Trigger Events

August 29, 2014

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The term “trigger even” is commonly used by people struggling to understand what turns on their addictive thinking, ear lying warning signs (drug seeking behavior), and the strong attraction or need to bet involved in high risk situations. Recovering people intuitively understand the idea of relapse because it is linked to the metaphor of a gun. When you are holding a  load gun and pull the trigger it fires. Addiction, especially in early recovery, is very much a like a loaded gun with a sensitive trigger.

When you pull the addiction trigger, the disease of addiction fires off addictive thinking, automatic addictive or drug seeking behavior, and a craving or urge that pulls you toward high risk situations. One you are in a high risk situation you have put yourself in a HIGH RISK SITUATION which takes you away from recovery support, puts you around people, place, and things that support addictive use and make it easy for you to use. The high risk situation also provides social support to start using and social criticize if you refuse to start using. In a high risk situation there is also usually the false promise that goes like this: “I can use my addictive substance just this once, no one will know, and I can just renew my sobriety tomorrow. That, of course, is a very dangerous way from a recovering addictive to be thinking.

Most recovering people intuitively understand what a trigger is, and can describe exactly what pulled the trigger and what happened after the trigger fired off the movement toward addiction.  The problem is that very few recovering people or professional can tell you what a trigger is.  Events and situations that act as powerful triggers for some people have no effect on others. Even more confusing, on some days a certain situation, like have lunch in a restaurant that serves alcohol, activates a powerful trigger. On other days, haven lunch in the same place with the same people does nothing to pull the trigger that activates craving. Why is this?

Many people mistaken believe that the trigger lives in the external person, place or thing that sets it off. As a result addiction professionals teach recovering people to identify and avoid common trigger events. Rarely do recovery people get a clear explanation of psychobiological dynamics that that make triggers so powerful. Without a clear understanding of the psychobiological dynamics of a trigger event, the only way to learn to many them is through trial and error.

Bob Tyler, in his book Enough Already!: A Guide to Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Addiction, explains it this way:

“If we don’t know what makes a trigger a trigger, the only thing we can teach patients to do is to avoid them. Now, how much success do you think our patients will have avoiding triggers living in this society which is permeated by alcohol and drugs? Probably not very much! Therefore, it is essential that we are knowledgeable about how a trigger actually becomes a trigger so we can teach our patients how to recover from triggers?” Although Bob Tyler talks about “recovering from triggers, and I talk about identifying, managing, and disempowering triggers, our basic concept is the same. Recovering people can learn to identify avoid, manage, and eventual, turn off the ability of the trigger to activate craving and drug seeking behavior. This happens spontaneously as people get into long-term recovery. There are techniques and methods for pan aging and disempowering triggers that can make the process a lot easier.

Trigger Event – Defined

A trigger event as “any internal or external occurrence that activates a craving (obsession, compulsion, physical craving, and drug-seeking behavior)” (Gorski, 1988). let’s break down this definition:

  • “internal” occurrences are thoughts or feelings;
  • “external” occurrences involve the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
  • In order for something to be a trigger, such an event must be connected in some way to the person’s using alcohol to other drugs.
  • The trigger is stronger if the event happen just before, or simultaneous to, the actual use (Gorski, 1988).
  • The most important thing to know about what makes a trigger a trigger is its connection to the use.

Bob  Tyler explains it this way: “A simple way of explaining this is by relating it to classical (or Pavlovian) conditioning. Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1904 for his research in digestive processes. While studying the relationship between salivation and digestive processes in dogs, he would show a dog meat powder and measure the resulting salivation level of the dog – they did this repeatedly. One day, Dr. Pavlov noticed that when he walked into the lab, that the dog started to salivate even before showing it the meat powder. There appeared to be some connection made for the dog between Dr. Pavlov and the meat powder which caused it to salivate. To study this phenomenon, he added a third variable (a bell) and rang it just prior to showing the dog meat powder and measured the resulting salivation level. He did this repeatedly: bell à meat powder à salivation, bell à meat powder à salivation, etc. He eventually found that he could ring the bell, not present the meat powder, and the dog would still salivate. Thus, there was a connection made for the dog between the bell and the meat powder that prompted the salivation (PageWise, 2002). For our purposes, the bell is the trigger for the dog’s drug of choice – meat powder, which caused the dog to salivate for, or crave, the meat powder. The challenge for the addicted is to identify the bells (triggers) that cause them to salivate (crave) their drug of choice. This will allow them to avoid or manage such triggers until the time in their recovery comes to start recovering from them.”

