Addiction and Recovery News and Reads Around The Web…

Hello, Recovery Friends and Welcome New Friends!


This past week I have had some interesting email newsletters from some of my favorite recovery websites and magazines. Now I am a big FAN of helping others who write informative and interesting articles about many issues of addiction, mental health and more. And I happen to read two articles I feel need to be shared here on my blog as they are very important issues. The first hit me because one of the underlying issues of WHY I had turned to gambling was to “cope and escape” from my hurtful pain and my past childhood trauma. As we learn to do the “inner work” of our recovery, many us find many issues and roots to our addictions.

The second article is about an actor I enjoyed watching the TV Series; “True Blood” and is a warning to those recovering from alcoholism that if you have other health problems, you need to work with your doctor and be honest with them of all that is going with you or you CAN have complications. That is what happened to 39-year-old, Actor, Nelsan Ellis as you will read. We need to learn to take care of our health as we most likely neglected it for a long period of time within our addiction. It is always sad to lose someone so young and vibrant. I hope you enjoy reading these and learn a little something from them…
( Articles Courtesy of “The Fix Mag” and website: SoberRecovery” )
______________________________________________

By Victoria Kim 07/11/17

The beloved actor’s family issued a statement about his battle with addiction as “a cautionary tale” to help others.

.

Nelsan Ellis
Actor Nelsan Ellis died of heart failure over the weekend after attempting to quit alcohol on his own and heart failure complications.

Rather than shy away from the impact that years of substance use had on the actor, instead his family shared the details surrounding his death…

“Nelsan has suffered from drug and alcohol abuse for years,” the actor’s manager said on behalf of the family.

“After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.

On the morning of Saturday, July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul…Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.”

The 39-year-old hailed from Illinois and was a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School. He was known for playing the lovable Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood and Bobby Byrd in the James Brown biopic Get on Up, as well as his roles in The SoloistThe Help, and The Butler.

The symptoms/severity of alcohol withdrawal varies by person but can be fatal for some. Symptoms can range from mild insomnia to delirium tremens (DTs) and even death.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include elevated blood pressure, excessive sweating and shaking, irritability, anxiety, agitation, seizures, and hallucinations.

In severe cases, individuals may experience delirium tremens (DTs), characterized by disorientation, severe agitation, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and fever. DTs may last up to 3 or 4 days, according to Dr. Richard Saitz in “Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal,” a paper published on the website of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

According to Saitz, “about 5% of patients who experience DTs die from metabolic or cardiovascular complications, trauma or infections.”

One should never detox from alcohol alone. A person going through withdrawal should be monitored by a medical professional.

– The Fix

________________________________________

THREE STEPS to HEAL FROM Emotional Abuse
By Dominica Applegate Jul 11, 2017 – Sober Recovery

What to Do When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction pic 2

Emotional abuse is a tragic occurrence that can turn even the happiest person into a sad and hopeless shadow. Sadly, it happens more often than we think. It can be anything from psychological abuse, which can cause anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, to physical abuse, which can be experienced anytime during childhood or adulthood. After going through any traumatic event, it can be very difficult to cope with the unresolved wounds alone. Some people turn to drinking and drugging for temporary relief from the painful feelings, but that simply masks a much larger problem that needs to be contended with.

To help you start the process of healing, here are 3 pivotal steps you’ll have to take in order to properly deal with emotional distress.

1. Recognize the Root Issues

When you’re dealing with emotions that include depression, intense anger, high anxiety and extreme fear, it is important to get to the root issue of the matter and take steps to address it. Many times, those who’ve experienced abuse in their childhood have difficulty associating their current pain and substance abuse with old childhood wounds. Thus, it may benefit them to reach out for help via counseling12-Step groups or a rehab facility, which can help them recognize, process and put these deep rooted issues to rest.

2. Take Responsibility

Many of us have gone through something traumatic in life, and the negative emotions that come along with these experiences are understandable. However, there needs to be a point in time for the person going through these hard feelings to start taking responsibility for their own healing. The process of mending themselves from the inside begins when one makes the conscious decision that they are done being locked in their own prison cell of negative emotions.

3. Facilitate Emotional Healing

There are various therapy treatments for emotional abuse. If you’re dealing with emotional and substance abuse issues, you’ll have to tackle your addiction first. Being under the influence will just make it harder to heal old wounds.

images

Once addiction recovery measures are in place, you can then look into some of the most popular modes of therapy that may help in your recovery:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy is known for its cognitive aspects of dealing with trauma as it targets your thoughts and feelings about past experiences. Its goal is to eliminate the negative emotions you have and replace them with a positive mindset.
  • Somatic Therapy: For a more holistic approach, it may be important to undergo therapy that contends with the physiological effects of trauma. Somatic therapy works by helping your body recognize and release the pent-up energy that has accumulated since the trauma occurred. Unlike CBT, it’s not so much about one’s cognitive responses but instead, how the body (the nervous system, in particular) dealt with the trauma. This type of therapy allows the body to heal itself by facilitating a physiological release of blocked energy so you can feel physically freed.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): This is a psychological acupressure technique recognized to help trauma survivors disassociate from old wounds so they can heal. Also known as “Tapping,” EFT involves literally tapping on certain locations in the body while repeating a positive affirmation out loud. It is currently used by many therapists in the world and is continually gaining more popularity.

