Thursday, April 29, 2010

a new perspective

ODAT Online Recovery Blogs
completed my 8 week stay at
St Gregory Retreat today.

the Life Process program used
here was designed by Dr.
Stanton Peele. I read his book
"The Truth about Addiction &
Recovery" a year ago, and was
impressed by his approach.

I have to admit I learned more
about recovery in these 8 weeks
than all my trips to rehab and
subsequent years in aa.

the major difference involves
not viewing substance abuse as
a disease nor declaring powerlessness.

without getting into a DSM-IV debate,
the practical elements of these views
are eliminating the "crutch" associated with
the disease concept, and realizing we have
the power within ourselves to identify and
correct the habits and behaviors that lead
to addiction.

I now understand the value of exercise,
socializing, performing community service
and goal setting, when seeking recovery.

there is so much more than just staying
away from a drink or drug; it's living
up to one's potential, remaining
responsible, accountable and reliable.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

drug & alcohol antics

ODAT Online Recovery Blogs
latest headlines from;

Pamela Bach Sentenced 90 Days in DUI Case
Pamela Bach, ex-wife of actor David Hasselhoff, has been sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading no contest to a drunken driving charge from November. She received 60 of those days in jail because she was on probation for a previous DUI offense when she was arrested in November with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.14.

Cameron Douglas Sentenced to Five Years
Facing an alleged 10-year "mandatory" sentence of 10 years in federal prison for trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine, Cameron Douglas, son of actor Michael Douglas, was sentenced to only five years by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman. The sentence came after many of Douglas' famous relatives wrote letters supporting a lesser sentence.

Corey Dillon Arrested For Drunk Driving
Corey Dillion, former New England Patriots running back, was arrested in Malibu, California on suspicion of drunk driving. Police said when they stopped him for driving too slow, Dillion exhibited "multiple symptoms of being under the influence."

Mexican Drug Kingpin Sentenced in Oregon
The Mexican leader of one of the biggest methamphetamine-producing organizations in Oregon has been sentenced to 30 years behind bars. Jorge Ortiz-Oliva, 40, was the boss behind three meth "super labs" and dozens of marijuana grow operations, according to investigators.

Different Sentences for Repeat Drunk Drivers
An Indiana judge may have some explaining to do concerning two recent sentences he handed down. A male driver with five previous convictions was given four years in jail, while a female defendant with three previous drunk driving convictions, was given probation and had her charge reduced to a misdemeanor.

Liquor Commissioner Charged With Drunk Driving
Richard Simard was charged with drunk driving after he was stopped by police for driving erratically and he failed a field sobriety test. Simard, who refused to take a breath test, is one of New Hampshire's state liquor commissioners.

Previous Headlines

Willie Nelson's Band Members Face Charges
Saying famous people are not above the law, a North Carolina prosecutor is pursuing charges against six members of Willie Nelson's band on drug and alcohol offenses. The charges stem from a search of the band's bus in January in which police seized substances which are being tested at the state crime lab. Nelson was not on the bus at the time.

Girlicious Singer Pleads Not Guilty to Cocaine Charge
Natalie Nicole Mejia, a member of the pop music group Girlicious, has entered a not guilty plea to charges of possession of cocaine with intent to sell. Mejia was arrested in March with a dozen bags of cocaine in her purse during a traffic stop. She claimed she didn't know how the drugs got into her Gucci bag.

Kentucky Assistant Coach Charged With DUI
For University of Kentucky assistant basketball coach Rod Strickland, failing several roadside sobriety tests after being stopped for running a red light was not a new experience. It turns out Strickland has had three previous drunk driving arrests. He was also charged with failure to maintain insurance and improper registration.

Drunk Granny Wrecks Car With Kids in Backseat
A Tennessee woman is facing nine different charges after she crashed her car in Memphis. The problem for Sharon Kimbrough was not that she wrecked her car, but she was drinking and had three grandchildren - ages 3, 2 and 1 - unbuckled in the backseat at the time.

Third-Grader Gives Out Heroin at School
Police have arrested the mother of an 8-year-old who had 80 bags of heroin in his backpack at school. Police may not have found the small baggies, stamped with the words "Trust Me" on them, except the third-grader was handing them out to his friends at school.

Man Sets Home Ablaze With Pot Bong
If you want to clean your marijuana bong, you might not want to do so by soaking it with alcohol and setting it on fire. That was what a New Mexico man tried when he set his mobile home on fire. He was arrested when an off-duty deputy saw him driving away from the burning trailer

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday quotes

Don't let anyone steal your dream. It's your dream, not theirs.

