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Image on Opioid deaths speaks volumes

Image on Opioid deaths speaks volumes

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I was at a conference on addiction and one of the presenters showed a graphic on opioid deaths which shook me to the core.  I know its bad anybody involved in treatment of addiction or law enforcement know how bad it is but this image from the CDC speaks 100,000 words.  I hear lots of rhetoric from Washington but when will we see progress? The pharmaceutical industry keeps making these drugs and although there are steps in place to curb prescribing by doctor’s who were also duped by the pharmaceutical industry the deaths keep rising.  When will we see the class actions law suits against the pharmaceutical industry that we saw against the tobacco companies.  The absolute tragedy of this is that it could have been avoided if we did not live in a capitalist society where profits trumps everything.

Its time for action, these avoidable deaths are a disgrace to our nation and its time to do stop talking and take action.

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Heroes in Recovery 6k – Gilbert Arizona 18 December 2016

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Heroes in Recovery 6k – Arizona  presented by Foundations in Recovery Network—one kilometer for each letter in the word HEROES.  Registration is open now for the run in Gilbert, AZ on December 18th.  The charity beneficiary of this event is Step One, Inc. that works to get newly sober individuals into 12 Step treatment programs including attending daily meeting and getting a 12 step sponsor without the high cost of a rehab facility.

Addiction and mental illness are very real struggles that affect nearly a quarter million people in the US; unfortunately only a small percentage, about 3 million, seek help and treatment for their addiction.  For many the stigma of admitting to others that they have a problem and asking for help is too much. To help bridge that gap Heroes in Recovery has stepped in.  They seek to collect stories of recovering addicts, heroes, and their loved ones to spread hope and inspiration for those still struggling.  The goal is to build and support an engaged, active recovery community and one of the ways they accomplish that is through the Heroes in Recovery 6k.

Recovery requires support and community; Heroes in Recovery seeks to be a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves.  Come be a part of removing the stigma of addiction. Get your running shoes on and click here to sign up for this great cause. 

For more information go to http://heroesinrecovery.com/heroes6k/arizona/

 

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Tell Your Story for National Recovery month.

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September is National Recovery Month.  You can find details of activities and initiatives on https://www.recoverymonth.gov/.

This year’s theme is Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery.  We invite our Community to contribute their stories, which we will publish on our site https://www.drugrehabcomparison.com/stories-of-recovery/ .  Whether you are an addict, an addict in recovery or have a loved one with an addiction, telling your story can offer inspiration and strength to others and takes the power out of your addiction.  If you wish to take part in our Recovery Month Initiative you can submit your story to ourstoriesdrc@gmail.com.  As a “Thank You” for participating, all our contributors will be entered into a draw for a $100 Amazon gift certificate at the end of the month.

Watch Recovery Month’s PSA below

 

 

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Medical Marijuana and alcoholism recovery….Is it safe?

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Dealing with Chronic Pain in Recovery

My name is Amelia and I have been a sober alcoholic for 20 years.  I never thought 20 years ago that one day I would actually seriously consider the use of medical marijuana.  This is my story.

I rarely used other drugs unless at a party and a joint was being passed Chronic painaround.  I tried cocaine and speed once.   My drug of choice was always alcohol.  Well to be more precise alcohol chose me.  After spiraling into chronic alcoholism and watching members of my own family die from the disease I finally got sober.  It was a long journey and I would say I have now been emotionally as well as physically sober for 15 of the last 20 years.  About 10 years ago at the age of 46 I started to have chronic health issues.  I have arthritis and I started to suffer from debilitating  pain on a daily basis.  I could not sleep from pain and two years later my autoimmune system and adrenals failed.  I could hardly function.  Thanks to the fact that I was self-employed as I was able to work a schedule around my health issues and continue to earn a living.  I continued to be a very active member of AA.

Traditional Medical approach to pain

I started a process of trying to find relief from chronic pain and needless to say my joints were degenerating due to my arthritis.  I saw 4 rheumatologists and was offered biologics as the first option of treatment.  Over the next few years I tried every biologic on the market.  The results were the same each time some relief from the arthritis but after a few months I got liver problems from the drugs which meant I had to come off them.  If you have ever used a biologic you will know it is not an easy process you have to first be tested for TB, then approved by the insurance.  The medicine is delivered to your home and you have to keep it refrigerated.  If you travel you must travel with the medicine in a cool box, declare it to the TSA, and go through a rigorous process to get through security.   Despite telling all the doctors that I was a recovering alcoholic, the effects of biologics on the liver were ignored.

