Author Archives: Craig W

Petosky, Michigan, LifeRing Group Shows How It’s Done

A LifeRing meeting in a small Michigan town shows how it’s done when it comes to getting a little publicity. Petoskey, MI, population 5,700, has a pretty new LifeRing meeting and now is much better known in the community. An article in the Petoskey News highlights the new meeting and even has “LifeRing” in the headline. See the article here.

The Annual LifeRing Conference is Fast Approaching!

It’s time to get serious about planning to attend the LifeRing Annual Conference! It will be held from May 30 through June 1 in beautiful Santa Rosa, California. Hotels and motels fill up this time of year, so book now!

 

santa rosa

On Friday, the schedule contains a convenor workshop, a discussion of growing LifeRing, and a “LifeRing Selfie Festival” at the end of the day. It will take place at the Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St, at the corner of Sixth and Wilson Streets. Sunday events, also at the Arlene Francis Center, include the annual LifeRing Congress of Delegates, a Board workshop and Board meeting. All LifeRing members are invited to attend, of course.

arlene francis center

Arlene Francis Center, Santa Rosa, CA

Saturday’s events, the heart of the annual gathering, will be held at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave. in Santa Rosa. Saturday will feature a roster of speakers that is still being finalized — it will be announced soon.  The Saturday evening banquet will also be held at the Glaser Center.

We will be posting material about the details of the Conference soon on this website and in the blog.  Stay tuned. but reserve that weekend for LifeRing Secular Recovery as we try to turn the fabled “Wine Country” into the “Sobriety Country!”

Admission to the conference carries a suggested donation of $30, $10 for students. It’s a donation, not a fee, so nobody will be turned away. The Saturday evening banquet does have a fee — $26.

 

[this post has been edited to correct errors]

 

 

 

Obamacare has Much to Offer Addicts

obamacare2You may be tired of hearing about Obamacare (properly known as the Affordable Care Act), but there are some important provisions that will have a major impact on the treatment of addiction. For example, federal law requires, starting with 2014, that health insurance treat mental health and addiction treatment in the same way it treats physical problems and their treatment — no more arbitrary limits allowed on the number of visits to a therapist, for example.

Of course, the law also makes health insurance far more affordable and accessible for many and greatly boosts the availability of Medicaid in states that have accepted the changes.

The Fix, a news website covering addiction issues, has an article dealing with the changes. See it Here.

100 Americans Die Every Day from Drug Overdose

hoffmanPhillip Seymour Hoffman, the widely admired and award winning actor, died recently from a drug overdose. That got a lot of publicity and millions of people asked themselves how such a thing could happen to someone like that. Meanwhile, on that same day if it was average, 99 other people died in the same way without the public taking notice, or seeming to care. Overdose is the largest single cause of accidental death in America — beating out car crashes for that “honor.”

Here is an article from the Washington Post, a lengthy interview with a prominent psychiatrist and leading researcher in the field of addiction. There is much of interest in the article. An example, when the interviewer asks about private detox facilities, the response is scathing:

It’s such a horrible promise to hold out to desperate people and their families. By the way, those programs are usually cash-pay only. They promise to take away your addiction in two weeks but what they really take is your money….Some [very wealthy people] are checking into rehabs that don’t seem much different than luxury hotels. I suspect, actually, that you might get better care being a working class veteran, or someone who happens to live near a primary care doctor who has trained him or herself using buprenorphine than you would being a rich and famous person in that luxury tier of care.

The article is filled with much information and insight. See it Here.

 

AA Agnostica Features LifeRing

we agnosticsAn AA-related website is featuring an article from LifeRing Board of Directors member (and deputy Executive Director) Mahala Kephart. The article features a introductory quote from Martin Nicolaus’s book How Was Your Week. Here’s a brief excerpt from the article:

In LifeRing, we believe individuals can and must learn to stop ingesting addictive substances before worrying what to call themselves or wrestling with their religious or spiritual beliefs. In LifeRing we are united by the practice of a behavior — abstinence.  That we lived long enough to begin the recovery journey at all should probably be accorded more awe and respect than is our societal norm.

The website, at http://aaagnostica.org/ is from We Agnostics, a group of atheists and agnostics within AA.

At the same site, a recent article from the New York Times is featured, and it’s worth a read as well. The article examines the place of non-religious people in AA:

This meeting, as the parting phrase suggests [the article talks of a meeting ending with the phrase "Live and let live" rather than the Lord's Prayer], is one of a growing number within A.A. that appeal to nonreligious people in recovery, who might variously describe themselves as agnostics, atheists, humanists or freethinkers. While such groups were rare even a decade ago, now they number about 150 nationally. A first-ever convention will be held in November in Santa Monica, Calif.

See Mahala’s piece Here, and the New York Times piece, “Alcoholics Anonymous, Without the Religion” Here.

LifeRing, of course, is not anti-religion, it is simply non-religious, seeing addiction as a physical and psychological condition, not a spriitual one.

Be sure to look at the Comments under the LifeRing piece — they demonstrate a positive attitude towards LifeRing, at least in some of the comments, that we often don’t see in AA.

– Craig Whalley