Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Recovery Messaging Training with "Anonymous People" Producer/Director Greg Williams!!

Recovery Messaging Training
May 14, 2013 at 9 a.m.
Located at McShin Foundation

In this free training, you will learn the way to describe and talk about recovery so that people who are NOT part of the recovery community understand what we mean when we use the word "recovery". 

Developed by FAVOR (Faces and Voices of Recovery) and instructed by Greg Williams, Producer/Director of "The Anonymous People"!

Please contact honesty@mcshin.org if you would like to attend. 

Recovery Resources and Tools for Substance Use Disorders

This is a new class every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the McShin Foundation board room (adjacent to the meeting room, in the basement). 

The objective is to educate the public about SUD's (Substance Use Disorders), and how we can help. All are welcome to participate and ask questions.

Please contact David at 804-687-3619 or Mike Mason at 804-370-1159 if you would like to attend. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Money as a Trigger

X-Post from Psych Central: A really great article on handling money when money is a trigger. 


Money: The Lesser-Known Relapse Trigger


We talk a lot about the potential for stress, transitions, relationships and other major life changes to trigger a relapse. With much of the focus on the “Big Three” – the people, places and things to avoid – day-to-day issues like money lurk in the shadows as a silent threat to sobriety.
Among the first tasks of early recovery is getting a job. This is a critical step in rebuilding confidence, repaying debts and achieving goals but it also means having a steady flow of cash – something that used to be closely tied with drug use. Here are a few tips to help you safeguard your sobriety while regaining your financial stability:

Broaden Your Personal Inventory. As part of your recovery from addiction, you may have taken a personal inventory. As part of your financial recovery, you need to take an honest look at your assets, debts and expenses. The process may be discouraging so have a plan in place for dealing with negative feelings to guard against relapse. Ask a friend or family member to take inventory with you and stay focused on improvements you can make in the future rather than dwelling on past mistakes.

Separate Needs and Wants. Regardless of how much debt you have, your sobriety isn’t served by ignoring genuine needs for self-care. Neither is it served by fulfilling your every desire in an effort to numb emotions or get a short-lived fix. The difference can be subtle. You need food and companionship, so invite a friend over for a home-cooked meal, even if what you want is a night out on the town.

Create a Budget. The addicted mindset is, “I want what I want when I want it.” To combat the desire for instant gratification, create a detailed budget and monitor your spending. There are a number of books and computer programs that can walk you through planning a budget. If it helps you stay motivated, set aside a small amount of money for a nice meal or short vacation when you reach your financial goals.

Store Money in a Safe Place. Saving for the future is an important part of any budget, but one that can be especially problematic for recovering addicts. The most obvious issue is that saving money can be difficult when you’re used to living dollar to dollar and are trying to dig your way out of debt. If you’re not accustomed to having money lying around, having a nest egg can also be a temptation to spend it on drugs or alcohol. If money is a trigger for you, consider storing it where it isn’t easily accessible to you – with a trusted spouse or parent or in a bank account (preferably with no ATM card) – at least in the early stages of recovery.

Draw on the Available Resources. People who get hooked on drugs or alcohol early in life, often in their teens or early 20s, may have never learned basic money management skills. Others learned the skills but as a result of learning and memory deficits brought on by addiction, have forgotten how to manage their lives effectively.
As with every other aspect of recovery, you don’t have to manage your finances on your own. Some treatment centers offer life coaching, which often includes financial planning and real-world skills training. There are also money management seminars, community courses and financial counselors that can provide guidance. There’s even a pre-paid debit card designed to help recovering addicts make smart money choices and rebuild their loved ones’ trust.
Beware of Compulsive Spending. It takes time to develop new habits and coping skills. It’s not surprising then that some recovering addicts go back to what they know: excess. With an empty space in their lives where drugs used to be and more cash than they ever had during active addiction, some begin over-spending, gambling or engaging in other potentially addictive behaviors. Even though they’re sober, their addictive patterns have not changed; they’ve simply taken a different form. This type of cross-addiction is a sign that you need more support in your recovery.

Stay Alert to Relapse Signs. Whatever your financial status and goals, your recovery must come first. As life gets busier and more stressful, check in with how you’re feeling day to day. There are various apps and programs that can help you monitor your moods and warn of an impending slip. In particularly stressful times, bulk up your support by attending additional meetings or calling a friend or sponsor.

