Just a few weeks ago, we started offering Equine Therapy for our clients and alumni of ONE80CENTER. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), is fairly new, but the benefits of the affects animals have on humans is not. Individuals learn about themselves by interacting in a series of specially designed activities with horses. These activities promote beneficial therapeutic healing and growth, by teaching the individual about their own emotions. It increases awareness as to how their emotions affect others and their daily lives.
Why are horses used and not other animals? Horses are very social animals. They have distinct personalities and temperaments. They mirror exactly what human body language is telling them by reacting immediately to signals you may not realize you are sending. Horses are large and powerful, and their size can be intimidating to many people. Participating in an activity with a horse, in spite of their size and presence, can build confidence.
One method used in EAP is that the participant is asked to go out into an arena without a halter, and asked to get the horse to move through a series of obstacles. This activity usually takes several sessions. If the participant is disrespectful to the horse, such as inappropriate touching or loud noises, this makes the horse fearful. When the participant makes a conscious effort, and considers what affect they are having on the horse, rather than just making demands, the horse begins to cooperate. The horse is beginning to trust and respect you. Trust and respect are earned with horses, much the same way as gaining trust and respect from people.
Here is what one of our ONE80CENTER case managers had to say about her experience recently-
“I have spent the better part of my life having a grave fear of horses. Since a freak accident with a horse during my childhood, I have never gone near a horse. When I found out I would be taking clients to Equine therapy for work, my first thought was, should I quit my job? Followed by, who can I pay to go for me? I feared that I wasn’t the best example for a group of clients who too were hesitant to go to Equine therapy. When we arrived at the ranch, I stood way back from the horses, trying not to show my fear to the clients. A couple of clients noticed the distance I was keeping and encouraged me to come closer. I edged my way to a horse called Trigger, as he edged his way towards me. We met in the middle and I gently put my hand out towards him as he sniffed it. Next thing I knew I had a huge smile beaming from ear to ear and a handsome horse named Trigger nuzzling my neck and face.
Dave, the Equine director who works with our therapist, Beni Fried, then called us to order. Since we only had a few clients with us that day, I got to participate too! The exercise Dave explained, was that we had to set up a jump for Trigger and convince him to go over it without any touching or bribing to him. Our first effort at it was a disaster. We all wandered around Trigger, clapping and coaxing him and trying to talk him over the jump. Trigger wasn’t having it. After a while we sat down and talked about our experience. Berni and Dave allowed us to share with them our feelings during the exercise. The two clients that were the most determined to get Trigger over the jump and were getting the most frustrated, realized how this reflected their personal lives and the need to control experiences. I stood back from the horse a lot because I was afraid we were frightening and confusing him, and I realized that I needed to take more control, and stand up for myself, the way I need to do in my own life. The discussion also included the fact that we didn’t work as a team and make a plan before going into the exercise.
We asked if we could have one more chance. We all got our heads together and came up with a master plan to get Trigger over the jump. Berni and Dave told us they’s give us a few minutes to complete the task and if it didn’t happen, then maybe next time. Within five minutes due to our teamwork, Trigger had gone over the jump!! We all rejoiced and realized that on our own we had little success but when we worked as a team, we were very productive! The results I have seen in different clients from Equine therapy are amazing. It is so interesting to watch the interactions with horses and clients and see how it parallels their personalities in the outside world.”
I also spoke to someone recently who was given the instruction of building an obstacle course in Equine Therapy. Each obstacle represented a personal obstacle for that client. She then took the horse and, with great exertion, tried to force the horse to complete the course. A group of people stood by watching her. She was sweating and frustrated. The therapist, ONE80CENTER’s Berni Fried, asked her why she didn’t think to ask the group standing around to help. The client realized that this was how she did things- never considering that she could ask anyone for help. With the assistance of the group, now her team, the horse did finally complete all the obstacles.
ONE80CENTER is very happy to be offering Equine Assisted Therapy. We know there is a great opportunity for growth for our clients who participate. Once there is a profound paradigm shift, a person does not lose that epiphany. This is ‘the gift of the shift.” Equine Therapy offers many chances for just such a life altering shift of perception. So can Equine Therapy change your life?
