My book is finally finished!

 


I wanted to write a quick post about what has been going on over the past few months. I haven’t been consistent in posting on my blog….consistent or non-existent? Either way I haven’t posted here in a long while. Here’s what has been going on in my life-

I have stayed sober. Sobriety, or rather, the urge to use drugs has not been a problem. Of course I think about it from time to time still but there hasn’t been an emotional or psychological mind or body reaction to my thoughts. They have all been more of a “look-back” at the past. No stomach-turning roller coaster drops of drug induced fantasies. Nothing like that.

My wife and I have grown a passion and love for reptiles. We have acquired a lot of beautiful ball pythons over the past 6 months and if someone had told me that snakes each have their own personality, I would have told them they are insane. Sure enough, snakes are pure awesomeness. Some are cuddlers while others like to pretend they are a rock. “You can’t see me! I am a rock!” Some people don’t consider “being a rock” as having a personality but I have met people with far less statuesque ability. I don’t want to make this a blog about our pets so I’ll end this with a picture of our snake named Wanda.


Shifting gears a bit, I found myself hesitating on completing my memoir. My father and I started the book almost 9 years ago. We had countless meetings together trying to flesh out each other’s work, coordinating his chapter with mine; which we wrote in separate homes at seperate times by discussing important talking points. It was a large amount of work but at least we were in it together. After my father passed away I felt extremely lost. I felt lost because I knew I would never be able to talk to my father but I also felt lost with the book project. It was so close to completion. I did have our editor’s help and my family members, but it still made me feel empty and alone. The project seemed to lose its meaning in a way. I felt we had built a special bond during his last years here. Maybe realizing that my dad did all that work to never get to see it completed made me feel that pain. I don’t know exactly why it became so difficult to finish. We had so many great discussions about what it would be like to have seen the book completely done, bound, and in our hand.

I finally finished the book. Despite what my false self was yelling in my ear. I knew it was mostly lies and fear. I can’t blame the fear. After all, My memoir don’t paint me as a shining moral hero. I titled the book – A Walk in His Shoes.  It released on Amazon and Kindle on December 3.

I will write a more thorough post this weekend detailing more of what has been going on. If anyone is still interested in reading my memoir, you can get it as a hardcopy or as an ebook. If you are wanting to read it but don’t have the funds to purchase the book, let me know and we can work out a trade. Thanks everyone!

Hard copy—>  CLICK HERE!

Ebook——-> CLICK HERE!

A Walk in His Shoes

Facebook page—> CLICK HERE!

On the Facebook page, I am giving a free signed copy of the book away on the most recent Facebook post. If you are interested in winning a signed copy of the book, click the Facebook link above. Thanks everyone!


		
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Guest Post – Joe Wallis

What You Need to Know About Medical Detox
Written by Joe Wallis

Medical Detox - Image #2

The human body is a true marvel. There is a constant balancing act between the hormones and chemicals that give each system signals to perform their individual functions. Many mental problems are caused by improper balance in those chemicals. This is why drugs and alcohol cause dependence and addiction. When a person uses or consumes these substances, chemicals found in them begin to take the place of naturally occurring chemicals in the body.

The greater problem comes from what happens when those chemicals are removed. Once the body has become accustomed to them being there, it can be extremely unpleasant, even painful to regain homeostasis once they’re gone. Every person is different, and their current health and genetic disposition can have drastic effects on how the body will react to sudden changes. A medical detox program can help keep a person safe while they go through the early stages of finding their own natural balance, or homeostasis.

Withdrawals

Withdrawals are different for various substances and from person to person. Again, every person is different, and their bodies will respond differently to changing chemicals. In some cases it’s possible for a person to power through the withdrawal symptoms and quit cold turkey, but it’s often not that simple. How often have you heard of someone who wants to quit, but can’t do it? It’s usually due to the difficult withdrawal process.

The right approach

Getting clean on your own is very difficult, but it can also be very dangerous. Your body can have a number of reactions to the sudden change, and in some cases they can be fatal. So what is a person to do?

This is where appropriate detox comes into play. Detoxification is doing exactly what it sounds like: removing toxins from your body. Withdrawal is going to be difficult no matter what, but going about it with the right approach can ease the process, and make it much more likely to be completed. What is the right approach? It depends on the person and the nature of their dependency, but there are some basic steps to guide the process.

