Today I Am Honored To Have Author, Rev. Dr. Kevin Coughlin Sharing About “Teens and Gambling.” Listen Up Parents

Today I Am Honored To Have Author, Rev. Dr. Kevin Coughlin Sharing About “Teens and Gambling.” Listen Up Parents

Hello, and Welcome Recovery Friends and Warriors,

 

I am very excited and honored to have my good friend, fellow author and “Addiction Recovery Expert,” Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin, Ph.D., DCC, DDVA, DLC, DD, NCIP, NCAMP, IMAC, with us today. He has written a new article for us about how teens are having problems with and now becoming addicted gamblers. The many types of gambling options and venues are growing along with expansions of casinos happening everywhere, it has now reached our teens and college-age kids. But before we get to Kevin’s article, let’s learn more about this Addictions Expert!

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About Kevin The Author, Advocate, Reverand, and Expert!

Kevin Coughlin is a Best-Selling Author and Award-Winning Poet who has dedicated his life to helping others. Through Education, Awareness, and Prevention Rev. Coughlin has helped thousands of individuals who were afflicted with the disease of addiction, their families, and loved ones. He has trained hundreds of professionals in the addiction recovery industry and in the professional coaching arena. He has decades of life experience, education, work-related experience; however, perhaps the most valuable information that Rev. Dr. Coughlin possesses that sits atop of his incredible resume is wisdom.


Reverend Dr. Coughlin was a Founder and Board Member of New Beginning Ministry, Inc., a twelve-step residential addiction recovery program for adults, he served for two decades. Rev. Coughlin has helped thousands of individuals and their families to change their lives over the past twenty plus years. With over forty plus books under his belt, he has developed over a dozen manuals and curriculums for both live classes, webinars, and self-study classes on professional coaching, addiction recovery, ethics, and other subject matters.


He has published thousands of articles as a blogger, guest blogger, ghostwriter, and professional writer. Rev. Kev has written as a Blogger/Writer for ‘The Sober World Magazine,  Keys to Recovery Newspaper, Sober Services, Inc., Contentwriters.com, Fromaddictict2advocate.com, Twodropsofink.com, RecoveryView.com Online Journal,’ and for small press, newspapers, magazines, websites. He has been seen on many major media networks of NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox. He is a two-time World Champion and nine-time National Champion State & National Record Holder Power Lifter, a gentle giant who has championed many in his career. He lives Beach Lake, PA with his two doggies

 

 

The Key to Pathological Gambling Treatment … By Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D.

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The Key to Pathological Gambling Treatment is the Brain; however, is our nation aware of the storm that is headed directly at our teens?

Alcoholism, substance use disorders, and process addictions, or behavioral addictions such as pathological gambling may affect the brain in the same way, according to some experts. Research at Imperial College London has identified two areas of the brain that scientists believe cause pathological gambling. The study showed that the connections in the brain responsible for impulse control may be weaker in problem gamblers. Other studies have demonstrated that 78% of Problem Gamblers had an alcohol problem, 38% had a drug problem.

Pathological gambling usually begins in early adolescence in men, and between ages 20 and 40 in women. With pathological gambling, occasional gambling leads to a gambling habit. Stressful situations can worsen gambling problems. Just like alcoholics and drug addicts, pathological gamblers often deny they have a problem or need treatment. Most pathological gamblers only get help when they are found out and pressured by family and friends.

 

“Gambling addiction can have a devastating effect not just on patients, but also their families.” – Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones Director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic and Imperial Research team.

 

This new research identifies keys area of the brain and will help to develop targeted treatments to help prevent cravings and relapse. When pathological gamblers experienced cravings, the researchers identified two areas of the brain that became highly active were the insula and the nucleus accumbens, located deep within the brain and key to decision making and reward and impulse control. These are the same areas of the brain that have been previously linked to substance abuse and alcohol addictions. The Imperial study was carried out using nineteen problem gamblers and nineteen healthy volunteers.

MRI scans were utilized to monitor the brain activity of each individual as they were shown pictures of gambling activities; they were then asked to rate their cravings when they viewed each image. The experts found that the insula and nucleus accumbens were highly active when the problem gamblers experienced cravings when shown the images. The experts noticed a weakness between these two areas of the brain, known as the frontal lobe, which helps individuals make decisions.

The frontal lobe could be key in helping to keep the insula in check and controlling impulses. This same type of weakness in the frontal lobe has been identified in substance abuse research. The frontal lobe also can help control impulse, so it makes sense that a weakness here may contribute to individuals being unable to stop gambling or ignoring negative consequences of their actions when gambling. Recently the Surgeon General has defined addiction as a chronic brain disorder that has the potential for both recurrence or recovery.