Disempowering (Recovering from) Triggers

There are three phases in disempowering  a trigger:

  • Phase 1: Avoidance: Make a list of the most powerful triggers that were associated with you drinking and drugging and plan to avoid them.
  • Phase 2: Gradual re-introduction with adequate recovery support: If consciously exposing yourself to a trigger it is best to have a friend in recovery to help you prepare, go through the experience with the trigger, be their to help you get out, and then talk about the experience and the thoughts and feelings that it stirred up.
  • Phase 3: Extinction. Phase I is to “eliminate as many of them as you can, for a limited period of time, until stable” (Gorski, 1988). As stated previously, in very early sobriety, you do not go to bars or other using places, you avoid people who use and drink, and you avoid any other triggers you identify.

“The second phase is a gradual reintroduction of the triggers so that the person can learn how to cope with them” (Gorski, 1988). This does not mean to gradually re-introduce the addict into the crack house or their favorite watering hole, but there are some trigger situations that you should be able to eventually participate in. As stated earlier, alcohol permeates our society and you would have to live a very sheltered life in order to avoid it over the long-term. Therefore, in order to lead any kind of normal life, gradual re-introduction to some trigger situations is necessary. This re-introduction process is best done with the addict’s sponsor or with a therapist or group if they have one. Following is an example of this process in my own sobriety.

The following story reported by Bob Tyler gives and excellent example:

“When I was about 90 days sober and still involved in the aftercare portion of my treatment program, we were invited to the wedding of my wife’s cousin in Chandler, Arizona. I thought: “I’d really like to go!” However, I had learned from past experience that decisions I made on my own in relation to my sobriety were typically bad ones. So I decided to leave it completely up to my group and put it out to them. The consensus was that since I was still working a very strong sobriety program, going to daily meetings, and going with my supportive wife, I could probably stay sober if I created a sobriety plan. The group then proceeded to help me put this plan together.

  • Suggestion 1: Carry a Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) onto the plane and read it: The thinking was that since flying on an airplane was a trigger for me to drink, it would be difficult to order a drink while holding a Big Book in my hand. The book has an embossed cover so nobody would know what it was and, if they recognized it, they probably have one and I might meet someone in the program.
  • Suggestion 2: Keep you recovery support system close. If traveling, find out where the lo=cal meetings are and make telephone contact with one or more local members. Have a written plan to go to 12-Step meetings each day and have an accountability system built-in.  I was in Arizona. They had me call the downtown Los Angeles Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to get the number of the central office in Chandler, Arizona. I was to get a meeting scheduled for each day I was there and, if possible, schedule a meeting for the time of the reception so if I got into trouble, I could simply leave the reception and go to a meeting. In fact, this actually happened – here’s a funny little story:
  • Suggestion 3: Have an Emergency Escape Plan if Craving Is Triggered: Bob Tyler went to the reception.  “I found myself talking to my wife’s uncle next to the wet bar at his home.” Bob said.  “Suddenly, someone plopped down a bottle of my favorite whiskey onto the bar right in front of me. After recovering from my slight panic, I excused myself and informed my wife  that I was going to a meeting. She was supportive because I had talked with her about this emergency plan before we left.   Fortunately, I got the address and directions to the from AA’s Central Office before I left. This made it easier for me to go.”

