Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why Some Addicts cannot Live Normal Lives

There are many addicts who have actually become addicted to the addiction. They have become so addicted to the addictive lifestyle that they can no longer even survive, much less lead a “normal” life.

Often the addict becomes so accustomed to the drive associated with addiction, that when this part of their life is removed, the addict no longer perceives to have a reason to live, function or even get out of bed in the morning. Without the drive of making the vast amounts of money usually associated with a drug addiction, the addict often cannot find a reason to do much of anything.

This phenomenon is similar to that of someone who has worked all their life, only to go into retirement and die soon afterward for lack of purpose.

Just as with those who retired after many years of employment, the longer the person has been addicted the, the less probable the addict is able to adjust to the new, “normal” lifestyle. 

To compound the problem, the addict is also used to a certain excitement and danger associated with drugs. The constant threat of being arrested, robbed, ripped off or even killed while buying or using drugs becomes exhilarating. This in itself becomes an adrenaline high and addiction. It make a normal job appear boring, unappealing and pointless.

To make things worse still, when the addict thinks back about how quickly he formerly made the considerable amount of money needed to sustain his former habit, he is usually frustrated, angry and discouraged at what he is now supposed to be paid for honest, legal and honorable work of his new “normal” lifestyle.

The best way to compensate for this change in lifestyle and lack of purpose, is to find something to occupy one’s time. Just as it is best for the retiree to find an activity or hobby, it is best for the reformed addict to find a pastime or some other form of diversion. Naturally, it is best for the retiree as well as the recovering addict to find something enjoyable and fulfilling to do, so as to not be abandoned shortly.

Though it would most likely be beneficial for the recovering addict to find gainful employment, this is often only successful in the long term if the reformed addict likes what he or she is doing. More often than not, if it is a menial, unfulfilling job, the addict will soon become disenchanted and start looking for alternate ways to earn a living, pass the time and have some fun.

These factors considered, it is usually necessary for the addict to stet some sort of realistic long-term and obtainable short-term goals and pursuit employment, pastimes and friendships associated with the addict’s interests.

Even if this requires schooling, relocating and all new friends, it may be the only way to achieve lasting success.

The addict should take whatever steps required reaching his or her long-term goals, even if they are small and if it may take some time to reach them, as long as some short-term goals can be reached as milestones.

The key to success and lifelong sobriety is determination. The addict must be determined to do whatever it takes to stay clean. With this determination everything else is possible.

The above is pretty much an account of how I was able to overcome a 30 year addiction to drugs, including a 20 year heroin addiction. My biggest deterrents from getting clean sooner were as I described them above. But what saved me was alone my determination to get clean.

Determination is the key to anything and everything.

Written By: Tom Retterbush

Friday, April 27, 2012

Russell Brand's approach to Addiction is Harmful and Misleading Addicts NOT Anonymous Warns

Though the Celebrity advocates More Compassionate Treatment Of Drug Addicts, Addicts NOT Anonymous warns that his Demands for Total Abstinence will do more Harm than Good to Many Addicts Seeking Help

Russell Brand has indeed turned his life around. Not only has he kicked addictions to alcohol, heroin and sex, he now practices and advocates a healthy lifestyle which includes yoga, whole foods, exercise and outreach. In fact, Brand supposedly testified on behalf of addicts before the British Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee regarding the UK’s drug policy.

However, it is exactly this testimony that Addicts NOT Anonymous believes Brand gave in a self-serving, self-promoting manor to feed his ego and excuse his former actions.

Though Addicts NOT Anonymous agrees with Brand's belief of addiction being in part a criminal problem, as well as his approach that compassionate treatment could help clean up the streets, even that the current system relies on punitive and “symbolic” approach rather than a “pragmatic” one because many addicts are suffering from much deeper emotional and psychological issues, ANA warns that Brand oversimplifies the problem with his cookie-cutter approach.

Brand seems to have forgotten his former alcohol, heroin and sex addicted self, as well as his numerous run-ins with the police, his 12 arrests or that he was ejected from the Gilded Balloon in Edinburgh. Brand may have abstained from drug use since 2002 and is now a patron of the addiction charity Focus 12, he seems to have left those he met along the way laying in their gutters.

The celebrity fails to realize, that just because he was able to abstain from drugs seemingly with little difficulty, other addicts who don't have million dollar resources and rehabs to fall back on may have a harder time with abstinence. 

In his testimony, Brand explained that many addicts are suffering from much deeper emotional and psychological issues, which aren’t addressed by a night in the drunk tank or community service. “For me, taking drugs and excessive drinking were the result of a psychological, spiritual, or mental condition, so they’re symptomatic…. once I dealt with the emotional, spiritual, mental impetus, I no longer felt the need to take drugs or use drugs.”

Good for you, Brand. Good for you. Too bad it isn't quite that simple or nearly that easy for most addicts with no money and little if any resources.

Unfortunately, Addicts NOT Anonymous warns, Russell calls for total abstinence–which includes not providing methadone to addicts, saying it is often used in tandem with other illicit drugs. Methadone and non-abstinence-based recovery can lead to further criminal behavior, Brand claims, because even those users who are being legally given methadone haven’t really made a significant change.

Yet, how would Russell Brand know this? He was never on Methadone or in any non-abstinence-based recovery program.

Not only does research back-up the success of methadone as a treatment aid, I have witnessed its success first hand, having kicked my own heroin addiction with the help of methadone. Though I agree that there are those who abuse the system, which includes abusing methadone, we cannot punish the many addicts who have successfully beaten the odds of addiction with help from methadone, because of some bad-apples who want to get high on anything and everything you set in front of them. I most probably would not be alive today if it wasn't for methadone!

Another issue to examine when considering methadone, is if the addict is living a law-abiding life. Many methadone patients were criminals during their addiction; so as to expect methadone to curb their criminality as well as their addiction seems like asking too much of any medical therapy. Yet that is precisely what happens.
In a study at the Dole-Nyswander program, by The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs, 91% of the patients had been in jail, and all of them had been more or less continuously involved in criminal activities. Many of them had simply alternated between jail and the slum neighborhoods of New York City. Since entering the treatment program however, 88% of patients show arrest-free records, with over 66% being employed and showing socially acceptable behavior.

An even greater measure of success is the ability to function effectively in the community, such as attending school and get passing grades, to keep house for a family, or to work at a productive job. Here again, the addicts admitted to the methadone maintenance program had many strikes against them. Few had finished high school; few had any training or special skills; Past employment records were poor. At the time of admission to the program, only 15 percent of 723 male addicts had jobs. That a methadone maintenance program should make them employable or educable seemed a most unlikely possibility.

Yet, again, that is exactly what happened. Within three months of starting methadone, more than half of the male addicts were productively employed or attending school. After a year, nearly two-thirds showed changes in employment and in socially acceptable--- that is, arrest-free-behavior over a forty-two-month period.
Brand may have never on methadone, but he does regularly attend AA and NA meetings, which many believe to be addiction in itself. Isn't religiously going to AA or NA meetings everyday vs. taking drugs everyday just trading one addiction for the other? Brand also claims his practice of Transcendental Meditation is a significant factor in his recovery from drug addiction, but again he is just replacing one addiction for another. He could just as well have replaced his drug use with bowling, scrap-booking or gaming. The question is, which addiction is useful vs. harmful. Healthy vs. unhealthy. Good vs. bad. 

Though Addicts NOT Anonymous agrees with Brand that society needs more compassionate treatment of drug addicts and that drug prohibition is not working, ANA believes that the celebrity has done as much harm as good for many addicts seeking recovery. If Brand wants to be the voice of addiction recovery, he needs to advocate more than just compassion, but also practice tolerance, understanding and patience, while honoring the statistics.

