In earlier posts, we looked at an article by Raney N. called The Circle And Triangle: A way of life, and a spiritual yardstick. Here is another excerpt from this article:
Physically, AA suggests complete abstinence from alcohol to addresses that part of my problem. Any use of alcohol at all is completely unsafe for me. This solution suggests that I seek support in my abstinence from others with the same problem as me, that we march from our common problem along the path of our common solution shoulder-to-shoulder… whereby I engage face to face with other alcoholics, I begin to treat the physical component of my alcoholism.
I must also simultaneously seek treatment for the insanity that always leads me back to drinking. Unless I can find some source of soundness of mind, sooner or later I will fail at my attempt to remain abstinent. Therefore the base of the triangle, the legacy of recovery, deals with my mental condition – with the obsession of the mind which renders me incapable of staying abstinent.
This part of AA’s solution is governed by the twelve steps, which when practiced as a way of life, brought about in me a profound alteration in my thinking and my way of seeing the world, and altered me at such a deep level that I have not found it a good idea to drink since undertaking them. This is still not the entirety of the problem, though.
The spiritual malady that accompanies my physical and mental symptoms must also be addressed, or my internal condition becomes too intolerable. The steps introduced me to the spiritual world, but now I also need to begin to live contrary to my old, selfish ways. At root, I learned that my basic problem was a fundamentally mis-seeing of the world.
AA’s legacy of Service, governed by the Twelve Concepts for World Service, suggests that I must focus on what I can do for you, and not on what you can do for me. By doing this, I attain to a level of peace and usefulness, a sense of wholeness and belonging that I realize I had always searched for.
Find this article among the many other recovery resources at Just Love Audio.com.
Bath salts are something that are supposed to help people relax…so why are they all of the sudden in the headlines and being called the next big drug menace?
Sadly, some bath salts contain stimulants and when bath salts are abused can alter a person’s state of mind. They are great when used correctly and harmful when misused. The Washington Post reported that “Some say their effects can be as powerful as those of methamphetamine.” The stimulants in bath salts are not regulated because they were not intended for human consumption. Regulatory agencies could not have imagined that people would turn to bath salts as a way to get high, so they probably saw no need to restrict them.
However, as an expert told the Post:
“The stimulants affect neurotransmitters in the brain…The drugs cause “intense cravings,”…”They’ll binge on it three or four days before they show up in an ER. Even though it’s a horrible trip, they want to do it again and again.”
Abusing bath salts can make a person paranoid, cause someone to have hallucinations, increase heart rate and even lead someone to harm themselves or contemplate suicide.
Once again lawmakers in various states are faced with a dilemma: how can they regulate a harmful substance while not infringing on personal freedoms? Some people will just use bath salts as they are intended. People who sell them don’t want to lose some of their earnings because the product they sell legally is being abused.
You do not have to wrestle with how to regulate bath salts, but if you have children, you can talk to them about not ingesting chemicals. While bath salts are in the news now, there are been other household products that have been used as stimulants.
At Transitions drug and alcohol rehab facility we work with patients to help them find coping mechanisms that do not involve substance abuse. We are here for people who need help with addiction, but we know that it is best to avoid substance abuse. You can help your children and loved ones deal with life challenges so they do not turn to things like bath salts.
According to the Long Island Business News, there has been a big spike recorded in older drug, alcohol addicts because “addiction knows no age.”
“Between 1992 and 2008, treatment admissions for those 50 and older more than doubled in the U.S. That number will continue to grow, experts say, as the massive baby boom generation ages.
All told, 231,200 people aged 50 and over sought treatment for substance abuse in 2008, up from 102,700 in 1992, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Older adults accounted for about one of every eight seeking help for substance abuse in 2008, meaning their share of treatment admissions has doubled over the 16-year period as other age groups’ proportions shrunk slightly.”
Experts suspect that there are more people who are 50 and over who need drug and alcohol rehab treatment that actually seek it. They say that the numbers of older people who do seek such treatment may be rising because the baby boomer generation has higher rates of substance abuse, habits they may have first started when they were in their teens and twenties. Another argument is perhaps that the baby boomer generation is more comfortable with the idea of rehab than previous generations were.
