“Lets Talk War Stories of Addiction and The Criminal Consequences”

Hello and Welcome all Recovery Friends,

 

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I wanted to write and share a little about the damages and consequences many of face when we were deep within our addictions. One of those can be losing your freedom due to jail, criminal records or doing jail or prison time. I had visited a friend’s blog this morning, and he had just been released from prison five days ago. I have followed some of his journey on his blog while he was there. And I can tell you, there is nothing worse than having your freedoms of life taken away from you.

See I know this first hand as I had this happen myself, just no prison time. Back in 2006,  I made the poor choice to steal from someone due to financial problems of my own. This person filed charges, by which she had every right to do so. I was arrested at my home, taken to jail, booked, and then released. Talk about shame and embarrassment. It was the lowest point in my life besides my two failed suicide attempts. I was living in Oregon at the time, in a small community, so everyone of course read about it in our local newspaper.

I had spent over 20 years in the banking field, so I knew many people and business people in my town. So it was again pretty embarrassing to know they all may have read about my downfall.

FREEDOM,  Are YOU HEARING ME? GET YOUR FREEDOM BACK.

He was talking about how he was becoming addicted to his tech stuff. His cell phone, the internet and social media, and how much had changed just in the seven years that he was away in prison. I SO understood what my friend, fresh out of prison was feeling and going through. I’m addicted to the same, but? I have chosen to be addicted to social media and the internet for two excellent reasons, and these reasons are blessings of my hard work in recovery and given from my higher power.

I use them for my recovery to help others, share hope in recovery, inform and educate others about gambling, alcohol, and other addictions, as I blog my recovery journey. I also use it for a ‘Home Business.’  Again, as you may know, I promote other authors with a small ‘Book & Social Media Promotions’ job for extra income. And here is why, which I know you all in recovery will understand.

In 2006, I chose to steal from someone while I cleaned her home. It is all in my book. I was arrested, charged, given two years probation, and loads of community service. I’m still paying my fees and the little balance left of my restitution to this day. So with having a criminal record, no one would hire me. So I had to think outside the box and figure a way to make money from home. I also suffer severe depression and agoraphobia, so I don’t work outside my home anymore.

BAM! Book promoting and authoring more recovery books came to mind! I’m not rich yet, but I have made enough to pay our rent some months, and that not only feels good/ but are blessings in recovery.  It also raises your self-worth, confidence and gives you freedom from addiction!


 

We need to learn while in recovery to take ownership and accountability of the choices we had made within our addictions. No matter how long it takes to work through them? It can be done, or you will never feel that full sense of freedom from your past if you don’t. And boy did I have a lot to process and overcome of my past starting as a hurt, traumatized little girl. That holds true for the other obstacles that come from just life trials and storms besides addiction.

There are many ways to accomplish this. Many choose treatment or rehab, depending on the type of addiction you are recovering from. Many turn to 12 step programs, or even to their church. Doesn’t matter what route you choose, just do it. We can change those bad habits and behaviors we tend to learn within addiction/ and replace them with awesome ones. It’s what I told my friend in his blog comment section. He feels he is becoming addicted to his cell, the internet, and social media sites.

So I told him to change his priority of why he is using them. I use them to help others in recovery, and that is what helps ME stay in recovery. Sharing my story, sharing my hope to others so they too can help others. Same with my book promotions. I enjoy helping other authors promote their books. And I work just as hard for them as I do when I help others in recovery.

I never dreamed how my life could take such a positive turn from the damage and devastation of gambling addiction and alcohol abuse I battled. Never dreamed I’d be a published author in my lifetime. But when we are in addiction, we just don’t see anything but the addiction. What a life legacy I get to leave behind for others who come to recovery after I’m gone. Awesome! Just don’t give up on those dreams.

So go ahead and take your freedom Back from Addiction Today!!
You are worth it!

May God Bless You Abundantly Friends,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon XOXO
Author and Recovery Advocate

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A Special Re-Share From My Friend Rhonda Johnson’s Important Blog

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

I happen to see this on my good friend Rhonda Johnson’s blog, and I find appropriate to share here. To me, it’s important to continue to talk about
Mental Health issues, as many of us have a daily challenge living with it.
I know I do! Put when we can Raise Awareness, help educate and inform the
the public as to what we go through living with mental health disabilities, maybe, just maybe it will start to break the walls of Stigma just a little bit
more!

If you or someone you know has mental/emotional health disabilities, please visit and explore Rhonda’s blog: http://www.memoirsof2165.com/
Her new book just came out as well, and she does great work for many in recovery, those with mental health challenges, and as she says, “Words Are Powerful!”. . . .

Society and Mental Health Disorders

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glenn_close_on_stigma_of_mental_illnesses___by_rationalhub-d5gn4rp.

Let’s Talk Depression…

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Grab a copy of her new book here and don’t forget to do a review!

Product Details

Memoirs Of An Addict: Fact or Fiction ~ Now on Amazon. . .

 

“I am Honored to have Arnie & Sheila Wexler ~ Gambling Addiction Recovery Experts to my Recovery Blog”…

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and New Visitors,

I’m very happy and honored to welcome and share with my recovery friends a wonderful couple who have helped many people recover from compulsive addicted gambling, and have done so longer then I have been in my own recovery from this cunning disease almost 8 years now. They raise awareness, inform, and advocate tirelessly. They have changed and saved many lives from this devastating addiction. So I welcome them both to my blog, and Thank The Wexler’s for letting me share a little of what they do for others who suffer problem & addicted gambling.