After the meeting, Bob went back to the reception where he noticed “everyone was having a great time dancing. This really looked fun to me, but I had never danced sober before. I always had to have at least a few drinks in me first because I was not a very good dancer and cared too much about what other people thought of me. When I had a few drinks, I felt like I danced like John Travolta and you didn’t think so – too bad!” It’s amazing how many recovering people won;t dance in recovery because they fear it will make them feel stupid and activate a craving. Bob is not alone here. So Bob developed a plan:

He waited for a fast song that he liked, and slid onto the dance floor while playing “air guitar” and, and starting to  dance. “A Van Halen song came on,” says Bob, and I was off and running. Little did I know that just after I left for my meeting, the bride and groom arrived, walked across the portable dance floor, and everyone followed tradition by throwing rice at them. You can imagine what happened next. As I attempted to slide onto the dance floor, my feet hit the rice and came right out from under me. I hit the floor, followed by two of my wife’s female cousins (one of them the bride!) who I managed to take down with me – one of them right onto my lap. I rose to my feet with my beet-red face and, as I looked around the dance floor, I could see my wife’s family’s reaction which I perceived as, “There he goes, he’s drunk again” – and I was probably the only sober person there!”

Alcoholics and other addicts carry with them a reputation for doing stupid things when they are drinking or using. AS a result, any time they make a mistake or try to have fun by being silly, many people with just assume they have stated drinking or drugging again. This can activate shame and guilt and bring back painful members. It’s also easy to feel unfairly judged and to question the value of your sobriety. “If this is how people will always react to me, why bother to stay sober?” Needless to say, this kind of thinking a serious warning that needs to be discussed with your therapist and sponsor.

The other elements of his sobriety plan helped Bob get though this situation sober. He called his sponsor each day discussing everything that happened and how he felt about it. He read the Big Book for a half-hour each evening to keep is sober-thinking brain circuits alive and active., and not going anywhere alone. Upon returning, my group and I processed what worked, and what additional program tools I might have used so I could use them the next time I might have to expose myself to triggers.

Through this process of gradual re-introduction, Bob was able to participate in increasingly more activities in my recovery to the point I can now do almost anything without being triggered. This is due to the third phase of the recovery process called the “extinction process” (Gorski, 1988). As mentioned earlier, triggers become extinguished when repeated exposure to them is connected with not using, rather than using.

Addiction professionals can learn to prepare recovering people for living in a society that is alcohol and drug centered.  The trigger management process, or as Bob Tyler Describes it, Trigger Recovery, can help many recovering people improve the quality of their sober life and reduce the fear and risk of relapse.

References:

Gorski, Terence T. (Speaker). (1988). Cocaine craving and relapse: A comparison
between alcohol and cocaine (Cassette Recording Number 17 – 0157).

Independence, Mo: Herald House/Independent Press.

Pagewise, Inc. (2002). This study in classical conditioning is one of the most renown for its incredible results. Learn about Pavlov’s dogs [Online]. Available Internet: http://ks.essortment.com/pavlovdogs_oif.htm.

Tyler, Bob. (2005) Enough Already!: A Guide to Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Books by Terence T. Gorski

Gorski’s book Straight Talk About Addiction describes trigger events in detail.

Gorski, Terence T., Addiction & Recovery Magazine, April 10, 1991

Gorski, Terence T.,  Managing Cocaine Craving, Hazelden, Center City, June 1990


Addiction Can Be Understood and Treated

August 15, 2014

RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE
STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT ADDICTION

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Straight talk means giving clear, honest, and plain-English descriptions of important issues related to addiction, recovery, relapse prevention. Straight Talk means discussion the artistes for addiction — sobriety and responsible living.

This book tells it like it is without a great deal of concern for political correctness or the tentative guarded language that so often hides the truth about addiction, recovery, and relapse.

After 40 years of following the new research and treatment practices for addiction, Terry Gorski became frustrated at the misinformation about alcohol and other drug addictions and the narrow and incomplete approaches to treatment, recovery and relapse prevention.

In this book, Terry provides the best information on the current science-based upon an accurate understanding of what the core addiction syndrome is and what the an effective addiction treatment process needs to look like if it is to increase the chances of recovery and decrease the risk of relapse.

This book is easy to read and loaded with useful information. The book can be quickly read from beginning to end, and then kept as a handy reference to find specific information that can be used as a guide to manage the problems and crises that are so often a part of the addiction and recovery process.

The message is simple: addiction is a biopsychosocial disease. science-based understanding of what the core addiction syndrome is and what the core addiction treatment process needs to look like if it is to increase the chances of recovery and decrease the risk. Here are some of the key ideas developed in depth with the book:

Addiction is a biopsychosocial disease. Bio means biological or of the body, Psycho means psychological or of the mind, Social means the relationships that develop among people and with the social and legal systems that are needed for responsible living.