Research in neuroscience suggests that the process of addiction is a three-stage cycle: binge/intoxication, followed by withdrawal/negative effect, and then finally preoccupation/anticipation. Progressively, the cycle will worsen and become more severe with continued abuse. Changes in brain function are dramatic and reduce the ability to control the addiction.

There are disruptions in the basal ganglia, the extended amygdala, and the prefrontal cortex that enables cues to trigger substance seeking, heighten activation of stress systems of the brain and reduce brain sensitivity systems in the experience of reward and pleasure, reduces systems that control decision making, actions, emotions and impulses, known as the executive control systems of the brain. People are motivated to continue their addictions by euphoric or pleasurable feelings, despite the risks and negative consequences involved. Continued misuse of substances causes progressive changes in the structure and function of the brain called neuroadaptations. These can produce continued cravings that can lead to relapse.

The Imperial research was conducted using MRI studies, an MRI shows the physical anatomy and structure of the brain. Dr. Amen uses SPECT brain imagery which shows how the brain works, blood flow and activity. Dr. Daniel Amen from the Amen Clinic is one of the leading Doctors in the world of brain imagery and understanding changes in the brain. He has been involved in over 125,000 brain SPECT scans which look at blood flow and activity in the brain.

Dr. Amen’s research has shown that addiction changes the brain, emotional trauma can be distinguished from physical trauma, the brain can improve, everyone’s brains are not affected the same way, and that past brain trauma can lead to addiction and many other things. Dr. Amen’s research also showed that marijuana smokers had lower blood flow to the brain and lower brain activity than non-smokers.

Dr. Amen says:
The brain SPECT imaging helps to:

• Breakthrough denial

• Determine if there are co-existing conditions requiring treatment

• Increase treatment and recovery program compliance

• People realize that addiction is a brain disease, not a personal weakness or character flaw

• Patients gain a better understanding of their brain through visuals

• Determine if treatment is working correctly
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There are six different types of addiction-prone brain patterns.

Type One is Compulsive Addicts, Pathological gambling would fit type one. Individuals tend to get stuck or locked into one course of action and don’t see the options they may have. Most commonly, this type of brain SPECT finding shows increased anterior cingulate gyrus activity, which is usually caused by low serotonin levels.

Type Two is Impulsive Addicts, the most common finding in this group is low activity in the prefrontal cortex, likely due to low levels of dopamine. The PFC is involved in judgment, impulse control, planning, follow through, decision making, and paying attention. This type is often seen with ADD and ADHD and is more common in males.

Type Three is Impulsive-Compulsive Addicts SPECT scans here tend to show low activity in the prefrontal cortex, likely due to low dopamine and too much activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus likely due to compulsivity and low serotonin. Common in children and grandchildren of alcoholics.

Type Four Sad or Emotional Addicts, individuals with this type often use alcohol, pain medications, marijuana, or food to medicate underlying feelings of depression, loneliness, and boredom. Common in women, can worsen in winter. Typical SPECT findings here are increased activity in the deep limbic system and low activity in the prefrontal cortex.

Type Five are Anxious Addicts, people of this type tend to use food sleeping aids, marijuana, alcohol, and painkillers to medicate underlying feelings of fear, anxiety, tension, nervousness. More commonly seen in women, this type seems to suffer from physical symptoms of anxiety. People with this type tend to be extremely shy, predict the worst, and easily startled. SPECT findings here: too much activity in the basal ganglia, likely due to low levels of GABA.

Type six are Temporal Lobe Addicts, people here tend to have problems with memory, learning, mood, and temper. Abnormal activity in temporal lobes is usually due to past head trauma, infections, lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, or can be inherited. SPECT findings decreased activity in the temporal lobes and at times excessive increased activity. Even though the six types have some commonality of symptoms, each type has its own set of symptoms and specific treatments.

Dr. Amen says, “One size does not fit all: what works for one person with an addiction may not work for another or could even make the symptoms worse!”

 

New data just released by the National Annenberg Risk of Youth by Annenberg Public Policy Center of The University of Pennsylvania – reports some startling news! They have been tracking the gambling of young people ages 14 to 22 since 2002, based on the data’s most recent estimates, approximately 850,000 males ages 18 to 22 gamble online at least once a month, 357,000 males between ages 14 to 17 gamble online at least once a month. Weekly use of internet gambling sites for the 18-22 age group increased from 2.3% in 2005 to 5.8% this year, a statistically significant increase.

Professor Nancy Petry of Psychiatry at The University of Connecticut’s Center for Gambling Research and Treatment stated that with the rise in online gambling among our young people, comes a greater danger of addiction. In a recent study, Professor Petry found that internet gamblers were more likely to have serious gambling addiction problems than other gamblers.