I was at a meeting today and I heard someone say that they were a little bored with sobriety. Real, emotional sobriety. This particular person didn’t say it was a terrible thing; that in fact, he welcomed the boredom, compared to the way he was living while drinking and using. But it got me to thinking, because I remember feeling that when I got sober, life was going to turn very flat, and very grey. Its hard to imagine a life that is so entirely different from the one you know. It is the unknown that is our greatest fear, collectively, alcoholic or not. And so, in the first throes of getting sober, there is the inevitable mourning period of losing a way of life that clearly doesn’t work, but is all one knows. I remember listing off in my mind repeatedly all the things I would no longer be able to do, or if I could still do them, wouldn’t enjoy without a drink. For example, never being able to have champagne on New Year’s Eve, or, being able to go boating on the lake- entirely capable of doing it sober- but not really enjoying the experience of it without being able to suck back cocktails with everyone else. I thought about never staying up until the sun came up talking with friends, fueled by lines and vodka. I wondered how I would be able to get through the challenges of life without having the blows softened by Xanax. I couldn’t imagine going dancing without being fairly inebriated. And how would I ever be able to hang out in cool little dive bars in the Valley, and shoot darts, without drinking? The list went on and on. Summers by the pool with no pina coladas? No wine and cheese at little outdoor bistros? Arg!
But lets get serious. At the end of my drinking days, I wasn’t going anywhere, or doing anything, except to the liquor store two blocks from my place. All of those scenarios happened at points along the way, but they were never as glamorous as they sound. Maybe, for one fabulous second, in between the second and fourth drink, it was all exactly as I wanted it. That window was very short lived but apparently it was enough to feed the lie my head was telling me. More than likely what would end up happening is a seemingly civilized glass of champagne with cheese during the Holidays, followed by more glasses, then the empty bottle and the run to the store for more, and maybe a bottle of Ketel One for good measure. Or head to the bar, the little dive bar in Burbank. Possibly wake up with blood on me, not my own, bruises, most certainly with a throbbing head and a tongue like sandpaper, with little or no recollection of the night before and a terrible sense of dread creeping over me that whatever damage I had done the night before was going to take a lot of work to set straight.
So back to the bit about being bored in sobriety. Boy, was I wrong. I have found that sobriety has been quietly epic. My life drinking and using was full of cheap thrills. It was predicated on novelty and drama. There is an adrenalin rush that goes along with that, which is also highly addictive. Many of us, when we get sober, put down the drink but not the adrenalin rush, the cheap thrill. I don’t mean the kind you get when you jump out of an airplane, but the kind you get when you gossip, or flirt, or shop or take risks with money or relationships, when you get angry and take things personally. I know that I indulged in these behaviors, at first. I only knew how to live on that perpetual rush. It took time to be able to be clear and present without that. The more I was able to let go of those behaviors, and the impetus to do them, the more freedom I felt. Serenity. Not driven to stir things up all the time, I eventually started wanting to make things better wherever I went. That became the new rush, the new sense of satisfaction and esteem that came along with paying attention to others. This is the quietly epic life I spoke of; so many adventures take place in one day, little deaths and ego surrenderings, new people who need help, overcoming challenges I didn’t think I could. Now my motto is not- “I am here to live out loud,” but “what is missing the presence of which would make a difference? How can I bring THAT?”
Releasing the cheap thrill has turned my life into something far more grand than I could ever have imagined. Identifying the cheap thrills in my life was the first step in learning to do things differently.
Prescription Drug Abuse Growth, Particularly Vicodin and Xanax, Linked To Increase In Internet Access And Rogue Online Pharmacies
When it comes to admissions to the treatment program at ONE80CENTER, our addiction specialists have seen a sharp rise in problems with prescription drug abuse. This problem has been mirrored across America. How can we explain America’s alarming growth in prescription drug abuse and addiction? Although doctor shopping and easy access are major parts of the problem, it appears to be linked as well to people’s access to the Internet and the number of rogue pharmacies online. University of Southern California Researchers wrote up a study in the journal Health Affairs that showed a connection between high-speed Internet access and prescription drug abuse. It’s striking how strong the correlation turned out to be: the states with the fastest growth in terms of access to high-speed internet between 2000 and 2007 also had the largest increase in the number of people seeking treatment for prescription drug abuse.
