Friday, May 30, 2008

Codependent Bill of Rights

In a codependent-alcoholic relationship, individual human rights are not respected, and this is the primary devastating factor to families dealing with alcoholism. This article outlines a code of basic human rights applicable to the non-alcoholic.

You and your children have:

  • THE RIGHT TO a loving and secure relationship based on healthy mutual dependence;
  • THE RIGHT TO peace and harmony in your home;
  • THE RIGHT TO a stable, secure, and nurturing environment conducive to personal growth and self-discovery;
  • THE RIGHT TO a healthy self-concept, knowing you are worthy, valued, and loved;
  • THE RIGHT TO human dignity; to be respected and treated as an individual human being, and not be put down, demoralized, and dehumanised;
  • THE RIGHT TO not live a life of “always waiting for the other shoe to drop,” never knowing whether it will be a soft slipper or steel-toed work boot;
  • THE RIGHT TO a life free of the fear of emotional terrorism, physical abuse, and constant arguing;
  • THE RIGHT TO a life free of nightmares, day terrors, and insecurity;
  • THE RIGHT TO a life free of guilt and shame, and freedom from manipulation through guilt and shame;
  • THE RIGHT TO not be emotionally drained and “all used up” from the rigor's of a codependent-alcoholic relationship;
  • THE RIGHT TO use any possible means (short of physical assault) to positively change your own circumstances;
  • THE RIGHT TO leave a physically abusive alcoholic relationship immediately and without advance notice to the alcoholic;
  • THE RIGHT TO leave any relationship that is not healthy and not actively improving;
  • THE RIGHT TO not live life on a roller coaster, going from one alcoholic crisis to another;
  • THE RIGHT TO go to work or school without dragging all the baggage of codependent-alcoholic dysfunction.

See also;

Spiritual Connections: How to Find Spirituality Throughout All the Relationships in Your Life

Spiritual Connections: How to Find Spirituality Throughout All the Relationships in Your Life

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Troubled Drinking of a Friend

Millions of people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. The following twenty questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you need Al-Anon:

  1. Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?

  2. Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking?

  3. Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking?

  4. Do you feel that if the drinker loved you, he or she would stop drinking, to please you?

  5. Do you blame the drinker’s behavior on his or her companions?

  6. Are plans frequently upset, or cancelled, or meals delayed because of the drinker?

  7. Do you make threats, such as, "If you don’t stop drinking, I’ll leave you"?

  8. Do you secretly try to smell the drinker’s breath?

  9. Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout?

  10. Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker’s behavior?

  11. Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking?

  12. Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse?

  13. Do you search for hidden alcohol?

  14. Do you often ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking?

  15. Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?

  16. Do you sometimes feel like a failure when you think of the lengths you have gone to control the drinker?

  17. Do you think that, if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?

  18. Do you ever threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker?

  19. Do you feel angry, confused or depressed most of the time?

  20. Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems?

If you have answered ’yes’ to three or more of these questions, Al-Anon or Alateen may help. You can contact Al-Anon or Alateen by looking in your local telephone directory or by searching the web for Al-Anon Family Groups.

See also;

Facing Addiction: Three true stories (The Townsend Library)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Injured Fantasies

Many people have dysfunctional beliefs.

Not all of these are in one person but if there is a great many then that person may be dysfunctional. Alcoholics, addicts, codependents and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA’s) may identify.

Some of these dysfunctional beliefs are;

  • That I can control my emotions.

  • That I can control someone else’s emotions or actions or thoughts.

  • That I deserve:

  • . . .to get something good.

  • . . .to get something bad.

  • . . .to be punished for mistakes.

  • . . .to be rewarded for perfection.

  • . . .to be rewarded for good behaviour, intentions, thoughts, feelings, whatever.

  • That I can "make" sense out of anything.

  • That I am responsible for

  • . . .for achieving other peoples success.

  • . . .for other people’s feelings, thoughts or actions.

  • That I am not responsible for my own actions; that it is all someone else’s fault.

  • That my feelings have to be acted on. (e.g., when I’m afraid, I should attack or flee.)

  • That I can solve other people’s problems; or that they can solve mine.

  • That wishing or wanting equals doing.

  • That I am capable of a "perfect action."

  • That if I do something somebody doesn’t like, even if that person is totally unreasonable, I am bad.

  • That if only I had the right tools, I could do it right.

  • That if I do nothing about it; if I can erase myself or disappear; the problem will go away.

  • That I have to be careful not to make other people angry.

  • That lying changes reality.

  • That other people’s expectations of me have to be lived up to.

  • That if only I do the right thing, everything will turn out okay.

  • That if only I think the right thoughts, everything will turn out okay.

  • That if only I feel the right feelings, everything will turn out okay.

  • That those who hurt me deserve to be punished for their "sins," and if God doesn’t punish them, I should.

  • That I can punish someone by hurting myself.

  • That if I am "weak" (vulnerable, helpless, needing assistance), then I am just like my dad/mom who I had to care for as a child.

  • That if I sit and do nothing in my chair, I am useless.

  • That I am "wrong," "imperfect," or "not the way I’m supposed to be."

  • That my guilt is the right way of defining myself.

  • That my charm is the right way of defining myself for other people.

  • That I can not talk and still get better.

  • That. . . . . . . . .

See also;

Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family

Compulsive Overeater?

This series of questions may help you determine if you are a compulsive overeater. Many members of Overeaters Anonymous have found that they have answered yes to many of these questions.

  • Do you eat when you’re not hungry?

  • Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?

  • Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?

  • Do you give too much time and thought to food?

  • Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?

  • Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?

  • Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?

  • Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?

  • Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?

  • Do you resent others telling you to "use a little willpower" to stop overeating?

  • Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet "on your own" whenever you wish?

  • Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than mealtime?

  • Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?

  • Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?

  • Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?

See also;

Twelve Steps For Overeaters Anonymous: An Interpretation Of The Twelve Steps Of Overeaters AnonymousCompulsive Overeater: The Basic Text for Compulsive Overeaters

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What is Drink Spiking

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.

Adapted from an article by Dean Sunshine

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

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The St Francis of Assisi Prayer

Lord, make me a channel for thy peace –

that where there is hatred, I may bring love –

that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness –

that where there is discord, I may bring harmony –

that where there is error, I may bring truth –

that where there is doubt, I may bring faith –

that where there is despair, I may bring hope –

that where there are shadows, I may bring light –

that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather –

to comfort than to be comforted –

to understand, than to be understood –

to love, than to be loved

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.


No matter where I am in my spiritual growth, the St. Francis prayer helps me improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding.I think that one of the great advantages of my faith in God is that I do not understand Him, or Her, or It.It may be that my relationship with my Higher Power is so fruitful that I do not have to understand.All that I am certain of is that if I work the Eleventh Step regularly, as best I can, I will continue to improve my conscious contact, I will know His will for me, and I will have the power to carry it out.

Alcoholics Anonymous > Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions, p. 99

See also;

Finding God's Will for You

Finding God’s Will for You

Friday, May 2, 2008

Women and Twins can Inherit Alcoholism

Men have a four times greater chance of being an alcoholic if their fathers are alcoholic. That’s been known for a long time.

Now we know that women also can inherit alcoholic genes.

A long held myth is that women’s conditioning as women is more likely to protect some of them from developing alcoholism even though they have parents who are alcoholic.

Also, twins who have an alcoholic identical twin are much more likely to be alcoholic themselves than are twins who had an alcoholic fraternal twin (from different eggs). This is equally true in women and in men.

More surprisingly, men who have an alcoholic twin sister have very high rates of alcoholism.

It has also been found that women with an alcoholic identical twin sister are six times more likely to be alcohol dependent than other women.

Nonidentical twins, who are not more alike genetically than ordinary sisters, are three times more likely to be alcohol dependent if their twin had a drinking problem.

"It used to be believed that depression predicted increased risk of alcohol problems in women, whereas a history of childhood behavior problems predicted alcoholism risk in men.

We found that depression is a potent predictor for alcohol dependence in both men and women," said Heath, one of the researchers. "A history of behavior problems also is as strong a predictor in women than in men -- slightly more powerful in women, in fact."

Heath hopes the study will serve as a warning sign for women who know they have alcoholic relatives. "Our hope is that our research will refocus attention on alcohol problems in women, particularly women at genetic risk with relatively mild alcohol problems that often go undetected by families and physicians," he said.

"Often, these people don’t get treatment -- until it is too late. Despite what people used to believe about differences in the causes of alcoholism in women and men, it is the similarities rather than the differences that are most striking. As increasing numbers of young women drink heavily, rates of alcoholism in women are likely to increase."

Heath AC, Bucholz KK, Madden PAF, Dinwiddie SH, Slutske WS, Bierut LJ, Statham DJ, Dunne MP, Whitfield JB, Martin NG. "Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Alcohol Dependence Risk in a National Twin Sample -- Consistency of Findings in Women and Men". Psychological Medicine. 27(6):1381-1396, 1997 November.

See also;