How are children’s substance abuse problems different from adult addiction?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

sign

No Drugs.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There are some differences between the substance abuse issues in children from those in adults, but they may be less than we used to think.

There are a lot of people who continue to think of substance abuse, addiction in particular, as an adult disease. That would be way wrong.

Most adults with a substance use disorder began their use at a young age. Seventy-five percent of all disorders, mental health, and substance use, begin before age 24. Half start before age 14.

Kids are getting into drugs and alcohol abuse earlier than most adults realize.

Larger treatment facilities will tell you about children as young as 5 that already are developing signs of alcoholism. Children frequently report that their drug use began as early as age 8.

That’s right folks, as soon as the end of the third grade we are already able to identify children at risk to develop an addiction, going to prison or both.

Are there “Gateway drugs?”

There used to be much discussion of so-called “gateway drugs.” The idea was that up till you tried the gateway drug you were not at risk of becoming addicted. Once you take the gateway drug you are on the path to addiction. The drug that got blamed the most as a “gateway drug” was marijuana. While I think letting your third or fourth grader smoke some of your “”medical marijuana” is a way bad idea, it has turned out that for most adult addicts that was not the gateway drug.

One reason that marijuana was implicated was that it was illegal. That meant that to procure marijuana in the first place you had to be breaking the law. Someone who was selling marijuana illegally and risking jail might also be selling other “harder” drugs. Breaking society’s rules on substance use is a bad direction to start out on, but there is more to the story than that.

For most children, the gateway drugs have been cigarettes and alcohol. Consider the cost to society of a child who starts smoking at an early age. There is good evidence to show that after trying that first cigarette if the child lights up a second one they are going to be smokers for life.

Look around any homeless encampment, any old-time A.A. or N.A. meeting or the public hospital emergency room and you will find a lot of smokers. Nicotine has been reported as more addicting than heroin. I have heard people in recovery from drug addiction say that it was harder for many of them to kick cigarettes than to kick the heroin.

Alcohol is also a severe problem for children.

The younger they start drinking the larger the risk. Some people have argued that there are places in Europe where children begin drinking at a young age and do not develop any higher rate of alcoholism than we do with a legal drinking age of 21. The biggest difference is that in those cultures children learn to drink a small amount with meals and as part of a social occasion.

Here in America, the tradition is that when you drink – drink all you can. These drinking occasions are times when a bunch of people are out to “party” and alcohol is a large part of that. The result is that children, teens, in particular, learn to drink heavily and to drink to get drunk. You do not take your grandparents to the party with you.

Drinking to get drunk, binge drinking is, of course, the riskiest way to drink.

Younger substance abusers go for cheap or easy to get substances. They are more likely to sniff paint or glue. They are also less likely to understand how risky a substance is; hence they go for synthetic drugs because they can get them without breaking a law. What they miss is that these drugs are “not for human consumption” for good reason. Some of these synthetic drugs can cause permanent brain damage.

Back to that gateway argument. It appears that it is not the fact that a drug is illegal, as in the status of marijuana in the past, but the fact that it is “illicit” that the child is sneaking to do something they are not supposed to do, that predisposes them to greater risks down the road.

One thing we miss is the relationship between substance abuse and crime. This is not solely the rule for adults. Children of any age who drink or do other drugs are more likely to do other crimes, behave in anti-social ways and get into trouble.

One report said that on the order of 80% of all those in prison here in California were drunk or high in the 24 hours before they did their crime.

There is no doubt that being under the influence disinhibits you. Drug use also means you need money and that may lead children to do crimes to pay for their drug and alcohol activities. It is hard to keep asking mom for drug money unless she is also in the drug game.

Drinking and drug use may look different in youngsters than in their older compatriots but addiction and alcoholism start in the young and just keep getting worse.

As a colleague of mine keeps reminding us – any drug use by an eight-year-old is a problem.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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First night of Drug and Alcohol Classes

By David Joel Miller.

Drugs.