Humira, one of these drugs, provided relief the longest, about 6 months.  At 6 months I broke out in a rash and had elevated liver enzymes the same as each time before.  Five Biologics later my then Rheumatologist suggested another one.  I pointed out that I did not want to go through that again and we discussed other options.   These options were limited, but I could continue on methotrexate and take Prednisone for the pain and inflammation.  This led to the biggest nightmare of all as the Prednisone destroyed my adrenal function and I now had chronic pain and complete exhaustion to deal with.   I became completely frustrated and quit all medication except for ibuprofen.   I ate healthy and exercised the little bit I was capable of.  I had to see an endocrinologist to address the hormonal deficiencies and I was told I had an under-active thyroid.  I became despondent that I would ever feel well again and became severely depressed.  It is important to note that at this point I was told by my AA sponsor that if I took an anti-depressant I was no longer sober.  In fact, the same sponsor told me that she had to check all my nutritional supplements and approve them.  My sponsor was a sales rep for a chemical company, not a doctor.   It was then that I realized that when Bill Wilson said in the Big Book to rely on outside help as needed, that I had to walk away from sponsors who were erroneously trying to influence my health. With the exception of opioid painkillers, I put all options on the table.    Chronic pain is exhausting by itself, add to that the exhaustion of adrenal fatigue, lack of sleep and an under-active thyroid and quality of life falls through the floor.

Medical Marijuana – Seeking controversial relief outside of AA

medical marijuanaIn an effort to find some answers, I saw a naturopath. I felt there were no answers for me in traditional medicine.  I managed to balance some of the hormone issues with supplements and diet, but the pain continued.  I spoke to the doctor about medical marijuana and he encouraged me to look into it.  I did a lot of research and a whole lot of soul searching. Finally, due to the fact that medical marijuana is legal in my state, I started the process.  I was still very nervous, not because I was afraid I would become addicted, but about what my AA friends would say if I went through with it.  I deliberately chose CBD oil and started the process of testing other options to change my sleep pattern, another big problem causing the drop in quality of life.  My research showed that cannabinoids, not THC, was the best option for arthritis. Therefore, I sought a solution without THC and thanks to a CNN documentary and the advice of the consultant at the MMJ dispensary  I chose a hemp oil called Charlotte’s Web.

I tried that first as it does not contain any THC, the ingredient in Marijuana which makes you high.  Within 1 month the pain had subsided, the swelling had eased and I felt better overall.  I then decided to try other MMJ products to address the sleep problems.  After a number of attempts at smoking different strains I gave up. I literally cannot stand the taste and it hurt my chest.  I have been told by others and the consultant at the dispensary that smoking is very effective but I just could not stand it.   I have now settled for using MMJ edibles and I take a piece of candy two hours before bed. These are 10Mg of Marijuana each and I sleep 8-9 hours a night.  In addition to the MMJ products, I take Syntroid for my thyroid and methotrexate for my immune system.  I also take 10mg of Lexapro daily to help ease the depression.   I am still not in full health, but I am miles away from where I was when using biologics and steroids that cost me thousands of dollars every month.  My MMJ costs $100 per month.  For me this was the best decision I could have made for my health.

Conclusion:

In summary, I believe there is a role for MMJ in recovery. Especially for those of us who suffer from chronic illness and pain that MMJ has been proven to help with.  From an addiction standpoint it is much safer than opioids for pain.  I have told my new sponsor and she fully supports my decision to address my health as I see fit with my doctor.  To be clear I do not use marijuana to get high, I treat it as any other medicine and use it as advised.  My sobriety is precious to me and I hope by the grace of God to stay sober until the day I die.  To the critics in AA I want to remind you of the basic AA principal, “All that is required for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” I have had a desire to stop drinking for 20 years and with the help of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous I have stayed sober all that time.  The idea that there is a solution for me which I have to stay away from because of stigma in AA simply puts me in victim mode and that is more dangerous to my sobriety than Medical Marijuana.  I also know recovering alcoholics who have relapsed due to Marijuana use, but quite frankly based on what I observed about their commitment to sobriety they would have relapsed anyways.  Understand this is my personal experience and I would never attempt to influence another’s decision on their health.   I learned that the hard way in AA with the way my sponsors treated me. I had more issues with the guilt that I was dosed with by well meaning but frighteningly under-qualified individuals than with  the actual decision to try and use MMJ.    I hope that by sharing my personal story that AA members seeking help from chronic pain will benefit from a different viewpoint.

