Saturday, January 31, 2015

Best of the week from Choose Help

Emotions in Early Recovery: "You Can't Heal What You Can't Feel"

Emotions in Early Recovery: "You Can't Heal What You Can't Feel"
During early recovery we often find ourselves raw. But you can't heal what you can't feel. There are no quick fixes. Learn how to let it go.
I've shared with lots of folks in early recovery the adage, "The good thing about being sober is that you feel more ...and the bad thing about being sober is that you feel more."
We numbed ourselves so much for so long. In early recovery (and at other points in our journey when stress and fears run high) we find ourselves emotionally raw. Experiencing the highs and lows of our emotions can be completely overwhelming. Whether you're on a "pink cloud" or in a dark place, the good news is that this too shall pass.

Add This to Your Toolbox:


It stands for HungryAngryLonely and Tired.
H.A.L.T. works both as a preventative measure and a diagnostic tool. Recovery wisdom dictates that we must not allow ourselves to accrue too much of theseand that when we find ourselves overwhelmed we can ask which of these we are. It's simple and effective. It's also something our emotions can throw a wrench into.
  • We come to see that what we hunger for is much more than just food.
  • We realize that anger never travels alone and that there is always at least one other emotion present (Hint: It's usually one that requires vulnerability to express and anger masks it). 
  • We know that even in the company of good people we can be lonely when we shut down or deny ourselves opportunities to connect.
  • Tired is perhaps the hardest one. It's more than fatigue, it's being drained physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually. It's an emptiness that demands to be filled and a spirit that must be replenished. 
We urge folks to consider what sustains them and to consider that growing spiritually is the key to manageability.

Identifying and Coping

Most of us in early recovery are immature emotionally. We may be very good at managing external things, yet struggle to regulate our internal experiences (emotions, thoughts, memories). We often feel "squirrelly" or "antsy."
Anxiety is extremely common in recovery. We struggle to feel safe inside our own skin. Many of us experience social anxiety, obsessions, compulsions, and occasionalbouts of panic. Sobriety forces us to be acutely aware of the very things we've been running and hiding from.
There is no way to let go of pain in a way that doesn't hurt. There's no way to face fear without being afraid and there's no way to release anger without getting angry.
Identifying and coping are key. I recommend to those I serve that they check in with themselves frequently. This is as simple as asking...
  • "what am I doing?" and
  • "how am I doing?"
If we are completely honest with ourselves, we can then ask, "What would I recommend to a friend in my shoes?"
Reaching out, using healthy self talkjournaling, prayer and meditation are foundational to our stability.

"I Let It Go"

This expression most often means that we're ignoring it and trying our best to pretend we're not messed up about it. Acceptance and forgiveness hinge upon releasing our resentments.
Again, there is no way to let go of pain in a way that doesn't hurt. There's no way to face fear without being afraid and there's no way to release anger without getting angry.You have to feel it to let it go. The most frustrating aspect of this is that letting it go is rarely a one time event. It took us years to get here and there are no quick fixes.

"I Gave It to God"

In order to "turn it over" we must first be willing to let it go (see above). I respect what any person's faith dictates. My Pentecostal friends have an expression that, "God is a gentleman." To me this means that our Higher Power won't force a course of action that impinges upon our free will. Surrender is equal parts desperation and willingness. In addition to experiencing and expressing our emotions, turning things over to our Higher Power requires acceptance of powerless and acknowledging that only with grace will we achieve our goals.
When we ask our Higher Power to remove things like past pain or character defects, we receive the needed assistance. This most often comes in the form of people placed in our paths to guide us through the next part of the journey. There does not seem to be any instant gratification. Transformation is a process.

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Recent featured articles:

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Understanding "Powerlessness" and Why Acceptance Liberates You
And, as always, thank you for reading!
All the best to you and yours,

Martin Schoel,
founder of Choose Help
P.S. If you’d like to dive into the conversation, make sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook (40K+ people do).
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Friday, January 30, 2015


He rescued me from my powerful enemies (addiction) ,from those who hated me and were too strong for me .They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress ,but the Lord supported me.(GODS BIG BOOK) 

STEP 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him .