Do drugs cause mania.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Tonight is the first night of classes here at FCC.

One activity in my busy schedule that I thoroughly enjoy is the opportunity to teach Substance Abuse Counseling classes at Fresno City College.

The program here is accredited by the California Association of Drug and Alcohol Educators (CAADE) and leads students towards becoming registered and then certified drug and alcohol counselors.

The program includes 36-semester units of classes in Drug and Alcohol use disorders, recovery and the work of counselors and social workers. A few students from the 4-year college show up in these classes because this program contains more information about Substance Use Disorders than most Masters or Ph.D. programs.

We see students in this class who want to be drug and alcohol counselors. There are often also social work majors, nursing students, criminal justice majors and a smattering of people who are in early recovery and know they need more information on Substance Use Disorders to be able to decide what career is right for them.

All these majors are welcome. I try to emphasize that first night that no matter where they work there is a strong possibility that they will encounter people with substance use disorders. They will also if they see substance abusers see mixed in with those clients a lot of people who have emotional or mental health issues.

For those of you, who are not able to take classes of this nature, consider some reading on the topic of substance use disorders, (The A.A. big book is a good place to start.) Also, consider taking a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) class if one is offered in your area. If there is not one close to you encourage your local officials to get a MHFA training scheduled for your locale.

Teaching, while enjoyable takes a bit out of my time so the posts may come a little farther apart and the replies to your questions and comments will take a little longer but know that I values all your input and will get back to you all as quickly as I can.

  • Are you a functional Alcoholic? Do you know someone with an Alcohol Use Disorder? (counselorssoapbox.com)
  • How to control your drinking (counselorssoapbox.com)

    Staying connected with David Joel Miller

    Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

    Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

    Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

    For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

    Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

    Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

    For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Why do so many substance users have mental illnesses?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Drugs.

Drugs.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Why are co-occurring disorders so common?

We used to talk about addiction and think there were just a handful of people with that problem; we blamed them for their disorder. We now know that long before someone becomes addicted they can have serious problems in their relationships with substances. We now are talking about substance use disorders.

We talked for a long time about the “seriously and persistently mentally ill” as if they were somehow different from us. We now know that mental illness is on a continuum. Those emotional problems, depression, anxiety, stress related issues, can overwhelm anyone.

Is it really that common to have both problems?  Why do we say now that co-occurring disorders are an expectation, not an acceptation?”

So far in my career as a therapist, I have worked with substance abusers. I have worked in locked psychiatric hospitals with those on an involuntary hold for wanting to kill themselves or others. I have also been able to work with adolescents in crisis.

In every one of these settings, the number of clients who had both issues was large. Why do the two problems so often exist in the same person? Here are some of the reasons that both disorders so often co-exist in the same person.

1. Two issues, substance use disorders, and a mental or emotional illness are relatively common in our society.

Far short of addiction there are plenty of people who attend DUI School, lose days of work or get into arguments with their spouses as a direct result of substance misuse.

Most families have one or more person in them who has been so depressed or so anxious that they missed work or stopped participating in family and social activities.

2. Having a mental or emotional problem increase the risk of using and abusing substances.

People who are depressed or anxious often start drinking. At first, this works but over time the alcohol makes them more depressed and when it wears off they become more anxious.

The result of using substances to manage your emotions is that over time you need more and more and eventually, you develop a substance use problem.

Many people in substance abuse treatment will report emotional problems including being the victim of abuse or neglect before they developed the substance abuse problems.

The seriously mentally ill find the effects of smoking very soothing. They become heavy smokers. This increases the risk that they will develop health problems, end up homeless and that their lifespan will be cut short.

3. Using or abusing substances increases the risk of developing a Mental illness.

Alcohol is a depressant. Not everyone who drinks becomes clinically depressed but some people do. The more you drink the more depressed you become. The more depressed you get the more you drink. This can be a rapid downward spiral.