Biologically, addiction is marked by brain dysfunction that disrupts the reward chemistry of the brain creating cycles of intense euphoria and powerful craving.

Psychologically addicted people slowly adjust their ways of thinking, feeling, acting that allows them to deny and rationalize the problems caused by the it addiction.

Gradually, over time, an addictive beliefs develops that create a powerful denial system. This denial blocks the ability to recognize the addiction, interferes with the ability to ask for and accept help, and creates a deadly spiral of progressively more severe relapse episodes.

Socially, addiction pushes away sober and responsible people while attracting and feeling attracted to addicted and irresponsible people. The result is a tragedy. The addict abuses, disregards, and destroys those who love and try to help them. Active addicts set themselves up to be exploited by other addicted people and are vulnerable to predators who use and abuse them.

Most importantly Straight Talk About Addiction provides hope. Addiction and be understood, recovery is possible, and relapse can be prevented it effectively managed should it occur.

This book is easy to read and understand. It is loaded with useful information. Many people read it from beginning to end to get a comprehensive understanding of addiction, recovery, relapse, and related problems. Many people keep the book handy so they can use it as an easy-access reference to find useful information that can be used to effectively manage addiction-related problems.

The message is clear: Recovery is possible. Relapse can be prevented or effectively managed should it occur. There is hope.

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE

Get The Book By Terence T. Gorski
STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT ADDICTION


Using Cognitive Restructuring for Addiction (CRFA) 

June 11, 2014

CENAPS_CRFA_ArrowBy Terence T. Gorski, Author
The Cognitive Restructuring for Addiction Workbook 

There is a simple formula for applying cognitive restructuring principles to nearly any problem. Here is how it works:
Write down both a title and a description for the problem. Here’s an example:
Title: Frustrated With My Job
Description: I know that I am in trouble with my recovery when I keep getting upset by little frustrations at work that I can usually handle well.
NOTE: Don’t use the exact same words in the title as in the description. Using different words forces your brain/mind to understand the problem on different level and from  different point of view. 
Start the TFUAR Analysis by completing the following statements: 
T = Thinking: When I am experiencing this problem I tend to think …
F = Feeling: When I am experiencing this problem I tend to feel …
U = Urges (Motivations): When I am thinking and feeling this way I tend to have the self-defeating urge to …
A = Action: When I experience that self-defeating rugs what I actually do that usually fails to solve the problem is …
R = Reactions: When I take this action other people tend to react to me in ways that make the problem worse by …
Complete the TFUAR Analysis Process by answering the following questions: 
T = Thinking:  What is another way of thinking that could help me approach this problem in a more effective wash?
F = Feeling: If I were to start thinking that way how would it change what I was feeling? Would that change in feeling help me approach this problem in a more effective wash?
U = Urges (Motivations): if my feelings changed in that way, how would my urges (motivations) to act out my old self-defeating behaviors change?
A = Actions: If my urges/motivations changed in that way, what new actions could I take that would help me to deal with this problem in a  more effective way?
R = Reactions: If I used the new actions, how would the reactions of others be likely to change in a way that would help me approach the problem in a more effective way?
By using this process of TFUAR Analysis over and over again every time you experience a problem, you will begin to develop new and more effective habits for dealing with problems.
For more I information on using cognitive restructuring in your life get The Cognitive Restructuring for Addiction Workbook and use it as the basis of a discussion group with other people you know who are committed to personal growth and development.

The Living Carcass: Zombies, Vampires, and Addiction

May 7, 2014

imagesBy Terence T. Gorski, Author

Addiction can turn an active addict into a living carcass — the empty shell of a real human person.

A carcass is “the outside part of a vehicle, building, or other object that is left when the rest of it has been destroyed.” In terms of addiction, it is the living shell of a person who has nothing left in life but their addiction.  The addiction has stripped them of the essence of being a human being and left a arational drug seeking creature in its place.

