Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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ATTENTION READERS:

This blog is no longer being maintained, except for occasional updates of the PAWS article.

Please follow my blog “What…Me Sober?” at whatmesober.com for current news and commentary on addiction issues.  If you are posting about PAWS, please use the link above as the article is also on WMS?.  If you are interested in Buddhism, there are a number of good blogs and other sites in the sidebar on this page.

Thanks for your patronage over the years.  I just don’t have time to work with two blogs any more.

Namasté,

Bill


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Home Groups

The three attributes of AA, the Steps, Traditions and Concepts, are the foundations of any program: Unity, Service and Recovery. Just as a triangle can’t support itself without all three sides, a 12-Step Group couldn’t survive without all three “sides” of its structure. With its sides intact, on the other hand, a triangle (or pyramid) is the most stable structure there is.

We have to:

  • Stick together and support each other;
  • Make sure that we — and newcomers — have a place to come to;
  • Progress physically, spiritually and emotionally so that we can get better ourselves and then help others to recover.

The home group is the basis of all three things.  READ MORE


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Oldest Buddhist Shrine Uncovered In Nepal May Push Back Buddha’s Birth Date

The excavations showed that older wooden structures lay beneath the walls of the later brick Buddhist shrine. The layout of that more recent shrine duplicates the layout of the earlier wooden structures, pointing to a continuity of Buddhist worship at the site, Coningham says.

“The big debate has been about when the Buddha lived and now we have a shrine structure pointing to the sixth century B.C.,” Coningham says. The team used two kinds of scientific dating to find the age of the early shrine.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131125-buddha-birth-nepal-archaeology-science-lumbini-religion-history/


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Antidepressants and PAWS

In reviewing today’s search terms, I found four listings that read “Do all antidepressants cause PAWS?”  I’ve previously gotten comments on the PAWS article indicating that there is confusion about this issue, and I’d like to lay it to rest here, if possible.

PAWS is caused by changes in our brains as they become addicted to alcohol or other drugs.  When the drug is withdrawn, there is a period of dysfunction while the brain repairs itself.  It begins two to three weeks after cessation of the drug(s), and continues for several months or, in extreme conditions, for up to two years.

Antidepressants (ADs) neither cause nor prolong Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).  Antidepressant medications act on different portions of the brain.  They will not trigger addiction, cause relapse or otherwise negatively affect recovery.  In fact, many recovering people benefit greatly from using antidepressants.   Depression is common in early recovery, and ADs can literally make the difference between successful recovery and relapse.

There are people in the rooms of AA, NA and some of the other 12-step groups who, with only the best of intentions, advise newcomers to stay off all drugs.  With due respect, they may know a lot about how they themselves recovered, but they are not mental health or addiction professionals.  If you are feeling as though life isn’t worth the trouble, or having feelings of self-harm, see a physician about getting on an antidepressant medication.

The life you save may be your own.

Note: Although they are not addictive and do not cause PAWS, ADs should not be stopped, once begun, without the supervision of a physician.  There is no withdrawal per se, but there can be a rebound effect leading to deep depression if they are not tapered off rather than quitting “cold turkey.”


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Wisdom Publications Has A New Website and DRM-free EBooks

Our friends at Wisdom Publications have asked that we publish information about their newly-designed website:

The new content-rich website of Buddhist publisher Wisdom Publications, www.wisdompubs.org, is now live. The clean new design makes it easier than ever for readers to find the books and information they want and to share it with others.

New site features include:

  • Expanded book pages, complete with excerpts and tables of contents. Browse before you buy.
  • In-depth author pages containing biographies, photos, and social media links
  • Books organized into special interest collections including Wisdom Academics, Mindful Living, Tibetan Buddhism, Theravada, Zen, Buddhism and Psychology and Children’s, making browsing simpler than ever
  • The Wisdom Blog, packed with book excerpts, quotes, interviews, original posts, and more to engage the audience.

