September 2017 Is National Recovery Month…New Article In “Keys To Recovery To Celebrate It!”

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I AM CELEBRATING NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH TO RAISE AWARENESS, EDUCATE, AND INFORM THE PUBLIC ~ GAMBLING ADDICTION IS A REAL ADDICTION…Sharing my newest article in “Keys To Recovery Newspaper!”

I happen to be reading an article the other day, in my AARP magazine, I receive each quarter. Now I know you are thinking? “What does Gambling have to do with AARP right?”

Well, there was a fantastic article, which called slot machines, “The New Electronic Crack.” It got me thinking about my old days, within my gambling addiction. What was the draw to slot machines for me? Was it all the lights, bells, and whistles? Or was it the disease itself with the constant racing thoughts, and triggers and urges abound? Do casinos really pump in oxygen to keep players alert?

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Well, I’m not sure, but anyone can become a gambling addict. Through my 10 and half years in recovery, I have advocated, written blogs and talked loudly about this illness. I remember when I first started communicating about gambling addictions, I actually had people leave comments on “How Stupid” it was for a person to become addicted to slot machines, and not horses, cards, or sports betting. Now, in their favor, back in the day, the most common gambling problems talked about, were sports and horse betting. Sometimes you’d hear talk about “rolling bones,” which is dice games. I took offense to some of the comments as it proved to me that first, how ignorant people can be when they are misinformed or have no education about this addiction. And second, that the STIGMA around gambling addiction was wide spread within the publics view.

Since moving to Arizona from South Oregon a few years ago, I was shocked to see how many Indian Casinos are all over Arizona. Now I know Oregon and California have casinos everywhere as well, but here, IT IS LIKE a Drug Addiction, and the Casinos are selling “Electronic Crack.” I feel it is time for this “drug” widespread as it is, and the dark side of this addiction needs to be exposed. It is time for the conversation, and awareness of the personal and financial hardship this addiction causes. Not only is it attacking our seniors, but it also has reached our kids. There are currently 17+million problem gamblers in the U.S. alone, HALF of who are high school and college kids, and now is another addiction parents have to talk to their children about, along with drugs and alcohol.

TIME TO WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Gambling addiction is the #1 addiction killing people by suicide. True! That is over drug and alcohol deaths.

Anyone can become addicted to gambling. When a person walks into a casino, they got YOU. It’s why there are no windows or clocks around inside. Ever notice that? And they offer you free drinks, and some are free alcohol. They send you coupons for free play, and discount hotel rooms and meals to keep you there longer. Marketing for casinos is a ploy to get you there and keep your money. Slot machines have the highest odds to the house as well. Which means, you rarely win. And now seniors are taking the hit. As the gambling industry booms, aggressive marketing tactics are targeting older patrons. Now, to be fair, not everyone is a problem gambler or becomes addicted. And No, I don’t feel it needs to be banned, ( not that it would ever happen!)  But the expansion and more access can make staying in recovery for many much harder.

In some of the past research I have done, when writing a post for another publication, I learned how seniors are becoming the target of predatory casino tactics. I read recently in AARP, of the 101 million visitors to America’s casinos in 2014 (the last year for which information was available), nearly half were age 55 or older, according to data from the gambling industry. In 2014, American casinos reported over $66 billion in gambling revenue, and much of that profit came from these older gamblers. Also shared in my AARP article I read, that a study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, revealed that many older adults viewed the casino as a place where they can socialize and escape from loneliness or grief. When we retire, we seem to have more time on our hands. Long gone are the days that you had to go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to gamble.

Showgirls at the Welcome Sign - 8-15-07

Showgirls at the Welcome Sign – 1968

 

Thanks to the boom of the Indian Gambling offerings as of 1988, when the ‘Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’ legalized casino development on Indian lands. That sparked a loosening of state prohibitions on gambling and a nationwide casino building boom. Today, over 1,400 casinos are open across 40 states so far. In those states, casinos were very attractive to seniors who prefer to drive themselves. States with bigger populations of adults over 55, includes Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and where I lived, in the state of Oregon previously. All of these states now have expanded Indian Casino gambling in recent years, and now, State Lottery offerings on top of all of the casino expansion!

For myself, I know what I felt when I would first walk into a casino seeing the lights flashing, the noise, music and people laughing and looking like they are having a fabulous time as I got so excited that I was going to win, let alone what my brain chemicals were doing as I got so euphoric as if I did pop a pill, or stuck a needle in my arm. NOPE. IT WAS ALL my brain and body chemicals doing an inside “happy dance” of excitement! So, anyone can become addicted to gambling and for many different reasons.

“Not All Addictions Are Substance Use Anymore.”