Sometimes, trauma can take a real hit on your emotional well-being and affect your entire life, leaving some of us in the depths of addiction in search for a temporary relief. The therapy options mentioned above are just a few of the many avenues you can explore in order to heal from emotional abuse. Although it’s easier said than done, the one true way out of the situation and into emotional freedom comes with the decision to ask for help—and there are plenty of professionals available to walk you through it.

– Sober Recovery

________________________________________________

 
“Shared and Presented By Recovery Starts Here!”  ~  Author, Catherine Lyon

 

Advertisements

Recovery Guest Author, Christine H. Is Here With A New Special Article…

Recovery Guest Author, Christine H. Is Here With A New Special Article…

The Line Between Use and Abuse

 

Once upon a time, the term “addiction” was reserved for dependence on mind-altering chemicals. However, now a dependence on anything from video games to shopping is termed “addiction.” It can be a confusing world when something that’s usually a healthy coping behavior (like going to the gym) can turn into a mental disorder.

Everyone needs an outlet. Somewhere to channel the stresses of life when they just get to be too much. And everyone needs a diversion. However, how do you determine where exactly your habit turns into an addiction? Where is the line between use and abuse?

Here are 5 questions that can help you get a better perspective on whether or not your coping mechanism has turned into something that can be harmful instead of helpful for your life.

 

Have you tried to stop numerous times and failed?

 

This is one of the most notable characteristics of addiction, but it can also be the most commonly misunderstood. Individuals are often dismayed when they find that even though they had resolved to change their behavior, they fail. However, this in and of itself isn’t a marker of addiction. After all, how many people actually keep their New Year’s Resolutions? How many people start a diet that only lasts a few days? That doesn’t that they’re addicted to spending money or not working out or sneaking junk food. It might mean that they were ineffective in goal setting, or that they’re not sufficiently motivated to change behavior.

The big difference is when you resolve to change behavior because you ARE properly motivated. If you notice that your behavior is costing you too much, and still can’t seem to stop, you might be working with addiction rather than a bad habit. The next couple questions can help you clarify.

 

Use and Abuse 2

 

Is it hurting your health?

Often, people first start to consider addiction a problem because of a talk with a physician. When a certain behavior is hurting your body, it’s a cause for concern. Occasional use of something doesn’t have the same effects on your body as habitual use, one of the common stages of addiction. A doctor won’t refer you to an addiction professional for just a few drinks… unless you have liver disease and you still won’t stop drinking.

Usually, this measure only comes into play for addictions that have a direct effect on your physical health. This includes food disorders, adrenaline-seeking behavior, and exercise addiction. Often, we don’t see the signs that a doctor will. However, if you’re getting concerned about some of your own behaviors, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it, being completely upfront about what you’re doing so that they can determine whether it’s threatening your health.

Is it threatening your relationships?


There are some addictions that will never have a toll on our physical health, but they have a huge impact on our relationships. These additions might include pornography or gambling or online gaming. These types of addictions also don’t seem to have an “outer” looking appearance to a person like a drug addict or alcoholic. And the afflicted person has no idea how the addiction is damaging their health on the inside. Many have hypertension or high blood pressure, heart disease, or even becoming a diabetic without knowing.

Often, this is a tricky situation to sort out. You might feel like there’s nothing unusual or harmful about your behavior, but someone you love is concerned and wants you to change. It’s possible that sometimes your loved one is overreacting. But it’s also true that relationships require investment from both parties. If you’re unable to change your behavior in order to nurture those relationships that are most important to you, it might be a problem. Relationships and families depend on healthy boundaries that are made with love and followed with consideration.

Do you need more and more for the desired effect?


One of the first signs of any addiction
is that you need to escalate your usage in order to get the same desired effect. This is because your body is becoming slowly inured to the effects. So in order to experience the same hit of dopamine in the brain, you need to have more and more of the substance (or behavior.) This happens most notably with alcohol. Once the body is used to operating as normal with alcohol in the system, you need more and more in order to get drunk.

However, it can be the same with other substances or behaviors. If you find that you need more and more, that’s when things start to get dangerous, whether you’re shopping or adrenaline-seeking. This effect drives us to do things that we know could be harmful and cross boundaries we know we shouldn’t.

 

Use and Abuse 3

 

Do you feel ashamed after using?

This might be the most telling sign of an addiction. If you’re ashamed after a certain behavior, it’s a sign that you know that you need to change… and yet you’re not. Shame can be subtle, and hard to recognize in many of us. Shame might manifest itself as:

  • Anger
  • Despair
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Perfectionism in other aspects of your life
  • Numbing your feelings (often by indulging more often in the thing that makes you feel ashamed)

 

If you or a loved one are exhibiting these signs of addiction, reach out for help. Get help early before you become so thoroughly entrenched that it costs you valuable things in your life.


____________________________________________

Use links below to save image.

About The Author:

Christine is a professional writer and an avid reader who’s passionate about storytelling in all its forms. At any given moment, she’s in the middle of at least three books on anything from human psychology to ninjas. Although she’s a marathon swimmer and enjoys camping in the mountains, she believes there’s nothing better than a carton of ice cream and a Dawson’s Creek marathon.

 

Powerful Messages and A Look Inside Sobriety Through A Former NFL Professional.

Hello, and Welcome Recovery Friends and all Visitors,

It is not often people have the honor of becoming friends with a celebrity, or even a retired former NFL professional. No, that usually doesn’t happen to us “regular folk,”  LOL…LOL. But that is some of the beauty of recovery. We meet many people who are not shy about sharing their story and testimony of sobriety. That is what this post is all about! After all, we are all just “humans first and humans in progress” looking for a better way of life from addiction.