Xanax and Painkiller Addiction
In addition, the statistics for college campuses reveal that prescription drugs are fast replacing illegal drugs as the substance of choice. Since these drugs are easily available online, college students are ordering them through rogue pharmacies on the Internet and having the drugs delivered to their PO boxes. Many of these rogue Internet pharmacies sell prescription narcotic painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet and anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium without asking for a doctor’s prescription. Most of these pharmacies are international, based outside of US jurisdiction, but they still sell tranquilizers, sedatives, stimulants and painkillers to American residents.
Although it is impossible to accurately know how widespread prescription drug abuse is, investigators focused on admissions data to substance abuse clinics from SAMHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration). Incredibly, the statistics showed that in each state, a 10% rise in high-speed Internet availability went hand-in-hand with a 1% increase in prescription drug abuse admissions. The increases were strongest for narcotic painkillers, followed by anti-anxiety drugs, stimulants and sedatives.
ILLEGAL ONLINE PHARMACIES
During the same period of time from 2000 to 2007, admissions to treat abuse of alcohol, heroin or cocaine, substances not available online, showed minimal growth or actually decreased. The decrease in the use of street drugs suggests that an overall growth in drug-seeking behavior cannot explain the rise in prescription drug abuse. Rather, newfound online access to commonly abused prescription drugs show that it is a question of availability and ease of use. In the future, the U.S. government will have to explore ways to regulate the problem of rogue foreign Internet pharmacies that are outside their jurisdiction. If you or a loved one has a problem with prescription drugs, please contact the addiction specialists at ONE80CENTER so we can begin the process of sustainable recovery today.
The more sober I get, the more opportunities I get to learn new levels of surrender. And seemingly, the more I surrender, the more miraculous life gets.
Monday night, I was about to start preparing for child support court the following day. My legal bag, chock full of both child support and child custody motions and proofs of service, orders to show causes and requests for discovery, was a hot mess and in need of organization if I was to be able to represent myself well. When I say chock full, I mean it weighs 12 pounds. That is how long and arduous this process has been; the weight of the paper trail is more than a newborn baby. It truly had taken on a life of its own.
As I was sitting there, looking at the dreaded bag, it occurred to me. I’ve been fighting and fighting. And fighting. I don’t have any more fight left in me. Not in a compromised or weakened state, either. While its true that I have not received child support in two years, and therefore totally justified to fight, I just really wanted to let go of it and let it unfold the way it was meant to. I closed the bag up, so I could at least be prepared if called on, but I did not organize it, or panic, or try to memorize things I should say, or rally up any sort of defensiveness. I was calm. Surrendered.
Now, as I said, this is a totally justified thing to fight. Anyone would agree that a father has a responsibility to his kids, and that is true. Its a lot like justifiable anger- sure, there is a lot we could be justifiably angry about, things that are obvious outrages and anyone would agree with the ire provoked by said things. Ultimately, however, the anger poisons us. We are instructed in sobriety to let go of negative emotions and take accountability for how we feel and what we do. This is the same principle- it doesn’t feel good to be defensive, to prepare an offense, and all the little negative feelings that go along with ex spouses, and courts, and so forth. If it doesn’t feel positive, if it feels disempowering, it needs to be let go.
The following day, we both show up at court at 8:30 am. As luck would have it, at about noon, nature called loudly and I answered. And right as soon as nature called, so did the bailiff. Since I was out of the courtroom, we had to wait another two hours until after lunch. Even after lunch, we sat for another hour and a half. It was a long, long day. My ex was very angry and restless at having to wait and the fact that my running to the bathroom cost him his whole day. When the judge finally called us forward, he was ready to explode from frustration, and that is pretty much what he did. I didn’t say one word. Not one. The judge had his hands full and didn’t need to speak to me. Needless to say, things went well. Not for him, though.