(Arnie & Sheila Wexler)
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The Wexler’s have a great website that has excellent addiction and recovery information about problem gambling and they help educate many agencies, organizations, and help the afflicted to recover from this cunning disease through their Hotline called “Last Bet” 1-888-Last-Bet, and website: http://www.aswexler.com/
Here is a little more of what they do, who they are, and how they help many! …

Arnie and Sheila Wexler have provided extensive training on Compulsive, Problem and Underage Gambling, to more than 40,000 gaming employees (personnel and executives) and have written Responsible Gaming Programs for major gaming companies. In addition, they have worked with Gaming Boards and Regulators, presented educational workshops nationally and internationally and have provided expert witness testimony.
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Sheila Wexler is the Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Foundation. They also run a national help line (888 LAST BET) and work at Recovery Road, a treatment facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida that specializes in the treatment of those suffering with gambling addiction.
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Those of us in recovery from this disease know that Stigma around this addiction is huge, and we have a long way to go to shatter it! But Arnie has been a very loud voice in informing the public about this very secret addiction, just as I am. It’s time people know more about it, and know there is NO Shame in talking about it, or for reaching out for help.

I remember when my current book first released, as I began sharing and promoting my book through social media and with many recovery places, I kept hearing about this guy named ‘Arnie Wexler’. Many gambling treatment websites I’d go to for information, research, and support, I’d be asked if I knew or heard about Arnie Wexler? I was told Arnie and his wife know about all things gambling addiction and recovery.

Even my good friend Marilyn Lancelot Author of, ‘Gripped by Gambling’ had asked me when we first met, “have you heard of Arnie Wexler?, the guy who was on 60 Minutes & ABC’S Nightline”?
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I told Marilyn I have heard about him by many people in the gambling recovery circles, but never had the pleasure of meeting or corresponding with him or his lovely wife Sheila. That was in 2011. Then a month or so ago, I was called and interviewed by Elaine Meyer of Columbia University Dept. Of Epidemiology.

She was doing research about problem and addicted gambling, and was writing a large article about it from many angles of this topic. Elaine’s article came out September 10th, 2014, and low and behold as I read the article there was Arnie in the article too! It’s titled, Gambling with America’s Health?
http://the2x2project.org/gambling-public-health/
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Elaine Meyer
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Elaine Meyer has worked as a journalist covering education and legal news. She graduated in 2009 with an M.S. from Columbia School of Journalism and is currently the associate director of communications for Columbia’s Department of Epidemiology, where she carries out the department’s mission of translating public health science to the larger public. Follow her @emeyer5

It is one of the best articles about problem & addicted gambling I have read in all my years in recovery from this cunning addiction. So I got brave enough to reach out to Arnie through LinkedIn Professionals website and connect with him, as I wanted him to know how much I liked his part in the article. He accepted my connect request and the rest as they say is history! I then was brave enough to ask if I could share the wonderful work he and his wife Sheila does for others with problem or addicted gambling here on my recovery blog?

Well, he not only said yes, but he has given us a Sneak Peek of his new book that will release very soon!
But here is a wee bit more about Arnie Wexler we may not know about …
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Arnie Wexler’s compulsive gambling spiraled out of control  . . . now after forty-plus years in recovery he is a nationally known expert on gambling addiction and helps others to “quit the bet.” All Bets Are Off chronicles Wexler’s life as a gambler that began on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, flipping cards, shooting marbles, and playing pinball machines. At age fourteen he found the racetrack, a bookie to take his bets, and started playing the stock market. His preoccupation with gambling accelerated until a fateful day in 1968 when it all came crashing down. Wexler’s gripping narrative leads us through the dungeon of a compulsive gambler’s world—chasing the big win and coming up with empty pockets—and how his addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life. With help, they managed to escape, and together they have devoted themselves to helping others with the problem they know so well …

His new book titled,  All Bets Are Off,  was written along with Steve Jacobson. And again, Arnie has given me and my recovery friends a sneak peek, but keep in mind it’s an unedited look at the new book. I have pre-ordered my copy and so should all of you! One of the extraordinary things about Arnie and Sheila is that they give us a look inside how gambling addiction not only affects the addict, but how it affects our loved ones and spouses.
That’s where Sheila comes in.

Together, their story and personal testimony is very important. We need to be able to see how gambling affects all who are around us, and to see what we but our spouse/partner through, and the family as a whole. That is the topic of the part of the book Arnie was kind enough to share with us. So Happy Reading!
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All Bets Are Off … By: Arnie Wexler and written with Steve Jacobson

All Bets Are Off: Losers, Liars, and Recovery from Gambling Addiction

About The Authors:

Steve Jacobson:
Steve Jacobson was a sports reporter and columnist for Newsday for 44 years beginning in 1960. He was awarded first prize by the Associated Press of New York and Top Five Sports Columnists numerous times by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, among other accolades. In 2004, he created, conducted interviews for, and helped script the documentary Jackie’s Disciples for ESPN …

Arnie Wexler:
Arnie Wexler is a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor and runs a national hotline for compulsive gamblers. He was the executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey and the senior vice president of National Council on Problem Gambling. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Nightline, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, 48 Hours, and Crossfire, among others.
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ALL BETS ARE OFF”:

 SHEILA ~ A Wife’s Nightmare:

I kept thinking it would get better. Married life got worse. The refrigerator was empty and the furniture was threadbare and the scruffy apartment was more dismal.

I was trying to get pregnant, as infrequently as we made love. (if Arnie won that day he was so high, he did not need sex, if he lost he could care less sometimes if we had sex and he was hearing a ball game under the pillow) I thought having a child would pull us together. The doctor told me that the stress I was living with made getting pregnant more difficult. I certainly was living with stress. Then I did become pregnant and those were happy times for me, even if it was one-sided joy. I wrapped myself up in myself. I ignored what was going on in our lives together.

