The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve

What a beautiful tradition for Christmas--I would love to see people in recovery adopt this--read from the Big Book, the Pocket Sponsor, various meditation books..a night of graditude and recovery sharing!

The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve : TreeHugger: "Book lovers will want to adopt this lovely holiday tradition, which melds literary and holiday pleasures into a single event.

Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December in preparation for Christmas giving."

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Research reveals adults believe other kids are obese or abusing drugs but don’t worry about their own children

OK--this is the truth and reflects what I deal with a lot--I have always said about "Sober Coaching Your Toxic Teen" that by the time parents know they need it--it is too late! Get the workbook now and learn what you need to know BEFORE you get slapped in the face.

I know parents used to believe that soda was good for kids!!!

Research reveals adults believe other kids are obese or abusing drugs but don’t worry about their own children | The Courier-Mail: "PARENTS “underrate” their child’s significant health issues with research revealing adults believe other children are obese and using drugs but are not worried about their own."

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Rehabs address lower success rates in gay community-we should too

I went to a speakers meetings Sunday night and a recovering woman from the LGBTQ community was the speaker--powerful lead she gave and very inspiriing to all of us--especially the newcomers in the room. I was reminded of how difficult it can be when you are "different" then your peers in some way. When I arrived in several fellowships in 1969--I was "different" (a hippie who also did drugs) and almost run off--but my tenacity and AND the few who reached out to me even though many people in recovery saw me as a threat, are what kept me from going back out.

This Holiday season, make a speical effort to reach out to anyone you see as different--do you not like their looks? They bore you at a meeting, they are strongly religious and you are spiritual, they are gay and you are not, they are young and you are old, they are professionals and you are a blue collar worker? Reach out this year and the gift you give will be to yourself. (read about the Gay community's plight below):

Rehabs address lower success rates in gay community - NY Daily News: "Molly Gilbert, who works at the PRIDE Institute — a Minneapolis-based addiction treatment program founded in 1986 with a specific focus on treating the LGBTQ community — said that most data shows that somewhere between 28% and 35% of the LGBTQ community has a substance abuse problem."

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Attorney general releases shopping guide, warns parents to monitor kids' online

WE do need to monitor our kids online habits--we know this yet do we make the time???

Attorney general releases shopping guide, warns parents to monitor kids' online: "“You as a parent really need to have some understanding of what it is they’re doing with the technology you’re giving them,” Madigan said. “As parents, we have to take responsibility of having these conversations that may not be the most fun but turn out to be some of the most important.”"

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The Family Drug Addict and Thanksgiving

What a great article for any family that has to deal with their drug addict over the holidays! Alcoholism and Drug addiction ruined holdiay after holiday when I was a child--this story talks about dealing with it as an adult. Wow--worth reading. I especially realted to "All this contentment made me a sitting duck for the family drug addict and her annual permutations on holiday-destroying crisis creation." Forget that it's written on a chatolic blog--it's the truth and well written!

The Family Drug Addict and Thanksgiving: "So, they rouse themselves from their self-absorption and go to work, manufacturing crises and doing everything in their power to pull the rest of the family into the traumas of their own devising. They won’t stop until you stop them, or until they’ve made such a mess of the holiday that everyone — Every. Single. Person. — from the littlest baby to the senile old lady is a frazzled wreck, and sullenness and misery hang over the turkey like a fog."

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Opening a dialogue between parents and children about drugs-Dr. Oz

Recnelty Dr. Oz turned from advising people about their weight and aging woes and posed the question about what bothers them about their kids--he got and earful. They were fearful their kids had picked up deadly drug habits. And they have--but its not really anything new. Youth and addiction--its been a problem for us since the dark ages--talking to kids is a always a great idea (although not a panecea) and I support teh National Night of Conversation for the 19th!

Opening a dialogue between parents and children about drugs - Houston Chronicle: "Oz learned that drug overdoses have surpassed traffic accidents as the leading cause of death among young people and that prescription painkillers, and even heroin, are seeping into American middle schools and high schools. That's when the cardiologist, host of "The Dr. Oz Show" and father of four, decided to use his bully pulpit to focus on youth addiction and recovery.

Oz, health officials and addiction experts around the country are calling for a "National Night of Conversation" on Nov. 19. They are hoping families will set aside that Thursday evening for heart-to-heart talks about drugs."

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Wonder why medicine cabinet pain killers are so dangerous to your kids?

