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Friday, June 29, 2012

Josh Hamilton's Life Story To Be Told On Film

English: photo of Josh Hamilton playing.English: photo of Josh Hamilton playing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do you like baseball? We often refer to it as the Great American Pastime. Children usually learn about the game when they are very young. New fathers start teaching their toddlers how to throw and catch a baseball, by the time the little ones are ready to start kindergarten their parents might sign them up for t-ball, and later at grade school age "little league" becomes a part of a family's springtime schedule.

Over the years there have been a number of great movies that tell the stories of children and adults playing baseball. How many have you seen? Two of our favorites that deal with children are The Sandlot (1993) and Bad News Bears (1976).

This week it was reported that a new baseball movie is in the works. This film is planned as a biopic telling  the story of Josh Hamilton.  Josh plays for the Texas Rangers and they released a statement about the project:
"Josh and Katie Hamilton are pleased to announce that they have been approached by Casey Affleck and Thunder Road Pictures and have agreed to the creation of a feature film about their lives. While they are not involved with the actual Hollywood pitching process, the Hamiltons will be an integral part of the film's creative direction and accuracy as the project develops."
Telling a story, any story, on film can be powerful, both for the storyteller and the viewer. Films allow us to learn in a very personal way.  One can enjoy a film in a large theater or in the privacy of their own home. Movies help us to reflect on life, our personal challenges and opportunities.They can inspire us!

The planned producer of Josh Hamilton's story is Basil Ivanyk. WEEI Sports Radio reporting on this story offered the following input from Ivanyk:
"I truly think this guy’s story is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever read," producer Basil Iwanyk said. "It's also tailor-made for a movie: it has the mythic quality of The Natural, the faith-based angle of The Blind Side, and faith is a major part of our story, and the romance of Walk the Line. Casey has totally captured those elements in his take for the movie. It is an extraordinary odyssey that took him from the depths of drug addiction, estrangement from his family, and suspension from baseball to a spectacular rebirth of his life, faith, marriage and major league career."
We look forward to seeing this production, hoping that it will serve as an catalyst for people searching for sobriety and recovery, as well as those with many years of both, to share one man's story! 

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Giving and Receiving Love In Recovery

English: Jerry Cantrell - Alice in Chains - Ro...English: Jerry Cantrell - Alice in Chains - Roskilde Festival 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When people first decide to get sober they often wake up in a hospital room detoxing from their drug of choice or alcohol. Or they may have a friend that invites them to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Or their family decides to work with an interventionist to convince them of how their life will be different when they are clean and sober and they decide to seek treatment for their addiction.

One of the magical aspects of sobriety is that it includes giving back to your fellow addicts and alcoholics. In Alcoholics Anonymous giving back is woven into the 12th Step.
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
Most times a 12th Step happens quietly and without a lot of fanfare; however, there are a number of non-profit organizations whose mission statements deal with health and welfare.  One such organization is MusiCares.
"MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community."
For eight years now, MusiCares has hosted a fundraising event to benefit the MAP Fund. This year's event took place on May 31, 2012, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. According to their press release the evening was about friendship, music and recovery.
"Alice In Chains' co-founder Jerry Cantrell was honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his commitment to the MusiCares MAP Fund and helping other addicts with the addiction recovery process. Certified interventionist Neil Lasher received MusiCares' From the Heart Award for his unconditional friendship and dedication to the mission and goals of the organization. A longtime supporter of MusiCares, Lasher helped initiate the first Safe Harbor Room — MusiCares' support system at major industry events for artists and crew members facing addiction issues — in 1997 at the 39th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The event also included a special presentation commemorating the official launch of the DJ AM Memorial Fund in honor of the late Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein."
Here you can enjoy a video from the event honoring Jerry Cantrell.