Fourteen years ago He rescued me ! God can do more than you could ever imagine and He just not get me free from addiction ,he rebuilt me into the man he destined me be. Even in the worse times of your life ,when you think you cant get any lower and you feel alone unloved and left to die ,that is when GOD will reveal Himself and pick you up . Hang in there dont give up and remember hang on to His promises.

Isaiah 41:10: "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
(GODS BIG BOOK) By Joseph Dickerson

DEA Program to Track License Plates, Designed to Combat Drug Cartels, Has Other Uses

January 28th, 2015/

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program to track license plates, designed to combat drug trafficking, is being used for other purposes, The Wall Street Journal reports. The database is also being employed to search for vehicles associated with other crimes, including kidnappings and murders, according to the newspaper.

The license-plate program is being built by the Justice Department to track vehicle movement in real time, the article notes. The program scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about drivers.

The primary purpose of the program is to seize cars, cash and other assets associated with drug trafficking, one government document states. Officials have publicly said they track vehicles near the U.S.-Mexico border to fight drug cartels. Current and former officials familiar with the program told The Wall Street Journal the database’s use has expanded. Many state and local law enforcement agencies are using it for other types of investigations, they said. The program collects data about vehicle movements from high-tech cameras placed on major highways. Many cameras also record images of drivers and passengers. Sometimes they are clear enough for law enforcement to confirm a person’s identity.

A spokesman for the Justice Department, which includes the DEA, told the newspaper the program complies with federal law. “It is not new that the DEA uses the license-plate reader program to arrest criminals and stop the flow of drugs in areas of high trafficking intensity,’’ the spokesman said.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the newspaper the program “raises significant privacy concerns.” He called for “additional accountability’’ and said Americans shouldn’t have to fear “their locations and movements are constantly being tracked and stored in a massive government database.’’

Study Links ADHD With Earlier Substance Abuse
January 28th, 2015/

Adults with a history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who drink or use drugs start at an earlier age on average than those with no history of the disorder, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Florida found adults with a history of ADHD who drank said they began using alcohol at age 13, compared with 14 ½ for those without ADHD. Adults with a history of ADHD who injected cocaine started, on average, at age 22, compared with 24 for adults without a history of the disorder.

“The take-home message of this study shouldn’t be that children with ADHD are more likely to become drug users, rather, seemingly ‘normal’ teenage behavior, such as experimenting with tobacco or alcohol use, may occur at younger ages for individuals with ADHD and so this might serve as a red flag for an accelerated gateway to illicit drug use,” study lead author Eugene Dunne said in a news release.

The findings are published in Addictive Behaviors.

People with ADHD who use drugs may be trying to self-medicate some of their symptoms, Dunne said. “Stimulant drugs such as nicotine and cocaine might be used to counter symptoms of inattention, while alcohol and marijuana may be used to counter feelings of hyperactivity or impulsivity,” he noted.

The study included more than 900 adults who had used illicit drugs in the past six months; 13 percent said they had previously received a diagnosis of ADHD.

“As hypothesized, we found the progression of participants’ adolescent substance use to be similar to that in the gateway theory of substance use, with alcohol being the first reported, followed very closely by cigarettes, then leading to marijuana and eventually more illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin,” Dunne said.
Partnership for Drug-free Kids

No one ever said parenting would be easy – but parenting a teen is, in so many ways, an especially difficult task. Science shows us that parents can have a huge impact on their teens’ choices and lives; but only if they’re equipped with the right information.

It’s important to remember your power as a parent. Here are suggestions on ways you can reduce the chance your teen will drink, use drugs or engage in other risky behavior:

1) Build a warm & supportive relationship with your child. Research shows that children who can count on their parents’ support and warmth are less likely to use drugs and alcohol. This can mean everything from discussing shared interests and engaging in activities together to keeping your anger and emotion in check when talking with your teen. More >

2) Be a good role model when it comes to drinking, taking medicine and handling stress. When it comes to alcohol and other drugs, children are likely to model their parents’ behaviors — both healthy and unhealthy ones. More >

3) Know your child’s friends. It sounds simple, and it is. You, as the parent, set the foundation for your child’s interaction with his friends. As your child gets older, his friends play a more important role in the choices he makes. Knowing who they are and a little about them can help you to be more prepared to intervene if a problem occurs. More >
Want to learn more and read about all six parenting practices?