I couldn’t have orchestrated it better if I tried, and the beauty is that I did not try. It wasn’t me. God timed it perfectly, sending me to the restroom at the critical moment, allowing him to stew in his own frustration for hours so he couldn’t possibly contain himself. If I had mounted a defense of any sort, I might have diverted attention away from what quickly became very obvious to all. This is the miracle. After two years of struggle, this surrender finally provided me what I hadn’t been able to provide for myself.
Surrender is such a critical part of the spiritual path of sobriety. This is not just true for me; this is true, period. Part of living a sustainably sober life means that we are willing, always, to let go of what we think is best and do things differently. To many, this feels too risky. That is where faith comes in. And that is the most important part of the spiritual aspect of recovery- what you put your faith in.
I have heard it said in meetings that it doesn’t matter what you call your Higher Power- it could be a doorknob, a lightbulb, a surfboard. If I had tried to surrender and put my faith in a doorknob, I would never have been able to do it. Not this surrender, or the hundreds that I have experienced in sobriety. It is also said that we should find a God of our understanding- fortunately, I don’t understand mine at all. I do, however, trust It. Implicitly. I find it important to say that I don’t understand it because there are many who will not embrace any conceivable notions of God. Anyone can, however, trust something inconceivable, a unifying, organizing principle that gives order to all that we know- be it energy as defined by science, or divine choreography, the mysterious forces of nature. Or simply the cohesive force of Love. I call it God. Because I have faith in God, I am also able to have faith in people. For me, God is the animating force of everyone I come in contact with. That means that no one is my Higher Power, they are just doing the bidding of my Higher Power, and that gives me a lot of relief in my life. I am able to accept the actions of others and not take them personally. It doesn’t have to be true for anyone else; its just the great fact for me, and I’ve abandoned myself to it. And I am happy.
MARIJUANA AND PILLS
Drugs came first. Before ever drinking any form of alcohol, there were drugs.
The first time, I was 10, I think. It was the late 70s. I was at the skating rink, surrounded by all these older girls who looked so glamorous, with their hair perfectly feathered, and shiny pink lip gloss- they had something I wanted. They looked like what I wanted to feel like- like they were accepted, like they belonged, like no one would ever say no to them. I used to skate fast, thinking that might impress people- I could just imagine them thinking, “Wow, that girl is an incredibly powerful skater!” My face was red from exertion, I was sweaty, my hair sticking to my forehead. I went to the bathroom to splash water on my face, and there were the cool girls, faces pushed into the mirror, applying bright blue eyeliner. I, by contrast, was a red faced sweaty rat, and suddenly I realized that no one, NO ONE, was impressed by my skating skills. They were impressed by what these girls had. Pink lips. Breasts. Amazing hair. I was completely deflated. I had none of these things.
Right then, one of them turned to me and asked me if I liked pills and handed me a Black Beauty. I didn’t know what that was at the time, but I saw this same girl handing one to each of her friends, and of course I said yes. If I took that black thing that glittered like a waterbug in her hand, I’d be part of their circle. Not right in the middle, but closer than not. Of course I wanted pills. They were the key to that whole world where I did not live, those pills.
I didn’t like it. If I was skating like a demon prior to that, it only got worse. I only got more red faced, my thoughts raced, I was dripping sweat. I went into a bathroom stall and tried to let my heart calm down, put my wrists under cold water to try to cool off. But for all that, I felt included, and it was worth it. I’d easily do it again.
The second time, I smoked some marijuana that belonged to a relative. I won’t say who because he might read this, but it was easily accessible. My girlfriend and I both smoked it and then waited, with goosebumps, to see what would happen. All I really recall is making a peanut butter sandwich in the kitchen and actually watching myself do so from the corner of the ceiling, as if I was watching myself on a video monitor. Marijuana was an anxiety provoking drug for me, and that never did change in all my years of using. I hated it, But I hated being me more, and so it was at least something different, and I knew I’d find my footing with it all. I was very eager to make friends with mind altering substances.
