Thursday, May 29, 2014


The godly care about the rights of the poor;
the wicked don’t care at all.

STEP 5 - Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

This one is easy for those of us who know a what it is like to be poor ,spiritually broken , and morally bankrupt . The scary part is when we are that low in life , good or bad don't mean nothing . Addiction has a uncanny way of given you tunnel vision . Steps one through five will help you discover the truth in the Proverb. Step five specifically will release you from living in a prison of regret and you will begin to care about yourself and others. 

John 15 : 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

By : Joseph Dickerson

Doctors Should Talk With Teens About Drugs, 
Despite Questions of Effectiveness
May 28th, 2014/

Despite a government panel’s conclusion that there isn’t enough evidence about the best way for doctors to persuade children and teens not to use drugs, a leading expert on teen substance abuse says pediatricians should continue to talk to their patients about drug and alcohol use.

“I believe most pediatricians now think addressing substance use is part of good routine health care for adolescents,” said Sharon Levy, MD, Director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Substance Abuse. “Given what we know about the impact of drugs, alcohol and tobacco on health and the developing teen brain, it’s hard to believe any pediatrician would say we shouldn’t address substance use in adolescent primary care.”

In March, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issues guidelines for doctors, said they did not find enough reliable studies to make a firm recommendation on the effectiveness of “brief interventions.” They reviewed studies on brief counseling sessions during an office visit, which is sometimes combined with computer-based screening. They also looked at studies of computer-based programs that children or teens access at home. In the Annals of Internal Medicine, the panel concluded, “Studies on these interventions were limited and the findings on whether interventions significantly improved health outcomes were inconsistent.”

While the group did not find enough evidence to recommend brief interventions, Dr. Levy said “the task force is not in any way signaling physicians and the public that substance abuse is not an appropriate topic to discuss in medical care.”

She noted, “While the evidence for reducing high-risk alcohol use in adults with brief interventions is very good, there have been few studies looking at the same interventions with kids in primary care. The task force didn’t say brief interventions aren’t effective, we just said we don’t have enough evidence to make that judgment yet, and we still have questions that need to be answered. It may be that brief interventions aren’t the answer, and we need more intensive interventions.

Even if brief interventions are not found to be effective for teen substance abuse, screening will always be important, she added. “Drug and alcohol use impacts a patient’s health in many ways, and a pediatrician needs to know about it, because it can impact treatment or other recommendations. For example, a doctor will think about inattention differently if he or she knows the teen is smoking marijuana several times a day.” Drinking can affect a teen’s management of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, and can be dangerous for a young person prescribed a number of medications.

In 2011, the AAP produced a policy statement recommending routine screening for alcohol and other drug use with a validated tool as part of routine health care for adolescents. The AAP also recommends that physicians provide medical advice, a “brief intervention” to decrease use or a referral for specialty treatment based on the screen response.

The AAP reviewed many of the same studies as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and concluded that brief interventions, which are effective at reducing heavy drinking with adults and promising when used with adolescents to come to the emergency department, may be useful in primary care as well, Dr. Levy said. “The AAP points out that discussing alcohol and drug use in primary care is a real opportunity, and it’s critical that it’s done,” she said. “We haven’t resolved the best way to do it, but we’re using the best information we have available.”

Ways of Destroying Drug Evidence Vary Across the Country
May 28th, 2014/

Methods for destroying drug evidence vary across the country, according to The Wall Street Journal. Law enforcement officials use facilities including hospital incinerators, foundries and crematories.

There are no uniform rules for burning evidence. Some local governments allow more flexibility than others, the article notes. Waste incinerators that burn pharmaceuticals are covered by federal standards, but those used only to burn illegal drugs are exempt. Many local governments have environmental and safety rules that can apply to destroying drug evidence.

In Ohio, troopers used to destroy thousands of pounds of seized drugs at factories, where they were vaporized in molten steel. That practice ended when companies became concerned the drugs could potentially affect the quality of their product and produce emissions. “If we’re throwing 940 pounds of marijuana into the vat, you know, it flares up,” said Captain David Dicken, of the State Highway Patrol’s Ohio crime laboratory. The agency switched to a paid contract with a company that handles hazardous materials.

Contractors destroy illegal drugs seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, or turn them over to other agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which destroys marijuana at incinerators approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The DEA burns other illegal drugs at its labs.

