Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Drink Spiking Danger

Drink spiking is the act of placing a drug into a drink without someone’s knowledge. It can be done with many different drugs with the evidence pointing to alcohol as the most popular. Many prescription drugs can be used as well as illicit drugs.

There can be many reasons for spiking a drink including as a prank,

  • to aid in sexual assault,
  • theft/ robbery or even
  • kidnapping.

This crime affects all sexes and ages, with 11% of victims being male. It is one of the most under reported crimes and therefore there is a lack of crucial data to be able to assess the true number of spiking incidents and drug facilitated crimes.

It can happen in any place where drinking occurs, in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, raves, clubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, even private house parties.

There are some basic rules that can be followed to help protect you from this cowardly act:

  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Watch you drink being poured
  • Don’t accept drinks from people you do not know or trust
  • Although a bottle may be harder to slip something into than a glass it is still not 100% safe watch your friends and their behaviour
  • Try not to go out alone If your drink doesn’t taste right, discard it


  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepenes : prescription drugs like xanax, valium, rohypnol.
  • Ketamine : a pharmaceutical liquid that is used in veterinary operations
  • GHB : a home made liquid made from cleaning chemicals and used recreationally (Fantasy).

Not all these drugs are suited to this crime if should the perpetrator wants to incapacitate another.

Many of the benzodiazepenes do not dissolve and will leave a residue on the bottom or floating on the top of the drink.

Hoffman La Roche, the manufacturers of Rohypnol, changed the formula to make this pill difficult to use by adding a green dye to it and making sure it is not soluable when added to alcohol. It is also one the most restricted drugs on the register making it very difficult to obtain.

Ketamine and GHB can be the drug of choice as they share many of the qualities necessary to make them appropriate for spiking:

  • they are both used recreationally so are therefore easily obtained
  • they both come in liquid or powder form they both put you in a semi comatose state
  • they are both synergistic with alcohol meaning the effects are magnified when used with alcohol
  • they both induce memory loss
  • they both leave the system within hours making them almost impossible to detect


If you believe you have been spiked,

  • find someone you trust and get to a safe place.
  • get a urine or blood sample as soon as possible and have it tested.
  • keep the suspect beverage is also a good idea if possible.
  • report the incident to the police who will need these items for evidence should you want to take action.
  • contact the local sexual assault centre for advice.

See also;

          The Rape Recovery Handbook: Step-By-Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault
by Aphrodite Matsakis

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Suspicion is Dark

Suspicion is like a pair of sunglasses - it makes all the world look dark.

Comments and silent responses overheard at an Al-anon or Adult Children of Alcoholics meeting.

  • "Deb, let's have lunch tomorrow." - Why would she want to have lunch with me?
  • "Pam, I tried to phone you today." - No you didn't, I was home almost all day.
  • "Larry, you sure are a kick!" - What did he mean by that?

When we suspect the motives of others, who have done nothing other than to make a friendly comment, we would do well to suspect that we are the one with the problem. When we recognize it's our insecurity at play here, we can begin to override the negative self-talk with positive talk.

At first we may have to force ourselves to reply, "Yes, I'd love to have lunch," or "Thank you," to a compliment. As our self-esteem grows it will become natural and genuine to assume people mean what they say.

I will try not to read negatives into comments by others.

"If you don't love yourself, nobody else will. Not only that - you won't be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self."

See also;


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Alcoholics have Tried Every Remedy

"We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there appear to be any kind of treatment which will make alcoholics of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may yet one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet."

From the chapter "More About Alcoholism"

(c) Alcoholics Anonymous Fourth Edition 2001, pgs. 30-31

See also;

Addictive Thinking, Second Edition: Understanding Self-Deception

Addictive Thinking, Second Edition: Understanding Self-Deception

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

6 Gamblers

1 - Professional gamblers make their living by gambling and thus consider it a profession. They are skilled in the games they choose to play and are able to control both the amount of money and time spent gambling. Thus, professional gamblers are not addicted to gambling. They patiently wait for the best bet and then try to win as much as they can.

2 - In contrast to professional gamblers, antisocial or personality gamblers use gambling as a way to get money by illegal means. They are likely to be involved in fixing horse or dog races, or playing with loaded dice or marked cards. They may attempt to use a compulsive gambling diagnosis as a legal defence.

3 - Casual social gamblers gamble for recreation, sociability and entertainment. For them, gambling may be a distraction or a form of relaxation. Gambling does not interfere with family, social or vocational obligations. Examples of such betting are the occasional poker game, Super Bowl bets, a yearly trip to Las Vegas and casual involvement in the lottery.

4 - In contrast, serious social gamblers invest more of their time in gambling. Gambling is a major source of relaxation and entertainment, yet these individuals place gambling second in importance to family and vocation. This type of gambler could be compared to a "golf nut," whose source of relaxation comes from playing golf. Serious social gamblers still maintain control over their gambling activities.