Some have returned to substance abuse after many years and others never stopped abusing substances. Another trigger for substance abuse among older adults is retirement. The change in their lives and schedules can leave some people feeling empty and they may turn to drugs or alcohol to fill the void.
Apparently some people have actually wondered if alcohol and drug rehabilitation for senior citizens is worth is because of their advanced age. Quality of life matters at every age and people want a chance to make the most of their lives no matter how hold they are. One facility found that older adults had “the highest completion rate — 85 percent during the last fiscal year.” One man who was 70 and had abused heroin for half a century entered rehab determined to put an end to his addiction. Over the years he had seen a number of friends die from drug abuse. He said he was not ready to die just yet.
In our last post, we looked at an article by Raney N. called The Circle And Triangle: A way of life, and a spiritual yardstick, in which he explained, “In my own journey in Alcoholics Anonymous toward physical and emotional sobriety, the circle and triangle were given to me as symbolizing AA’s three-fold solution to my own three-fold disease.” Here is another excerpt from this article:
Physically, an allergy – the phenomenon we call ‘craving’ – renders me incapable of predicting how much I am going to drink once I start. In fact, I usually drank until I was separated from alcohol by unconsciousness, or outside forces such as police or orderlies. Now, this physical part is a problem, but it would be a problem with a very simple solution if this was the whole of it. I could exert power over this allergy in the same way that someone allergic to shellfish exerts power… by avoiding the offending substance entirely.
My alcohol problem is MUCH deeper than just an allergy, because in addition I suffer from this mental obsession which ensures that at certain, generally unpredictable, times – I will succumb to the delusion that a drink is a good idea, no matter how stupid that idea might be. When these two things became operative in me, the overall effect was a complete stripping of any power, choice, or control over if, when, and how much I drank.
Now, if all this wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that even if something keeps me separated from alcohol, this is just going to leave me smack in the middle of the spiritual component of the disease. I am as a rule, restless, irritable, discontent, and plagued by things like despair, frustration, fear, and bewilderment when I do not have alcohol to treat my spiritual condition. Even when outside forces conspire to keep me dry for a period of time, that just means that now I will begin to actively experience the problem that led me to drink in the first place.
Any one of these conditions will automatically reinforce and reactivate the other two, bringing me back into that ever-steeper downward spiral… so any real solution to my alcoholism MUST address all three of these parts. One, or two are simply not enough to make any real difference.
The following is an excerpt from an article written by Raney N. called The Circle And Triangle: A way of life, and a spiritual yardstick. It was found among the recovery resources at Just Love Audio.com.
The Circle and Triangle was used by AA World Services in an official capacity from 1956 to 1993 as the symbol of AA, and was used to mark conference-approved literature and materials. Its use in an official capacity was terminated in 1993 by an unsigned letter from AAWS due to conflicts with other organizations’ use of the symbol.
Although it is no longer an official symbol, its significance to our history, and in my own belief, to our personal recovery, is still valid. Bill Wilson presented the circle and triangle figure at AA’s 20th anniversary convention in St Louis, in July of 1955. At that time, he said the following:
“Above us we see a banner and that banner shows a circle which is A.A circumscribing the world. Within it is a triangle…the base of the triangle is the foundation of recovery on which we stand. The left of the triangle symbolizes our unity, and the right of the triangle our arm of service. Such is the symbol of A.A.
I first saw it in Norway in 1950, but this symbol is not new with us. We have attributed [a] particular significance to it, but in actuality, its significance is very old. Students of ancient days tell that centuries ago it was regarded by priests and witch doctors alike as the symbol by which evil spirits could be kept away, and may that symbol ever stand guard over the society of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
In my own journey in Alcoholics Anonymous toward physical and emotional sobriety, the circle and triangle were given to me as symbolizing AA’s three-fold solution to my own three-fold disease.
In our next post, we’ll look at how the 12 step programs address the physical, mental and spiritual manifestations of addiction with sobriety solutions for mind, body and spirit.
While “pain clinics” that use questionable methods to dispense pain medication are popping up in some areas, other jurisdictions are finding that people do not have to go far from home to get their hands on prescription drugs.
Washington DC and nearby parts of Maryland and Virginia have seen an increase in prescription drug abuse among young people. Of all of the things that factor into this rise, ease of availability is probably at the top of the list. If parents do not have any prescription drugs like oxycodone, morphine or Xanax, kids can find these drugs in the homes of aging relatives or other people they know. Kids themselves or their siblings may have prescriptions for painkillers because of sports injuries or a drug like Ritalin because of ADHD.
