Thursday, July 24, 2014
JULY 24 CHAPTER 91 v 3 TWELVE STEPPING WITH STRENGTH FROM THE PSALMS
For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease .
STEP 3 - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God
Maybe this verse from Psalms is the reason Bill included God in the twelve steps . Addiction and Alcoholism are just that a trap and a deadly disease . Once an animal is caught in a trap it gets stuck and no matter how hard it struggles it cannot get free . Sounds like addiction too me ! Bill recognized without Gods help your not going to get out . His creation of the 12 steps and assistance from God above has freed millions from the trap . If you want out of the trap recognize your stuck and you need help ! Many die in the trap because they think they can get free without help ! There are millions in the world that know how to get free from the trap , be humble and willing and you will get free.
John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set
you free .
By Joseph Dickerson
Teens Report Higher Use of Performance Enhancing Substances
|Dangerous Trends Reinforce Need for Tighter Regulation of “Fitness Products”|
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids today released new research from the latest Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), a nationally projectable survey that tracks teen drug and alcohol use and parent attitudes toward substance abuse among teens. The research, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, shows a significant increase – a doubling – in the reported lifetime use of synthetic human growth hormone (hGH) among teens.
According to the survey, 11 percent of teens in grades 9-12 reported “ever having used” synthetic human growth hormone without a prescription, up dramatically from just 5 percent in 2012.
These findings underscore teens’ growing interest in performance enhancing substances, as well as the need for tighter regulation and more accurate labeling of “fitness-enhancing” over-the-counter products implying they contain synthetic hGH.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
More Than 46,000 Drug Offenders Eligible for Early Release Under Plan
July 22nd, 2014/
More than 46,000 drug offenders will be eligible for early release from prison, after the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to reduce terms for low-level drug traffickers who are already incarcerated. The vote was unanimous, NPR reports.
The sentences could be reduced by an average of more than two years, unless Congress stops the plan by November 1.
“This amendment received unanimous support from Commissioners because it is a measured approach,” Judge Patti B. Saris, Chair of the Commission, said in a news release. “It reduces prison costs and populations and responds to statutory and guidelines changes since the drug guidelines were initially developed, while safeguarding public safety.”
Each offender’s petition will be considered individually by federal judges, the article notes. None of them will be released before November 1, 2015.
In April, the Commission voted to reduce the base offense for criminals caught with various amounts of drugs. The new vote makes the reduced sentencing guidelines retroactive for most drug traffickers. In June, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the new sentencing guidelines will make the federal prison system more fair to minorities, and will reduce taxpayer costs.
FedEx Faces Charges for Delivering Prescription Drugs for Illegal Internet Pharmacies
July 22nd, 2014/
A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted FedEx for drug trafficking, USA Todayreports. The company is accused of conspiring to deliver prescription drugs for illegal online pharmacies.
According to the indictment, the shipping company knew for a decade that illegal online pharmacies used their services. “While some Internet pharmacies were managed by well-known pharmacy chains that required valid prescriptions and visits to the patient’s personal physician, others failed to require a prescription before filling orders for controlled substances and prescription drugs,” a U.S. Sentencing Commission news releasestates. “These Internet pharmacies filled orders based solely on the completion of an online questionnaire, without a physical examination, diagnosis, or face-to-face meeting with a physician. Such practices violated federal and state laws governing the distribution of prescription drugs and controlled substances.”
According to prosecutors, government officials warned FedEx at least six times since 2004 that illegal Internet pharmacies used the company to deliver drugs.
FedEx was summoned to federal court in San Francisco for a July 29 hearing. No officers of the company were charged, the article notes.
In a statement, FedEx said it is innocent of the charges. “We’re proud to say that we have partnered with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, DEA, and other federal, state and local law enforcement teams around the world to help stop illegal drug activity and bring criminals to justice. These efforts include providing assistance to the DEA in combatting rogue internet pharmacies.”
The company said it repeatedly asked the government to provide a list of online pharmacies engaging in illegal activity. “Whenever DEA provides us a list of pharmacies engaging in illegal activity, we will turn off shipping for those companies immediately. So far the government has declined to provide such a list.”
