Mommy’s Gone to Treatment

Mommy’s Gone to Treatment

Addiction is a devastating and all-embracing disease. Family members are often as profoundly affected by the illness as the person who suffers from it. Imagine what a child must think watching a parent descend deep into addiction, changing from a loving and nurturing mother into a hostile, screaming stranger.

But there is hope for addicts and their families. This book is about Janey, a young girl whose mother has entered a center for addiction treatment.

Written in easy-to-understand language with brightly colored illustrations, Mommy’s Gone to Treatment addresses issues children often face when an addicted parent seeks help.

Included is a parent’s guide with important talking points on easing a child’s apprehension when someone they love confronts their illness.

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Order today >> Mommy’s Gone to Treatment

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Twelve Step Christianity

Twelve Step Christianity

Genuine Christianity is more than a set of beliefs–it is a relationship with Jesus Christ that involves hearing His voice and following His directions.

But how does one do this? What tools or spiritual disciplines enable Christians to live out their lives in dynamic submission to God’s will? Perhaps no set of principles is better suited to help Christians hear God’s voice and submit to His will than the Twelve Steps.

As a Christian who practices the Steps, Saul Selby knows them to be an invaluable tool for living out the Christian faith. Selby brings his knowledge to bear in Twelve Step Christianity, which teaches Christians in recovery to connect their faith with their program–and shows any Christian a clear path to a more intimate relationship with Christ.

Laid out in a workbook format, with room for readers to write answers and track their progress, Twelve Step Christianity explores the roots of Twelve Step spirituality, examines the connections and distinctions between Christianity and Twelve Step programs, and offers readers a deeper and broader understanding of the myriad of powerful reasons for applying the Twelve Steps to their lives.

001_59  Buy today >> Twelve Step Christianity 

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Finding God When You Don’t Believe in God

Finding God When You Don’t Believe in God

Here is an opportunity to listen in on fascinating conversations with people who found God when they didn’t really want to and weren’t even looking.

Through a series of deeply personal interviews with individuals from different walks of life, the authors conduct a captivating discourse on discovering a "higher power."

The interview subjects are not proselytizers, nor are they interested in comparing spiritual states. Their stories are neither tidy nor definitive. What they offer, however, is a remarkable, refreshing, and ultimately satisfying mosaic on the meaning and manifestation of God.

Finding God  Get today >> Finding God When You Don’t Believe in God

AA Works for Steven Adler

Steve Adler Back from the brink and ready to rock

After a two-decade battle with addiction, Guns and Roses member Adler has managed to put together six months of clean time, he told The Daily Times this week — and that makes the past six months a rebirth of sorts.

"Making it one day is a long time, and I’ve made it, like, six months," he said, voice filled with jubilation and the enthusiasm of newfound sobriety. "The last time I did anything goofy like that was on the show ("Sober House," a VH-1 reality show spin-off of "Celebrity Rehab," both of which featured Adler), when I got arrested (last summer). I’ve been so lucky, and I’ve got a great team of people around me; I’ve got my best friend Slash back in my life; and I’m happier than ever.

"It’s like I’m seeing things for the first time. To have survived everything I went through — a stroke, the band — and get a second chance at life, it’s crazy. And I’m so grateful I did those two shows. As much as I despised rehab and the whole AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) crap, it works!"

"I just wanted to give myself a chance to get better than I was yesterday. That first few weeks were the toughest, because once the drugs wear off, all of the emotions come out. The hardest part to get through was that first month."

Full story at The Daily Times

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Pajama Gamblers

Digital image of woman s face on laptop screen uid 1278928 Pajama gamblers could lose their shirts: Online gambling can be dangerously comfortable

People who gamble from the comfort of their home tend to think they’re more in control of their gambling than people who gamble in casinos, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Authors June Cotte (University of Western Ontario) and Kathryn A. Latour (University of Nevada-Las Vegas) found surprisingly little previous research on their subject: the habits and motivations of online gamblers, who contribute to a $10 billion a year industry.

