• 6 Exit Strategies for Uncomfortable Holiday Situations

    Posted on November 30, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. It’s the most wonderful time of year…  for some.  For others, the holidays present challenges.  Navigating difficult family members, work events, and beverage-laden holiday parties while successfully self-regulating or abstaining from alcohol can render celebratory festivities a skosh toilsome.  Here are some exit strategies to help navigate uncomfortable holiday situations. 1. Identify Your Reason to Leave Ahead of Time. You know Topher from marketing is going to hound you all night to have a drink (or 10) with him, and you know you don’t want to play Robin to Topher’s Batman in the tales of misadventure that the entire company laughs and cringes about on the Monday after the holiday party.  After the main events end you’re more likely to make a clean ge...
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  • College Recovery Programs for Students

    Posted on November 28, 2018
    A collegiate recovery program can mean all the difference to a young person in recovery. Having a program like this available on campus means they do not have to choose between recovery and a higher education. It provides students with an avenue to stay committed to recovery, while focusing on school, and having a community of support in a setting where it’s stereotypically a place to overindulge in substances. We researched colleges across the country that understand this and have dedicated university resources to supporting students in recovery. This is far from all, but is a great showing of support for the recovery community in higher education. U.S. Universities with Recovery Programs for Students Alabama University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL - The Collegiate Recovery and...
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  • Recovery-a-la-Frank Sinatra: I Did It My Way 

    Posted on October 16, 2018
    Guest post by “Albert” For more years than I care to remember, I hit my head against the 12-step wall. I was that “chronic relapser,” and the guy who picked up a white chip every few weeks or months. I began to believe that I was one of those “unfortunates” who was “constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves” (perhaps the most grandiose, obnoxious and unhelpful words ever written in the English language). I even had a 12-step “fellow” once tell me, “You know Albert, I’m glad you come to these meetings. You’re such a good example of a bad example that you’re probably helping more newcomers than you realize.” OUCH! To say that I resented and even hated AA, NA and all the other “A’s” would be an understatement. I should probably say that the “God thing” was not my pro...
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  • Last Call Blog: Recovery Blogger Interview

    Posted on September 28, 2018
    As we continue our recovery blogger series we bring you a recovery story from Nancy Carr from Last Call Blog. Nancy has now been sober for over 14 years, she has a fulfilling career, is happily married, and is a proud dog mom living in San Diego. Nancy is in a good place, but it took grit and determination to get here. Nancy has seen the ups and downs of addiction and recovery and is a better person now because of it. She’s learned a lot and has plenty of advice to share with others experiencing a similar journey. She writes about those experiences on her blog and is sharing a piece of her recovery story with us here now. Interview printed with permission What is your favorite part about being sober? FREEDOM! I love that I can do anything or go anywhere.  Being sober has be...
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  • Recovery Q&A With Jean from Unpickled Blog

    Posted on September 20, 2018
    Up next in our Top Recovery Blogger Series we have Jean from Unpickled Blog. Jean is a busy woman with a fulfilling life, but it wasn’t always that way. Before deciding to live alcohol-free seven years ago, Jean was in a decades-long cycle of daily drinking that was taking over her life. Today Jean is happier than ever with a her husband of 29 years, kids and grandkids. Jean stays busy with just about everything, she is writing her first book, spends a great deal of time serving others in recovery, and produces and hosts The Bubble Hour Podcast. And since Jean is not one to slow down, she also volunteers with a community organization that provides services to adults with disabilities, and is an active curler and skier. We are inspired by Jean to say the least, and are honored ...
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  • Changing Addictive Behavior: The Perils and Promise of Perfectionism

    Posted on June 1, 2018
    By Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. For many, perfectionism is a guilty pleasure – we know it isn’t good for us but we can’t seem to let it go.  Well, difficulty in letting something go is almost always a sign of that thing being beneficial in some ways, and perfectionism is no different.  When it comes to changing addictive behavior, perfectionism is not only common, but often demanded.  People are routinely kicked out of treatment for not being perfect, or at least coerced into stepping up to a higher (more expensive) level of care.  Because perfectionism is demanded of people attempting to change addictive behavior, it might be worth exploring the concept a bit further. Perfectionism As a Measure of Success in Changing Addictive Behavior There is arguably no arena in which perfection...
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  • What Experts Are Saying About Outpatient Rehab

    Posted on May 18, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Outpatient Rehab: What the Experts Say Anyone who encounters the US addiction treatment industry is likely to experience a ‘hard sell’ on inpatient.  The idea that addiction problems are resolved by ‘going away for 30 days’ is as pervasive as it is uninformed.  Lasting change may be initiated in four weeks, but it takes much longer to become engrained.  While the cultural mythos of addiction treatment continues to promote the notion that most people need to go away for 30 days, experts have been saying that outpatient rehab is actually the best fit for most people for quite some time. William Miller and Reid Hester (two leading experts in the field of addiction treatment) looked at who benefits from inpatient alcohol treatment and found no overall advanta...
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  • The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Quitting Drinking

    Posted on May 11, 2018
    Thinking about quitting drinking? Here's some advice you might not want to follow. There is an abundance of advice about quitting drinking out there that conspicuously lacks the hallmarks of thought and wisdom.  Advice itself can often be a sign of unsophisticated “help.”  While there are likely many more witless ideas about quitting drinking than this article covers, we’ve hand-selected a few of our favorite Mickey Mouse methods for your enjoyment. 1. Don't Substitute. Tell people who had a failing liver and used cannabis as a substitution for alcohol that substitution doesn’t work. 2. You have to announce your problem to the world. It might not be the best idea to pull your boss or your father-in-law-to-be aside to let them know that you’ve been drinking more than you want to. ...
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  • Recovery from Addiction: Confronting Complacency

    Posted on March 2, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Few would argue against complacency’s tendency to erode the foundations of change.  Most of us experience the lull that can follow a flurry of effort and progress.  We lose steam, let our guard down, relax, and suddenly find ourselves slipping back into the very patterns we are trying to break - whether related to addiction or not.  However, rather than an inevitable stalling of progress and change, the presence of complacency can be a doorway into the deeper vaults of ourselves where reservoirs of powerful motivation lie. Definition of Complacency Mistakenly, I thought of complacency as a synonym for laziness, lack of motivation, and diminishing effort. I was surprised to learn that it actually means a smug, uncritical satisfaction with oneself. I usuall...
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  • The Goal of Addiction Treatment Completely Misses the Mark

    Posted on October 6, 2017
    The Entire Aim of Addiction Treatment is Off by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. The goal of nearly the entire field of addiction treatment is to help people stop using substances forever. However, a closer look at the goal of stopping forever reveals fatal flaws. This article aims to expose the flaws in the goal of stopping forever while proposing the broader, more effective goal of changing. The Flawed Goals of Addiction Treatment A goal of stopping substance use forever is problematic in two fundamental ways. The first fundamental flaw in a goal of stopping forever is that the goal is set in negative terms. Effective goals are constructed in a positive framework, which means goals are phrased in terms of what will be done rather than what will be avoided. For example, a goal set as ...
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