“Teen gambling is the fastest growing addiction today. Approximately one in eight of the eight million compulsive gamblers are now teenagers.”
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When you look back over the past fifteen years there were virtually none. 80% of all teenagers gamble in some way and 15% are problem gamblers. Dr. Jeremiah Weinstock, an expert on teen gambling from The University of Connecticut, believes that between 4% and 7& of all teenagers suffer from a gambling addiction that involves clinical depression, huge debts, disruption of relationships, and/or involvement with organized crime. David Robertson of The National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling said, “Teenaged gambling, like alcohol and drug abuse in the 1930s, it’s the fastest growing addiction. It’s pernicious, it’s evil and it feeds on the weakest.”

It’s an exciting time in the addiction recovery field with all the advances in neuroscience, technology, treatment, recovery coaching, and aftercare. It’s clear that brain health is as important as any other part of the body, perhaps more important. It also seems clear that not everyone is the same and testing like SPECT imagery can help treatment professionals know how to best help each individual. The key to treating Pathological gambling is the brain; you can bet on it! It’s also a time of great concern for our young people who are already battling substance abuse and now may be headed directly into the eye of the unpredictable raging storm of Pathological Gambling!

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Recovery Guest Aurora M. Asks ~ What Really is a Therapy Animal?

Recovery Guest Aurora M. Asks ~ What Really is a Therapy Animal?

Hello Recovery Friends, Warriors, and Visitors,

 

One of the best things I did for myself, my recovery, and emotional health is having therapy kitties! Lol. I have three and I love them so much. They help give me focus and purpose to have animals to take care. But let’s learn the real difference between a Real Service Animal vs a Therapy Animal.

So, my recovery guest Aurora explains what really is a “Therapy Animal” be it in recovery, having mental or emotional challenges, and especially for those who have disabilities.

ALL ANIMALS DO bring us such JOY! …Cat

 

What Really is a Therapy Animal? 

 

In the past, up until a few years ago, the only types of services animals you regularly heard of, were actual service animals. Mainly dogs who would help their owners who had major physical disabilities. Over the past few years, the topic of service and therapy animals has increased at an alarming rate. An even more alarming thing is the number of people who were suddenly registering and claiming their pets to be service animals. It’s kind of a hot topic, so what really is a therapy animal?

Service vs Therapy


A service animal has to go through intensive training before being certified as a service animal. One of the biggest distinguishable features between an actual service dog is they are actually trained for a specific purpose. The ADA website states that a service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do certain work or specific tasks for their owner who has a disability that they are unable to do for themselves.

These tasks can include things such as pulling a wheelchair, retrieving an item that has been dropped, reminding them to take their medication, pushing the elevator button, or alerting a person to a sound. Without these service animals, these individuals would not be able to live with the same level of functionality.

 

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Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy animals are not service animals. This doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose, but they are not a service animal. In addition, animals that are not dogs are not considered to be service animals in almost all cases. If someone comes to you and claims that the iguana on their shoulder is their service animal, it is in fact, not a service animal. They may find comfort in their pet iguana, yes. A certified service animal, it is not.

Registration for a Therapy or Comfort Animal

The ADA recognizes that a therapy or comfort animal can indeed provide comfort and are often used as part of a medical treatment plan. But the ADA website very clearly states that any sort of therapy or emotional support animal is not a service animal.


Strictly speaking concerning animals that are considered to be a therapy or comfort animal, there is a specific process that has to be followed in order for them to be considered a therapy or comfort animal. There are a lot of websites that will send you a service animal vest and a card stating that your pet is a service animal, but these services are actually illegal.


In fact, receiving any sort of certification or registration completed online is not only illegal, but it makes it hard for actual service animals to be allowed in public places, due to the saturation of claimed emotional support animals being toted around in public as if they are trained to do anything aside from providing comfort. Often, someone will illegally register their pet as a therapy animal in hopes of them “legally” being able to have them in a rental unit that doesn’t allow pets.

 

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The only legal way to have a pet be considered a therapy or comfort animal is to have a psychiatrist prescribe them as such to you. Most psychiatrists won’t accept patients if this is their sole purpose for treatment, and will only prescribe dogs to previously existing patients.

These prescriptions also expire, as the purpose of an emotional support animal is to provide comfort during a healing period, and you will have to be evaluated on a yearly basis before your prescription to your therapy animal can be renewed.

“Therapy Animal” is a Loose Term

 

More simply put, a therapy animal doesn’t really have more rights than a regular pet does. And most importantly, if you bring your therapy animal into public and they misbehave, a business has every right to eject you without warning. This rule is the same with real service animals. However, more and more businesses are likely to turn away a real service animal due to bad experiences with a therapy animal. Let’s keep it simple for those with legal disabilities to have those “rights” with fewer problems or complications of their importantly needed “Legitimate Service Animals.” 

~Aurora M.

 

 

 

Sharing My Friend Tony Roberts and His Inspiring Blog and Website: “Delight In Disorder”…Org

Sharing My Friend Tony Roberts and His Inspiring Blog and Website: “Delight In Disorder”…Org

I always get “Delight” in having and sharing my dear friend, author, and advocate Tony Roberts and his informative blog at  “Delight In Disorder” all about Mental Health.

