FullSizeRender9By Don Troutman, Founder, Clean & Sober Transitional Living

The holiday season brings a lot of emphasis on giving and getting gifts. Well, I get to be part of that every month of the year when CSTL residents give and receive AA recovery chips. No holiday is necessary to make those meetings special!

Recovery chips tend to mean different things at different points in a person’s recovery. When people have just gotten sober, receiving a chip is a validation to the outside world that they’re headed down the right path. It’s one of the few measuring sticks we have for sobriety. Everybody knew when you were abusing drugs or alcohol, so now everybody can witness the validation of your sobriety. Yes, there is ego involved here, and it’s a healthy, motivating force because it prompts us to recognize how far we’ve come in our recovery. And it prompts our peers to offer up the support for sobriety that can be essential early in the game.

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By John Perry, co-founder of Clean & Sober Recovery Services

What could 2018 look like without alcohol or other drugs? Let me count the ways…

No more harm to self or others. Fewer fights. No more trips to the pawn shop to retrieve family jewelry. Fewer trips to the ER. Fewer trips to jail, the courthouse or prison. Fewer car accidents, or accidents in general. No more covering up to Grandma, Grandpa and friends. Less self-hatred. Less sorrow and disappointment. Fewer broken marriages. Fewer lost jobs. Fewer disability claims. Less domestic violence. Less child abuse. Fewer secrets.

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Many people lack even a basic understanding of why some people drink too much or use drugs. They don’t understand the problem, and they don’t understand solutions. Now that the holidays are here, the pressure is on families to overlook or address a loved one's substance misuse - but they don't know how. Give them the gift of education by sharing Recovery 101, a FREE basic primer about addiction, treatment and recovery.

These are some of the topics that interventionist/family counselor Ricki Townsend tackles in Recovery 101.

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By Don Troutman, Founder, Clean & Sober Transitional Living

In late October, 60 Minutes took a close look at the notorious Pelican Bay penitentiary system to see how it’s evolving from “Lock ‘em up” to “Fix ‘em up.” When interviewer Oprah Winfrey asked the head of the California Prison system why we invest so much money in rehabilitating prisoners, his answer was illuminating: “Ninety percent of them will be returning to the communities. Would you want a guy who comes out who has an AA degree, has addressed his substance abuse problem, has done domestic violence classes.... What would you want as a taxpayer and a citizen of the state?”

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