In between that episode and the next, I continued trying to make pot work for me. Because it made me anxious, the next logical step was alcohol. I hated it, too. I thought it tasted foul. But I was told it would mellow out my buzz from marijuana and take the edge off, so beer became the companion of pot.
My real epiphany came when, about a year later, I tried different pills, valium. I had heard my great aunt tell my mom, in times of stress, “honey, go take a valium.” When I experienced my first pangs of love- the uncertainty, the longing, all the awful wonderfulness of it, I remembered what my great aunt always said- “Honey, take a valium. It’ll calm you down.” So I went into her bathroom and grabbed not one, but 20 pills, put them in a Monster Candy box, and went to school. At some point, I took 5. They were blue. 10 mgs. I don’t recall a lot, but I passed out in some leaves and arrived home with twigs in my hair. I was drooling. My mom asked what happened and I told her I drank. It didn’t matter to me; nothing mattered. I had found my best friend. Prescription pills. Oblivion.
When I talk to my ‘normie’ friends, I realize how this little coming of age story differed from theirs. For me, this is normal. For me, this is just the way it was. It was the most natural thing in the world. Because I am, on a cellular level, an alcoholic and addict, it is only normal and natural that I would look for relief as soon as possible, as soon as the fairy tale of childhood started to wear off and life began to get real. It didn’t seem dangerous, even when, at 18, I accidentally overdosed, flat lined, woke up in 4 point restraints in ICU and transferred to a psychiatric lockdown facility. At that point, it seemed epic. I didn’t know that I was hell bent on self destructing. I just felt like a rock star. I threw out my thumb and hitch hiked out of there the minute they released me, prepared to dazzle the world with- well, no longer with my powerful skating skills, but with an aloof, untouchable swagger and devil-may-care-ness, my recklessness and desire to take wild risks. All that seemed cool about those girls in the bathroom all those years ago, but with an additional Jim Morrison inspired insouciance. Such are the absurd fantasies of a budding alcoholic, deep in her cups.
It was the beginning of the end, the end of which, ten years later, was another new beginning. I wouldn’t change a thing; being an alcoholic in recovery has been the most epic adventure of them all. Thank God for the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and for the whole recovery community.
I am always excited when I see one of our clients at ONE80CENTER take to the sober community. There is safety in numbers, and I know they have increased their odds exponentially. For all of us hell bent on destruction, the community is equally hell bent on recovery, health, wellness and joy. I am forever grateful that they saved me my seat while I made my way to it.
Finding a sponsor in sobriety is like finding a life raft in deep and choppy waters. I remember watching the Titanic, with all the people frozen in the ocean. When we admit defeat, its like when Rose found the whistle and blew on it as hard as she could, and a sponsor is like that person who heard the whistle and guided the boat to her.
I’ve had an interesting time with sponsors. At this point, 4 years and nearly 4 months into sobriety, I have just gotten together with another sponsor, and I hope I get to keep her indefinitely.
I have found that sponsors serve a great purpose for however long we have them. Many people find one and stay with them for the duration of their sobriety. I haven’t had that experience, yet. I got my first sponsor on day two of being sober. She was taking a cake for 10 years, and I heard what she said about being able to show up for her kids, stock the fridge with healthy food, and being able to show up for all the areas of her life that demand she be present- basic stuff that I was struggling with. So, I grabbed her. She didn’t have her hand up for sponsorship, and I think she said yes because you are supposed to always say yes, but she really didn’t have the time and it didn’t work out. I understood, and understand even better now, that sponsoring is a big deal, and sometimes we have to know when we are stretched too thin. In my time with various sponsors, what I have learned is this- having a lot of sober time does not mean one is standing on higher ground. I have had sponsors with double digit sobriety who never got my name right, who didn’t meet me when they said they would (for a 5th step) or didn’t return my calls for a month, or had their assistants fax me my step work assignments, who made really off the wall suggestions about how to handle scenarios in my life…all of it very valuable in teaching me what kind of sponsor NOT to be. And mind you, one of these sponsors had 40 years. I fact, I saw her the other day, getting her hair done, and she looked right at me and didn’t recognize me.
