Category Archives: Information

Spring/Summer LifeRing Newsletter Now Available

newsletterCarola Ziermann, editor, announces that the latest LifeRing Newsletter is hot off the press. See it Here. Featured are a number of articles about LifeRing’s Annual Conference which is coming up later this week. Other articles deal with LifeRing news about new meetings, dealings with other organizations, and how to donate.

Choice vs Disease – The Debate Rages On

A long-running chicken and egg debate in both the scientific community and general public has raged on for years – is addiction a poor life choice-slash-failure to cope mechanism, or is it a disease? And whatever it is, how do we effectively treat it?

Aside from outer space, the human brain is the last great undiscovered territory of existence, and a lot remains unknown not only about how it works, but why it works the way it does. This Science News article, chock-full of interesting data, covers the debate (and treatment options) admirably.


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.

Does AA Have a Problem? An Article Says Yes

An interesting article entitled “After 75 Years of AA, It’s Time to Admit We Have a Problem” appears in the current issue of Pacific Standard magazine (original title, “Kicking the Habit”). The article points to what appear to be unbridgeable gaps between AA doctrine and reality. For example, AA holds that recovery requires reliance on a “Higher Power” facilitated by attendance at AA meetings. LifeRing obviously disagrees with that and offers meetings that have nothing to do with Higher Powers. But beyond that, the article asserts:

Contrary to popular belief, most people recover from their addictions without any treatment—professional or self-help—regardless of whether the drug involved is alcohol, crack, methamphetamine, heroin, or cigarettes. One of the largest studies of recovery ever conducted found that, of those who had qualified for a diagnosis of alcoholism in the past year, only 25 percent still met the criteria for the disorder a year later. Despite this 75 percent recovery rate, only a quarter had gotten any type of help, including AA, and as many were now drinking in a low-risk manner as were abstinent.

Of course, many people do need help in overcoming their addictions, but as the article points out:

This is not to say that there is no benefit at all to 12-step programs: It’s clear from studies of recovery, with or without treatment, that some of the most important factors in success are having social support and a sense of meaning and purpose. Both of those can be provided by AA—at least to those who find its approach amenable. Rather than treating AA as one potentially excellent resource out of many, though, all too many people still regard 12-step programs as the only true way.

And that is where LifeRing stands: “one potentially excellent resource out of many …” The article contains much more — see it Here.



Dr. B.J. Davis Talk on “What is Recovery?”

A few years ago, Dr. B.J. Davis, clinical director of Strategies for Change, a Sacramento, CA, treatment facility, gave a talk to a LifeRing gathering. Davis is a fine motivational speaker among other accomplishments and has some important things to say about recovery. I’ve placed the talk on our video page, but thought I’d share it here, as well: