The Council Receives LegitScript Certification

LegitScript Certification

The Council on Recovery is pleased to announce that it has received LegitScript certification. LegitScript is the certification service for drug and alcohol addiction treatment providers that is relied upon by Google, Bing, and Facebook to vet advertisers for eligibility. The certification is a key requirement for advertising on Google.

The Council’s certification from LegitScript will allow it to fully utilize the
Google Ad Grants that The Council was awarded in 2017. The Google Ad Grants program supports registered nonprofit organizations that share Google’s philosophy of community service. It is an in-kind advertising program that awards free online advertising to nonprofits via Google Ads. The Grant provides The Council with up to $10, 000 per month in online advertising in the Google Ads program .

LegitScript, an independent certification organization, has been by Google since 2018 and is a requirement for addiction treatment facilities to be able to advertise with Google. Both Facebook and the search engine Bing rely upon the seal of certification to assure legitimacy of advertisers.

The LegitScript seal of certification posted on web pages helps differentiate the services of legitimate facilities (like The Council) from those engaged in illegitimate practices or illicit activities. Being LegitScript certified is intended to build trust with prospective patients and clients by letting them know the advertised facility operates safely and legally.

Andrew McCarthy Captivates Supporters at The Council on Recovery’s 36th Waggoner’s Foundation Speaker Series Luncheon

Andrew McCarthy at Council Luncheon
Andrew McCarthy captivates The Council’s 2019 Spring Luncheon

The excited buzz among the crowd after The Council on Recovery’s Spring Luncheon confirmed it: Andrew McCarthy was one the best speakers The Council has ever had! Speaking on Friday, April 12th, the actor, director, producer, and an award winning travel writer opened up about his personal struggle with alcohol and drugs, as well as the many gifts of his 27 years of sobriety.

Andrew was preceded on the stage by Luncheon Co-chairs, Bob Candito and Amanda Polich, each of whom shared their own personal stories of hope and recovery. Their heartfelt remarks were followed by an exuberant introduction by Jerri Duddlesten-Moore, who spoke of Andrew McCarthy’s decades of achievement and fame. From his iconic films Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, and Less Than Zero to his work as an actor and director of some of today’s most popular and acclaimed television shows to his award-winning writing as a travel journalist, Andrew’s trajectory of success is of inspiration to all.

Bounding to the stage, Andrew immediately thanked and praised The Council, saying, “… it obviously does some amazing work for the community. The Council is such a solid, strong, dependable, in-the-fiber-of-the-community place, that it’s a real cornerstone. It’s impossible to measure actually what The Council does…or really know how many people The Council is really helping. But, it would be hard to imagine if it wasn’t.”

Andrew then proceeded to captivate the audience of 900+ people with an intimate and revelatory story of his experience with alcohol and drugs from the age of 17 until he became sober at age 29. He related the highs and lows of a life that was dominated by alcoholism until a defining moment in 1992 when he finally asked for help. At the time, he was directed to an organization in New York City that he likened to The Council.

“That’s why I say The Council being there is so great. Because when that moment comes, there has to be somewhere to catch us,” Andrew said, “otherwise we fall.”

In early recovery, Andrew said he did exactly what he was told, including going to support groups. Within a couple of years…”my life started to get better”, he said, “…95% of my seemingly unrelated problems had disappeared by simply showing up, doing what’s in front of me that day, and then going to bed. And waking up and then doing what’s in front of me the next day.”

“In sobriety,” Andrew said, “I was able to find out that if I do the next right thing in front of me, I can have the opportunity to be who I am.”

Andrew’s inspiring message of hope, experience, and strength received a standing ovation from the audience who were clearly touched by his invaluable words of grateful recovery.

Read more about the Waggoner’s Foundation Speaker Series here and scroll through the galaxy of celebrities who have spoken at The Council’s Luncheons.

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 52

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 52 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 ultimate tragedy of alcohol and drug addiction is that some sufferers never achieve long-term, committed sobriety.  The end for most of them is catastrophe, an ugly, untimely demise occasioned by incidents of devastation for friends and family alike.

In the multi-season cable TV series, Breaking Bad, Walter White is a highly qualified, timid high school chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His knowledge of physics, chemistry and the related sciences is extraordinary. But missteps and fear in his earlier life kept him from achieving wealth and fame in the high-tech business world, a series of conditions for which he harbored deep resentments against his peers who were successful.

Early in the series, Walter is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Over subsequent episodes this triggers a massive mind shift; occasioned by a surge of hopelessness and fear for his family, he develops a hard aggressive edge.  Meeting a former student, Jesse Pinkman, who is a drug dealer, he decides to use his chemistry expertise to manufacture an extremely pure and highly popular form of crystal methamphetamine.  With Jesse, he builds a successful illicit drug business, accumulates massive amounts of cash, and eventually becomes a person of some renown for his skill and ruthlessness throughout the Southwestern United States. This all happens over many episodes with fascinating subplots of death and devastation to people both closely, and remotely, connected to Walter. 

Another interesting element is that he remains anonymous through most of these episodes, even to his brother-in-law who is a senior DEA agent.  His street name becomes Heisenberg, recalling the German scientist who ran the Nazi attempts to build a nuclear bomb, the individual whose existence in the waning years of WWII created a fear that drove the Manhattan A-Bomb Project for the United States.

The process of Walter’s descent into such depravity, through so many episodes, seems a spectacular characterization of the descent of many of us into the deep dark terrors of alcoholism and drug addiction.  In truth, we became our own Heisenbergs within our families and the circles of our associates and friends.