Their study found that, unlike casino gamblers, who seek thrills and social experiences, online gamblers seek the anonymity their home computers provide. "For casino gamblers, gambling provides a perceived social connection with unknown others in a sense of shared fates and temporary community. Online gamblers, on the contrary, perceive a lack of social connections in the online realm."

The researchers conducted a study of 30 Las Vegas gamblers. Ten were online gamblers and 20 were casino gamblers, and all considered themselves to be regular gamblers. The study involved in-depth interviews using visual images and collages created by the participants.

In the course of the study, the authors found significant differences in perceptions and attitudes between people who gamble in casinos and people who gamble on their home computers. Because sensations are not as intense in online gambling, online gamblers tend to play for longer amounts of time, and they think they’re more in control of their gambling, the authors found.

The authors believe that regulating online gambling may remove the excitement of doing something illicit.

"When gambling consumption moves into the home, gambling behavior becomes a part of everyday living. When not seen as reserved solely as behavior for an outing, gambling is more likely to become an insidiously integrated component of a consumer’s life," the authors conclude.

Research report; June Cotte and Kathryn A. Latour. "Blackjack in the Kitchen: Understanding Online Versus Casino Gambling" Journal of Consumer Research: February 2009.

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Alcohol Commercials Increase Drinking

Couple watching movie in the theater uid 1176328 Alcohol Commercials and Movie Scenes Influence Drinking

In this study participants who watched films accompanied by alcohol commercials were more likely to drink beer or wine during the movies than those who viewed the flick minus the alcohol ads, according to researchers.

HealthDay News reported March 4 that the study involved 40 young Dutch men ages 18 to 29 who were invited to watch the movie ‘American Pie’ (which contained extensive drinking scenes) or ’40 Days and 40 Nights’ (which only had a few scenes with alcohol) in a home cinema equipped with a stocked refrigerator.

Those who watched the films interrupted by two alcohol ads drank more than the control group, and those who watched American Pie drank more than those who viewed 40 Days and 40 Nights. "Our study showed that the portrayal of alcohol and drinking characters in movies directly leads to more alcohol consumption in young adult male viewers when alcohol is available within the situation," the authors concluded.

"It’s one of those things the majority of people have assumed to be the case, but it’s nice to have the empirical evidence," said Jeffrey T. Parsons, chair of the psychology department at Hunter College, who was not affiliated with the study.

The research was published online in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

From; Join Together Online

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The twelve-step recovery model of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA logo 2 The twelve-step recovery model of AA: a voluntary mutual help association

Alcoholism treatment has evolved to mean professionalized, scientifically based rehabilitation.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is not a treatment method; it is far better understood as a Twelve-Step Recovery Program within a voluntary self-help/mutual aid organization of self-defined alcoholics.

The Twelve-Step Recovery Model is elaborated in three sections, patterned on the AA logo (a triangle within a circle): The triangle’s legs represent recovery, service, and unity;

  • The circle represents the reinforcing effect of the three legs upon each other as well as the "technology" of the sharing circle and the fellowship.
  • The first leg of the triangle, recovery, refers to the journey of individuals to abstinence and a new "way of living."
  • The second leg, service, refers to helping other alcoholics which also connects the participants into a fellowship.
  • The third leg, unity, refers to the fellowship of recovering alcoholics, their groups, and organizations.

The distinctive AA organizational structure of an inverted pyramid is one in which the members in autonomous local groups direct input to the national service bodies creating a democratic, egalitarian organization maximizing recovery.

Analysts describe the AA recovery program as complex, implicitly grounded in sound psychological principles, and more sophisticated than is typically understood.

AA provides a nonmedicalized and anonymous "way of living" in the community and should probably be referred to as the Twelve-Step/Twelve Tradition Recovery Model in order to clearly differentiate it from professionally based twelve-step treatments.

From; Borkman T. The twelve-step recovery model of AA: a voluntary mutual help association. Recent Dev Alcohol. 2008;18:9-35.