College Students Involved in Alcohol-Related Offenses Often Receive Light Penalties
July 22nd, 2014/
A new study finds U.S. college students involved in alcohol-related offenses and incidents often receive light penalties.
The study of alcohol-related incidents on and off campus at 343 colleges found law officials were not likely to issue citations to students for violation of alcohol laws, according toHealthDay. Instead of being charged and having to appear in court, students often were referred to university officials for discipline. Students were generally not referred to a campus health center for alcohol screening or intervention. The college rarely contacted parents.
The study authors suggest minor consequences for drinking may contribute to binge drinking among college students. Lead researcher Toben F. Nelson of the University of Minnesota said factors that appear to contribute to higher rates of binge drinking among college students include easy availability of alcohol in bars and liquor stores, fraternity houses and college-rental houses that serve alcohol at parties – especially to underage students, cheap drink specials, low alcohol taxes and heavy marketing of alcohol.
In a news release, Nelson added, “a student social life that emphasizes drinking – such as fraternity and sorority life, and spectator rather than participatory collegiate athletics – create an environment where binge drinking is a normative and expected part of college life.”
The study appears in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. It is the first such study to examine enforcement actions for alcohol laws by campus police and security agencies in a large, nationally representative sample of colleges, according to Nelson.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
JULY 22 Chp 27 v 10 TWELVE STEPPING WITH STRENGTH FROM THE PSALMS
Even if my Father and Mother abandon me , the Lord will hold me close .
STEP 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves .
Working step four is going to reveal a lot of pain and very possible the root cause of your addictions . Addiction can separate us from the very ones who brought us into this world and we cannot hold it against them . Abandon is what we feel all alone too face the horrors of our addictions . People can only take so much abuse and that is what we deliver on a regular basis . The good news is we are not alone through steps 1 through 12 we have found our creator but He is much , much , more than that ! He is a loving father that whispers guidance to our hearts , He supernaturally sends comfort and takes away our sadness . I could never find enough paper to write down all God does ! Be fearless when working those steps and realize your not alone even if you are separated from your loved ones at this moment . Talk to God about everything ,work the steps with Him , He already knows everything , He is waiting for you to share , so He can release you from the fear , sadness , guilt , regret , resentment , unforgiveness , and shame . If you don't let it out and let it go then you will remain trapped , give it too God and get free .
1 Peter 5:6-7 (KJV) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you
By Joseph Dickerson
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Sunday, July 20, 2014
JULY 20 Chp 69 v 20 TWELVE STEPPING WIT STRENGTH FROM THE PSALMS
Their insults have broken my heart , and I am in despair .If only one person would show some pity ;
if only one would turn and comfort me .
Step 1 - We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.
Fear , anger , and insecurity were the roots of my addiction . Let me try and explain ! First of all the verse from the Psalm is where I found myself .Thirty years of my life were spent in a dungeon of despair ! My childhood was developed by negative words and sexual abuse delivered to me by an older cousin . From the age of ten the seeds of anger and fear were planted and the icing on my cake of life was the constant fear of failure . The fear of failure came from the constantly being told I was going to fail , so my mindset became why try , I'm a screw-up ! Paralyzed is how I spent most of my young life . Then I discovered Alcohol and now I don't have to be afraid anymore . Alcohol mixed with pills was my new me , and no one was gonna make me afraid anymore , I can do anything and not worry about failure because my homemade medicine helped me not give a crap . As time went on living this way I became weighed down with guilt , regret , resentment and disgust . Who the hell am I and what have I become . I could go on for hours trying to describe my own personal private hell ! In my dungeon of despair way back in the corner I noticed a shadow as I moved closer to it , I noticed a set of steps and at the top of the steps the sun is shining . Now all I have to do is silence all the negative voices in my head and lift my leg and take that first step. As I began to use those steps I discovered that my chains began to fall off ! By Gods grace and those Steps I am free , unafraid , living my life to the max !