The zombie metaphor is very appropriate for addiction. The brain is attacked by the active addiction and the addict becomes a zombie, repeating the same addictive cycle without thought or self-control. Eventually zombies die or are killed or imprisoned by those who are still alive. The consequences of their own behavior condemns zombies to dwell in then land of the living dead and function on a subhuman level.

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I bite. You bleed. You may fight. I need to feed.

The vampire metaphor also applies to addiction. Vampires were once good people who were victimized by a predatory vampire. As the transformation from human to vampire progresses, need for blood grows. Even the vampires who still remember human sensibilities cannot resist the need to feed on blood, no matter what the consequence or how badly the act of feeding violates their values..

The analogy of the addict as vampire is best expressed in the book The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. It is a great book. Lestat is a likable vampire because he fights back against the inhuman need to feed on blood. He does not like being a vampire and goes to heroic lengths to rise above his nature and become human again. He hates himself for what he is and what he feels the compulsion to do. Yet he is what he is and cannot change his nature.

Fortunately, unlike Zombies and Vampires, people suffering from addiction can recover.

I have not seen any 12-Step for vampires. There is a book on the 12-Steps for Vampires by Michael Masden and a film entitled Vampires Anonymous.

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE

GORSKI BOOKS


Alcohol Facts and Statistics

May 7, 2014

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On The Internet
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

Percentage of Drinkers:

In 2012,
– 87.6% of people aged 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime;
– 71% reported that they drank in the past year; 56.3% reported that they drank in the past month.

Percentage of Binge Drinkers and Heavy Drinkers:

In 2012,
– 24.6 % of people aged 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month (drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days);
– 7.1% reported that they engaged in heavy drinking in the past month (drinking 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days).

Alcohol Use Disorders:

An estimated 17 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder (AUD)—a medical term that includes both alcoholism and harmful drinking that does not reach the level of dependence.

Untreated AUDs:

Research shows that an estimated 15% of individuals with an AUD ever seek treatment.

Alcohol-related Deaths:

Each year in the U.S., nearly 80,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in our country.8

Economic Burden of Alcohol Problems:

In 2006, alcohol problems cost the U.S. $224 billion each year, primarily from lost productivity but also from health care and property damage costs. These issues affect all Americans, whether they drink or not.

Global burden of Alcohol Problems:

Globally, alcohol use is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability; among people between the ages of 15 to 49, it is the first.10

Family consequences of Alcohol Problems:

More than 10% of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study.

Alcohol and College Students:

Each year —

– 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.

– 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

– 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

Alcohol and Adolescents:

– By age 15, more than 50 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink.
More adolescents drink alcohol than smoke cigarettes or use marijuana.

– In 2009, 10.4 million young people ages 12 to 20 reported that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.

Alcohol and Pregnancy:

– Among more than half a million pregnant women surveyed between 1991 and 2005, about 12% reported drinking and about 2% reported binge drinking.

– The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the U.S. is between 2 to 7 cases per 1,000;

– The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in populations of younger school children may be as high as 2-5% in the U.S. and some Western European countries.

Alcohol and the Human Body:

– In 2009, liver cirrhosis was the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, with a total of 31,522 deaths—664 more than in 2008.

– Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2009, 48.2 percent were alcohol related. The proportion of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (70.6 percent) among decedents aged 35 to 44.

– In 2009, alcohol related liver disease was the primary cause of almost 1 in 3 liver transplants in the U.S.


Straight Talk About Addiction

May 4, 2014

 

Gorski_Addiction_Straight_TalkBy Terence T. Gorski
Author

Accurate and up-to-date. Easy to read and understand.

Books about addiction are boring! — REALLY?
Not when they’re written in STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT ADDICTION!

I have found my voice as a writer. It’s the same voice I use as a speaker: Direct! No nonsense! Factual! Authoritative!

My new voice is clear and easy to understand. Yet it’s engaging. I write as if I’m sitting directly in front of you and putting the information right in your face. You may not like what you’re hearing, but, believe me, you’ll listen.

Straight Talk is direct and entertaining; it explains useful information in clear and easy to understand language. I provide clear examples to back up th information. Yet with all of that, my sarcastic but “incredibly funny” sense of humor shines through.