So, I have been blessed and honored to meet a wonderful new friend in recovery, but also a brother in “Christ” as well, and he and his wife help MANY reaching to recover from any addiction. I am talking about former NFL Denver Bronco, Vance Johnson and his wife Michelle. Beautiful people with big hearts who make a mission to help others. I came across some POWERFUL videos that Vance has done, and he also works for “Futures of Palm Beach.”

In them, he shares what it took for him to recover, as he did a few unconventional ways to get there. In this first video, he is using Behavioral Health – “Futures of Palm Beach” and their unique brand of psychotherapy and utilizes role-playing exercises, designed to give addiction recovery patients the opportunity to reexamine key episodes of their past through another person’s perspective. VERY powerful stuff!

So please take some time and listen. It is an amazing story and I need to say again, I am happy and blessed to call Vance and Michelle Johnson friends….

****************


*********************

.

“Vance’s Full Story”



*****************************

“Making Amends”

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Recovery Starts Here!

c1a2c2e6340f26c60f8d6706bc052d34

What to Do When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction?

What to Do When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction?

Addiction is one of the most prominent healthcare problems of our time. Since 1999, the rise in substance abuse in the United States and around the entire world has proven difficult to combat. Despite the awareness that we have of addiction, nowadays, there is still nothing that can prepare you for the shock of finding that someone whom you love is currently addicted to an illicit substance.

 

Supporting an addict is no easy task, and it is something that not everyone has the endurance to go through. Not only does addiction have a profound effect on addicts, but it can drain the life out of the people around them. Regardless, most people want to do what they can to help their loved ones conquer addiction and live a fulfilling life. To help in that endeavor, here are some tips on what to do when a loved one suffers from addiction…

 

Get them help

 

Addiction isn’t something that you can talk away. A single conversation isn’t going to rid it from your loved one or your lives. Addiction is a deeply rooted psychological problem and a behavioral disease. As such, it is something that necessitates professional help.

Addiction treatment centers are full of people who have devoted their lives to helping addicts get on the path towards recovery, and are trained in techniques that help empower addicts to gain control in their lives. First and foremost, getting your loved one into treatment should always be a primary goal. For more information about how to do that, check out this informative article here.

 

What to Do When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction pic 3

 

Educate yourself on addiction

 

In the famous book Sun Tzu’s Art of War, the eponymous Chinese general states that you need to know your enemy, inside and out. As such, in order to best help your loved one combat addiction, you need to know what you are both facing, when it comes to addiction. One reason that addiction education is so important is the misconception that addiction is a personality flaw that someone can merely stop doing. Addiction is a behavioral disease that affects a person on a mental and physical level. Educating yourself on things that can make addiction worse, or lessen its effects, is essential to help your loved one get through this fight.

 

Don’t alienate them

 

If you truly want to help your loved one overcome addiction, then you need to realize that you are both partners in this fight. One common mistake that people make is believing that you can shame an addict into changing their actions, and that this will coerce them into foregoing addiction. However, shame usually has the adverse effect on an addict, and will only serve to alienate them from the very people who want to help them. Typically, when they feel like there is nowhere to go, this is the environment in which addiction thrives. Don’t alienate the people you love with these sorts of tactics.

 

Set limits for yourself

 

What to Do When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction pic 1

As stated above, you don’t want to alienate a loved one when they are struggling with addiction. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own boundaries and limits that need to be respected. Because addiction is a behavioral disease, there is often an association with other types of behavior, such as lying or stealing. The truth is that nobody can continuously take deceptive behavior without feeling overwhelmed. Be upfront with your loved one about what your limits are, and don’t be afraid to uphold an ultimatum if it is what you need to stay sane, no matter how much it hurts.

 

Interventions may be necessary

 

This may seem like an enormous cliche, but interventions work. At the end of the day, if your loved one continues their addictive behavior without getting help, then it is unlikely that it will ever stop. During times like these, they need something direct to let them know that their behaviors are hurting themselves and the people around them. An intervention is a clear and obvious way for family and friends to be honest and tell everyone how they truly feel. Although interventions can be frightening, and it will almost certainly be awkward, they are necessary to save the lives of the people who we love.

_______________________________________________

By Guest-Alek S.

“Problem Gambling Awareness Month” My Guest Is Vegas Judy. “What If You Live In Las Vegas?”


WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A RECOVERING GAMBLER LIVING IN LAS VEGAS.
by JUDY G.

MEET, VEGAS JUDY!

 

old_caesars_palace_las_vegas_1

This is about two aspects of me – my evolution as a compulsive and then recovering gambler – and my growing fascination and compulsion to be in Las Vegas. Intertwined?Yes. But also distinct and separate. What I mean by that is: If gambling didn’t exist in Las Vegas, would I still want to live here? Yes.

However, since gambling does exist here, would I want to live anywhere else? No.

Now, back to the beginnings:

My childhood years certainly didn’t include this yearning to be in Las Vegas. But I guess I always had yearnings – and in those days, it was to live in the Golden State – California. I  spent the first 8 years of my life exclusively in California – mainly Lodi and Woodland. But when I was 9, my father “re-upped” and went back into the Air Force, and shortly after that, he was sent to Korea.

In Fifth Grade, I went to four different schools, including one in Texas and one in Virginia. This was the beginning of my Air Force brat experiences, and at the same time, I began thinking that “everything would be perfect” if I could just be with my friends in California. So I always had that propensity to think the “grass was greener” somewhere else.

