Category Archives: Organization

New Study Suggests New Hope for Choice in Recovery!

 

By Craig Whalley

A new study just released in the respected “Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment” (JSAT) offers firm support for LifeRing’s approach to recovery support. The study, conducted by Dr. Sarah Zemore and others from the Emeryville, California-based Alcohol Recovery Group, used a series of member surveys to provide comparisons between LifeRing, SMART Recovery, and Women for Sobriety (WFS), using criteria and methodology much like those used in studies of 12-step programs.

Some of the most encouraging language comes from the study’s carefully-worded Conclusion: “Results suggest differences across 12-step groups and their alternatives that may be relevant when advising clients and a choice of mutual help group. Meanwhile, findings for high levels of participation, satisfaction, and cohesion among members of the mutual help alternatives [emphasis ours] suggest promise for these groups in addressing addiction problems.”

In other words, treatment providers, whose first and only impulse often is to urge all clients to attend 12-step programs, should consider suggesting the alternative groups on an equal footing or at the very least for those clients resistant to the quasi-religious and strongly-regimented approach of 12-step groups. In all 3 so-called “alternative” groups, members demonstrated at least the same level of success as has been measured in AA programs.

A summary of the study can be viewed here. The complete study currently lives behind JSAT’s pay-wall and can be purchased from them for $35.95, but we hope to be able to put it on our website soon. If that’s not possible, then we’ll at least offer as many more details about it as we can.

Of course, the fact that LSR is shown to work very well for many members comes as no surprise to those members! But the larger recovery community, especially including the medical professionals and treatment providers, have often resisted offering multiple paths to sobriety, either out of ignorance or from a firm conviction that “AA is the only way”.

The study shows convincingly that such resistance is misguided. One study is unlikely to change things quickly, but it is certainly a major step forward in legitimizing LifeRing and other secular recovery groups.

 

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2016 Election Results Are In!

The 2016 LifeRing election is complete, and here are the results:

Three seats on the LifeRing Board of Directors were open for three-year terms. Three candidates were on the ballot. All three candidates were approved by the LifeRing general delegation. The effect of Instant Runoff Voting tabulation results in each candidate receiving 100% of the vote cast.

The candidates elected in alphabetical order are George Gidora from LifeRing Canada, Harold Marquez from LifeRing Sacramento, and Rob Mullally from LifeRing San Diego.

The amendment to section 6.12. was approved. The new language modifies the existing language as follows: “If a Board member is absent from three or more board meetings in any twelve-month period, or persistently and substantially acts in a way that injures the good name of the organization, the remaining directors, upon giving at least thirty days written notice and opportunity to be heard, by their unanimous vote may remove that director from the Board.

The amendment to section 5.4.1. was approved. The new language modifies the existing language as follows: “Each delegate’s name, contact information, and basis of eligibility for serving as a delegate shall be registered with the Registrar, who will set the registration deadline; this will be published three months in advance of Congress.

We’re thrilled to have all three new BOD members aboard – welcome George, Harold, and Rob – and we thank all who participated in the election process and everyone for their patience in awaiting the results.

For more information, please check out our official Congress page here.

 

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New LifeRing Meeting at Laguna Honda Hospital In San Francisco!

Laguna Honda Hospital

LifeRing is proud and pleased as punch to announce a new meeting, open to patients and the public, at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco beginning next Wednesday, July 6th. Every new meeting is a big deal to us, but this meeting has especially important story behind it we’d like to tell you about, as well.

Per the meeting’s convenor, LifeRing Board of Directors Chair Byron Kerr:

“The exciting thing about this is that the City of San Francisco invited LifeRing to begin this meeting, which sends an implicit endorsement of LifeRing support to the recovery world. Laguna Honda Hospital, which is owned and operated by the Department of Public Health of the City & County of San Francisco, invited LifeRing to begin support meetings at the hospital in April of 2015. After more than a year of discussion, access badging, volunteer orientation, and interviews from both perspectives, we are ready to start.”