Road to Health

 

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Overcoming Masturbation Addiction

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Research and studies suggest that sexual addiction is a psychological issue.  Many people who suffer from a sex addiction have a history of mental health issues or disorders that can be linked to their behaviour.  Some use sexual acts to achieve a release or a high which helps them to deal with day to day stresses and anxieties.  While a specific definition has not been penned, sexual addiction is largely accepted as an inability to control or manage one’s sexual behavior.  Science shows that sexual acts or watching pornography have an effect on the brain and can influence people’s behaviour.  Like most other addictions sexual addiction seems to be influenced by a combination of physiology, psychology and behaviour patterns.  

Understanding Sexual Addiction 

A sexual addiction can be extremely debilitating and can exist in various forms.  Sexual addiction accounts for addictions to pornography, masturbation and sexual intercourse.  In some severe cases the sexual adA young businessman is typing on a computer with one hand. His other hand is under the table and he is looking really excited.diction can include all of these behaviours.  It is also not uncommon to suffer from masturbation addiction and pornography addiction simultaneously.  Masturbation as with all things in moderation is a perfectly healthy sexual expression and is not dangerous or damaging from time to time.  As with any practice or behaviour it becomes a concern when it starts to have a negative impact on an individual’s life, affecting their health, personal relationships, or causing distress or isolation.  For people with a severe addiction to masturbation or pornography, they can lose hours and even days of their lives, due to the obsession and uncontrollable need to self pleasure.  Masturbation can often go unreported and many may trivialize its seriousness.  It is important to note that it is a serious, legitimate addiction which results in a loss of control, a preoccupation or obsession with the behaviour and a need to practice it despite negative life consequences.     

An addiction to masturbation can often signal a larger issue with sexual addiction and an addiction to sex in general.  In some cases masturbation is one aspect of an over active sex life, which possibly also results in having several sexual partners.  Masturbation may be used as a means to a sexual end in the case where a partner is not available.  Also many individuals who masturbate excessively also view an unhealthy amount of pornography.  This is not surprising as the two often go together as a pair with more and more people using pornography as a stimulant as part of their masturbation ritual.  

There is a difference in doing too much of something and actually being addicted, some people can masturbate regularly, to a point that some would consider it unhealthy but may not actually be addicted.  There are different levels of addiction but also different levels of desire, some people may healthy masturbate a few times per week whereas another individual may need to masturbate several times per day. The level of the problem is objective and really does depend specifically on the individual and the consequences, generally we know when there is a problem.

If you are masturbating so often that it dictates your schedule, becomes physically painful or causes you mental distress then it is most likely an addiction issue.  Serious addiction is evident in cases where people masturbate at inappropriate times, possibly at work or at a family function.  The need and desire to take part in this behaviour is so strong despite the possibility of damaging their reputation, relationships or overall health.  Other warning signs would be if the behaviour is having a negative effect on your relationships, causing you to choose the behaviour over people in your life.  If the high from what you are doing is increasingly short lived, the need to do it becoming more frequent and the negative consequences more obvious or increasing, then it is time to examine the possibility that you are an addict.  

All addictions come with a level of rationalization and a need to make excuses so as to normalize behaviour.  You may feel that while your behavior isn’t actually hurting anyone else then there is no need for you to stop.  If it’s hurting you, then it is hurting someone and you really need to take steps to address the behaviour.  Some people experience serious genital injury due to the frequency of masturbation, while others can become depressed or suffer from other mental health disorders due to the shame, isolation and guilt they experience.  If you feel your sexual behaviour has gotten out of control and worry you may have a  sexual addiction taking the Sex Addiction Screening Test might help to clarify this. 

Tackling the Addiction

Once you have acknowledged the issue and recognized your addiction, you are in a better position to take action and try to tackle it.  There are a range of alternatives available to you and the approach you choose is a personal choice and must be based on your specific circumstances and need.  Just wanting to stop isn’t enough and sadly some people become disheartened when the desire to stop and the ability to stop don’t match.  This can feed into the already strong sense of guilt and shame; this self-loathing is not helpful and really will only fuel the addiction.  You need to accept the addiction and allow some self love and understanding in order to begin the recovery process.  The huge step of recognizing you have a problem is one hurdle, but you should be prepared that overcoming it will be a journey and will take time, learning , personal growth and support .