I started living in a sort of “escape fantasy land” whenever real life got too rough. Since most of our relatives lived in California, no matter where we were stationed in the U.S., we usually made a road trip back to the Golden State at least once – usually during the summer. Quite often, these trips would take us through Las Vegas, where often we’d stop and spend the night. During those early years, I never thought about gambling, of course. It was strictly an adult playland then.

the-rat-pack-movie-poster-1967-1020194580
I was mostly aware of the celebrities who might be lounging around the pools or perhaps wandering in the casinos. I remember once being in a casino with my parents and hearing “Paging Mr. Belafonte, Mr. Harry Belafonte.” This was heady stuff for a movie-star-struck young girl. If my parents went to see a show at night, my sister and I didn’t mind. We’d stay at our motel, go swimming in the pool that was usually opened all night, and have fun on our own. I do remember seeing the “fantasyland” aspects of the Strip, such as it was, back in those days; such as the camels in front of the Sahara, the Sultan in front of the Dunes. But that’s all Las Vegas was to me then – a convenient stop on our way to my “mecca”, California.

As far as gambling, I had literally no experience or feeling about it one way or the other. Ironically, we were stationed in Wiesbaden Germany when I was 17, and my first “job” was giving out change for the small bank of slot machines in the Officer’s Club (the General Von Steuben). This was a pretty boring job. Hardly anyone spent much time in that little space.

I do, however, remember one woman who was pretty much a “regular,”  She started out feeding quarters into one particular machine and would stand there for hours, having drinks and hitting several jackpots, but by the end of the evening, there she was, slightly weaving, by now barefoot (there were no stools for the gamblers then, and those high heels got too tricky to stand in after awhile and after a few drinks) and her winnings had long gone back into the machine. I remember thinking how stupid and boring the whole thing was. (Little did I know that I was to become that woman one day).

My next exposure to gambling was back in Las Vegas. My first husband and I had (not surprisingly) gone to Vegas for our honeymoon.  In those days, there were no video poker machines, and I didn’t know how to play any “table games of chance”, so I just put a few quarters in the single reel slot machine and I might get lucky and win the “jackpot” – $25.

My second husband and I also went to Las Vegas on our honeymoon. He has the dubious honor of being the one who taught me how to play 21.  After winning a small jackpot on a machine, he suggested taking my winnings and playing blackjack. Of course, we had our Beginners’ Luck there, and that became my new favorite game, and a reason to escape to Vegas whenever I could talk him into it…

By the end of our marriage, we were two full-blown alcoholics, but he was happy to do his drinking every night in front of the TV set.  I, on the other hand, wanted the action and excitement and fantasy of Las Vegas!

 

LasVegas-MGMgrand

One night I got into an argument with him and ended up taking off in my car.  I was picked up by the police somewhere near Ontario, California, heading to L.A., yet I told the police I was driving to Vegas.  The fact that I had my housedress on and was drunk might have alerted the police to the veracity of my statement, and I spent that night in jail.  Toward the end of my second marriage, I had met my third husband-to-be, who was temporarily my “escape companion”.  Why not? He had no job, no ties.  Why wouldn’t he hook up with this crazy alcoholic who had a car, and all she asked of him was to drive her to Vegas.

When we’d first arrive, I would hit the tables and eventually pass out– sometimes in the casino (where I had to be carried to the room) – and sometimes waited til I was in the room. Inevitably, the next day I’d be suffering a mighty hangover and severe pangs of regret and guilt, and we’d morosely head back to the disapproving situation at home. Sometime in 1986, I had stopped drinking (after it quit working for me, and I had become suicidal).

Everyone predicted that I would want to leave my “companion” who was 14 years younger than I, a drug addict and unemployed. But I insisted that we were “in love” and it didn’t matter if he continued to use and I had stopped; love would conquer all. We probably WOULD have split up, if it hadn’t been that I got pregnant (surprise!) at age 45, so now we had to stay together, and do the right thing.

So, here I was, a new mother (again), supporting my baby and my (by then) husband.  My only escape was the periodic trips to Vegas.  I wasn’t drinking anymore, so that was good, but that hadn’t stopped my desire to go to Vegas; in fact, it was stronger than ever. You see, I didn’t realize it, but my quitting drinking was possible because I simply substituted the one addiction for another – gambling.  A couple of years later, I decided “enough with these 12 trips a year to Vegas; let’s move there.”  Again, my husband had no reason to deny the request.  I was able to retire from my county job, after 22 years of service and have a small retirement stipend, and made sure I had a new job waiting for me in Las Vegas before we moved here.

Showgirls at the Welcome Sign - 8-15-07

Sometime after we moved here, my husband brought home one of those hand held video poker machines.  I had never played poker before – only once, during a neighborhood friendly game, in which I had surprisingly won, with beginners’ luck, not having any idea what I was doing.  But with this hand-held amazing little thing, I learned to hone my skills quite sharply. Each time I went to a casino, it seemed that there were new and varied video poker games double bonus, triple bonus, bonus deluxe, etc., etc. In the last couple of years they added the three reels at a time, and now they even have 50 or 100 games you can play at a time. It’s mind-boggling!!

Now I had found the perfect answer to my female gambler’s dream. I didn’t have to sit and make chit chat with the other players at the 21 table. It could be just me and my machine –my lover–for hours at a time. No one to disturb us. The cocktail waitress would come around and occasionally I’d have a grapefruit juice (liquor was out, of course). This is a little personal, but I have to say that but sometimes I’d actually feel a mini-orgasm when I hit a jackpot. Meanwhile, at home, my libido was practically non-existent.