As part of your recovery, you’ve focused on your relationship with family, your relationship with old friends and your relationship with yourself. Don’t jeopardize your recovery by neglecting another critical relationship: your relationship with money.
David Sack, M.D., is board certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine. He is CEO of Elements Behavioral Health, a network of addiction treatment centers that includes Promises Treatment Centers in California, The Ranch outside Nashville,The Recovery Place in Florida, Malibu VistaSpirit Lodge, and Right Step. You can follow Dr. Sack on Twitter @drdavidsack.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ABC News: Teens and Prescription Drugs

Study: Lax Attitude on Teens and Rx Drug Abuse

More parents need to talk with their teens about the dangers of abusing Ritalin, Adderall and other prescription drugs, suggests a new study that finds discouraging trends on kids and drug use.
When teens were asked about the last substance abuse conversation they had with their parents, just 14 percent said they talked about abusing a prescription drug, said the report being released Tuesday by The Partnership at Drugfree.org.
"For parents, it really comes down to not using the power they have because they don't think this is an immediate problem, meaning their own home, own neighborhood kind of thing," says Steve Pasierb, president of the partnership. "They believe that this is probably a safer way, not as bad as illegal street drugs."
By comparison, most teens — 81 percent — said they have talked about the risks of marijuana use with their parents. Almost the same number said they have discussed alcohol with their parents. Almost one-third said they have talked about crack and cocaine.
Some parents didn't see a significant risk in teens misusing prescription drugs.
One in six parents said using prescription drugs to get high is safer than using street drugs, according to the survey. Almost one-third of the parents said attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications such as Ritalin or Adderall can improve a child's academic or testing performance even if the teen does not have ADHD.
For Tracey and Jeff Gerl, of Cypress, Texas, their son's drug abuse problem was a shock.
"We just didn't know," said Jeff. He and his wife had the "drugs are bad" talk with their son, Nick, and thought he got the message. They called the parents of friends when he said he was spending the night to make sure an adult would be home. They tried to get to know his friends. Despite their efforts, Nick started smoking pot at the age of 12.
In an AP interview, Nick said he and his friends often raided their parents' medicine cabinets for anything they could get their hands on — codeine, Xanax, Ritalin. Some kids, Nick said, would have "skittles parties," where the teens threw all the pills they poached from home into a big bowl, mixed them up and then took a few without knowing exactly what they were ingesting.
By 14, Nick's parents knew something was wrong. The day before he turned 15, they sent Nick to The Center for Success and Independence in Houston for 7 ½ months of substance abuse treatment. It wasn't easy on anyone in the family — Nick, his two younger brothers and his parents. Nick tried to escape twice, but made it through the program and has been sober now for a year.
"My family life is a lot better. I'm realizing there are fun things in life that I can do sober," said Nick, now 16. "I got a chance to get clean and I have my whole life ahead of me."
One in four teens in the study said they had misused or abused a prescription drug at least once. That's up sharply, a 33 percent increase, in the last five years. One in eight teens report misusing or abusing the drugs Ritalin or Adderall — stimulants prescribed to treat ADHD. Other national studies also have seen a rise in abuse numbers for these stimulants among teens.
The partnership's Pasierb says parents need to talk early and often with their children about the dangers of drugs, including prescription drugs. "They need to tell their children that this isn't healthy for you and it will break my heart if you do this."
Looking back, Tracey Gerl says she should have listened to her gut more when she first suspected Nick might be using drugs.
"If it doesn't seem right, it's not," said Gerl. "Don't ever be naive to think it's not my kid."
For parents who want to clean out their medicine cabinets of old, unused or expired prescriptions — the Drug Enforcement Administration and Justice Department is sponsoring a "take-back" day. Collection sites will be set up around the country on April 27 where people can safely toss away their unwanted medicine. Information about sites near you is available at: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug—disposal/takeback/ .
The partnership's study was sponsored by the MetLife Foundation. Researchers surveyed 3,884 teens in grades 9-12 with anonymous questionnaires that the youngsters filled out at school from February to June 2012. The teen sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. For the adults, the sample was 817 for surveying conducted from August to October 2012, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
Based in New York, The Partnership at Drugfree.org is formerly The Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The nonprofit group launched its new name in 2010 to position itself as more of a resource to parents and to avoid the misperception the partnership is a government organization.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Different Boston Marathon Story.

Here's a refreshing story on overcoming addiction to reach monumental achievements... Recovering addicts running in the Boston Marathon.

Story from Boston Globe. To read article, click here.