On a few occasions, Walter attempts to remove himself from the business, but his success and renown, and the sense of power that it gives him, pulls him back.  He has become addicted to that sense of power and is unable to resist its pull. The addictive element of that sense is unmanageable…precisely as the addiction to alcohol and drugs became unmanageable to all of us in our disease.  This same addiction, this addiction to power, is also one that many of us felt in our earlier alcoholic lives; it may have even accelerated our own descents into the abyss.

But, tragically, Walter does not recover.  By the end of the series, he has destroyed all of those whom he believed wronged him in his life…and, more severely, he has destroyed everything and everyone that he ever held dear. It all becomes a grim reminder for all of us as to what could have happened if we didn’t get sober when we did.

Infographic: 11 Myths About Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Here are some of the popular misconceptions about NA that contribute to a lack of attention to the organization as a recovery support resource:

The Council on Recovery believes that Twelve-Step programs, patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), play a vital role in the recovery process. We strongly recommend attendance of Twelve-Step meetings to our clients. However, the meetings and groups themselves are entirely autonomous and are not affiliated with The Council beyond our provision of space for them to hold their meetings.

For a complete listing of Twelve-Step meetings held each week at The Council, including Narcotics Anonymous, click here:

If you or a loved one has an alcohol or drug problem, and need help, call The Council on Recovery at 713-942-4100 or contact us online.

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 51

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 51 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.

There is a 1964 British war film about an 1879 battle between a British contingent of 150 men at Rorke’s Drift in the Natal Colony of South Africa and an army of 4000 Zulu Warriors.  It is set at the height of the British Empire under the reign of Queen Victoria at a time when the Sun truly never set on Great Britain.  In South Africa, the Zulu Nation was challenging Britain’s domination, and had defeated a major British force at Isandlwana just a week prior. The stories of these engagements as told on film were largely true and the defeat at Isandlwana was not only one of the worst in British history but a major embarrassment for the high command in London.

The British contingent at Rorke’s Drift was commanded by Lt John Chard, played in the film by Stanley Baker, and Lt Gonville Bromhead, played by Michael Caine.  It was Caine’s first major role.  Chard was a very practical, experienced engineering officer and Bromhead was an insufferable public school snob who resented that Chard was his superior, the result of the fact that Chard’s commission was just a few months earlier in time than was Bromhead’s. 

The battle lasted days, with multiple instances of near defeat for the British.  But the overall defense was brilliantly organized and commanded by Chard and courageously executed by all the men.  After a massive final assault by the Zulus and a long and intense barrage by the British which just kept beating back hordes of Zulu warriors, the Zulus just quit suddenly and left the region.  After a few hours, as the British were clearly away all the bodies, the entire Zulu force returned and, standing on the ridge overlooking the encampment, they voiced a chant of praise for the valiant British warriors.

The movie’s introduction, of the events at Isandlwana, and the summation of the achievements of the Rorke’s Drift defenders at the end, were beautifully narrated by Richard Burton, as only Burton can do.  The Rorke’s Drift success was cast as a truly bright shining moment in the history of British warfare.

But what strikes me most in this story, and its presentation on the screen, is the parallel I see with those of us who are achieving success in our ongoing battles with the scourge inherent in our addictive psyches. The initial efforts to stop the insane patterns of consumptive behavior were bad enough, but many of us also faced, and may still be facing, constant challenges to our sobriety, challenges that require a fiery vigilance and a deep resolve to repulse.  We are much like the soldiers at Rorke’s drift fighting so bravely and steadfastly to defend ourselves.

While there is no final victory over alcoholism or drug abuse for most of us, the cheering of our compatriots in our small daily victories and in our constant milestones in sobriety sound much like the Zulus in the praise and resonant esteem of their chants from the ridge at the film’s conclusion.

E-cig Use Associated with Cardiovascular Disease & Other Medical Conditions

Ever since E-Cigarettes (E-cigs) were first introduced in 2007, their use (also known as “vaping”) has been advertised as a safer alternative to smoking. However, new research by the University of Kansas School of Medicine shows that E-cig use, like smoking, delivers ultra-small aerosol particles which may be associated with cardiovascular disease and other medical problems.

The Study

The study, based on a review from the National Health Interview Surveys, analyzed health outcomes for E-cig users vs. non-E-cig users and smokers vs. non-smokers for a variety of medical conditions. These included myocardial infarction, hypertension, diabetes, depression/anxiety/emotional problems, circulatory problems, and stroke.

The Results

Though E-cig users had a lower mean age than non-E-Cig-users (33 vs. 40), E-cig users still had higher odds of having myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke. Depression/anxiety/emotional problems and circulatory problems also appeared higher in the study. E-cig users had lower odds of having diabetes and there was no significant difference between the two groups on the odds of hypertension.

The Conclusion

As one of the more recent studies on the health effects of E-cig use, this research supports the need greater public awareness about the higher odds of myocardial infarction, stroke, depression/anxiety/emotional problems, and circulatory problems facing those who vape. Both the study’s author and the American College of Cardiology recommend additional research to better establish causation linkage between E-cig use and these serious medical problems.

With a 14-fold increase in sales of E-cigs over the past ten years, the use of and addiction to vaping is rapidly becoming a major public health concern. Read the U.S. Surgeon General’s report about E-cigarette use here.

When combined with the misuse of alcohol or drugs, the consequences of vaping can turn deadly. If you or someone you know needs help, call The Council on Recovery at 713-942-4100 or contact us on-line.