Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just last week I was contacted by an old high school acquaintance of an acquaintance who is terrified as her husband's older brother who has been acting all erratic and angry then sad and weepy for 2 years is on meth. They sent him off to a 30-day program and he returned not cured, but furious that they interfered in his LIFE... as if he has one. They cleaned his home while he was away, and it was just filthy, and of course found drug paraphernalia everywhere... and she just needed advice. So I listened and offered what I could. We are having a running dialogue wherein I educate her about addicts and in particular, meth addicts and the fact that while on it, they are insane, and capable of everything up to and including murder... (remember the man in Chandler who decapitated his own 14-year-old son while driving the family van and threw the child's head out the window, all in front of the 9-year-old son in the back seat? He is on death row now in Florence, but was high as a kite on meth and the drug was telling him that the son was the devil and to get rid of him NOW, so he did). It is an evil, evil drug. And this poor gal is right to be afraid. 30 days is NOT enough. I recommended she get him over to Teen Challenge which is a 13-month program totally free... donation-run. And it is Christian based, humbling, building a servant-heart in these self-centered, angry men. If they stay, they walk out whole. Their success rate tops everyone else. It is like 97%. IF they stay. And they have retreats and reunions and love to return and help the new guys. It's a fine program, truly. They can do for this man what she and her husband cannot. What I cannot... I can, however, point people in the right direction. And this, for them, is about all there is left for one who has already failed treatment and immediately returned to his true love: the meth. But many of his connections have changed their phone numbers as they are wont to do frequently as they are so paranoid... and if you are gone for any length of time, they no longer trust YOU.. so he may have a hard time for a WHILE scoring what he needs so badly. No wonder he is angry with them. His world is all upside down now. It is heart-breaking. JAH

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Addiction Overcome, Inc. is a non-profit [501 (c) (3)] organization that relies on your generous gifts and contributions to fund our operations. Our needs are widespread and range from things as simple as putting gas in the car we use to transport children to and from family visit days at in-patient rehabilitation centers, to paying for Bibles and other outreach materials for addicts. Other ways your donations are used include:

-paying for in-home drug testing kits
-providing meals for children whose parents cannot afford groceries
-transportation costs
-printing and distributing outreach materials about drug abuse

The list goes on...

You can read more about us our Christmas outreach program and how we we were able to help several families over the holidays. Without you, we cannot continue in our life-changing work. Little is much when it comes to giving hope to families who are touched by addiction. You can be confident that your donations are being used in the most effective and appropriate manner, and will not be wasted on someone who isn't willing to make an effort toward breaking free from addiction.

As part of our fund raising efforts, we are proud to announce our partnership with several reputable merchants. Whenever you purchase anything from them by following the links we provide, a portion of the sale generated will result in a small commission for Addiction Overcome, Inc. This is an excellent way for you to do your online shopping while making a positive difference in the lives of the individuals and families that Addiction Overcome, Inc. helps. You can feel good about shopping with them, knowing that you are contributing to a greater good. Below is a list of the merchants we are partnered with. There's something for everyone! And remember, your purchases help Addiction Overcome, Inc. Just view our links on the right of the page.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Lunch Money for Torie--A Child In Need

Torie called tonight. She told Olivia that though some things are better since Christmas, her grandmother still won't send her a packed lunch nor give her lunch money. They qualify for free and reduced lunches, but that doesn't seem to influence her grandmother whatsoever. She takes the time to fill out the annual paperwork, and then won't pay what would amount to only 85 cents for her child's lunch, or 35 cents for her breakfast at school. Instead, this child heads to school every day with no breakfast, no lunch (other than the leftover bread crusts or pizza crusts her friends save for her -- the parts of their lunches they do not want), and no fresh water bottle.

Think about this for a moment, when school starts here in August, the temperature hovers above 120 degrees most afternoons and does so often through October. By December or January, the water is still important, but the children don't dehydrate so quickly. This all changes seemingly overnight, however, in March or April when the temperatures creep back up into the triple digits and even the newscasters advise parents and grandparents to send their children to school with plenty of cold water.

Torie walks to school. She carries a heavy backpack, though it is not laden with food or snack or water. She carries her books and pencils and pens (many of which we reinforced for her at Christmas) in that heavy backpack.

Please when you pay your bills this month and thank God for the abundance He has provided for you and your family, remember Torie and all the children like her whose parents do NOT provide even the most basic of their human needs.... nutrition in order to feel awake and alert in school and write another check to Addiction Overcome, mailing it to P.O. Box 310, 2320 E. Baseline Rd, Suite #148, Phoenix, AZ 85042.

Addiction Overcome will pay the money directly into Torie's school district lunch fund rather than sending it through her family. Help us send in a large check that covers Torie's breakfasts, lunches, and water bottles five days per week through the end of the school year and then make a note to do so again in August so we can help this child eat and drink each day. My heart breaks that addiction continues to rob children of the most basic of human needs.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ask Judith: What Was the Hardest Part?