There are connections between many other abused substances and developing mental illnesses. Stimulants increase the risk of psychosis and can increase sexual behaviors. The younger you are when you begin to smoke Marijuana the more likely you are to develop certain mental health issues.

I am not trying to take sides here on the “medical marijuana” debate, but note that smoking anything, dried lettuce or incense included, is bad for lungs. There is also a developing body of research that says that CBD is better for medicinal use and THC is not. If you are smoking marijuana to “get high” you are at risk to develop problems with its use no matter what story you are telling others. (I think I wrote some posts on that one, note to self-see if those articles got posted.)

4. Substance abuse issues or mental and emotional problems results in a lifestyle where it becomes hard to get your basic needs met.

Both groups have an increased risk of homelessness. They are both at risk to become alienated from family and friends.

You have to do what you have to do.

The result of these lifestyle changes is that the substance abuser is likely to become depressed, anxious or to be abused. The mentally ill person, to cope with their isolation or homelessness, may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope.

What you go through with either problem increases the risk that you will develop the other disorder.

5. There are emotional consequences to entering recovery.

The substance abuser often gets closer to their drug of choice than to others in their life. When they stop using or abusing they have to go through a grieving process that can be just as severe as a divorce or death in the family.

Users have told me that “women come and go but crystal is always there for me.” People let me down but (fill in the name of liquor here) is always waiting for me. Losing this one support can be a major obstacle in creating a new life.

People in recovery very much need a new support system.

The conclusion?

Having either a substance use disorder, or a mental – emotional problem, increase the risk of having the other. It is easy to get locked in a pattern when no one is supporting your recovery and your environment is supporting you staying sick. Change can be difficult but change – recovery is very much worth the effort.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Is this the year you are going to change?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Changing your life

Time for a life change?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You know you need something to change but what and how?

Lots of New Year’s resolutions. There are every year. But one year from now will be 2015 and just like last time around when we get to New Year’s 2015 some few people will have changed their lives and the majority will be stuck in the same rut they are in now.

Change is hard. Change is easy. You will change whether you want to or not. You will get happier, prouder and more self-confident or you will get progressively more weighted down by your problems and cares. You will change, eventually. The only questions are the direction in which you will change and when that change will occur.

Intentional change is hard because it takes effort. It can be scary. Change is often uncomfortable if not downright painful. Change means entering the unknown and the things we know are less anxiety provoking than stepping off in action and making those first tentative moves into the unknown.

Unplanned change is easy. Do nothing and you will change. We get older, no effort required. If we fail to save for retirement we have to cut back on our standard of living. The process of life says that you will change or you begin to decline.

Most of us, when we speak of change are looking for that huge dramatic shift. One day you are poor and then you will win the lottery and be rich. Lasting change does not happen that way.

Yes, some people win the lottery or make a good investment or open a business that succeeds but along the way those things rather than changing that person’s life, those are the catalysts that force them to change.

Plenty of people have won the lottery and a few years later they are back to being poor. Anyone can spend like a millionaire but learning to manage money, to hold onto it and grow it, that is a skill that takes work to develop.

Lots of us have that fairy-tale fantasy, someone will come along, usually a prince or princess, and they will make us happy. That kind of happiness only lasts a moment. Eventually, there are children, bills to pay and illnesses to suffer through together. The majority of those fairy-tale couples end in divorce when the reality sets in.

Change does not come from the outside it comes from within. As you become emotionally healthier you attract healthier people into your life. If you want a better life, start by working on yourself. Will this make the people in your life suddenly treat you better? No. But as you improve yourself you will find that their opinion of you matters less.

If you want to be wealthier you need to practice the skills wealthier people use to manage their money. Be responsible and pay bills on time. That one late charge, it does not make much difference, but over your bill paying lifetime, fifty or sixty years of monthly late charges, that amounts to a small fortune.

Increasing your income and reducing your expenses go a long way to changing your financial situation. But this will not happen overnight, not even in a month or a year. Over time the small changes you make add up.