JAMES 3 ; 8 - But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.By Joseph Dickerson
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Joseph Michael Lavin was born on August 26, 1986 in Newton, among the rolling hills of Sussex County, New Jersey. He spent his entire childhood in Wantage, N.J. and was one of six children, second to the youngest. He suffered from clinical depression from the tender age of 8 years old. He was on medication when he entered high school but it did not eliminate all of his symptoms. Joe was about 16 when he took his first drink and he discovered that alcohol did eliminate all symptoms of depression. He had said he was hooked the first time he drank because he finally felt happy and it had given him the ability to be himself. It wasn’t until his addiction took hold did he realize the price he would pay for those artificial moments of temporary relief. Joe attended Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta NJ for almost three years of his high school education. He transferred to High Point Regional in Wantage when his addiction to alcohol became evident. He was 17 years old when alcoholism became his second diagnosis.
Joe was unusual in that he always wanted help and was willing to accept any treatment recommended to him. He attended a program at Sunrise House in Lafayette when he was a senior at High Point High School. Joe was always grateful for that experience as he learned so much about himself, his depression and its effect on his childhood and his feelings of loneliness and isolation. Due to his depression, Joe did not feel the love of his family or his friends past the age of the onset of the disorder. His experience at Sunrise House changed that for him and he ultimately formed very close relationships with each member of his family.
For nearly seven years, Joey valiantly fought this disease with every fiber of his being. In September of 2008, he was in a car accident that made him realize he had to leave Sussex County if he wanted to remain sober. In early October, he admitted himself to Sunrise House for the second time in 4 years. After completing the 28 days, Joey moved to Boca Raton, Florida to start a new life, a sober life. He secured a position at Fedex Office in Boca Raton, acquired his own apartment and discovered the love of his life, all in his first year. Joe managed to stay sober for the majority of that first year in Florida. He began to relapse in November of 2009. To complicate his addiction further, Joe would take any drug available once he was under the influence of alcohol. He had lost all impulse control once alcohol was in his system.
On March 19, 2010 Joe entered a rehab in Deerfield Beach, Florida. His stay lasted 40 days. When he was informed that he would be discharged on April 26th, Joey was panic-stricken. He did not feel that he was ready to be on his own yet and requested a little more time. That time was not afforded to him as his insurance company would not cover any further in-patient care. Joey was discharged and dropped back at his apartment on the evening of April 26, 2010. By 9 pm on April 27th, Joe had relapsed. He called home the following day requesting advice. As advised, he returned to the rehab seeking assistance. Joe was still extremely intoxicated when he arrived at the rehab center. He was transported to a detox center as his alcohol level was so very high. That evening, he was dropped back home to his apartment. On April 29th, Joe called the rehab and asked if he could sign himself into the 6 month in-patient program. He was willing to give up his job, his apartment, anything to get well. Sadly, he was turned away due to lack of insurance coverage. Joseph Michael Lavin passed away 64 days later on July 2, 2010. The cause of death was determined to be acute alcohol intoxication coupled with the interaction of the consumption of oxycodone tablets. No one wanted help more than Joe yet he was denied the help and care he so desperately needed. Joey’s story is a compelling one that needs to be told in order to effect change for so many others like him!
Joe’s life was abruptly cut short but he led a substantive one. All who truly knew Joe would attest to his character. He was the personification of integrity, honesty, and loyalty. He possessed a phenomenal work ethic. His family was awed by the response to Joe’s passing by all who loved him here in New Jersey. If you were fortunate enough to be his friend, you knew you had found a “true” one.
Joey was not a saint. He was a flawed individual as we all are but he left a positive impact on so many people in his 23 years of life. He is loved and missed by hundreds who knew him. Joe was known for his passion for life, his giant heart, his warm sense of humor, and his contagious laughter. Above all, he was a loyal friend, hard worker, and a young man who loved and cherished his family.
Addiction is a very treatable disease and every person who seeks to be well, deserves the opportunity to obtain treatment.
Drug Testing and Racial Profiling
Check out the stats below: whites significantly trump blacks in all drug use except crack. So why do so many employers assume that black job applicants are drug users?
