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The Grateful Deed

Posted December 3, 2021
By Merlyn Karst, President, The Purpose of Recovery

As a nation, we celebrated Thanksgiving with thankfulness and civility. It was indeed a grateful deed. Though we should give thanks for many things each day, we single out this day to express gratitude. As planned, it is a time of family, fellowship, food, and fun —as it should be. We still love parades and football. For those of us in active and sustained recovery it is a special day to gives thanks.

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Helping a Family Member Who Has a Brain Disorder

Posted November 19, 2021
By Linda Verst, KY Certified Prevention Specialist

I don’t use the words “mental illness” a lot. Brain Disorder, in our society at least, does not seem to have as negative a feel to it. When I realized very early in our marriage that my husband suffered from a serious addiction to alcohol and other drugs, I sought help from a 12 Step Program for wives and family members. It was the difference for me between sinking or swimming.

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Mind Over Matters

Posted November 5, 2021
By Merlyn Karst, President, The Purpose of Recovery

We celebrated September as Recovery Month. For me and others, October has been Discovery Month. In that regard, I am reminded of the quote from Albert Einstein, “Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance,” We have heard the expression mind over matter. The science of addiction tells us that the brain is very active in determining the best ways to handle pleasure and pain. For pain it wants less of it and for pleasure it wants more of it. The brains receptors are tuned to how the chemical dopamine is produced and the best neuron pathways from which to receive reward.

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As We Focus on Homicide, Suicide Should Not Be Overlooked and Substance Abuse is A Primary Cause

Posted October 29, 2021
By Gene Gilchrist, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Stay Clean

Recent reports rightfully focus on the increase of homicides nationwide in 2020. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that homicides increased between 2019 and 2020 by 30% to 21,570 deaths. Such an increase is alarming and telling of trends in the nation beyond the author’s expertise.

In that same time the Centers for Disease Control reports that deaths from self-harm – suicide — have declined by 5.5% but remain at more than twice the deaths from homicide at 44,834. On the list of leading causes of death reported by the CDC self-harm ranks 10th.

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We Don’t Understand The Problem of Addiction

Posted October 15, 2021
By Gene Gilchrist, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Stay Clean

The seeming increase in reports from the press about alcohol and drug use and abuse is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, raising awareness of substance use and substance use disorder creates opportunities for the person suffering the disease and/or their loved ones to act, and creates a greater imperative for public action. On the other hand, these same reports unintentionally reinforce long held attitudes about alcohol and drug use and abuse that create barriers to access to treatment or, worse, reinforce stereotypes that prevent the addict from seeking help.

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Bridging the Gap to Recovery

Posted October 8, 2021
By Merlyn Karst, President, The Purpose of Recovery

On September 25, with the initiative of The Purpose of Recovery, the first annual Recovery Connection Rally in Orange County was held at Kiwanis Land Park in Garden Grove. The temperature was in the 70s — a day to be lived in comfort and joy. it was a memorable occasion for all of us. September is National Recovery Month, begun in 1989 under the name of Treatment Works! Now in its 32nd year, the theme is RECOVERY IS FOR EVERYONE: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community. With registration necessarily capped at 500, Our 42 Community Partners showcased and networked the broad spectrum of resources available to those seeking help and hope. The hundreds of attendees enjoyed music, line dancing, speakers, and a lunch of hot dogs, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, chips and drinks. Kids were bouncing, having snow cones, and their faces painted. With all of that, the biggest take-away was new knowledge, friendships, and fellowship. As introductory speaker, I shared the following remarks. Read on and be present in heart and mind.

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In Others’ Words

Posted September 10, 2021
By Merlyn Karst, President, The Purpose of Recovery

September is National Recovery Month, begun in 1989 under the name of Treatment Works! Now in its 32nd year, the theme is RECOVERY IS FOR EVERYONE: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community. Each year we take the opportunity to celebrate the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders. Formally the province of SAMSHA, Recovery month is under the auspices of Faces and Voices of Recovery. Faces and Voices will be heard and seen across the Globe in Celebration of the Reality of Recovery in all its forms. California kicks it off from the Capital steps on September 1st. Our new RCO, and first in Orange County, The Purpose of Recovery, will be there.

