Support Groups

A Letter To A Friend In Treatment

Dear Ed, Addicts are people who don’t want to: don’t want to feel the pain, don’t want to be uncomfortable, don’t want to feel funny, don’t want to experience the negative at all.  But if we avoid all seemingly negative experiences, how will we appreciate it when we’re having a positive one?  How will we …

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What A Perfect Excuse To Get Wasted!

A young woman I knew killed herself last year. The details don’t matter, but for the sake of anyone dealing with depression in themselves or a family member, I will mention that she had gone off her meds and was drinking. That’s not why I’m writing, though. The anniversary is coming up two weeks from Saturday, and …

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Wherever you go, there you are…

Around the recovery community we often hear the expression “geographical cure.”  This refers to the seemingly obvious fact that regardless of where we go, we take our personalities, problems, and the ways we cope with issues right along with us.  In fact, “geographicals” are a physical expression of denial. Addiction is a disease.  As such, it does …

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Happy Birthday AA — 75 Years and Counting

June 10th, 2010, marks the 75th birthday of Alcoholics Anonymous, the first effective treatment for addiction. The American Medical Association began defining alcoholism as a disease in 1956. Not too long thereafter, they included other forms of addiction as well, but for some reason the disease concept of addiction has failed to gain wide public understanding. …

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It Works If You Work It

My wife and I are taking the next few days off. We’re driving up to Melbourne, where she will attend a conference of addiction counselors while I goof off, take pictures, and find things for us to do in her off hours. We’ll probably catch a meeting or two. A seaside hotel, ocean view. What’s …

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So Much For “Just Say No!”

Addiction occurs in the sub-cortical portion of the brain — the so-called “primitive brain” that evolved long before the relatively recent development of the cerebral cortex and its ability to reason. These parts of the brain are not subject to coercion, logic, willpower, or thinking problems away. They are the parts that control the functions …

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PAWS Can Smack You Upside The Head If You’re Not Ready For It

You can hang around recovery groups for a long time without hearing people mention PAWS, or Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome.  That’s too bad, because it is one of the major causes (if not the major cause) of relapse in the first couple of years. Without getting into a lot of detail here, let’s talk about PAWS for a …

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What We Would Not Do For Ourselves

There’s a quote from the AA Big Book about God “doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”  Now before you get all excited, this is not a religious screed, and I don’t talk religion here — although I may mention spirituality from time to time, which is not the same thing. But there is something about …

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