Initially you could work out an approach independently, trying abstinence, or lessening the number of times you masturbate in a certain time frame.  Sometimes modifying your behaviour or making changes to your usual patterns can be effective but in severe cases it may not always prove successful.  This does not mean that you are doomed and will not be able to stop, it just means you will need some more structured and specific help and support from a professional.  In this situation it may require you to seek out a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting for support, allowing you to speak with others experiencing similar issues.  Speaking about the problem and naming it is a hugely important step as it breaks the secrecy and shame that comes with addiction.  You could also look for a sex therapist or specialist in your area, they can work with you on a specified approach or program to meet your needs, working towards satisfying your sexual desires in a healthy and controlled way.

Like all addictions there is no one size fits all and what works for one individual may not work for another.  If these options do not help with your addiction, there is also rehabilitation treatment programs.  You can choose to enter these programs on an outpatient basis or may feel that a residential program would be more beneficial.  An outpatient program will allow you to avail of  a program while continuing to live your day to day life; where as a residential program will give you the opportunity to focus exclusively and completely on your recovery.

Sex is a natural and healthy part of human life, this is why stopping completely can be very challenging.  The goal is to work out a balance that is safe and puts you in control of the sexual urges and impulses you have. A challenge with addressing a sexual addiction is that a high sex drive may be a biological issue and could actually require medication to to assist with abstinence initially and achieving a more healthy practice in the long term.  Seeking support from a professional and being informed about your addiction will assist you in deciding on the best approach for you.  

 

Sources:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/dr-laura-berman-masturbation-addiction.aspx

http://centerforhealthysex.com/faq/masturbation-addiction-faq

https://www.aasect.org/
http://www.psychguides.com/guides/sex-addiction-treatment-program-options/

 

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Can the Obama Administration conquer America’s drug problem?

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“I am a very strong believer that the path we have taken in the United States in the so-called war on drugs  has been so heavy in emphasizing incarceration that it has been counterproductive. You have young people who did not engage in violence who get very long penalties, who get placed in prison and then are rendered economically unemployable, are almost pushed into the underground economy, learn crime more effectively in prison — families are devastated. So it’s been very unproductive.”- Barack Obama; 2015

drugs, syringe, spoon, lighter and stoned male addictIt is the longest war in the history of the world, and so it continues. President after president, administration after administration have adopted a plethora of policies and strategies to curb the increasing epidemic of drug abuse, addiction and death in the United States. Some could say these efforts have been futile, with the problem growing year on year. As the Obama Administration is coming to it’s conclusion, can it affect real change in this so-called war? For those who believe that the approach to this issue has been wrong all these years, President Obama has changed the course of action being taken and paved the way to decriminalization of drug use, seeking to treat it as a serious public health issue.

The national plan for the administration’s drug policy was released in 2010. With just six months left can Obama conquer the epidemic, or at the very least leave a solid for foundation from which the battle can be fought. The premise of the National Drug Control Strategy is that reform in drug policy is essential in order to make gains and it should be rooted in scientific, evidence based prevention programs, increased access to treatment as well as an emphasis on recovery and finally criminal justice reform.

There is no doubt that a new approach is required and this strategy presents as the best option. The costs to our country economically and socially is and has been significant. In 2007, illicit drug use cost the US over €193 billion through loss of productivity, healthcare and criminal justice costs. There is a specific focus on opioid abuse and addiction, with a recognition of the huge impact prescription medication is having on America’s drug addiction problem. The White House sees the issue very clearly through stats provided by the Centre for Disease Control which show that opioids have killed 28,647 people in 2014, a four-fold increase in opioid overdoses since 2000. A problem of this magnitude requires careful and pertinent consideration and the Obama Administration’s strategy has been referred to as the 21st Century approach to drug policy. The national plan with a pragmatic approach, rooted in science and evidence outlines over 100 specific reforms in order to address the issue, protecting public health and safety in America.

The National Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit took place in March of this year and president Obama made very clear
his approach to the drugs issue. He reiterated what has been clear since the inaugural strategy of 2010 that they support prevention and treatment options as opposed to criminilization. The most significant investment in this plan is $94 in “new funding”, as well as $116 million specifically for treatment, a further $7 for the justice system in order to increase community policing. To hear Obama at the Summit, to review the Strategy and to consider the vastness of investment in this new approach you can’t help but feel optimistic. The war on drugs has failed miserably to date and in all instances it has been proven that prevention is better than cure.