Prescription pills are much easier to hide than alcohol or marijuana since these are things that a parent can smell after their child had been using. Changes in health, behavior or someone realizing that they are missing some of their pills are indications that someone is abusing another person’s prescription.
Law enforcement officials are doing what they can to talk to parents and school officials about prescription drug abuse. They emphasize that parents really have to be watchful. This can be a hard message for some parents to hear, since they feel very certain that their children would never engage in substance abuse. The issue is that beyond using drugs to escape unhappiness or because one is rebellious, there are also people who simply want to try things out because they are curious.
Talking to your child and also taking precautions to see to it that they do not have access to prescription drugs can make a difference. This may mean not leaving your own prescriptions out and asking close friends or relatives if they safeguard their prescriptions. The campaign that told parents that they are the anti-drug makes a very good point. Research has shown that family bonding activities begun at early ages and continued through the teen years enhanced parents’ positive protective influence as their children matured. And proper disposal of prescription medication can prevent your child or anyone else from gaining access to medicine that was not intended for them.
Singer Whitney Houston has been in the headlines recently and it was not for outlandish behavior or canceled tour dates. Houston has voluntarily decided to attend drug and alcohol rehabilitation program on an outpatient basis. While some may not see her as a role model, given some of the reports of her past behavior, seeking help certainly is not a bad thing.
A representative for the singer told the media that “it is a voluntary measure and part of Houston’s “long-standing” recovery process.”
At Transitions we know that addiction recovery is not a one-shot deal. We do all that we can to help our patients get the tools they need for long-term sobriety, but we do not cut them off once they leave. In fact, we feel that the intensive addiction treatment a patient receives at Transitions Recovery drug treatment center is just the beginning of addiction recovery.
We offer our patients lifetime aftercare and relapse prevention because we know how difficult the journey can be. Patients and their loved ones can become discouraged in the event of a relapse so we do our best to work with patients to prevent relapse. It is much more productive to put energy into building on what you’ve learned to avoid turning to drugs and alcohol than it is to try to get back on track after straying. Our continuum of care offers alcohol addiction and drug treatment throughout the entire recovery process.
We know that substance abuse has to be treated both in short-term and the long-term, so our complete long-term drug treatment support programs do not end when primary care is completed. Our ongoing support provides the long-term drug treatment that can help ensure you stay sober and realize the benefits of a full life without drugs and alcohol. You’ll experience growth and recovery throughout all aspects of your life in a lifelong journey.
Our alumni association holds meetings and sponsors events for people who have complete our alcohol addiction and drug abuse programs. These events center on structured act where patients, alumni, staff, families and members of the community can spend time together. Patients enjoy opportunities to help others and sponsor new patients at our addiction treatment center.
The following is another excerpt from Symbolic-Meanings.com, from the tag “addictions”. The author describes listening to Colette Baron-Reid on her radio show, where she advised a listener, a recovering alcoholic, that she couldn’t focus on finding her purpose and sharing her gifts with the world until she had done something vitally important first:
“…Your only purpose right now is to stay sober for the next five years! You can’t do anything until you do that!” (paraphrased)
The author went on to explain:
At that point, I was only a few years into sobriety and thinking I was pretty hot stuff. But when I heard this statement from a preeminent in her field (also an experienced recovering alcoholic with over 20 years of sobriety under her belt), and someone I deeply respected…it rankled me.
Upon hearing those words, my vision gave way to this mammoth mountain. Mt. Sobriety.
The base of that symbolic mountain suddenly became vast. And when I looked to the apex, I could see no end. There was no longer a “top of the mountain” in recovery. That point was way beyond my current vision, lost in ringlets of foggy potentials and mists of unknowns.
Truthfully, there is no “top of the mountain” for any Path of devotion. There is no stopping place. There’s no point of final accomplishment on our spiritual path. We’re always hiking. Always ascending in our climb for knowledge and understanding.
I’ve surpassed my 5th year of sobriety on the mountain, and Colette was right.
Looking back, there was not much else I could focus on other than re-setting priorities. Furthermore, nothing external in my life shifted until after my five-year anniversary. Meaning, it took that period of time to see the physical manifestation of my inner work.