I was determined to have a baby. Everything was going to be wonderful. For a while being pregnant was my delight. I was very forgiving and less critical of Arnie in my own mind. He’d come home with some kind of present for me and was extra attentive even for a day or a weekend and that was enough for me to back away from my hostility. I was fooling myself. One time when my pregnancy was close to term, I phoned him at work and asked him what I should do if I went into labor. Before that, when I had a doctor’s appointment, he’d send me with his brother. Now, he told me to call my father to take me to the hospital, he was busy. Some if this seems like more of the same, but each of his lies compounded my depression.

After Stacy was born, as difficult as the delivery was, things began falling apart more. From the outside people said our life together looked fine. In nice weather Arnie would take her to ‘Flushing Meadow Park’ every Saturday and Sunday morning about 11 o’clock. Yes, his bookmaker opened for business at 11:30. We didn’t have cellphones back then and after he pushed Stacy on the swing for a few minutes, he would find a phone booth where he could watch her feed bread to the ducks on the pond and he would be dealing with his bookmaker. Neighbors would say what a great husband he was.

The truth was, he never saw her take her first steps or hear her say her first words. And if he did, they didn’t register for him. He was there but his head wasn’t. If he was watching TV of the ballgame he had bet and she stepped in front of the screen and some guy made an error, it became her fault he lost the bet. When we were summering in the mountains, he was happy when he took her to the track in Monticello on a Saturday afternoon. He’d bet the horses she liked—the gray one or No.4. One time she picked a $60 winner and he thought she was his good luck charm.Sometime after Stacy was born, Arnie was up against the financial pressures and obviously depressed. He had used up his customary sources of money. He went to his boss and borrowed $3,000 against his salary of $125 a week, and $10 a week was to come out of his salary. He was trying to hide this from me. He was being paid by check with itemized deductions, which would have exposed what he had done to me. So he would cash the check before he got home and mark his own deductions on a bank envelope. I asked how come he was now being paid cash in an envelope for the first time.

He told me that was because now the Brinks truck was coming to the plant and everybody would line up to be paid. A half-intelligent person would have doubted that. Was it logical for maybe 2,000 people to lineup to be paid in cash from a Brinks truck? Somewhere inside me there still was a person who had some instincts that the story couldn’t be true. I decided to catch him.

I got hold of a standard W-2 tax form and broke down the figures of taxes and Social Security. And it came out that Arnie was shorting me $25 a week on his take-home. He said the boss was taking that out of his checks while Arnie was trying to pay off his debts to bookmakers and loan sharks. I was trying to catch him at that lie so I phoned him on a Friday afternoon and told him I knew what he was doing to me. He said so innocently, “I’ve been waiting for you to ask me.”

This was a joke I couldn’t believe. He said we live in New York and he works in New Jersey and it had to do with discrepancies in the state taxes. He said, “I’ll explain when I get home.” Friday nights he usually came home because he and my father were going to the track together. He gave me a paper on which he had written a man’s name and phone number. He said that was the name of a man in the IRS office in Jamaica, I should get in touch with him and he’d explain the whole thing to me.

He knew, of course, I would never make that phone call. I knew he was lying. A short time later I got a letter from a bank addressed to him. He had asked for a loan application to be sent to the office and instead the bank sent it to the house. The bank said it couldn’t grant the loan because we had too much outstanding credit. I thought our debts were paid off at that time, so I knew there was a lie there.
Arnie said the loan wasn’t for him, it was for his friend Michael, who gambled with him. Arnie brought Michael to the house to prove that the loan was for him. I said, “No offense, Michael, but please leave.” It was the first time in all those years that I really asserted myself. When Michael left I turned to Arnie and said, don’t bother giving me some cockamamie explanation, I know you’re lying to me.

So I had caught him, but what were we going to do about that? The dollar-burden was dragging me down. I was sliding down emotionally. My doctor had me taking Valium. I wouldn’t tell him I knew Arnie had a gambling problem. I hadn’t recognized how bad that problem was, but I knew something was wrong. I was afraid there might be another woman, but I knew then he was a liar. So I stopped asking questions. I stopped fighting back and at home we were like ships passing in the night.

I thought—like a lot of lonely wives—another child would give me more satisfaction and would bring Arnie closer. Arnie gave me half-hearted acceptance. We were trying and that didn’t work out. Then I had the brilliant idea that we should adopt, and his response was that adoption cost money, didn’t it? At that time Arnie was on what he called a win streak and had hidden a quantity of money under the linoleum between the closet and the living room. I came across it when I stepped on the bulge.
That wasn’t to pay the cost of adopting, Arnie insisted, that was gambling money and you don’t use gambling money for anything else.(Arnie did not say this out loud to me…he would never admit that the money was for gambling…he made up some kind of story about it).
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After three months or so of haggling about adoption, he relented. He thought I would be so busy with two kids that I would leave him alone. His grandmother lent us $3,000 and we went to Florida to pick up the baby. The day we were bringing little Howie home on the plane was the seventh game of the 1967 World Series. I was busy looking after this beautiful new baby and Arnie had no interest in him; he had a big bet on the game.