Answer: Heroin

The heroin epidemic is recycled every 7 or 8 years--concerned citizens go after it, they manage to get kids to look elsewhere, (unfortunately usually to speed or psychedelics) --then in a few years the heroin epidemic returns.

Is there anything different about it this time? Actually there is because strong pain killers are getting more expensive and harder to con doctors out of--so kids (and way too many adults too) turn to heroin. People are catching on. Solutions? Same as always. Education, diligence, and honestly facing the problem. Read about the "new" epidemic below.

Heroin’s Low Cost and Easy Access Attract People Addicted to Painkillers: Study - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: "Researchers surveyed 15,000 people being treated for drug addiction, and conducted in-depth interviews with 267 of them. They found almost half of those interviewed were addicted to opioid painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet before using heroin, HealthDay reports."

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Parents & Professionals New Lower Price for Sober Coaching Your Teen

This Holiday season we are lowering the pirce of the workbook for parents dealing with a drug crisis--AND now you can begin a parental support group for as little as $80! Check it out.

Parents & Professionals: Begin a Parental Support Group Today

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Manitoba family who lost son to prescription drug use says help is needed - Manitoba - CBC News

I feel so bad for the fmailies that lose kids to prescription durgs--well any drugs. But when they go into tyour bathroom and get their death sentence there--it is so hard to forgive one's self. For not seeing. For not understanding the danger...The story of this 18 year old is below but it oculd be any of us.

Manitoba family who lost son to prescription drug use says help is needed - Manitoba - CBC News: ""They asked me, 'How old is he?' He's 18," said Dalton. "'Does he want to come in'? I said, 'Yeah, he wants to come in.' 'Ok, well, we will make arrangements on Monday to have somebody call you and get the process started.' Well, when you are in that situation, you know, again, experience now tells me, you don't have time.""

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How a Teen’s Bedroom Can Reveal Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Calling all Parents who think they have a "great" line of communicatin with their teen..READ THIS ARTICLE:

How a Teen’s Bedroom Can Reveal Drug and Alcohol Abuse: "Except no real-life teen lives here — and the computer mouse has a secret compartment for hiding pills, the water bottles are filled with alcohol, and the key ring can be transformed into a marijuana pipe.

This mockup of a teen’s bedroom is actually an innovative exhibit inside the Hanover Mall outside Boston, and the purpose is to tip off parents to signs that their teens may be secretly using drugs and alcohol."

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Forget the Inner Child. It's the INNER ACOHOLIC/ADDICT we have it deal with! Day By Day has designed a colorful poster that has a strong messaage for those in recovery and is offereing it to you for fee. Download it now!

‘Not My Child’ event to sound warning on drug use

The very thing that makes parents so wonderful, their firm belief in their pride and joy is also their greatest downfoall--their unfialiling belief in pride and joy--so often, they simply cannot "see" what is goiing on. That is what our online questions "The Winning Hand. 21 Questions for Parents." is all about--giving parents the heads up when they simply can not "see". If your child is between 12 and 20--take this every 6 months! Read below about the "Not My Child" position of the most loving parents.

‘Not My Child’ event to sound warning on drug use - New Jersey Herald: "“I wanted to do the event for parents to let them know why kids get involved with drugs, how they get involved, when they get involved and what the signs are,” said Kelli Yanez, a faith-based drug and alcohol counselor with an office in the Franklin Cares building, who organized the event. “A lot of parents think ‘it’s not my kid’ that will get involved with drugs, but it is everywhere and can affect everyone.”"

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Get away to the Caribbean with IRM! | In Recovery Magazine

I love the folks at InRecovery Magazine. This Cruise looks to be fun and inspiring. There are meetings and workshops hand picked by the people at InReocvery and it sounds fabulous!  Entertainment inlcudes  Recovery Films, Comedy Show, Meetings, Special ‘In This Life’ Tours, swimming with stingrays and sharks plus great snorkeling, other entertainment, dancing, and  LOTS of FUN-FUN-FUN. Looking for something different this Dec? I reccomend this getaway and the people sponsoring it.

Get away to the Caribbean with IRM! | In Recovery Magazine: "Travel with us to the Western Caribbean from Houston — including stops at Cozumel, Harvest Caye, Belize, Banana Coast-Trujillo, and Honduras. Join us on this fabulous seven-day cruise vacation on the Norwegian Cruise Lines “Norwegian Jade” December 5-12, 2015."

