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Addictions and Recovery

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Recovering from Trauma and Abuse

Can People Recover from Trauma and Abuse?              It is with both pride and embarrassment that America has become known as a victims’ society.  We can be proud that we prosecute perpetrators of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse at least as severely as most developed nations.  But we should be ashamed that these punishments have not deterred perpetrators as effectively as they have been …Read More

How to Work a Good 12-Step Program

What exactly is a 12-step program? It is the people, principles and practices of recovery from addiction that was started by Alcoholics Anonymous back in the 1930’s. To work a program successfully, you need all three—the people, principles and practices. You can’t just read and learn at home, just go to meetings and call your sponsor, or just change your ways.  To recover you need to do it all. 12-step …Read More

How Codependents Enable Addicts

With any addiction to chemicals or to a habit, loved ones trying to help addicts need to realize and continually remind themselves of three things:  “I didn’t cause the addiction, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it either.”  But you can make it easier for addicts to keep their addiction going.  How?  The counterproductive efforts people make to help and reform their addicted loved ones are called enabling behaviors.  Those who do them are calledcodependents, because these behaviors make them just as dependent …Read More

Is it a Bad Habit, Sin, Disease, or Addiction

  IS IT A BAD HABIT, SIN, DISEASE, OR ADDICTION?  At most big family gatherings, there will be an alcoholic, a nicotine user, or a drug abuser present. The table likely plays host as well to a few non-chemical bad habits that also threaten the family. Nearly every family has folks who have an eating, work, video game, pornography, sex, gambling, hoarding, or spending disorder. Some may also have abusive …Read More


I. What is alcoholism? A. Chronic, progressive, incurable, fatal disease that is characterized by loss of control over alcohol and other sedatives. 1. Chronic—you’ve had the problem for a little while. 2. Progressive– Grows on you; gets worse; going to take more alcohol to get a good buzz. 3. Incurable– Always going to have it; after years of recovery; even after you stop the temptation will always be there. 4. Fatal– Does kill …Read More

Relapse Repair

What caused my relapse (inner circle violation)? What had I neglected from the program I was working (outer circle, preventive behaviors)? For how long? Why? What else should I have (and can now) put in that outer circle as recovery behaviors? What slips had I ignored, not made amends for (middle circle)? What else should I have (and can now) put in that middle circle as slips to report? What …Read More

Online Addictions and Electronic Attachments in Children

Online Addictions in Young People: How it Starts, and How it Stops   I recently attended a training conference in Arizona which dealt in large measure with online addictions. Anyone who cares enough to learn what causes and cures them needs to know that they typically begin in childhood. I am writing three columns to explain what is happening to more and of our young people, and to help parents …Read More


Marijuana:  Thoughts on its Use, Abuse, and Legalization I have never really had a position or opinion on marijuana, and in recent weeks I have grown weary of this ignorance. To prepare my thoughts on this subject, I have done three things. First, I have obtained professional training as a certified addictions specialist from the International Institute for Addiction and Trauma Professionals. Secondly I have spent several hours looking through …Read More

I’m Thankful I’m an Addict

I’m Thankful that I’m an Addict Last week on Thanksgiving Day driving to visit relatives, it took my wife and me an hour and a half to finish thanking God for all the blessings in our life. One of the biggest gratitudes for me was that that day was my 30th “birthday” of my new life in sobriety and recovery. It was not until my third year of recovery that …Read More

Four Circles

  Four-Circle Sobriety Plan          Four concentric circles represent three important lists of behaviors, and one list of warning signs. These lists will be fluid, and you will need to add and subtract new items on a regular basis, at least from the boundaries list and the recovery behaviors below.   Use these lists to structure and summarize your reports to people of how you have been doing, in the order …Read More