Sometimes the other players’ cigarette smoke would bother me, but usually, I could even ignore that – especially if I had a “hot” machine. I also loved it if they were playing the “right” music –usually some sultry and sensual, Marvin Gaye songs (“Let’s Get it On”), etc., or hits from further back –at a time when I was young and innocent.  The atmosphere in the casino appealed to me too –dark, soft neon lights flashing here and there, beckoning “come, play me”. No sense of time, no windows.  The tinkling of ice cubes in glasses, people laughing in the background. It was party time!

There has been a lot said and written about the commonalities of men and women gamblers and their differences.  For many men, it’s about being the “big shot”, showing off, taking a chance and winning big in some cases.  For many women, it’s more about escape and isolation. There’s one aspect, however, where this invisible dividing line blurs.  When I say I didn’t want to be a “big shot”, why then was it so important to me to use my “player’s card” at various casinos, and earn points so I could have the so-called “freebies” – like free room nights, free meals, free shows?  But more often than not, there’s no such thing as a “freebie.”

I remember about a year ago when I lost my whole paycheck at a locals casino.  A couple of days later I had no money, so my son and I went to the same casino and used some of my “points” to get a pizza in their Italian deli.  As we left, my son shouted out: “Thanks for the f____ing $1,000 pizza!” (Out of the mouths of slightly jaded babes!).

A funny thing about my style of playing is I didn’t want anyone to know if I hit a jackpot.  I wanted to just keep on playing – no congratulations or anything like that.  I was dead serious about this thing, and I didn’t want anything to interfere with my play.

Many times I sat there for 7 or 8 hours straight, without even taking a bathroom break. When I did, it was nearly impossible to make it without having an accident. So far I’ve concentrated on what I liked about being in the casinos.  What didn’t I like? Well, I didn’t like losing, and “chasing” my losses – or winning and yet not being able to quit until I’d put it all back. I didn’t like trying to get money out of a bank ATM machine, and being told “Unable to complete transaction”.

I didn’t like looking at myself in the bathroom mirror and seeing this strange, wild-eyed, with mussed up hair, confused and scared looking. Can you believe that even looking like this, some men actually “hit on me”?  I guess it was a matter of recognizing what they thought was “easy prey.” But I never resorted to that.  That was one of those “not yets.”  Not saying that it couldn’t have happened – just that it didn’t.

Worst of all, I hated coming home to anger and sadness, disappointment –my husband and my child looking forlorn and lost. What happened, Mommy?  Where was the pizza you said you’d bring home? Even when I had won, they usually weren’t that happy –unless I gave my husband some money so he could do what he wanted (gamble – or buy drugs), and get my son a new Play Station game or something like that, or say, “It’s OK, you don’t need to go to school today.”  He learned manipulation from the best teachers – me and his father.

I’ve managed to hit two milestones here while living in Las Vegas – of over a year “bet free”, but I never got much further than that. Looking back, I think it was because I thought I didn’t deserve any kind of success.  I was worthless. For the most part, I hadn’t really applied the 12 steps to my life –I just went on with it, usually as the martyr, until the pressure got so great and life looked so hopeless, that I had to go out and release my escape valve. All the pain and remorse of the past temporarily disappeared, in my pursuit of the fantasyland escape – the immediate fix, not thinking about the long-term effects.

The worst thing about living in Las Vegas and being a compulsive gambler is that the gambling is so accessible – you don’t even have to think twice about it – just hop in your car and go. Even the 7-11 around the corner has a few machines (although I liked to stick to the casino atmosphere as I mentioned above).  The best thing about living in Las Vegas and being a compulsive gambler is that there is ALL kinds of help – if you want it.

There are 24 hour GA (Gamblers Anonymous) meetings and people who know exactly what you’re going through.  I choose right now to stay in Las Vegas because I happen to love so many things about life here.  I especially am drawn to its history (yes, Las Vegas does have a history!) and I write about it at every opportunity.  I was excited in 2005 when this city celebrated its 100th anniversary.  It was Fantastic!

Is it stupid for me to remain here? Maybe so. Maybe not. One of my arguments is that gambling is available in just about any state now, and certainly in Europe. But the facts are, it isn’t as attractive to me anywhere else –not even “Reno or Laughlin” –certainly not “Atlantic City.” Something about being here in this jewel in the middle of the desert has me totally mesmerized and hypnotized. I look at the new games the casinos are offering – anything from ‘Betty Boop’ to ‘Austin Powers’ to the ‘Addams Family,’  and now ‘Popeye’ – and I wonder where it’s all leading.

It’s definitely luring kids, and I understand teenagers are being swept up by gambling – as much as drugs or alcohol. What’s the answer?

Blow up the casinos?

Make a new kind of prohibition? Probably not.

People will always seek their pleasures –in one form or another. They will be errant children. And some can get their pleasures in “safe” measures –not gambling more than they can afford, not becoming suicidal.

I don’t have anything really against gambling or drinking per say – I just know I can’t do it. Can I stay here in Las Vegas and fight my demons? Only time will tell, but I’m willing to give it another try.

(Judy wrote this in 2003 – “More has happened since then, but I’ll save that for another time.”)

Please visit and Purchase her Book Here on Las Vegas: The Fabulous First Century (NV) (Making of America) …. Author, Judy Dixon Gabaldon ~ aka: VEGAS JUDY

 

Come Meet The Alcohol Expert Author Scott Stevens.

Come Meet The Alcohol Expert Author Scott Stevens.