Written By: Tom Retterbush

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Addicts NOT Anonymous as an Alternative to AA, NA and other 12-Step Programs

AA and NA in need of Change

Although I received a wide array of praise and support for the recent press-release, Ex-Addict Launches AddictsNOT Anonymous as an Alternative to AA and NA, I was also bombarded with attacks of criticism and hostility by members of AA and NA.  

I never intended Addicts NOT Anonymous to be an alternative program to AA, NA or any other 12 Step Program, just an alternative destination for addicts seeking understanding and recognition, as well as information, tips, tricks and techniques to defeat or deal with addiction.

AA and NA Members React Hostile to Change

One of the main topics of the assault against both Addicts NOT Anonymous and my character, was my harsh criticizing language against the cult-like traditions of AA and NA. Those attacking me cited me calling for understanding, acceptance and tolerance. I guess they didn’t realize that I was referring to the understanding and accepting the addict, not the outdated brainwashing programs of AA and NA. 

Although I am familiar with AA, NA and other 12 Step Programs, the more I looked into their model and those associated with their administration, the more discontent and frustration I encountered.

Indeed, the more I looked into AA and NA in particular, the more people I found who are even publicly opposed the Anonymous Concept. In response to this I wrote an article titled, Are Addicts Ready to Shed their Anonymity and Face Society with their Names?

AA submission to a higher power has broad potential for abuse

Its no secret that the AA focus on submission to a higher power has broad potential for abuse. To accept a higher power, list your shortcomings, make amends with those you harmed and other “steps” of AA and NA are religious programming techniques used by cuts to condition people into doing and behaving a certain way. These brainwashing techniques perfected by the CIA take the addict’s longing for acceptance into a social experience similar to Freemasonry and the Occult.

Many of these practicing AA and NA members who religiously attend daily or weekly meetings, report to a sponsor and religiously work the 12 Steps have merely traded an addiction to alcohol or drugs for an addiction to AA or NA.

Ego is not Evil

Though AA, NA and most of the other 12 Step Programs insist on humility, many hard-core members even going as far as to condemn the ego as evil, I have found that most people need the affirmation and acknowledgement associated with success, thus wanting to attach their names to their achievements, me included.

This doesn’t mean they don’t ever want to do something for someone else without receiving recognition or reward, but sometimes one needs a pat on the back, if for nothing else but to reassure ourselves that we are on the right track.

If people didn’t want rewards, they wouldn’t have invented awards!

As I noted in the About section of the Addicts NOT Anonymous blog, If people didn’t want rewards, they wouldn’t have invented awards!

Anonymity is a Cop-out

By shedding the anonymous, we are now also accountable for everything we do. Which, I believe is the way it should be. And which is also a very important and necessary step in addiction recovery.

Recovering addicts need to face up to their problems and quit hiding behind anonymity, making excuses, instead being accountable with their names, faces and actions.

Drugs don't Cause Addiction, People Do

You can’t hide from your addiction any more than you can hide from drugs. Another point of attack against my character by the AA and NA fanatics was my public outcry for the legalization of drugs.

Drugs don't cause addiction, people do. Nobody has ever become instantly addicted to a drug. There are those who will claim that they took one hit or one shot and were hooked, but they merely liked the feeling so much that they wanted to use the drug again and again. This may be an infatuation, but is still a long way from addiction.

I believe all drugs should be legalized, particularly marijuana, as it would take the criminality out of the equation and stop addicts from being criminals and becoming ex-cons. It would give addicts more incentive and opportunity to get help.

And regardless of legality, I believe it is not the government’s place to dictate what we can and cannot put into our own bodies. There are people that do not like alcohol, but can use drugs recreationally, experimentally, spiritually and medically without ever developing a problem with addiction. Why can those who like alcohol find recreation, relief but not those who would rather smoke a joint or snort a line? If people are allowed to drink alcohol, they should be allowed to use drugs. It’s a matter of personal preference. It is a matter of choice. It’s a matter of freedom!

This should also illustrate to those people in need of enlightenment, complaining about supposed mixed messages of some of the articles on the ANA blog, such as the one explaining how to pass a drug test, why I would rather help an addicts pass a drug test rather than see him or her get in trouble, much less get locked up.

For those of you complaining about the adds, saying I'm doing this for the money, I can only laugh. If I really would pocket the few pennies made from the advertisements on this blog, I think I earned them. Yet I only do it as s service to my readers, trying to provide them what they need at the best prices I can find, while putting every penny back into ANA.  

Now that you know where I, the founder of Addicts NOT Anonymous stand, let me and others involved in ANA help you or your loved one get clean…

If you would like to get involved with Addicts NOT Anonymous, no matter if you would like to help build the projected website, help with the planned forum or possible chat-room, by writing articles or submitting stories, or by helping with the always much needed funding, administration and planning, please contact me at

How to Use Addicts NOT Anonymous as an alternative to AA and NA

To use Addicts NOT Anonymous as an alternative to AA, NA or any other 12 Step Program, or to assist with addiction recovery, I suggest you search out the articles posted on the ANA blog that pertain to you and your problem. You will find quite a few helpful articles written by people who have gone through addiction-- and beat it--including yours truly. I suggest you use Categories, such as Recovery Tips, located in the left sidebar.

I also suggest you write your story and submit it for publication on Addicts NOT Anonymous, as to share your experiences with others who may benefit from what you have learned; you will find that sharing is very therapeutic!  

Written By: Tom Retterbush

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In the News: New Pill to Ease Addiction Cravings?

One of the major obstacles to recovery are the cravings

One of the major obstacles to recovery for addicts, whether they are hooked on drugs, alcohol, or both, is handling the cravings that come with not using. In some cases, the cravings are so strong that they outweigh the desire to stop using, making it nearly impossible to live a clean and sober life. However, some doctors are prescribing medication that could effectively reduce – or even eliminate – cravings for alcohol and opiate drugs, like prescription drugs and heroin. 

In clinical trials of the opioid blocker naltrexone, marketed under the names Revia, Depade, and Vivitrol, patients saw a significant reduction in cravings for alcohol, and the effects of opiates were completely blocked by the drugs. Although naltrexone has been used to treat alcohol and drug dependency for some time – it was approved for alcoholism in 1995 – it wasn’t until October 2010 that the FDA approved the use of Vivitrol to treat opiate addiction.

Does it Work?

While scientists do not completely understand how naltrexone blocks alcohol cravings, studies have indicated that patients who take the drug report fewer cravings, fewer drinking days and fewer relapses. It does not block the effects of alcohol, though – meaning that if a patient does slip and drink while taking the drug, he or she will still experience some of the effects of alcohol, although the desire to keep drinking will be significantly reduced.

Studies do show, however, that naltrexone effectively blocks the effects of opiate drugs, making cravings for the drugs nearly nonexistent. Opiate addicts can only take the drug after going through withdrawal, and have gone at least 7-10 days without any opiates in the system. If the patient has opiates in the system, potentially harmful side effects could occur.

It's no Superpill
Naltrexone is not a “magic pill” though. Simply taking a dose will not end chemical dependency forever, without going through the rest of the recovery process. Naltrexone medications are most effective when administered in conjunction with additional physical and psychological treatment, including therapy and rehabilitation services.

The drug also works best when it’s administered in a controlled environment, such as a rehabilitation center or in an outpatient clinic setting, as studies have shown that when addicts attempt to self-administer the drug, they have a higher risk of relapse.

The amount of naltrexone prescribed, and the frequency of doses, varies according to the patient and the addiction being treated.

