Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bridging the Communication Gap with your Teen
Posted by:Jenn--Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thanks to Mary Canary for sharing this article about talking with your teenager.

Psychologist and author Dr. James Dobson tells parents that the teenage years can be filled with uncomfortable silences. He writes, “the same kid who used to talk a mile a minute and ask a million questions has now reduced his vocabulary to nine monosyllabic phrases- "I dunno," "Maybe," "I forget," "Huh?" "No!" "Nope," "Yeah," "Who--me?" and "He did it." Giving teens non-threatening opportunities to talk is the key to conversation.

Read the rest of this article by clicking here.

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The Link between Struggle & Codependency
Posted by:Jenn--Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared in the cocoon.
The man sat and watched the butterfly 

for several hours as it struggled
to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped
as if it couldn't go any further.

So the man decided
to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and snipped
off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge 

and expand enough to support the body.
Neither happened.

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
crawling around.
It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand:
The restricting cocoon
and the struggle required by the butterfly 
to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings
so that it would be ready for flight.

Life is full of struggles.  These struggles hone our skills and make us strong. If we enable someone else, we take away these challenges, and unknowingly perpetuate codependency.  We may be well-meaning, but our good intentions rarely result in good outcomes. 

It is painful to watch a loved one struggle with drugs, alcohol, and/or life's daily challenges. However, it’s not our job to solve their problems.  It is their job. Our job is to stand by in support and love.

Thanks to "Mike & Carol" for recommending this story!

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Posted by:Jenn--Tuesday, March 11, 2014

There will be a public meeting of the Allegheny County Drug and Alcohol Planning Council on Wednesday, March 12 at 5:00 p.m. at the Allegheny County Human Services Building, One Smithfield St, Pittsburgh, PA. 

Guest speakers on the topic of Vivitrol will be Dr. Chris Davis, practitioner from York, PA and Joanne Komer from Alkermes (the biopharmaceutical company that makes Vivitrol).  Vivitrol is a prescription injectable medicine used to treat opioid and alcohol dependence.  

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Heroin Use is on the Rise
Posted by:Jenn--Saturday, March 08, 2014

Thanks to Mary Canary for sharing the link to a Diane Rehm radio show segment titled “What’s Behind The Sharp Rise In Heroin Use In The U.S.”  By clicking here , you can either listen to the show or read the full transcript. 

Below are some excerpts from the show’s transcript.  In this show, host Diane Rehm interviews Dr. Wilson Compton (deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health), Barry Meier (author of "Painkiller: A Wonder Drug's Trail of Addiction and Death"), and Jeff Deeney (a social worker and recovering heroin addict).


 . . . heroin's one of the most addictive substances that we know. All substances that are abused can be addictive. It's remarkable that people don't think marijuana's addictive, and yet something like 9 percent of people that start smoking marijuana will end up being addicted to it. For heroin, it's more like about a quarter from the studies that we've seen so far.

   . . . over time people develop a habit to that, so they enjoy it. And they want to do it again. So what we find is that the behavior patterns get set up over and over. People form memories, and their judgment changes. Their decision making changes. So they make decisions that they never would've made elsewhere in their lives because of the drug seeking and the pleasure that these drugs start out with.

. . .  there are cross effects among the different substances. It's not at all unusual for a heroin addict to also have problems with stimulants like cocaine or amphetamine. And alcohol would be very typical. We also see tobacco use being an extraordinarily common addiction among substance users. And it turns out that the tobacco is what will kill an awful lot of them.


Well, unfortunately, heroin overdose is remarkably easy, and it's unexpected. Very few people intentionally are trying to kill themselves.  So they use either a larger quantity, or heroin may be mixed with other substances that can make it more potent and more likely to stop your breathing.   . . . Fortunately, if medical care can be received at that time, there are potent blockers of opioid receptors . . . that can reverse the effects within seconds and wake people up.

Relapse & Recovery:

But what happens when people relapse are a number of factors. It can be stress in their lives, whether that's social stress or emotional stress or physical stress.   One of the main predictors of relapse though is sampling the drug itself. So people think, oh, I'll just have one, and that might be safe. But it turns out that even a very low dosage can prime the body and prime the brain to want more and more.

So what would you say to someone out there who is currently in recovery, but tempted?  I would say to reach out and use whatever your networks of recovery support are.  . . .  rely on the people that you have in recovery to go to meetings, to seek support, to share what you’re feeling. 

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