“Recovery readers, you all are in for a treat today as I am Happy to Welcome Author, Scott Stevens and his addiction and recovery collection of award-winning books about alcoholism, stigma and more. He even is the creator of his own Alcohology App, How Cool Is That?” So let’s learn more about Author, Scott Stevens and his books, which includes a new release. Make sure you go visit the app below!
–  –  –  –  –  –

.
.
Here is his New Book Release!


(Now Available on Amazon & Barnes and Noble)
.

So where do I begin? Scott and I had met not long ago. We both are contributing writers for a fantastic Treatment Directory at Addicted Minds  . . . The founder, Matthew Steiner introduced us through LinkedIn, as Scott was interested in help with his book promoting efforts and? BAM!! I work for him now! LOL.

Now seriously, he is a fantastic writer and he shares his knowledge of alcoholism, recovery and message through YouTube as well here: #66 Video On Alcohol & Recovery … So let’s learn more about this “man of mystery” and his newest book release.

.
Scott Stevens
.

About The Author:

Scott is an author and fantastic freelance writer of many articles about alcoholism with some humor and wit. But he is also a great dad to his kids as well.

Scott, a former mutual fund industry executive, Scott blends wit, journalistic objectivity, blunt personal dialogue and no-nonsense business perspective to his three books he has managed to write within his busy life. His books, 2010’s “What the Early Worm Gets,” 2013’s Indie Book Awards finalist, “Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud” and 2015’s “Adding Fire to the Fuel,” his newest offering. He regularly addresses conferences around the country — including the REEL Recovery Film Festival — on the latest trends in the field of alcohol use disorders.  He is also a 2015 SAMHSA Voice Award nominee.
He also runs:
.

Men For Sobriety

Wednesday Evenings, 7:30 P.M. Agape Recovery Center, 201 N. Pine St. Burlington

Learn more in this feature article on Men for Sobriety in The JournalTimes (Racine, Wis.) 5/14/14 . . .

“MFS Doesn’t Dwell On The Past, But On The Present And The Future.”
.

Scott is a journalist, posting regularly on health and alcohol issues for online news services and is a founding influencer at the world’s largest medical portal, HealthTap. Many popular alcohologists on air and on bookshelves have stellar credentials, but few have had to eat their own cooking. Stevens blends his stunning personal 86-proof-two-liters-a-day story with thorough research into alcoholism, sobriety, relapse and recovery. But Scott will be the first to tell you that his time with his kids comes first. . . And, if that wasn’t enough?

His life experiences, Scott has met seven Presidents of the United States, flown with the Navy’s Blue Angels, piloted a Los Angeles Class nuclear submarine and driven a NASCAR at 140-mph on a one-mile oval. Wow!

I’m tired already! What a busy life to be of recovery service to others. That is how Scott helps others in recovery and reaching out for understanding about alcoholism. Lastly, Scott the football fan and avid golfer, he holds a Master’s in Public Affairs Journalism from the University of Illinois – Springfield, he lives in the Midwest with his children.

.


(Author Scott Stevens & The Kids).
About His New release:

Product Details
(click book to buy & e-book only $2.99!)
.

“A not-so-silent thief makes off with $226 billion, every year, robbing the economy, flooding hospitals, clogging courts. And landing million-dollar spots in the year’s biggest televised sports events.“It” is alcohol. Not terrorism. Not obesity. Not cancer or diabetes or Ebola or any other disease. It’s alcohol. We’ll spend more to combat these other scourges that cause less turmoil and financial damage while alcohol rules the roost, the clubhouse, and the corner office.

The third-leading cause of preventable death and illness stays under the radar because of good advertising and bad stigma. Its purveyors are proclaimed as charitable kings. Those who use it and discover alcohol has health and social consequences are labeled as villains, kill-joys, weak, weird, or morally off.

The stigma of alcohol use disorders, treatment, and recovery which keeps the discussion of what alcohol does to you behind the wishful-thinking-driven chatter about what it does for you. The tipping point has passed. The status quo: No longer sustainable or acceptable.

Adding Fire to the Fuel examines:
How families and communities feed public and self-stigma even while the stigma holds them back; How stigma has become a barrier to many who want help; How to hang on to sobriety in a pro-alcohol world; And how PANonymous alcoholics will reduce stigma more than all the protests combined.”
.
Now where can you connect with Author, Scott Stevens? Well just about everywhere on social media! That’s where. LOL, and here a just a few places to do just that.

On both his fantastic websites:  The Alcohol Author ~ Scott Stevens
And on BlogSpot Video Series Author, Scott Stevens ~ Health Journalist
.

And Connect with Scott at these Fine Social Media sites below. . .

Check out the Trailer for “The A-Files” coming soon!
Project Trailer Scott Stevens

Scott’s video’s each week: Scott’s YouTube Video’s
Add Me To Your Google+ Circle
Follow Me On GoodReads
Connect With Scott on Twitter
All My Books & Amazon Author Page
Go “Like” his Facebook page.
Addicted Minds Writer ~ Alcohol Author

.

