediate action must be taken.
Members must develop written plans detailing the exact things they are going to do if they get into trouble. Other people need to check each member daily for relapse warning signs. This can be done by family members, a sponsor, or someone from the workplace. This is a good reason for members to go to daily meetings and hang around other recovering people. Often other people can see what members are unable to see for themselves. The member needs to identify high risk situations that may trigger relapse, and to develop coping skills to deal with each situation. the more a member can practice these skills, the better off he or she will be in recovery. In meetings, members need to discuss high risk situations and help each other develop relapse prevention plans….

Each member will be different, most relapses occur when patients are experiencing the following high risk situations:
Negative emotions: Particularly anger and frustration. This could also be negative emotions such as boredom, jealousy, depression, anxiety, ect..
Social pressure: Being in a social situation where people are gambling, or being directly encouraged to gamble by someone. Interpersonal conflict: This can be a conflict with the parent, spouse, child, boss, friend, ect.. Positive emotions: Something positive happens and the member want to celebrate. This can be a promotion, wedding, birth of a child, graduation, ect..
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Here are some things YOU can do to be more aware and have a PLAN of action to keep YOU safe!;
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RELAPSE PREVENTION EXERCISE:

“DON’T TEMPT yourself, test your personal control and use an Exercise Plan”!!

Using the relapse exercise, members develop the skills necessary to deal with each of the high risk situations, then they practice the new skills until they become good at them. All members must role play gambling refusal situations, with an experienced member, until they can say no and feel relatively comfortable. They must examine and experience all their triggers, see through the first use, and learn how to deal with the euphoric recall.
Members must develop a plan for a slip. What are they going to do if they gamble again? Who are they going to contact? What are they going to say? This must be practiced again and again with other members.
The member must understand the behavior chain. They must also develop skills for changing their thoughts, feelings, and actions when they have problems. The members should know that gambling cravings will pass if they move away from the situation and use their new tools of recovery.


The Relapse Warning Signs
All relapses begin with warning signs that will signal you or your loved ones that you are in trouble. If you do not recognize these signs, you will decompensate and finally return to gambling again. All of these signs are reactions to stress, and they are a re-emergence of the disease. They are a means by which your body and mind are telling you that you are having problems. You need to recognize thirty-seven warning signs of relapse. You may not have all these symptoms before you begin gambling again, but you will have some of them long before you gamble. You must find which Symptoms are the most characteristic of you, and you must come up with COPING SKILLS for dealing with each symptom…..
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Listed below are the thirty-seven warning symptoms.
*Circle the ones that you have experienced before you gambled.*

1. Apprehension about well-being.
2. Denial
3. Adamant commitment to stop gambling.
4. Compulsive behavior
5. Compulsive attempts to impose abstinence on others.
6. Defensiveness
7. Impulsive behavior.
8. Loneliness
9. Tunnel vision.
10. Minor depression
11. Loss of constructive planning.
12. Plans begin to fail.
13. Idle day dreaming & wishful thinking.
14. Feeling nothing can be solved.
15. Immature to be happy.
16. Periods of confusion.
17. Irritation with friends.
18. Easily angered.
19. Irregular eating habits.
20.Listlessness.
21. Irregular sleeping habits.
22. Progressive loss of daily structure.
23. Periods of deep depression.
24. Irregular attendance at meeting.
25. Development of an “I don’t care” attitude.
26. Open rejection of help.
27. Dissatisfaction with life.
28. thoughts of social gambling.

29. Feeling of powerlessness or helplessness.
30. Self-pity
31. Conscious lying.
32. Complete loss of self-confidence.
33. Unreasonable resentments.
34. Discontinuing all treatment.
35. Start of controlled gambling.
36. Loss of control.
37. Overwhelming loneliness, frustration, anger, and tension.
*

NOW, here is the “Fun and interacting” part of my recovery blog! I hope you will make this list, then how about you all leave a comment what # warning sign is the most difficult for YOU, and how YOU would handle or what skills would you use to help get you through one of the 37 Warning Symptoms? And since there is a lot to “Relapse Prevention” and I want you to get the MOST out of my blog posts to aid your recovery from addicted gambling, let do this blog post as a 2 or 3 part exercise? So this concludes the 1st part of relapse prevention, and I’ll give you a couple of days to “Comment” your answers. I’ll blog post PART 2 on Tue, March 4th, that evening after 6pm.
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I think this will be a fun idea so we can ALL LEARN a little something new together! And again, please feel free to copy and paste the full guide workbook listed on my Resources Page List! Together WE CAN RECOVER! If your interested, my current book is out NOW as e-book on Amazon Kindle! “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a cheat) http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485 My true story of my life battling compulsive gambling addiction, living with Undiagnosed Bipolar, my childhood trauma, dark family secrets and Recovery!