He shares just how he feels and experiences as he raises awareness about living with mental health challenges. Also, way more than I do. He has such a beautiful heart and is full of faith as well. So I happened to really enjoy a couple of his recent posts and I know many of you will too and benefit from. I am hoping you will take a little time to visit his blog and give both a “Finishing Read.” They both are excellent topics and we all know that reading is being “In The Know and Powerful.”

 

“Fresh Hope for Mental Health Interview” ~By Tony Roberts

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A few weeks back, I received an unexpected message from Pastor Brad Hoefs from Fresh Hope for Mental Health. Fresh Hope is a mental health ministry that reaches out with an uplifting Gospel message for those who are often cast down. Their mission is to “empower individuals to live a full and rich faith-filled life in spite of a mental health diagnosis.” Toward this end, they have developed curriculum for support groups around the country, they are producing webinars on such topics as “What I Wish My Pastor Knew About Mental Health,” and distribute a podcast that is one of the best of its kind.


Pastor Brad reached out to me to be a guest on this podcast. Below is the link to the program and the show notes:

In this edition of Fresh Hope for Mental Health, Pastor Brad interviews Pastor Tony Roberts.

Pastor Tony Roberts was born and raised in the Hoosier heartland just south of Indianapolis. He grew up worshiping high school basketball and once had the honor of playing in a televised “game of the week.”

Tony went to Hanover College. After many detours into sex, drugs, and more folk rock than roll, he wound up at the seminary and became a pastor. It was then that symptoms of depression and mania culminated in a psychotic episode that became pivotal in his life, for better and for worse.

After graduating from Hanover, Tony obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. While there, he did ministry assignments at a state hospital for persons with developmental disabilities, as well as at a women’s prison, and inner-city hospital.

Tony served two decades as a solo pastor. He then shifted to writing, speaking, and leading small groups. In March of 2014, Tony published his spiritual memoir, Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission. Having served in pastoral ministry and gone mad, it’s now his mission to bridge the gap between faith communities and the mental health world.

Tony now live in Columbus, Indiana, with supportive family and faithful friends who keep me honest and encourage me to be who God created him to be. Tony’s greatest earthly delights are my four children and two grandchildren, with one more on the way.

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In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; 

in the morning I lay my requests before you 

     and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)

 

 

Why I Don’t Go to Church

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46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2.46-47)

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, early Christians were on fire. They worshiped daily, shared meals bountifully, praised God delightfully, and built a reputation for loving each other and others with precious passion and compassion. They were filled with a spiritual fervor that knew no end.

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I have had such spiritual fervor. What has happened to my faith?

I went to church this morning, the first time in a long while. For various reasons, I have been absent from the pews much of the year. I have many excellent explanations, but no good excuses. My faith family has been patient with me. More than this, they persistently care in spite of it.

People still stay in touch, frequently send texts or emails not to badger me about coming to church, but to ask how I am doing, let me know that they are praying for me, and offer to help in any way they can. No pressure. No guilt. Just checking in with a brother in Christ to express love and concern. As one sincerely expressed, “We are more concerned with how you are than where you are on Sunday morning.”

As I sat in the pew today, I thought of brothers in Christ who make a difference in my faith.

Some time ago. I asked a brother, Sam S., to serve as my prayer partner. We meet every two weeks to do a Bible study book. We share casual concerns, deep joys, and requests for discernment. I have shared with Sam specific spiritual concerns and he is intent to pray for me, particularly over the weekend, that I might be motivated to come to worship in the fellowship of saints.

Sam is the song leader at our church. His deep melodious sound rings out and surrounds the sanctuary with ancient Psalms, the songs Jesus sang, set to classic church tunes. When my soul is most troubled, I sometimes remain in my pew as people stand and, instead of singing along, streams of tears will flow down my cheeks as I hide my face in my Psalter.

Then there is Gary M, an elder. When I first visited Columbus Reformed Presbyterian (CRPC), Gary was quick to introduce himself and invite me to a weekly fellowship called the Grub-In. We would meet at Gary and his wife Cynthia’s home for food, study, song, and prayer. It meant so much to me when I was going through a separation and divorce to have another faith family I could depend on to pick me up when I was down and set me straight when I veered off course.

Pastor Andy M. is an unassuming man with an abiding faith and a gentle spirit. I have consulted him on a variety of issues, from marriage and divorce, finances, writing. I consistently find him to have an informed Biblical perspective which he shares humbly in the Spirit of truth and love.

Lately, I’ve come to know and appreciate Roger G. for his quiet support and kind encouragement. This morning he shared with me that he enjoyed my recent post on writing. It is such a blessing to know Roger and other men and women of faith are out there, reading things like this, smiling in recognition as if to say, “I get that.”