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Social networking leading to drug abuse among kids worrying parents

Although this article below is from India, talking about how social media is affecting addiction--it affects us here in the U.S. too--However, you often hear that this drug or that drug is increasing in use and parents are concerned and kids are in trouble--this event or that supply is worse than ever. The media gives us headlines designed to scare us. Addiction to any particular drug goes up and down, but the rate of addiction remains pretty steady, about 1 in 10 of us are in trouble with mind affecting chemicals and this includes our kids.

You need to reamain diligent as you would with anything your kids take up--but I don't think social media is much worse then the tail gate parties of the past.

Social networking leading to drug abuse among kids worrying parents - The Times of India: ""There is a very close nexus between social networking sites, drug supply chain and drug abuse among children. Children active on social sites come across online drug suppliers and ultimately due to curiosity because of their age (adolescence) they get into addiction. Drug use and abuse is changing briskly in our society, and in present day it is one of the biggest challenges for us as our young are getting easily exposed to drugs online and abusing it. Children are placing order online and the consignment is reaching them at their doorstep." "

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Liberation Programs Receives $20K Grant for Addiction Treatment for Pregnant or Parenting Women

I have mixed feelings on women taking kids to treatment--while its true that they are relunctant to go to treatment without their kids--I always suspect the women use kids as an excuse not to seek treatment. If you are constantly tending to kids, you are lessl ikely to tend to your recovery. I used to advise young monthers to get someone in the family to take care of the kids for severalmonths in early reocvery--gave the mom's  a better start. But keeping kids in a safe environment with Mom--could work, and of course that depends on the staff and the program too.

Liberation Programs Receives $20K Grant for Addiction Treatment for Pregnant or Parenting Women | Greenwich Free Press: "The program also provides special services for children and is unique to the State of Connecticut since it is the only program of its kind where mothers can bring two children up to the age of 10 to stay with them while they are in treatment."

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Parent warns of dangers of teen drug and alcohol use

So often parents think their kids are "just experimentng" but experimentation can turn ugly fast. More than about 80% of the time this is true--kids do experiment and they do grow up just fine. But for 10% of them, it progresses into an agressive addiciton. How can you tell the difference? You don't want to over react for every little infraction that may be "normal" if not infuriating for how do you tell if they are growing up in a normal and chaotic fashion or if they are headed for addiciton hell? Take this test. Click Here  Abnd read this mothers story below.

P.E.I. parent warns of dangers of teen drug and alcohol use - Local - The Guardian: "Her son had been rushed to hospital with alcohol poisoning.

“He was binge drinking near the Confederation Trail. He and a friend passed out cold and were left there by the rest of the group who were afraid of getting into trouble,” she told The Guardian"

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Drug-Testing Kits Provided to Parents to Start Dialogue with Kids

I have always supported the use of drug testing kits. Kids like to claim "Its an invasion of my privacy!"  But actually, someone using drugs in MY house is an invasion of my rights! I have a right to respect myself, my home, and my kids...and knowing what they are doing is part of the respect and central to protecting them.

Drug-Testing Kits Provided to Parents to Start Dialogue with Kids | Parenting: "The "Give Me a Reason" pilot program has developed a drug-testing kit that aims to educate moms and dads about why kids use drugs and alcohol, help them protect their children, give tips on how to communicate with their kids, and provide tricks to spotting and dealing with substance abuse. It's a partnership among the Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, Mayor Steve Williams' Office of Drug Control Policy and the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area."

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The Parent Blame Game | In Recovery Magazine- My Story

I ran across this article again. I wrote it last year for In Recovery Magazine. It's my story with my daughter and the basis for the book from my brother and myself, Sober Coaching Your Teen, as well as the rewrite of Young, Sober, & Free from Hazelden.. If you are a parent and have an addicted child or one experimenting--read my story. Don't let this happen to you.

The Parent Blame Game | In Recovery Magazine: "“Repeat that. He said the joke’s on me?” She nodded. Alcoholism and addiction runs in our family. In fact, it is very aggressive within the Marshall family. My mother, father, uncle, brothers and cousins all suffer from this destructive brain chemistry disorder. Today, most of us are clean and sober. The few who aren’t are in the process of destroying themselves or have already died from the disease."