So, if someone you admire hits you between the eyes with revelatory truth, sit with it before you discount it. Particularly if the advice is dispensed from one who has “been there, done that.” Chances are there’s a great deal of merit in the advice.
Furthermore, when your perception of your own personal mountain of progress shifts, don’t get discouraged. Find way-stations on your mountain, pick some flowers, take in the view. You’re already on the right Path, and the end is an illusion. Might as well take advantage of your current position.
The following is an excerpt from Symbolic-Meanings.com, from the tag “addictions”. The author explains, “Symbolism is a universal language with which we are all familiar. Our ancestors believed the use of symbols could empower us, enlighten us, and aid us in our journey through life. This concept is as true today as when it occurred to our ancestors.”
Where reflecting on my motivations and past history has failed to give adequate reasons for my compulsions – symbolism has answered in spades.
Thankfully, I’ve always been a symbolic-junkie first, and reverting back to that foundation has proven to be a counter-balance to other junkie-fiendy tendencies.
In fact, I think addictions are symbolic. They represent a sense of feeling incomplete, and a need to escape that sense of vacancy. Symbolism has helped me view my addictions as symbolic personalities…archetypes, if you will.
So, my compulsions take on character traits….similar to how Colette Baron-Reid likens grabby aspects of our darker selves as “The Goblin.” Although, this imagery didn’t really work for me – I happen to love goblins.
Rather, my alcoholism is more like a naughty misfit. Misunderstood, craving attention and just dying to be center-stage. And that’s okay. We all need our moments in the sun.
So, I find healthier ways for my misfits to express themselves. Meditation has been a godsend, and although I started the daily practice in my late teens – it wasn’t until I started addressing my addictions that meditation proved nothing short of miraculous.
Seeing the world through symbolic eyes has been a catalyst for stability too. It’s clear the unnatural obsession for escapism is at the core of my addictions. Delving into the magic and wonder of symbolism feeds that need for shifty perspectives quite nicely.
And something else….you’ll notice I haven’t nay-sayed or cast ugly dispersions on my alcoholism/addiction. That’s because it’s not an enemy. I cringe at terms like: “battling” addiction, or “fighting” alcoholism. If there’s anything my needy-needs have taught me – it’s that fighting these urges is futile.
…[T]here ARE solutions (even if unorthodox). Maybe this post can serve as encouragement that if I can maneuver my inner misfits – you can too. Sharing our milestones is something that makes us wonderfully human, and I’m deeply thankful to be able to indulge this moment – my six-year anniversary of sobriety with you.
While we certainly consider cigarettes to be addictive, they are legal. There is a stigma attached to smoking cigarettes, but the habit is not illegal. In recent years, smoking in cigarettes been prohibited in public spaces throughout the world. Still, no matter how much societies may frown on cigarette use, it is not illegal for adults to buy or smoke cigarettes. And in movies and television, cigarettes are still used as a prop to convey that some fictional characters have a certain sophistication.
In contrast, it is illegal to possess, use or sell cocaine,a substance that was once legal and thought to be harmless. In popular culture, cocaine use is not portrayed as casually as cigarette use is since cocaine is an illegal drug. The detrimental effects of it care seen on the screen. Even when powerful fictional characters use cocaine are not shown to suffer, they may be portrayed as violent or unstable.
However, scientists have found that cigarettes and cocaine may have more in common than it would seem. They are on opposing sides of the law but researchers know that it is easy for people to form a habit after trying both cigarettes and cocaine.
“New research from the University of Chicago Medical Center has given new insight into just what makes cocaine and nicotine so addictive. According to the research, the effects of nicotine on the regions of the brain associated with addiction are similar to those of cocaine—both create lasting changes in a person’s brain by affecting similar mechanisms of memory on first contact.”
The researchers are looking for ways to help people who want to end addictions to both of these substances, so they are in no way saying that they equate one with the other. Rather, they are looking for ways to understand how people can become hooked on them and find new ways to break the cycle of addiction.
“We know without question that there are big differences in the way these drugs affect people. But the idea that nicotine is working on the same circuitry as cocaine does point to why so many people have a hard time quitting tobacco, and why so many who experiment with the drug end up becoming addicted.”