Check out the meeting information below:

When: Wednesdays at 7:30 PM, beginning on July 6th

WhereLaguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, 1st Floor Art Studio, 375 Laguna Honda Blvd. San Francisco , CA 94116

Convenor: Byron Kerr

Contact Information: Telephone: 925-922-3553 E-mail: bykerr@gmail.com

Our sincerest thanks go out to the Department of Public Health, City and County of San Francisco, and to Laguna Honda Hospital for inviting us to serve their patients and community. Congratulations to Byron and all new meeting members – we wish you all the best!

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On LifeRing’s 2016 Conference: The Opposite of Addiction Is Connection

Well, my dear blog friends, you’ve waited long enough. 

As you know, LifeRing held its annual conference earlier this month in beautiful San Diego this year, and I know you’ve been dying to hear aaaaallll about it…

Before we get started, though, my sense of propriety requires that I must warn you that I thought in order to share the immediacy of these events with the wider LifeRing world – since in addition to being the blogstress I’m now LifeRing’s “Facebook person” and everything – that it would be a good idea to try being one of these live Facebooker people and post stuff on our Facebook page as the conference went along.

I mean, how hard can it be, amiright? Yeah!

I even downloaded a nifty app that allows one to access more than one social media account at a time on their smart phones, which I’m happy to report works like a charm. (Honestly. I give it 5 stars!) I proceeded to take pictures, and then spent hours trying to upload them and post them to Facebook with limited degrees of success.

Therefore, you get to enjoy the sucky pics I took in all their bleary-eyed glory* (thanks again to Dan Carrigan for getting a coupla great shots). 

So, here it is – my take on things, for the second year running**. Thilling, idn’t it?

 

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Pssst! Tweet Tweet? We’re On Twitter!

Twitterbird

 

‘Tis true – LifeRing has had a Twitter account for quite a while but it’s not gotten off the ground until now, thanks to longtime LifeRinger Annie S. from Ireland stepping up to take it as high as it can go!

Here’s a few words from Annie about her time in LifeRing, and her hopes and goals for what our Twitter account can become:

“Greetings from SW Ireland.  I’m Annie S., and I’m trying to repay an enormous debt of gratitude to LifeRing by doing a little outreach for us all from the cockpit of the @LifeRing Twitter account.  I first came across LifeRing while serving a sentence on an AA recovery programme that was making me wretched.  After a desperate search on Google, I fired off an email thinking this LifeRing group has got to be too good to be true.  But within hours I had a hand of friendship back across the ocean and into my mailbox from Craig Whalley. Amazingly, he was able to tell me from California where I could find a LifeRing workbook in the facility I was in in Dublin. I have never looked back.  Despite a few wobbles in the intervening years, I have spent almost all my time in sobriety and am now approaching 2 years unbroken sobriety. 

Craig however is no use to us at all on Twitter and must be the owner of the most neglected account there that I have ever seen.  Which leads me to the thing I would really like to say to anyone who reads this paragraph: If you are on Twitter, please follow the @LifeRing account.  If you are not on Twitter think about registering now.  Then tell all your friends to follow @LifeRing and send any recovery related tweets to it that you can.  I will re-tweet them to our followers.  You can retweet the @LifeRing tweets and ‘heart’ them.  I know, that might seem puerile but in fact it’s not.  Twitter, despite all the negative press it gets, is one of the most powerful communications platforms on earth and has helped many deserving causes to achieve things they could never have otherwise.  But you already knew that.

If we work it properly, together we can – directly and indirectly – reach literally millions of stranded, desperate people who might benefit as much as we all have from @LifeRing – if only they knew about it. The ‘opposition’ have gazillions of followers there, natch.  If we all put our shoulders to the Twitter wheel it’s not by any means overreaching for @LifeRing to aim for 100k followers within two years. Right now we have, er, 265.  So there is a wee bit of work to be done.  Help me out here, yes?”

Annie’s already breathed vital new life into it – so by all means, Follow us. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

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