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Tag Archives: News


Here’s a few links to some interesting articles on the web ~ have a look-see if you need something to help keep you occupied this weekend, and have a good one!

Even if Christmas and the last year are over, this is still a great list of books:

Like to cook but find so many recipes call for alcohol? Here’s a fabulous list of substitutions you can use instead:

Are you a Highly-Sensitive Person (HSP)?

This one’s been all over the web for the past coupla weeks, but in case you haven’t seen it, here you go:

And last but not least -holy crap, I got the “MacArthur Genius Grant”:





3 New LifeRing Meetings Now Available In 2015!

Anne Lamott Quote People Help You



LifeRing is pleased to announce 3 new meetings now up, running and available to anyone who wants to offer and receive help  – two in California and one in Utah.

The information for each new meeting can be found below, and the information for all of our meetings can be found here:


Napa, California Meeting:

When: Wednesdays at 7:00 PM

Where: First Methodist Church, Asbury Room, 625 Randolph Street, Napa, CA 94559

Convenor: David S.

Contact Information: LifeRing SR  – Web:  Phone: (707) 596-8860


Oakland, California Meeting:

When: Sundays at 11:00 AM

Where: New Kaiser Hospital, Room LL (Lower Level) C,  600 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

Convenor: John A.

Contact Information: E-mail: 


Salt Lake City, Utah Meeting:

When: Mondays at 5:00 AM 

Where: First Unitarian Church, SW entrance 2nd Floor directly off stairway, 569 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84102

Convenor:Sally B

Contact Information: E-mail: 


Congratulations to all meeting convenors and future members – we wish you the very best!




Choice in Recovery — Two Articles From Opposite Directions; Similar Conclusions

We often think of AA as being monolithic, speaking in one voice. In fact, AA has members who deviate sharply from the “established” principles. There are “Agnostic” AA groups which try to shed the religious element from the program. Since “religious elements” are central to much of AA’s approach, this is a difficult task, to say the least. A group and website called “AA Agnostica” defines itself as “a space for Agnostics, Atheists and Free Thinkers Worldwide.” A recent article posted on that website tackles the problem of the U.S. court system declaring any number of times that AA is religious and therefore cannot be mandated by a branch of the government due to the First Amendment. The article contends that the Twelve Traditions, which are much less explicitly religious than the Twelve Steps, should be placed at the heart of AA in place of the Twelve Steps. Some would argue that even the Traditions contain religious elements, including references to “a loving God.” Still, the article is an interesting read, not least because it explicitly accepts the Court’s view of AA as being legally a religiously-based organization. See the article Here

One person who never has had any problem seeing AA as religious is LifeRing’s founding leader Martin Nicolaus. He recently had an article published in Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals. That article, which can be viewed Here, gives details about a court ruling, a decision in the case of Hazle vs. Crofoot, which provides the most recent reinforcement of an earlier case (2009) that clearly required government at all levels to offer choice in recovery rather than mandating Twelve Step programs exclusively.

Both articles make for very interesting reading.

— Craig Whalley


Court Mandated Referrals to Support Groups Highlighted in Two Articles

Here are a couple of links to articles dealing with “choice in recovery” and court-mandated attendance at support meetings. One deals with a LifeRing member’s effort to ensure that people referred to treatment by the courts and other public agencies in Sonoma County, California, are told of all recovery support groups available on an equal basis. LifeRing itself has not been involved in such efforts, but we watch them closely and many of our members are strong supporters of the principle that those mandated to support meetings should have a clear say in which organization they must attend. Read about the changes brought about by the persistence of one person by clicking Here .

And read a more general discussion of court-mandated referrals to AA in this article from the newly revived website The, a site devoted to news and articles of interest to all involved in recovery.

— Craig Whalley

LifeRing and Other 12-Step Alternatives Featured in Professional Journal

A recent magazine article on Alternatives to 12-Step Addiction Recovery in “Social Work Today” magazine not only is the lead story for that issue, but features LifeRing as an organization and quotes Executive Director Robert Stump.

The article deals with the current situation faced by nearly everyone who seeks treatment for addiction: “there is something that many people in recovery will share as they progress through and out of treatment: They will be asked, if not required, to “work the steps.” Indeed, the process of recovery from addiction has been dominated in the United States by the 12-step method established with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1935.”

The Article goes on to explain the appearance in recent decades of non-traditional recovery groups such as LifeRing. “These alternative groups historically have struggled to gain a significant following, but with the advent of new technologies and the rise of a new generation of people in treatment who want more control over their recovery, these groups believe the time has come for social workers and other behavioral health professionals to accept them as part of the mainstream continuum of recovery services.”

“A big part of what I believe in is choice,” says Robert Stump, executive director of LifeRing, a group based in Oakland, CA. “One shoe does not fit all people. Every day that goes by, there are more and more people who are demanding that choice. [Alternative groups] may not cater to a large section of the American public, but we do appeal to a subset of Americans, and professionals should be aware of that.”

The entire article, available Here, is very much worth reading