So if you think you or someone you love or care for might have a problem, I would recommend visiting my friends at “The National Council on Problem Gambling and Gamblers Anonymous” for support and resources for a good start and direction. Today, it seems our government and states have decided to begin turning toward “Gaming” as a way to make a profit for their mistakes of not shortfall budgeting or not being fiscally responsible, so they are pushing on us, the “Good Ole Tax Payer.” now that IS predatory tactics.

BUT? That is a topic for another day and future post!

 


Author/Writer/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

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“We The People Declare A State of Emergency ~ Today Is Overdose Awareness Day!”

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“WE THE PEOPLE ARE FED UP WITH WASHINGTON, D.C. ~ TODAY IS ‘International Overdose Awareness Day!”

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Facing Addiction

Dear Author & Recovery Advocate, Catherine Lyon,

Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. We all know someone, who has suffered the ultimate loss. Our family, our friends, our neighbors, our children. Nobody is immune from the addiction crisis. Today is a day to remember, reflect, and speak out. Overdoses are preventable. We must do more.
This is a national emergency. Several weeks ago, President Trump stated his intention to declare a national emergency around the opioid epidemic. Since his statement – NO NATIONAL EMERGENCY HAS BEEN DECLARED.

Words are one thing, taking action is another. Action is what we need. Please, take a moment today and sign our letter to President Trump urging him to turn his words into action and officially declare a national emergency.

White House
What would a national emergency mean?

It could open up various new funding streams from the federal government. It could mean increased access to medically assisted treatment. And it could loosen restrictions on using Medicaid dollars to gain access to treatment.

Show the President you are willing to do more than talk – show him and his administration you are willing to act. Please, take a moment today to sign our letter urging President Trump to turn his words into action and officially declare this national emergency here: sign our letter to President Trump!!

Thank you for all you do.
 

With warm regards,
 

Michael King,
Director of Outreach & Engagement


TRUMP Leaves The Drug Epidemic Flat! An Important Message From My Friends From “Facing Addiction.”

I felt compelled to share this newsletter sent from my good friends at Facing Addiction. I happened to watch the news conference that Michael King is referring to by Trump’s representatives and it was a JOKE. The same rhetoric and BULL S _ _ T being tossed to Americans about what they plan will do about the raging drug addiction epidemic happening in our country.

Meanwhile, more and more deaths and overdoses occur every day. And even though I don’t LIKE the President we have and don’t support him or his agenda’s, I will sign this because The Opioid Epidemic IS NOW A STATE of EMERGENCY in all communities throughout the United States of America. So I ask all who read and visit? Please visit Facing Addiction Blue Links Below and add your name. If not for your kids? For the sake of a friend or neighbors child.

THIS NEEDS TO STOP and STOP NOW MR. PRESIDENT!

Image result for copyright free images of Facing Addiction

Dear Author, Catherine Lyon…

Yesterday, the President of the United States suggested there would be a big announcement related to the ongoing opioid crisis. But what he said was more of the same – continuing the same, tired rhetoric, without any of the bold action this issue demands and that he promised on the campaign trail.

President Trump even suggested going back to a simple, 1980’s-style message “Just Say No,” and telling young people alcohol and other drugs are bad is the best path forward. That didn’t work then and it will not work now. We need real solutions.

Addiction is Not A Crime

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price, stated that, despite the recommendations of their own Commission on the Opioid Crisis, it was not necessary to declare addiction a national emergency. “We believe that, at this point, that the resources that we need, or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency, although all things are on the table for the President,” Price said.

Not necessary to declare an emergency? Mr. President, and Secretary Price, with all due respect – if you don’t see this issue as an emergency, you haven’t been paying attention to the recommendations of your OWN Presidential Appointed Commission! Or every major newspaper, TV news program, and radio news program in the country.

Friends, let’s force the administration to pay attention.

Let’s come together as we have so many times before. Please, add your name with thousands of others in support of President Trump acting on his Commission’s recommendation to declare a national emergency. Once you do, please pass the letter on to your networks via your social media pages or email. Let’s make our voices so loud and clear that they can’t possibly ignore us. Let’s be a bold and powerful constituency of consequence on this life and death matter.

I hope you’ll add your name by clicking here and showing them just how wrong they are.

Warm regards,
Michael King
Director of Outreach & Engagement

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I Advocate With “Facing Addiction.” New Health Care Reform May = Less Treatment Funding For Gambling Treatment too!

I Advocate With “Facing Addiction.” New Health Care Reform May = Less Treatment Funding For Gambling Treatment too!

“It is time to step up and let OUR VOICES of RECOVERY be HEARD! DO NOT Stop Funding To Treatment Services MANY Desperately NEED To RECOVER!!”