Replacing addiction with healthy runner’s high

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sober Bar Opens in Chicago Area

The idea here is that a recovering addict wanted to open a bar serving non-alcoholic drinks in order for people in recovery to have a public place to hang out that isn't a club house, movie theatre, or bowling alley. If you are intoxicated, you aren't allowed in. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Alcohol-free bar to open in Chicago's suburbs [LINK]

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2013/04/14/2576861/alcohol-free-bar-to-open-in-chicagos.html#storylink=cpy
 — When a new suburban Chicago bar opens later this month, it'll be without one key element: alcohol.
The so-called sober bar, The Other Side, is being billed as a booze-free place that's welcoming to those recovering from addiction. Proceeds will go toward funding drug education and treatment initiatives, according to the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald ( http://bit.ly/Zuyqak).
Chris Reed, 22, a former addict and president of the nonprofit group running the bar, said that the suburbs can be a lonely place when you're recovering from addiction.
"You can only go to the movie theater and bowling alley so many times," said Reed, head of New Directions Addiction Recovery Services. "We're still young, and we want to hang out. You can't hang out with 40 people at your house."
Reed said he's visited a similar bar in Los Angeles, but the one in suburban Chicago is believed to be among the first in the Midwest. The bar is set to open its doors April 27 in Crystal Lake.
Reed, who has been clean for three years after a heroin addiction, said the idea for the bar came last summer after the funeral of a 21-year-old friend who died of a heroin overdose. Reed said a bunch of friends started meeting up while they were going through recovery and the number of those joining them grew.
Work on the establishment, a converted warehouse loft, has drawn a lot of volunteers, at times so many that it's been difficult to find tasks for everyone, Reed said. On a recent day, 30 recovering addicts from an Elgin rehab center arrived to clean the place.
Pictures of those who have died of drug overdoses will hang on the bar's wall as a way to help keep board members and patrons focused on their mission.
The bar, open Thursdays through Sundays, will be a space to play pool, video games and host live music. Those entering must be at least 18 years old and sober.
"There's a lot of work that goes into staying sober," said Steve Staley of Lake in the Hills, a New Directions board member who also had a drug addiction. "There's a whole recovery community out there who wants and needs a place like this."
Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com

New ‘Sober Bar’ Aims To Provide A Safe Space For People Recovering From Substance Abuse [LINK]

22-year-old Chris Reed of Algonquin wants to give young former addicts a place to indulge in some R&R — recovery and recreation, that is. The former heroin addict and president of the recovery nonprofit New Directions Addiction Recovery Services has — with the help of some fellow recovery patients — led the charge in creating “One Direction,” a completely volunteer-funded “sober bar” set to open in Crystal Lake, Illinois at the end of the month.
Although alcohol and substance abuse are often stratified in everyday conversation, they are rooted in similar dependencies and have a fair amount of interplay. Substance abusers are much more likely to have an alcohol dependency than vice versa, and young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are at the highest risk of having co-occurring alcohol and substance abuse problems. That’s why One Direction aims to be a space in which young Americans recovering from a drug habit can take a breather — without the temptation of booze and its potential to cause a relapse. “If you’re choosing a sober lifestyle, this will be a healthy atmosphere. It’s an important place for people in recovery,” Reed told the Daily Herald. “We’re still young, and we want to hang out. You can’t hang out with 40 people at your house.”
The whole effort is not-for-profit, intertwined with other recovery groups, and will hopefully become an additional therapeutic resource for recovering addicts:
The Other Side is not a business — everyone involved is keeping a day job, and it’s only open four nights a week, Thursdays through Sundays. Any money raised will fund drug education and treatment initiatives by their nonprofit and others, including Wake the Nation, a Facebook-based drug awareness group led by New Directions board member Cassandra Wingert, 23, of Western Springs. [...]
Falling somewhere between “nightclub” and “rec center,” The Other Side is opening in the warehouse loft space behind Reed’s construction company on Berkshire Drive. It has room for people to relax on couches, watch TV, play pool or video games, listen to live bands, or dance along with a disc jockey. There will be security, and people will be carded at the door to make sure they’re at least 18 years old — and sober. [...]
The Other Side’s creators hope their bar will help people in various stages of recovery by providing them a place to go, and a place to be with others who understand the struggle of addiction.
The space also features photographs of late addicts who succumbed to their struggles with drugs — a solemn reminder of what can happen without a robust support system for Americans who are trying to get clean. Social exclusion, loneliness, and isolation are all significant risk factors for both mental illness and substance abuse, making group-based recovery efforts particularly important. What makes efforts such as One Direction promising is that they close the gap between the social and therapeutic spheres of recovery, giving former addicts a place to be with both non-addict and addict friends.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2013/04/14/2576861/alcohol-free-bar-to-open-in-chicagos.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, April 15, 2013


Corn Hole Tournament to Benefit Children's 
Ministry at Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church
For Music and Worship Arts Camp

Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 5 p.m.

Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church
2300 Dumbarton Rd. Richmond, VA

$20 entry fee per team
**Prize $$ MONEY $$ for the winner**

Free Hot Dogs!!
Please bring a side to share if you can!

Come out and have some fun while supporting 
local children!

Please contact Honesty Liller at honestyb@mcshin.org or 804-564-0132

Friday, April 12, 2013

Live at Hatcher Church

Affordable Care Act, Drug Abuse, and Pain Management

Savage: Affordable Care Act Offers Opportunity to Combat Pain and Drug Abuse


There is a growing national debate about two important life and death issues: the abuse of powerful pain medications and the treatment of chronic pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as a deadly epidemic and the White House Office on National Drug Policy has declared the crisis to be a top public health priority. Meanwhile, a landmark 2011 Institute of Medicine report highlighted the challenges of pain in our aging society — a problem affecting 100 million people at a cost to the U.S. economy of about $600 billion a year.
To address these twin crises, it is critical that Congress fund programs within the Affordable Care Act that provide powerful opportunities to improve care of persons with pain and with substance abuse disorders. These two challenges intersect because many powerful pain medications, such as morphine and oxycodone (known as opioids), that are used to relieve pain for millions of Americans are also misused by others trying to get high or relieve distress. Such misuse can result in addiction or death.
But what has been missing from the public discussion so far is the fundamental reality that better pain treatment will reduce abuse of prescription opioids. To better treat pain, Congress must maintain funding for medical research despite budget proposals that would put it on the chopping block. If we do not find new ways to improve treatment of chronic pain, prescription drug abuse will continue to rise.
The simple equation is this: More pills used to treat pain equals more pills available for misuse. There is certainly room to improve opioid prescribing practices by doctors, and we can work to reduce diversion of opioid medications by raising public awareness and encouraging people to lock up their medications and destroy leftover pills. But until we as a society work to advance pain treatment options and support payment for more comprehensive pain management, doctors will use opioids to relieve suffering, and we will be challenged by prescription opioid abuse.
Federal agencies are scrambling to address prescription drug abuse and earlier this month a bipartisan group of eight senators called for a Government Accountability Office report to better coordinate interagency efforts. Drug Enforcement Agency-sponsored drug take-back days have made thousands of tons of unused drugs unavailable for abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Food and Drug Administration have all launched innovative education initiatives to improve prescribing. This month, an FDA panel recommended increased restrictions on one opioid drug and another panel heard testimony on a controversial proposal to re-label all opioids to limit their use in chronic pain.
A critical piece of the solution to reducing prescription opioid abuse, however, lies in improving options for treatment of both pain and addiction disorders.
Chronic pain is often a complex condition in which biological, psychological and social issues intertwine to amplify suffering and disability. While private and government insurance programs usually pay for medications and injections that can relieve the symptom of pain, it is often impossible to get adequate coverage for clinician time to fully evaluate the complex causes of persistent pain. Further, it’s hard to get support to coordinate and pay for adequate counseling, physical therapy, complementary treatments and other approaches that may empower patients in long-term recovery. If we improve care of chronic pain, we will in turn need fewer prescriptions and see less diversion and abuse.
The rollout of the Affordable Care Act is a huge opportunity to both reduce prescription drug abuse and improve the care of pain. The ACA names essential benefits that must be included in new programs, such as state insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansions that will serve as models for all insurers. These include a requirement for treatment of mental health and substance-use disorders in parity with other medical conditions that can potentially expand access to care for millions who need it.
In addition there are provisions to improve management of chronic diseases through better support for care coordination and doctor-patient visits, and helping patients better manage their own health. These should be extended to the chronic conditions of pain and addiction. Such benefits will reduce long-term health care costs by reducing more expensive complications of poorly managed illness.
Importantly, the Affordable Care Act also creates an Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee intended to enhance pain research efforts and collaboration. Despite the fact that pain is the most common reason people consult doctors, research focused on pain currently makes up less than 1 percent of the research budget of the National Institutes of Health.
Reducing pain and reducing drug abuse are not, as commonly thought, at odds. Members of Congress can fight prescription drug abuse and pain together by ensuring that the powerful opportunities afforded by the ACA to advance pain research and improve care of persons with chronic pain and with addiction disorders are fully realized in its implementation.
Dr. Seddon R. Savage is director of the Dartmouth Center on Addiction, Recovery and Education, teaches at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and is the immediate past president of the American Pain Society.