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Funding is Fundamental

Posted August 6, 2021
By Merlyn Karst, President, The Purpose of Recovery

Infrastructure is in the news. It’s about what it is and how to fund it. It appears there is some agreement on “hard” infrastructure spending. There are two matters of infrastructure under consideration. One is physical which we know as roads, bridges, transmission lines, etc. I read a statement that said, “infrastructure refers to any facility we expect but do not think about—we take it for granted—because it works for us in the background. “I might add to this—until it doesn’t. The other, social infrastructure covers a range of services and facilities that meet local and strategic needs and contribute towards a good quality of life. It includes health provision, education, community resources, etc. Important to all is the human component—knowledge, skills and abilities. All need funding and it is hard to understand the computations in trillions and billions.

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Owed To Freedom

Posted July 2, 2021
By Merlyn Karst, President, The Purpose of Recovery

An Ode is poetic praise. Owed is a debt recognized. Freedom is due both. My favorite Ode is Ode to Joy. We celebrate July fourth as independence day. The liberty bell is cracked but freedom still rings. We owe much to our liberty and freedom, and unless impugned and diminished, they are being regained and appreciated. The Statue of Liberty invites with these words, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. The peril, pain, and persistence of the Pandemic is passing.

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Old Timers For A Change

Posted June 11, 2021
By Gene Gilchrist, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Stay Clean

A recent exchange in “Dear Annie” with “Follow the Data” revisits an important, current discussion in addiction treatment. That this discussion is occurring in more popular sites rather than technical journals is a positive sign. The contention surrounding the discussion seems unnecessary and unhelpful.

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KFTC Voting Rights Update

Posted May 21, 2021
By Dave Newton, Organizing Co-Director, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

The Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition together has accomplished a lot in the last few months - Virtual Lobby Day for a Healthy Democracy with over 70 participants, The Kentucky Council of Churches led a strong Virtual Prayer and Action Day about Voting Rights, multiple phone banks and text banks to reach people on this issue and connect them with the legislative message line and strong virtual lobby trainings and issue trainings.

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Advice For The First Day Of Kindergarten

Posted April 30, 2021
By By Gene Gilchrist, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Stay Clean

As schools reopen across the country thousands of first-time students face the prospect of something very new in their lives. Unlike their predecessors they also feel the anxiety reflected from adults after a long and trying year of Covid pressures. A frightening time in life during a frightening time in the world.

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Twelve Ideas for Helping a Loved One with Addiction

Posted April 16, 2021
By Linda Verst, KY Certified Prevention Specialist

I’ve heard it said that “what is urgent is rarely important, and what is important is rarely urgent”. That may be true about many things, but it surely did not feel true to me when my husband was in the midst of a destructive addiction to alcohol and other drugs, or later, when our son developed a terrifying love affair with cocaine. Everything felt urgent and life or death. I lost all perspective on decision making. Everything was frightening and beyond my coping skills.

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Life Learning Center

Posted April 2, 2021
By People Advocating Recovery & LLC

Started in 2006 as a small non-profit that focused on the “root causes” of poverty, Life Learning Center (LLC) has transitioned into so much more today. In 2021, LLC is one of only eleven designated Recovery Community Centers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky that links individuals in recovery to various services, including employment support, mutual aid groups, counseling, and networking with others from the recovery community. Additionally, LLC delivers a holistic integrated continuum of education and care facilitating transformational change, long term employment, and dignity for the “at risk” citizens of Northern Kentucky.

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How Do You Prevent Addiction In Kids?

Posted March 19, 2021
By Linda Verst, KY Certified Prevention Specialist

There’s much work that’s been done on “What makes kids resilient?” I like it, and I try to practice it mindfully, since I first heard it. The version I’m sharing here came from Bonnie Benard and Emmy Werner in the 1980’s on what makes children resilient. They looked at research on kids who grew up in war-torn countries, in poverty and as children of single parents. I like their take, as it is easy to recall and apply. It is simple and practical.

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The Age Old Plague Continues

Posted March 12, 2021
By Gene Gilchrist, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, and Kevin Pangburn, LMFT, LCADC, Chief Clinical Officer, Stay Clean

In The Plague Albert Camus was less prescient about plagues to come, or even descriptive of a certain plague among the many that had visited Oran over the centuries, than using that metaphor to describe “plague” inherent in the human reality. Today our reference defines plague as a highly contagious bacterial disease that comes in many forms and spreads globally as our world is interconnected. We want to highlight a plague that kills over 600,000 Americans every year, year in and year out.