So, what has become of my faith?

 

I refuse to believe it is God’s fault. I am not angry at God for letting me down in some way. It is not the fault of the church. By and large, pastors and people in the pews are no more hypocritical than persons in the world who accuse them to be. I can’t blame it on the many distractions or worries; my illness is an inadequate explanation at best; I have no unresolved sin conflict in my life that would prevent me from presenting myself before God with a clear conscience.

 

What is it? Why have I lost my fervor for fellowship? My drive to worship? My passion for praise? What has become of my faith?
Well, I hope you will stop by Tony’s Blog and read WHY and the rest of this post!

Catherine Lyon, Author, and Advocate

 

Why I Don’t Go to Church

 

Sad Example Why Depression is Serious and Mental Health is so Important. R.I.P. Actor, Verne Troyer. AKA Mini-Me

Sad Example Why Depression is Serious and Mental Health is so Important.          R.I.P. Actor, Verne Troyer. AKA Mini-Me

“One of my favorite comedies are the “Austin Powers” series and of course Actor Verne Troyer who played the character, Mini-Me in the movies. Sad news today that he has passed away at the age of only 49 from a battle with depression.” With his favorite line being, “You Complete Me,” it is quite the shock that he has passed on.”

I now hope that many who read about it through the media and internet will now understand just how serious depression can be when others like me and now Verne passing away from undisclosed issues from depression. It needs to be a wake-up call for all us to know and treat mental and emotional disorders and illness very seriously.

I know first hand as both my suicide attempts were not just from my addiction, but also from undiagnosed severe depression and other disorders. It had become so bad along with my gambling that I just wanted to die because I had no idea what was wrong with me! Here is what we know for now about Verne …

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From His INSTAGRAM:

It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today.

Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message every day.

He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude. On film & television sets, commercial shoots, at comic-cons & personal appearances, to his own YouTube videos, he was there to show everyone what he was capable of doing. Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined. He also touched more peoples hearts than he will ever know.

Verne was also a fighter when it came to his own battles. Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately, this time was too much. During this recent time of adversity, he was baptized while surrounded by his family. The family appreciates that they have this time to grieve privately.

“Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help.”

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Verne’s name to either of his two favorite charities; The Starkey Hearing Foundation
https://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/
Best=Buddies: https://www.bestbuddies.org 

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Article Courtesy of YAHOO NEWS Carla Herreria 2 hours 24 minutes ago

Verne Troyer was 49 years old, who rose to fame after playing Mini-Me in the blockbuster “Austin Powers” films, died on Saturday, the actor’s representatives confirmed to HuffPost.

 

“Verne was an extremely caring individual,” an official statement shared with HuffPost read. “He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible.”

 

Troyer’s representatives did not disclose a cause of death but said that that the actor “was a fighter when it came to his own battles. “over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much,” the statement read.

 

“Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help.”

 

Troyer was born with a form of dwarfism in Centreville, Michigan. He, his older brother and younger sister grew up in an Amish community, although his parents had left the religion when he was young.

“My parents taught me to be optimistic and independent,” Verne said in a 2015 interview with the Guardian. They made me feel that I could do anything I set my mind to, which has really helped me,” he added. “They didn’t make allowances for me because of my height.”


Troyer said his parents were
 his role models“They never treated me any different than my other average sized siblings,” he wrote. “I used to have to carry wood, feed the cows and pigs and farm animals” …

“Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him,” his “Austin Powers” co-star Mike Myers said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”

In recent years, the actor had launched his own YouTube series where he shared his recipes, interviewed people, reviewed products and answered questions from fans.

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My thoughts as I close this Tribute to a little-statured man who had a very BIG HEART… depression, even by itself a battle some of us just don’t win. If you or someone you know or care about is battling from depression or any Mental Health issues, please reach out to them and get help. There now are many places we have to get loved ones and friends help and there is NO SHAME in doing so.

Suicide National Hotline & Mental Health Help: 

Nami National Alliance on Mental Illness

https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Living-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition/What-to-Do-In-a-Crisis

CALL THE NAMI HELPLINE

800-950-NAM

Iinfo@nami.org

M-F, 10 AM – 6 PM ET

FIND HELP IN A CRISIS OR TEXT “NAMI” TO 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Recovery Guest Writer ~ Meet Aurora McCausland … Kids Drug Education

Recovery Guest Writer ~ Meet Aurora McCausland … Kids Drug Education

What Kind of Drug Education Is Your Child Getting at School?


When people hear the term “drug education”, they assume negative connotations. However, that is a misconception. Drug education isn’t an attempt to convince your child to do drugs, it’s the exact opposite. Drug education is not only a necessity for your child’s health and future but in most cases, drug education isn’t being taught to our children at a young enough age. And in a lot of cases, children aren’t getting any sort of drug education at school.