Evaluation

The first step to successful detox is an extensive evaluation. This will include tests to find out what substances are present in the body and in what quantity. It’s also important to determine if there are any co-occurring disorders, including mental health problems. These can cause complications or interfere with the effectiveness of a given treatment. This evaluation should only be performed by a qualified professional.

TreatmentMedical Detox - Image #3

The treatment itself should be tailored to the needs of each patient, as determined in the evaluation. The treatment often includes an alternative substance being prescribed to ease the body’s transition. This will help reduce medical risks, such as seizures, caused by the sudden absence of the drug. Over time the dosage is reduced until it is safe to stop. This process is called tapering. In other situations treatment could be as simple as monitoring the patient through the withdrawals. For some substances, particularly alcohol, a major side effect is dehydration, so rehydrating and replacing important nutrients in the blood is a critical component.

Preparation for Recovery

Detox is only the first step toward recovery. It won’t take away all the cravings or withdrawal symptoms, and should be followed up with entrance into a recovery program that fits the person’s needs. Before release, a good detox facility will provide each patient (and their families) information about recovery programs available to them. Ideally a patient will go straight from detox into recovery. A center offering both provides an even better solution.

Medical Supervision

Something to watch for when it comes to detox is how it will be administered. Sometimes you will find a center calling themselves detox, but not offering medical supervision. True medical detox means it is performed under qualified medical supervision. Because there are so many variables, and so many things could potentially go wrong, it’s dangerous to approach detox without a trained medical staff on hand.

Setting

Another question to ask yourself when considering detox is the setting. This is another area where individual circumstances make a big difference.

Inpatient detox means the patient is checked into a facility and kept under constant medical supervision. This is the safest approach, and most likely to be completed successfully, especially for more severe situations.

Outpatient detox means the patient comes in for assessments, and is perhaps given a prescription, but doesn’t stay full time at a facility. This approach is far less controlled and usually takes much longer because the doctor must use extra caution. It is also much more likely to be abandoned. This approach should really only be taken in cases of very mild dependence.

It’s also possible to do something in between. Some facilities provide housing and regular medical checkups, but can’t be considered a full inpatient program due to lack of full time medical supervision.

Medical Detox - Image #1

How to Decide

If you are ready to get clean, it’s strongly recommended that you start out with an appropriate medical detox, followed immediately by a good recovery program. There are a lot of facilities out there. Ask yourself these questions to start of your investigation:

● Do they offer combined detox/rehab?
● Is the staff qualified and appropriately licensed?
● Are they flexible enough to accommodate different reactions to the treatment?
● What is the atmosphere like?
● How much privacy will each patient have?
● Will family be able to visit? What are the visitation policies?
● What is their success rate with prior patients?

Entering detox and recovery is a long term commitment. Addiction recovery is never really finished, it’s a lifelong process. Starting it off right can make all the difference.

About the AuthorJoe_author_bio
Joe Wallis finds writing to be a soothing experience, and revels in the chance to cut out all the distractions and focus on a single topic at a time. His family experience with emotional disorders, addiction, and the co occurrence of the two has given him personal insight in the field, and is the driving motivation in his work.

Article- Florida Beach Rehab

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I was asked to write an article for www.floridabeachrehab.com about addiction and how it relates to parent/children relationships. To go to the website click the link above. To read the article, click the link below. Thank you to all my readers. I appreciate all your support, feedback and comments.

http://www.floridabeachrehab.com/can-abusive-parenting-trigger-addiction-genes-in-children/

The War on Drugs is the War on People

Stop the war...

Stop the war…

With the Keynesian ideas of Richard Nixon at the helm, his monumental stepping-stones of complete disaster were sure to steer his barge into yet another ship-sinking iceberg. Many remember Nixon because of the Watergate Hotel Scandal but that infraction was microscopic compared to his many abominable and treasonous misdeeds. The War on Drugs was his most atrocious and pitiful achievement.

The War on Drugs was initially implemented for only one reason. Nixon’s first term in office, he knew that an admission of defeat against the North Vietnamese Guerrillas’ would not be a positive mark up for his administration. The war of attrition military mission was a complete disaster for the US. Commands were not being followed, armed soldiers were refusing to obey orders, and some soldiers’ were using drugs. The entire mission fell apart.

Nixon knew he had to find an excuse that caused the war of attrition to fail. The administration with the help of social media manufactured the perfect scapegoat… DRUGS!

With no ability to cross-examine the inanimate objects, the administrations plan was a complete success. In June of 1971, Nixon announced “America’s public enemy number one in the [US] is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” This was the creation of “The war on drugs.”