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12 Steps to Wisdom

Step ladder Twelve Step recovery wisdom can benefit everyone

All of us—recovering alcoholics, addicts and non-addicts alike—can benefit from the practical wisdom of the Twelve Steps, first adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and subsequently adapted by other groups whose members struggle with various forms of addictive behavior.

Recovering people know they are always vulnerable to relapse. That knowledge keeps them vigilant, and that’s why they take a mind, body and spirit approach to life every day to avoid slipping into behaviors that caused them and their loved ones so much pain.

The strategies those in recovery employ to keep themselves clean, sober and serene are also good prevention tools. Awareness of what behaviors or “mind games” can lead to relapse can also keep a non-alcoholic person from turning to alcohol or drugs in the first place as an escape from problems, feelings, or situations that may seem unbearable.

In his book “12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery: Avoiding Relapse through Self-Awareness and Right Action”, Allen Berger talks about some self-destructive behaviors that can sabotage recovery. His straightforward advice easily translates to everyone who seeks to live a more balanced life in which individuals tap inner strengths, their higher power, and healthy resources instead of turning to destructive behaviors or mood-altering substances.

For example, Berger cautions readers to be aware of “self-erasure” and self-hate. Self-erasing, a term coined by psychiatrist and writer Theodore Isaac Rubin, is an inappropriate dependency on others and the obsessive need to be liked.

When we self-erase, we try to become invisible by avoiding conflict and rejection, by denying our own needs, and by stifling our own opinions. In short, Berger says we give way to fear and abandon ourselves, thinking others have the power to make us feel good or bad. “This leads to an avoidance of both authenticity and intimacy,” he writes.

“If we are self-erasing, we are sabotaging our life. Any life based on a rejection of or alienation from self is doomed to failure.”

He says self-hate starts when we don’t live up to the person we think we should be. “When we don’t live up to our ‘shoulds,’ we despise ourselves,” says Berger, leaving us to feel unworthy of help, joy, happiness, success, freedom or love, and making us vulnerable to addiction or relapse.

The Twelve Steps encourage people to take an honest look at themselves and, by practicing spirituality and humility, place “self” within a larger and more realistic framework. “We must accept that life can be difficult and that most of the time the path of least resistance isn’t the best one,” says Berger. “We need to quit trying to get other people to yield to our demands so that we can feel better about ourselves.”

At AA meetings, members are often reminded that they are “as sick as their secrets.” The more honest we are with ourselves and with others, the more genuine our lives and our relationships will be. Abandoning our false selves leads us to a solid place of integrity, which Berger defines as “wholeness: a process in which we are committed to respecting our true or spiritual self.”

Recovery is called a “process” or “journey” because those in recovery know it is an unending endeavor that requires daily diligence. For instance, recovering people don’t just “make amends” one time for hurts they have caused others. They understand that they are imperfect humans who will make more mistakes. Instead of excusing themselves or blaming others for harmful or inappropriate behavior, they learn to acknowledge their own mistakes when they occur and try to repair any damage they have done. This practice, although difficult, can benefit everyone because it strengthens humility, lessens anger and resentment, and improves relationships.

You don’t have to be a recovering alcoholic to benefit from the volumes of sound advice those in recovery have to share.

AA has been with us since 1935, and the principles on which it was founded are timeless for some very good reasons: they make sense and they work.

Alive & Free is a health column that offers information to help prevent and address addiction and substance abuse problems. For more resources check the Web site at www.hazelden.org.

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          12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery: Avoiding Relapse Through Self-Awareness and Right Action
by Allen Berger Ph.D.

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The Soul of Recovery

The Soul of Recovery: Uncovering the Spiritual Dimension in the Treatment of Addictions

Millions of alcoholics and addicts recover through spirituality. In The Soul of Recovery: Uncovering the Spiritual Dimension in the Treatment of Addictions, author and journalist Christopher D. Ringwald tells how and why they seek and achieve these transformations.