 

Most parents think it won’t be their kid

 

Parents tend to assume the best of their children and assume they would never dabble in drugs. And yes, parents do know their children better than a random observer would. However, parents are often willing to overlook the negative things and actions when it comes to their children. Well-meaning parents all too often conveniently don’t notice the signs of drug use, simply because they don’t want to believe that it’s a possibility. And even if your child has never used illegal substances, it’s very possible that they know someone that has.

 

“Say no to drugs” isn’t enough

 

Drug education is important for a lot of reasons. If your child is ever confronted with the decision to do drugs or is ever interested in experimenting, they need to have the education necessary to make a good decision. Education is the key to prevention. Without knowledge, your child doesn’t have the tools necessary to make a decision in that sort of situation and may make a rash decision that they won’t be happy with.


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Without education, horrible mistakes can be made

 

Consider synthetic drugs. Many synthetic drugs are much stronger than their traditional counterparts. If your children aren’t getting the education to know what synthetic drugs are and how much damage they can cause, they won’t have any idea what they’re getting into if they are presented with them. There have been instances of death when a teenager is offered synthetic drugs and, thinking they are something else, such as LSD, take a dose that is much too large. Education can prevent this.

 

They can handle the information

 

In middle school and high school, your child’s brain is still developing. This is the best time for them to get the drug education that they need. They need to be able to assess the risk and learn to make decisions for themselves when they are presented with the opportunity to do drugs. Your children are smart. They are able to handle the information. If we aren’t communicating with our kids and giving them that information, someone else is going to be giving them information.

With nothing to compare it to, they’ll believe the other information they are given. Don’t give them the chance to be confused, and give them the information that they need from the beginning. This isn’t to say that if you don’t make sure your child is getting a proper drug education that they are going to be out on the streets in search of cocaine. It just means that you would never want that sort of situation for your child, and educating your child is the best means of prevention.

 

Educate, instead of saying “don’t use”

 

With a lot of taboo subjects, people tend to opt for a blanket statement, disregarding any pertinent information that would be useful for decision making. If we don’t educate our children, how are they supposed to know anything? Ignorance is absolutely not bliss, and especially not in a situation like this. Ignorance and education could be a life or death difference.

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Educate about over-use of legal substances

 

Teaching our children about illegal drugs is incredibly important. What’s equally as important, is teaching them about the dangers of things that are legal. Alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medication/opioids are all things we should be talking to our children about. Again, without education, youth don’t have any way to create well-meaning decisions about something. If you know nothing about something you nothing about how to protect yourself from it. Teach your children about the dangers of overuse of substances that are legal, as well as the dangers of using illegal substances.

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~ This article was written by Aurora McCausland ~

Aurora McCausland

Aurora is a 20-something with big hair, a love for Nutella. New Mexican raised, living in Utah. Twitter addict. English and Journalism Major at U.V. Utah, with a minor in French. She’s been writing since before she can remember and a model …

Meet and Read The Authentic Meaning of Inner Happiness and Serenity From A Real Living Zen Master ~ Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi.

Hello, Recovery Friends & Welcome Everyone To A “Special Guest Blog Post.”

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Meet Zen Master ~ Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. He is one of the few living Zen Masters of our time. I am so pleased and honored to have him with us and wanted to share some of an amazing post he has written filled with love, light, and wisdom. His new book released along with Co-author, Clifford Stevens.

I have read it and I am using it as a guide to learn and practice his unique methods, wisdom, and guide to strengthen my own recovery path and to develop a real deeper inner peace.

We sometimes wonder while maintaining our recovery, how do we get through roadblocks and those “feel stuck” moments while doing so?

READ HIS BOOK titled “Find The Seeker!: The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness.”

 

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Find The Seeker! on shelf
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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Find the Seeker! with the subtitle “The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness”, based on the tried and tested wisdom of a living Master and enlightened ones throughout the ages, accompanies us on a life-changing inner pilgrimage.

Find the Seeker! is a powerful, straight-talking wake-up call to people of all faiths and confessions, holding up a mirror to our worldly existence, suffering and the intricate workings of the ego. Immensely uplifting and rewarding, the book serves as a travelling companion and guide, enticing readers with a vision of what we really are -which can only be directly experienced – by helping us unfold our true nature and reboot our spiritual search so that we can abide in the one Self. In this way, seekers become finders, and we can enjoy the bliss and lightness of Being that is inherently ours.

Find the Seeker! has garnered extensive praise from spiritual teachers: 

“A unique, extraordinary and extremely valuable work.” – Ihaleakala Lew Pen
“Disarming and worth experiencing.” -John Tarrant
“Refreshing as a clear stream.” -Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum
“The book…touches your heart.” -Hue Feng

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CONNECT TO THE ONESELF WITHIN ~ GUEST POST ~ BY ZEN MASTER GENRO XUAN LOU, LAOSHI

“This is the very first blog post ever of Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi, one of the few living Zen Masters and co-author of the recently published highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book Find the Seeker (www.findtheseeeker.com; Amazon Book link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker).