If you look closely at his statement, he told us exactly what he was planning to do. The drugs were not the problem as you can read from his statement. The problem was drug abuse. Who abuses drugs? That’s right! People do. “In order to fight this enemy…” he stated, “it is necessary to wage a new all-out offensive.” So new criminal laws were enacted as well as massive amounts of tax payer money to wage a war against people who were using drugs.

This supposed “war of drugs” has cost American’s between 1 trillion and 2.5 trillion tax dollars fighting people who use and sell drugs.

The war on drugs has done the complete opposite of its intended goals:

In a 10 year span, opiate use has increased by 34.5%, cocaine use has increased by 27% and marijuana has increased by 8.5%.

If the war on drugs was effective, shouldn’t we be spending less and less money and shouldn’t drug use be falling? It is quite obvious the war on drugs is completely ineffective.

Why is buying and selling drugs so violent and dangerous? Well, because it is illegal. If drugs were decriminalized, drug addicts wouldn’t have to steal, rob, and kill to supply their habits. The 2 plus trillion we have spent locking up millions of people could actually go to help these people instead of ruining their lives.

Jails and prisons only make drug offenders worse off. They find new drug dealers, they may be violently raped and they waste away their life, year after year as their family at home slowly corrodes. Once they have a criminal record, they can only chose a job from the very bottom depths of the barrel. Many commit suicide because they can’t find their way out of the vicious circle of addiction. I have stood on that edge before. It is cold and lonely.

The way we treat addicts in this country is a disgrace. The vast majority of addicts/alcoholics are the way they are because of adverse childhood experiences. Someone buying drugs from another person is a free exchange of goods. There is no aggression. No violence. Both parties are happy with the trade- so why the hell are we locking them up? We should be helping them, not hurting them. Ultimately, it’s not their fault. America has more prisoners than Stalin’s Archipelago. 80% of prisoners in the US are drug offenders. I hope we are not proud.

(Info/stats cited from)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu-eEZ-8y6U&list=UUC3L8QaxqEGUiBC252GHy3w

Book Review – Addicted to Dimes!

Come have a sit-down!

Come have a sit-down!

I recently finished the book Addicted to DimesConfessions of a Liar and A Cheat, by Catherine Townsend-Lyon. Before I start talking about the contents of the book, I want to first mention why I was so interested in reading the book. I myself, have never cashed in my mortgage payment for a trash can full of shiny coins, but I don’t find that at all revolting. That did not actually happen in the book, I am just making a point. Being a recovering heroin addict, I wanted to look back at some of my own past “gambling spree’s” to see where my addiction may manifest in the gambling realm as well. Let’s take a look.

Any gambling activities I have done have always been during vacation time. I haven’t been in a steady “betting environment” long enough to know if my excitement of placing a bet, my thrills and rushes I experience during gambling could lead into something much more sinister and dangerous. Like compulsive gambling. This book has made me look within myself, to be brutally honest with my past actions during my own gambling entertainment. A person with even a small seed of compulsive or addictive behavior should take the time to read this book. That goes for all of you who sleep with your IPhone. I use my phone as a pillow and somehow thought sticking needles full of heroin and cocaine into my arms was justifiable so, I think I fall under the “you better pay attention, this may benefit you jackass” category.

EVALUATE YOUR$ELF HONE$TLY

If I lived in a state where slot machines were tucked in the corners of local gas stations or if I lived where casino’s were being built on every corner, could I become a compulsive gambler? Could you? If your addicted to your phone, could you become addicted to a bigger electronic box that shot out money? How many times have you lost more money than you allowed for your gambling entertainment? Have you ever told others that you “broke even” when you had actually lost money?

MY GAMBLING EXPERIENCE$

I'm a natural!

Wow I’m getting pretty good at this!