GET INVOLVED TODAY AND SHARE YOUR VOICES!

A MESSAGE FROM FACING ADDICTION:

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As the national debate increasingly focuses on health care reform, we need you to share your story of how the current healthcare system has helped you or someone you love and care about access to treatment.

We at Facing Addiction—along with a majority of the Action Network—are very concerned about the American Health Act proposed last week in the US House of Representatives. Specifically, there are two provisions that would severely reduce coverage for people seeking access to care for addiction:

1) There will no longer be a requirement for many insurance plans to offer mental health and addiction services at parity with physical health conditions – learn more here.

2) Federal support of the Medicaid expansion population in the Affordable Care Act that has provided coverage to between 1.3 and  2.8 million Americans with substance use disorders would be eliminated. This places an incredible burden on states if they are going to attempt to sustain the current coverage – learn more here.

Facing Addiction is not alone: AARP, The American Medical Association, The American Nurses Association, The American Psychological Association, and The American Hospital Association have expressed serious concerns about the proposed bill.

As this debate moves forward in the coming days, we need you – perhaps more than ever!

Given the bi-partisan nature of the addiction crisis, members of Congress, from both parties, have asked us to collect stories from people who have received access to health care and/or treatment for a substance use disorder individually, through a health insurance marketplace, or through Medicaid expansion in your state. Regardless of your politics or how you might feel about the need for national health reform, your voice is so critical.  Please, click here to share your story.

Here are some news stories from across the political spectrum that have commented on the damage that this bill will cause to those suffering from substance use disorders:

Please, share your story TODAY on how access to care has helped your family. We will pass these stories on to officials in Congress who are debating this legislation. It has never been more important for all of us to stand together as a movement and to continue facing addiction.

Sincerely,

THE FACING ADDICTION TEAM!

Facing Addiction

Let Them Hear Us! Joining My Friends At “Facing Addiction.” Are You Facing Addiction Today?

 

Facing Addiction

Dear Author & Recovery Friend Catherine Lyon,

This is a critical time for anyone connected to the addiction issue. We are just over a week into the new Congress and at the end of next week, a new president will be sworn in. Here are just a few quick things you can do today to ensure that our leaders continue Facing Addiction in 2017 with us:

Sign and Forward an Open Letter to President-Elect Trump

The new administration has made a commitment toward reforming our nation’s health care system. We hope you’ll sign this letter to the President-Elect and his new administration, urging them to maintain their commitment to facing addiction issues in whatever replacement health care package emerges. If you’ve already signed our letter, please take a moment to forward this link to your family and friends and post it on social media. We need your help today!

Tell Your Story in a Letter-to-The-Editor

One of the leading roadblocks to improving the collective response to addiction is better understanding. Last year we saw the tragic viral images of overdose victims posted by police officers who were shaming people who become addicted. Shaming doesn’t work. The only way people will build empathy about addiction issues is to hear stories from other perspectives – recovery, loss, the struggle to access health services – you have a unique story to tell. A letter, outlining your personal perspective and connection to addiction can make a huge impact. Please click here to submit a letter today!

Pilot Community Program

Facing Addiction is proud to offer this application for communities needing support to build a targeted grassroots approach that changes local responses to substance use disorders. Examples could include building diversion programs that move low-risk offenders from court involvement or formal criminal justice system supervision to health-centered interventions. To learn more about this program, and to submit an application for your community, click here.

Thanks for all you do – advocacy is about action. Join us by taking action today.

Regards,

Michael King
Director of Outreach & Engagement

I PROUDLY STAND With My Friends at Facing Addiction! Let’s All Get Involved Above!  

catherine-townsend-lyon


*** Author and Recovery Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ***

Sharing Awesome News From United To Face Addiction!

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends!


Well it seems we have some exciting news from United To Face Addiction. You may remember I was blogging my fingers off for all the happenings of the Big Rally to raise awareness and funding for all types of addictions this past October, 2015. Well it seems it wasn’t all in vain! A very BIG VOTE is coming up and we could use your help. Here is the resent email newsletter I just got and wanted to share with all my recovery friends and visitors:

Facing Addiction

BREAKING NEWS:  $1.1 Billion To Face Addiction! Sign The Thank You Letter!

Remember when we came together on October 4, 2015 to begin urgently facing addiction? Remember the personal stories you heard, the moving words from families who have lost loved ones to addiction, and the firm resolution we heard from those in positions of power to take action?

Today, we’re thrilled that the President of the United States is among those who heard us loud and clear. When the White House reveals the 2017 budget proposal to Congress next week, it will include an unprecedented amount of $1.1 BILLION in new funding for health care services needed to combat the addiction crisis. This request represents the largest increase in direct federal funding for treating substance use disorders in decades.