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I Thank You all for taking time to come visit my recovery blog, and I appreciate all the LUV & Support TOO!
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GOD BLESS ALL,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

"When we believe in a Power Greater Then Ourselves, anything in LIFE is possible"!


 

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

German Medical Giant Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) dominated the dialysis treatment segment in America and probably the world over. It is the largest manufacturer of all the medical dialysis equipments and has several clinics and physicians of its own who administer kidney failure treatments on patients day in and day out. This medical giant came up with GranuFlo and NaturaLyte in the early 2000's. The drugs received approval from the FDA in 2003 and started functioning as the most commonly used dialysate in the process of dialysis. FMS (Fresenius Medical Care) became the leading supplier and completely dominated the U.S market.

Class I Recall of GranuFlo and NaturalLyte

2010 onwards stories started circulating of cardiac arrhythmia, cardiopulmonary arrest and metabolic alkalosis and sudden strokes leading to death among patients who were getting hemodialysis done. Suspicions were raised and lawsuits had started mounting against FMC's GranuFlo.

In response to the increasing incidences of cardiopulmonary arrests and deaths, Fresenius conducted a study trying to determine the possible adverse effects of their dialysate on the acute renal failure patients. The results were appalling. The study revealed that between January 1 and December 31, 2010 941 patients in 667 FMC facilities had cardiopulmonary arrests. The data further revealed that the patients' risk of cardiopulmonary arrest was up to six times higher if they had a heightened bicarbonate level pre-dialysis. This confirmed the worst fears that indeed GranuFlo was responsible for increased incidences of cardiac arrests and other symptoms in kidney failure patients.

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Posted by on in Co-dependency

 

Increase“Trauma is to mental health as smoking is to cancer.”-Dr. Steven Sharfstein, Past President, American Psychiatric Association

Last week, I posted the first in a series of articles about children of alcoholics who remain trapped in an alcoholic lifestyle as adults. I examined the neurological underpinnings of a compulsive and  “infinite loop” of ongoing and deeply painful  involvements with partners and activities that reproduce the chaos of the addicted family of origin and endanger physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. But while psychologists are increasingly interested in the neurology of compulsive behavior, we tend to believe that it stems from a variety of causes.  Most  of us look for“biopsychosocial” explanations for behavior, including the  compulsion to repeat.  When treating adult children who are recapitulating a  painful past,   one psychosocial angle we typically want to explore is the quality of parent-child relationships in a patient’s family of origin. The nature of parent-child interactions is important for several reasons.  In this post, I will discuss howrelationships with caregivers either perpetuate an adverse infinite loop, or inoculate a child against an alcoholic lifestyle by shaping self-esteem and expectations of others, and by affecting a child’s ability to regulate intense feelings and to process and heal from difficult events.

Nearly everyone understands that our earliest  relationships affect us all our lives because theyprovide a model for us to follow as we engage with people outside the family. From the first moments of life, we form impressions of the world through interactions with our caregivers. Over time these impressions evolve and  are stored in the mind as mental representations of the self and  the other. Characteristic exchanges between self and others are also stored. When we internalizenurturing figures along with a representation of ourselves as loveable, it gives us a huge head start with respect to healthy adult adjustment.  It stands us in particularly good stead  as we strive to form healthy relationships with people outside our families.  The  support, encouragement and unconditional regard we receive from our parents forms the basis for good self-esteem and instills optimism about the world as a welcoming place.  If our parents cherish and love us, we tend to feel that we should be, and are likely to be valued and loved by others. In addition, our positive mental representations of our parents can be recalled and recruited, when no one else is around, to establish a sense of calm and hopefulness when troubling events occur. The ability to self-soothe is a critical resource in life, and it is a source of protection against the abuse of substances and activities that we might otherwise turn to in order to numb emotional pain. (Please continue reading.)

It is hard for parents who are preoccupied with alcohol and drugs, and stressful conflicts about alcohol and drugs, to be reliable sources of support and love for children.  Children in addicted families are more likely to be abused, exploited and neglected.  As a result, their mental representations of themselves and others, and their expectations about the type of treatment they can expect from others are pessimistic. Even if they can’t quite verbalize this, and don’t consciously think about it, they view others as untrustworthy and potentially dangerous.  And they view themselves as unlovable and unworthy of respect. Children from addicted families are more likely to accept insensitive and abusive treatment from other life partners because this is what they feel they deserve, and because it seems “normal” to them—it fits with the information they’ve stored in their minds about how relationships are supposed to go. If they grew up feeling responsible for their parents’ pain, as so many children in addicted families do, they may also feel compelled to rescue and reform partners who are desperate and even abusive.

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