Additionally, Wisdom Publications is now offering DRM-free ebooks for sale on the site. The books are delivered simultaneously in three formats (PDF, ePub, and Mobi), allowing readers to download them onto multiple devices and preserve them in their personal libraries for future device migration.

Visit the new website today at www.wisdompubs.org.

Note: Digital-Dharma has no connection with Wisdom Publications apart from admiration for the books they publish.


Discovery Place — Residential Fellowship-oriented Recovery

I was recently contacted by Bill D., from Discovery Place, in Burns, TN, about including something about their facility on What…Me Sober?  I thought I’d publish it here, too, because … well, why not?

However, I was rather taken with the idea of Discovery Place (DP), after I twisted my head around what I now consider to be irrelevant 8th Tradition issues.  (See the afterword.)  Since I have contacts in the Nashville area I was able to reach out and learn that DP is well-regarded in the recovery community, and so I figured I’d make this exception to my rule.  I’ll let Bill explain it:

Discovery Place Inc 3Discovery Place opened its doors in 1997 as a recovery/spiritual retreat for men battling drug addiction and alcoholism. Founded by two men with long-term sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous, Discovery Place formulated programs around the principles contained in the Big Book. Every DP guest undergoes the 12 step process by receiving instructions in one-on-one and small group settings. Our primary guides, all of whom are in recovery, play the primary role in guiding guests through the steps. We also utilize the services of volunteers from the Middle Tennessee recovery community to enrich and supplement our guest’s road to recovery.

Our main campus is located on 17 acres of beautiful country farmland just outside Nashville, TN, in a small Discovery Place Inc (1)town called Burns. We have found this scenic, open environment lends inspiration and provides a restorative element to men badly burned from years of alcohol and drug abuse. The long-term recovery program campus is located close to our main campus in Dickson, TN. This campus serves men who have decided to extend their stay at Discovery Place past 30 days. Our LTR house can accommodate up to 6 men and offers beach volleyball, a driving range, ping pong, billiards and a patio with brick fireplace for night meetings.

I believe our organization is unique in two regards: staff and community. All of our staff, with the exception of our accountant, are in recovery. Almost all of them were introduced to a sober way of living at Discovery Discovery Place Inc 1Place. Because they completed at least one of our programs, staff members are in a unique position to identify and relate to guests. Over the course of their stay at Discovery Place, many guests form close bounds that continue after commencement (graduation). Many guests choose to stay close to our facility in one of the Dickson area recovery homes and live with their fellow DP alums. In many ways, we are a sober fraternity. Many guests also decide to begin volunteering at Discovery Place as soon as they commence, which is an option available to them. These facets of DP seem to work in tandem to create a flourishing recovery community. In addition to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, this might be why so many of our men pick up year or multi-year medallions.

So, that’s that, and hopefully someone will find their program interesting and perhaps useful.  Bill has assured me that their residents are encouraged to get “outside help” for issues if needed, and that opportunities abound for recreation in the area.  In fact, he was delayed getting this article to me because he was off on their annual White Water Rafting weekend.

http://www.discoveryplace.info/

Now, a word about the 8th Tradition issues.  I have no problem with them, and neither do the folks at Discovery Place.  That said, it’s none of my business anyway.  I have my own problems, and if they’re getting along with the AA groups around Nashville, I’m good with it.  (If they weren’t, I doubt they’d have stayed around as long as they have.)

All of the above being the case, I am not going to host a forum on 8th Step issues here.  If you have a problem with the way DP handles the Traditions, feel free to contact them.  Traditions rants will not be published here. This site is about recovery, not AA politics.


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What’s Good For Walgreen’s…

During America’s dry age, the federal alcohol ban carved out an exemption for medicinal use, and doctors nationwide suddenly discovered they could bolster their incomes by writing liquor prescriptions. Pharmacies, which filled those prescriptions, and were one of the few places whiskey could be bought legally, raked it in. Through the 1920s, the number of Walgreens stores soared from 20 to nearly 400.  Read more at the NYT

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