Author: Shernide Delva
In areas where bar crawls were once a standard weekend ritual, a new trend is taking over, and it does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. The trend is sober juice crawls, and millennials are flocking all over the country to celebrate. All this non-alcoholic fun has resulted in researchers pondering, is sober becoming the new drunk?
Juice crawls are only one of many booze-free events in the US catering towards millennials who want to ditch the booze for clarity. New York is a prime location for Juice Crawls. At one crawl in the big apple, participants forego alcohol shots in favor for juice shots with names like “Dr. Feelgood” and “Kalefornia.”
The Guardian highlighted this trend by visiting a monthly juice crawl event where participants hop from different shops and sample 19 flavors of juices in a 2 oz. plastic cup. This event is just one of many that have popped up in major US cities to cater to the millennials who are now saying no to alcohol.
The people who go to these events are not all recovering addicts. In fact, it is quite the contrary. These juice crawl groups are full of people who would rather engage in mindfulness activities and indulge in healthy juices then wake up with a hangover. While in the past, cutting booze would have been a significant social change, now events like these are more mainstream.
In addition to these crawls, there are now sober day races, alcohol-free bars, boozeless dinner, and alcohol-free dance parties. There is even a sober social network and a dating app for sober people that became so popular, it temporarily shut down.
In these tough economic times, many millennials are opting to stay away from alcohol. A recent study on millennials in five countries found that 75% of those surveyed drink in moderation when they go out at night.
Auzeen Saedi is a clinical psychologist that spends lots of time with younger patients. She mentioned in an article the biggest fear millennials have about the future is fear:
“I think the pressures are higher because [young] people see that even if you have a great degree, that does not guarantee you a job by any means.”
All of this uncertainty is due to the financial strains millennials have observed the past few years, and understanding that nothing is guaranteed upon graduation. Fortunately, mindfulness and yoga have become extremely trendy, and millennials often use these activities for stress-relief.
“Right now there are all these yogi Instagram celebrities with millions of followers … and they’re not drinking beer, they’re drinking juice,” she says. “Mindfulness, in a way, is the new church.”
Spirituality is becoming a big practice among millennials. Many are opting for meditation retreats to connect to something higher. The great thing about these retreats is that they reduce stress, and allow the ability to go on vacation with a purpose without fear of being intoxicated. The trend has saturated social media. On Instagram, there are celebrities with millions of follows. They are not drinking beer. They are not promoting the drunken party life. They are exercising, meditating and drinking juice.
Of course, not everyone loves this trend. Ross Haenfler became a straight-edge punk in the late 80s and was part of a group that embraced drug and alcohol in favor of political activism. Haenfler believes these new sober groups need to have a bigger message that fights more significant issues such as consumerism, homophobia, and racism. Otherwise, he questions the motive behind it all and whether or not people are participating in it due to the sudden popularity.
Overall, the clean healthy living movement is full of those who rather opt for glowing skin and yoga classes than party like it’s 1999. For most, it is far from a political movement. But regardless of the reasons people do it, more and more people are finding sober outings a more enjoyable experience for the mind, body, and soul than boozing up all night ever was.
The culture of drinking is changing, and more and more people would rather socialize through healthy activities than using drugs and alcohol as a conversation starter. If you are struggling, remember there is life after recovery. It is up to you to discover what that looks like. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Justin Mckibben
Twas the week of Christmas, and with holiday cheer and joy through the world also comes even more crazy news stories. Some creepy nativity, some drug peddling Santa, and a new way to clean up some holiday trash all makes up a great crazy news story wish list. Guess what, Santa ain’t happy!
Zombie Nativity Scene
Earlier this month, Jasen Dixon of Sycamore Township, Ohio set up what seemed like a piece of a Nightmare before Christmas in the front yard, which was decorated with an insane display of skeletons as the three wise men, and a demonic looking baby Jesus. As an Ohioan myself, I find this hilarious!
Jasen Dixon manages 13 Rooms of Doom haunted house in Rising Sun, Indiana, and says that his intentions were innocent. He told local new officials,
“I wanted a nativity scene and I worked with what I had.”
Apparently his neighbors aren’t huge fans of his work, and neither is his father, who takes anything bad that happens as opportunity to blame the scene. He told the station on the average they probably get 30 or 40 cars stopping to pictures. People that follow zombie movies especially seem to love it.
Officials in Dixon’s hometown have demanded the zombie display be removed, but insist it’s a zoning issue, not a zombie issue. Township Administrator Greg Bickford claims that the problem is the manger occupies too much of the front yard.
Dixon has already received two violations, but he feels the orders to dismantle it violate his constitutional rights to free religious expression.
“I’ve lived here for 15 years and I’ve never had a violation of any kind. It’s a holiday decoration. I know if it was a real pretty nativity scene they wouldn’t be saying anything.”