The pilot would announce the score every fifteen minutes or so and Arnie was squirming in his seat, wishing or praying that the plane would land so that he could watch or at least hear the end of the game. That was what was important to him. Summers living in a small shabby apartment in Queens in steamy New York summers are uncomfortable and I felt we needed an escape like the ones his (my) mother rented in the Catskills. Neither of us wanted to share with her, and with his graft money, Arnie had money but he felt he still needed $400. He had this idea for me at a time I was uncomfortable talking to anybody. He told me he was going to buy dresses from the factory—actually he was going to steal them and bring them home under his shirt. I was supposed to sell them to people I knew and we would share the profits. I couldn’t do that.(I did do the dress sales…dying inside but wanting the money to go away in the summer) …

That was when I started thinking about suicide. I became so paralyzed that I couldn’t leave the house. I couldn’t face the world. I didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone. When the weather wasn’t too bad, I’d put the babies outside on the little patio, watch them through the window and wallow in self-pity. I was totally dependent on him. I wasn’t working, of course, and I would never admit to my parents that our marriage wasn’t working and I needed to move back with them.
I was part of what my generation had taught me. No matter what, I was always afraid he was leaving. He would play on my fears. We’d have an argument and he’d snap that he was leaving. He’d go to the closet, push some clothes around noisily and I’d plead, “Don’t leave! Don’t leave!” And he was off to Roosevelt or Yonkers Raceway, leaving me in my hysteria.

Every Saturday he went to work and told me the switchboard closed at noon and I wouldn’t be able to reach him. He’d go to the track, come hone at 4 or 5 o’clock and put on the results. At night he’d tell me there were meetings he had to go to, and go to the track or to card games.
By that time I absolutely hated him. I used to sit by the window and plan what it was going to be like after he died. We’d sit in mourning and everybody was going to come my house and feel sorry for me. That’s how I thought I’d get out of it. I used to wish for him to get killed in a car accident. Not long after that, it turned into I wish I would die, but then I was worrying who would take care of my children?The idea of Arnie going for treatment( 12 step recovery program) was nowhere in my mind. I didn’t even think there was treatment for compulsive gambling. That was another life ago and we can laugh at a lot of things that made me cry. We’ve been through a treatment that worked for him and so it worked for me.(I had my own program of recovery, also) We’ve rediscovered what we thought we had together in the first place.

Arnie is a nice ( wonderful guy…good to his family and friends ) guy who tries to help people.
This is not a person who would be mean or cruel or uncaring about his wife or children. That’s impossible to see in him. It took me some years to be that forgiving but I came to understand that in his right mind, that wasn’t him. He could be that only under the influence of this crazy thing.
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A Little More of Arnie’s Story:
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“I am a recovering Compulsive Gambler who placed my last bet April 10,1968″…As a young kid, growing up, I always felt that everyone was better than me. The only time I felt okay about myself was after I had a win, whether it was marbles or baseball cards or pennies. Then at 14 I went to the racetrack for the first time (that was Memorial Day, 1951 Roosevelt Raceway). At that time in my life I was making $.50 an hour after school, working about 15-20 hours a week. That night at Roosevelt Raceway I had my first big win and walked out of the track with $54. Looking back today, I think it was that night that changed my life. Even though it was only $54, it was about 5 weeks salary to me at that time. That night gave me the belief that I could be a winner from gambling and eventually become a millionaire. I can still recall that high feeling walking out of the racetrack that night.

By 17, I was already stealing to support my gambling. It started with stealing comic books to play cards with from the local candy store. Before long it was stealing money from my family to pay for gambling. By then I was taking the bus to the racetrack, a few nights a week on a regular basis. In those days they closed the track in the winter months, in New York so on weekends, I would take the bus or the train to Maryland to gamble. I was betting sporting events and horses with the bookmaker on a daily basis. In those days each sport had its own season. I remember calling the bookmaker one day and the only thing that was available to gamble on was hockey. I had never seen a hockey game, but bet on it anyway. It wasn’t until months later when I did see my first hockey game, that I realized that hockey was played on ice.

Somewhere between age 17 and 20 I went to the racetrack one night and won $6000. Wow! Another big win. It was the equivalent of 2 years salary. This reinforced my belief that I could be a winner at gambling … For the rest of his story, please visit their website http://www.aswexler.com/
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Arnie and Sheila Wexler Associates

Contact Us

If you need help with a gambling problem, call 1-888-LAST-BET, so if you or someone you care for has a gambling problem, please call or visit The Wexler’s as you’d be in good hands and their website is very informative. Here is how & who they help at A.S. Wexler Associates.

Services We Offer:

We offer consultation, interventions, group, individual, and family counseling, couple’s workshops, referrals, evaluations, and expert testimony. In addition, we provide educational seminars, workshops, and training.

Educational Videos Available,

Who Can Utilize Our Services?

  • Addiction Treatment Centers
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Legal and Judicial Professionals
  • EAPs
  • State Human Services Agencies
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Gaming Industry Personnel
  • Legislators
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Individuals and their Families
  • State and Federal Governments

“It is our goal to raise the awareness of those who are in a position to help compulsive gamblers and their families” …
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*Again, I’d like to Thank Arnie & Sheila Wexler for the joy of having them as guests on my gambling recovery blog. I hope all who come by for a visit may learn a little more about how Problem & Addicted Gambling affects many people in our own family & communities. No, I don’t think gambling should be taken away or banned, but the current expansion of gambling needs to be slowed way down. It surely makes it much more difficult for those of us in recovery from this insidious addiction. The public needs to be informed, educated, and Arnie & Sheila work tirelessly with many individuals, organizations and agencies to get them more involved. The current expansion of Casinos and State Lotteries is already resulting in many more people becoming problem or addicted gamblers. And parents, it’s now touching your High School & College age young adults too*!
It’s time to really “Talk About It” … I wish Arnie & Steve much success with their new book, and again, you can pre-order right now for, “All Bets Are Off” on Amazon. You can also connect with Arnie & Sheila Wexler on these social media sites too!