Studies indicate that alcoholics who take 50mg per day for about three months have the highest level of success. In the case of those addicted to opiates, a more flexible approach to dosing has been proven effective; most patients receive an average of 50mg of naltrexone each day, either administered daily, or in intervals of 100 or 150 mg every 2-3 days. The length of treatment varies according to the individual patient’s rehabilitation progress.

Side Effects

Unlike other drugs used to treat addiction, naltrexone is not habit forming, and stopping the medication suddenly will not cause withdrawal symptoms. In fact, other than the changes in addictive behavior, patients rarely know that they are even taking a drug – and it does not prevent the patient from experiencing pleasure outside of their addiction. Some patients do report side effects, including nausea, headache, fatigue or sleepiness, insomnia and anxiety, and the drug can cause liver damage. Patients considering taking naltrexone undergo extensive medical testing before beginning treatment to rule out liver or kidney problems that could be worsened with treatment. Naltrexone is also unsafe during pregnancy.

Naltrexone is only an effective treatment for – and approved to treat – alcoholism and opiate addiction. It is not an effective part of a treatment plan for addiction to narcotics such as cocaine or methamphetamines.

Battling a drug or alcohol addiction is not an easy fight. No matter how the addict chooses to get sober, the process is long and challenging. Drugs like naltrexone are simply a part of the treatment plan, one designed to improve the chances of success and long-term recovery. Combined with a comprehensive plan to address the psychological issues associated with addiction, proper physical care and behavioral modification and a strong support system, naltrexone-based treatment can help an addict stay on the road to lifelong sobriety.

Written By: Gregg Gustafson

Gregg Gustafson is a freelance writer and consultant for Gustafson works with individuals who suffer from alcohol abuse, in turn referring them to some of the most prestige alcohol addiction centers active today.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Teenagers in Treatment: A Message for Parents

Teens don't understand how hard some of decisions are that parents have to make. 

When parents make the decision to place their teenager into some type of treatment, it can be a time of relief from what has been happening, but it can also be a time of grief and loss. Once things have settled down at home what is left for the parent is feelings of intense guilt. These feelings can become extremely painful.

Parents have time to start thinking of all the “should have, could have, and wish I would have” done this instead of that.

"If I would have been there more maybe they wouldn’t have needed treatment”. Parents start thinking of all the reasons this has to be their fault.

After the first few months the memories of how out of control your teenager was usually fades. This is when parents begin sending a lot of “stuff” to their teen. Most treatment facilities allow certain items to be sent to the teenagers. This is usually hygiene products, books, shoes, games, and puzzles. Some parents will send items that are approved but when the guilt is extreme the parent will send items that are not approved by the program. This can cause tension between the program and the parents when your teen is not allowed to have these items. When this happens the teenager benefits because teens have a way of figuring out that this can make the program and the parent begin to disagree and then the teen will continue to exploit this type of problem because it could lead to an early discharge. There are also those parents who begin to design their teens’ program. By this I mean, planning hotel and home visits before it’s planned, planning how long each phase of treatment should take their child instead of allowing the professionals to make these decisions. This is when parents will begin to complain about the treatment, staff or therapist.

Once parents begin to see their teenager listening and speaking to them in a civil manner, other thoughts begin to creep in. They tend to go like this, “I don’t know why they need to be there so long”, or “Why does my child seem to have such a hard time with the staff”? Parents begin to question the professionals they hired to help their teen. The memories of their teen fighting, using drugs, failing school, punching holes in walls, and running away or just staying out until they felt like coming home has faded. Parents begin to criticize the facility and the program. Some parents begin to tell the professionals how to do their job even though they have been trained as professionals on how to help at-risk teenagers. Some parents begin to second guess everything the program is doing. One of the hardest parts about sending your teenager to treatment is learning to trust the process. It took many years for your teenager to take on their behavior and it takes time to teach them the tools to live a healthy life.

Thumbs Up 4 One of the worst things a parent can do is take their teenager out of treatment before they have finished the program. Generally after a few months parents forget about the chaos and turmoil they were living with while their teen was at home and they start missing them and feeling guilty for sending them away. When this happens parents begin to think about bringing their child home. Parents begin to come up with reasons as to why they need to come home, Some of the reasons are; school is going to start again, summer vacation, holidays, or a family gathering. These reasons feel like valid reasons but generally the root cause is guilt.

Hopefully, your teens’ therapist has been teaching you the phases that happen to a teenager in treatment. In the beginning of treatment we see the disrespect, defiance, attitude, and other behaviors that you as a parent were seeing prior to sending them to treatment. About the middle of the program (4 months), you will begin to see and hear the child you remember, the one you actually liked. They begin to be motivated, have more energy, they can express their goals and dreams, and they are listening and talking more. During the end part of treatment is for practicing and teaching it to newer peers in the program. This allows the teen to internalize these changes, feel comfortable with them self, and gain the self confidence it takes to go home and face old friends.
Addiction on the MindWhen a teen is pulled in the middle of their program we generally see them self-destruct. This happens over and over again. When parents see the progress and then decide to bring them home for school, family vacation, or a holiday, generally you will see the teenager do OK at first but generally speaking the teen is not strong enough emotionally or mentally and they begin to spiral out of control usually within the first few months. Generally, the structure from treatment is what is holding your teen together and it takes time for your teen to practice these coping skills and feel confident in continuing these skills when they go home. Teens need time to know they can do this on their own at home.

I have worked with many parents that have pulled their teen before they were clinically ready to go home. Many of these teens were not able to stay strong enough to resist the temptations of their friends. Parents call to find out what else they can do for their teen or end up sending them back to a treatment facility. There have been times when the consequence for the teen ends up in detention or death. These consequences are the extreme.

Part of the process is allowing teenagers’ to work through their issues and learn how to fix their own problems. Parents need to remember that by taking your child early from treatment you have just sent them backward in their progress. Teenagers’ need to learn to solve their problems, and as parents’ you are not helping them by giving them an out. Teens need to take ownership of their life and realize they can achieve what they set their mind too.

As parents’ the best thing you can do is support their decisions whether they are bad or good choices. If your teen is in treatment the best thing a parent can do is let the teen know, you got yourself into treatment now get yourself out of treatment. This allows the teenager to take full responsibility for their life, learn and grow into healthy young adults and regain the confidence they lost. For parents you get to begin to let go and regain the relationship with your child that was lost by their choices and your reactions.

Written By: Kelly Miller

If you would like more information you can purchase my book, When Should You Send Your Teen To Treatment? A Parent Guide, by Kelly Miller MS, on Amazon Kindle or visit my website at to learn more. 

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Friday, March 23, 2012

All About Drug Testing, including Innovative and Funny new Ways to Pass a Drug Test

What happened to Our Right to Peerivacy?

The drugs you did last night, last week and last New Year's Eve are all embedded in your urine, sweat, hair, saliva and blood. Not so long ago, when I was growing up, the body was a temple the law could not enter. The body and its secretions were holy. Unfortunately, scrupleless courts, modern society and bad science have since united to make drug testing a part of American life, giving rise to a multibillion-dollar a year industry that exists only because of the money that is being made by violating our privacy. 

Despite the Fourth Amendment's guarantee of a right to privacy, courts have granted increasingly broad authority for random drug testing, so what was unthinkable in America only a generation ago is now taken for granted.

"The number of employers conducting drug testing is in a long-term decline," Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, reports. "And most employers who do test, only test for preemployment."

Maltby presaents figures from American Management Association member surveys which clearly show a steadfast drop in private-sector drug screening, from a high of 81% in 1996 declining to 62% in 2004. Why the decline?

"Employers are beginning to realize that drug testing is not producing any improvement in the bottom line," Maltby is quoted saying. "Most employers who bought into drug testing did so because the government and the drug-test industry promised it would increase safety and productivity, and that promise was not kept."