Ranging as far back as the Washingtonian Total Abstinence Society in 1840, Ringwald discusses the use of spirituality within a wide range of treatment options — from the famous Twelve Step-style programs to those tailored to the needs of addicted women, Native Americans, or homeless teens not ready to quit. Focusing on the results rather than the validity of beliefs espoused by these programs, he demonstrates how addicts recover through practices such as self-examination, meditation, prayer and reliance on a self-defined higher power.

Ringwald traveled across the country to visit dozens of programs and interview hundreds of addicts, alcoholics, counselors, family members, doctors and scientists. Many share moving stories of suffering, survival, and redemption. Ringwald also examines the controversies surrounding faith-based treatment and the recovery movement, from the conflict between science and spirituality, to skepticism about the “new age” brand of spirituality these programs encourage, to constitutional issues over court-mandated participation in allegedly religious treatment programs.

“An impressive, straightforward synthesis of diverse and controversial issues.”–Library Journal

“An encouraging, well-researched book on an important topic.”–Publishers Weekly

“A sober and well-documented look at some of the unquestioned claims of the burgeoning recovery movement. What makes ‘The Soul of Recovery’ stand out from the pack is the way Ringwald approaches the recovery movement as a journalist, not as an evangelist or protagonist. He understands the power of spirituality in treating substance abuse, yet still asks some hard questions.”–San Francisco Chronicle

“An articulate and extremely well-reported exploration of how nurturing spiritual beliefs can help addicts recover. As such, The Soul to Recovery is a much-needed and welcome antidote to the prevailing medical paradigm that chalks up troubled human behavior to ‘abnormal brain chemistry,’ amenable to a pharmaceutical solution. Ringwald shows that the paths to addiction are many, and that the most successful treatment programs are those that help heal the mind and soul.”–Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill

“The Soul of Recovery captures beautifully the role of spirituality in the treatment and recovery of people with addictions. Not only is it immensely informative, but the writing style is captivating, passionate and powerful.”–Harold G. Koenig, co-author of the Handbook of Religion and Health

          The Soul of Recovery: Uncovering the Spiritual Dimension in the Treatment of Addictions
by Christopher D. Ringwald

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Benefits of Recovery from Alcoholism

 

There are two benefits from recovery: we have short-term gains and long-term gains.

The short-term gains are the things we can do today that help us feel better immediately.

We can wake up in the morning, read for a few minutes in our meditation book, and feel lifted. We can work a Step and often notice an immediate difference in the way we feel and function. We can go to a meeting and feel refreshed, talk to a friend and feel comforted, or practice a new recovery behavior, such as dealing with our feelings or doing something good for ourselves, and feel relieved.

There are other benefits from recovery, though, that we don’t see immediately on a daily or even a monthly basis. These are the long-term gains, the larger progress we make in our life.

Over the years, we can see tremendous rewards. We can watch ourselves grow strong in faith, until we have a daily personal relationship with a Higher Power that is as real to us as a relationship with a best friend.

We can watch ourselves grow beautiful as we shed shame, guilt, resentments, self-hatred, and other negative buildups from our past.

We can watch the quality of our relationships improve with family, friends, and spouses. We find ourselves growing steadily and gradually in our capacity to be intimate and close, to give and receive.

We can watch ourselves grow in our careers, in our ability to be creative, powerful, productive people, using our gifts and talents in a way that feels good and benefits others.

We discover the joy and beauty in ourselves, others, and life.

The long-term progress is steady, but sometimes slow, happening in increments and often with much forward and backward movement. Enough days at a time of practicing recovery behaviors and piling up short term gains leads to long-term rewards.

Today, I will be grateful for the immediate and long-term rewards of recovery. If I am new to recovery, I will have faith that I can achieve the long-term benefits. If I’ve been recovering for a while, I will pause to reflect, and be grateful for my overall progress.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie.

          The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series)
by Melody Beattie

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