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Am I an Alcoholic?

Excerpted from Beyond the Influence : Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism By Katherine Ketcham When you experience a crushing pain in your chest, you go to your doctor, who puts you through a series of tests and then, with a reliable degree of certainty, tells you whether you had a heart attack or a bad case of indigestion. When you have difficulty breathing accompanied by a high fever and exhaustion, you don't sit around in bed thinking nothing is wrong with you-you

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How the Brain Makes Sense of the Senseless

Excerpted from No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction By Debra Jay The brain confabulates. It associates diverse sensations, defies contradictions, and creates coherence. It even seeks explanations for its own unfathomable behavior." Those are the words of Dr. Gerald M. Edelman, Nobel laureate in physiology and medicine and author of Wider Than the Sky, talking about the human brain. He tells us that our brains confab

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Addiction and Groups of European Origin

Excerpted from Bridges to Recovery: Addiction, Family Therapy, and Multicultural Treatment By Jo-Ann Krestan This chapter explores the connection between a family's ethnic background and its relationship to addiction. While no one factor has been found to cause the disease of addiction, research has revealed that attitudes toward drinking and socially sanctioned drinking practices are important considerations in the development of the disease. Field studies have found t

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Alcoholism Patterns and Symptoms

Excerpted from Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems By James E. Royce, S.J., Ph.D., David Scratchley, Ph.D. Any of us could suffer the effects depicted so far of alcohol and other drug misuse on our health, driving, social relations, and pocketbook, whether addicted or not. This chapter will address the development of addiction, using alcoholism as a model. The approach will be descriptive rather than explanatory, leaving to Chapter 7 any considerations of causality. The

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Addiction: The Real 13th Step

Excerpted from The Real 13th Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance, and Independence Beyond the 12-Step Programs By Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. A number of things have changed in the ten years since The REAL Thirteenth Step was originally published. In that time I've worked with many more clients who are recovering with the aid of Twelve Step programs. In that time, sponsors have referred program members to me, and I have referred clients to the programs and to sponsor

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The Truth About Kids, Alcohol and Other Drugs

Excerpted from Teens Under the Influence: The Truth About Kids, Alcohol, and Other Drugs- How to Recognize the Problem and What to Do About It By Katherine Ketcham Adolescents who regularly use drugs-and who cannot seem to quit no matter how many problems they experience-are inevitably judged from the outside. Labeled drug abusers, juvenile delinquents, and threats to the community, they are kicked out of schools, bounced around from one helping agency to another, cycle

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The Seven Deadly Needs

Excerpted from The Seven Deadly Needs By Edward Bear You teach best what you most need to learn. - Richard Bach, Illusions Nobody knows how long he's lived here, maybe not even Tyler himself. But most everybody knows him. At least knows who he is. Claims he's been here sixty-some years, but you can't get anybody to swear to it. I mean besides him. Never met anyone who actually remembers him from when they were young. Going to school with him. An

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Alcoholism: Conversations from the Bottom of the Bottle

Excerpted from The Dark Night of Recovery: Conversations from the Bottom of the Bottle By Edward Bear Most everybody knew old Tyler. He's been hanging around the Westside Alano club for as long as anyone could remember. Had a face looked like somebody forgot to water it; dry as an old boot, road-mapped with wrinkles, the face of a man who'd spent a good deal of time looking at horizons. Lawyer Bob was the guy who wore the Armani suits, had the H

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What Does Betrayal Do To Relationships?

Excerpted from The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships By Patrick J. Carnes It happens every fall. Lucy Van Pelt offers to hold the football for Charlie Brown. Every time this happens, Charlie Brown recognizes that this is a ploy to use him. And every time, Lucy comes up with a plausible reason why Charlie Brown should trust her. Charlie Brown sets aside his distrust and takes a risk again. Lucy then does what she always does-jerks the football out

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Alcoholism - Denial

Excerpted from Playing It Straight; Personal Conversations on Recovery, Transformation and Success By David Dodd In a later chapter, Gregory Harrison mentions something very important. "By the time you realize you have a problem," he says, "it's an old problem." Very true for many of us. Drinking is such a popular pastime that the abusing stage is often ignored. I rarely thought I had a problem because my friends were drinking as much as I was.

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Stage 1 Recovery: Sobriety First - Arresting the Addiction

Excerpted from Destination Joy; Moving Beyond Fear, Loss and Trauma in Recovery By Earnie Larsen Achieving sobriety is always the first step for any recovering addict. This is Stage I Recovery. For an addict, it is always sobriety first. For an addict, every good thing in life begins with sobriety. I struggled with how to write this chapter. The difficulty was not having too little to say, but rather too much. The subject of this chapter, as wit

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More about Alcoholism

Excerpted from The 12 Steps Unplugged: A Young Person's Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous By John R. Chapter 3 tells us that all alcoholics have one great obsession: to gain control over their drinking. So, too, drug addicts want to control their use. "Normal" drinkers have no problem controlling their drinking. If they do have a problem with drugs or alcohol, they simply adjust their use, and the problem goes away. We're no

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Paths to Recovery

Excerpted from Addict in the Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery By Beverly Conyers, MA A cliché in the treatment community is "Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results." The truth of this phrase is most evident when dealing with an addicted loved one. In our desperation to bring about some positive change, most of us try the same things again and again - from nagging and scolding, to threatening and pleading, to fixing and

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Breaking the Chain of Addiction

Excerpted from Straight Talk from Claudia Black: What Recovering Parents Should Tell Their Kids About Drugs and Alcohol By Claudia A. Black, M.S.W., Ph.D. Eric sees his children during weekend visitations, holidays, and the summer months. Eric has little choice but to talk openly and specifically with his children, who are exposed to active addiction. In doing so, he and others in his situation are trying to help their children to separate the addiction from the person.

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Learning to Live with Yourself and an Alcoholic

Excerpted from Marriage On The Rocks: Learning to Live with Yourself and an Alcoholic By Janet Woititz Excessive Dependency The alcoholic is a very dependent person. He prefers not to take responsibility for his behavior. Let George do it. Then when George does it, if anything goes wrong, it's George's fault. He himself would not have made the mistake. The alcoholic prefers to have someone make all his decisions for him, including what he eats a

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Open Questions - Adult Children of Alcoholics

Excerpted from Lifeskills for Adult Children By Janet Woititz, Alan Garner, M.A. Follow up your closed questions with open questions, if you really want to get your conversations going. Open questions are those that ask for more than just a one or two word answer. They encourage others to explore their thoughts by asking for explanations and elaborations. Open questions normally begin with "How," "Why," and "Tell me about," and sometimes with "What." For example:

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Fear of Loss of Self - Adult Children of Alcoholics

Excerpted from Adult Children of Alcoholics By Janet Woititz This fear is present because you never clearly established your sense of self while you were growing into adulthood. The early messages that you received from your parents were very confusing. The lack of clear messages forced you to create many of your beliefs and values, rather than learning them through example. Because your parents didn't consistently care for you in all the ways

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Addiction - Why We Need the Detoxification Stage

Excerpted from End Your Addiction Now By Charles Gant, M.D. and Greg Lewis, Ph.D. With this in mind, the goals of the Detoxification stage of the Power Recovery Program are: Removing the sources of toxins that can poison your brain and body and can contribute to the nutritional deficiencies and biochemical imbalances that have put you at risk for substance problems Fortifying the "toxin barriers" of your digestive system so that toxins you ingest are not readily abs

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