The cost to the criminal justice system is staggering and a move from this method to an emphasis on prevention will alleviate this burden on our finances and our prison system. The strategy deems this the most cost effective way in reducing use and thus the consequences; this requires education, starting with young people. Research indicates that every dollar invested into school based substance use prevention programs can potentially save $18 is the costs related to substance use disorders. While recovery is a complex process and many failed attempts are synonymous with one’s journey, there are millions who have overcome their addiction only to be faced with barriers to their sobriety and life in general, these include housing, employment, loans and credit. The Administration intends to eliminate the legislation and regulations that create these barriers to Americans as well as the establishment of a Recovery Branch to support people during their recovery and to tackle the stigma associated with addiction. Obama’s recent announcements also show an increase in the level of intervention in the private sector. Initiatives in the private sector include one working with over 60 medical schools ensuring that students study recent guidelines from the Centre for Disease Control regards the prescription of opioids. These preventative and intervention measures backed by significant investment see an opportunity to change the face of the drugs problem in the America for good. But are some of these measures just patching over the cracks,as opposed to taking head on the possible root of the issue.

The drugs business is the third biggest in the world after oil and arms, with a value of £198 billion per year according to research undertaken by the United Nations. With an industry this lucrative and mega bucks to be made, can drugs really be eradicated from society? Policy attacks supply head on every time, if equal consideration was given to the reasons for demand we may be a little further along. Many of Drug Rehab Comparison’s pieces have looked at the war on drugs, its successes and failures. Specifically we looked at Vermont’s war on drugs and the stance of Governor Schumlin. He apologetically highlighted a huge contributing factor to the drugs issue, laying the blame clearly at the feet of poor regulation and legislation from the Food and Drugs Administration, in favour of big pharma. Has the Obama Administration been this clear?

 

 

Are millions of dollars of investment in re education, training, intervention and preventative measures in vain if addictive prescription medications continue to be allowed on the market, and are advertised and promoted like every day popular produce. This is the only country where prescription medication is publicly advertised, in all other countries around the world prescription meds are only advertised to those in the medical profession. Without a genuine allegiance with the people of the United States, with their health and well being the priority, will anything really change? In a profit driven system, facilitated by politicians, are the millions being invested to address the drugs problem being wasted. Obama’s commitment to truly overcoming this epidemic came into question just a month after his address at the National Drugs Summit. When he appointed Dr. Robert Califf as the new commissioner for the Food and Drugs Administration. Much of the new commissioner’s career has been funded by big pharma companies, a worrying pick from Obama considering what looks like an already very cosy relationship. In spite of all the positive steps taken, if Obama cannot say no to the big corporations, has he really got what it takes to conquer America’s drugs problem?

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/29/obama-administration-opioid-heroin-funds

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/29/barack-obama-drug-addiction-health-problem-not-criminal-problem

https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/drugpolicyreform
http://drugsafetynews.com/2016/04/20/obamas-pick-head-fda-worst-selection-ever/

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“Heroin AM”- Why are we laughing?

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A few weeks ago Saturday Night Live aired a seemingly witty, suggestive, and highly controversial satire.   The skit advertised what was a fake product, called “Heroin AM”.  The concept being that it helped people to remain productive while using heroin.  The ad mocked, jeered, minimized, trivialized and portrayed this epidemic as a over sensationalized drama.  I’m sure it got lots of laughs but for every person who found it funny, there were probably three more who it hurt and deeply offended.  When an issue destroys lives and has taken a devastating hold on our communities, it is not a laughing matter.  Trivialising issues such as racism and rape is no longer accepted as humorous by the majority.  We have seen and experienced the damage this ignorance has caused for far too long. Addiction in general is a serious disease that requires sensitivity, understanding and awareness.  Heroin addiction presently at it’s height, requires this consideration and attention even more.  The addiction rate and death rate continues to rise and we know from previous research on this site that this is a consequence of greedy pharmaceutical companies and blasè legislation and business as opposed to people centred, health promoting regulation.  