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Teens teach teens about drug abuse

I like the concept of Drug Story Theater, and we know that peer talking to each other works pretty good--but in this case I would be cautious. Kids may be more likely to listen to other kids, but once they walk out of the theater, they are more likely to listen to the guy beside them--and not remember the story on stage. it's the way of things. Still, this is a lightly better approach than having kids lectured by adults...

You can read about it below.

Teens teach teens about drug abuse - News - The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA - Quincy, MA: "atos, 17, is reading the words from a script, but the story is familiar. Like all the vignettes featured in the Drug Story Theater production, it’s the staged version of what the actors themselves experienced.
The concept came to Dr. Joe Shrand years ago: Many schools have assemblies about drug use, but adults telling kids what not to do just doesn’t have the same impact as teens talking to other teens about real-life experiences."

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Students teach parents that their prescription pills can start kids down road of drug addiction

Hey, these kids are teaching their parents about prescription drugs! I love this. If you set kids on a mission (or anyone for that matter) to research something so they may teach it to another--who learns the most? Great approach and I applaud the teacher who created this "lesson". Remember Johnathon Livingston Seagull? "You teach best what you most need to learn."

In Hillsdale, students teach parents that their prescription pills can start kids down road of drug addiction - News - "As part of a sophomore honors English course, the students spent most of the school year researching how teenagers use prescription drugs, how prevalent their use is and how parents can curb the dramatic rise in drug abuse. Their work culminated Monday night in a class presentation of the first of two forums for school-district parents as part of their “Lock It Up, Drop It Off” project. "

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A heroin victim's poetic warning for her sister – and the world |

A heroin victim's poetic warning for her sister – and the world |  "It was written by the young Harrisburg-area woman on Christmas Day 2005 – three months before she died of a heroin overdose at the age of 20 – to warn others about the dangers of abusing drugs. Natalie wrote the poem from Dauphin County Prison. She died 19 days after she was released."


By Natalie Cribari
Through poison-tainted veins, I feel
A warmth that soothes, but is surreal
It's funny how we became acquainted
He made me quiver, I almost fainted.
He seemed so cool, so calm, and sweet
He swept me off my virgin feet.
We fell in love, or so I thought
My soul, Almighty love, is what he sought.
He hid his identity with a comforting mask,
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Mentors help at-risk youth avoid addiction

Helping mentor kids is a great way to volunteer for drug addiction prevention. The Momin the story below is dealing with the overdose death of her son by reaching out to other young people and sharing her experience. This is one of the ways to deal with grief and really help others--one real person sharing an experience with another--its real and it comes from the gut.

Other ways to share are by providing workshops that young people can come to, MIXED WITH ADULTS--like the young man below at a photography workshop in Alaska for the community--there were many teenagers taking the workshop with parents, professionals, and seniors--mixing the ages in activities betters communications and gives young people
respect and closeness with elders. 

Reach out to young people--not as an expert--not as an authority figure, but as a colleague and friend, by sharing your experiences, including young people in mixed generational activities. Include them--don't push them to be with their peers all the time (so they bond against adults) --they need varied experiences with all ages. That is how we learn. This summer be a mentor for young people, by sharing with them in conversations, activities, and respect.
Mentors help at-risk youth avoid addiction - News - Times Reporter - New Philadelphia, OH: "Otte’s son, Joey, died of a heroin overdose in September 2013, leaving her and her surviving sons devastated. That’s why she agreed to act as a mentor to a student who recently had gotten into trouble for drug use.
“I don’t want his death to be in vain,” Otte said. Telling her son’s story to other young people gives her hope that they may have a different outcome."

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Weekend-only drug use frequently slips into weekday drug use,

Peole don't "fall" into addiction and insanity--but build up slowly. They didn't need a study to know that weekend use graduates into weekday use for addicts..what we'd like to know, is why do some poeple NOT build into wekday use? Is it becasue they don't have the genitics to ease into addiciton? Is it becasue of their environment? Many questions...still too few answers--here is the study from the LA Times.

Weekend-only drug use frequently slips into weekday drug use, study says - LA Times: "ware, weekend ragers: A new study suggests that people who use drugs only on the weekends frequently begin using them on weekdays too."

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Offering Money to Smokers to Quit Pays Off, Study Finds

I like this!!!! It's a new look at getting people to do somehting that is good for them but maybe they don't really want kids and drugs. We know that these things don't work:

saying, "When I was your age..."
shaming (trying to make them feel guilty)
letting them drink at home so they won't drink with their friends
Howver, if you piad them not to do drugs...would it work? Somehting to think about! If it works for smoking, it just might work (at least with some kids) for drinking and druging...