Because of strict environmental regulations in California, law enforcement is supposed to burn illegal drugs at EPA-approved energy plant incinerators. In the Detroit area, state police use a metal forging plant’s furnace. In Pennsylvania, state police burn their own evidence, while in New York, police use an outside contractor. Some authorities in West Virginia use fire pits.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Anyone who steals from his father and mother
and says, “What’s wrong with that?”
is no better than a murderer.

STEP 8 - Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

First of all asking mom and dad once a day to float you a loan with no intention of paying it back is not a loan it is stealing . As our parents get older they lose their ability too work . This is especially true with Grandparents ! Moms and Dads who exercise tough love and throw your lazy butts out of the house ,does not mean I am moving in with Mom Mom and pop Pop so you can continue getting high . Your parents and Grand parents are the only people on this planet who truly give a crap about you ,but even they can get to the point of no more of your addictive behaviors . Parents and Grand Parents ,cut em off ! Step eight was an opportunity for me to make it right with Mom and Dad , I could never pay back all the money I have taken , but I can be their for them . They are both in their eighties now and I must be there for them ,not because I owe it to them but because they never gave up on me and I am the luckiest guy in the world too still have them here and I can make it up to them. For those of you unlucky enough not too have them here can still give back by volunteering at a nursing home . There are many Moms and Dads who are dropped off and forgotten about 

Deutoronomy 21-18;21

“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

By Joseph Dickerson


Football Players Would Face Suspension for First DUI Offense Under New Policy
May 27th, 2014/

Under a new policy of the National Football League (NFL), players would face a one-game suspension and a fine of one game check after their first DUI offense, CBS Sports reports. Currently, players face a fine of two game checks, but no suspension for a first offense.

Players would receive the suspension and fine if they were deemed legally responsible for their DUI offense, the article notes. The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) also backs the new policy, according to CBS Sports.

The policy would only be implemented as part of an agreement that included testing for human growth hormone (HGH). There is disagreement about who would handle player appeals of HGH testing.

New York Senator Requests $100 Million in Federal Funding to Curb Heroin Trade
May 27th, 2014/

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is asking the federal government to allocate $100 million to curb the heroin trade in his state. Seizures of heroin in New York this year have already surpassed those of any previous year since 1991.

Schumer wants the money to be given to the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, according to the New York Daily News. The program will help law enforcement authorities in New York and New Jersey better assess the region’s heroin trafficking patterns, he said. Schumer also hopes the funds will help local and federal agencies to share information.

“Now everyone saw what happened with the crack epidemic. Our society ignored it for too long. It’s got its tentacles deeply into our young people, and took a decade to get rid of it,” Schumer said. “We cannot wait that long for heroin. We cannot wait till the heroin problem becomes an epidemic.”

The funds would be part of an upcoming Senate Appropriations bill, Newsday reports. Schumer said the money will help fight against Mexican and South American drug cartels, which are supplying heroin to the New York area. The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor in New York City seized 288 pounds of heroin in the first four months of 2014. “For a while we thought the heroin scourge had ended, but it’s back and it’s stronger than ever,” he said.

New York City has become a hub for the heroin market along the East Coast, according to law enforcement officials. It is sold in New York to users all along the East Coast, in glassine envelopes costing between $6 and $10. About one-third of heroin seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration nationwide since October was found in New York State. In previous years, New York heroin seizures have accounted for about one-fifth of the total.

While Many Doctors Voice Zohydro Concerns, Some Say it Has Benefits
May 27th, 2014/

While many addiction medicine experts say they are concerned the new long-acting painkiller Zohydro will worsen the prescription drug abuse epidemic, some doctors say the drug has benefits, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Only about 1,000 doctors have prescribed Zohydro so far, according to the newspaper.

Doctors who have started prescribing Zohydro say it provides long hours of pain relief and a steadier level of medication in the bloodstream, compared with short-acting painkillers. The drug is a pure form of the painkiller hydrocodone. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zohydro ER (extended release) in October for patients with pain that requires daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment that cannot be treated with other drugs. Drugs such as Vicodin contain a combination of hydrocodone and other painkillers such as acetaminophen. Zohydro ER became available in March.

In December 2012, a panel of experts assembled by the FDA voted against recommending approval of Zohydro ER. The panel cited concerns over the potential for addiction. Zohydro is designed to be released over time, and can be crushed and snorted by people seeking a strong, quick high. The opioid drug OxyContin has been reformulated to make it harder to crush or dissolve, but Zohydro does not include similar tamper-resistant features.