5 - The fifth type, relief and escape gamblers, gamble to find relief from feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, boredom or loneliness. They use gambling to escape from crisis or difficulties. Gambling provides an analgesic effect rather than a euphoric response. Relief and escape gamblers are not compulsive gamblers. They are identical to relief and escape drinkers.

6 - Compulsive gamblers have lost control over their gambling. For them, gambling is the most important thing in their lives. Compulsive gambling is a progressive addiction that harms every aspect of the gambler’s life. As they continue to gamble, their families, friends and employers are negatively affected. In addition, compulsive gamblers may engage in activities ­ such as stealing, lying or embezzling ­ which go against their moral standards. Compulsive gamblers cannot stop gambling, no matter how much they want to or how hard they try.

By Robert L. Custer, M.D.

See also;

Don't Leave It to Chance: A Guide for Families of Problem Gamblers A Way to Quit Gambling: (For Problem Gamblers)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sober Companions

Everyday people in recovery often turn to support groups or an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) sponsor when they face a possible relapse, but some celebrities and other wealthy addicts are turning to paid "sober companions" to help maintain their sobriety, the New York Times reported April 15.

Sober companions like Ronnie Kaplan, a former addict and ex-con, can earn fees of up to $1,000 per day for their services. "I get there and I sit him down and relax his mind," Kaplan said of his interaction with one wealthy client. "I ask him ’What brought this on?’ It’s always something." Kaplan said he will even search the client’s home for drugs if he thinks it is warranted.

Some sober companions become part of a celebrity’s entourage, like a personal trainer or life coach. But demand for their services is increasingly coming from outside the entertainment business, including CEOs in recovery.

"Anybody who’s returning to their life after rehab needs added structure and support in that transitioning phase," said Nanette Zumwalt, owner of Hired Power, a California company that employs 70 sober companions in 15 states.

Ron Hunsicker, president of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, said the recent growth in high-end treatment programs has helped feed the growth of the sober-companion profession. Patients discharged from exclusive treatment programs often are referred to sober companions who help with discharge plans and followup care. "It’s another option, particularly for high risk, relapse people," said Hunsicker.

Robert Tyler, president of the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, said sober companions can help people in recovery but added, "There’s no regulation, no accountability." And at least one client says that the role of sober companions should be limited. "I don’t think you need a sober companion for six months," said the client, a lawyer from Boston who spent $650 per day for a sober companion who stayed with her for four days after she left a Utah treatment program. "You have to take responsibility for your own recovery."

From; Join Together Online

See also;

The Miracle of Sponsorship: Recovery Stories of Hope and Renewal (Carry the Message)

The Miracle of Sponsorship: Recovery Stories of Hope and Renewal (Carry the Message)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Alcohol side effects

The Food and Drug Administration is considering additional warnings on beer and alcohol bottles, such as:

  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an a-hole.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to SMASH YOUR HEAD IN.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at 4 in the morning.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your pants.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and or name you can’t remember).
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, handsomer and smarter than some really, really big guy named Chuck.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause an influx in the time-space continuum, whereby small (and sometimes large) gaps of time may seem to literally disappear".
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy.

If it wasn`t so true it might be funny!!

Love First: A New Approach to Intervention for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction (A Hazelden Guidebook) (Hezelden Guidebook)

See also;

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

'Admit It' Paradox

  • Admit to being frightened, and your courage will grow.
  • Admit to not knowing, and you will learn.
  • Admit your weaknesses, and you’ll become stronger.
  • Admit your mistakes, and you’ll begin to move past them.
  • Admit you don’t know what to say, and you’ll have said just the right thing.
  • Admit that you’re confused, and you’ll begin to understand.
  • Admit that you’re hurting, and you’ll begin to heal.
  • Admit that you care, and the things that truly matter will grow stronger.

Being honest with yourself, with others and in life, can often be difficult and intimidating. Yet honesty is always the most reliable, the most direct route to truly attain whatever you seek.

Any attempt to deceive will ultimately end up wasting your precious time. Live the truth of who you are, and it will bring out the best you can be.

A Paradox

We SURRENDER TO WIN. On the face of it, surrendering certainly does not seem like winning. But it is in Alcoholics Anonymous. Only after we have come to the end of our rope, hit a stone wall in some aspect of our lives beyond which we can go no further; only when we hit ’bottom’ in despair and surrender, can we accomplish sobriety which we could never accomplish before. We must, and we do, surrender in order to win.

See also;

Radical Therapy: Surrender to Love and Heal Yourself in Seven Sessions (Not Seven Years)

Radical Therapy: Surrender to Love and Heal Yourself in Seven Sessions (Not Seven Years)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Top Posts for March 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

ADHD a Risk Factor for Alcoholism

A pair of new studies adds weight to the theory that children who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are at higher risk of problem drinking during adolescence and alcoholism later in life.

"Children with ADHD are believed to be at risk for alcoholism because of their impulsivity and distractibility, as well as other problems that often accompany ADHD such as school failure and behavior problems," said Brooke Molina of the University of Pittsburgh, corresponding author for both studies.