Non atypical individuals and groups around the country are turning to street heroin as a result of opiate addiction through potent and oversubscribed prescription medication.  The stories we have shared here at Drug Rehab Comparison of mother’s, father’s and family members who have watched their children and loved ones slip away, one day at a time until they are left with a person they do not recognise.  A person who cares about nothing except where their next hit of heroin is coming from.  If Saturday Night Live and the “comedians” involved in this skit find this comedic it may be worthwhile for them to meet with these families, attend the rehab units, go on patrol with preventative initiatives and teams or attend one of the many funerals as a result of overdose and addiction.    

Comedians try to push the envelope and humour is subjective but what is really shocking about this skit is that people in the medical profession and other news stations have approved, justified and obediently accepted this form of humor.  Some think we need to be able laugh at the scary issues, others feel it is a highly enlightened, intelligent piece, raising awareness of the number of seemingly normal people addicted to heroin.  Personally I don’t believe that this was the purpose, or the result and even if it was, it’s still a tasteless, crude and insensitive way to achieve it.  

“This skit is a savvy satire that portrays the medicalization and commercialization of a “street drug,” and that seemingly absurd scenario speaks to the underlying truth that a haywire medical system ruled by corporate greed, bad regulations and complacent doctors actually generated this problem in the first place.” – Ford Vox

I would question how many people perceived the skit in the way Ford Vox a physician and journalist outlined above.  This is why the skit is so dangerous, most will not interpret it as a ridiculing of the medicalization and commercialization of this street drug. Most people who watched and laughed, did so because they found the mocking of high functioning, successful addicts amusing. Some find the idea that there is a heroin epidemic amusing.  This is my issue with the skit and why I believe it is so damaging.  The acceptance of racism, sexism, homophobia and other toxic behaviors in our society is what allows them to thrive, and prevents us from genuinely tackling them.  These behaviors, jokes and slurs become more frequent, and slowly they take a place in our lives that seems totally normal and what becomes offensive is actually challenging them.

 

One Twitter user summed up this utter fail by Saturday Night Live perfectly;

Making fun of the #heroin epidemic is bad satire #snl. If you were poking the drug companies, the families are the ones who felt it.”

The skit was not an ingenious means of highlighting the issue, it was ignorant and insensitive.  This cannot be what the national conversation looks like, we cannot just laugh at something that is killing thousands of Americans every year.  Recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control shows that every 19 minutes someone in this country dies from an opioid overdose.  No we can’t all be expected to live under a dark cloud and feel bad for every bad choice or mistake another person makes but we can be respectful and informed.  We don’t have to be complicit in the epidemic to the point that heroin is normalized and accepted as just another issue in American society.  If we are all laughing can we really expect that politicians and those in positions of power will step up and take action. We all have a responsibility and we all have the potential to be touched by this epidemic.  

Heroin AM Skit- Saturday Night Live 

Referenced:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/19/opinions/snl-skit-julia-louis-dreyfus-heroin-vox/

 

 

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He’s drinking again… A daughter’s story

dylan No Comments

I am 29 years of age, I’ve known my alcoholic father for 29 years, and I’ve been aware of and felt the effects of his addiction for 26 years. Father and young daughter holding hands outside

While I have lived my own life, had my own trials and troubles, laughs, victories and dreams; my life has always to some extent, if I am completely honest revolved around him, his existence, mood, actions, behavior and above all his drinking. When he’s sober we are all happy for a little while because we get respite from the torture, uncertainty, chaos and panic that comes with his chronic alcoholism. But then it soon becomes clear that even though things aren’t quite as chaotic, they still aren’t really all that different. He’s still selfish, entitled, toxic, cruel and disrespectful, and he’s sober, so now there isn’t even an excuse. It took me a long, long time to understand this but it is what I understand now as being a dry drunk. You never stop being and alcoholic; if you drink you are right back to square one. But it’s not just about being sober and drink free, true recovery means much more than abstinence. It has to, because what you do when in the height of your addiction is so destructive and painful for everyone around you, you have to try and mend or at the very least acknowledge all this; to really, truly live a sober life.  My father never did this.  He never thought he had to, we didn’t deserve it, he didn’t have to answer to us and he wasn’t going to show any weakness.  In reality it would have shown amazing strength.