Some doctors say that while short-acting painkillers can be helpful for acute pain from procedures such as dental extractions, they have drawbacks. They may wear off after three or four hours, even though they are often prescribed to be taken every four to six hours. Some patients may become over-sedated after they take a short-acting painkiller, but are undertreated for pain as it wears off.

Patients taking short-acting hydrocodone products and additional acetaminophen may end up with liver damage from excess acetaminophen, the article notes.
      The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc.PRO-ACT
          Pennsylvania Recovery Organization --
     Achieving Community Together (PRO-ACT) 
Recovery in Our Communities
May 27, 2014
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Information and Recovery Support Line 24/7: 800-221-6333
When one door closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.   
Helen Keller
Janie M: "Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining"

Janie is a woman in recovery who seeks a spiritual path. She came to volunteer at PRO-ACT in April 2013 and has stayed ever since. Initially, Janie came to volunteer in order to stay at a recovery house. Gradually, Janie adopted PRO-ACT as family.  She has expanded her volunteer commitment by designing a discussion group entitled, "Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining." Her group promotes positive thinking, optimism, and hope. Most days you will find Janie as a welcoming face at the front desk of our Southern Bucks Recovery Community Center in Bristol.  
Speak Up and Change The Culture

The VA Health System's delays in treating chronic illnesses has been a problem for decades.  According to Veteran Nick McCormick of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America,  "There really seems to be a system-wide culture that accepts this substandard efficiency in terms of [delay in] care."  So why is Washington finally taking notice? Because it is alleged that Vets have died due to the delays
in treatment, and people are speaking up.  Read more. 

There is a strong similarity between delays in the VA Healthcare System and how our Nation treats the chronic disease of addiction.  Despite enactment of parity laws in 43 states including Pennsylvania, many individuals and families suffering from addiction cannot access the treatment they are entitled to by law and their health insurance policy.  This is because there are financial incentives to deny coverage, and enforcement of state parity laws is difficult due to stigma. 

It is time to speak up for recovery and change a culture that accepts substandard care.  Those who suffer from the disease of addiction and their families deserve better.  To file a complaint for unfair denial of coverage under a health insurance policy, contact the PA Insurance Dept. at 877-881-6388, ext. 2 or file a complaint online by clicking here.  You can also read this article for some practical tips on how to advocate with your insurance provider. 
Problem with Addiction?  
Call The Council For Information, Recovery Support or Interventions.

The Council's free confidential service connects you to a live Alcohol and Other Drug Information Specialist 24/7.  The Council can answer your questions and direct you to reliable resources.  It is still up to you to advocate with your owninsurance provider.  However, The Council will help you understand the problem and navigate the system to access the care and support you need.  Whether you need information, recovery support or an intervention, call The Council.  To learn more call 800-221-6333 24/7, or read about this great free resource here. 
Some Upcoming Events
June 6, 2014:  Volunteer Orientation for Central Bucks RCC1-4pm  Contact Rick at 215-345-6644, x 3151 or email him at
June 11, 2014Hope, Help & Healing Fundraising Breakfast, Spring Mill Manor, Ivyland, PA 18974. For more information about our Campaign to raise community support for Prevention, Recovery Supports and Advocacy, visit our website Hope, Help and Healing Fundraising Breakfast  or contact Michael here.
September 12, 20147:05 pm. Recovery Night at the Baseball Game, Phillies vs. Marlins, Citizens Bank Park. Click here for tickets. 
September 20, 2014PRO-ACT Recovery Walks! 2014, Great Plaza, Penn's Landing, Philadelphia. Click here to register and get more information.
Employment OpportunitiesPlease click here
Join Our Mailing List
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DONATEDonations help us to reduce the impact of addiction for more individuals and families. The Council is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.

STEP 8 - Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

The verse from the Proverb is a tight rope ! What i mean is we have to be careful in listening to what others have to say about us. Criticism can be a good thing as long as it used to help and not hurt or tear someone down. Growing up in a home with negative criticism about yourself and everything around you will shape you into a Doomsday preacher. For along time my life was directed by whatever everyone else had to say .My everyday was lived with everything will go wrong everyone is out to get me and life will not get any better than this. When working step eight you must include yourself first . For along time my thinking was I am ok and everybody else was screwed up ! Honesty with yourself will start the healing process and eventually folks around you will eventually have only good things too say about you . Do not let your negative thoughts or someone else s thoughts about you determine your destiny . Your life can and will get better ,you gotta have faith and be willing to work your butt off to make change.