Offering Money to Smokers to Quit Pays Off, Study Finds - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: "Offering financial incentives to smokers to quit is more effective than offering free counseling and nicotine replacement therapy, a new study concludes.

More than 2,500 CVS Health employees participated in the study. They were assigned to one of five groups: individual reward (based on their own performance); collaborative reward (based on their group’s performance); individual deposit (requiring an upfront deposit of $150 with subsequent matching funds); competitive deposit (competing for other participants’ deposits and matching funds) or usual care (including free smoking cessation aids and informational resources)."

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Vaping Tricks Increase Teens’ Attraction to E-Cigarettes

Whaever happened to blowing bubbles and creating "tricks" with soap bubbles--now it has to be vaping??? Oh my, how times change.

Vaping Tricks Increase Teens’ Attraction to E-Cigarettes - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: "Many teens who use e-cigarettes say they enjoy performing tricks with the vapor, such as blowing smoke rings or creating funnels of smoke that look like tornadoes. Performing tricks is one of the top two reasons teens say they enjoy using e-cigarettes, Reuters reports."

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More parents fret over kids’ mental health than drugs

It's a shame but so many parents think their kids do not do drugs--or expeiriment..I've had so many kids come to me and ask me not to "tell my parents" and then confess to out of control driking or drugging. I've received messages form my web sites like   why is it so difficult to bleive--we know that most kids experiement with drugs, many abuse them, and yet parents always think they are the exception. Wishful thinking?

Are tyou a parent? Are your kids between 10 and 20? Then take this test:  from

More parents fret over kids’ mental health than drugs: study - NY Daily News: "Sixty-five percent of the 3,100 parents surveyed worry that their teen suffers from anxiety or depression, with nearly half saying that their kid has confessed mental health struggles to them.

But more than 75% kept their heads in the sand when it came to substance abuse, saying their little angels would never partake."

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Santa Monica 'Reality Parties' To Scare Parents Into Thinking Their Kids Are Addicts

Never heard of this before--reality parties. It is designed to get parents to see what a party is really like and is supposed to "scare" them into thinking their kids are headed for tragedy if they pal around with their friends at these parties--the article here is sarcastic but the concept is intriguing. these "reality" parties for parents might be poorly done, but I think if done right, it could be a good thing--open up dialog, and help parents see thsings they are blind to. It might be a good way to teach parents about Sober Coaching their kids.

Santa Monica 'Reality Parties' To Scare Parents Into Thinking Their Kids Are Addicts: LAist: ""The goal of the #ItsTooEasy Reality Party is to create an opportunity for parents, administrators and community leaders to come together to discuss how we can better protect our youth from the misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol," Brenda Simmons, Director of the Westside Impact Project, told the Santa Monica Mirror. Her organization is co-hosting the reality parties along with the CLARE Foundation and Straight Up Reality Improv, and will be sponsored in part with your hard-earned taxpayer dollars from the City of Santa Monica and its police department."

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Former anti-drug activists reflect on marijuana legalization

It's a thorny issue--this stuff about legalizing Drugs. Since we do allow the recreational use of drugs, mainly alcohol and cigarettes, I find it hard to rationalize why marajuana can't be among them. It certianly is less violent and disruptive than the drug acohol in the family and community. Humans use drugs. They always have and apparently always will. If we want to control their use as a culture and society, it woud lbe best to make it the least harmful form a societal and familial sense--that means taking the money out of it for the gangs and cartels (and some say the CAI). These women have an intersting take on it.

Former anti-drug activists reflect on marijuana legalization - The Washington Post: "But there was something different, Vonneva Pettigrew could tell, about her neighborhood that day. She could smell it when she walked along the residential streets lined with tidy brick houses and sense it when she talked to the neighbors. More people were smoking pot. And they were doing it in the open. Marijuana may have been legal for only a day, but for Pettigrew, 76, it was the 1970s all over again."

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“Palcohol” Maker Says His Product is No More Dangerous Than Liquid Alcohol

Unbelievable!!!! You got to read this one. Now kids can snort their alcohol. I hope this manufacturer is proud of what he or they have accomplished.

“Palcohol” Maker Says His Product is No More Dangerous Than Liquid Alcohol - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: "The maker of the powdered alcohol product “Palcohol” says it is no more dangerous than liquid alcohol, The New York Times reports. Palcohol, recently approved for sale by a federal agency, has been banned in six states. A bill to ban powdered alcohol’s sale and manufacture nationwide has been introduced by Senator Charles Schumer of New York."