The President’s welcome announcement to help turn the tide on the addiction crisis deserves our support. Today, please sign our LETTER thanking the President for this bold proposal.

With the President’s request of $1.1 billion to face addiction, our movement has gained a tremendous partner and ally.

Again, please join Facing Addiction in thanking the President, and send your support for this proposal that will help hundreds of thousands of people currently struggling with addiction.

With the help of our allies across the country and in Washington DC, we can face addiction together.

Regards,
The Facing Addiction Team

So recovery friends. I hope you will take a little time to visit the blue links provide by the fine folks of Facing Addiction and let us get involved to help the President trying to get this proposal DONE!
Share your support to help get funding for the people who want to recover from any AADICTION!

Thanks Recovery Friends,
Author & Recovery Advocate ~ Catherine Townsend-Lyon

UNITE To Face Addiction Advocacy Day Is Today!

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome All,

Well, I have to tell you, what a fantastic evening of speakers and music last night in Washington, DC!!
It was a “Historic Rally for Awareness of Addiction.” Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow and Steven Tyler were AWESOME on stage last night. Everyone of my recovery friends and the fine folks who put this rally together were sharing so much on Twitter and Facebook, I had a hard time keeping up with posts and sharing all the action throughout social media!
Here is are a few shots of the performances that took place for “UNITE to Face Addiction” and our voices were LOUD! .. .. ..

” place out to the Universe to help us get these two gents out to the Fest next year, if possible 😎 Recovery Rockfest would love to have these two GUYS who played last night next year!! XO” Nyla Cione of http://www.recoveryrockfest.com

RECOVERY ROCK FEST's photo.
(Steven Tyler and Joe Walsh at UNITE to Face Addiction)

Michael King added 7 new photos
'Yes. Darryl Strawberry. My childhood baseball hero. Yes.'
'I gotta tell ya, Steven Tyler is BRINGING IT at UNITE To Face Addiction' 'Jason Isbell helping us UNITE'
Michael King's photo.

Liz Holt Audette's photo.

(photo’s courtesy of Michael King)

SO your most likely wondering what is going on today? Today is “Advocacy Day”  . . .
Here is more about what UNITE to Face Addiction is doing on Capitol Hill .. .. ..

Advocacy Day ~ 10-05-2015

On Monday, October 5th, the day after the UNITE to Face Addiction Rally, citizen advocates will meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill to engage in conversations about the need for addiction solutions and the growing constituency of consequence that is demanding solutions.

Advocacy Day has two overarching goals:

  1. Achieve a health response to addiction
  2. Improve public safety and protect civil liberties to enhance health outcomes of those in or seeking recovery from addiction involved with the criminal justice system

To achieve these goals, citizen advocates will:

  1. Thank Members of Congress who have co-sponsored 524/HR 953, The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and ask other Members to add their names as co-sponsors to this bipartisan piece of legislation.
  2. Ask their Members of Congress to sign a letter to federal agencies indicating that they are in support of full implementation and enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
  3. Ask Members of Congress to support the REDEEM Act (S 675/HR 1672).

To download the Advocacy Day training presentation, click here. To see the full training webinar, click here. For best viewing, please be sure to download the webinar by clicking the download button located in the top right-hand corner.

Registration for Advocacy Day is now closed. Please direct all questions, including online sign-up questions, to advocacy@facingaddiction.org.

Now even though the Big Rally is over, that doesn’t mean we are done. WE ARE just beginning this fight and you can help! UNITE to Face Addiction is building HOPE, HEALING, and HELP! With all donations taken in, they are building a foundation to help those in need of treatment and other services to RECLAIM their lives back from addiction. So please, you can help by Donating or Texting your financial support here!

By Text: TEXT to  “facing” 41444  or by donating through the website here: http://www.facingaddiction.org

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Let us all “UNITE To Face Addiction!!” XOXOXO

Together We Can Face Addiction

Addiction impacts one out of three families in America. Sadly, today more than 90% of people in need of treatment or recovery do not receive it – this discrimination must end now.

No one should ever have to overcome addiction alone. No longer can we sit on the sidelines and let others worry about changing the system. Facing Addiction is OUR movement.

Your support will help build a national campaign that will forever change how we UNITE to Face Addiction.

Together, we can save lives – starting right now.  But we need your help.  Please donate today.

Click here to make a monthly recurring donation.

Thank you!
UNITE to Face Addiction

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon & Gambling Addiction Recovery Advocate

Facing Addiction.

Scott Magnuson's photo.
Scott Magnuson's photo.

 

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