“Boomers on a Bender” – Older Adults & Harmful Alcohol Use

Boomers on a Bender is the cover story in the May/June 2017 issue of Today’s Geriatric Medicine magazine that reports on the dramatic increases in harmful alcohol use by older adults. Aimed at medical providers, the article details the alarming increase in both binge drinking and alcohol use disorders (AUD) among adults aged 65 and older. Doctors are urged to screen and identify unhealthy alcohol use by their older patients and to discuss the risks of continued use and the options available to stop drinking for those with the problem.

The Council on Recovery wholeheartedly agrees.

However, as access to and delivery of medical care has become more challenging than ever, screening for AUD in older patients remains infrequent, according to studies cited in the article. While physicians continue to face a myriad of difficult issues related to managing medical care, Continue reading ““Boomers on a Bender” – Older Adults & Harmful Alcohol Use”

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 10

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 10 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

In the great J.R. R. Tolkien story of The Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Frodo Baggins, is given the task of destroying the One Ring that brings enormous, invincible power to anyone who wears it. A Dark Lord, Sauron, who originally forged it, is trying to re-capture it to complete his takeover of the known world, called Middle Earth in the story.  It is in the Council of Elrond where it is decided that the One Ring must be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom and it is Frodo who accepts the mission.  The other attendees of the Council, princes of different parts of Middle Earth, form a Fellowship pledging themselves to protect Frodo in his mission. The central story of Tolkien’s trilogy, then, is the working of the Fellowship of the Ring, through enormous struggles, to facilitate Frodo’s completion of this task.

The story can easily be read as the One Ring being the curse of alcoholism and addiction. While there is no one sufferer of such a disease in the story, Frodo and the Fellowship supporting him pursue a series of journeys very much like our own in the pursuit of Sobriety.  They encounter incredible hardships and battles trying to gain the ultimate advantage over the evil of the disease.

The powers of the One Ring are strong and at various times they almost tempt Frodo and members of the Fellowship to fall under its spell and relinquish the Journey.  As the story builds, its power to corrupt builds as well and the agony of the Journey resonates more and more loudly with the ideas of addiction recovery.  But Frodo, with the support of the Fellowship, as our Fellowship supports us, is successful and peace returns to Middle Earth, the ending conveying a wonderful sense of serenity for all, a sense of serenity not unlike the feelings that surround us when we begin to bask in the glow of Recovery.

The closing scenes of the final episode in the Trilogy convey the sense of serenity and joy that has returned to Middle Earth…echoing the serenity, strength, and hope that can overwhelm us as we feel that glow…

The Council on Recovery Receives Google Ad Grants Award

 

The Council on Recovery is a recipient of a Google Ad Grants award. The Google Ad Grants program supports registered nonprofit organizations that share Google’s philosophy of community service to help the world in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, and the arts. Google Ad Grants is an in-kind advertising program that awards free online advertising to nonprofits via Google AdWords.

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey – Part 9

 

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 9 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

The incidence of war in the human experience is enormous; it has been estimated that, in the 5,600 years of recorded human history, there have been 14,300 definable wars.  In our modern times, the wars of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan and their aftermaths occupy much of the period of the last 100 years. Wars affect everyone, not just the participants, but their families and larger communities as well, in many subtle and powerful ways. Continue reading “The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey – Part 9”

Drug-Impaired Driving: Report Reveals Shocking Stats on Growing Problem

Drug-Impaired Driving Report

Drug-impaired driving has become an increasingly critical issue for states and state highway safety offices. According to a newly updated report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 2015, drugs were present in 43% of the fatally-injured drivers, more frequently than alcohol was present. Increasing use of marijuana as a result of decriminalization in many states has contributed to the spike in drug-impaired driving and more than 80 commonly prescribed drugs have been linked to traffic fatalities across the nation.

Continue reading “Drug-Impaired Driving: Report Reveals Shocking Stats on Growing Problem”

The Lifelong Quest for Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 8

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 8 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

In the ancient mythopoetic story of the Odyssey, Odysseus is desperately trying to find his way home after a 10-year war, to the Island of Ithaca where he is King. The armies of the great city states of Greece had been locked in a struggle to conquer the impregnable City of Troy on the extreme west coast of modern day Turkey. Odysseus was one of the leaders of the Greeks, the one who devised the plan to penetrate Troy through the gift of a giant horse secretly filled with soldiers, the Trojan Horse.  The behavior of the Greeks once inside the City and the slaughter of the Trojan population angered the gods.  The Journey home of all the Greek leaders was fraught with calamity, but none so severe as Odysseus.’

Odysseus encounters all sorts of disasters on his tortuous Journey home, much of it accompanied by the bad behavior of his men and him.  After nine years on the Journey, having lost everything, all his ships, all his men, all his possessions, he is washed up on the island of Scheria, naked, exhausted and broken.  He is taken in by the people of this land, and in a fit of surrender, he tells his whole long story.  It is in this telling that he finally gains the support and insight to complete his Journey home and, once back in Ithaca, to ultimately regain his rightful place as King.

The story is another classic hero’s journey, filled with all the elements of similar epics. Odysseus’ arrival home results in some additional conflicts with others on Ithaca seeking to rule.  With the help of the goddess Athena, a peace is declared by all the conflict parties accepting a sacred oath to restrain from any further violence forever.  This ending is dealt with rather briefly in the actual story, but the journey of Odysseus, in the torments and trials he must overcome, very much parallel our own Journeys to Sobriety.

He can only finally find forbearance and release from his tragic journey after he loses everything, surrenders and tells his story.  Having done so, and following the dictums of his hosts on Scheria, he can find his way home and achieve a sense of peace for himself and his people. For all of us, it is in telling our story, truthfully and with energetic rigor, that we can finally make progress on the elusive quest of Sobriety…and, in having done so, we can finally find peace and a rightful place for ourselves in the world.