I’m glad I finally learned how to write with the same clarity and impact in which I speak to audiences. I am proud of my new “writers voice” and, using this new voice, I am in the process of updating my previous works. The concepts have a new clarity, research findings are presented in an easy to understand way. The new works are just plain interesting and filled with useful information.

The First Books In The Straight Talk Series

The first book in the “Straight Talk Series” was Straight Talk About Suicide.” Not a fun topic, but a necessary one. Too many recovering people, especially out veterans, are dying at their own hand. This book is short, straight and to the point. It is written as if I am talking a suicidal person away from the ledge of a tall building while the crown is yelling “jump, jump, jump!” Its key message is brutally simple: Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! Wait and think it through. Even though it may not seem like it, there are better choices than killing yourself.

The second and newest book in the straight talk series is Straight Talk About Addiction. I talk to the reader in a clear and logical way that explains what addiction is, tells you how to figure out if you have it, and then explains how to b-pass your denial and motivate yourself to stand up and get moving ahead in recovery.

Why Straight Talk About Addiction Is Important

You don’t have to be bored to death to learn about addiction. As a matter of fact, the absolute worst way to learn about addiction is to read or listen to something boring. You learn best when you are engaged with what you are reading or listening too. things get interesting when the material smacks you right in the face because it explains your real life experiences in a new and more meaningful way – a way that gives you new choices in recovery.

The Biopsychosocial Addiction Model in presented in short and concise conceptual area that build upon one another to paint a complete picture. After reading the book you will be able to describe in a model of Addiction that has proven to be both accurate and memorial. In other words, a model that bas stood the test of time. Don’t take my word for it. Decide for yourself by reading some examples from the book.

Excerpts from the Book Straight Talk About Addiction

Excerpt #1: The Progression of Addiction:  Addiction is not something that suddenly happens.  It usually progresses just fast enough to start changing how you think, feel, act, and relate to other people; and just slow enough to make it difficult for you and others to notice the changes that are slowly developing into serious alcohol and drug related problems.

Excerpt #2: What Causes Addiction To Progress: The progression of addiction is caused by a complex interaction among four things. (1) The Addictive Brain Responses: This is the unique way the brain of addict responds to alcohol or other drugs; (2) Addictive Psychodynamics: This is the unique way the mind of an addict responds to alcohol and other drug use that results in denial and addictive thinking; (3) Addictive Behavior: This is the drug seeking habits that addicted people develop. Addictive behavior puts us around the people, places, and things and things where alcohol and other drugs are readily available and support for sober and responsible behavior is slim or nonexistent; and (4) Addictive Social Systems: These result from the way addicted people structure their lives. They are the social systems that make heavy, abusive, and addictive alcohol and drug use possible by driving away sober and responsible people while both attracting and feeling attracted to others who have alcohol and drug problems.

You must address all four of these areas simultaneously to increase your chances of recovery. So it’s suggested that you take ownership of this information. Taking ownership means finding what applies to you and then using it to make sense out of what is happening in your life. Reading this book with an open mind will help you to see the truth, either good or bad, about what alcohol and other drugs are doing in your life. The truths allows you to see new ways of solving your problems and moving ahead in recovery without relapse.

Excerpt #4: Mind Altering Substances: Mind-altering substances are chemical agents that alter how the brain works in a way that changes how we think, feel, act, and relate to other people. In other words, mind-altering substances physically change how our brain works.

The human brain is a complex chemical factory. Millions of nerve cells communicate with each other by releasing and absorbing chemicals called neurotransmitters. Mind altering substances have a powerful physical affect on how our brains function.  They can chemically change our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by changing how our brain functions.  As a result mind-altering drugs can cause damage to the brain.  They make us feel better by disrupting the normal functioning of our brain, but we always pay a price.

Excerpt #5: The Gorski Simplified Drug Classification System: A useful drug classification systems need to be easy to understand for the person using it. A system based on the effect that most users experience when they use alcohol and other drugs. The Gorski Simplified Drug Classification System has four basic drug groups:

People tend to use drugs because they like their effects – they like the way the drug makes them feel. If the drug makes them feel good enough, many people are willing to risk the consequences of breaking the law in order to get and use the drug. Most people use alcohol or other drugs to experience one of four effects produced by drugs in one of four different groups. Here are the drug groups: (1) Uppers stimulate and excite. (2). Downers relax and sedate. (3) Pain Killers take away both physical and emotional pain. (4) Mind Benders that scramble consciousness and produce pseudo-spiritual and pseudo-intimate experiences. We that think that we are communing with God when in fact we are worshiping the effects of a drug! We believe that we are getting intimate with a partner when in fact we are making love to the effect of the drug effect. The drug effect makes our partner irrelevant.

