Gary's Sobriety Story - Abuse, Addiction, Service And Sobriety

cary crawford

I’m Gary and I have an addictive brain.

I was born October 4, 1963 and little did I know that I would become an addict at 14. I grew up in church, but I didn't grow up in a normal home. By the time I was 4 my mom and dad had stopped getting along. Something happened and I have never found out why and probably won’t.

When I was around 9 or 10 an uncle started sexually abusing me. This would happen sometimes twice a week up until I was around 13. I believe I started to feel that it wasn't right, so I began to avoid him. As a young teen, my hormones [...]

What Do You Do When You Screwed Up and Relapsed?

Inner-Dialogue

You don't want to think about it, but the reality is that is happens; and it happens to a lot of people in recovery.

You are working your program of recovery to the T and are regularly attending 12-Step meetings, and you have replaced the people, places and things that had kept you stuck and sick in addiction. You are doing all the right things and are genuine in your journey to stay clean, but in one moment of weakness you tumbled down the slippery slope and back into substance use.

It can feel like the world has ended and the shock of having to pick up the pieces can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Where do you begin? What [...]

3 Simple Tips To Help Cope With ADHD In Recovery

ADHD-IN-RECOVERY

For those who deal with ADHD, the experience can be described in numerous ways. For some, ADHD can feel like every radio station on the dial playing at once. For others, it can feel like driving in a rain storm with wipers that don't work right. No matter how the experience is translated, ADHD is mentally exhausting and causes those who suffer from it to live a nightmare on a daily basis.

Imagine if you are dealing with ADHD and you are in recovery from substance abuse

The Challenges of Dealing with ADHD While In Recovery

It is common knowledge that substance abuse in of itself is often a symptom of a deeper mental issue. [...]

Matt Celebrates 3 Years Sober And Shares His Inspirational Story With Us

Matt Smith

Today marks three years since I have had a drink or popped a pill to control the madness that I once contained within. To be completely honest, the idea that I would be able to go three years without drinking wasn’t something that I believed was possible when I entered Hazelden/Betty Ford. So I’m equal parts of proud and surprised today just as much as everyone else is.

My life has definitely changed for the better since I made the decision to quit drinking and using. It was not easy at all and to be completely honest, I still have trying days that seem to push me to my limits and the only way out seems to be [...]

5 Countries With The Worst Drug Problems

5-Countries-With-The-Worst-Drug-Problems

When it comes to the complex and often controversial issues of drug abuse and addiction, we put our focus squarely on what is happening right in our backyard and what is going on in the United States. While the hot button topic of addiction is often front page news and often a cause for significant concern, we are not alone in dealing with the problems caused by drug and alcohol addiction.

Addiction is a Worldwide Problem

Virtually every country in the world is dealing with substance abuse issues in one form or another. According to statistics from the 2012 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, about [...]

Are You A Real Alcoholic?

REAL-ALCOHOLIC

If you are reading this article right now, it is a question that is the elephant in the room and has been bouncing around in your head non-stop like white noise. You may be struggling with alcohol dependence or you are feeling you are slipping downward on the slippery slope towards addiction.

It isn't pleasant to think about...that's for sure. You are alternating between depression, anger, confusion, denial and every other emotion on the radio dial of your soul. Alcoholism is serious business and a lot of the unease that you feel centers on one BIG question....

Am I a real alcoholic?

....A Matter of Definition

In at attempt to find the answer to this [...]

100's Dying From Overdose In Wisconsin But We Are Never Giving Up!

rise together motley crew

“We were sick and tired of pulling mothers away from caskets, burying friends, family members, and watching our people die. We were sick and tired of watching people who struggle with addiction being suppressed, discriminated against, and not getting the treatment they deserve. We were sick and tired of watching people being buried by their own shame and guilt, in, out, and around this disease. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired. So we have decided to join efforts to make a difference in our community; in hopes to save just one life. Since then, we have watched the most amazing things happen & none of this would be possible [...]

I'm Gonna Keep On Keepin' On....

Im-Going-to-Keep-On-Keeping-On

I was up at 4:30 this morning.

That is brutally early even for an old man like me. Usually that time of morning is reserved for negotiating with my cat Theo to sleep in for at least a couple more hours--and usually I lose because, well, he is a cat.

To be honest with you, I was too sparked to sleep in this morning. Celebrating 12 years clean and sober will do that. As I get further down the road in my sobriety these anniversary dates become more appreciated at a deeper level that make my soul sing. Yeah, it is good to get medallions, atta boys and pats on the back...but when the true [...]

Why Don't Most People Who Drink Or Use Drugs Become Addicts?

why do some people become addicts

Drug use is common in the United States--very common.

According to a report from CBS News last September, nearly 10 percent of Americans aged 12 and older were illicit drug users in 2013, and almost 20 million said they used marijuana. Additionally, 16.6 million adults in the United States aged 18 and older had an alcohol-related dependence issues.

With statistics like these that seemingly jump from the page and the constant stream of news stories that dominate news networks and social media, one would think that America is a nation of drug addicts seeking their next fix. It is true....drug and alcohol addiction is a major and [...]

7 Signs Your Loved One Has A Drug Problem

7-SIGNS-YOUR-LOVED-ONE-HAS-A-DRUG-PROBLEM

There is a special bond between you and your loved ones that runs deeper than words can ever express. From the day you were born, that bond was forged through love, trust and those shared experience through good times and bad times.

It goes without saying that you know your loved ones on an almost telepathic level. It also goes without saying that if you loved one is struggling with a drug problem, those extraordinary and deep connections can become frayed and you can be at your wits end trying to find ways to help them through the darkness.

The Signs of Drug Abuse Are Subtle...