Dixon was given until December 26th to take the zombie nativity off his property without being penalized. As far as the zombies are concerned, they seem happy to express their Christmas spirit.
Protesting Pot Smoking Santa
San Pedro’s Harbor House of Dank marijuana dispensary displayed window drawings of a Santa Clause smoking weed, and a snowman holding a prescription bottle as part of a controversial Christmas decoration.
After photos were posted to Facebook, the pot shop received hundreds of complaints. Residents we outraged that the paintings were prominently displayed where children could see them, and seemed to specifically promote marijuana consumption to kids with cartoons.
The cannabis Christmas pictures of Kringle may have been removed from the window on Tuesday, but the holiday pot propaganda may have attracted the heat to the Harbor House of Dank. The office of Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino told reporters that this particular dispensary may not be following state guidelines.
Looks like the LAPD is trying to put a few extra names on the naughty list.
Eggnog Chugging Champion
Ryan Roche from Utah County was hospitalized for chugging a quart of eggnog so quickly that he inhaled some of creamy holiday beverage into his lungs earlier this month.
Roche told reporters that he participated in an alcohol-free eggnog chugging contest at a holiday office party earlier this month, during which he topped off a quart of eggnog in 12 seconds without taking a breath, but soon began coughing and gasping. Hours later, a friend drove him to the hospital where doctors told him he had eggnog in his lungs.
The office’s reigning eggnog champion was put on oxygen and antibiotics and released from the hospital after three days, and shortly after he states he has fully recovered. Maybe next year he will ask Santa for some tums.
Goats Graze on Christmas Trees
Goats may not seem like the most jolly creatures in the animal kingdom, but they are known to eat just about anything. So why not a Christmas tree?
Vince Thomas is a longtime volunteer firefighter who has come up with a new use for his family-owned goat herding business that might be here just in time for the holiday clean up called “Goat Grazers.” Thomas is launching a new program with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District on Friday to use his 40 goats to help recycle Christmas trees.
He says he got tired of watching people discard the trees in landfills or dump them on public property, where they became a fire danger, and that once a goat digs their teeth into a tree, they devour all the pines and leave the bare skeleton of the tree, which can be discarded much easier than just tossing the whole thing once the gifts have been snatched out from under it.
That’s one was to recycle your Christmas leftovers. Pretty sure the goats will take care of those leftover cookies too.
Hopefully you were able to enjoy your holiday, some of these folks definitely went all out for theirs. Just avoid zombies and eggnog. That doesn’t even sound like a good combo to begin with. While these stories may be funny, it is important to remember to be grateful during this holiday season, because not everyone will see next years. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
I am very thankful for this wonderful holiday week, for free food and naps, and for the honor of bringing you some crazy news stories of the week to digest, along with the stuffing and other incredible things you are probably regretting eating today. Unfasten that belt, easy back and enjoy. There is always seconds, next week.
Naked Ninja Bites Off an Elderly Mans Ear
Cameron Shenk, 26-year-old Harvard Extension School student from Boston, is being held without bail after a seriously bizarre turn of events. Police say Shenk fell naked through the ceiling of a women’s bathroom at Boston’s airport, and then assaulted an 84-year-old elderly man, biting the poor old-timers ear off!
Cameron Shenk was arraigned Wednesday on charges that include attempted murder, assault and battery on a person over 60, and lewd and lascivious conduct. Thus far he has been ordered held without bail pending a hearing next week. Police say the naked cannibal fell through the ceiling at about noon Saturday.
Shenk had allegedly snuck into the bathroom, undressed inside a stall and climbed into the ceiling crawl space? Maybe he is a naked secret agent? Police say after his tumble through the roof the nude ninja fled the bathroom and assaulted an 84-year-old man.
Shenk’s lawyer said he has no history of mental illness. The hearing to determine whether he is dangerous to the public is scheduled Monday.
Wonder if he’ll be able to top that dramatic entrance in the courtroom.
Farts Smell… Like Chocolate?
After such a reputation of fine cheese and other smells, I bet you have been wondering what will be the latest and greatest smelly contribution made by France to the rest of the world? Spoiler alert! A pill that makes farts smell like chocolate!
The sweet-smelling product is the creation of Christian Poincheval, a 65-year-old inventor who hails from the village of Gesvres. Poincheval, looking like a lawn nom from the early 60’s, sells the pills online. If you’re stressed on how to pass gas and impress, the pills are available at pilulepet.com for around $12.50 for 60 capsules. The web page promises the chocolate pills will “allow the user to fart through to the New Year in grand style.”
The chocolate pills are a new addition to Poincheval’s vast catalog of delightful novalties, which also includes pills that make farts smell like roses or violets, and even a fart-reducing powder for pets! So all you dog owners and cat ladies out there will be happy to think of your pets as a furry portable airfreshner!
