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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Even “moderate” drinking can be harmful

You’re probably seen, over the years, research touting the benefits of “moderate” red wine drinking. Well, besides the American public often having a different definition of “moderate” from the scientific community, these bits of research not mentioning that many of the benefits may also be available from other sources, etc., it sounds like red wine in particular, or even moderate drinking in general, may be good, right?

Well, of course not to someone who has a drinking problem, or who may be near the point of crossing that “invisible line.”

It turns out that even “moderate” drinking, on a regular enough basis, can be damaging. In drinking that the researchers defined as “moderate,” can have brain effects that add up over time.

LifeRing Exhibits at Annual CAADAC Conference

The California Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors held their annual get-together this past weekend and LifeRing was there. Joe Mott, a LifeRing board member, and Cat H., an active member, manned a table in the exhibitor’s area for the largest annual gathering of California treatment professionals. Joe and Cat reported that they receive very warm responses from many in attendance, including requests that LifeRing meetings be started at or near various treatment facilities. It was a strong affirmation of the increasing demand for exactly what LifeRing offers: a secular approach to recovery that respects the intelligence and motivation of each member. Cat reported that “Overall people were very happy to see us, and agree there needs to be alternatives to AA.”

Prescription drugs: America’s fastest-growing problem

Addiction to prescription drugs,
especially opiates, is a rapidly growing problem./
Graphic courtesy New York Times

Abuse of prescription drugs is reportedly America’s fastest-growing drug problem. And, illustrated through the eyes of one user, prescription addicts may be at least as resistant to getting help as persons addicted to alcohol or illicit drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is America’s fastest-growing drug problem. Every 19 minutes, someone dies from a prescription drug overdose in the United States, triple the rate in 1990. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription painkillers (like oxycodone) are largely to blame. More people die from ingesting these drugs than from cocaine and heroin combined. Yet while I shared her concern, there was little I could do to force J. into treatment.

It’s a good story, covering not only the individual, but questions of just what constitutes addiction, different state laws on forcible treatment on conviction for illegal activities, the insurance world in the US and more.

Martin Nicolaus, LifeRing’s Founding Leader, Publishes Article in a Journal for Treatment Providers

Martin Nicolaus, author of Empowering Your Sober Self and Recovery by Choice, has an article in the recent edition of the “Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery.” Nicolaus, the founding leader of LifeRing who retired in 2010, still makes regular speaking engagements drawing on his knowledge and experience in the recovery field.

The article, which can be accessed through Nicolaus’s website,, is entitled “Empowering Your Sober Self.” Nicolaus writes:

An article I wrote late last year about the LifeRing recovery group has now been published in the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, Vol. 7, 2012.  This is a special double issue on the theme “Broadening the Base of Addiction Mutual Support Groups: Bringing Theory and Science to Contemporary Trends.”

The link to the full article can be found HERE . Readers are advised that access is “for nonprofit educational study purposes only, not for commercial republication.”