If someone you love in the fight of their [...]

Have You Heard Of The Heroin Vaccine?

the heroin vaccine Image source http://www.discoveryplace.info/

What if I told you that, right now, that  American chemists have created a vaccine that shows great promise in the fight against heroin addiction? What if I also told you this "wonder drug" has the potential to be THE game changer in the treatment of heroin addiction?

If you are struggling with heroin addiction, or have a family member or friend that is addicted to the drug, you may be wondering why this discovery isn't front page news. This vaccine could be history in the making and could mark an important new chapter in the way addiction can be treated...yet it languishes on the sidelines - the [...]

5 Ways to Increase Your Spiritual Awareness

WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR SPIRITUAL AWARENESS-compressed

Addiction is a beast with many faces and has many ways it can attack you in recovery. No matter if you are newly sober or have substantial clean time under your belt, you are well aware that addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful.

Since drug and alcohol addiction is a complex issue, it requires a multi-faceted and versatile treatment approach. While treatment and support groups are important in the recovery process, the development of a strong spiritual base is an equally important component in the well-oiled recovery machine.

Spirituality is indeed a vital element to recovery...it is also a component that many in recovery struggle with on a regular [...]

Getting Out of the Funk - 5 Ways To Deal With Depression

dealing with depression

Depression is a bastard.

Instead of knocking down your front door, it will sit on top of your head--quiet, unassuming and an ever-looming presence. You make plans for your day and in your life...plans that are productive and good for your recovery, plans that will help you look good and feel better then....

WHAM!

Your depression seeps in your brain and like a vampire drains you of your resolve to move forward and the energy to get out of bed or off the couch. You don't move, don't eat and don't realize that time is passing you by. This blue funk is only made worse by the comments that your family or friends [...]

Seattle Police Are Helping Addicts By Not Throwing Them In Jail

seattle police

While the way we view and treat addiction has changed over the decades, the stigma of addiction continues to be strong and addicts are still marginalized in our society. Even though addicts come from every walk of life, many people view the addict as the lowest of the low on the societal totem pole, and as a result many of those addicted to drugs may not seek treatment and feel they aren't worthy of another chance at living a healthy life.

However, the city of Seattle is employed a radical new approach to helping drug addicts--and so far it is working.

LEAD: Helping Drug Addicts in Seattle Recover From Addiction

Instituted four years ago, [...]

Shit 12 Steppers Say

SHIT TWELVE STEPPERS SAY

As a person in recovery, I catch myself saying some pretty funny shit relating to sobriety. I think we all can relate to that in one form or another.

It can be around the tables at a 12-Step meeting, at homegroup picnic, sitting at the coffee shop or anywhere else sober folks gather...those pearls of sage advice and wisdom flow freely from the tongue. Sometimes it is meant to keep us focused on our recovery and sometimes it just is like WTF...no matter what the intention, we 12 Steppers are full of colorful sayings.

Who says we are a glum lot?

At any rate, a friend of mine told me about this video [...]

A Message To Joe Rogan About Addiction And Drug Use

joe rogan Image source Live Nation

I am a big fan of Joe Rogan.

I listen to his podcast frequently. I relate to a lot of what he says. I especially relate to him in regards to his opinions on fitness and health, about the martial arts, and about avoiding the trap of "picking sides" in life. Problems very rarely have black and white solutions, most of the time there is a lot of gray in the world and it is important to keep perspective.

Joe Rogan has one of the most successful podcasts in the country. It is his curiosity and his ability to converse about compelling topics that makes his podcast [...]

Partners And Children Of Addicts - New Facebook Group

minkeys message

As Director of Social Media at The Delray Recovery Center (DRC), I respond to people who contact us through our Facebook page. I take pride in being able to help people any way I can. Whether it’s providing them a link to an online community they could benefit from or an article they could read to answer some of their questions. You see I don’t sell canned soup at my job. When people reach out to us they are in crisis! These are people; these are human lives in their darkest hours. I see it as my personal and professional duty to help them, and if I can’t help them – I connect them to [...]

The 10 Most Addicted States in America

10 most addicted states in america

The Addicted States of America?

Over the past few years, the United States has experienced an increase in the use of drugs. We can't turn on the television, read a newspaper or turn in to social media to hear which drugs Americans are addicted to and what the new flavor of the month is regarding the new fix.

To what degree America is experiencing the epidemic of drug use and addiction can be up for debate, but there are certain parts of the country where the use of certain drugs are causing significant concern. The following is a list of the states which are experiencing high rates of addiction.

Vermont

Despite [...]

5 Types of Alternative (Non 12 Step) Addiction Treatment Programs

5 alternative types of addiction treatment programs

12-Step based addiction treatment programs have been the bread and butter for millions of recovering people. The reasons are simple: they provide the structure and effective therapy and counseling that help the addict break the cycle of addiction and embrace sobriety. These programs rock, but they aren't the only game in town when it comes to getting clean.

Did you know that almost one-quarter of all drug rehabs use non-12 step programs? If you think about it, recovery isn't a one size fits all proposition. You have unique and specific needs when it comes to getting clean, and while 12-step based treatment is very effective it may not be your best fit. [...]

Managing Money In Recovery - 3 Tips To Help You Out

managing money in recovery

Being in recovery is awesome... and it can be extremely stressful. Once we leave treatment we focus on the people, places and things to avoid in order to maintain our sobriety and guard against the evils of relapse. If you are new in recovery, there are areas in our recovery that may not get much play but are crucial to keeping us safe, sane and sober. One such area that addicts tend to avoid early in recovery is learning how to manage our money.

Money: Is It A Trigger for Relapse?

If you really think about it, what is one of the first things that addicts do early in recovery? For many addicts, an [...]