Addiction

My Public Apology to Everyone Hurt by Alcoholics Like Me


I'm deeply ashamed about these things I did.

Just a couple of short weeks ago, I celebrated being clean and sober for 31 years. Yes, it's been a long time, which can make it very easy to dissociate with the addiction-riddled man I was all those years ago.

Don't get me wrong, that's not entirely a bad thing. I don't want to live in the constant memory of who I was then and the things I did in my addicted years. I got sober to save my life, and I stay sober to have a life. My present is very good, so I don't live in the past.

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Addiction

6 Surprising Myths of Inpatient Residential Rehab

We've all seen the commercials: gentle, soothing music playing over a reassuring voice that tells you that this specific rehab center is going to change your life. Because, after all, it's changed his.

Inpatient rehab centers offer treatment for people with substance abuse or alcohol disorders. Most are intensive, requiring patients to live in their facility 24 hours a day for 30 days. And it is a gold mine for those who run such addiction recovery centers.

The Carlat Report: Addiction Treatment's July/August 2015 issue is devoted to the topic of understanding treatment for alcoholism and substance abuse. It also offers an eye-opening interview with the former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Here we run down some of the myths we gleaned from the issue about residential rehab.

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Addiction

Screentime Is NOT Making Kids Moody, Crazy & Lazy

I'm sure Dr. Victoria Dunckley means well with her recent screed entitled "Screentime is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy." She cites research studies to back up her points, and buried in the middle of the article is the common-sense disclaimer that "restricting electronics may not solve everything."

But what Dr. Dunckley misses is how electronics today are to teens what the telephone and TV was to a prior generation (and the radio was to a generation before). The studies she references don't purport to show a causual effect, simply a correlation between two things. Generalizing from such correlations is a mistake too many well-meaning physicians (and even researchers) make.

Screentime is not "making" kids moody, crazy and lazy. Here's why.

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Addiction

Art Therapy in Addiction Recovery

The Breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. ~ Rumi
As a survivor and “thriver” of a coma, 27 surgeries and a decade of medical trauma, I know firsthand the healing power of the arts.

As a child, the arts were my passion and identity. When my traumas occurred, they became my lifeline. Now that I am out of my medical crisis and into a life of health and vitality once again, the arts are how I can reconnect with the world, make a difference and raise awareness of the power of one’s internal resources. They make one aware of the human potential and spirit and that there are many ways to heal, externally and internally. They also raise awareness of gratitude. Every day and moment should be celebrated. Life is a canvas, an open score, a bare stage, waiting for us to join the dance.

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Addiction

Understanding Orthorexia

"Ah, I can't do lunch, but would you want to grab coffee later on?" This is something I would say often to my friends. My circle was growing smaller. I rarely saw friends or even family. My apartment was my temple. The holder of all things healthy.

I prepared all of my meals after returning from my trip to Whole Foods. It was Sunday, my meal prep day, where I would hover over a stove baking bland free-range chicken, grass-fed steaks, organic broccoli and sweet potatoes.
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Addiction

How Connection Saves Us from Addiction

Humans suffer most when we lack connection. Take, for example, Tom Hanks with his volleyball, Wilson, in the movie "Cast Away." I was distraught when he lost Wilson and cried as though my personal friend had drowned at sea.

We will force connection with inanimate objects, if we must, because we’re hardwired to crave it, to need it.

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Addiction

3 Reasons Why Therapy Isn’t Helping Your Child

It's difficult for parents to get their children into therapy. After all, few children volunteer to be in therapy, and are frequently delivered to therapists' offices like indignant hostages.

After much strain and stress, you may luck out, and your child may agree to see a therapist. But what do you do if after weeks or months of therapy, you see no change in his or her behavior?

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Addiction

The Loopholes Used to Justify Drinking

Because of my interest in habits, I read a lot of memoirs of addiction. I don’t tackle addiction in Better Than Before, but still, I find that I get a lot of insights from these accounts.

I recently finished an excellent new memoir, Sarah Hepola’s Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget.

I was particularly  interested to see how she used loopholes to justify her drinking.
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Addiction

The Codependent/Narcissist Dance: The Perfect Partnership

The inherently dysfunctional “codependency dance" requires two opposite but balanced partners: a pleasing, giving codependent and the needy, controlling narcissist. Like a champion dance partnership, the dancing roles of both are perfectly matched. The leader or taker needs the follower or giver in order that the dance appears effortless and flawless.

Typically, codependents give of themselves much more than their partners give in return. As generous but bitter dance partners, they find themselves perpetually stuck on the dance floor, always waiting for the next song, at which time they naively hope that their partner will finally understand their needs. Sadly, they never do.
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Addiction

The Harsh Reality of Raising a Teen Addict


I can never protect him from the real threat -- the threat of an addictive brain.

After more than 24 hours of labor, I'm exhausted and barely awake; yet, I recognize the baby screaming from the nursery as my own. I'm a mom. The nurses bring him to me to soothe him. He continues to scream as I try to latch him to my breast.

"You've got a fighter there," the nurses tell me.

And at barely a day old, the fight begins.

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