“We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty. But millions are being deprived of those blessings, not because of their own failures but because of the color of their skin… But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And the law I will sign tonight forbids it.”
This influential segment of white American society accuses us of whining, even as they ignore evidence of continued racial stereotyping.
With that bold statement, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964. That milestone legislation took a sledge hammer to the legal pillars of segregation by banning discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin and gender. But, as we have seen in the half century since, it takes more than Congressional votes and the stroke of a President’s pen to scratch out the racist attitudes which have been part of our American culture since colonial times.
While enormous progress has been made in the area of racial justice, old stereotypes endure. Assumptions of intellectual inferiority, laziness, moral laxity, and criminality continue to haunt African-Americans, especially African-American men. The stubborn resilience of such perceptions shores up the disparities in opportunity and quality of life that remain between black and white Americans.
So, it isn’t surprising that employers who require drug screening for potential hires often assume that black job applicants are drug users. Is this fact insulting? Yes. Infuriating? Yes. Surprising? No. It is just another example of the bias that black Americans have struggled against throughout our nation’s history, and which still hobbles our progress in the post-Civil Rights era. One major example: Although African America make up only 14% of the drug using population, 37% of Americans incarcerated for drugs are African American, put there by a law enforcement and criminal justice system that is clearly biased in its targeting of blacks and in its conviction rate. Overall, one in three African American males end up in jail at some point in their lives.
As The Fix reported in May, research out of Notre Dame University reveals that African-American job seekers are also hampered by drug-related stereotypes. In her report, “Discrimination and The Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment,” Notre Dame associate economics professor Abigail K. Wozniak states, “In a survey of hiring managers, there is a belief that Blacks are more likely to fail a drug test…They also cite a 1989 survey in which 95% of [hiring survey] respondents described the typical drug user as Black.”
The assumption that black job seekers are more likely than their white counterparts to be drug abusers mirrors a broader societal impression reinforced by the fact that young blacks are arrested for drug crimes at higher rates than whites. But multiple studies have shown that drug use and dependency are actually less prevalent among African-Americans than among whites.
According to a 2011 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more whites have used various drugs—including marijuana, cocaine, stimulants (such as methamphetamine), prescription painkillers and alcohol—than blacks. Crack is the only drug that is used by more African-Americans than whites. The percentages of blacks and whites who have used drugs break down this way:
Substance African/American White
Marijuana 40.4 56.3
Cocaine 9.9 17.7
Stimulants 2.1 9.1
Painkillers 10.6 15.2
Alcohol 75.0 87.1
Crack 5.0 3.4
Statistics on drug abuse and dependency also tilt toward whites. In 2011, researchers at Duke University analyzed data on youth drug use contained in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.They concluded that 9% of young whites who took drugs were abusers or addicts. For young blacks the number was 5%—almost half of the white number. Dr. Dan Blazer, who led the Duke research team, told TIME magazine, “There’s a perception among many individuals that African Americans as a group—regardless of socioeconomic status—tend to abuse or use drugs at higher rates and this (does not support) that.”
Ironically, drug testing actually benefits black job applicants by revealing that most are not drug users. Wozniak writes that in states where drug screening is required for certain jobs, “Adoption of pro-testing legislation increases black employment in the testing sector by seven to 30% and relative wages by 1.4 to 13%, with the largest shifts among low skilled black men." However, in states where testing is not done, black applicants lose out to white women. “Results further suggest that employers substitute white women for blacks in the absence of testing.” Wozniak concludes.
Hearing that, one may be tempted to say that a solution to employment discrimination is to mandate more drug testing. That way, black job applicants could prove that they aren’t drug users and thereby increase their chances of being hired. Everybody wins, right? Wrong. African-Americans would lose in the long run because such an approach would validate the racist perceptions that force us to justify ourselves when we haven’t done anything that could reasonably spark suspicion. Such perceptions are dangerous because they don’t merely make it difficult for blacks to get jobs, they can literally put our lives at risk.
