From Illinois to the Caribbean – Treatment Centers Evolve


1879. Dr. Leslie Keeley, who had studied alcoholic soldiers while serving as a Union Army surgeon, founded the Keeley Institute in a small wood frame building in Dwight, Illinois. He claimed his new discovery, Double Chloride of Gold Remedies, to be administered by four daily injections, would cure “inebriety, tobaccoism and neurasthenia.” Many cures were promoted toward the end of the 19th century as the country moved toward prohibition. None was as famous – or controversial – as Dr. Keeley’s “gold remedy.” It is believed that more than half a million alcoholics and addicts took the Keeley Cure between 1880 … Continue reading

Kindness Matters


Unite4:Good (U4G) has created a global platform dedicated to inspire, innovate and drive grassroots kindness. Our goal is to build a community where we lay the foundation to empower individuals to perform acts of kindness as part of their day-to-day lives, because we believe that true happiness can be attained by practicing intentional kindness both to ourselves and others. In October 2015, we will launch our platform dedicated to providing positive content and opportunities to make a difference. Leading up to our launch, we are kicking off our #WhereKindnessCounts Competition to encourage and reward people for doing acts of kindness. … Continue reading

EGO Reduction: The change nobody wants to make (least of all me)


Recently a good friend posted a great video on my Facebook wall. It showed a concept of a personal aircraft and it was soooo cool. Here’s the deal: I’m pretty sure I’d kill myself in such a machine, regardless of any high-tech safety features it might afford (and it’s doubtful that I could even afford to buy it, anyway.) Small aircraft are inherently dangerous to fly, because there are too many variables to simplify the process. It’s especially difficult to fly at night or in crappy weather conditions. The old adage with small aircraft goes something like this: “If you … Continue reading

Tell Me A Story


“The story – from Rumplestiltskin to War and Peace – is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind for the purpose of understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” – — Ursula K. Le Guin I have always loved stories. I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror that fronted the medicine cabinet holding all the medical supplies for our one bathroom family while my mom “set” my hair. She took a small hank of hair, dampened it with her … Continue reading

From the Publisher: collecting moments

Julia picture of her

When you live long enough you collect moments —like a waterfall pools at the end of its descent. Or a nebula gathers more dust and gases. You collect awkward moments like your first French kiss. Walking down the hallway at work or school and discovering the 4-foot trail of toilet paper fastened to the underside of your right shoe. Or stopping at a friend’s house in the midst of a dinner party that – oops — you weren’t invited to. You collect serene moments. Like listening really hard on a still dark winter night and hearing the susurration of snowflakes … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Searching for relevance in the wake of Cecil’s death

 Mr. Goodwell Nzou garnered much attention from his New York Times opinion piece, In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions (August 4, 2015). He presented a condescending response to those who roared with anger or grief at the reported illegal slaying of an African lion who became much more famous in death than during his life. “Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people?” Nzou challenged. Most of us found out about Cecil at the same time we learned that Walter Palmer had allegedly lured him out of a protected area and hunted him down. And … Continue reading

Duped in Love: When your spouse mysteriously turns into someone you don’t know

John Driggs

“The heart already knows what the mind has yet to perceive” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery Life is hard enough when we and our partners go through life changes. We change careers. We are faced by major health challenges. We age and cannot do what we used to do. All of these normal life stresses pale in comparison to learning that our beloved life mate of so many years is really not the person we thought he or she was. Discovering a secret life in a spouse, facing relationship-threatening changes or simply watching our partner become a mysterious remote stranger is … Continue reading

Treatment Programs

Fill in the blanks: Where do/does ________ I/my partner/child/friend/relative go for help with _______ my/his/ her __________ addiction/mental health needs/co-occurring disorder? The options are ____________confusing/mind boggling/ daunting. A first step toward getting recovery and mental health services often begins with a phone call. From there, an intervention may be appropriate. Or a meeting with a chemical health assessor or psychologist. The information gleaned from such a professional will help inform the next steps. Financial considerations, medical and psychological histories, and willingness to make a commitment to change play vital roles in determining next steps. These professionals also will discuss with … Continue reading

Awakening Leadership: Embracing Mindfulness, Your Life’s Purpose, and the Leader You Were Born to Be