Dan Zadra

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.

Michel de Montaigne

It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.


There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.

Colin Powell

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

Mark Twain

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.


Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting

Elizabeth Bibesco

Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.

Peter Drucker

There is nothing more genuine than breaking away from the chorus to learn the sound of your own voice

Po Bronson

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”

William A. Ward

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.William Arthur Ward

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

cognitive-behavioral therapy


the method of treatment that focuses on
helping someone learn and use new
thinking skills to modify negative behavior.

it is comprised of both cognitive
(pertaining to the mental processes of
perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning),
and behavioral factors.

the stratagies of the therapy are to uncover
irrational and problematic thinking modes
that often accompany psycholgical distress.

basically, how you think is how you feel.
the goal is to challenge and change negative,
self-defeating thoughts.

behavioral techniques work along the premise
that maladaptive behavires are learned, and
can be unlearned as well.
the tools used are training in assertiveness,
relaxation and desensitivation to feared objects.

together, cognitive and behavioral strategies
create a balanced approach to understanding
and treating common life problems.

by examining how we view ourselves and
our enviornment, the goal is to effect positive
and lasting change through modification of
maladaptive thoughts or behaviors.

our feelings are influenced by the ways we
view life events.
by changing these thoughts, one can change
resulting feelings as well.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday questions

how many hours do you spend
online per week?

who is the most mature person
you know?

what do you do for recreation?

when is the best time of your day?

where is the other sock that's always
missing from the laundry?

why is an exercise plan so difficult
to maintain?

do you play or watch any sports?
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

behavior pyramid

written in 1954, Motivation and Personality,
by Abraham Maslow, contains what the
author proposed as a hierarchy pyramid
representing various needs that motivate
human behavior.

at the top of the pyramid is self-actualization;
basically to become everything one is capable
of becoming

* esteem needs-
the human desire to be accepted and valued
by others. also the value of self-esteem
and self-respect.

* love and belonging-
generally involving family, intimacy and

*Safety needs-
among these are health, personal and
financial security and also accident
* biological & physiological needs-
certainly the most obvious and
required for survival.
air, water and food, shelter, sleep
and to propagate future generations,
quite the fascinating approach,
considering it was conceived
over 50 years ago.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

online help

found an interesting online site;, based in England
complete with features, facts, tips
and questions about alcohol

just one of many available sources of

useful information . whatever the medium,

be it press, tv or internet, there is always

a fresh perspective on the issues of addiction

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

king baby 3

I want what I want and now;

who cares about why, if or how

why should I grow up,
I'm a "toys-r-us" kid
it's never mattered what
I said or did

just go along and say yes
that's been the way all along
how dare you now try to digress

okay, I'll be good and play
along for a while;
just remember the bottom line
is to always make me smile

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April is...

alcohol awareness month-

initially geared toward teens and young
adults at prom and graduation time,
alcohol awareness is expanding to
other groups as well

getting the message to pregnant

women who still may be unaware
of the risks involved even with
moderate drinking, is crucial.

senior citizens are becoming an
increasing group who are much
more difficult to identify and
address by health care workers.

professionals and white collar
workers who may be developing
patterns of abuse without even
realizing it.

the most obvious group is college
students. dealing with peer pressure
and what's become almost a rite
of passage and is expected.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monday quotes

ODAT Online Recovery Blogs

* I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.
Thomas Alva Edison

Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.
David Starr Jordan

Learn the richness of solitude and quiet. That "still small voice" is yearning to be heard.
Susan Jeffers

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
Henri Bergson

You have achieved success if you have lived well, laughed often and loved much.

Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.
Dr. Joyce Brothers

Defeat is simply a signal to press onward.
Helen Keller

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.
Mary Pickford

* Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don't even remember leaving open.
Rose Lane

What happens to a man is less significant than what happens within him.
- Louis L. Mann

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Luck is when opportunity knocks, and you answer.
- Anonymous

The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.
- Leonard Nimoy

Our lives improve only when we take chances - and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
- Walter Anderson

You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.
- Shira Tehrani

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the now

what's past is prologue
there is no changing
or rearranging.

savor the lessons-
cherish the positive,
learn from the negative

today may only be a brief
moment in time;
live it to the fullest

seize the day, hold on for
a bumpy ride
wish not for luck, strive to
make things happen

make it a good day
and look forward to a
better tomorrow

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

cost of alcohol abuse

an eye-opening article from The Marin Institute
lists the far reaching and costly effects of over-
consumption of alcohol.