Resources like this are available free of charge because of generous donations. Please consider making a donation now so we can continue to help families every day. We appreciate your support.

For more parenting tips, visit us at
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Drug Dealer Says He Sold up to 600 Bags of Heroin a Day on Silk Road
January 29th, 2015/

A drug dealer testifying at the trial of Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht says he sold up to 600 small bags of heroin a day on the site. Michael Duch says he used most of the money to support his $2,000-to-$3,000-a-week heroin addiction.

Duch signed up as a Silk Road vendor in April 2013 under the user name “Deezletime,” USA Today reports. He testified he bought heroin from a dealer in Passaic, New Jersey, and sold it for double the price on Silk Road. He offered 50 small bags of “East Coast style heroin” for $345.69.

He wrapped the heroin in packets designed to protect against moisture, and shipped it in plain mailing containers to avoid the suspicion of government investigators. He offered same-day U.S. Post Office shipping so his customers could get the drug quickly, before they started to experience withdrawal symptoms. Duch says he was soon collecting an estimated $60,000 a month from sales. He was arrested in October 2013 outside of a post office as he was attempting to ship about 25 packages of heroin. He agreed to cooperate with the government.

Silk Road could only be accessed by using encryption software called Tor, which shields computers’ IP addresses, allowing people to make purchases anonymously. Silk Road facilitated more than $30 million in sales annually. It had been online since February 2011.

The website did not use credit cards, instead relying on “Bitcoins,” an untraceable digital currency that is available through online currency exchange services.

Earlier this month, federal agents arrested a man who told them he was a top assistant to the operator of Silk Road 2.0. The site allowed anonymous users to buy and sell illegal drugs, weapons and other illegal items. Silk Road 2.0 emerged as a copycat site a month after Ulbricht was arrested in October 2013.

American Board of Addiction Medicine Announces 651 Physicians Newly Certified
January 29th, 2015/

The American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) announced this week that 651 physicians have passed its most recent exam for addiction medicine certification. The total number of physicians certified by the board is now 3,363.

The ABAM Foundation accredited four additional fellowship programs to train addiction medicine physicians, Newswise reports. There are now 27 accredited addiction medicine training programs.

“The addiction medicine field is growing by leaps and bounds, and we are gratified to see that so many physicians have chosen to become ABAM certified in order to better prevent and treat the nation’s number one public health problem,” Patrick G. O’Connor, MD, MPH, FACP, President of ABAM and The ABAM Foundation, said in a news release. “At the same time, we are happy to welcome the new fellowship programs, which will train North America’s future addiction medicine leaders. With so many physicians passing our rigorous examination, and so many completing this comprehensive clinical training, we are helping make evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment more readily available to those who need it.”

With the accreditation of these new programs, there are now 56 addiction medicine fellowship slots available each year. The ABAM Foundation says it hopes to accredit 65 addiction medicine fellowship programs by 2020.

The new fellowship programs are the: University of Kentucky Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program in Lexington; Caron-Reading Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program in Wernersville, Pennsylvania; Oregon Health & Science University Addiction Medicine Fellowship in Portland; and Rhode Island Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship in Providence.

Please see the attached PRCC Calendar for February. There is limited space for Beating the Blues which begins on February 2nd (flyer attached). If you are interested, please register ASAP.

Attention: The PRCC is having an exciting First Fridays Series Networking Meeting Event on February 6th. This month’s topic is Advocacy and we have wonderful panel of experts sharing their experiences and knowledge. Please see the attached flyer for more information. You will not want to miss this one!

Register for Recovery Walks! 2014 at

1 (800) 221-6333 Twenty-four Hour Information Line

PRO-ACT… Ambassadors for Recovery!