Product Details
(click book to Amazon)
.
About The Book ~ Silver Lining

Nine out of ten people who quit drinking relapse at least once. “Every
Silver Lining Has a Cloud” shows why it’s not just once… without
pithy slogans or trademarked solutions. From the author of “What
the Early Worm Gets,” a startling book defining Alcoholism, here’s a
book explaining how and why relapse happens, how to hold it at bay
and why every American should care. Sobriety is a state of illness and
its symptoms, left untreated, lead directly to lapse. Addressing the
Symptoms of Sobriety is essential.
.
Why would any sober Alcoholic return to the misery?
What are the Symptoms of Sobriety and how do Alcoholics and non-Alcoholics guard against them?
What four overlooked stressors trip up recovery?
Can you hit bottom sober?
The narrative dashes along peaks of anger, joy, desperation, relief and
hope interspersed with solid data on the disease and guidance for
avoiding relapse traps.
It’s not enough to just stop drinking. . .

Now that I have shared just about all you need to know about this fantastic writer and author?
Here are a few Amazon Book Reviews of how much readers have enjoyed about Scott’s books.

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Scott Steven’s extremely readable “Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud” is SUCH an important work! Powerful, clearly written, enormously informative, this book taught me not only about the emotional rollercoaster an alcoholic takes, but also about the chemical science of alcoholism, which basically stacks the genetic biochemical deck against him or her.

Scott also goes into Al-Anon, the legal system, and the futility of incarceration programs as well as how dysfunctional families play such a large role in alcoholism. Peppered throughout the book are well-versed truisms and great chapter opening quotes, which I personally thought added an extra punch to it all. And lest you think this book is like so many other self-help books, filled with one unprovable case study after another, here, every eye-opening statement or life example is backed up by worthy sources. A true find for everyone! HIGHLY recommended!

Another Amazon Reader:

“Scott Stevens has again written another very powerful and necessary book. The stigma attached to being an alcoholic or recovering alcoholic is overwhelming and Scott explains and goes far to share what needs to be done to erase that stigma.

Scott’s statistics, research, and facts in Adding Fuel are awesome and very useful … especially for people like me who work with people and families who are dealing with alcoholism. There is no room for blame or shame and certainly no labeling when it comes to people who are in recovery. I have never seen those things work for anyone. Many people do want to get sober or clean but, the fear of being “found out,” keeps them from taking the first step into recovery. I truly wish I could get this book into the hands of every teacher, doctor, rehab in the world. It is an eye-opener and it left me feeling hopeful. Thank you again for writing this Scott.”
Highly Suggest This Book!
–   –  –  –   –   –  –  –  –

Recovery Guest Author presented by, “Recovery Starts Here” of Author, Catherine Lyon 

My Friend & Fellow Author, Scott Stevens Has Some News & Advice. Well He Is The Alcohol Expert You Know.

My Friend & Fellow Author, Scott Stevens Has Some News & Advice. Well He Is The Alcohol Expert You Know.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

.
alcohology app 2
.
Have you ever wondered what alcohol does to you when it comes to your health?
How about when we see on the news about drinking a glass a wine each day and all the “so-called” health benefits we “supposedly” get from it? Or do you think you consume too much alcohol? How would you really know?

Well, my good friend and fellow Author, Scott Stevens has all the answers to these questions and much more! He has developed an Alcohol App that is free to use, and can help you tell if your drinking in excess.

He has also done research about those “so-called health benefits” we get from consuming alcohol. They are his personal feeling and thoughts of course. But Scott is The Alcohol Expert with three fantastic award-winning books under his belt!

So here are a couple of article shares of Scott’s that he shared recently on his own website here  Scott Stevens ~ Alcohology App & Website and also a new article on the APP over on Addicted Minds & Assoc. Fresh Perspectives Blog where we both are recovery/addiction contributing writers . . .

.
FREE ALCOHOLOGY APP  2.0 Released For Those Questioning Alcohol Use.

.

Keynote speaker, award-winning author Scott Stevens
.

The updated Alcohology app version 2.0 is free and ad-free, effective Jan. 21, 2016. The Android app includes 70 video vignettes supporting the fact that sobriety is a better thing to have than to lack. Alcohology looks at alcohol’s role in health issues from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to cancer to dementia to alcoholism, plus has sobriety-saving hints in its mini-features. The app is geared toward those new to sobriety and those in pre-contemplation: Thinking about the choice not to drink, but need evidence that what causes problems is one.

The app update – available only for Android devices and not designed for Apple IOS at this time – is timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the platform as well as “The Dry January Initiative.” Dry January began in the United Kingdom three years ago, with Alcohology Books author and app creator, Scott Stevens, being among the first to pick up the theme in 2013 in the United States.

Stevens describes the app as serving two roles. “First, for the alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike, it shows what the toxin and known carcinogen does to you. There’s a gulf of misinformation about alcohol’s short- and long-term health consequences.” He describes observational studies as “widely reported wishful thinking discredited by evidence-based science.”

The main goal for the app, in Stevens’ view, is to help those considering abstinence and those in early sobriety. “There is a constellation of motivators that will get a person to seriously consider their drinking choice. The health damage, especially the link to cancer, is one point in that constellation. It’s an eye-opener.”

The app can be found in the GooglePlay store or by typing in the shortened URL http://bit.ly/1K08gtR.

Among the Alcohology app’s vignettes:

Six Sobriety-Saving Tips

Binge Drinking vs. Daily Drinking Hazards

Breaking the Alcohol-Is-Heart-Healthy Myth

Alcohol Recovery Medications and the Quest for the Holy Grail

Four Signs of Alcohol-Related Liver Damage

Three Ways Alcohol Can Trigger Asthma

.

Screenshot_2016-01-21-19-15-52

.

Each one to two-minute segment covers one topic culled from evidence-based research. Video files and transcripts, which include citations of the scientific studies used, are found on the parent website, www.alcohologist.com.
–   –   –   –   –   –   –


Now here is part 
of his new article about the Health & Studies of alcohol benefits.
Please visit his website link to read the whole fantastic Article  USDA Misguiding Health

.