Turned off by the tools and techniques providing supposedly more “expertise” and the unhealthy propagation that “everything is possible”, a growing number of serious seekers are turning to the “non-body of thought” which people call Zen.

This is a path for all people regardless of their faiths and confessions, for those looking for answers to existential questions, who want to find out who they really are, lead happier and more fulfilling lives, and experience serenity in the face of everything life throws at us.

If we continue delving deeper and deeper into our intellects and minds, we will see that less and less comes out. If we know less and less about more and more things, we will remain on the periphery of life – instead of exploring the boundless resources of our spirit with the possibilities of meditation. Genuinely devoting oneself to meditation is a path which enables our full potential to be unfolded.

The issue is not practicing a “barren” form of Zen in which one simply sits on a meditation cushion “staring at the wall, mindlessly like cattle.” The issue is also not wanting to achieve enlightenment. This is already present and has been from time immemorial.

Wake up from your slumber


What we actually want is to wake up from our slumber, which we find ourselves in thanks to our conditioned, dualistic and judgmental thinking.

How would it be if you could immerse yourself in a world of tranquillity from no-thinking, and your brain could relax and recover like the body when it is resting? This would not only be good for improving your intellectual performance and productivity.

It is about going to where logic no longer determines and defines everything by itself. Above all, you can see that spontaneity and creative processes are aroused when the inner dialogue in you is stopped. The unthinkable in you can only develop if you do not get in the way – and if you learn to put an end to the gossipy and nagging thoughts and delve into (your) pure Being.

For this reason, the ancient masters say “First heal your mind! And then do what you want!” However, we are not talking about anarchy or selfish individualism but the clear awareness of what is.

Be still and abide in the Self


“You have to search without searching”,
Zen Masters say.  “This means to be still, and to abide in and let yourself be guided by the all-encompassing, omnipresent Beingness of the one Self!”

This reality is everywhere where you go, everywhere you stand, and also where you are now. It is true joy. But how can we find this genuine joy and bliss? By fully and without reservation (re-) connecting to the original state of your mind, to the true Self – here and now. However, if you approach it with a tense and overly serious attitude like that of the pallbearers at a funeral, you are doing the wrong thing. The fact that you are attached to and carry all kinds of futile, burdensome things with you means you continually create lots of attachments. The challenge is to become alert and mindful and free yourself from all this conditioning and attachments.

Suffering does not come from the outside. Suffering always comes from within as our reactions to what happens or what we perceive. The impermanence of everything pleasant which you experience in this world can only stop causing suffering in you if you are stop being attached to these things.

Authentic realization not intellectualizing


However, letting go is not an action, not a question of doing, but in letting it happen in the spirit of the Taoistic Wu-Wei (doing by non-doing) and the conviction, as Jesus said, “Thy will be done!”

This becoming self-less enables a truly happy state of Being, a fulfilling togetherness and a truly new concept for ecology, economy and being human.

Zen is an authentic experience. The autonomous compulsion to think means we live in a state of separation in a world full of problems and conflicts. It is like the dog in the room of mirrors. He only sees his own projections as he who reacts full of aggression and fear.

We identify so much with the mind that you do not even realize that has enslaved you. Because you identify with the mind, you derive your feeling of self-esteem from it and fear you will not exist if you stop thinking. What Zen is about is breaking through this self-produced vicious circle through achieving mental and spiritual clarity.

Zen is not about thinking or intellectual speculation based on differentiating, distinguishing and duality, but is “pure experience” and is thus a question of inner awareness.


Return to your center

Zen is not a religion among many others but to the largest possible extent the basis of religions.  …

Now I would like to ask all my readers, recovery warriors, and visitors to “read the rest of the Story” from my special guest’s enlightening blog. Author’s Genro and Clifford also have a “Weekly Wisdom” series they share on their blog each week. So I highly suggest you sign up for their newsletter and Highly Suggest you read their new book as well!
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Find The Seeker! in stack

 

Available in paperback on Amazon  – Amazon Kindle  –  Barnes and Noble, and many fine online book retailers … AND, Author, Clifford Stevens was just with Host, Catherine Carrigan of The Natural Healing Show! So click below and take a listen to his interview and show.

Catherine Carrigan

Catherine Host of The Natural Healing Show on UK Health Radio

“I Did Not Choose to Become a Gambling Addict”…

“I Did Not Choose to Become a Gambling Addict”…

Hello, and Welcome Recovery Friends and Hope Seekers,

So, within only 3 months apart, it happened again! It is pissing me off when those who have NO CLUE about any addiction or about recovery, let alone a gambling addiction nor have been “touched” by it, or know anyone with one or even a family member has. See, I happened to write about this before 3 or so months ago.