Proverbs 12 v 18

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
By Joseph Dickerson

Rising Instances of Substance Abuse Go Hand in Hand with Mental Disorders

"We are seeing more and more patients who are struggling with a multitude of addictions and mental disorders,” said Dr. Karl Benzio, founder, executive director and a psychiatrist at Lighthouse Network. “These problems and addictions create and then perpetuate a vicious downward cycle. When someone is depressed, anxious or stressed, they may turn to alcohol or drugs, which might numb the pain temporarily, but only exasperate the problems they are experiencing. Adding drugs and alcohol to any issue will never solve it but will only make it much, much worse."
Is There Help for Parenting An Addict?
The feelings you have as the parent of an addict can be panic, exhaustion, and a deep sense of loneliness. And the questions seem endless: How did my child get here? What do I do now? Who can I trust to give me help? If you are living with the pain of an addicted child? View our free resources online that will help!

Resources: The Grace to Change, But How?

DVD (60 mins) with Karl Benzio MD
The Grace to Change, But How?When we are facing challenges in life that are overwhelming, we know we need to make a change, but how do we do it. How do we take the patterns, failures, and disappointments of life and boldly step-out and make a significant life change. The real challenge is not just recognizing that change is needed but how to implement this change daily in every little battle that we face that makes up our real challenge. Successfully overcoming life-challenges is possible, and this DVD shows the small steps that when acted upon over and over again lead to amazing transformation in your daily life.

Click here for more information or to order.
About Lighthouse Network:

Lighthouse Network is a Christian-based, non-profit organization that offers an addiction and mental health counseling helpline providing treatment options and resources to equip people and organizations with the skills necessary to shine God's glory to the world, stand strong on a solid foundation in the storms of their own lives, and provide guidance and safety to others experiencing stormy times, thus impacting their lives, their families and the world.

Lighthouse Network offers help through two main service choices:
  • Lighthouse Life Change Helpline (1-844-LIFE-CHANGE1-844-543-3242), a 24-hour free, national crisis call center, where specialists (Care Guides) help callers understand and access customized treatment options.
  • Life Growth and self-help training resources for daily life, including online and DVD series and training events to help individuals achieve their potential

Killing Veterans With Painkillers
Our veterans' overdose death rate was 33% higher than average as VA doctors blithely prescribed opioid and other dangerous drugs. Some good changes are happening - but then there is stiff resistance from pill pushers.



“Keeping our men and women doped up to keep them quiet and happy is not treatment. It is cruelty and torture and in too many cases it’s manslaughter.”

Heather McDonald didn’t mince words last October when she testified before a House subcommittee investigating the stratospheric number of prescription drugs being given to American war veterans. McDonald’s husband, Army Spc. Scott McDonald, died in 2012 after accidentally overdosing on some of the eight pain medications and antidepressants he took daily for chronic pain and PTSD. Spc. McDonald was by no means alone. Pentagon data show that the number of pain pill prescriptions written by military doctors to service members quadrupled from 866,773 in 2001 to 3.8 million in 2009. Most of those meds were addictive opioid narcotics like oxycodone, hydrocodone, or methadone.

Vets had been dying from accidental overdoses at a rate 33 percent higher than that of civilians.

The consequences have been nightmarish. The number of veterans abusing or addicted to prescription drugs tripled between 2005 and 2008. And vets have been dying from accidental overdoses at a rate 33% higher than that of civilians. In 2010, the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force reported that alcohol or drugs were a factor in 29% of active duty Army suicides between 2005 and 2009. A third of those substance-related suicides involved prescription medications.

The Veterans Administration has been working to reverse those tragic trends with revised prescription guidelines introduced in 2009 and a new educational effort - the Opiate Safety Initiative - which launched in February of this year. But moving doctors and patients away from prescription drug therapies has proven to be an uphill battle. 

In 2008, 83% of soldiers being treated for chronic pain at the Warrior Clinic of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington were given prescription medication, primarily opioids. But by 2011, the number of Warrior Clinic patients who were prescribed narcotics had dropped to 10.2%. Since then, doctors at the Warrior Clinic have turned increasingly toward behavioral and non-medical approaches to pain management. 

"It's a holistic, interdisplinary, and multi-modal approach. Pain management is not simply giving opioids," says Dr. Christopher Spevak, a leading pain specialist at Walter Reed. Speaking to the US Army news site, Spevak explained, "We are very active in using acupuncture. That's a very big component of my practice (along with) chiropractic modalities. Through behavioral health we have specialized people that help with bio-feedback and even hypnosis." 