However, as the declining numbers of economic realities eventually sink in among corporate America's managers, the US government continues to push drug testing as a magic-bullet, while pot smokers remain caught in the middle. Don't forget, marijuana is by far the most widely used illicit drug in America and thus the most detected substance by drug testing. Twenty-five million Americans smoked pot last year! Yes, 25,000,000 Americans smoked weed last year!  

Unfortunately for these pot heads, THC stays in the body much, much, much longer compared to other drugs. This make marijuana the ideal target for a drug-test market. In fact, there could never be a widespread drug-testing industry if marijuana were legal.

As always, stoners need to know the facts and stay on top of things, because its not a joke, you really can study for a drug test.

Although jokes and drug tests don't usually go together, we could all use a bit of a laugh now and then. So, here's the funny side of drug testing. Here are a few jokes about drug tests and drug testing you might get a laugh from. Enjoy.

Innovative Ways to Deal With a Random Drug Test (you have to do it in a cup in front of a witness.)
  • Ask your observer if he wants to race.
  • Wear a diaper.
  • Urinate all over the outside of the cup, and then refuse to wash your hands with anything accept antibacterial soap.
  • Inquire about a "take home cup."
  • Get your privates stuck in your zipper.
  • After four-and-a-half hours of holding it, pee so hard you knock the cup out of your hand.
  • When the nurse asks you to witness the cup being empty, insist that you have to stick your finger in there to "check it out for yourself."
  • When they call your name, walk to the counter looking really concerned. Calmly explain to the nurse that you haven't studied for this test, and want to know if there's any extra credit.
  • Put some water in your boot before the test. When you get to the peeing part, take off your boot, pour it into the cup, and shamefully say that you just couldn't wait.
  • Ask the observer to slap you on your rear-end a few times, just to get things going for you.
  • Bring a drink umbrella for your cup.
  • Since this person has probably seen a lot of people pee, ask him how you measure up.
  • Before you start, self-check for hernias (turn, cough, etc...)
  • Wear a condom. 

Urine Test

I and another man was taking a drug test for employment.

He relayed a true story to me of a man who once sought employment with him for another company.

This man was a drug user and needed to have some “pure” urine because he knew that his own would never pass the test.

He decided to get someone else to donate urine for him.

When the day came for him to submit his specimen, he carried his friend’s urine sample into the restroom with him in his pocket, and then submitted it in the place of his own.

A couple of days later, he received the following call from the lab: “Mr. Smith (substituted name), we have some good news for you. We have received the results of your test and your urine is pure; you are drug free and healthy. And by the way, you’re pregnant!”
– Jose Matthew, 

Too Many Rules

They got too many rules on the job. I used to work at this restaurant called Cracker Barrel. I was a dishwasher in the restaurant, and I was a good dishwasher, but they had too many rules. The supervisor called me in the office one day, and he’s like, ‘Rod, we need you to take a drug test.’ And I was like, ‘Whoa, I took a drug test to get the job.’ And he was like, ‘No, this is a random drug test.’ And I was like, ‘Well, hell, you better pick somebody else, damn it. This is not a good day to do me. Don’t get me wrong, I can pass the test. I just need to study.’

– from RodMan,

Well, that was the lighter side of drug testing. If you really want to know how to pass a drug test, you should check out my article, How to Confidently Beat a Drug Test, as I believe it to be the best, most thorough article on the subject anywhere. Not because I wrote it, but because I researched it, I've been drug tested and I have passed drug tests. And because I know what I put into this article, as well as what I continue to put into this article, as I will develop it regularly and indefinitely, as long as changes and improvements come along.

Who knows, this article could outlive me.

Written By: Tom Retterbush
Last Update: 3-23-2012

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Study shows Facebook & Social Media can bring out Narcissistic Dark Side in some People

A recently published study has revealed the dark side of social media could be attracting certain narcissistic personality types.

If you have too many friends on sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, the hot new Pinterest, or similar social networks, you could be a self-absorbed exhibitionist tending toward narcissism. 

Christopher Carpenter, a professor of communication at Western Illinois University, in his study “Narcissism on Facebook: Self-promotional and Anti-social Behavior,” suggests social media sites like Facebook offer a lot of opportunities for individuals to reveal their dark side, trying to self-promote and assuage wounded egos.

Facebook “offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication”, as does other social media shown in the study, Carpenter says.

He defines narcissism as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and an exaggerated sense of self-importance.” 

Carpenter published his study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, showing that people using social media sites with more self-esteem have fewer antisocial behaviors. The study also revealed that young people are becoming increasingly narcissistic, and obsessed with self-image and shallow friendships.

Social media users with narcissistic characteristics responded more aggressively to derogatory comments made about them on the social networking site's public walls, also changing their profile pictures more often.

Narcissistic behaviors

For most narcissists, Facebook "offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication," the professor continues. More importantly, social networking in general allows the user a great deal of control over how he or she is presented to and perceived by peers and other users.

Carpenter used surveys that measured self-promoting Facebook behaviors among 292 individuals for the study, using the narcissistic personality inventory (NPI), which includes the grandiose exhibitionism (GE) subscale and the entitlement or exploitativeness (EE) subscale to measure anti-social behavior. Of the respondents, seventy-five percent were college students.

The professor explaines the GE subscale includes vanity, superiority, exhibitionistic tendencies and self-absorption while EE encompasses a sense of deserving respect and a willingness to manipulate and take advantage of others.

The study showed exactly what Carpenter had hypothesized – GE behaviors on Facebook correlated with self-promotion and exhibitionism and exploitative tendencies on social media correlated with anti-social behaviors.

“If Facebook is to be a place where people go to repair their damaged ego and seek social support, it is vitally important to discover the potentially negative communication one might find on Facebook and the kinds of people likely to engage in them. Ideally, people will engage in pro-social Facebooking rather than anti-social me-booking”, Carpenter said.

The study showed grandiose exhibitionism correlated with self-promotion, entitlement and exploitativeness correlated with anti-social behaviors on Facebook and similar social sites. Self-esteem seems to be unrelated to self-promotion behavior. In fact, self-esteem was related to less of these anti-social behaviors.

More study is needed to understand that good, the bad and the ugly of social media, particularly how they contribute to aggressive and narcissistic behavior. This study is the first to show a direct correlation between social networking and any narcissistic personality disorder.

Thought the results of the research show that a recent study from the American Psychological Association showing young adults today are more materialistic and care little about the environment or politics than past generations was on target, it is still to early to draw a connection between the two studies.

"In general, the 'dark side' of Facebook requires more research in order to better understand Facebook's socially beneficial and harmful aspects in order to enhance the former and curtail the latter," Carpenter concluded. 

Social media has also been linked to addiction. Especially people who have had problems with alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling problems and the like have been found to be extremely susceptible to developing social media addiction. This may very well be associated with obsession, as most addicts have obsessive personalities and easily develop a compulsive preoccupation and fixation with social networking. This could be seen as an other dark side of social media. 

Even though social media has armed activists and reformed governments, it does have its downsides, so that its full implementations remain to be seen.

Written By: Tom Retterbush

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Depression and Addiction

Addicts live with depression. 

The active addict is generally depressed, feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, anxiety, fear, and anger leading to the absolutely over-powering and overwhelming need to escape their world. I know. I am one. Shame is the biggest contributor to this depression, being born of the others, and also the precursor to them. A dichotomous irony.

The general reasons for escaping to alcohol and drugs are the everyday problems of life allowed to become so large in the addicts' mind that they can see no way to solve them. Dealing with employers, lovers, friends and family often entails complicated and unclear remedies which are very hard to deal with, especially if their best efforts have produced no resolution. Powerlessness over these situations leads to feelings of shame, which in turn leads to low self-esteem, anxiety, and anger. These lead to a choice to escape, many times using substances as the vehicle.