The thing about all of that is- I needed the sponsors to be really clear about what was going on. I didn’t know. If its left up to me to set the pace, there won’t be one- at least not back then, when I was new to sobriety. Its not easy to give one woman authority over me- I am a very independent single mother of two, so my sponsor needs to be someone I could respect as a woman who walks the high road at all times. Who remembers my name and takes the time to get to know me.
There is controversy in all of this, as there is in anything relating to AA. I am not sorry about the way my journey has gone with sponsors- I have learned a lot. I was choosing sponsors like I was choosing men to date, or new best friends, and none of them were working out. It took about 8 months of having no sponsor and asking God to send that person to me to find the one I have now. I had already wanted her to be my sponsor for years, but she was also someone I was somewhat close to. I recognize in her, however, a spiritually centered sober woman who I know, for a fact, lives in integrity and compassion. She is spiritually grounded. I trust her to guide me. She knows me. Truly, having someone who knows me is so important to me now, at this phase in my life.
But what would I say to someone who is new and looking for a sponsor? I frequently hear, “Pick a sponsor who has something you want.” Well, I did that, at first. It didn’t make it a good match ultimately, but it got me going on my steps, and I am glad I didn’t wait around for the ‘perfect’ sponsor. Also, look for someone who smiles at others, and seems happy. This means that this is someone who probably wants what they have. And that was the critical difference- I didn’t want someone who had what I wanted, I wanted someone who not only had what they wanted, but wanted what they had. You can tell when someone is broadcasting to help and is living a good life- above all of my issues with previous sponsors, they all did have that. They knew the secret to staying sober was helping others, and that alone was enough to float me until now. And my sponsees, I should mention, have kept me in the work even when I wasn’t under the direction of a sobriety elder. Its critical to stay in the work, even if imperfectly.
I’ve done the steps 5 times now. I will do them again with my new sponsor, if she requires it; I will do whatever she says, without reservation. This is what works for me today. Wherever you are in your sobriety, if you don’t have a sponsor- get one. Even if its a temporary one, make sure you are being accountable to somebody. Don’t just wait until you find the perfect person- I have seen people fall out for lack of sponsor support because they were being too choosy, and sometimes they don’t make it back. Its also rather intimidating to walk up to a stranger and ask them to guide you through the steps. But always remember that anyone who can take you through the steps at one time had to do the exact same thing. And keep in mind that you are saving your ass, not your face, so it doesn’t matter how awkward it is- this disease is a killer.
The main thing that I realized about myself during the past four years is this- regardless of what my sponsors did or didn’t do, they were all perfect. They brought exactly what I needed at that time. They taught me about the person, and sponsor, I do NOT want to be, and consequently taught me about the person/sponsor I endeavor to be. But mostly, I have learned that my level of commitment has always been suspect in all these relationships. My part in it was not trusting the process of commitment. I am finally learning what it means to commit to any relationship- be it sponsoring, family, work, romantic. This doesn’t come easy to us alcoholics, but it does come, if we keep coming back and doing the work, no matter what.
ONE80CENTER Supports RADD: The Entertainment Industry’s Voice Against Drunk Driving And For Road Safety
Drunk driving is a huge problem in America, leading to criminal offenses and countless tragedies every year. The entertainment industry has been accused of trying to sweep drunk driving along with the associated alcohol problems and alcoholism under the rug, ignoring the health and well-being of performers, producers and executives. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, the entertainment industry has a RADD response to these alcohol problems. Originally RADD stood for Recording Artists, Actors, and Athletes Against Drunk Driving, but it now stands for The Entertainment Industry’s Voice Against Drunk Driving and is best known for its slogan, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”
Not to be confused with MADD, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, RADD is nonprofit organization formed in 1986 that uses celebrity power and public service announcements such as “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” to promote sober driving and road safety. RADD President Erin Meluso described the mission of the nonprofit organization: “RADD focuses on peer-to-peer prevention outreach and providing lifestyle-oriented solutions to avoid drunk driving.