Remember giving and receiving love one day at a time can be what an alcoholic needs.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Bath Salts Really Are Deadly

ER (TV series)ER (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Over the past couple of years we have posted about bath salts. Almost every day there is a news story about the dangers of bath salts. But still people continue to look for bath salts, buy bath salts, share them with friends, hide them from their parents; however, most importantly many end up in emergency rooms suffering from psychotic episodes, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, delusions, poor concentration, tremors, seizures, nausea and sweats. In fact, someone under the influence of bath salts is lucky if they get to an ER, before they hurt themselves, others or are injured or killed by law enforcement agents who try to intercede in a dangerous episode.

The federal government, state governments, and even the Department of Defense continue to scramble to write laws and regulations that will effectively outlaw the use and sale of bath salts. The truth is you can outlaw bath salts, but the only thing that will effectively reduce the use and deadly outcomes is knowledge. That is, knowledge about addiction and treatment.

Here is a report from CBS Channel 9 WAFB serving Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, click here

Be observant, be informed and stay alert, particularly if you are the parent of teenagers and young adults. Your diligence might just safe a life.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Prescription Drug Abuse Heroin Addiction

English: Vicodin tablets Italiano: Pillole di ...
English: Vicodin tablets  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the past couple of years the news has been filled with articles about the epidemic status of prescription drug abuse. Here on our blog we have written numerous times about prescription drug abuse. Using and abusing prescription drugs usually starts out innocently enough, after all most rationalize that the drugs are legal. At first, young people might find these prescriptions in their own home. They might receive a prescription after having minor surgery like a dental procedure or setting of a broken bone. They might see that one of their parents was prescribed Vicodin, Oxycontin or Percocet for chronic pain and raiding the medicine cabinet becomes an everyday occurrence. Or they are offered a "pill" in a social environment like school or party.

Before one knows it, they are abusing and becoming addicted to these prescription drugs which are opiates and this habit is expensive and deadly. When the supply of prescription drugs becomes scarce due to cost or the impact of the states' Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), then taking the next step to an illegal drug like heroin seems to make perfect sense to the addict.

Open Channel on msnbc.com has been covering this phenomenon over the past few days. Teenagers and young adults moving from prescription drug abuse to heroin is happening in cities and towns around the United States. Heroin users are not just found in dark alleys, but in average suburban households. Take a few minutes to meet Holly Yates of Lancaster, Ohio.

This video offers a lot of powerful information, as Holly says: "You've got to get help, you can't do it by yourself."
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Friday, June 1, 2012

WWII Film Focused On PTSD - "Let There Be Light"

English: Studio publicity still of film direct...John Huston
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you ever go through a box of old photos or home movies? Sometimes when you look closely at these "treasures" you are able to learn more about what life was like many decades ago. You might even learn of some "closely held secrets." You may see photos or film of an uncle, aunt, parent or grandparent you never knew.

Monday was Memorial Day. A day when United States citizens honor all who have served in our military, remembering particularly those who died in battle or as a result of a battle injury. There were many stories of veterans covered by the media outlets and some of those stories focused in on our active military and retired military who now suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We have talked about PTSD here on our blog. 


In all of the news coverage this week, we came across a very interesting story that was carried on MSNBC.com Entertainment. The headline read: "Can World War II Film Long Hidden By The Army Aid Today's Veterans?"

We invite you to read the full story. It tells of a 1946 short film created and directed by John Huston. The name of the film was "Let There Be Light." The subject? It was what we now refer to as post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the article:
"Some soldiers in the film suffered visible tics, shook uncontrollably, stuttered badly, and in worse cases, couldn't walk or talk due to their wartime experience. Others appeared fine externally, but were battling nightmares, memories of combat, and other issues."
We learned that the film was suppressed until 1980.  And now it has been restored by funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation and for the next three months you can freely view the whole film here.

Today society is more open about discussing mental health issues and what are often co-occurring disorders like addiction. But for some reason many who suffer from PTSD and addiction "still struggle with acceptance and treatment issues" according to Ron Honberg, director of policy and legal affairs for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

We invite you to view a short news clip from MSNBC.com.

Let there be light...
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