Multiple studies show that non-drug-based pain management programs are effective in reducing pain and staving off dependency. In 2008, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that chronic pain patients who were weaned off of opioids as part of an interdisciplinary regimen experienced “significant and sustained improvement in pain severity and functioning.” In other words, they had less pain after they stopped taking painkillers. Last year the American Academy of Pain Medicine reported that nearly 80% of patients with chronic non-cancer pain remained opioid-free 12 months after completing an interdisciplinary rehab program that included opioid weaning.

These and other studies reinforce the message that the Veterans Administration is promoting through its Opiate Safety Initiative, a nationwide effort to educate veterans and their healthcare providers about the limitations and dangers of pain medication. Dr. Melissa L.D. Christopher, who directs the Initiative for California, Nevada and Hawaii, told a PBS reporter, “When opiates are used, they are not as effective as physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise for specific pain conditions.” 

But getting people to buy into that anti-drug message is often a tough sell. Part of the reason is economics; many insurance companies hesitate to cover non-drug treatments because they are more expensive than pills. But the deeper challenge is cultural. Relying on prescriptions to deal with discomfort has become an accepted, everyday practice among medical professionals and the public. Drug companies have fueled this trend with relentless TV advertising and promotional campaigns inside hospitals and medical schools. The result is what Barry Meier of the New York Times called “a synchronized drumbeat sounded by pharmaceutical companies, pain experts and others who argued that the drugs could defeat pain with little risk of addiction.”

Of course, the risk of addiction turned out to be much greater than the drum-beating prescription advocates estimated. This is especially true for military personnel, whose rate of prescription drug abuse (11%) is twice that of the civilian population (5%). 

Reducing that rate is one of the Veterans Administration’s goals. But many military doctors continue to prescribe pain meds heavily—and the pressure to write prescriptions can be intense. When she appeared before the House veterans’ affairs subcommittee last October, Dr. Pamela Gray testifiedthat she was terminated from the VA medical center in Hampton, Virginia after refusing to prescribe painkillers unnecessarily. Dr. Phyllis Hollenbeck told CBS News that her superiors at the Jackson, Mississippi VA demanded that she order prescriptions for patients that she had never met. 

Critics charge that such practices reflect a fragmented culture within the Veterans Administration. Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the Center for Investigative Reporting that the VA is divided up into “fiefdoms where hospital directors are just running their own show out there.” 

Still, the VA is making progress in implementing its recommendations on reduced prescription use. Some hospitals report that they’re handing out fewer pain pills than they did in the past. Opioid prescriptions at the VA medical center in San Diego have taken a small but measurable drop from 18.2% to 17.2%. As she continues to promote the VA’s Opiate Safety Initiative, Dr. Melissa Christopher is optimistic that more physicians will replace drugs with integrated therapies in their effort to help veterans cope with chronic pain. “We want our veterans to live life in high definition and not be fogged by opiates. We want them to maintain control over their pain and transition to a better quality of life.”

Cameron Turner is a writer based in Los Angeles. He last wrote about sobriety and hip hop.

THE FIX CHALLENGE: Join These Former Addicts in Seeking A Natural State
It's deep clean time - alcohol, caffeine, sex, processed foods, the works - now that Ayahuasca helped get us get past addiction. It's time to seek a total natural state.



EDITOR'S NOTE: What follows is a challenge to readers, whether in recovery or not or just going about your life with your normal bad habits and ups and downs. We invite you to join these two writers in striving for - and reporting back on - what they call a 33-day "total cleanse." Both have been in recovery, one from bulimia, the other from drugs and alcohol, for many years and tell their dramatic stories here.They will be detailing in the comment section their 33-day detox adventure, which starts Monday, May 26th (Memorial Day). We challenge you to start your own detox along the way and share the ongoing experience in the same space. Whoever we judge as best contributor gets a $200 writer fee. You don't have to be a hard substance abuser to join in - anyone can participate and report back on the results on your life, mindset, emotions and general sense of well-being.


Okay, here’s the deal: We’re taking on a total cleanse, clear, detox vortex immersion - 33 days, complete abstinence from all consciousness-altering substances and habits - alcohol, drugs, caffeine, tobacco, sugar, sex (alone or with someone), gambling, animal foods, processed foods, preservatives, chemicals, the works. 

We’ve both earned our street cred with addiction and recovery - Doug with drugs and alcohol, Alesha with food. We believe it’s time for a new paradigm in recovery, an expanded model that combines conscious step-work with transforming technologies from science, medicine, psychotherapy, nutrition, meditation, community, ancient knowledge. 