Q. What was the most difficult part of recovery?

A. The hardest part was learning that recovery meant that I had to stop for good. Completely quit. I stopped so many times, but eventually the idea would come to me that I could do just a little bit and still remain in control. Of course, that's a laughable idea. The whole thing about addiction is that it controls you, not the other way around. I had to take responsibility for my actions and fight through the cravings so that I could stay stopped. The thing about being an addict is that you can't do it halfway. You either give yourself over to the drug, or you cut it out of your life and avoid it at all costs.

When fresh cravings hit, nothing else seemed to matter. I'd fail to follow through on plans I'd make just for the sake of making sure I could score a baggie of the stuff that was ruining my life. Of course, I didn't see it that way at the time. It was definitely a case of the heart being willing but the flesh being weak. I wanted to rebuild my life with my friends and family. I wanted to quit, but the hardest part was teaching myself to behave as a person who wanted to quit. You know what they say about "if it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck..." well, if I acted like an addict and behaved as an addict, I still was one. That was a difficult phase to break through.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger's Death is Worth Talking About

The entertainment world was rocked to the core yesterday afternoon, January 22, when the news of actor Heath Ledger’s death was announced. His body was discovered in his home, and it was surrounded by dozens of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Although no illegal or illicit substances were found, it’s plausible to presume that his demise was caused by an accidental overdose of the sleep aid, Ambien, and possibly some other medications. He was only 28 years old.

When the media spotlights these sorts of incidents, what can we learn? Should we shrug it off and attribute this to yet another example of the sins of the Hollywood scene? Or does this event mirror that which is going on in the homes of middle-class suburbia?

According to recent findings, [1] illicit drug use among teens is declining. From 1996 to 1997, the rate of illicit drug use by 8th graders was cut nearly in half. Use of drugs such as methamphetamines, amphetamines, crystal meth, and marijuana has dropped from 24% to 13%. This is good news!

Unfortunately, there’s bad news as well. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise; specifically, narcotic pain relievers are being sought after by teens. Where are they getting them? From their parents’ medicine cabinets and pharm parties. The most dangerous aspect of illegal use of prescription narcotics is the effect they have when combined with other similar drugs and alcohol.

Parents, your teens have almost certainly heard about Heath Ledger’s death by now. Use this as an opportunity to talk to them about the dangers of drug abuse, and the importance of taking all medications, prescription or OTC, exactly as directed. Also, take inventory of your own prescription medications, and make sure you store them in a safe place as described in a previous article. If you are struggling with your own addiction to prescription medications, take action now to get help; your kids are watching.

[1] Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G. & Schulenberg, J. E. (December 11, 2007). "Overall, illicit drug use by American teens continues gradual decline in 2007." University of Michigan News Service: Ann Arbor, MI.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ask Judith: What Motivated You to Tell Your Story?

To tell you the truth, the motivating factor after my father had "suggested" I write my story for the past 12 years or so, was a book my friend and board member gave me to read. It was called A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (you know, the guy who duped Oprah and therein sullied the reputation and good name of addicts everywhere).

I read it, though finishing it was a chore, and this rarely happens to a gal who cranks out at least a book a day -- reading, not writing one, that is. I finally called Sheryl and asked her if ever she began to care about this guy. She answered quite truthfully that "No, she never had."

I was put off by his language, his profanity, his abuse of every rule of grammar and punctuation Lying in my bed that very last night of laboring through it, I said to myself, "I could do better than this in a first draft." I got up, tied a robe around my waist, and started writing.

I finished the rough draft in two and a half weeks, and though it needed several read-throughs and some corrections, and admittedly I had not set a very high bar for myself, I believe I was right about besting his paperback copy.

Interested in reading my book? Order The Other Woman at the Well: A Truthful Account of Addiciton Overcome here.

Published by Xulon Press.

Once a week I'll be answering your questions in a column guessed it...Ask Judith! I invite you to submit your questions in any of the following ways:

1) Send an e-mail to with the subject line "Ask Judith"

2) Leave a comment and question in our newly added guest book, which appears in the right hand column.

3) Leave your question in the comments at the end of any of the blog entries. To make sure I know it's a question, start it off by saying "Hey Judith, I have a question..."

I look forward to your feedback and answering any questions you may have about my experiences, the ministry of Addiction Overcome, Inc. or drug abuse in general.

The Danger of Alcohol and OTC Medications

FACT: Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among young people. (Source: Partnership for a Drug-Free America)

FACT: 65% of the youth who drink alcohol report that they get the alcohol they drink from family and friends. (Source: Substance Abuse: The Nation's Number One Health Problem)

When you consider that many of us rely on Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications as a way to remedy simple and commonplace illnesses without the inconvenience and expense of making an appointment with the doctor. However, it's important to be careful about how these medications interact with alcohol. If you have a medicine cabinet filled with OTC medications in one room of the house, and alcohol in another, you may be unwittingly providing a dangerous environment in which your teen may experiment with combining drugs and alcohol. Please read the brief article linked below to understand what happens when alcohol and OTC medications are combined.

What You Need to Know about OTC Medications and Alcohol