While sporting a large transparent sun visor and a bright and busy tropical button-up, I have had many serious conversations with Blazing Seven’s, Wheel of Fortune, and many other flashy slot machines. I’m sure I was rather tipsy to believe I was actually pulling off such an ensemble, but the real question is- Did I think talking to a steel electronic box would make any difference in the outcome of my net losses? Speaking to it like it was an old friend who owed me large sums of money. Asking it to “please please please pay out BIG!” The casino atmosphere with a shot of booze made the nonreciprocal conversations seem less ridiculous but none-the-less I would have better luck wooing a rapist.

$$$JACKPOT$$$

Of course there have been a couple times when I have won a couple mini progressive jackpots. One was for about $140 on a nickle slot and another for $80 on a penny slot. Oh, I forgot to mention- they were about 6 years apart. Those rare and exciting “you are now my slot machine for life” moments is what makes me think it is possible for me to win the 45 billion dollar Powerball. If I can win 80 dollars (after dropping $110 into the machine) then God must want me to win a significant sized chunk of the Powerball Millions! That is obviously a slight exaggeration and I have never played Powerball but during those winning times, it is easy for me to think luck is on my side. I would easily dismiss how many times the memorizing lights and sounds of the pig irons continually tricked me until they devoured the last remaining contents of my coin bucket. Before leaving for home, I would always put every last coin back into the machine’s greedy and hungry little coin holes. Luck may be on my side but it will come in the form of a lightning bolt.

BEATING THE HOUSE

When I was in jail from July 2006 to Aug 2007, I decided “hey, I have a little bit of free time- I’ll learn how to count cards!” I will be a card counting pro! I will morph into Rainman! Needless to say, I still suck at Blackjack and I have made some substantial sized bets considering my 3 digit bank account. I have yet to quit my day job working nights for a professional poker gig.

Any time someone asked me how much money I had lost, I always had the same response; “I’m about even.” About even usually meant I have lost a couple hundred dollars. Of course their response was “Whoa! I’m even too!” In my head I was thinking, You’re full of shit.

I live in Utah where gambling is illegal and if caught, you will likely burn in hell for all eternity or they will issue you a citation. I think the final say is left up to the judge but hopefully you get the citation. Maybe living in a state without slot machines or Keno is a good thing for someone like myself. I am the kind of person who would sell his car for gas money. Looking back at some of my past experiences with slot machines and poker tables, I think it is quite clear that I could easily become a compulsive gambler. Having this knowledge before-hand is a huge help and I owe it to Catherine’s book- Addicted to Dime’s. So let’s get to the meat and potato’s of my post.

Everyone! Can I have your full undivided attention...

Everyone! Can I have your full undivided attention…

THE REVIEW

Addicted to Dimes was not full of an agglomeration of impervious vernacular that couldn’t be axiomatic or that needed to be referenced with a dictionary. The book used very friendly words which unlike my previous sentence, was quite nice and free flowing. At just over 200 pages, It was a fairly quick read. The time-frame of the book covers Catherine’s early childhood up to the recent past, (approx 2012). The beginning of the book caught my attention right away. As she fleshes out each character in her childhood, I couldn’t help but get involved in her brutal and painful upbringing. As she gets older, the family dysfunction and abuse continues to be jaw-dropping and emotionally unjust- especially for Catherine. Because of the books quick and emotional start, I could not put the book down. I felt the book was told with honesty and raw vulnerability. Writing a book that uncovers all your guilty admissions and character defects is nothing short of an extended, but story ridden Step 4. A fearless moral inventory. When most people write out their Step 4 and tell another person about it, they then destroy the damning evidence. Not Catherine- she printed off thousands of copies for all to read. I must give her credit where it is due. I am scared to death for the day my book makes it to the printing press. Telling the world all of my deepest darkest secrets sounds as fun as walking around Wal-Mart butt-naked on a Saturday afternoon.

The book chapters were different from many other books I’ve read and I really liked how it was laid out in more of a sub-chapter format. The sub-chapters were short and I have always been a fan who cheered on shorter chapters.

There are a few times in the book where Catherine felt it was necessary to apologize for calling out (in the book- to the reader) her family for their terrible dysfunction. I didn’t think it was necessary just because I never once was on the side of her parents.The truth is her family structure was dysfunctional because of the parents. They are to blame for the abuse and the generational duplication of the dysfunction. That is not young Catherine’s fault, or her young siblings. I did not feel an apology was needed.

As the book begins to progress into Catherine’s addiction, she does a great job describing how easy it becomes to justify your actions in addiction. I related so closely with that in my own drug addiction and even some of my gambling experiences. That really made me stop and evaluate myself. It was a very powerful piece in the book for me.

Catherine’s story leads in to a key relationship which she is still in today. This relationship shows us that no matter how difficult life gets, the love that  binds relationships is essential for their ability to continue on. I thought the relationship dynamic was fascinating and well dialoged. I was hoping to eventually read more about this character’s background but it never came. It was probably left a bit on the thin side because it wouldn’t have been hugely relevant to her story. Maybe it was more of an interesting curiosity on my part.