Facebook ~  https://www.facebook.com/aswexler 
LinkedIn ~
  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/arnie-wexler/pub/b/805/593
Another Great Article about Arnie Wexler on this website link,
http://davidpurdumsports.com/2012/06/25/compulsive-gambling-arnie-wexler-from-addict-to-angel/

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Arnie and Sheila Wexler AssociatesContact Us
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And make sure you visit their helpful website here:
Thanks All for Visiting ~ God Bless
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon



“Keeping Gambling Addiction & Mental Health In The Headlines By Raising Awareness”

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

Since my last post a few days ago, I found an interesting article about treating gambling disorder. It was shared on my good friends web site over at NCPGambling.org and written and posted in the MinnPost http://www.minnpost.com in there Mental Health & Addiction section. It’s one that has some good information about treating gambling addiction.
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So here is the article, and I hope all who visit will learn a little something they may not have known about gambling addiction. It’s hard enough to shatter stigma around it, so we need to inform and educate so maybe those who haven’t been touched by it, can understand and have a little more empathy for those who are afflicted by this destructive disease. It was NOT by choice to wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll blow my life apart by becoming an addicted gambler and alcohol abuser. Sometimes, there is something deeper underneath going on…
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To treat gambling disorder, you must dig a little deeper..

 

“Just Recovery with a side of Mental and Emotional Illness Please”…

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and New Visitors,

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I wanted to talk a little about “Dual Diagnosis,” and living life in recovery, and suffer with Mental/Emotional illness and disorders, which I am a person affected with these issues…

Two things happened yesterday to bring this topic to light for me. The first was this very topic was talked about last night on my Twitter Tweet-Chat, as was yesterday morning I got a call from my husband’s sister. She said she had bad news about my husband’s nephew Ricky. She had to talk him into checking himself into a mental crisis center via the ER. I guess he has battled severe depression for weeks and started to have thoughts of SUICIDE! So he did check himself in. See, he and his brother has had a really rough patch for the past 2 years. And, I’m now convinced my husband’s side of the family has problems with mental & emotional issues. Ricky and his brother only just lost their mom to “Intentional Suicide” drug overdose a year ago. She to was suffering mental illness, and started miss using her psych meds which then took all her meds and committed suicide.
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So both boys have tried to process all that, AND, they lost their father the year before that suddenly of a massive heart attack. So the family has battled, and were trying to process it all. All three have had past problems with Bipolar and Severe Depression problems for some time now before all of this tragedy. We as a family did all we could to help the boys mom, but it’s hard watching a grown person 24/7 when you also are working full-time. So as far as Ricky having these issues now, really it doesn’t surprise me. He has so much going for him too! He just got out of the Air Force, after serving 8 years, and got on with Boeing Corp., which he was so happy about.
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So it makes me sad to hear that now he is struggling. Many times we get so wrapped up in Life, that we lose our awareness of HOW we are feeling, especially if you have mental illness. I know I have done this myself from time to time. I to struggled with my mental and emotional disorders in early recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse when I gambled. After my crisis center stay in 2002, which is when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar II with depression, and slight mania. And it’s really difficult working with behavioral professionals and doctors to get the proper meds for me, you at times feel like an experiment. Then, in 2006, I was back in a mental crisis center for the 2nd time, and not anything of gambling addiction. I had a total break down as 2 of my meds stopped working.

But I also made it worse by getting hooked on the thoughts of JUST WANTING TO BE NORMAL! So I stopped all my meds. Bad thing to do. I learned that lesson the HARD WAY. I attempted suicide for the 2nd time, and Thank the Lord I failed, or I wouldn’t be here right now sharing the importance of never screwing with your Psych Meds! I just had to come to acceptance that I have to treat my mental and emotional illness as if I was a diabetic, or have some other illness. I just kept asking GOD, “WHY ME? isn’t it bad enough that I have to live life in recovery, because I have no control over my obsessive nature & behavioral problems”? What the HELL is normal anyway? So I had to just accept what IS, and not get hung up on the Why’s? And I sure as HELL don’t let my mental & emotional limitations get in the way of what I love doing, and help others in recovery too.
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So Ricky is in the care of professionals, and is safe. He knows he has the families support. But I still worry. The whole family is still worried. And for myself, it is at times a battle when I feel I’m stuck in a bipolar cycle, and if your aware of how your feeling, you can detect a rough patch so we use our life skills we learn to help get us through those rough patch’s. For the person going through it like myself, we have to be diligent with taking our meds properly, eating healthy, read and learn about your specific illness and disorders. And never feel like you CAN’T ASK FOR HELP if your just not feeling right.
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I’m now going through a new phase of my own treatment of mental illness. Some of the psych meds we take can have other medical problems, and the one I’m having trouble with is my elevated blood pressure & cholesterol. So I’m going to have to change my meds again. But I will be doing so with the help of my primary doctor, and my psychiatrist. I have had blood work done, and a new brain MRI, and it’s amazing that they can show the colors of the scan, and places where you maybe having less, more, or none of depleted chemicals and area’s of the brain your having trouble with.
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Now my psychiatrist says, besides the Agoraphobia I have, which came as a side effect from my years of addicted gambling, I’ve had problems now with PTSD & bad dreams from my childhood trauma & sex abuse. So it’s that experiment phase again! And I’m not looking forward to it. BUT,….. I will do what I need to do to stay balanced and healthy, because I know what can happen when I DON’T! My faith & hope gets me through a lot.
So when I saw these quotes, I wanted to share them here with this blog post, as they have much truth to them.
I know my higher power is always on my side. It was HE who told me NO to  my suicide attempts. He has worked Miracles in my life! And he can work them in yours to if you only listen and feel them.
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Christian Today's photo.
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Helping Others is what helps keep me in Recovery!

