Category: Disease

Compulsive Gamblers at Increased Risk for Alcohol Abuse

An addiction to gambling is a serious mental health disorder that can quickly ravage an individual’s life if treatment is not sought to halt the destructive compulsions and behaviors that are characteristic of this condition. Gambling disorder is the only non-substance-related addiction that is included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), though individuals who grapple with such an illness also commonly struggle... Read More

Animal House Revisited: The Dangers of Binge Drinking in College

It’s a scene straight out of a movie — parties, drinking, students passed out on the front lawn of a frat house. Unfortunately, however, this scene is not so much a comedy as it is a tragedy. A recent study from the University of Washington found that binge drinking  in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area has increased nearly 30 percent in the last decade, and Santa Clara County saw... Read More

The importance of continuing care

Defeating an addiction can be one of the proudest moments of an individual’s life, and rightfully so. All of the work and dedication that goes into overcoming the compulsion to use drugs or alcohol can be extremely difficult, so when that success is achieved, it can feel as though the struggle is over and that one will never have to deal with that compulsion again. Unfortunately, however, it is not... Read More

Prescription Pill Abuse in Sacramento County

Heroin. Morphine. OxyContin. Vicodin. Mention the term “dangerous opioids” to most people, and these four substances are likely to be the first drugs that come to mind. Talk about dangerous opioids with someone in the Sacramento area, and it’s increasingly likely that he or she will add another drug to that list: Fentanyl. A extremely powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl is commonly employed in medical situations as an anesthetic or to... Read More

The Importance of Leaving the City for Treatment

Stepping away from one’s everyday life poses many advantages when taking on the endeavor of becoming sober. Residential treatment, an option for care that enables men and women to fully focus on recovery in a setting that is free from the temptation of using substances, is a level of care that has helped countless individuals win the war against addiction and chemical dependency. However, for the busy professional, residential treatment... Read More

Lessons From John Lennon and His Song, “Cold Turkey”

“Temperature’s rising Fever is high Can’t see no future Can’t see no sky My feet are so heavy So is my head I wish I was a baby I wish I was dead Cold turkey has got me on the run My body is aching Goose-pimple bone Can’t see no body Leave me alone My eyes are wide open Can’t get to sleep One thing I’m sure of I’m at... Read More

Why I’ll Never Drink Again

Do we truly need to get and stay sober? Do we really need to accept that we can never have another drink or another drug? Obviously, my answer is a resounding, “Yes!” I chose 18 years ago to travel down the road of sobriety. I have attended thousands of meetings over that time period and have heard thousands of fellows share their stories. From the stay-at-home mom who lost custody... Read More

Why I’m Thankful for Sobriety

As our time of thanks nears, I am recalling the many Thanksgiving meals I have attended. Generally, the group that I’m with will pause before indulging, and share the things they are grateful for. Health, having a job, and being with loved ones’ seem to prevail as standard statements. Everyone that I am close to knows I’m a sober alcoholic, and I always mention my sobriety when it’s my turn.... Read More

How I Got Sober

“Imagine trying to live without air. Now imagine something worse.” ― Amy Reed, Clean The stairway railing splintered into dozens of pieces. Two holes in the bedroom sheet-rock and a kicked in door completed my tirade. Forever a pacifist, I was told that I had spit on a police officer and shouted obscenities from the top of my lungs. I do not recall that outburst—I’ve only been told about my... Read More

Sobriety Is a Journey, Meetings Help Me Enjoy the Ride

Recently, I had a discussion with a new friend. Upon hearing that I was sober, he asked, “Isn’t the whole AA thing a bit ridiculous? I mean, why bother?” It became clear as he continued that he thought that attending meetings on a regular basis, often for years on end, was unnecessary. “Go, do those Twelve Steps and just stop drinking,” he remanded. Well, this wasn’t the first time that... Read More

Amazing Grace That Saved a Drunk Like Me

“Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead…” –Alcoholics Anonymous, Big Book, page 83 I often find myself baffled by all that I have accomplished in my sobriety. Now, I’m not talking about wealth or fame—I’m referring to a quality of life, peaceful days, if you will. I use the word ‘baffled’ because I was so sick with addiction for so long that I never imagined any tranquility. I... Read More

People of the Sober Variety

I have spent hundreds of hours sitting in AA & NA meetings. During these sessions, I have heard a thousand stories that are different in nature, yet similar in content. We are all addicted to some mood-altering substance and we are all struggling to get well. Making Friends in the Rooms In my neck of the woods, I’ve gotten to know a variety of personalities on a fairly intimate basis.... Read More

Sobriety Liberated Me from a Self-imposed Prison

“Many people are living in an emotional jail without realizing it.” –Virginia Satir Anxiety, depression, tension, unhappiness, confusion, anger…these may be factors that cause us to drink and/or drug. I was definitely a ‘self medicator;’ using alcohol and narcotic pills to try and escape uncomfortable feelings. Finding Myself in a Prison of Addiction When I began this self-destructive behavior, I needed just a bit to accomplish my goal. Over time,... Read More

Duffy’s Serenity Prayer Short Film Wins Best of Show

In 2014, San Francisco had its first REEL Recovery Film Festival. We were thrilled to be a part of this pioneering event and also, to enter a film of our own in the contest. We were excited to release the Serenity Prayer at the festival, but didn’t know what the reception would be like. Would the story connect with others in recovery? Would the visuals impact others the way they... Read More

How Selfishness Transformed to Selflessness in Sobriety

“…to have a crisis and act upon it is one thing. To dwell in perpetual crisis is another.” –Barbara Grizzuti Harrison Being raised in an affluent area by parents who showed their love by doling out money and material goods, I was a young adult with a major attitude. I never really learned to take care of myself since I always got what I wanted, when I wanted it. Bratty... Read More