Before the altercation that left 17-year-old Trayvon Martin dead, George Zimmerman made up his mind that the black high-schooler was dangerous. That’s why he called 911 and said, “This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something.” But Zimmerman’s own description of Martin’s actions reveals that the teen hadn’t done anything threatening. “It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about,” Zimmerman told the emergency dispatcher. Later he said that Martin “was just staring” and “looking at all the houses.”
Since when does walking around and looking at houses constitute drug-induced, potentially criminal behavior that requires an urgent call to the cops? It doesn’t.
Unless the guy doing all that walking and looking is a black male—especially a young black male—who has the temerity to wear a hooded sweatshirt on a rainy night. All of that adds up to probable cause to someone whose mind is polluted by racist stereotypes.
Another reason that expanding drug testing is a poor response to job discrimination is the fact that perceived drug use is only one stereotype held against African-American would-be employees. The mere fact of our blackness is the basis for some of the strongest (but most difficult to prove) objections by some hiring managers.
In 2003, the National Bureau of Economic Research (the same group that published the Wozniak report) concluded that job applicants with African-American-sounding names had a much harder time landing job interviews than applicants whose names sounded white. The report, which was titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” found that “Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback.” The rejections were even higher for resumes that combined ethnic-skewing names with ZIP codes of low income neighborhoods.
Black Americans have neither the means nor the responsibility to eradicate racism in the U.S. And we certainly don’t need to prove that we are worthy of equality by showing that we are respectable, law abiding, productive and patriotic citizens who have always made substantial and important contributions to the nation. These facts are obvious to anyone who views history and current events with unbiased eyes.
Uprooting the racism which has brought misery to black and other Americans of color is a white responsibility. Happily, there have been (and continue to be) countless white men and women who have labored, suffered and died in pursuit of racial justice. And our nation has made breathtaking strides since the bad old days when segregation and discrimination were maintained by custom and enforced by law. But far too many American whites continue to respond with indifference, impatience or hostility toward the pleas by blacks and other minorities for fairness and equality. This influential segment of white American society accuses us of whining, even as they ignore evidence of continued racial stereotyping, profiling and discriminatory treatment.
Remember when black Harvard professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates was arrested in 2009 by a white police officer for supposedly disturbing the peace on the porch of his own house? Law enforcement professionals across the country publicly criticized the cop for a bad arrest and the local district attorney refused to file charges. But when President Obama said that the officer acted “stupidly” he was pilloried by right wing opinion leaders. Rush Limbaugh called it a case of “a black president trying to destroy a white policeman." Glenn Beck said Mr. Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” Even after he tried to make peace by inviting Dr. Gates and the arresting officer to the White House for the informal “beer summit,” the President was still blasted as a supposedly divisive figure. The attacks were false, but they were indicative of the lengths to which some angry white Americans will go to deny that members their race might still be mistreating people of color because of color.
Moments before he affixed his signature to the Voting Rights Act of 1964, President Johnson exhorted Americans to put racial animosity aside and unite to “bring justice and hope to all our people.” Johnson urged the nation: “Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our Nation whole.”
Although the America of 2014 is dramatically, and beautifully, different from the America of 1964, LBJ’s admonition still challenges our nation and the hearts of its people.
Cameron Turner is a writer based in Los Angeles. He last wrote about sobriety and hip hop and how our veterans are being destroyed by painkiller prescriptions.
37 Tons of David Victorson: A Tale of Ballsy Redemption
How a brash and colorful big time outlaw drug dealer addict who smuggled record-breaking amounts of marijuana became a brash outspoken popular healer of addicts and defender of AA.
“In a time of universal deceit,” George Orwell once said, “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” That maxim certainly applies to David Victorson’s book, 37 Tons. Its title is the record-breaking amount of marijuana he smuggled on a freighter from Colombia to Seattle.
“I heard the door of my hotel room being smashed open,” his memoir begins. “As I jumped out of bed I was ordered to get to my knees. Six heavily armed Bolivian security police nervously stood over me. They handcuffed me, put a black cloth bag over my head, and shoved me down the hall to the elevator.”