25 to 40% of all hospital beds filled due
to alcohol related complications

total annual health care costs for alcohol
related problems--175.9 BILLION

untreated alcohol related problems waste
184.6 BILLION in health care, business
and criminal justice costs and cause
more than 100,000 deaths

total cost of underage drinkers, due to
crashes and crime; 52.8 BILLION

alcohol is the #1 killer of teens;
and is associated with homicides,
suicides and drownings--the next 3
leading causes of death among youths.

sad and staggering stats about the
devastation caused by this legal substance.

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Friday, April 9, 2010


...the other side of our inventory

anyone in traditional 12 step
programs, has made one or several
lists of character flaws and defects.

helpful yes, to a point.

for many years I had never been
encouraged to list and call upon
my assets and resources, as a
means of addressing addiction.

we all have life resources that
should be drawn from when
dealing with any addiction.

inventory what you have, what
might be improved and what you
might acquire.

among these are; skills & talents,
family & friends, social skills,
self-management, sports &
recreation and spiritual pursuits.

we have all been made well aware
of our shortcomings-
isn't it time to examine the positive
side our inventory?

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

the rules for being human

1. you will receive a body-
you may like it or hate it, but
it will be yours for the entire
period of this time around

2. you will learn lessons-
you are enrolled in a full-time
school called life. each day in this
school you will have an opportunity
to learn lessons. you may like them
or think them irrelevent and stupid

3. there are no mistakes, only lessons-
growth is a process of trial and
error; experimentation. the failed
experiments are as much apart of
the process as the one that
ultimately works

4. a lesson is repeated until learned-
a lesson will be presented to you
in various forms until you have
learned it. when you have learned it,
you can then go on to the next lesson

5. learning lessons does not end-
there is no part of life that does
not contain its lessons. if you are
alive, there are lessons to be learned

6. "there" is no better than "here"-
when your "there" has become
a "here", you will simply obtain
another "there" that will again look
better than "here'

7. others are merely mirrors of you-
you cannot love or hate something
about another person unless it reflects
something you love or hate about yourself

8. what you make of your life is up to you-
you have all the tools and resources
you need. what you do with them
is up to you. the choice is yours

9. your answers lie inside you-
the answers to life's questions lie
inside you. all you need to do is
look, listen and trust

10. you will forget all this

11. you can remember it whenever
you want


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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

tip for today

think positive

it can be said, "you are what you think"

see the glass as half full
don't sweat the small stuff

remember the little engine that could;
"I thnk I can, I think I can"!

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday quotes

Alice Walker: Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise

.Anais Nin: Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living

.Benjamin Franklin: Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.

Buddha: If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change

.Carl Jung: There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.

Eleanor Roosevelt: I think somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.

Franklin P. Jones: Love doesn't make the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

Henry James: Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

Joan Baez: You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live.

.John F. Kennedy: As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

Marcus Aurelius: The universe is transformation; our life is what our thoughts make it.

Norman MacEwan: Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Robert Byrne: The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

Robert Louis Stevenson: To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

coping skills

the crucial elements to addressing

social skills are key to the ability
to deal with people and life in general.
how we communicate, problem solve
and deal with down time.

important also are managing negative
emotions and resisting urges.

obviously, communication is paramount
to every relationship, be it personal or
it is the ability to recieve and present

problem solving can be difficult for
addicts. many of whom have relied
on drugs, food, shopping or sex to
cope with problems

there are ways to break these
negative cycles
keep things managable, review options,
evaluate success and know when to
continue or change approach.

acknowledge your success, no matter
how small and realize you can solve
peoblems without a substance crutch.

in my 9 years of running a sober house
the most elusive trait for many has been
the ability to be alone.
the importance of relaxation cannot
be overstated.

this centering, calming time boosts
self-esteem and confidence

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Saturday, April 3, 2010


starting monday we will be
identifying strengths and

despite what is repeated in
the rooms that addiction is
an "equal opportunity destroyer",
not all folks are created equal when
it comes to fighting substance abuse.

evidence shows that in the inner
city, the elements that counteract
addiction are often absent.

basically it is harder for people
with few resources to combat
the lure of drugs.

it isn't just financial;
the key assets to addressing
addictive behaviors are family,
work, interests, and coping skills.

tomorrow- identifying resources

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Thursday, April 1, 2010



good quiz about depression from

there are many misconceptions
about the condition that affects
a large number of people of all
depression is more than just
"the blues", which occur on
occasion, and goes away on it's own.

anyone who has experienced it,
can tell you of it's debilitating
effects; not just mentally, but
physically and emotionally.

there is hope, and treatment
is available for most seeking
relief from this common ailment.

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