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To Lead With Grace, Compassion, and Forgiveness

Posted February 26, 2021
By Melissa D Estep, M.S.
Program Director, Skyhope Recovery Program for Women (Recovery KY)

I was asked to write a “blog” and I have never written a blog. I have no idea what I am doing but Mike suggested to use what I had already on social media. I wrote a great “blog” this morning when my brain was on fire from my morning run and then it drifted as I drove to work by “a forgotten dentist appointment, phone calls, etc.” Now you get the best of what is left from my mental mess.

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Dona Daubitz Barry MS, LPCA

Food For Thought...

Posted January 29, 2021
By Dona Daubitz Barry MS, LPCA
Owner, Spiritual Energy Solutions LLC

I had a conversation this last week in relationship to thoughts, emotions and behavior and what my choices are today. If I have a knife… am I going to peel an apple or harm someone… when I get behind the wheel of a car… am I choosing to drive in harmony or am I using that car as a weapon…. and there’s many more….

 

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Merlyn Karst - President, The Purpose of Recovery

PAR for the Course of Recovery

Posted January 15, 2021
By Merlyn Karst
President, The Purpose of Recovery

I have been a “blogger” for Faces and Voices of Recovery and my community press for several years. I shared a bunch of words gathered from lived experience. I wrote and spoke my words and many times, the words of others about experiencing and finding joy in the reality of active and sustainable recovery. That description has more life than long-term recovery. Glad to join PAR blogs. I appreciated The Recovery Movement: Claiming Our Space and Our Story by Jeremy Byard, LRCC.

 

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Kentucky’s Fight to End Addiction Must Include Criminal Justice System

Posted January 8, 2021
By Tim Robinson
CEO, Addiction Recovery Care

At a moment when many people are finding it difficult to see eye-to-eye with their fellow Kentuckians, there’s one thing we all can agree on: We must keep fighting to end addiction in the commonwealth.

This is a public health crisis that has only worsened due to the challenges of the last eight months, with substance use and overdose deaths trending in the wrong direction.

However, there is good news. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky public officials remain committed to breaking the vicious cycle of addiction. In November, the state will submit a transformative proposal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that, if approved, will expand access to substance use disorder treatment among some of our society’s most vulnerable and at-risk individuals: those in our criminal justice system.

 

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Treating an Epidemic Within a Pandemic

Posted December 18, 2020
By Tim Robinson
CEO, Addiction Recovery Care

When grave new challenges emerge, it would be nice if existing ones would subside. Sadly, that is just not how the world works.

In communities across the Commonwealth and throughout the U.S., mental health and addiction treatment providers are facing a new set of challenges as they continue to care for some of our population’s most vulnerable amid a global pandemic.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 67,367 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2018 — more than 1,300 of whom were here in Kentucky. While public health officials and providers battle one crisis, we cannot afford to overlook another that has been impacting our communities for years — and one that will most certainly still be here even after the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.

 

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The Holidays Look a Little Different This Year...

Posted December 11, 2020
By Tara Moseley Hyde
National Chapter Director, Young People in Recovery

Every person has a different experience throughout the holiday season. Maybe you are spending it with family in or out of town. Maybe you volunteer at a local shelter to give back. Perhaps you are one of those who spend the holidays with your adoptive family. This could be close friends from your support network or other groups that you volunteer with. For those of us in recovery, the holiday season can be an emotional one. However, there is cause for celebration. Our newfound freedoms and the ability to enjoy the festivities is one that many of us have not encountered before. This holiday seasons brings a particular set of new challenges, one that necessitates us to pause.

 

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The Recovery Movement: Claiming Our Space and Our Story

The Recovery Movement: Claiming Our Space and Our Story

Posted December 4, 2020
By Jeremy M. Byard
Executive Director, Louisville Recovery Community Connection (LRCC)

Over the past decade a powerful recovery movement has continued to gain momentum as more and more people all across this country-from every background and socioeconomic status-courageously step away from fear and into their rightful place in their communities-claiming space, having their voices heard and weaponizing their journeys in the important fight against discrimination. Their stories of transformation, struggle, and most importantly—resilience—have created a beautiful patchwork quilt representing the actual experiences of real people. And more spaces exist today than at any other time in history built upon recovery-oriented principles specifically for people to experience recovery together, have fun, engage in activism and advocacy and stay connected to one another. Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs), recovery cafes and coffee shops, and even digital recovery platforms are now a reality. We are here. The revolution is here. And we are the revolution.

 

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