We Are Humanity's photo.Narcotics Anonymous's photo.
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And yes, until you have experienced addiction, mental or emotional issues, many people don’t understand what we go through, what we face as daily challenges. It’s really time to speak-up and to speak-out about all these important issues. It’s why I write, blog, and share my own, so others who also suffer can know they are not alone, and that it is OK to talk about them. No one should feel shame because they suffer from mental/emotional illness or disorders. There is help available. Don’t wait until it’s to late, as suicide is NEVER an option. Not even to stop addiction. No matter where you have been, how far down that rabbit hole you may have fallen in, death is not the answer! It never should be! …
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USA (& Canada) National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline
24 hours, 7 days a week, confidential Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-522-4700
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National Suicide Prevention Hotline  1-800-273-8255  (24/7)
National Alliance On Mental Illness   1-800-950-6264 (M-F)
National Mental Hotline  1-800-662-4357 (24/7)
Disaster Distress Hotline  1-800-985-5990 (24/7)
Veterans Crisis Hotline  1-800-273-8255 (24/7)
National Domestic Violence Hotline  1-800-799-7233 (24/7)
National Child Abuse Hotline  1-800-422-4453 (24/7)
National Elder Abuse Hotline  1-800-677-1116 (9am/8pm)
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God Bless All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485
 

 

Yes, I’m A Blogger At Addictionland~Expert under Gambling Addiction!

Hello Recovery Friends!

Many may or may not know that I was invited last October, 2013 to be a ‘Expert Blogger Of the Month on Gambling Addiction & Recovery by Author and Founder of Addictionland, Cate Stevens. I really enjoyed my time there, so I became a member. It truly is a great place to be if you live life in recovery. And I’m excited to say that Cate’s book has also just released as well! Come on over and explore all that Addictionland has to offer in learning about many types of addictions and how to recover.  It’s a great source of information, education, and Raises Awareness of Recovery being possible no matter how far down the rabbit hole in addiction you are!

My blog link to Addictionland is: http://www.addictionland.com/kitcatlyon/
Now they just went through an update to the site, so I think you’ll find it easier to get around the site then before.
Here is a message we all got from the Founder, Cate about some of the exciting changes, and if you are in recovery and want to help others recover? Come be a member and start your own little free blog! When we share our Experiences, Strength, and HOPE with others, they to can learn to recover!

Message From Cate Stevens…

“Addictionland.com would not be the leading addiction recovery site it is without the participation of incredible individuals like you. I am eternally grateful for your heartfelt words of encouragement and insight to addicts who need and want your inspiration”!

​In an effort to continue to provide addicts in search of answers the best, free forum for help and insight, and the best forum for recovery professionals to connect with these individuals, we have completed a major overhaul of the site.  Our goal was to make the most attractive and useful features stand out, which includes your expert biography and/or blog entries.

If you feel that Addictionland.com is worthwhile and has contributed to your vision, kindly provide a link to the updated site http://www.addictionland.com (or to your specific biography or earlier blog entry), and ask your followers on social media to share this informative, free site with anyone who may benefit.

If you feel that Addictionland.com is worthwhile and has contributed to your vision, kindly provide a link to the updated site http://www.addictionland.com (or to your specific biography or earlier blog entry), and ask your followers on social media to share this informative, free site with anyone who may benefit.

We hope you will continue to write for our members from time to time since your area of expertise and passion is as unique as your perspective. As always, the main purpose of Addictionland.com is to build a bridge to recovery for anyone in need in an atmosphere of acceptance and charitable support.
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Thank you for helping Addictionland.com provide such an incredible resource to those who may not have the means or confidence to seek professional help or treatment.  If you know of anyone else who may benefit from contributing to this site as you have, please extend an email introduction via addictionlandblog@gmail.com. And, as always, if there is anything we can do to help you and your mission, please let us know.

From the bottom of my heart,
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CATE…

Read the most cutting edge blog about one woman’s ability to recover from multiple, life-threatening addictions to reclaim her life and happiness.
http://www.addictionland.com/

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Look forward to your visit all!
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Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

“A Fantabulous Re-Blogg Share & Review Of My Book Addicted To Dimes” Yes, Another One!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends & New Peekers,

 

Your all in for another treat! Last week was an awesome week for my book titled; Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions Of A Liar and a Cheat)!
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I have received another 2 5 Star Amazon Reviews, and one on GoodReads, and….TWO fantastic author write ups! I can not tell how rewarding it is to know my book is helping others in recovery, and raising awareness to shatter Stigma around those who choose to live life in recovery from any type of addiction. Also to shed insights on how childhood trauma & abuse, and living with mental illness in recovery looks like.
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Since my book released, it is a never ending job to promote a book so readers know the book is even out there! But for, the big pay off is knowing that it is helping others in recovery. It’s what my mission was, and still is. And when you have wonderful, supportive people you meet along the way in recovery, blogging, at many recovery websites I visit has been just an added blessing! And when they care to go out of their way to showcase just how much they enjoyed it.
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And that is what my good friend John from his awesome and helpful blog: “My Sober Life” has done. So I told him that his blog post about my book deserved more than just a little Re-Blogg, I wanted to show the whole post! And would appreciate any and all comments to him on the Fantabulous Job he did on writing and posting this about my book. So here is the blog post, and please, take some time to stop by his Recovery Blog too here!: http://jdusty45.wordpress.com  … HER WE GO!
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MY BOOK REVIEW ~ ADDICTED TO DIMES
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Come have a sit-down!
Come have a sit-down!
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I recently finished the book Addicted to DimesConfessions of a Liar and A Cheat, by Catherine Townsend-Lyon. Before I start talking about the contents of the book, I want to first mention why I was so interested in reading the book. I myself, have never cashed in my mortgage payment for a trash can full of shiny coins, but I don’t find that at all revolting. That did not actually happen in the book, I am just making a point. Being a recovering heroin addict, I wanted to look back at some of my own past “gambling spree’s” to see where my addiction may manifest in the gambling realm as well. Let’s take a look.
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Any gambling activities I have done have always been during vacation time. I haven’t been in a steady “betting environment” long enough to know if my excitement of placing a bet, my thrills and rushes I experience during gambling could lead into something much more sinister and dangerous. Like compulsive gambling. This book has made me look within myself, to be brutally honest with my past actions during my own gambling entertainment. A person with even a small seed of compulsive or addictive behavior should take the time to read this book. That goes for all of you who sleep with your IPhone. I use my phone as a pillow and somehow thought sticking needles full of heroin and cocaine into my arms was justifiable so, I think I fall under the “you better pay attention, this may benefit you jackass” category.