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Students teach about drug dangers -

Often, kids will listen to other kids before they listen to their parents. People think that kids get hooked ondrugs from the local drug dealer down the street--but research shows that kids are more like to get on drugs fromt heir older siblings and fromtheir friends at school--finding the local drug dealer comes AFTER they were introduced from their frinds, not before.

In any case, I like the concept here of middle school kids working with grammer school kids. I'd like to revisit this in a year or two and see what happens.

Students teach about drug dangers - Mount Airy News - " Surry County Schools are hoping to spark a culture change among local families to combat prescription drug abuse. This year marks the fifth year a student task force has planned and held programs shared in schools."

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Local agency offers free drug testing kits for teens

I'm thinking I like giving these test kis out for free--It's not so pleasent to ask your child if they are doing drugs."mind if I test you?"  that might be hard. Unless they are acting really really weird and you need to know why. I think this is an individual choice, however. Waht is going to work in your family? Are you doing this becasue you need an answer or are you testing becasue you want to humiliate them? You need to be clear on why you are doing it and what the answer will set in motion.

Local agency offers free drug testing kits for teens - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority: "A $20 test offers results for ten types of illegal drugs, but Andrea Hoskins with The Graves County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy and Prevention said it also can offer parents peace of mind. "Parents can have that open communication with their child about drug use that they may not have had before, especially if they suspect it."

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Maryvale to mandate drug forums for parents -

I like the idea of parents learning about drug abuse--BUT mandatory? By whose authority? The school systems work for us. We don't work for them. Just another Big Government power grab. "We know what is best for you, so you have to do what we say."

Yeah right--like when they told us speed was not addictive, that eating 3 meals a week with your kid prevents addiciton, like saying marajuana will drive you instantly when they used to tell parents they should teach their children how to drink at home--all expert advice at one time or another. Wake up parents.

Maryvale to mandate drug forums for parents - City & Region - The Buffalo News: "During its meeting Monday night, the Board of Education approved mandatory parent meetings to begin next academic year.

Parents of students in sixth to 12th grades will be required to attend the forums or their children will be unable to participate in extracurricular activities, such as sporting events, dances and clubs. In consideration of families with more than one child, attendance would cover parents for four years."

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12 hospitalized after taking drug Molly on Wesleyan campus

It's always something...I get so tired of the revolving drug scene--just as soon as we get a handle on one drug, the kids find the next "new" thing to abuse--a few die, a few are hospitalized, they "learn their lesson" and find the next one...Sigh

12 hospitalized after taking drug Molly on Wesleyan campus: "Ten Wesleyan University students and two campus visitors were admitted to the hospital Sunday after taking a drug called Molly, according to a statement from Wesleyan president Michael Roth.

Molly is a potent substance in the same family as ecstasy or MDMA."

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The Parental Blame Game

Part of the reason I became so interested in helping parents with their addicted children, especially those in recovery is because I am the daughter of an alcoholic and the monther of one! Sandwitched inbetween with my own addiciton problem I can say I have looked at "clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow, life's illusions I recall, I really don't know clouds (addicition recovery) at all." 

I know my own recovery and what worked for me. I know what helped me move forward, my mother in recovery herself, and my daughter in and out of recovery and so dear to me. It runs in our family, our very DNA, but the good thing is - so does recovery! If you want to know my story, it was published in "in-Recovery Magazine" fall of 2014. I hope you enjoy.

My Story as it appeared in in-Recovery Magazine, Fall 2014

My seventeen-year-old daughter’s face looked ashen. Why wasn’t she happy to see me after two weeks in a treatment center? Her crestfallen demeanor concerned me.

“Honey,” I asked, “what’s wrong? I know addiction treatment isn’t fun.”

“No, it’s not that. I like it here . . .” she hesitated. “It’s just that you wrote the book they gave us here in treatment.”

“And that’s a bad thing?”

“Well, the psychiatrist called me in, and said it was a joke on you – that you wrote the book, and now your daughter is an alcoholic.” Read more...