Substance abuse deepens depression by magnifying the inadequacies and insecurities the addict already feels.These are also reinforced by the horrible and despicable actions we choose while using, and add immeasurably to the feelings of worthlessness and shame.We as addicts become hopelessly depressed by the very act of addiction, and continue this vicious circle by continuing to choose substance abuse, escape, as our answer. We all know this does not work.

Addicts have been taught that they are "diseased", incapable of making rational choices, and unable to understand themselves. This fallacy adds to the addicts depression and brings the pendulum full-swing. We cannot make right choices, therefore we make the choice to keep using. This is the control factor. We as addicts cannot control our emotions, our circumstances, our actions, so we make the choice about the one thing we can control. We choose to use.

Addicts are not "diseased". Addiction is a choice, made consciously to escape the problems we feel we cannot solve or control. We allow ourselves to become unable to deal with life by choosing to give up.

We are responsible for that choice, and are wholly and unequivocally responsible for the choices we make after.

We are Responsible.

We make our choices, and arguing that we didn't understand what we were getting into is no excuse. We cannot excuse ourselves form our responsibility by using a "disease" as our fall guy. We relapse, which is just another conscious decision to use instead of stand up and face our problems, and we are told this is part of recovery. Relapse is NOT part of recovery. Relapse is part of using. Plain and simple.

All of these factors cause depression to spiral out of control until the depressed state is the only state in which we feel comfortable, and substance abuse is the means by which we refill the depressive coffers and therefore continue in our new comfort zone. My conclusion is that substance abuse becomes secondary as the primary driver of our actions, and therefore I conclude, in my experience, that substance abuse is separate from the problems which caused us to look for escape in the first place.

I realized that I needed to understand I was wholly and totally responsible for my choices and my actions.

I needed to take responsibility for my emotions and own them. I had made the choice to use, and in making that choice I also took on the entire responsibility for all that happened after. I came to realize that once I had reconciled myself to that responsibility, and understood that it was mine wholly, I needed only to make one choice to recover from addiction. I made the choice to stop using. Detox for 12 days and rehab for 6 months cleared my mind enough to allow me to think deeply about my choices, and I understood for the first time that the addiction and the problems that drove me to escape were separate entities, and that the problem lay in the intermingling of the two.

I made the choice to stop using, and have not used in 10 years. I was free, after making that choice, to revisit the problems which caused my feelings of shame, inadequacy, and insecurity in the beginning and start the work of dealing with them. I could not have done this had I subscribed to the "disease" model and the "relapse is part of recovery" fallacy. My addiction was a choice I made, consciously, by making the choice to use and continue using. These choices caused the depression which led to my believing myself hopeless and helpless, therefore creating deeper depression, the circle continuing ad infinitum. Choosing not use was my recovery from addiction. That simple.

I work very hard these days at making good choices, understanding that I am responsible for each one. I do not think about using or escape. I have made the choice to deal with my life as it comes and to understand there may not be an answer every time. The work that makes this possible does not include reliving my addiction. Taking responsibility for all I have done precludes allowing myself to place any responsibility on my substance abuse. Two separate issues. Choosing not to use solved the substance abuse issue. Choosing to work hard on dealing with life as it comes is alleviating the depression I felt before I used, and choosing not to use has alleviated ALL the deeper depression the shame of using brought with it.

Addicts suffer from depression because they use, much more than they use because of depression. The reasons for escape are separate from the substance abuse. Choose not to use and you have solved the problem of addiction. The work may then begin on dealing with the original problems. 

Written By: Mark

Mark is a regular guy interested in helping addicts recover and reclaim their lives. He was an addict for over 20 years, a liar, a cheat, a thief. He destroyed relationships with family, friends, employers. He spent those years mired in the hurts of the past, unwilling to face them. Mark finally came to realize that he could choose to recover and has been in recovery now for 10 years. He is still repairing those relationships and working out those hurts. Life is not perfect, but he is happy. Mark believes that if he can do it, anyone can. Cliche? He doesn't think so.

I Want to Change My Life
How to Overcome Anxiety, Depression and Addiction
Discover a five-point plan for overcoming anxiety, depression, and addiction. Learn the symptoms, causes, treatment, and relapse prevention strategies. Learn new coping skills including a new approach to stress management and cognitive therapy and how they can help you. The book includes a one-month step-by-step program to get you started. Dr. Melemis is a leading expert in addiction and mental disorders who has helped thousands of people improve their lives.
Get I Want to Change My Life directly from Amazon, HERE

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Did Whitney Houston Die of a Drug Overdose?

Whitney Houston Found Dead in a Bathtub possibly of Xanax and Alcohol Overdose.

Found dead in a bathtub Feb. 11, it is thought that her cause of death may have been a drug and alcohol overdose. And while the real cause of Whitney Houston's death may not be known for weeks, the 48-year-old superstar not only had a history of alcohol and drug abuse, she is thought to have had a prescription for Xanax.

Toxology reports can take weeks to complete, but it is known that a combination of Xanax and alcohol can be deadly, said Dr. Marvin Seppala, chief medical officer at Hazelden, a preeminent treatment center for alcohol and other drug addiction.

Everybody who knows anything about drugs, knows that when mixed with alcohol, the effects of Xanax are intensified and breathing can be impaired. Whitney should have known this, so let us not rule out other possible causes for her death completely.

Xanax, the generic name for the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, is classified as a benzodiazepine. These are powerful sedatives to increase your natural calming ability and is often used for stage fright or other types of anxiety.

They work very quickly, often within 15 minutes, though the effects only last a few hours. Tolerance to the drug develops quickly if it's used on a regular basis, resulting in the user wanting to increase the dosage steadily, sometimes having to supplement the supply through multiple doctors or black-market dealers. Although alprazolam is known to be extremely addictive, it is still one of the most prescribed drug in the United States.

Xanax is abused a great deal and has the potential for addiction, especially if someone with an addictive personality, who has a genetic predisposition for addiction.

Xanax can cause the control mechanism of the respiratory system to slow down and ultimately stop, which is what probably happened to Whitney.

Withdrawal effects are unpleasant, including headaches, insomnia, depression and extreme nervousness, so that few heavy users can manage to quit using without professional help.

Abuse of Xanax has become epidemic, with the demand for the drug so high, that clinics have reportedly stopped subscribing the drug.

Whitney had checked into rehab centers at least three times during her career, though she had supposedly been clean lately. She had been hoping for a comeback this year, even talking of a comeback album. 

It is hard to figure out what could have happened the days before her death, as it was reported that her behavior had appeared erratic. She was seen wearing mismatched clothes and appeared with wet hair on the set of a television interview. She even is said to have slurred her in her speech and acted as if drunk, both typical signs of Xanax abuse.

In death, it appears she had her comeback! In fact, since her death on Saturday, Whitney Houston's catalog has seen a huge sales bump, selling over 1 million albums and singles.

There are those who believe she might have been drowned, others believe she overdose, but we won't know for sure until after the coroner's report.

But no matter what he the MA reports, the world has lost another star, while the night will not shine quite as bright for quite some time.

Written By: Tom Retterbush

Whitney Houston - The Greatest Hits
The MP3 version is available now as well.
Get Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits directly from Amazon, HERE

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The 439 Affirmations of Alcoholics Anonymous, for Your Success, Serenity and Happiness

Positive Affirmations promote Growth.

Although  A.A. has undoubtedly helped many people get sober, I am not a big fan of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or any other anonymous group. Yes, they do have their virtues, but they're not for everyone. What I do like about A.A., N.A. and the other Anonymouses however, are some of their philosophies, including the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, 8 Paradoxes and such.