At the climax of the story, it resembles a tornado, a volcano, and a tsunami playing shuffleboard in a trailer park. With the majority of the book dialog being in retrospect, it made the climax of the story a little less intense but maybe that is okay because I forgot to blink on a number of occasions.

Wrapping up the end of the book, I felt like Catherine still has some anger towards some of her past. Not just with her relationships, but her past situations as well. As an addict, I know for myself, anger, judgements, injustices, guilt and resentments are draining on my well-being so I hope she has resolved these issues and comes to terms with everything in her follow-up book. Catherine does a great job assisting readers in addiction help and assistance. Directing the readers to many different options for recovery. Where gambling is not seen by society as the big problem it is- like drug or alcohol addiction, she makes the case that that needs to change. The majority of cities around the world have some form of AA meeting or network of people but not so much for the problem gambler. Let’s help her spread the good love by recognizing the terrible stigma’s that seem so tightly wrapped around the neck of addiction. Let’s continue to speak the truth. Yell it from the rooftops!

I would recommend this book to everyone. Recommending it only to potential problem gambler’s would be a vast under-reaching of readership for this amazing and helpful material. I give it 5 stars. Great job Catherine!

5-STAR-RATING-300x300

5 Stars for Catherine Townsend-Lyon’s “Addicted to Dimes”

 

AFTERTHOUGHTS

I believe that society needs to stop normalizing abusive childhoods and stop making excuses for parents and people who are abusive to innocent and dependent children. If you were physically or mentally abused as a child, you can not justify what your mother or father did by saying “my parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had.” I am not speaking to only Catherine. We all need to know this. Saying our parents did the best they could is a cop-out excuse and justification for what ever abuse they did. If saying that means what they did is justified because they didn’t know any better, how the hell can a 3 or 4 year old know any better? Weren’t they acting and saying the only things you knew as an under developed and dependent 4 year old? We have unlimited excuses for the parents and have zero tolerance for the child. That is completely backwards from the way it should be. That is not a universal or even somewhat moral and it should not be used.

We must teach our children universal principles. If we don’t want your children growing up to become compulsive gamblers, a heroin addicts, prostitutes, meth addicts, etc.; we need to quit teaching them principles from the book of hierarchy. “I am the parent therefore you will listen. I am bigger, stronger, more dominant.” That is surrendering to pecking order and power. If we want our children to not hit, steal, yell, argue, abuse, use violence, drugs and misbehave then we must teach them universal principles. We will never teach non-violence to our children by spanking or hitting them. We cannot teach respect by yelling at them. If the principle is moral and just for our children, it must be moral and just for us as the parent. We always want to be exceptions to the rule. Just like congressmen or governments. Making rules and laws but exempting ourselves from these rules. Hmm, I see a pattern here.

There was a picture on Facebook the other day. It was of a man who was hitting a tiny kitten. It had over 1 million comments. In the comments it was clear that society was outraged at this man. Some were saying the man should be killed. Some were calling the man horrible and vulgar obscenities. The unanimous vote was that the man was hated, sick, deranged and needed large amounts of therapy at the least. Is it not sickening that we have more societal outrage and protective instincts towards cats than we do towards our children? Someone please explain to me how this happens. 60% of mother’s admit to spanking/hitting their children. Some as young as 7 months!

GENETICS OR ENVIRONMENTAL?medicine-163707_1280

Many people believe that addiction is a hereditary or genetic disease. “My father was an alcoholic therefore I will become an alcoholic”. There is a big difference between a predisposition that may trigger addiction and heredity. A predisposition to addiction can make a person more susceptible to addictive behaviors, however, there is strong evidence that addiction is being brought on by a child’s surrounding environment. I have blue eyes and a round nose because of genetics. That is something I cannot change. Believing that addiction is a genetic disease I would argue is a death sentence. It instantly removes all doubt and I might as well start shooting up heroin fresh out of the womb because it is my destiny. There is more money to be made with this approach to addictionplant-164500_1280 and there is strong arguments that backs this up. After-all, if society was to accept the environmental approach, they would have to actually do something. All of the unjust, unethical and immoral standards of hypocrisy would be ran through societies powerful ringer and we would have to stop hitting our children and teaching them such blatant hypocrisy. If we don’t want more drug addicted, alcoholic, compulsive gambling, mentally and emotionally unstable people in our society, then let’s just stop raising them. It’s really that simple.