So I wanted to vent and share a little more about this as Gambling Addiction is a real disease, people! It does happen, and I am tired of others commented to me that when we advocate we are demeaning others who have real diseases like cancer, diabetes, and others.  When will people wake up and see how bad addictions of any kind are running rampant and killing many each year.

“I surely didn’t wake up one day and choose to devastate my life and my husbands’ life and become an addicted gambler.”   ~Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Recently I read a few comments on Twitter after I tweeted about my gambling addiction and maintaining recovery. It was also about living in the “now” and a well-balanced recovery journey. There are many myths and misconceptions about this disease, the silent killer, and underground addiction. One of which was I chose to become an addict. Really? Did I decide to devastate my life for a few hours of addicted gambling?

Did I choose to bankrupt my husband and me financially? Did I want to end my life by choice because I was hopelessly addicted? No! Gambling addiction is real and is a real disease. It is the #1 addiction claiming lives by suicide over all other addiction. Currently, 2.9% of the population are now Problem Gamblers. It is now “touching” our seniors, high school, and college-age kids.

When I began Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I’d hear others say; “Hate the addiction, not the addict.” We are dealing with an illness and tricky beast. That is true with all types of addictions. As Robin Williams was quoted back in the mid 80’s about addiction and recovery; “There’s no shame in failing. The only shame is not giving things your best shot.” That is what we need to do when coming out of treatment and begin our new path away from addiction. We need to look for other ways to replace the time spent gambling, using drugs and alcohol. Robin Williams also said; “It’s [addiction] — not caused by anything, it’s just there, It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK.”

Now, this could not be truer when I look back at my early recovery. We are so broken and riddled with many triggers and urges starting the path called “recovery.” We have no way of knowing how to take charge and own it. Owning one’s recovery, in my opinion, is being real, being honest, and transparent of the good and mostly all the bad. Bad behaviors, choices, and habits we learned as an addict.

But when you “Own Your Recovery” and begin the process of learning why and begin the “inner work,” you begin to change. You begin to forgive yourself for those “poor choices” you had made. You start to accept the consequences, accountability, and responsibility for those choices and actions. You begin to learn and look for some of those “underlying roots” that had you in bondage and attached to your addiction.

Now, most 12-Step programs teach us we can recover without knowing why we turned to addiction in the first place. I am not a firm believer of this. WHY? Because, if we don’t know and learn to work through those issues, how do we begin a steady, healthy, and happy life maintaining recovery? How do we move forward and become fulfilled and productive people? See, we will be “a work in process” for the rest of our lives, many get scared or feel it will be an impossible task, and easier to be an addict than to have their lives back. That is a significant roadblock for many recovering. We are dealing with a “Disease.” So back to my Twitter comments. I have had a few remarks like “addicts make a choice to be addicts.

Other people commented – “I make a “choice” every day and to say it’s a disease minimizes people who suffer from real diseases like Alzheimer’s or cancer (WHAT? Really?).”

On the other hand, I know that when I gambled, I lost the control and ability to stop and kept gambling and gambling on slots! That is how gambling addiction is described by “The National Council on Problem Gambling” and knowing we have crossed the line into uncontrolled gambling. My friends at The National Council on Problem Gambling says; “Gambling addiction—is an impulse-control disorder.

“If you’re a compulsive gambler, you can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when it has negative consequences for you or your loved ones.” And I know first hand that this is true as it happened to me. No, I didn’t come from a background or a family who were gamblers. I was a normal gambler until I began to use it as an “escape, to numb out, and not feel my past childhood trauma” which came back out of nowhere.



So was it “my choice” to become a gambling addict? No.

To begin and maintain recovery is not easy. The first thing to do is reach out for help. There is no shame in doing so. And you can remain anonymous. When you do, become educated about the “cycle” of this disease and learn ways to interrupt the cycle. A sponsor, counselor, therapist, or recovery coach can help you achieve this. Read as much as you can about this addiction and make and have a solid ‘relapse plan and phone list’ to use for those “triggers and urges” in early recovery.

The longer you refrain from gambling, the less they will become. Start a journal. Journaling helps to relieve stress and anxiety. These are just a few ideas on how to begin your recovery path. Make sure you visit my Resources page and The Relapse Prevention Guide I have listed on its own page here on my recovery blog. I am always here to help. You can email me anytime if your needing help or support and where and how to be Gamble Free! lyonmedia@aol.com

Read my E-book as well as it is now on sale for just $2.99 a download on Amazon Kindle.   I share it all of my battle with gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. Giving in-depth insights and disclosing how I found and processed my underlying issues and roots to my becoming an addict. And again, “it was not a choice.” It happens … 

Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) by [Townsend-Lyon, Catherine]

How does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Read and learn about this woman’s remarkable and brave story. 

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