Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Do You Put In Your Recovery Toolbox? (Part 2)

This week on The Bubble Hour we continued our discussion about what to put in your Recovery Toolbox. In Part 1, we discussed some great reading materials, and in Part 2 we extended the conversation to comfort food, activities, self-care practices and music. Listen and discover ways to support your recovery in all that you do! 

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Special Guest, Dr. John Kelly: Changing the Stigma of Addiction Through Science

Many people think that recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a lost cause when in reality there are approximately 25-40 million people who consider themselves to be in active, stable long-term recovery. Based on those numbers, most people probably interact with someone in recovery on a daily basis, but they don't even know it because it's not talked about openly. Dr. Kelly and the Recovery Research Institute's mission is change that stigma and show people, through science, that recovery is not only possible, but it is the likely outcome. 

On this episode we will talk to Dr. Kelly about addiction, stigma and recovery and how understanding the neuroscience of addiction will help alleviate that stigma.

Dr. John Kelly is the Elizabeth R. Spallin Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, the founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS) and the Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH. Dr. Kelly is President of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Addiction Psychology, and is also a Fellow of APA. He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies such as the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the national Institutes of Health (NIH); to non-Federal institutions, such as the Betty Ford Institute and the Hazelden Foundation; and internationally to the British Parliament Drugs Misuse Taskforce. He is currently an Associate Editor for the journals, Addiction, and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and chapters in the field of addiction. His clinical and research work has focused on addiction treatment and the recovery process which has included specific research on the effectiveness of mutual-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, as adjuncts to formal care. His additional research endeavors have focused on the translation and implementation of evidence-based practice, addiction and criminal justice, addiction treatment theories and mechanisms of action, and reducing stigma associated with addiction. He is a licensed clinical psychologist actively working with individuals and families with alcohol and other drug use disorders.

The Recovery Research Institute (RRI) is a scientific enterprise that will push the agenda for addiction recovery forward by both synthesizing the current evidence base and conducting high quality, novel recovery relevant research. The goal is to disseminate the results such that they may enhance the effectiveness of addiction treatment and empower individuals, families, communities, and our broader society to address these endemic problems with greater impact and efficiency. 

In recognition of the increased medical, social and economic burden attributable to substance use disorders, the department is redoubling efforts to expand general knowledge of treatment and recovery to alleviate suffering associated with addiction.

Under the leadership of Dr. John F. Kelly, the RRI will begin to push the agenda for addiction recovery forward by conducting high quality, recovery relevant research, and disseminating and implementing results for the benefit of our communities and broader society. The RRI will become a center for training promising scientists for careers in addiction and recovery research. 

To learn more about the Institute and the work they’re doing, you can go to their website

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

From Self-Medicating to Self-Care

“I need a drink” is a common catch phrase people use to sum up a bad day.  The culture is rife with advice that a “nice glass of wine” is all it will take to feel better about whatever challenges life dishes up.  So, when we are faced with big health issues, like anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses; physical illness or changes in our physical health; or stress caused by any social or familial changes or losses, it can seem like an easy fix to pick up a drink to “take the edge off.”

As alcoholics, this response becomes our go-to.  We come to depend on alcohol to deal with our problems.  It becomes a vicious cycle as our bodies and brains are stressed from processing the alcohol, as we stuff our emotions deeper and deeper down inside, and as we become dependent on the drink to fix us.

We find great freedom from that dependence in sobriety, but it can be daunting to realize that even though we are now sober, we still have the same issues we had before we sought relief in the bottle - the same anxiety, the same depression, the same hormonal changes, the same trauma.  On this show, our guests share their experiences about how they found new and better ways to deal with their lives.  From menopause to dual diagnoses, we can move from self-medicating to proper self-care!

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

What Do I Drink If I No Longer Drink?

Julie Elsdon-Height

It's a simple question that can cause a person in recovery to stammer incoherently: "What would you like to drink?" After years of ordering a go-to favorite that is now forbidden, it can be hard to answer that question truthfully. What DO people in recovery drink on social occasions? In restaurants?  At parties?  At home after a hard day? Can anything bring the same satisfaction that alcohol once did???

Julie Elsdon-Height, author the recipe book "Mocktails and More" and the blog will join us as we discuss practical answers to the much asked question, "What do I drink if I no longer drink??!"

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Re-Broadcast - Sarah Allen Benton, Author of "Understanding The High Functioning Alcoholic"

Sarah Allen Benton is author of the book, 'Understanding the High Functioning Alcoholic' , and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and therapist at McLean Hospital in MA.
She has been featured in a NY Times article by Jane Brody, has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey ShowCBS Early Show, NPR, is a blogger for and more.
Sarah is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober since February of 2004. She gives lectures and trainings on the topic of high-functioning alcoholics at colleges, boarding schools, and at professional conferences including Harvard’s Treating the Addictions.
Please visit her website The High Functioning Alcoholic for more information about Sarah, her book and additional resources.
In this episode Sarah tells a bit of her own story of alcoholism and recovery, and answers questions about High Functioning Alcoholism, including how to define it, what common personality traits and drinking patters are found with high functioning alcoholics, and steps people who fit this description can find ways to get help.
Listen below, or look in the tab above to learn how to subscribe to our podcast! 

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Little Willingness Goes A Long Way

As the song says, "Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start..." For those in recovery, the starting point of every day is willingness. Willingness to be honest about our relationship to alcohol and about our behavior and thought patterns. Willingness to rearrange our lives and our relationships. Willingness to show up for our lives by being present instead of escaping into addiction. It's as essential a mindset for the newcomer as it is for someone who has been sober for years. Join us as we share our experiences around this fundamental building block of recovery. Remember: a little willingness goes a long way!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sobriety Bloggers

The earliest stages of recovery are marked by an inkling that something needs to change, and a budding curiosity emerges to ask such questions as: “What is normal drinking?” “How much is too much?” “Am I an alcoholic?” And “how do I quit drinking?” From behind the safety of our computers screens we pose the uncertainties that trouble our souls, seeking information and all that comes with it: guidance, comfort, direction, and hope. So it is that many stumble upon the frank world of sobriety bloggers: others in recovery who chronicle the ups and downs of their own personal journeys, sharing the experience as both an exercise in healing and in service to others. Join us as we speak to the authors of four popular recovery blogs: Mrs D is Going WithoutBye Bye Beer and UnPickled.

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