Real lasting change in your life begins on the inside with changing yourself. Change your thoughts and actions and the world around you will begin to change.

Lasting change does not come about as a result of one huge event, it occurs in small incremental steps.

Couples often try to fix what is wrong in their relationship by taking a romantic “honeymoon” type trip, a week at the beach or in Vegas. Temporarily they see an improvement in their relationship. Most often within a week or two of returning home, they are back to their pre-trip way of interacting and they are just as dissatisfied as before.

Couples who make real improvements in their relationship begin by making changes in the way they interact. Maintaining those changes takes time and practice to have a lasting effect. A good marriage therapist can help you learn and practice those skills.

Many of you have written and told me that you want to change something in your life. You are not happy with the way things are. You have tried to change your life but the change does not seem to take.

I realize that it is easier for professionals to tell someone how to change than it is to actually do the changing. Through this year I want to talk with you readers of this blog about how to make those changes you want in your life and how to maintain those changes once you make them.

Stay tuned for some information on the books I am working on. Some things need more words than a blog post can hold.

Much of the information on recovery comes from the extensive literature on drug and alcohol recovery. Alcoholics and Drug Addicts have been recovering for a long time. Some of that information has been applied to people with “co-occurring disorders,” both mental health issues and substance use disorders. What is still in short supply is information that emphasizes the way in which people with emotional and mental health issues recover.

I strongly believe that people with mental health challenges can and do recover. Recovery for them does not necessarily mean that they are cured as if they no longer had ever had that issue, but it does mean that people can have a meaningful life despite their challenges, whatever they chose to call those challenges.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Alcohol hangover or emotional hangover?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Inebriated people.

Alcoholism.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Why are you reading this post? Hangover?

This is New Year’s Day and you are reading blog posts? Why?

If you are reading this on the day it was published, then it is time for you to take another look at your life. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate my readers and am glad you are reading this whenever that happens to be.

Some of you are just sitting around and waiting for the games. There are enough sporting events on the television on this day to produce a self-induced coma.

Some of you had that dazed look and the splitting head when you got up today. Is that a hangover? Are you looking for hangover cures?

How much did you drink last night? What if you didn’t drink and have that hangover anyway?

If the problem is too much to drink last night I have a solution. Check all those other blogs for hangover cures, try a few and then come back and read my posts for the next week or so. By then your hangover will be gone – assuming you do not drink again.

See the most effective treatment for alcoholic hangovers is time – time, rest and water to be precise. You could also try preventing hangovers, which is easier than curing them.

How do you prevent hangovers?

Do not drink to excess. Better yet do not drink at all. If you are the kind of person who does not like the feeling of being drunk then have one and let it go at that. But if you are the kind of person for whom one is a warm-up for the rest of the bottle or case then the only solution may just be that you do not drink in the first place.

Emotional hangovers.

Some of you feel like you have hangovers only you did not drink any alcohol. That is a similar but different problem. That is likely to be an emotional hangover. See an excess of negative emotions can result in some of those same or similar symptoms as the alcoholic fueled hangover.

If you did not sleep because you were passed out unconscious that is the alcohol, but if you were up all night and did not sleep because of worry, anxiety or depression then that is an emotional hangover.

When drinking people forget to take care of themselves, they do not eat or drink non-alcoholic fluids in a healthy manner. People who have an emotional issue also neglect self-care and they experience those same worn out, tired and hung-over symptoms all without the alcohol.

Put the two together and you have a potentially life-threatening combination. Drinking while depressed is a recipe for self-harm.

Anger is a huge cause of emotional hangovers.

Anger is also an emotion that can take you places you wish you had not gone. Have you or someone you know ever become so angry they “lose control.” The next day was there a lot of emotional residue, the I-can’t-believe-I-said-the-whole-thing feeling.

Now if you drank too much last night or any other night, the solution seems clear, cut down or cut out the alcohol.

If you are having emotional hangovers isn’t the same solution possible?