By Christine Horner In The Garden Publishing Are you a leader? Not just in your home or with friends and family, but in the work place? Horner believes that everyone has an “essential role to play in leading humanity toward a new era of true equality and prosperity.” She introduces readers to the New Leadership Blueprint which is a move from the traditional approach of leadership to a framework that supports living on purpose. There are 30 points to it, such as, “Joy uplifts surrounding energy levels” and “Cultivating mindfulness creates non-judgmental spaciousness.” She experienced this paradigm shift of character-based … Continue reading

Unwelcome Inheritance: Break Your Family’s Cycle of Addictive Behaviors


By Lisa Sue Woititz and Dr. Janet G. Woititz Hazelden Publishing Readers may recognize Dr. Janet Woititz’s name. She is the author of Adult Children of Alcoholics, a book written in the 1980’s, which started the ACoA recovery movement. Although she passed away in 1994, her daughter Lisa, using her mother’s previous and unpublished work including lecture notes and other written material, provides additional information about the cycle of addiction and addictive behaviors as well as insights and strategies to stop repeating the destructive cycle. The book describes the common characteristics of individuals who grew up with alcoholic/addicted parents and … Continue reading

Fly-Fishing – The Sacred Art: Casting a Fly as a Spiritual Practice


By Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer and Rev. Michael Attas, MD SkyLight Paths Publishing The book provide paired essays from Rabbi Eric: Stream and Spirit and Reverend Mike: Fishing into the Mystery, which reflect the authors’ diverse backgrounds; one is a Rabbi and the other is an Episcopal priest and physician. Their common ground is identified in the topics they write about which include fly-fishing, and fly-tying, and fishing rods, and the various fish and rivers they fished, as well as nature and the spirituality of experiencing life on the trout streams. They both fill their reflective stories with historical facts. Folks … Continue reading

Interview with Your Self: Be Inner-Wise, Resolve Life’s Problems


By Mercedes Tur Escriva Balboa Press Tur Escriva asks, “Why are we creating this reality?” and then she helps the reader to “get clear on what is an illusion and what is real.” She describes the three different levels of looking at the same situation: the level of the body (material); the mind (logical process); and the level of the soul (wise self). She provides step-by-step instructions to help the reader understand how thinking can obstruct vision. Readers learn how their internal world creates the external world. Interview questions include the topics of physical self, thoughts and beliefs, and spirituality. … Continue reading

The White House Honors Pioneer in Addiction Treatment & Rehabilitation Advocacy

Harriet Rossetto and Michael Botticelli, director, National Drug Control Policy. Photo courtesy of The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Founder of Beit T’Shuvah, Harriet Rossetto, is recognized as a national leader for her work treating addiction A ceremony on May 20, 2015 at the White House honored Harriet Rossetto, founder of Beit T’Shuvah (Bate-t’shoo-vah), as an “Advocate for Action.” Rossetto was selected as a national role model for the unique approach to addiction prevention, rehabilitation and educational programs offered through her residential treatment center. She graciously accepted the award from National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli. “I am pleased to honor the work Harriet Rossetto is doing to make our communities healthier and safer,” said Botticelli. “By promoting … Continue reading

What’s in a Word


The past-tense word recovered is used in several places in the beginning of the book of Alcoholics Anonymous. This was pointed out to me in early sobriety, and in my mind, indicated that if I worked the 12-steps with a sponsor, and service work became a part of my life, that I too will be recovered. I also thought as my life improved and the obsession to drink was taken away that recovered meant that the obsession wouldn’t ever return. I was wrong. In early 2006, I left a relationship of four years when I found out my fiancé was … Continue reading

One Excruciating Minute at a Time

Emily Roiphe Carter

“Pain is mandatory–suffering optional” goes one of the many folksy sayings woven through the 12-Step fabric. This has some basis in literal fact. Neurologists have long known that the sensation of pain and our experience of that sensation as something awful are generated in different structures of the forebrain. However, since being alive requires that different places and structures in our brains create one felt experience, pain and suffering are usually linked. What the saying means is “don’t wallow,” which is reasonable. Even so, sometime in our sober lives we will be hit with a lightning bolt of pain we … Continue reading