So when the novelty and expectant pats on the back die down after  his umpteenth time quitting drinking, we see him for what he really is- again. I’m always waiting for something to happen, for things to change, they never have. The dysfunction, toxicity and pain he inflicts is the same, but every day, every month every year it gets harder to be around because the scars get deeper each time and so it becomes more difficult to tolerate, harder to accept and easier to avoid.  It hurts too much.  Recovery for families, for me as a daughter is challenging, we have to recover to. I know after years of counselling and work on myself what I do right and what I do wrong in this situation. Little by little I learn more and I don’t just learn; I actually put the learning into practice. I realize I don’t have to accept certain behavior, I can remove myself from the drama but then all of a sudden, typical of a daughter of an alcoholic, I am eaten with guilt.  A guilt I still don’t really understand, one that makes me feel that somehow I should have been able to make it better, to make our relationship better to make him love me and care about me enough to say sorry.

He’s never said sorry, not really, not in a way that he takes ownership for what he has done, only in a way that explains away what he has done. My flaw is expectation, I know I shouldn’t expect anything and this is a basic rule for the families of an addict. But I do, I fool myself into thinking that this time sobriety will make him different; that he will want to be a dad and support me and encourage me and be proud of me and lift me up, instead of dragging me down. Expectation is what has left me in tears and in pain so many times, not him. Human nature is to always have hope and it’s my hope that has tortured me. It’s my wish that things had been different and my resentment that they weren’t.

Depressed womanTwo days ago I found out my dad was drinking again, my reaction shocked me. I cried and sobbed uncontrollably and again I wasn’t even really sure why. Possibly panic because I know everything that is to come or sadness that another opportunity for him to be my dad and for me to be his daughter was lost. I knew what people would say and even though I know I have no control over another person, I cringed at what he would do and how that would make me look.  I’m upset for selfish reasons but I think I have a right to be selfish sometimes too. I say it upsets me how I will look, but really I think it’s that he doesn’t care how I look, how it makes our family look or how it makes me feel.

It’s another slap in the face.

Today I read Courage to Change, page 180, June 28th. “Many alcoholics make a number of attempts at sobriety before actually getting sober; others never do. My life is too important to waste waiting for someone else’s choices, even when it’s someone I dearly love.” I have waited 29 years.

Guest Blogger- Maddie 

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Obama and Macklemore join forces to address Opioid Addiction

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Obama and Macklemore join forces to make this PSA video on Opioid Addiction.  Mackelmore is a former addict.  President Obama so eloquently explains that addiction doesnt start in a back alley but often in a medicine cabinet.  The horror of this epidemic is that it can fairly and squarely be blamed on the Pharma industry who put profits before research and doctor education on what they were doing.

Watch this excellent video.

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Drug Rehab Comparison launch FREE Addiction & Treatment Guide

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Drug Rehab Comparison (DRC) were excited and proud to announce the expansion of our services , with the publication of our new Addiction and Treatment Guide this week. The DRC team have spent months accumulating the content for this new informative guide.  We have combed through our research and articles over the past number of years, considered the information the public needs in order to tackle addiction and from there started compiling our guide.  The guide is made up of all our relevant research material, as well as current and up to date information from certified bodies such a the Center for Disease Control, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  

Our new guide allows visitors to the site to access key information from one easy to read source.    

  knowledge is powerRather than trawling through our research and articles or entering search after search online, we have gathered the information for you, and now you can access it on our website for free. Often the biggest issue for people suffering from addiction and their families is obtaining the correct information, having a clear understanding of addiction and knowing what steps to take in overcoming it.  Often with a lack of information and a limited understanding we can feel helpless and overwhelmed, making tackling a disease as powerful as addiction seem a daunting and impossible task.  We have always worked to offer advice and support to people suffering from or as a result of addiction and we want to continue this support and ensure we are meeting the needs of all visitors to our site.  Armed with the right information you can go on to work through an addiction, make an informed decision regards recovery and treatment, and set out on the worthwhile path to sobriety.  

 

Another unique and crucial element of our guide is that, not only is it based on comprehensive research but also on the expertise of a dedicated team and the experiences of a team that have a first hand understanding of addiction.  The learning and insight from people who have lived with addiction makes our guide specifically catered for the questions both addicts and their families often have. The DRC team is committed to educating and informing individuals and families about addiction so as to meaningfully address this issue and ensure that people have the opportunity to live healthy, happy and sober lives.  If you don’t quite understand what addiction is, if you think you or a family member may be addicted or maybe you have accepted your addiction and you don’t know what to do next then this guide will help.  It is available right now on our site through FREE download.  Please share with others who may be struggling or who you may feel would benefit from this information. We will continue our work to help people and families suffering at the hands of addiction and we are honoured to be able to do this.  

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