If you have emotional hangovers, cut down or cut out the anger, reduce the level of depression or anxiety and learn to manage your emotions in healthier ways.

I hear some of you saying I try but it is hard to change those emotions. Then for you, just like for the alcoholic it is time to make some far-reaching changes. If you have tried to control your emotions but they leave you with an emotional hangover then it is time to seek help.

Whether it is drugs, alcohol, anger or any other emotional or mental health problem there is help available. That is unless you like the feeling of having a hangover.

Isn’t it time you reached out for help?

Over this year, here on counselorssoapbox.com, we will be looking at the ways in which you might finally make some life changes, No resolutions – just results. Are you ready for a change?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Top 10 Mental Health Blog posts of 2013

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Counselorssoapbox.com

Here are the most read mental health blog posts from 2013, at least the most read posts here on counselorssoapbox.com

With over 700 posts now available here on counselorssoapbox.com, a few continue to be read and reread each and every day.

In case you missed any of these Mental Health or Substance Abuse posts the links are below. There are also a whole parcel of other posts, some of them very specialized. You might want to look through the library of past posts or try the search feature to look for things that are of interest to you.

Many of the posts over the last year were inspired by questions that you readers sent in and the comments you left at the end of posts. Keep those comments and questions coming. It helps me to know what you would like me to talk about next.

Every question or comment deserves a reply and please know that I wish I could get back to you all right away but this schedule, having to work and trying to write does not always allow me to post responses as quickly as I would like. Just know that I really want to tell you things that are accurate and that means some time researching things and thinking about them before I post that reply.

The work on the book I have been writing is accelerating and I hope to have more to tell you on that topic in the near future.

Without further delay – the top Mental Health posts on counselorssoapbox.com for 2013 are:

1. How much should you tell a therapist?  

2. Levels or types of Borderline Personality Disorder 

3. Do therapists have to report a crime? 

4. Do people really forget what happened when drinking? – Blackouts   

5. Which border is Borderline Intellectual Functioning on? 

6. Are you Hyperthymic?

7. Hyperthymia, Hyperthymic Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder

8. Is nicotine a stimulant or a depressant?  

9. Why can’t we forget the painful past?

10. 6 ways to recover from Complex Trauma or Complex PTSD

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

All about A.A. and N.A.

About A.A. and N.A.

By David Joel Miller.

AA big book

Alcoholics Anonymous big book.

Questions about 12 step meetings?

There have been a lot of counselorssoapbox.com posts about 12 step meetings, A.A. in particular.

As a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I work with a lot of people who have substance use issues and mental health issues. We refer to people with both problems as having a “Dual Diagnosis” or more recently as having “Co-occurring disorders.”

People with substance use problems are encouraged to attend 12 step meetings. I wish there were more meeting and support groups for people with mental health issues and dual diagnoses issues.

Mostly, people with multiple problems end up attending 12 step groups. To try to help them feel more comfortable, I have written a number of posts about what they should expect at a meeting. To make these posts easier to find I decided that I should list them all in one place.

Here then are the posts about 12 step groups. If I missed any feel free to remind me and if you have other questions about how A.A. or other 12 step groups work feel free to contact me.

What will you have to do if you go to an A.A. meeting?

What is an Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) meeting like?

Is A.A. a religious group?

How do you become a member of A.A.?

What does carrying a court card mean?

What goes on at an A. A. meeting?

What is hitting bottom?

The posts I write about A.A. are from my perspective as a therapist and clinical counselor and do not necessarily reflect the views of A.A. World Services. For more on A.A. and their program of recovery check out the “A.A. Big Book” titled Alcoholics Anonymous at the links below or contact A.A. World Services at their website.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

The classic text on Alcoholism, recovery this is the book that started off the whole 12 step phenomenon.

Alcoholics Anonymous from The Anonymous Press

One of the Kindle editions – At 99 cents this is such a bargain. This edition needed a separate listing. No Kindle reader? No Problem, if you have a computer you can download a free Kindle reader.

http://www.aa.org

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.