Talk to children about drug abuse -

It is always wise to remind parents to talk to their kids about drugs. It is a revolving educational wheel. Each year new parent's have have that reach the teen years and so each year we have to tell them the same thing we told parents last year. When we talk to our kids, the main thing is to make it real. If you used drugs, talk about it. Be open and honest and share your concerns. Let them know what is acceptable and what is not. And most of all--do not threaten. If you have a boundary they cannot cross, let them know and enforce it. Don't make threats you will not carry out. Kids are smarter than you think. And if you are talking about now, they probably have already experimented. So let them know what you think and ask them what they think. You probably won't stop them from experimenting, but at least they know they can talk to you.

Talk to children about drug abuse - Bowling Green Daily News: Features: "Continue talking through adolescence,” she said. “It is important they become aware of your concerns and know how you feel. Plus, it’s always healthy and beneficial to communicate calmly and clearly. Initiate an open dialog, and be sure to listen to what they have to say – despite the fact that the subject matter may make you uncomfortable.”"

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Drugs, near death and a miraculous second chance for a 28 years old

Addicted to pankillers at age 20--he found reocvery by 28--an inspiring story.

Drugs, near death and a miraculous second chance for Midland Beach man -- in his own words | "The doctors saw that I was in pain, and prescribed painkillers.  It started off with Vicodin, and then Percocet.  I kept periodically upping my dose until the amount of medicine I needed increased."

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Sober Sensations | Alcoholics Anonymous International Convention 2015

Going to be LOTS of sober entertainment at Sober City in Atlanta this July. The AA international is there and I have a booth to sell books! You can buy books, then listen to music, catch a meeting, and then watch a movie--peek at what they have and plan to come!

Sober Sensations | Alcoholics Anonymous International Convention 2015: "Sober City at The Atlanta Tabernacle : 152 Luckie St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303"

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Commentary: The Power of Support Groups -for Parents!

Many of thsoe in recovery from various addictions udnerstand how strong the support group is for support and direction. But it is less well understood how important the groups are for family members affected by the disease. Tehy think, "They've got the problem, not me." And they don't seek support for themselves. But being able to offer the best best help for your kids often depends on you learning what works and what doesn't. That is why my brother and I put together the workbook for parents, "Sober Coaching Your Teen." You can get it from Amazon or at our site--at our site, there are a lot of free downloads and interesting articles. Join together has an interesting article on the power of support groups for parents.

Commentary: The Power of Support Groups - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: "“I have attended parent support group meetings since 2010. When my husband and I were in the darkest place of our lives, we didn’t even realize how much we needed to be with people who had a shared experience. Nearly five years later, we are still active in our support group, and the men and women we have met in those rooms are some of our closest friends today. I do not know where we would be without that group."

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The Real Definition of Relapse and Why this one doesn't work

This is what one organization wants to say about relaspe--they "redefine" the word or lets say "spin" the word to make sure that kids and parents don't feel bad about treatment not working. Here is the upshot of this article:

The Real Definition of Relapse and Why it Matters: "a lapse in his abstinence, but did he relapse? Many families find it useful to distinguish between a “slip” or a “lapse” as an instance of substance use by someone who has a goal of abstinence and a “relapse” as a return to the pre-treatment pattern of substance use. When someone has fully relapsed, they slide back towards the heavy and frequent us"
So all concerned have a new way to look at this--have the kids using out of treatment "fully relasped?" Or have they only partly relasped? The article says if its partly, then lets call it a "slip" and if they fully relaspe, then we'll call it a relaspe. I pondered this approach for ahwile--chewed on the distinction. Other then the fact they don't want people to think treatment doesn't work (my assessment) they explain "If they believe Jacob’s one night of drinking is a relapse, it is easy to feel that all hope is lost, that all gains from treatment have been thrown away." I simply don't understand why they don't say--"Hey, you relasped! But its only one night, Get back on that horse and get back in touch with your support group and begin again." Instead, they want to say, "well, its not really a failure, its just a setback--don't consider it relaspe--just a little slip. Its OK to use now and again as long as you don't go back into full blown addiction."

The author explains that reframing this word allows the parents to escape the "overwhelming terror of the moment." My assessment is that it allows them to not face the facts--treatment for teens in an all teen setting is likely to make addiction worse, not better. One of the reasons is the sugar coating we see from Teen Treatment centers like this--addiction is not really addiciton, relaspse is not really realaspe--parents and kids will drop into despair if you don't sugarcoat every aspect of the disease...

I think this looks at parents as helpless and hapless and I also think it takes the responsiblity of recovery away from the only one who can recover--the teen themselves.