Recently I came across something from A.A. that I'd never heard of before, called the 250 A.A. Slogans. They had been posted on Google Plus by a friend, who goes by the username, Bsober and Listen

I never thought I would find even more slogans than he had come up with. I couldn't imagined someone coming up with 12 A.A. slogans, much less 250, but over 400, with most of them being really good? Wow!

Although Dr. Joseph Purch M.D. of Addiction Medicine & Psychiatry claims that AA slogans can harm recovery, even after reading his essay rationalizing his findings, I can't see any harm in contemplating positive affirmations. 

Apparently, some say number 1 through 5 are the standard AA slogans, while others say it's 1 through 9, like in the picture above. I don't know which is true, and I don't know where the rest came from, I just know they're pretty cool.

Little did I know that there was a legend of sorts that lead up to these slogans, no matter if you count 5,9, 250 or 407 of them.

Birth of an A.A. Slogan

In 1935 Bill Wilson met Dr. Bob Smith, the founder of A.A., in Akron, Ohio. According to popular legend, Bill and Dr. Bob became good friends, getting close... closer than you may have imagined. At the time, Bill was still suffering from the physical ravages of alcohol, even though had already been sober for about 6 months. His problems included hemorrhoids, as well as a variety of urological problems including bladder infections and an enlarged prostate.

As luck would have it, or as some people would call it, "the Will of God," Dr. Bob's specialty was proctology. As a friend, Dr. Bob naturally examined Wilson's rectum pro bono. Wilson's behind was extremely tender, and as Dr. Bob inserted his finger, he cried, "Easy does it, Smithy!"

According to legend, "Easy Does It" not only became a slogan, but also a sort of running inside joke between the founders. Bill loved to say it in Dr. Bob's presence because the Good Doctor would blush every time, without fail. It was Bill's way of having a little fun at the Doctor's expense. Gradually, the saying caught on with others. Today, "Easy Does It" is inscribed on plaques around the world in A.A. clubhouses. Few know that it came straight out of Bill's ass.

Needless to say, Dr. Bob ended up giving Bill the treatment he needed, and "Easy Does It. But Do It!" has become quite popular in A.A.

So without trying to read too much into them, I'm going to list them bellow and let you figure out their meanings yourself.
The 407 Slogans of A.A.