Alcohol writer: USDA “healthy” diet guide to injure Americans for 5 more years

.
“Jan. 8, 2016 — 
New governmental dietary guidelines are dangerous to the health of America and contradict common sense and evidence-based research, including research by the very organization that released the five-year recommendation. The 2015-2016 Dietary Guidelines were released jointly by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) Jan. 7.”

BUT… There are no documented health benefits to consuming beverage alcohol. Evidence-based studies provide robust data that conclusively demonstrate alcohol’s undisputed ability to ruin otherwise healthy tissue. It isn’t a health-conscious dietary addition in any amount. The eighth edition of the government’s guidelines state: “If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.” The statement leads to an alcohol appendix, which, “in 300 words doesn’t mention a single health consequence of drinking a toxin.” The appendix: If alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age. For those who choose to drink, moderate alcohol consumption can be incorporated into the calorie limits of most healthy eating patterns.
.
The Dietary Guidelines does not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason; however, it does recommend that all foods and beverages consumed be accounted for within healthy eating patterns. Alcohol is not a component of the USDA Food Patterns. Thus, if alcohol is consumed, the calories from alcohol should be accounted for so that the limits on calories for other uses and total calories are not exceeded. For the purposes of evaluating amounts of alcohol that may be consumed, the Dietary Guidelines includes drink-equivalents [table]. One alcoholic drink-equivalent is described as containing 14 g (0.6 fl oz) of pure alcohol.
.
The following are reference beverages that are one alcoholic drink-equivalent: 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol), 5 fluid ounces of wine (12% alcohol), or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol). Packaged (e.g., canned beer, bottled wine) and mixed beverages (e.g., margarita, rum and soda, mimosa, sangria) vary in alcohol content. For this reason, it is important to determine how many alcoholic drink-equivalents are in the beverage and limit intake. [Table] lists reference beverages that are one drink-equivalent and provides examples of alcoholic drink-equivalents in other alcoholic beverages.
.
First of all, to endorse any amount of alcohol for a person with the disease of alcoholism – which afflicts 21 million Americans – is entirely irresponsible, yet they only caution those who are pregnant. Secondly, the guidelines are said to be “components of a healthy and nutritionally adequate diet to help promote health and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.” Alcohol use – even moderate use – is a risk factor for all five of those chronic diseases. Consider the evidence-based data:

Cancer:
Even moderate alcohol use may substantially increase the risk of dying from cancer, according to a study published in Feb. 2012 in the American Journal of Public Health. Alcohol use accounts for about 3.5 percent of all U.S. cancer deaths annually, according to the study. “Most deaths seemed to occur among people who consumed more than three alcoholic drinks a day, but those who consumed 1.5 beverages daily may account for up to one-third of those deaths,” the researchers concluded.


Obesity:
Alcohol is the first fuel to get burned. Fat burning is postponed for alcoholics and non-alcoholics alike because fat won’t burn when there’s alcohol in the body. Pure alcohol also is calorie dense at seven calories per gram. Only fat is denser at 9 calories per gram. Alcohol’s seven calories lack the micronutrients beneficial for a healthy metabolism, so even if a dieter swaps out food for alcohol, the alcohol calories aren’t useful. In fact, alcohol calories hasten fat storage since they don’t benefit digestion.  Alcohol reduces testosterone. Testosterone is the body’s anabolic hormone that contributes to lean muscle gain. Lower testosterone from alcohol use means less muscle, less muscle means a lower metabolic rate, and the metabolic rate dictates the body’s potential to burn fat.
Again, go take a visit to Scott’s site and read this powerful full article today.
–   –   –   –   –   –   –


ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ALCOHOL EXPERT:

.
Keynote speaker, award-winning author Scott Stevens
.

A journalist and mutual fund industry executive, Stevens has spoken at conferences nationwide. His own, candid, 86 proof, two-liter-a-day story is a startling trip close to death that hits close to home. He’s the Guy Next Door, not the common but outdated stereotype of an Alcoholic.


In What the Early Worm Gets Stevens spells out the differences between Alcoholism and alcohol abuse.  He also exposes the ethical considerations of criminal justice and “rehabilitation” programs from a business executive’s experience. The programs taxpayers fund employ a one-size-fits-all view of alcohol issues. Billions are spent on barbarism and coercion instead of common sense, science, and results. He saw it from the “inside” as well as through a journalist’s perspective.


His life accomplishments have been pretty normal peppered with outstanding experiences like meeting seven Presidents of the United States, flying with the Navy’s Blue Angels, piloting a Los Angeles Class nuclear sub and driving a NASCAR over 140 MPH on a one-mile oval.


“Most importantly, my children respect me and like me as well as love me.  Not any of the experiences or things I accomplished in the lifetime before six disastrous weeks prepared me for the few years researching, writing and living What the Early Worm Gets and Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud. The experience I came through might surprise you to find out that the kind of coercion, stigma, and misinformation that might be common in China goes on every day in 21st century America.”


Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud
 is a look at alcoholism and recovery and the role of cortisol in relapse.  Stevens uses the term Symptoms of Sobriety to indicate when lapse could be just around the corner and adds in detail about the four stressors almost every Alcoholic experience that can jeopardize sobriety.


Shortly into 2015,  his third book, Adding Fire to the Fuel, was released to critical acclaim.

.
Product Details

(click to Amazon and now released)