So, do I think reframing "relaspe" is a good idea? I think kids are smarter than that--if they are going to use again, they will--regardless of what you tell the parents to call it--relaspe, slip, failed sobriety, using, setbacks, --taking a mind affecting chemical means one thing, you have activated your disease again--and calling it by a different name doesn't make your disease less dangerous or treatment more effective..

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For parents, a child’s struggle with heroin addiction can be all-consuming

This arents group is founded in a circle of chairs in a church. That is how AA began and for many parents of addicts--that is how they can begin to find help and relief amid the fear.

For parents, a child’s struggle with heroin addiction can be all-consuming – Cronkite News: "On this evening, a woman shares how she dreads the possibility that someone will call at 9 a.m. to say her son is dead. A father with a son coming out of rehab for heroin addiction tells the group he’s decided not to let him come back to work at the family business."

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Our Job in Life is to Move Forward

This is today's illusrated wisdom from the Pocket Sponsor.

Children of drug addicts learn they aren’t alone at a heartbreaking weekend camp

I can't think of a better idea. I wanted to do a book for kids titled "How do you Deal with your Alcoholic Dog?" My thinking was this would give kids a way to explore a parent's addiction in a non threatening way---but my daughter, the rather famous children's book writer, told me that parents would never accept the book and since its the parents who buy the books...I had to agree. So what do we do for these kids?

This looks perfect!!! A camp where they can talk about it around the campfire--amid the other activities..I love this idea! Read about it here.

Children of drug addicts learn they aren’t alone at a heartbreaking weekend camp - The Washington Post: "These are kids who live every day with the demons that haunt adults. Some are already in foster care, or D.C.’s shelter for homeless families or bouncing between Auntie’s and Grandma’s houses. A few also are dealing with drug use that has bled from the adults in the family to their older siblings."

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Teaching Friends And Family How To Reverse A Drug Overdose

What a scary story--this young worker was able to save the life of a 21 year old stranger who had overdosed. I'm quite sure unless you are a medical professional this would not be legal in most states--BUT in the old days, we used to carry a bottle on 12 step calls to help prevent the ones we were working with going into the DTs. It's brave to learn and take such actions. A good story.

Teaching Friends And Family How To Reverse A Drug Overdose : Shots - Health News : NPR: "Graham-Farmer knew what to do that day because, as of 2012, the whole staff at the residential drug treatment program where she works (Samaritan Village in Richmond Hill, Queens) has been trained to use Narcan, and to keep a rescue kit containing two doses of the drug close at hand. The program's clients — the people who are trying to stay sober — are trained too. So, if they ever find themselves with someone else who has overdosed, they can help."

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Guide to Life: How to keep your kids off drugs HA HA HA

HA HA HA....still using this old meme--Hey, I have news for you people giving advice to parents, Teens do all kinds of "suspicious" behavior. It's the nature of adolescence. I was a screaming alcoholic in high school and made straight As. I was the darling of all the teachers. The only really really useful advice here is that the best indicator of a problem is a "change in friends." and that means friends who use drugs. The article is here:

Parents might see a drop in grades or unexplained absences from school, said Paul Coleman, president of Maryhaven, a treatment facility on the East Side with 52 inpatient beds and 75 outpatient slots for adolescents.

An outgoing teen who is abusing drugs might become withdrawn. A son once passionate about football might quit the team, or a daughter might start showing interest in dark music.

“The best way to test children for drugs is with their own eyes,” Coleman said. “And the major thing parents need to watch — and watch like a hawk — is a change in friends.”

Ibogaine drug treatment of Australian man ends in death on Koh Phangan Island

This is a tragic story of an addict trying desperately to find an eaiser softer way to stay clean and sober--besides actually staying clean and sober. There is not magic. You have to STOP USING in order to stop being addicted. It ended in his death andit is sad. Hopefully whoever you are working with will understand there is not softer way--you have to do what has to be done. There are not magic pills.

Ibogaine drug treatment of Australian man ends in death on Koh Phangan Island - Koh Phangan Island News: "Australian Brodie Smith was convinced a radical treatment using an African shrub would cure his craving for illegal drugs and turn his life around, even though it is banned in some countries."
Thanks to Leonard Buschel from Addiction Recovery eBulletin for sending this info.

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  From Samsa: Title: Overdose Awareness Day Date and Time: August 31, 2022, 6:30 p.m. (EST) Location: American University Sponsor: Dep...