Using Celebrity To Help Stop Drunk Driving
After news of a fatal teen drunk driving accident reached a bay area radio station, the staff realized they had access to a gold mine with the number of celebrities frequenting their office for station promos. Meluso said that the radical step forward was when “they agreed to ask the celebrities to end their taping sessions with a ‘don’t drink and drive’ message. It was formalized over time, and those voices formed the basis for the ‘RADD Celebrity Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk’ campaign, for which RADD is internationally recognized.” John Mayer, Barry Bonds, Paul McCartney, Shaquille O’Neal, Warren G, Tim McGraw, Marc Anthony and Gwen Stefani have used their voices to get the word out, backing RADD’s road safety efforts.
RADD believes that alcohol-related deaths are preventable, and that RADD can significantly help to turn the tide. RADD President Erin Meluso illuminated their goal in detail: “Like our federal, state and nonprofit partners, we are working toward zero highway deaths. At almost 100 per day nationally, we are at the lowest rate ever, yet 34,000 deaths is an outrage. Crashes are not accidents – they are predictable and preventable. We’ve made great strides with engineering (safer cars and safer roads), now we need to keep working on ‘engineering’ better drivers through education, solution (designated drivers, taxi cabs) and rewards for responsible behavior on the road and off.”
RADD College Project
RADD uses peer-to-peer and student-to-student initiatives to spread awareness about sober driving and road safety. The RADD College Project, funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, has formed partnerships with Sacramento State and numerous other California universities to educate student volunteers on how to help other students. RADD has been working with Sacramento State’s Student Health Services for four years now, developing the student-to-student initiative on the campus. By promoting sober designated drivers and a buddy system at parties and events, the program creates constructive answers to the challenging questions presented by alcohol problems and alcoholism. The RADD Crew volunteers engage with the students by asking groups to identify their sober drivers, giving out prizes for Designated Drivers, passing out RADD designated driver cards and offering information about moderate drinking practices.
ONE80CENTER fully supports the preventive and constructive initiatives taken by RADD, and we hope the program continues to expand at all levels of the entertainment industry. By using the power of celebrity, Hollywood can help RADD deliver the message and open cynical ears. The constructive and proactive approach taken by RADD President Erin Mancuso combined with the pop cultural power of celebrity hopefully can help to one day make drunk driving a tragic relic of the past.
ONE80 supports the Geffen Playhouse’ s fundraiser for the “Bill W. and Dr. Bob” play, about the inception of Alcoholic Anonymous, starring Martin Sheen.
Click here to read More about the “Bill W. and Dr. Bob” play
Detailed informational .pdf file about the fundraiser/play here.
Sometimes I hear the most amazing things. Yesterday I heard a man tell a story about how he was going through a tough time. He is 6 years sober, and really confronting some very real life stuff, heartache and loss and financial issues. This is never easy for anyone to deal with, sober or not. For those of us who are sober, however, if we are not throwing ourselves into the work of sobriety, we will throw ourselves in the other direction.
This guy left his house and went to a local dive bar. he said it felt like the most natural thing to do; of course, as any sober person can tell you, its as natural as falling off a bicycle. He sat down at the bar, smelling all the interesting aromas that can be found in any bar- the sour stink of old booze that leaked into cracks, the walls thick with the breath of desperation- and looked directly at the bartender. “I need a drink, 7 and 7, please.” The bartender looked at him for a minute, then said, “You sure about that?”
Thats all he said. Simple, elegant, just a question, but so insightful and direct that our guy felt the goosebumps rise on his skin. He felt the finger of God in this thing. What bartender questions a person claiming to need a drink? What on earth is happening here?
Our guy sat back, and said, “On second thought, I have to be up early. Make that a coke.”
One can only wonder what sort of terrible hell that bartender thwarted. Our friend would have lost all those hard earned sober years, and could have gotten lost in the Darkness of this affliction indefinitely. Instead, he was able to be present to tell that remarkable story to a group of sober people, for whom the beautiful workings of Spirit are not uncommon. Any sober person knows, through experience and through the stories of others, that we are Divinely Guided and Protected.
Thank God for that.