Excerpt #5: The Addictive Brain Response. The Brains of people who are at high risk of addiction react to the use of alcohol and drugs differently than the brains of at low risk of addiction. This is because high risk people experience an addictive brain response when they use alcohol and other drugs. People at low risk experience a normal brain response.

When you have a Normal Brain Response, the drug makes you feel what it was designed to make you feel – an upper creates a feeling of energy, a downer creates a feeling of relaxation, and so forth.

The Addictive Brain Response causes a feeling of euphoria that enhances the mood altering effect the drug was designed to produce. In other words, you feel both the normal drug effect of the drug plus a euphoric effect caused by the drug tickling the pleasure centers of the brain causing a flood of pleasure chemicals. As a result the “hole in your disappears when using alcohol and other drugs and you feel whole and complete, maybe for the first time in your life. As a result you really like how the drug makes you feel, so you want to use it again and again.

So there it is – my new straight talk voice

You should have a good feel for Straight Talk About Addiction. Did you understand the concepts? Will you remember them? Can you see how this information applies to you?

These are only brief excerpts from a 245 page book that explains everything you need to know about alcohol and drug use, abuse, and addiction. I think you’ll like reading this book. I know the ideas will be easy to understand and stick in your mind. Reading this book may reorganize the way you understand and respond to addictive disease.

I’m proud of this book. I believe it is one of the best books I’ve ever written. I hope you will enjoy it and find the information useful.

Terence T. (Terry) Gorski

Live Sober — Be Responsible — Five Free

Gorski BooksGorski Training


Rules of the Workplace

May 4, 2014

By Terence T. Gorski, Author

Over the course of my career many people have discussed problems they are having at work. Many times these problems result from violating or failing to understand ten basic rules of the workplace.

1. STRESS: The workplace is always stressful. Learn how to manage it or stress-related problems will hurt your performance.

2. HABITUAL EARLINESS: Get in the habit of getting to work a little bit early and staying a little bit late. Being early gives you time to settle in and plan your day before the action starts. Staying a little late gives you the time to think through the day mark progress to build upon and problems to correct.

3. GOING THE EXTRA MILE: Get in the habit of doing a little bit more than expected without being asked to do it, without expectation of praise or gratitude and with a positive attitude.

4. ALL WORKPLACES ARE POLITICAL: Be aware of what goes on in the workplace that no one wants to see or talk about. Leave it hidden, unless it is is your explicit responsibility to expose and fix it. Avoid pointing out the problems hidden in plain sight. They are hidden and ignored for a reason.

5. THERE IS NO PERFECT WORKPLACE: Learn to accept the flaws and work around them. If the benefits don’t out way the problems inherent in your job, responsibly move on to something better without burning your bridges behind you. Remember, however, jobs always look better from the outside in than the inside out.

6. REMEMBER IT IS CALLED WORK FOR A REASON: You go to work to earn a living, do a job, add value to the business you work for, and improve your skills and resume. You don’t work for fun, personal growth, or to enhance your social life.

7. WORK IS STRESSFUL: Work by it’s very nature is stressful. This is because work relationships are conditional. You have your job on the condition you can successful perform your duties and meet your responsibilities.

8. CAREER PLANNING PRINCIPLES:
– Face the truth
– Set a goal,
– Make a plan,
– Work the plan.

9. YOUR REAL JOB: Your real job is to make you bosses job easier, build up the people who build you up, and ignore everyone else. Let your enemies die of their own stupidity.

10. KEEPING ROMANCE OUT OF THE WORKLACE: You go to work to build a career, not to fall in love or get laid. Romantic/Sexual Relationships with people in the workplace can literally screw-up even the best career plans.

GORSKI BOOKS: http://www.relapse.org


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