It works, IF….

I just celebrated my 28th year sober from alcohol and drugs.  I write that only to indicate that I know something about this thing we call “recovery”, even if I haven’t done it perfectly.

Over the years I’ve heard and read many times that AA and the other 12-step programs don’t really work very well; that they are effective for only a relatively small percentage of people; that the statistics show — blah, blah, blah.  Putting aside the fact that since those programs don’t keep statistics (So from whence came that so-called data?), I’d have to say that I agree with them, but only with a major qualification. Continue reading “It works, IF….”

Addiction is a disease, and we should treat it like one

Ted Talk: Addiction is a disease and we should treat it like one.

 

Dental Pain Isn’t the End Of The World

giraffe-tongueI just had a tooth pulled.  It was a simple extraction: took about 2 minutes (really), including the cleanup of the socket (eeeeew!).  Never felt a thing.  

Afterward the dentist gave me all the standard instructions, including his recommendations for analgesics if needed, and said if I needed something stronger to give him a call.  I explained that I’m in recovery and don’t do drugs, but that I’d gotten through abscesses before with nothing but ibuprofen and I was sure I’d be okay. Continue reading “Dental Pain Isn’t the End Of The World”

A group of middle-aged whites in the U.S. is dying at a startling rate

The mortality rate for white men and women ages 45-54 with less than a college education increased markedly between 1999 and 2013, most likely because of problems with legal and illegal drugs, alcohol and suicide, the researchers concluded. Before then, death rates for that group dropped steadily, and at a faster pace.

An increase in the mortality rate for any large demographic group in an advanced nation has been virtually unheard of in recent decades, with the exception of Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union. MORE…

Addiction News

College students say prescription stimulants easy to find on campus

Posted: 16 Oct 2015 08:56 AM PDT

Seven out of 10 college students say it is somewhat or very easy to obtain controlled stimulants without a prescription, according to a new survey conducted on eight US campuses.

Nicotine gives brain more codeine relief, risk of addiction

Posted: 16 Oct 2015 08:55 AM PDT

Nicotine use over time increases the speed that codeine is converted into morphine within the brain, by increasing the amount of a specific enzyme, according to new research in rat models. It appears smokers’ brains are being primed for a bigger buzz from this common pain killer — which could put them at a higher risk for addiction, and possibly even overdose. These findings are part a new way of seeing the brain’s role when it comes to drugs and toxins.

Brief interventions in primary care clinics could curb patients’ drug use

Posted: 16 Oct 2015 06:41 AM PDT

A few minutes of counseling in a primary care setting could be an effective tool in steering people away from risky drug use, and possibly full-fledged addiction, a new report suggests. The researchers found that this sort of intervention helped patients reduce their risky drug use by one-third.

Excessive alcohol use continues to be drain on American economy

Posted: 16 Oct 2015 05:48 AM PDT

Excessive alcohol use continues to be a drain on the American economy, according to a study. Excessive drinking cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink, a significant increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006. Most of these costs were due to reduced workplace productivity, crime, and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking.

Choices

by Bill

My friend Rodney died a year ago today.   He wasn’t defeated by his addictions, because he had plenty of experience in dealing with them both inside and outside of treatment.  He was killed by his choices.

Rodney and I were roommates in treatment.  I was there — after 23+ years “sober” in the beverage and pharmaceutical programs — to deal at last with my sex addiction issues.  Rodney was an equal opportunity addict like myself.  He had varying lengths of time abstinent in AA and NA (several years, this time), but had never dealt with the feelings surrounding his sexual issues, including early abuse.   He knew his triggers, too: he’d pick up the wrong guy, have a little liquid courage to facilitate the relationship, and eventually they’d end up doing drugs together.  That had led to HIV and acute pancreatitis, among other things.  He could not afford to drink again.

I don’t know what demons of his remained to be exorcised, but a few weeks after leaving residential treatment but while still in Intensive Outpatient, he made the choice to work on his chemical addictions while “taking a break” from his sex addiction program.  A couple of weeks after that, he began avoiding my phone calls, and within a few more weeks I heard at a meeting that he was dead.  He’d been found in his apartment, surrounded by empty beverage containers.

My friend knew that a relapse would kill him.  He had trouble managing his physical issues when he wasn’t drinking.  He also knew, from many previous relapses, that his Achilles’ heel was relationships.  He sponsored people in AA.  He was active in his fellowships.  But for whatever reason, he failed to heed the multiple warnings of his experience, his therapist, his medical team and his friends in the program.  He made the wrong choices, despite knowing better.

I’ll never know why, but I can make a pretty good guess.  As a gay male, he had faced harassment all his life, including both sexual and emotional abuse from childhood.  He had sought solace and to silence his demons through drugs and sexual acting out, but whatever those demons were, he ultimately made the choice to do the very things that he knew would probably kill him — and I know he knew, because he said so to me on several occasions.

We are powerless over our addictions, but we are not powerless over our choices.  Relapses occur before we act out, and there is always a point where we can head in another direction, choosing our recovery over our fear of discovering more about who we are.  Rodney taught me that, and a lot more.  I miss him every day.

Rest in peace, my friend.  You were a powerful support for lots of folks, including me.  I sure wish you hadn’t chosen to be an example as well.

Posted from WordPress for Android

James Taylor: ‘A big part of my story is recovery from addiction’ – Telegraph

“One thing that addiction does is, it freezes you. You don’t develop, you don’t learn the skills by trial and error of having experiences and learning from them, and finding out what it is you want, and how to go about getting it, by relating with other people.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopfeatures/11679104/James-Taylor-A-big-part-of-my-story-is-recovery-from-addiction.html

Posted from WordPress for Android