Below is my next Letter from the Editor for my magazine; which is a recovery magazine. I've taken out the contact info that will be in it to keep it within the Hub guidelines, but I would like to know what you guys (whom I assume, the majority of which are people with no drug or alcohol problems)think of the idea - and the concept - of changing the way we've been ingrained to think that 'Lock them up & throw away the key' is the only answer.
Friday afternoon, I got a call from my friend Terence Gorski. If you donÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½t know of him, just Google his name. Terry is a living pioneer in addiction treatment. The U.S. Govt. calls his model of treatment one of the three most effective addiction treatment & relapse prevention models in the world. If you or someone you know has gone through a rehab, they probably used his model & work books. Terry has come home and now lives in S. Fla. HeÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s taken the position of Director of Relapse Prevention Services at Challenges Treatment Center. Challenges was the first facility In the country certified as a Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½Gorski Center of Excellence.Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ HeÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s still running CENAPS; the company that implements his treatment model in recovery facilities, distributes his work books, and handles the bookings for his counselor training classes and speaking engagements.
Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½Charlie, IÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½m here & I finally got settled in!Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ He said when I answered my phone. Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½You ready to show me JoyÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s House (a new sober house for women I opened in Sept.) and then go see Tom HanksÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½Angels & DemonÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½? (WeÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½d been planning to see it since he decided to move here.)
Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½Terry, its Friday afternoon.Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ I said, Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½This issue is almost done and all technical at this point, but I was going to do some work on the next issue. Hmm... Work or a movie, work or a movie ... let me think about it ... (3 second pause here) Hell yes! LetÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s go!Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½
We went to the mall, had lunch at Johnny Rockets and then saw the movie. Over a lunch of burgers, fries & onion rings, we talked about everything from the economy to the real meaning of living life in recovery; including rigorous honesty. Terry told me that his workbooks were copied a lot and he wasnÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½t sure what to do about it. Someone would buy one book, and then make a bunch of copies; bootlegged more than the most popular movie or song.
I told him I understood about copying (although I gave it a different name); a few months ago IÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½d been sent copies of a new Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½recovery lifestyleÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ magazineÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s first issue by some friends. It called itself Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½The only magazine written for & about the recovery community.Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ I told Terry that ItÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s all in the JOURNEY has been called Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½The only magazine written by, for & about the recovery communityÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ for almost two years.
Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½Hell, Terry, they even copied (although I gave it a different name here, too) our winding road logo I have going through ItÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s all in the JOURNEYÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½S name on every magazine cover, business card, letterhead, my website, everywhere! - on their magazineÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s name. And this magazine was started by someone who helped start Counselor magazine!
We both agreed that everybody in the recovery community is doing what they can (whatever they can, in some cases, it seems) to hold on and make it through these rough times.
And they need to hold on.
Because with Obama as President, Gorski & I both believe that Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½Yes, we can!Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ will finally change the national mentality - and funding - from the Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½War on DrugsÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ lock them up & throw away the key; to realizing that Treatment Saves.
Lives Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ People who are not using, are not going to waste their lives away in a numb haze, or a prison cell, let alone die from an OD because,
Human dignity, self respect & self esteem Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ People in recovery are no longer ashamed, afraid, hurt, angry or embarrassed. Believe me, we do not use to feel good; but to not feel. Treatment helps us walk through that which weÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ve avoided (at all costs) facing. And realizing that we are not that person any longer, our confidence, esteem & self respect come back. As do our families because,
Families Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ People in recovery have a spiritual awakening and a conscious contact with their Higher Power, and it shows. Sons, daughters, mothers & fathers have reunited when the addicted family member gets clean. Maybe cautiously at first, but with each change noticed, and noted, hope returns. But most important of all? The Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½Bottom LineÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ as they say in business, and what holds especially true in these economic times? We wonÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½t be adding 100Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½s of billions of dollars to our countryÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s deficit because,
Money Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ The United States is giving Mexico $1.4 billion to aid in their Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½war on drugsÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ (ThatÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s $1,400,000,000 dollars, my friends). And the truth of the matter is that we are the major consumers of MexicoÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s drugs. Add to that the economic cost of drug abuse in America in loss of productivity, the cost of incarceration and (especially) health care costs - The National Drug Control Policy estimated it at $181 billion in 2002 and increasing every year (ThatÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s $181,000,000,000 dollars, my friends) - and the Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½War on DrugsÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ seems like an expensive failure.