1) Easy does it.
2) First things first.
3) Live and let live.                                                                           
4) But for the grace of God.
5) Think think think.
6) One day at time.
7) Let go and let God.
8) K.I.S.S.---Keep It Simple Stupid.
9) Act as if.
10) This, too, shall pass.
11) Expect miracles.
12) I can't, He can, I think I'll let Him (Steps 1,2,3).
13) If it works, don't fix it.
14) Keep coming back, it works if you work it.
15) Stick with the winners.
16) Keep on trudgin.'
17) Sobriety is a journey, not a destination.
18) Faith without works is dead.
19) Poor me, poor me, pour me another drink.
20) To thine own self be true.
21) I came; I came to; I came to believe (Steps 1,2,3).
22) Live in the NOW.
23) If God seems far away, who moved?
24) Turn it over.
25) A.A.= Altered Attitudes
26) Nothing is so bad, a drink won't make it worse.
27) We are only as sick as our secrets.
28) There are no coincidences in A.A..
29) Be part of the solution, not the problem.
30) Sponsors: have one use one be one.
31) I can't handle it God; you take over.
32) Keep an open mind.
33) It works it really does! (page 88 in the Big Book)
34) Willingness is the key.
35) More will be revealed.
36) You will intuitively know.
37) You will be amazed.
38) No pain, no gain.
39) Go for it.
40) Keep the plug in the jug.
41) Do it sober.
42) Let it begin with me.
43) Just for today.
44) Sober `n` crazy.
45) Pass it on.
46) It's in the book.
47) You either are or you aren't.
48) Before you say I can't, say I'll try.
49) Don't quit before the miracle happens.
50) Some of us our sicker than others.
51) We're all here because we're not all there.
52) Alcoholism is an equal opportunity destroyer.
53) Practice an attitude of gratitude.
54) The road to sobriety is a simple journey for confused people with a complicated disease.
55) Another friend of Bill W.'s.
56) God is never late.
57) Have a good day, unless of course you have made other plans.
58) Decisions aren't forever.
59) It takes time.
60) 90 meetings in 90 days.
61) You are not alone.
62) Where you go, there you are.
63) Don't drink, read the Big Book, and go to meetings.
64) Use the 24-hour plan.
65) Make use of the telephone therapy.
66) Stay sober for yourself.
67) Look for the similarities rather than differences.
68) Remember your last drunk.
69) Remember that alcoholism is incurable, progressive, and fatal.
70) Try not to place conditions on your sobriety.
71) When all else fails, follow directions.
72) Count your blessings.
73) Share your happiness.
74) Respect the anonymity of others.
75) Share your pain.
76) Let go of old ideas.
77) Try to replace guilt with gratitude.
78) What goes around, comes around.
79) Change is a process, not an event.
80) Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.
81) Call your sponsor before, not after, you take the first drink.
82) Sick and tired of being sick and tired.
83) It's the first drink that gets you drunk.
84) To keep it, you have to give it away.
85) Man's extremity is God's opportunity.
86) The price for serenity and sanity is self-sacrifice.
87) One alcoholic talking to another one equals one.
88) Take what you can use and leave the rest.
89) What if........
90) Yeah but.........
91) If only.........
92) Help is only a phone call away.
93) Around A.A. or in A.A.?
94) You can't give away what you don't have.
95) One drink is too many and thousand not enough.
96) Half measures availed us nothing.
97) Anger is but one letter away from danger.
98) Courage to change.
99) Easy does it, but DO it.
100) Bring the body and the mind will follow.
101) Accept your admission.
102) Remember when!
103) Tighten up (financially).
104) We A.A.'s are 'gifted' people.
105) There are 12 steps in the ladder of complete sobriety
106) Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.
107) Before engaging your mouth, put your mind in gear.
108) I want what I want when I want it.
109) There is no chemical solution to a spiritual problem.
110) A.A. is not something you join, it's a way of life.
111) We can be positive that our drinking was negative.
112) Spirituality is the ability to get our minds off ourselves.
113) Faith is spelled a-c-t-i-o-n.
114) Take the mess to your sponsor, take the message to the meeting.
115) If I think, I won't drink. If I drink, I can't think.
116) Stay in the main tent, and out of the sideshow.
117) The first step in overcoming mistakes is to admit them.
118) Formula for failure: try to please everyone.
119) Sorrow is looking back worry is looking around.
120) Willpower=our willingness to use a Higher Power.
121) A. A. is an education without graduation.
122) When your head begins to swell your mind stops growing.
123) A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step.
124) G.O.D.=Good Orderly Direction.
125) Be as enthusiastic about A.A. as you were about your drinking.
126) You received without cost, now give without charge.
127) Humility is our acceptance of ourselves.
128) Trying to pray is praying.
129) Get it ---give it---grow in it.
130) Faith is not belief without proof but trust without reservation.
131) We're responsible for the effort not the outcome.
132) This is a selfish program.
133) E.G.O.=Edging God Out.
134) Keep your sobriety first to make it last.
135) I drank: too much---too often---too long.
136) A.A. will work if you want it to work.
137) Minds are like parachutes----they won't work unless they're open.
138) What you hear and see here, stays here.
139) Alcoholism is the only disease that tells you you're all right.
140) If you turn it over and don't let go of it, you will be upside down.
141) An A.A. meeting is where losers get together to talk about their winnings.
142) A.A. is a school in which we are all learners and all teachers.
143) God taught us to laugh again but God please don't let us forget that we once cried.
144) Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm.
145) A.A. may not solve all your problems but it is willing to share them.
146) It isn't the load that weighs us down------it's the way we carry it.
147) Principles before personalities
148) When you do all the talking you only learn what you already know.
149) The 7t's ---Take Time to Think The Thing Through.
150) There are none too dumb for the A.A. program but many are too smart.
151) We all have another drunk left in us but we don't know if we have another recovery in us.
152) To be forgiven we must forgive.
153) When we surrender to our Higher Power, the journey begins.
154) The person with the most sobriety at a meeting is the one who got up earliest that morning.
155) Knowledge of the answers never made anyone slip---it was failing to practice the answers known.
156) H.A.L.T.=Don't get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.
157) F.E.A.R.=Frustration, Ego, Anxiety, Resentment.
158) The 12 Steps tell us how it works; the 12 Traditions tell us why it works.
159) Without A.A., it's Amen.
160) If faith without works is dead; then willingness without action is fantasy.
161) When a person tries to control their drinking they have already lost control.
162) The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
163) Seven days without an A.A. meeting makes one weak.
164) You are not required to like it, you're only required to DO it.
165) When wallowing in your self-pity, get off the cross, we need the wood.
166) In A.A. we don't carry the alcoholic; we carry the message.
167) The results are in God's hands.
168) We are not human beings having spiritual experiences; we are spiritual beings having human experiences.
169) Remember nothing is going to happen today that you and God can't handle.
170) Your Turn in the barrell.
171) Don't watch the slippers, watch those who don't them go through difficulties and pull through.
172) If we knew which drink was going to cause wet brain; we would stop just before it.
173) It's a shame we can't forget our troubles the same way we forget our blessings.
174) Be careful what you pray for; you're liable to get it.
175) The time to attend a meeting is when you least feel like going.
176) I've been sober and I've been drunk. Sober's better.
177) A.A. is the highest priced club in the world. If you have paid the dues, why not enjoy the benefits?
178) The first step is the only step a person can work perfectly.
179) The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.
180) Your Big Book is your sponsor too.
181) A.A. never opened the gates of heaven to let me in, A.A. did open the gates of hell to let me out.
182) The only thing we take from this world when we leave is what we gave away.
183) Time wasted in getting even can never be used in getting ahead.
184) Some A.A.'s are so successful that they turn out to be almost as good as they used to think they were when they were drinking.
185) Sobriety delivers everything alcohol promised.
186) Possibilities and miracles are one in the same.
187) Get out of the driver's seat and let God.
188) H.O.W.=Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness.
189) Taking others inventory (when you should be taking your own).
190) First we stayed sober because we have to...then we stay sober because we are willing to...then we stay soberbecause we want to.
191) Slogans are wisdom written in shorthand.
192) Active alcoholics don't have relationships; they take hostages.
193) Everyday is a gift that's why we call it the present.
194) If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.
195) Every recovery from alcoholism began with one sober hour.
196) Each and every alcoholic, sober or not, teaches us valuable lessons about ourselves and recovery.
197) We had to quit playing God.
198) Don't compare---identify.
199) Don't intellectualize----utilize.
200) RULE 62: don't take yourself seriously.
201) A.A. has a wrench to fit every nut that walks through the door.
202) Living in the here and now.
203) How does one become an old-timer? Don't drink and don't die.
204) A.A. spoils your drinking
205) Faith is our greatest gift; its sharing with others our greatest responsibility.
206) If you want to drink, that is your business...if you want to quit and can't, that is A.A.'s business.
207) In a bar, we got sympathy-----as long as our money lasted. In A.A., we get understanding for nothing.
208) My worst day in sobriety is better than my best day drunk.
209) The elevator is broken-------use the Steps.
210) Let it begin with me.
211) When all else fails, the directions are in the Big Book.
212) Trust God, clean house, help others.
213) Anonymity is so important it's half of our name.
214) If we don't grow, we gotta go.
215) All you need to start your own A.A. meeting is a resentment and a coffee pot.
216) Religion is for those who fear Hell, spirituality is for those who have been there.
217) Intolerance= Contempt, prior to investigation.
218) When you are a sponsor, you get out of yourself. If I serve, I will be served.
219) Why recovery never ends: the disease is alcoholism, not alcoholWASm.
220) The A.A. way of life is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions.
221) The smartest thing an A.A. member can say is, help.
222) You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
223) God will never give you more than you can handle.
224) Slow but sure.
225) A coincidence is a miracle in which God chooses to remain anonymous.
226) There is no such thing, as a bad meeting.
227) Give time time.
228) I can do something for 24 hours that would appall me if I had to keep it up for a LIFETIME.
229) The lesson I must learn is simply that my control is limited to my own behavior, my own attitudes.
230) A.A. works for people who believe in God. A.A. works for people who don't believe in God. A.A. NEVER works for people who believe they ARE God.
231) Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problems at once.
232) There are two days in every week which we have no control over----yesterday and tomorrow. Today is the only day we can change.
233) It is not the experience of today that drives people mad, it is remorse of yesterday and the dread of tomorrow.
234) A drug is a drug.
235) Pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.
236) God has no grand kids.
237) There is a God and I'm not it.
238) The road to resentment is paved with expectation.
239) Be nice to newcomers one day they may be your sponsor.
240) Denial is not a river in Egypt, but you can drown in it.
241) Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.
242) The flip side to forgiveness is resentments.
243) There is no magic in recovery only miracles.
244) Fear is the absences of faith.
245) Courage is faith that has said its prayers.
246) Depression is anger toward inward.
247) Alcoholics heal from the outside in, but feel from the inside out.
248) 3 A's in A.A.-----affection/attention/appreciation
249) If it is meant to be, I can't stop it. If it isn't God's will, I can't make it happen.
250) There are A.A. members who make things happen there are A.A. members who watch things happen there are A.A. members who DON'T KNOW anything happened
251) Don't drink, don't think and go to meetings.
252) A.A. is the last stop on the train.
253) One is too many, a thousand is not enough.
254) To be of maximum service to others.
255) We'll love you, until you learn to love yourself.
256) When you run out of quarters for your a--kicking machine, I've got an extra roll for you to use.
257) Try to be grateful and resentful at the same time, you can't serve two masters.
258) Write a gratitude list and count your blessings.
259) You can always tell an alcoholic, but you can't tell him much.
260) Faith chases away fear.
261) Take other people's inventory until you can take your own.
262) Pain before sobriety and pain before serenity.
263) Unity, recovery, and service.
264) If you want to hide something from an alcoholic, hide it in the Big Book, because that's where he'll find it.
265) Sobriety, then serenity.
266) Live life on life's terms.
267) She came through the back door of A.A. (Alanon).
268) When we couldn't dominate, control, or manipulate, we would ask for terms and conditions.
269) People who are wrapped up in themselves make a very small package indeed...
270) The bottle, big house, or the box.
271) Death, insanity, or recovery.
272) We have a choice.
273) We don't get run over by the train, we get hit by the engine (1st. drink).
274) If you wonder if you're an alcoholic, you probably are.
275) Instant a--hole, just add alcohol.
276) I didn't get into trouble every time I drank, but every time I got in trouble I was drunk.
277) Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over, and over again, expecting different results.
278) We are without defense against the first drink, our defense must come from a power greater than ourselves.
279) Success means getting your BUT out of the way.
280) Newcomer is someone with less than five years sobriety.
281) The easier softer way is one through twelve.
282) Don't work my program, or your program, work THE program.
283) If you want what we have and you're willing to go to any lengths to get it
284) Ask us how we did it, then do what we did.
285) Qualifications for me to help you, one) you have to need it, two) you have to want it, three) you have to ask for it, four) you have to ask me.
286) The alcoholic's mind is like a bad neighborhood, don't go there alone.
287) Faith without works is dead.
288) Get to the meeting early and go to the meeting after the meeting.
289) The definition of an alcoholic; an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.
290) Cunning, baffling, powerful, and patient.
291) When the pain of staying sober becomes less than the pain of getting drunk, you'll stay sober.
292) None of us came here on a winning streak.
293) The farther I get from my last drink, the closer I get to my next drunk.
294) This, too, shall pass.
295) Where do I find sobriety? Twelve steps past any lengths.
296) How does it work? It works just fine.
297) If you hang around the barber shop long enough, you'll get a haircut.
298) Don't hang around wet places and wet faces.
299) Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.
300) I might have another drunk left in me, but do I have another recovery?
301) Short version of the Serenity Prayer: Lighten up.
302) You don't have to wait till the basement to get off the down elevator.
303) Those that don't go to meetings aren't present to find out what happen to them what doesn't go to meetings.
304) F.E.A.R.= False Evidence Appearing Real.
305) F.E.A.R.=False Expectations Appearing Real.
306) F.E.A.R=Face Everything and Recover.
307) F.E.A.R.=F--- Everything And Run.
308) F.I.N.E.=F--ked-up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional
309) G.O.D.=Group of Drunks.
310) In A.A. I get an owner's manual to go with my new life.
311) N.U.T.S.=Not Using the Steps
312) Y.E.T.=You eventually, too
313) When you sober up a horse thief, all you have is a sober horse thief.
314) First things first
315) If you can't remember your last drink, maybe you haven't had it.
316) If you want to stay sober, make the coffee.
317) If you fly with crows, you get shot at.
318) Analysis is paralysis.
31) A.A. isn't a religion, we can't open the gates of Heaven and let you in, but we can open the gates of Hell and let you out.
320) I got sick of being sick and tired.
321) It's easy to talk the talk, but you have to walk the walk.
322) Life starts when you stop.
323) You have to give it away in order to keep it.
324) Fake it till you make it.
325) It's a selfish program.
326) Today there's still a monkey on my back. He's just sleeping. He's real easy to wake up.
327) Fear alone won't keep me sober, but for a newcomer, it's not a bad place to start.
328) I've been here a few 24 hours.
329) H.I.T.-Hang In There.
330) Under every dress there's a slip
331) You have to go to these meetings until you want to.
332) Don't let unpleasant people rent space in your head.
333) Daniel didn't go back to the lion's den to get his hat.
334) If you stick with the bunch, you'll get peeled.
335) It gets better.
336) The doors swing both ways.
337) You have to put in the time.
338) Try it for 90 days, and if you don't like it, we'll gladly refund your misery.
339) Don't drink, don't think, and don't get married.
340) Some people drink normally, and I normally drink.
341) A slip is a premeditated drunk.
342) A.A. is the easier, softer way.
343) Go to meetings when you want to, and go to meetings when you don’t want to.
344) It's been a good meeting so far.
345) None of us got here form drinking too much coffee.
346) We have a disease that tells us we don't have a disease.
347) We have a living problem, not a drinking problem.
348) We have a thinking problem, not a drinking problem.
349) If you don't want to slip, stay away from slippery places.
350) The mind is like a parachute, it works better when it's open
351) Pain is the touchstone of progress.
352) My daily sobriety is contingent on my spiritual condition.
353) Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, only today is cash in the bank.
354) F.A.I.T.H.: Fantastic Adventure in Trusting Him.
355) Sorrow shared is halved; joy shared is doubled.
356) There is pain in recovery. Misery is optional.
357) Lead us not into temptation. I can find it myself.
358) A treatment center is where you go and pay $15,000 to find out that A.A. meetings are free.
359) Ask an alcoholic what time it is and he'll tell you how to build a clock.
360) Please be patient---God isn't finished with me yet.
361) I am unique, just like everybody else.
362) Reality is for people who can't handle drugs.
363) My best friend became my worst enemy.
364) When my insides match my outside, I'm practicing a good program.
365) Today I soak up A.A. the way I used to soak up alcohol.
366) When I drank, I was committing suicide on the installment plan.
367) My Higher Power was: To Whom It May Concern.
368) My first Higher Power was Howard, as in Our Father, who art in Heaven, Howard be thy name.
369) I'll always have another drunk in me, but I'm not sure I'll have another recovery.
370) Chairman at meeting asks: Anybody from out of town? Out of state? Out of their minds?
371) A winner is a loser who keeps trying.
372) I don't always know what God's will is for me, but I always know what it's not.
373) I didn't get sober to be miserable.
374) I didn't experiment with alcohol and drugs. I was in advanced research and development.
375) Are you walking towards a drink or away from one?
376) God could and would if He were sought.
377) I love you, God loves you, and there's nothing you can do about it.
378) Today I have more solutions than problems.
379) If God is your co-pilot, switch seats.
380) I did my drinking from Park Avenue to park bench.
381) Don't go in your head alone. It's a dangerous neighborhood.
382) With a stomach full of A.A., you won't have room for a beer.
383) Listen like only the dying can.
384) If your ass falls off, put it in a paper bag and take it to a meeting.
385) There's safety in numbers. One through twelve.
386) An ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of relapse.
387) My disease is doing pushups, getting stronger--just waiting for me to slip.
388) A.A. is a simple program for complicated people.
389) My best thinking got me here.
390) I am a walking miracle.
391) Don't romance the drink.
392) When I start wondering if everything's okay, it's probably not.
393) If hanging around A.A. doesn't work, try hanging out inside A.A.
394) Before I got into A.A., I was dying for a drink.
395) God grant me patience. Right now.
396) My sponsor says I'm trying. Very trying.
397) 20/20: Come 20 minutes before the meeting, stay 20 minutes after.
398) Don't try to clear away the wreckage of the future.
399) When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
400) You can't speed up your recovery, but you sure can slow it down.
401) Every drink I drank got me here. Every drink I don't drink keeps me here.
402) It takes time to get your brains out of hock.
403) Stand by the coffee pots. It's a good way to meet people.
404) People who think they know it all are very irritating to those of us who do.
405) It don`t matter how your jackass got in a ditch, just get him out.
406) Don't drink or use between breaths.
407) Always remember the insanity...Be thankful for the pain...But most of all be thankful for the days that