EVALUATE YOUR$ELF HONE$TLY
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If I lived in a state where slot machines were tucked in the corners of local gas stations or if I lived where casino’s were being built on every corner, could I become a compulsive gambler? Could you? If your addicted to your phone, could you become addicted to a bigger electronic box that shot out money? How many times have you lost more money than you allowed for your gambling entertainment? Have you ever told others that you “broke even” when you had actually lost money?

MY GAMBLING EXPERIENCE$
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I'm a natural!

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While sporting a large transparent sun visor and a bright and busy tropical button-up, I have had many serious conversations with Blazing Seven’s, Wheel of Fortune, and many other flashy slot machines. I’m sure I was rather tipsy to believe I was actually pulling off such an ensemble, but the real question is- Did I think talking to a steel electronic box would make any difference in the outcome of my net losses? Speaking to it like it was an old friend who owed me large sums of money. Asking it to “please please please pay out BIG!” The casino atmosphere with a shot of booze made the nonreciprocal conversations seem less ridiculous but none-the-less I would have better luck wooing a rapist.

$$$$JACKPOT!$$$$
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Of course there have been a couple times when I have won a couple mini progressive jackpots. One was for about $140 on a nickle slot and another for $80 on a penny slot. Oh, I forgot to mention- they were about 6 years apart. Those rare and exciting “you are now my slot machine for life” moments is what makes me think it is possible for me to win the 45 billion dollar Powerball. If I can win 80 dollars (after dropping $110 into the machine) then God must want me to win a significant sized chunk of the Powerball Millions! That is obviously a slight exaggeration and I have never played Powerball but during those winning times, it is easy for me to think luck is on my side. I would easily dismiss how many times the memorizing lights and sounds of the pig irons continually tricked me until they devoured the last remaining contents of my coin bucket. Before leaving for home, I would always put every last coin back into the machine’s greedy and hungry little coin holes. Luck may be on my side but it will come in the form of a lightning bolt.

BEATING THE HOUSE

When I was in jail from July 2006 to Aug 2007, I decided “hey, I have a little bit of free time- I’ll learn how to count cards!” I will be a card counting pro! I will morph into Rainman! Needless to say, I still suck at Blackjack and I have made some substantial sized bets considering my 3 digit bank account. I have yet to quit my day job working nights for a professional poker gig.
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Any time someone asked me how much money I had lost, I always had the same response; “I’m about even.” About even usually meant I have lost a couple hundred dollars. Of course their response was “Whoa! I’m even too!” In my head I was thinking, You’re full of shit.
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I live in Utah where gambling is illegal and if caught, you will likely burn in hell for all eternity or they will issue you a citation. I think the final say is left up to the judge but hopefully you get the citation. Maybe living in a state without slot machines or Keno is a good thing for someone like myself. I am the kind of person who would sell his car for gas money. Looking back at some of my past experiences with slot machines and poker tables, I think it is quite clear that I could easily become a compulsive gambler. Having this knowledge before-hand is a huge help and I owe it to Catherine’s book- Addicted to Dime’s. So let’s get to the meat and potato’s of my post.

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Everyone! Can I have your full undivided attention...
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THE REVIEW

Addicted to Dimes was not full of an agglomeration of impervious vernacular that couldn’t be axiomatic or that needed to be referenced with a dictionary. The book used very friendly words which unlike my previous sentence, was quite nice and free flowing. At just over 200 pages, It was a fairly quick read. The time-frame of the book covers Catherine’s early childhood up to the recent past, (approx 2012). The beginning of the book caught my attention right away. As she fleshes out each character in her childhood, I couldn’t help but get involved in her brutal and painful upbringing. As she gets older, the family dysfunction and abuse continues to be jaw-dropping and emotionally unjust- especially for Catherine. Because of the books quick and emotional start, I could not put the book down. I felt the book was told with honesty and raw vulnerability.

Writing a book that uncovers all your guilty admissions and character defects is nothing short of an extended, but story ridden Step 4. A fearless moral inventory. When most people write out their Step 4 and tell another person about it, they then destroy the damning evidence. Not Catherine- she printed off thousands of copies for all to read. I must give her credit where it is due. I am scared to death for the day my book makes it to the printing press. Telling the world all of my deepest darkest secrets sounds as fun as walking around Wal-Mart butt-naked on a Saturday afternoon.

