Jackie Dross, ms, LMHP, LADC

Helping You Take Steps to Recovery

StepsToRecoveryNow Blog

One Out of Every 8 People Is an Alcoholic?

A new study in the Journal of American Medical Society found that one

in eight people is an alcoholic? What do you think?


Could Therapy Be Delivered by a Bot?

This study tracking college students with traditional web-based therapy, or therapy by a bot, showed similar improvements in their quality of life.  Can simple cognitive therapy be delivered by a bot? Read for yourself.

Is Your Loved One Struggling with Addiction?
We often hear from parents of children who are addicted to substances.  They are unsure of how to best help their child, and need direction.  This article might be of interest if that's you: http://www.rehabs.com/pro-talk-articles/when-a-loved-one-struggles-with-addiction-feeling-your-pain/
SMART Recovery Validated in New NIH Study

A new study released by the NIH shows promise for the growing SMART Recovery movement. It seems
people have higher levels of satisfaction with SMART Recovery over traditional self-help recovery groups.
The study compared participation in 12-step groups with participation in several mutual help alternatives including SMART Recovery, LifeRing and Women for Sobriety (WFS). The overall goal of the study was to determine differences in membership, group participation, cohesion and satisfaction.

“Results suggest differences across 12-step groups and their alternatives that may be relevant when advising clients on a choice of mutual help group. Meanwhile, findings for high levels of participation, satisfaction, and cohesion among members of the mutual help alternatives suggest promise for these groups in addressing addiction problems.”

A summary of the study may be found here.

The study, by Dr. Sarah Zemore, will continue to look at substance abuse outcomes at 6 and 12 month follow-ups. We are looking forward to seeing more on this study. New Leaf Therapy Associates hosts a free community SMART Recovery meeting every Thursday from noon to 1pm at our office. Contact Heather for more info at 402-253-9936.
Why we need to look closer at PTSD in the military:
Here's a new way to look at a schizophrenia diagnosis:
I have long believed that a schizophrenia trait diagnosis might sometimes be more of a trauma and dissociation phenomenon.  If one has been severely traumatized, or put into a "double bind" situation repeatedly in childhood, distinct ego states or personality parts form in order to help the person cope with situations that no one should ever have to cope with.  There's a new movement afoot to teach people about the fact that 'hearing voices' can be seen as adaptive, instead of always problematic.  Of course, this is not a blanket denial of schizophrenia as a true organic disorder.  But if one has had severe or multiple childhood traumas, this alternative bears further research.  Here's one person's story:

WHY SMART Recovery may be a great option for those seeking Self-help meetings:
12-Step meetings are not a good fit for everyone. Luckily there are new options for helping yourself get sober or overcome behavioral addictions. One such option is SMART Recovery.
SMART stands for Self Management and Recovery Training and is a FREE community resource for people seeking help with substance and behavior addictions. Meetings are moderated by a trained facilitator but participants are invited to share freely what is working for them in sobriety. SMART uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy principles rooted in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. These scientific and evidence based approaches teach clients to regulate their emotions by disputing irrational beliefs that lead to emotional overload and acting out with addictions. More information is available at www.smartrecovery.org including free online meetings, a chat room, and printable tools and exercises for use 24/7. Our office started offering a noon meeting every Thursday at 8031 W Center Rd Suite 324 in early February. Many probation and diversion officers will count these meetings just like AA for getting court cards signed. Check out our community face to face meetings from the SMART website under "FIND A LOCAL MEETING." Online meetings are also available for Friends and Family of someone suffering addictions, as well as printable resources targeted at helping loved ones overcome their own issues associated with loving someone with an addiction. Here's what one blogger wrote about SMART meetings: http://sincerightnow.com/a-desire/2016/4/1/i-loved-that-sht.

Wow! A SmartPhone App for people in recovery? Cool! Read on.

Another Tragedy, Another Death from Addiction
http://coupledumb.com/2013/02/ 27/celebrity-rehab-did-no t-kill-mindy-mccready/9789

This is a good article on the reality that addiction often can and does lead to death.  And why that is the fault of the addiction, and no one else around the addict.  Certainly someone who tries to help the addict should never be blamed for their death!

CHANGE: If its inevitable--embrace it!
 Everyone is afraid of change. While it can be exciting and new, it can bring pain and uncertainty. Maybe that's why taking steps to behave and act in new ways can sometimes demand a "kick in the shorts" to get us moving. I've heard from several people in active recovery from addictions who are now grateful they got their DUI or drug charge because it forced them to get treatment or attend AA. They openly say that they would never have achieved what they have in sobriety had they not been initially "booted" into it by the courts. Their first couple of visits to AA were admittedly awkward and uncomfortable, but as they continued to attend and form relationships with others seeking to improve their lives, something began to rub off. They started to see little changes in themselves that surprised them! One day at a time, they are still coming back because they are finding support and solutions in the rooms of AA whereas these can be hard to find elsewhere. Here's to the ones who somehow persevere through the awkward beginnings to stay and "get" the message! They are always the grateful ones who are willing to give back to others. May we all be more like them!

What should I do if I get a DUI?

In Nebraska, a judge will usually base his sentence on a recommendation from an alcohol/drug evaluation provided by a trained evaluator/counselor.  I am trained in the ASI (Addiction Severity Index) for court approved alcohol/drug evaluations in Nebraska.  Many other states use the ASI-- and my evaluations are also valid in other states, so if your DUI was not in Nebraska, you're still covered.  Once your evaluation is complete, I usually fax it to your attorney, public defender, or probation officer. A good attorney will suggest getting your evaluation soon after the DUI so you have time to complete your recommended treatment prior to your court sentencing. This shows that you are serious about the charges and completing all necessary treatment to satisfy the court.  Often, the recommendation for a first DUI with no signs of dependency is that you take a 6-8 hour alcohol/drug education class. Many sites offer this class every month, and prices range from $75 to $150 depending upon where you go. If you show signs of dependency, your recommendation may include some outpatient substance abuse treatment such as individual therapy or outpatient groups.  In addition, AA meetings may be recommended. Of course, more serious cases may warrant recommended intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment, depending on many variables.  Evaluations can range from 1.5 hours to up to 3 hours, and usually include several assessment tests to check for signs of substance abuse or dependence, as well as a depression screen and an in-depth interview. Completion of the evaluation can take an additional 24-72 hours.  For more questions, please contact me or call to set up an evaluation.

EMDR: Clinically proven effective for treatment of trauma, anxiety and depression:

I have seen amazing results using EMDR with my clients.  From the man who couldn't stay sober because he had seen so much trauma and negativity growing up, to the person with social anxiety who felt she was "bad" with people, to a person consumed with fear everytime she entered a certain sitiuation, EMDR targeted to negative beliefs, emotions and body sensations has shown real promise for alleviating pain and promoting growth.  If you are troubled with flashbacks, repetitive negative self-talk, anxiety, or just an inability to perform up to your expectations, EMDR may be helpful for you.  Do some research on your own then call me to set up a time to come in and talk.

Diagnostic labels: helpful or not?

What do you think? I have found this wonderful art therapist Ron Huxley, who has done an "altered book" to share his views on diagnostic labels. Here is his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/r...