Well, that's the 407 Slogans of Alcoholics Anonymous. Pretty cool, huh? Well, as a bonus, I will include for you The A.A. Pradoxes as well.

The 8 Paradoxes of A.A. 

1) From weakness(adversity)comes strength
2) We forgive to be forgiven.
3) We give it away to keep it.
4) We suffer to get well.
5) We surrender to win.
6) We die to live.
7) From darkness comes light.
8) From dependence we found independence. 

The 12 Traditions of A.A. 

1) Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
2) For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3) The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
4) Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
5) Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
6) An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7) Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8) Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9) A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10) Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11) Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
12) Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

The 12 Steps of A.A.

1) We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5) Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6) Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7) Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8) Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9) Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11) Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12) Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Well, that about all the slogans, steps, paradoxes and whatever I could find, but let's hope that's enough to get us started.

Ain't sobriety great!!!???!!!

Written By: Tom Retterbush

Narcotics Anonymous Collection: Basic Text, Sixth Edition; It Works - How and Why; and Just For Today, Revised

Basic Text, Sixth Edition First published in 1983, NA's primary book was revised in 2009 to incorporate new personal stories in the Sixth Edition. "Our Program" contains ten chapters explaining the NA Fellowship and our program of recovery. "Our Members Share" includes personal stories from NA members worldwide, organized. There is such a wealth of material here, that if you can't get clean with the help of this information, you're not going to get clean! For a detailed description of the material, follow the "HERE" link, bellow.
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