Can we try something else besides the Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½War on DrugsÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½? Like...say, Treatment Saves?
Yes we can!
I was in active addiction for over 20 years; spending 10 of them in prison, and the other 10 in detoxes, hospitals and doing what I needed to do, to get what I needed to get. My father wouldnÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½t speak to me & I HATED God, life & most of all, myself.
I finally gave up; having to sell my house to pay for treatment, and IÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ve been sober just over 3 years now. In those 3 years, IÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ve bought a car, bought a house, and started a magazine that employs 3 people. And I pay taxes now (That was a new experience!). In other words, I am contributing to society now; not taking from it.
Is going to be the name of a new PAC (Political Action Committee) that I and some friends, are considering starting. The recovery community numbers in the millions in the U.S. We are such a large, untapped political force that, if unified, could create real changes (Excuse me, Mr. Congressman? Treatment Saves has a few 100,000 voters ready to vote for you if youÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ll approve more treatment funding for those who sincerely want help, but donÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½t a house to sell.)
Can we do this? Can we come together and be a force a change for good? As someone once said during another campaign no one believed it possible: Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½YES WE CAN!Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½
But we canÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½t do it without you.
As much as I'd like to see something like this, there's too much money invested in the War on Drugs. We lost that war when we enabled law enforcement to plunder anything related to drugs and drug money.
Addiction is a disease. Like all diseases, it should be treated. The success rate of treatment is completely dependent on the addict -- how much does he or she want to recover from the disease? Like all patients afflicted with a disease, there is a routine that must be followed for life, and only the addict can enforce this routine. As with all diseases, addiction also affects the family members as well as friends. It is necessary for the family members and friends to be educated in the needs of the addict. If you were diagnosed with a disease, you would want treatment, as well as provide information that could be shared with others so that your condition could be looked after.
how ludicrous it is to rehab people,then,send them right back to the environment they came from.i was a case counselor at a boys camp for felony convicted youth.the recidivism rate was80%.why?what can you tell a fifteen year old boy about a six dollar an hour job where he's the low man on the totem pole,that would make him choose it over three thousand a week selling CRACK.
i visited these boys at home when released,most had parents who sold CRACK.
we petitioned for halfway houses and were told"sorry,not in the budget".its a revolving door racket that benefits the higher ups who had incredible perks....I QUIT...
I hear ya. I used to work with kids who had mental issues. Actually I'd have to say it was the parent's who had the mental issues and they screwed up their kids lives. For the most part. I can think of one or two exceptions. But we, too, sent them back to their parents the very ones who messed them up in the first place because "parent's should be reunited with their kids". It make my literally sick to see all the hard work down the tubes over a smarmy PC political solution.
That's a tricky one LDT, I mean should kids stay with parents or not. At the end this is state/community who screwed up their parents lives, and continue to do the same to kids... Forcefully taking kids from parents is pretty close to the death sentence, and I won't rely on any government/community body to make a right decision...
I always thought we should emancipate them. Then we could spend out time teaching them what they needed to survive as adults on their own. Then they'd be in a much stronger position vis a vis their parents and could control when, how and if their parents were a part of their lives. Of course we worked for the state so it didn't go that way, but I'd always held out hope we'd go private so we could give these kids a chance at being independent.
The way I understand it,the problem is the government at the highest levels.There are certain people who not only allow,but are actively involved in the drug money laundering business according to Rupert Murdock ,who used to be a drug enforcement police detective for the L.A.P.D.
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