The book chapters were different from many other books I’ve read and I really liked how it was laid out in more of a sub-chapter format. The sub-chapters were short and I have always been a fan who cheered on shorter chapters.
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There are a few times in the book where Catherine felt it was necessary to apologize for calling out (in the book- to the reader) her family for their terrible dysfunction. I didn’t think it was necessary just because I never once was on the side of her parents.The truth is her family structure was dysfunctional because of the parents. They are to blame for the abuse and the generational duplication of the dysfunction. That is not young Catherine’s fault, or her young siblings. I did not feel an apology was needed.
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As the book begins to progress into Catherine’s addiction, she does a great job describing how easy it becomes to justify your actions in addiction. I related so closely with that in my own drug addiction and even some of my gambling experiences. That really made me stop and evaluate myself. It was a very powerful piece in the book for me.
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Catherine’s story leads in to a key relationship which she is still in today. This relationship shows us that no matter how difficult life gets, the love that  binds relationships is essential for their ability to continue on. I thought the relationship dynamic was fascinating and well dialoged. I was hoping to eventually read more about this character’s background but it never came. It was probably left a bit on the thin side because it wouldn’t have been hugely relevant to her story. Maybe it was more of an interesting curiosity on my part.
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At the climax of the story, it resembles a tornado, a volcano, and a tsunami playing shuffleboard in a trailer park. With the majority of the book dialog being in retrospect, it made the climax of the story a little less intense but maybe that is okay because I forgot to blink on a number of occasions.
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Wrapping up the end of the book, I felt like Catherine still has some anger towards some of her past. Not just with her relationships, but her past situations as well. As an addict, I know for myself, anger, judgements, injustices, guilt and resentments are draining on my well-being so I hope she has resolved these issues and comes to terms with everything in her follow-up book.
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Catherine does a great job assisting readers in addiction help and assistance. Directing the readers to many different options for recovery. Where gambling is not seen by society as the big problem it is- like drug or alcohol addiction, she makes the case that that needs to change. The majority of cities around the world have some form of AA meeting or network of people but not so much for the problem gambler. Let’s help her spread the good love by recognizing the terrible stigma’s that seem so tightly wrapped around the neck of addiction. Let’s continue to speak the truth. Yell it from the rooftops!

“I would recommend this book to everyone. Recommending it only to potential problem gambler’s would be a vast under-reaching of readership for this amazing and helpful material. I give it 5 stars. Great job Catherine”!
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5-STAR-RATING-300x300

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AFTERTHOUGHTS

I believe that society needs to stop normalizing abusive childhoods and stop making excuses for parents and people who are abusive to innocent and dependent children. If you were physically or mentally abused as a child, you can not justify what your mother or father did by saying “my parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had.” I am not speaking to only Catherine. We all need to know this. Saying our parents did the best they could is a cop-out excuse and justification for what ever abuse they did. If saying that means what they did is justified because they didn’t know any better, how the hell can a 3 or 4 year old know any better? Weren’t they acting and saying the only things you knew as an under developed and dependent 4 year old? We have unlimited excuses for the parents and have zero tolerance for the child. That is completely backwards from the way it should be. That is not a universal or even somewhat moral and it should not be used.
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We must teach our children universal principles. If we don’t want your children growing up to become compulsive gamblers, a heroin addicts, prostitutes, meth addicts, etc.; we need to quit teaching them principles from the book of hierarchy. “I am the parent therefore you will listen. I am bigger, stronger, more dominant.” That is surrendering to pecking order and power. If we want our children to not hit, steal, yell, argue, abuse, use violence, drugs and misbehave then we must teach them universal principles. We will never teach non-violence to our children by spanking or hitting them. We cannot teach respect by yelling at them. If the principle is moral and just for our children, it must be moral and just for us as the parent. We always want to be exceptions to the rule. Just like congressmen or governments. Making rules and laws but exempting ourselves from these rules. Hmm, I see a pattern here.
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There was a picture on Facebook the other day. It was of a man who was hitting a tiny kitten. It had over 1 million comments. In the comments it was clear that society was outraged at this man. Some were saying the man should be killed. Some were calling the man horrible and vulgar obscenities. The unanimous vote was that the man was hated, sick, deranged and needed large amounts of therapy at the least. Is it not sickening that we have more societal outrage and protective instincts towards cats than we do towards our children? Someone please explain to me how this happens. 60% of mother’s admit to spanking/hitting their children. Some as young as 7 months!
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    *GENETICS OR ENVIRONMENTAL*?medicine-163707_1280

Many people believe that addiction is a hereditary or genetic disease. “My father was an alcoholic therefore I will become an alcoholic”. There is a big difference between a predisposition that may trigger addiction and heredity. A predisposition to addiction can make a person more susceptible to addictive behaviors, however, there is strong evidence that addiction is being brought on by a child’s surrounding environment. I have blue eyes and a round nose because of genetics. That is something I cannot change.

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Believing that addiction is a genetic disease I would argue is a death sentence. It instantly removes all doubt and I might as well start shooting up heroin fresh out of the womb because it is my destiny. There is more money to be made with this approach to addictionplant-164500_1280 and there is strong arguments that backs this up. After-all, if society was to accept the environmental approach, they would have to actually do something. All of the unjust, unethical and immoral standards of hypocrisy would be ran through societies powerful ringer and we would have to stop hitting our children and teaching them such blatant hypocrisy. If we don’t want more drug addicted, alcoholic, compulsive gambling, mentally and emotionally unstable people in our society, then let’s just stop raising them. It’s really that simple.
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***How can I ever THANK Author, John Dustin for this fantastic in-depth book review and his after thoughts. I’m truly inspired by him as an author, but also his recovery. You really should go visit his helpful and candid blog. He is like me in that we don’t ‘Sugar Coat’ Recovery. That won’t help the person trying to get their life back from any ADDICTION. http://jdusty45.wordpress.com
Let him know “Catherine” sent you!****

May GOD BLESS you as much as he has Blessed me in my recovery!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon & Lyon Media & Book Promotions…
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485