Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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72-Year-Old Nepali Is World’s Shortest Man

Chandra Bahadur Dangi

(Reuters) – Home to Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, the scenic country of Nepal on Sunday added another height-related superlative – of having the world’s shortest man.

A Guinness World Records team measured Chandra Bahadur Dangi at 54.60 centimeters (21.5 inches)…. Read more…


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Hitting The Curve Balls

In our company, I’m the field supervisor.  I’m the one who has to go deal with things when the site supervisors either can’t handle them or aren’t available.  That happened to me this morning.  A call at 8:00 AM changed my day, and practically all the chores (and fun) I had planned for the day are trashed: the price you pay for being a boss.

As I was rushing through the things I had to get done, I was thinking about how easy it was, compared to the way I would have dealt with the same sort of thing when I was active in my addictions.

Read more at the Sunrise Detox Blog, then subscribe to its feed.


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Is A Medical Detox From Alcohol Or Other Drugs Necessary?

I received an email from a hard-nosed recovering addict/alcoholic who stated, in essence, that inpatient detox isn’t necessary, that he did it on his own, and that all anyone needs is a (little of this, little of that) to get through it just fine, and he knows a bunch of folks who did it that way, and…blah, blah, blah.  Read the rest…


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Why Do Addicts Keep Using Despite The Consequences? — Part 2

Previously we mentioned that the pleasure center is a portion of the brain over which we have no conscious control, and that it can be stimulated by a variety of chemicals — some of them produced inside our bodies and some that we introduce from outside.  We said that the pleasure center rewards us for activities that it interprets as contributing in some way to our survival, whether they be social interactions, exercising, or more prosaic things such as eating.  We also stated that these pleasurable feelings, when pursued too far or for too long can create problems.  Now we need to examine how that happens….

http://sunrisedetox.com/blog/2011/08/24/addiction-alcoholism-compulsion-2/


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Why Do Addicts Keep Using Despite The Consequences?

Early in human history, there were probably few alcoholics or addicts because the alcohol content available in fermented fruit was low, and plants that produced other intoxicating substances were relatively scarce. The development of agriculture made it possible to insure supplies of grain for beer production, and enabled organized farming of other plant producers of mood-altering substances. …

Read more at the Sunrise Detox Blog


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Dealing With Pain In Recovery

It’s easy for alcoholics and other addicts to find excuses to use.  We come from a society where we take pills or other medication for every little thing — one that spends billions of dollars telling us that it is not OK to feel not OK.  Those are words that resonate subconsciously with all addicts.  We not only think that it’s not OK to feel less than wonderful, but that even when we feel good we need to try to feel better.  There’s a saying to the effect that “I drank because the dog ran away, then I drank because it came back.” Most people in recovery can relate to that.

via Dealing With Pain In Recovery |Sunrise Detox


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Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga to sign off Twitter for charity

Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga take charity work seriously, and they’re going offline to prove it.

Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher and other celebrities have joined a new campaign called Digital Life Sacrifice on behalf of Keys’ charity, Keep a Child Alive. The entertainers plan to sign off of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday, which is World AIDS Day. The participants will sign back on when the charity raises $1 million.

via The Associated Press: Keys, Lady Gaga to sign off Twitter for charity.


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PAWS after 10 years?

To Kevin,

Your uncle is not suffering from PAWS after 10 years.  In the worst cases, Post-acute withdrawal lasts only about two years after complete abstinence.  Complete abstinence includes opioid and synthetic opioid pain meds as well as all benzodiazepine tranquilizers, among other drugs.

There are a number of other conditions with similar symptoms, including diabetes. He needs to discuss them with a good internist, and he needs to be totally up front with the doc about his history of drug use and his recovery.


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There Are Bad Drugs and Good Drugs, And You Probably Aren’t Qualified To Decide Which Is Which

This Memorial Day and all those following will have a special meaning for us.  The 29th of May marked the one-year anniversary of our granddaughter’s suicide.

The death of a beautiful 19-year-old is always tragic.  Cadi’s was especially so, because it almost certainly didn’t have to happen.  She suffered from profound depression, had gone off her medication (which had been working well), and had been drinking.  The details don’t matter.  She’s gone, along with a piece of the hearts of everyone who knew and loved her.

The point here is that there are definitely good drugs and bad drugs.  I bring it up because in my correspondence and other contacts with people in recovery I often run across their expressed desires to get off all drugs, not just their drugs of abuse.  This unfortunate impulse is often supported by people who consider themselves to be well-versed in recovery issues but who, in actuality, are just people with opinions, not facts.

We have to keep a couple of points in mind here — important facts about addiction, depression and recovery.

  • Addiction causes changes in our brains that take from one to two years to return to “normal,” (if they ever do).
  • Depression is part of withdrawal, and “post acute” withdrawal can last for many months.
  • Antidepressant drugs can help, but they have their withdrawal issues as well.

As all addicts and many other folks know all-too-well, withdrawal symptoms are, generally speaking, the opposite of whatever pleasurable effects the drug may have had.  To put it another way, we took drugs or drank to feel good, then we did it to feel normal, then we did it because we had to — but in all cases, when we stopped taking them we felt discomfort ranging from icky to “Oh My God!”  If we used uppers, we were depressed when we stopped.  Quitting downers made us feel agitated, have blood pressure spikes, etc.; and our digestive systems’ reaction to the removal of opiates, which cause constipation, made us throw up along with all the other withdrawal symptoms that we know and appreciate.

Well, folks, antidepressant drugs cause withdrawal too, and the major one is — you guessed it — depression.  The return is often sudden and profound.  It can also be fatal, especially if we combine it with a depressant like alcohol.  That’s what Arcadia did, not too long before she jumped from a 200-foot bridge.

If you are on antidepressants, for heaven’s sake don’t stop taking them without careful detox by medical people who know what they are doing.  This is especially true if you are in early recovery, or if you are actively using other drugs.

It can stop your recovery.  Dead.


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Liberia’s Model for Better Mental Health

Liberia’s Model for Better Mental Health

…In late 2009, Liberia developed a comprehensive, community-based national mental health policy—the first of its kind in a post-conflict country. It’s an ambitious approach designed to address a substantial need: A recent survey of 1,600 households indicates that 44 percent of Liberians meet diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder; up to 40 percent meet the criteria for major depressive illnesses….

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China lifts travel ban for people living with HIV

China lifts travel ban for people living with HIV

UNAIDS applauds the decision by the Government of China to lift its national travel ban for people living with HIV. The news comes ahead of the opening of Shanghai Expo 2010, an international fair that is expected to attract millions of visitors over the next six months.

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An Alcoholic’s Savior – Was It God, Belladonna or Both?

In October 1909, Dr. Alexander Lambert boldly announced to a New York Times reporter that he had found a surefire cure for alcoholism and drug addiction. Even more astounding, he stated that the treatment required less than five days. The therapy consisted of an odd mixture of belladonna (deadly nightshade), along with the fluid extracts of xanthoxylum (prickly ash) and hyoscyamus (henbane). The result is often so dramatic, Lambert said, that one hesitates to believe it possible.…

An Alcoholic’s Savior – Was It God, Belladonna or Both? – NYTimes.com


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Fatty foods may cause cocaine-like addiction

Fatty foods may cause cocaine-like addiction – CNN.com

A new study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin. When rats consume these foods in great enough quantities, it leads to compulsive eating habits that resemble drug addiction, the study found.