Victorson stayed handcuffed to a bed in a prison cell for three months, waiting to be extradited to the U.S. where he would be sentenced to four concurrent five-year sentences. Over the ten-year period before his arrest, he earned around 30 million dollars. Victorson started selling pot at age 16 in Boston, and later smuggled hash and hash oil from Amsterdam, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. He also smuggled pot, cocaine, emeralds, and gold from Bolivia and Colombia. An outlaw who enjoyed taking on anything resembling the establishment, he once boasted to a friend of how he, as the friend put it, "brought to their knees" some Texas bankers who had been used in a money-laundering scheme involving a front "investment company" he ran in San Francisco.
His prison sentences included 30 days at La Modello in Bogota, Colombia, three months at a military prison in La Paz, Bolivia, and four years at Lompoc Federal Prison in the U.S.
After being released from living behind bars, Victorson was assigned to a parole officer who warned him that he would not be allowed to drink any alcohol or consume any drugs, and although he intended to follow that rule, he soon surrendered to the temptation of booze and coke.
On a Friday, his parole officer said, “You have given me six dirty drug tests.” Victorson responded, “I knew they were dirty. I have been high every day since I got out.” The parole officer gave him an ultimatum: either get into a drug treatment program by Monday or go back to prison for eight more years. He chose rehab, and it completely changed the life he had been so busy self-destructing.
Ultimately, he became a skillful drug counselor and for some years a rehab center owner himself, specializing in treating young addicts. For years he had sold drugs without thinking about any harm the drugs might cause to his customers, but now his career evolved into getting addicts off drugs. Over time he developed a considerable following as a rehab leader and then as a blunt and colorful speaker popular among some AA groups. A charismatic man, he drew some buzz about leading a cult.
Victorson grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts and currently lives in Washington, D.C. His life between those locations has been unique, and I was curious to know more.
How did you get your rehab career launched from nothing?
I started as a counselor and worked my way up to VP marketing. I was the most successful marketing guy out of 54 hospitals and had developed a loyal following who referred patients to the hospital I represented, making me a rainmaker of sorts, thus motivating the hospital board to want to keep me close. So they offered me the opportunity to run my own programs. After a few years I brought in a venture capital group that funded the acquisition of our own facilities. The company was sold in 2007 for $96 million. I of course had a visible criminal past and, being a recovering person, [was] never accepted in the inner circle. I was looked at as kind of a well-paid second-class citizen.
And yet, didn’t you also have a kind of cult following?
I don’t care for the image of a following. It reminds me of an elf in puffy green shorts playing a flute while skipping on goat-like legs. Who the fuck follows that character? I was written about quite extensively – from the Seattle Times to Playboy - with a slant toward being an outlaw and then again for being a businessman with a criminal past. I speak at a lot at AA meetings but I don’t consider my fellow addicts to be followers. I promote the smoking of pot quite openly even though I am an addict and don’t smoke any more. But I do love that bud.
Victorson, his dog Ainge and a custom smuggling boat with a Carey design hull and two 350LT1 twin stern engines. Top speed: 65 knots.
In what way were you a businessman?
From 1984 to 2006 I developed, owned, and operated a treatment program, Focus Healthcare, which treated over 25,000 chronic drug addicts and alcoholics. The admissions office served as a call center – located in San Juan Capistrano, connected with hospitals in Delaware, Florida, California, Georgia, and Ohio - staffed by recovering counselors, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Over the years, we averaged more than 50,000 calls per month. Of the people calling in looking to get help, only half of one percent had the financial ability to get into any treatment program. This became a puzzle that was unsolvable. Focus Healthcare gave away a lot of free treatment but was in no way capable of handling the volume of addicts calling in who had no ability to pay for any treatment.
So, in fact, what happens to these people is that they get referred to AA, NA or other free 12-step organizations. I also spoke around the country to union memberships, including the Teamsters, CWA, UFCW, public school teachers, human resource directors, representatives for the Screen Actors Guild, professional and parent groups. I also worked as a consultant with Michael Keaton on the movie, Clean and Sober. Currently, I speak at various 12-step meetings in Washington D.C., halfway houses, and homeless shelters about my own recovery and the war on addiction that is not being fought.