Poincheval claims his pills not only create chocolate-scented farts, they reduce intestinal gas and bloating thanks to ingredients like:
- Vegetable coal
- Plant resin
- Cacao zest
With the trend of bingeing bellies during the holidays, Poincheval figures his chocolate fart pills should be stuffed in stockings for those who love to stuff their face.
New Strip Club.. for Lego’s
How do G-rated toys end up wearing G-strings?! Well there is an unofficial Lego set, produced by Citizen Brick, includes four mini-figures and… a strip club? The club is set with a classy décor of zebra-print couches, and comes complete with… you guessed it, a pole.
Like any exotic dance spot, this edgy Lego set isn’t in the least bit cheap! The whole thing costs $275.
According to Joe Trupia, owner of Citizen Brick, the Lego strip club business isn’t doing too bad for itself! He said he’s already managed to sell a few hundred so far. The company has been customizing Legos since 2010, and this latest feature is sure to get some attention to the brand. Trupia proudly said,
“We’re fanatically doing things that Lego wouldn’t do,”
“The Citizen Brick Center for the Performing Arts,” the newest set featuring barely clothed toy characters is a described on the sits as “place where dreamers can dream, and dancers can dance.”
Lego keeps close tabs on Citizen Bricks‘s handy work according to Trupia. The company even supplied the disclaimer on Citizen Brick‘s site to emphasize that the products are not endorsed by Lego. He confessed he’s not sure what Lego’s reaction will be to his latest venture, and at this time Lego has not released a statement.
This is also the company who last year brought us the “Breaking Bad” Lego set after the infamous TV series about crystal meth drug dealers. So if you are looking to spend some of that hard earned Lego money from cooking meth, swing by the newest club in Lego world. Some assembly required!
Thankful for New Turkey Eating Record
In honor of the holiday, I figured we could include something specific to our Thanksgiving week. Ten contestants contended to see who could eat the most of a 20-pound turkey in a competition at Foxwoods Resort Casino. 31 year old Competitive eater from San Jose, California named Joey Chestnut has official won a turkey-eating contest in Connecticut this past Saturday, and at the same time set new a record!
Chestnut was able to gobble down 9.35 pounds of meat off the bone in 10 minutes! Nearly a pound of turkey a minute! Try that at your grandma’s dinner table! According to Major League Eating, the food equivalent of the NFL, he demolished the previous record held by Sonya Thomas, who ate 5.25 pounds of turkey in November 2011.
He took home a $5,000 check after stuffing his face, and is acknowledged as is ranked the top competitive eater in the world. The remainder of the $10,000 purse was divided among other contestants, which gave all involved a great reason to be thankful.
Still not sure how many pumpkin pies he ate when he got home.
While these crazy news stories may leave you with a bad case of need-a-nap, I hope they brought some laughs, and helped you settle your stomach for the hibernation ahead. While the holidays can be easy on some, not everyone is enjoying theirs the way they most wish they could. They may be held back by drinking or drugs, and their family may be desperately hoping to find a way for them to be around next year. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
In light of the untimely, tragic death of comedian and actor Robin Williams, we thought it would be interesting to start a discussion about the 12 Steps and whether they can help or harm someone who struggles not only with addiction but depression or another mood disorder. And we thought it would be interesting to get some insight from people outside the rooms; that might lend some unbiased insight into 12 step fellowships.
So, here it is. Normies Weigh In: Are the 12 Steps Harmful for Some?
#1. Perpetuating Negative Stigma
Non-alcoholics who are aware of some of the vernacular common to us ‘in the program’ feel that, by calling others “normies” and “Earth People,” we are reinforcing the idea that we are somehow different – but not just different – abnormal. Because when we call others ‘normies’ – the abbreviation for “normal” we are by default saying that we are not normal. Also, by calling others “Earth people,” we are saying that we are somehow aliens on this planet. Now, in my personal experience, when I was in my active addiction, I wholeheartedly believed that I was an alien from another planet. But, now in recovery, it begs the question: Is using language that implies negative connotations only perpetuating the negative stigma that’s attached to addiction?
#2. Admitting Powerlessness
I wonder, is admitting that you’re powerless is always helpful, especially for those with depression? One normie said, “I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy… I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn’t help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance.” I think that this is such a powerful quote.
Some who have never read the 12 steps disagree that listing defects and shortcomings can motivate a person with depression. One non-alcoholic said, “I think listing positive qualities is better.” She also mentioned that some of her family members benefited from AA, and added that her belief was that, if you care for and love others, it is only natural to support their decisions to quit drinking. Regardless of whether they’re in AA or not.