In one study, researchers found that 15- to 17-years olds with childhood ADHD reported being drunk an average of 14 times during the previous year, compared to 1.8 times for adolescents without ADHD. Fourteen percent of the ADHD group was classified as alcohol abusers or alcohol dependent, but none of the youths in the non-ADHD group were.

"It appears that one of the reasons for the past inconsistencies in research is that the ADHD-alcohol relationship does not become solid until at least mid-adolescence," said Stephen Hinshaw, professor and chair of the department of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. "Later on, it may be that only a subset of kids with ADHD -- namely, those with more aggressive or antisocial behavior patterns -- are at risk by young adulthood."

Researchers added that parental alcoholism and family stress add to the alcoholism risk for children with ADHD. "One of the reasons that children with ADHD might be at risk for alcohol problems is that alcoholism and ADHD tend to run together in families," said Molina. "We found that parental alcoholism predicted heavy problem drinking among the teenagers, that the association was partly explained by higher rates of stress in these families, and these connections were stronger when the adolescent had ADHD in childhood. So, the bottom line is that when the child has ADHD and the parent has suffered from alcoholism, either currently or in the past, the child will have an increased risk for alcohol problems himself or herself."

The studies were published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

References: Marshal, M.P. Molina, B.S.G., Pelham, W.E., Cheong, J. (2007) Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Moderates the Life Stress Pathway to Alcohol Problems in Children of Alcoholics. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(4): 564-574;
Molina, B.S.G., et al. (2007) Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Risk for Heavy Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder Is Age Specific. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(4): 643-654;

10 Days to a Less Defiant Child: The Breakthrough Program for Overcoming Your Child's Difficult Behavior

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Addicts and Alcoholics Suffer Sexual Abuse

The objective of this study in Canada was to examine the effects of sexual abuse on substance use patients’ presentation and course in treatment.

Consecutive admissions to an addictions service were assessed at intake and six-month follow-up. Assessments evaluated socio-demographic and psychiatric characteristics, addiction severity, and physical and/or sexual abuse histories.

Upon entering treatment, 23% reported prior sexual abuse with or without physical abuse.

Patients with a sexual abuse history had higher rates of psychological problems, stronger family histories of substance use disorders, and more impaired family relationships.

At six months, there were no differences between patients with and without sexual abuse histories in their response to treatment, or their utilization of treatment services.

Dara A. Charney; Jorge Palacios-Boix; Kathryn J. Gill, Sexual Abuse and the Outcome of Addiction Treatment. American Journal on Addictions, Volume 16, Issue 2 March 2007 , pages 93 - 100

See also;

The Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (paperback)

Beat Gambling Addiction

How can I overcome my addiction to gambling?

If you are grappling with this addiction, seek professional treatment. Once you admit and address the problem, other pieces of your life will fall back into place.

According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment for compulsive gambling is similar to therapies for other forms of addiction. Your doctor or mental health professional may use these approaches:

Psychotherapy in the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on identifying unhealthy, irrational and negative beliefs and having you replace them with healthy, positive ones.

Group therapy that enables an addict to tap into the advice, feedback and support from other people on how to deal with a gambling addiction.

Gamblers Anonymous provides self-help peer support and a 12-step program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. For people who are uncertain whether they have a gambling problem, Gamblers Anonymous publishes a list of 20 questions as a screening tool and provides a list of local chapters.

Residential treatment programs organized and staffed to provide both general and specialized non-hospital-based interdisciplinary services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Residential treatment programs provide environments in which assistance is provided by personnel trained in the delivery of services for those with behavioral health disorders or related problems.

Inpatient treatment programs providing coordinated and integrated services in hospital settings. Inpatient treatment is provided 24 hours, 7 days a week, and there are daily therapeutic activities in which patients participate. The goal of inpatient treatment is to provide a protective environment that includes medical stabilization, support, treatment for psychiatric or addictive disorders, and supervision.

Counseling by a Certified Gambling Counselor who has completed a specific course of study in problem gambling treatment and has been certified by either:

A national accreditation organization (National Gambling Counselor Certification Board-NCGC; American Gambling Counselor Certification Board-CCGC; or American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders-CAS); OR

A state certification organization that requires a minimum of 30 hours of problem gambling specific training and a period of direct (supervisor personal contact) supervision related to treating addicted gambler.

Crisis stabilization is very important at the beginning of treatment, because pathological gamblers have a much higher suicide rate than persons addicted to other substances or activities. Therefore, loved ones should be especially aware of the desperation phase of the disease, and monitor the gambler closely.

Compulsive gamblers often have other addictions simultaneously, such as drug and alcohol abuse, compulsive shopping and bulimia. The addictive gambler may be harder to treat than someone with only one addiction, because he or she may “switch addictions” and therefore leave the addictive personality traits untreated.

See also;

          Gambling Addiction: The Problem, the Pain and the Path to Recovery
by John M. Eades

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