Chewing Coca Leaves – A Reservation for Relapse

I’m back from my trip to Peru. I was excited about going on this trip as it was going to be the first trip I’ve taken with a group. I usually travel alone, but this time I wanted to try something different. Prior to my trip I talked to several people about going to Peru[…]

Barbershop Wisdom

If you hang around the barber shop long enough you’re gonna get a haircut. This is usually meant to say the addict is headed for relapse, hanging around drug related people, places, and things. Why do you think the above “Barbershop” saying  has a negative spin? Social scientists have proven that we are highly influenced by others. I invite[…]

What About Smoking?

You are reminded in some self help groups that Alcohol is a drug. Seventy percent of addicts and eighty five percent of alcoholics smoke. Wow, talk about addiction.  Treatment programs talk about a holistic approach. They use a medical model, but they allow smoking. One of the excuses is “lets take care of one thing at a time”. Really?[…]

From Crisis To Calm

My son began smoking pot in middle school when he was fourteen.  His grades started declining and he became lethargic and had no interest in anything.  He got caught smoking pot in the tenth grade and was expelled. His father and myself decided to send him to a prep school.  His situation got worse as he[…]

Is There A Stigma Surrounding Addiction?

Stigma around addiction remains. Society still looks down upon addicts. There are those who see addicts as the bottom of the barrel, weak willed and choosing to ruin their lives. The stigma prevents some from getting help. Others do see them selves as, inferior, worthless and hopeless.  Addicts and alcoholics are not bad people. Their behavior can be bizarre,[…]

What is Structured Family Recovery™?

To start let’s talk about treatment and what treatment offers. Treatment offers stabilization for the addict and alcoholic in the acute phase of addiction. Most addicts and alcoholics can stay clean and sober during a detox or inpatient treatment, there are some exceptions. Addiction is  that “thing” takes over and even in the best conditions[…]

Part 2: The Path To Freedom Is Eliminating Shame

One common symptom of shame is developing codependent relationships with others. When working with others in their recovery one of the first things we learn is to be comfortable in your own skin – to love yourself unconditionally. If you love yourself unconditionally then you accept all the good and bad you have to offer,[…]

Part 1: “The Beginning” Shame and Addiction

With almost thirty years of recovery and twenty five years working in the addiction recovery field, I continue to evaluate barriers to recovery. What gets in the way of truly experiencing all recovery has to offer? My answer continues to be simple. Shame. It has taken me over half of my life not to view[…]

Recovery…Recovered That Is The Question (Part 2)

Everyone in addiction is different and goes through their own personal process of recovery. That is the beauty of us as individuals. Everyone has their own personal battles to overcome. Some may need medication to keep from using drugs. Being on a mood stabilizer can have its benefits in the short-term; however, in the long[…]

Recovery…Recovered That Is The Question (Part 1)

The 12 step programs says that once one is in recovery they are always in recovery. Some use the term “recovered” when speaking about overcoming their addiction to drugs and alcohol. Which is correct, in recovery or recovered? And does it matter? The terms we use to describe ourselves and others matter. Language matters; however,[…]