#4. Prayer as a Solution to Mental Illness
Upon reading the 12 steps for the first time and then asked if she thought they could help someone with depression, one woman admitted, “I have never seen the steps [written] out before. Is it church? I do not think all [the] steps would help a depressed person. Seven to ten might be helpful to some people dealing with mental illness. Eight to ten would help the people around the mentally ill person and thus may bring closure and more support. But the rest I would personally find unnecessary, maybe even harmful for a person that is dealing with mental illness. Just believing in a higher power can’t always fix things. Meds can be needed. And therapy to help get to the root of the problem.”
In a past life, I worked as a social worker for a non-profit that served the homeless and low-income people of my city. I saw a lot of untreated substance abuse and mental illness on a daily basis. One of the other organizations in the town was a religious-based one that preached prayer as an answer to homelessness and mental illness. As someone who is dedicated to working for social change and a self-proclaimed realist, I don’t see prayer and meditation as the solution to these issues. And as someone with both depression and a history of addiction, I supplement my recovery program with outside help: talk therapy and medication. I believe that these issues need major interventions, on a community- and even federal-level.
#5. AA is the Only Way
Another woman, a non-alcoholic, who wasn’t particularly pro- or anti-AA said that, if AA didn’t help, it “would be pretty depressing to go get help and it not work. I think people should research and be able to decide what they think is best. What works for some does not necessarily work for others. And then there’s the whole religion aspect of it.” Perhaps this is the sort of thing that leads people who are considered to be dual diagnosis to feel like the program just isn’t working.
Mara Wilson, the child actress who worked alongside the late Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire wrote: “To focus on someone’s pain instead of their accomplishments is an insult to them.” I think this is such a profound statement.
There are many different ways to recover from alcoholism and addiction. It’s important to find what way or ways fit you best on your journey of healing and recovery. Palm Partners Recovery Center is a holistic treatment approach that incorporates several different modalities of therapy and introduces clients to the many different avenues to recovery, including but not limited to 12 Step philosophy. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call an Addiction Specialist today at 1-800-951-6135.
By Cheryl Steinberg
Our normal friends, whom we affectionately call “normies,” are generally well-meaning when they try to give us advice. However, it’s important to know when that advice is helpful and when it’s harmful. Here it is, advice from normies: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
First, the good:
“Be gentle with yourself”
Talking to normies about the things you’re going through can be really helpful at times because they can give you some outside-of-the-program perspective. They will tell you that not everything you experience is because of the disease of addiction, that it’s stuff normies go through, too, and therefore to not be so hard on yourself.
“You’re really just getting started”
It’s not fair to compare yourself to others who have been working at it, as in their career, and life, in general. Appreciate what you have and what you’ve done. Acknowledge the things that you’ve accomplished so far.
“You don’t have to make a big deal out of being sober”
Most people don’t really think it’s such a big deal that you don’t drink – there are actually a lot of people who are not in recovery – aka normies – that choose not to drink.
“Just don’t go anywhere there’s a bar, etc.”
Oh my god, seriously? What kind of life would that be? If you had to avoid everything that could even remotely be associated with alcohol or other things? That would mean that you couldn’t go to virtually every restaurant – because there’s a bar, and you couldn’t attend concerts or even watch TV – because of all the alcohol commercials.
“You should talk to So-and-So, they’re totally an alcoholic/addict”
There are three issues with this bit of advice that I can identify. First, there’s the ‘attraction rather than promotion’ tradition of the 12 step fellowships. Then there’s the general consensus among us in recovery that it’s not our place to diagnose anyone else that is, it’s not up to us to decide whether someone else is an alcoholic or addict. Also, how much of a turn-off would it be if that person was told by their loved one to call some stranger about their ‘problem?’
Just smoke weed
This bit of “advice” is uttered quite a bit by people who (obviously) don’t understand addiction and recovery. This is the worst kind of ‘advice’ to give someone with a substance abuse disorder, such as addiction. They might think that, because your DOC was heroin, then heroin was your problem. You can smoke weed or drink alcohol as long as you don’t touch heroin.
“Just don’t do it/just stop”
Control yourself. This is clearly from the point-of-view of someone who doesn’t understand the nature of addiction. Willpower and self-control is simply not enough. Pretty much all of us in recovery got to a point in our addiction that we sincerely wanted to stop but simply couldn’t.
It’s probably been enough time, you can have one drink
Addiction is a chronic, progressive, relapsing disorder and all three of those adjectives explain why this bit of advice is so completely off-base and detrimental. Someone with the disease of addiction can’t have just one drink. “Chronic” means long-term; “progressive” means that it gets worse over time but also that your addiction basically picks up right where you left off when you had some sobriety (this has less to do with the amount you first start using, due to a lowered tolerance, and more to do with the level of unmanageability in your life); and “relapsing” essentially means that you will always need to be on-guard and that having “just one drink” is a relapse in and of itself.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, help is available. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available around the clock to answer your questions. You are not alone.