We hold a vision of a widespread shift in the consciousness of recovery from stigmatized disease theory to celebrated spiritual opportunity. We believe the challenges we face and the issues we address in recovery are portals to growth, learning and Self-awakening. We theorize that there is an undeniable connection between the sacramental use of certain entheogenic plant medicines and an experience of Self-revelation of sufficient magnitude to drive recovery.

At the moment, both of us seem to have our demons under reasonable restraint - at least to where behaviors once associated with our primary destructive addictions are simply not present. Nobody’s flipping cars at 3 AM. Nobody’s locked up in the ladies’ room. We’re happy, loving, creative, successful people. Despite these measures of balance we may have achieved with our former behaviors, neither one of us really knows what it feels like to be – well – natural. 

What is our true, clear, conscious Organic State, unsurpressed, unaided? How will we change physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? How will it influence our vision for a new age in recovery? How will it affect our own healing consciousness? Will we be more creative, productive, proactive, prosperous? Will we finally get rock star bodies and the energetic vibration of ascended masters? Or will we just feel like shit and want to kill for a spliff and a grande Americano?

We both currently use tobacco, marijuana and caffeine, as well as Ayahuasca and certain other sacramental entheogens. Doug is nobody’s vegan by a long shot, though he's very big on stir-fried veggies and quinoa. He's also a bit of a sugar junkie. Alesha’s much more conscious about the whole food thing. But hey, she’s a professional.

It is our shared view that human beings are powerful beyond measure, not the weak, sick, diseased wretches the addiction industry says we are. We’re profoundly capable of change, and the process is accelerated through focused practice, retraining and remapping the brain. Current neuropsychology puts the time frame for changing an entrenched habit or behavior at about 33 days – exactly the time frame of our great Natural State experiment. Let the good times roll!

Through this intensive personal process, we hope to bring forward a new understanding, to implement our learning into a new model for transformational recovery, drawing from a wide variety of approaches and disciplines. We’ll be bringing in masters from related fields to share their wisdom and guide us on our journey. We challenge you to join us – for the whole trip or any part of it. We ask for your solidarity, strength and support. We seek here to open a dialogue, to invite you to share your own tales from the trail, your own experiences and perspectives about recovery, health and healing.

Here are our stories:
ALESHA: The bulimia really started when I was about 13, though I’d been obsessed with food for as long as I can remember. I was just getting into high school. My body was going through radical changes. I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life. Everywhere I looked I would see these beautiful, sparkling, perfectly put together girls with unimaginably wonderful lives. I would feel so small, alone insignificant, thinking about all the ways I fell short of perfection. There was always someone smarter, funnier, prettier or more talented. 

The roots of my alienation had found fertile soil in the rigidly constrained Christianity of my childhood. For as long as I could remember, I’d been talking to God. Problem was the messages of unconditional love and compassion I was getting straight from the Source flew directly in the face of the harsh dogma of sin, retribution and damnation I was being force-fed at church.

I badgered my parents and pastor with questions about their beliefs, about God and Jesus. If we’re all God’s children, then why is Jesus His “only begotten Son?” Why is God a “He” anyway? Where does God live? In Heaven? Everywhere? Is Heaven everywhere? If Heaven is everywhere, aren’t we already there? And if we are, why is there so much suffering? If God is Love, why is there so much hate? If we’re all guilty of Original Sin, aren’t we already doomed to the pit of fire? What’s the point of living righteously if we’re damned before we even start? Their answers rang false and hollow. I was branded a troublemaker, unwelcome in our church by the time I was 10 years old.

Alone and adrift on a sea of lies and pretense, I turned for comfort and control to my old friend, food. I’d shut myself away and gorge on candy, sweets, pastries, yummy delicious things till the world went away. And then I would hate myself.

By the time I was 13, my world had closed down to a small, dark corner, my dreams of love and happiness had devolved into a nightmare of self-loathing and misery. This girl I knew handed me a wild card. I could have anything I wanted, be anything I wanted, eat anything I wanted. All I had to do was make a deal with the devil. I was never a big fan of Satan, or even heavy metal, but I found myself in my heart of darkness thinking about it, wondering about it, wrestling with it. In the end, I never did sign the contract in blood by the light of the full moon. But just the fact that I would consider such a course was evidence of my treachery, proof of my absolute moral and spiritual bankruptcy, my unworthiness in the eyes of God. I was already the walking dead