• relapse quote
    Self Inflicted Wounds Self Inflicted Wounds

    Self Inflicted Wounds

Self Inflicted Wounds

If we did autopsies on relapses, the most prevalent listed finding would be: Relapse due to self inflicted wounds.  Self inflicted wounds occur when we focus the considerable self destructive weapons in our arsenal, to hurt and maim, our oldest, truest friend, ourselves.  One addict explains, “I got all up in my head,” preceding the damage report. Who hasn’t observed a friend having a world class pity party, on his way to acting out. These are the self inflicted wounds. Many deal with issues not of their own making, unrequested trauma, genetic or cultural issues not of their choosing. These […]

  • 2nd hand
    2nd Hand Addiction 2nd Hand Addiction

    2nd Hand Addiction

2nd Hand Addiction

The dangers of secondhand smoke have become well known and many in the community are pushing to protect children. But cigarette smokers, however, are not the only ones that compromise the health of their family with addictive behavior. Misusers of alcohol, drugs and those engaged in process addictions (sex, gambling, shopping) create emotional dysfunction that intrudes into the lives of those within the addict’s sphere of influence and challenge their well-being. While the addict may not be exposing others to a physical drug as the smoker does with nicotine, the intrusion remains real. It doesn’t stop with just family but […]

  • fat lady3
    Recovery, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over Recovery, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

    Recovery, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Recovery, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Yogi Berra taught us all that it ain’t over til the fat lady sings!  The process of recovery has a similar final act. To the general public, the term “recovery” is seen as “someone who is trying to stop using alcohol or other drugs.” (NCADD)   It then follows that the process of recovery is accomplished when we stop using.  Achieving the thing we call sobriety. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently undertook to quantify what the process of recovery might look like.  Their work yielded this definition:  “Recovery is a process of change whereby individuals […]

  • dd99cac75f042c3e36d72b677a982f92-1
    My Higher Power and Me My Higher Power and Me

    My Higher Power and Me

My Higher Power and Me

There was a tremendous spurt of recovery for me when I first heard the phrase, “Turn my mind and will over to my Heavenly Father for His care and keeping.”  My up bringing had included faith and regular interaction with God, but I had never contemplated that my submission to Him should be so described. I guess I held a sort of Old Testament view of Him being the “great and terrible” and my job was to run around and keep as many of those commandments as I could to avoid being outside when the door was shut. As I began […]

  • drug deal
    We aren’t winning the War on Drugs! We aren’t winning the War on Drugs!

    We aren’t winning the War on Drugs!

We aren’t winning the War on Drugs!

In 1971, President Richard Nixon first declared a national “war on drugs,” asking for $84 million as he told Congress that drug abuse had “assumed the dimensions of a national emergency.” President Ronald Reagan re-affirmed a national commitment in 1982, declaring “illicit drugs to be a threat to U.S. national security.” According to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, the war hasn’t gone all that well. “I think we have spent tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars on the so-called War on Drugs. Well, we’ve lost.” For perspective, some 22.5 million Americans ages 12 or older (8.75 percent […]

  • shopping2
    Shopping Addiction Shopping Addiction

    Shopping Addiction

Shopping Addiction

Anything that can alter our mood, (and, interestingly, not always to feel better) can become the object of our addiction.  Compulsive behavior comes in many forms, Roger’s recent KSL article (http://www.ksl.com) explores shopping addictions. It sounded like a self-introduction you would hear at any other 12 step meeting, “My name is Buzz, and I am” … and here is where it changes, “a shopaholic.” Eyes may roll and heads shake at that declaration. “Does everything have to be an addiction these days?” skeptics ask. Buzz elaborates and repeats his declaration, “In the past few years, I’ve bought 81 leather jackets. […]

  • cemetary
    Sometimes it takes all we have, even our lives. Sometimes it takes all we have, even our lives.

    Sometimes it takes all we have, even our lives.

Sometimes it takes all we have, even our lives.

This letter to the editor from the Austin Chonicle tells an all too familiar story. Our addictions require an accounting, a settling up. They come at a cost, sometimes we don’t have enough to lose and our life is also required. It is one of the great tragedies of our times, and also, one of the realities. On Sunday, my friend of 24 years, Debbie, died in St. David’s South Austin Medical Center from a cocaine-related heart attack. She was 53 years old. Thirty-eight years of heroin, cocaine, and pills had taken their toll. She always thought it was OK […]