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Welcome to our first monthly newsletter. We are thrilled that you are interested in helping someone break the bonds of addiction. Changing Lives Foundation is committed to bringing you practical information that you can use right now, to help someone you care about.

And, as a Holiday Thank You, please take advantage of the 10% off coupon at the bottom of this newsletter!
In This Issue
Anticipating Problems during the Holidays?
Ask Joe!
Words of Hope from Our Readers
We Would Love to Hear from You!
 Anticipating Family Problems
 During the Holidays?
#2 Turkey Dinner
The holiday season is quickly approaching. In this twenty-first century, the winter holidays are both a joyous and stressful time of the year-a time when social gatherings with friends, family and co-workers are happening all around us. Little children are excited at seeing all the sights and experiencing the festivities. For many adults and some children, this can also be a stressful time.

Many of us overcommit to school, church, and work programs. When you add shopping, baking, gift buying, house decorating and entertaining, many will find themselves a little busier than they care to be.  

Now, let's add one more element to the mix: a family member or close friend who is either in recovery or needs to be. How does this impact the scenario?

First, we'll talk about the person in recovery; and for the sake of discussion, we'll talk about he or she being in early recovery (the first year or two). Then we'll move to the person who should be in recovery.

The man or woman in early recovery, who is experiencing the holiday season clean and sober for the first or second time, may also feel a little overwhelmed. For him or her, this time of year can be bittersweet. Most will be excited about going through this season sober or drug-free for the first time in a long time. They may also be remembering some of the past holidays that were, shall we say, "less than ideal".

For the person new in recovery this is no time to slack off when it comes to attending support groups. Stress is the number one reason for a relapse. Those in early recovery need to be aware of the many things that can trigger a poor decision. Spending some extra time with friends who are also in recovery can make all the difference.

Now, let's shift our thinking to person number two-the one who needs to be in recovery. How do we handle this situation-especially when this is someone we are about? When the person is someone we may even be living with? What can we do?

What we decide to do may depend on how severely this person's addiction has progressed. As family members or friends, we too will need to "vent". For some, it means just making the best of a difficult situation. There may be children involved who don't understand what's going on. Finding someone to talk with will make a big difference for us as well. There are a number of resources to take advantage of. Many of them are available at no cost. It just takes a little looking around.

Al-Anon, for adults as well as teens, family groups at a local treatment center, church and community groups-all want to help. One of the great things people experience after attending one of these resources is the peace of knowing that they are not alone. Many other people are experiencing the same thing. People in these groups can offer hope in the midst of what may appear to be a very stressful and hopeless time. "This too shall pass."

  Ask Joe!
Joe clip #2

My spouse knows that he has a severe alcohol problem and is willing to go to treatment, but wants to wait until after the Holidays. What should I say?

Admitting the need for a treatment program is a big step. At least this person is not in denial. If you can get him to go now, that would be my first choice (most alcohol/drug abusing people find a way to spoil the Holidays for the rest of the family anyway). Contact a treatment facility for help to convince him to go now.

If that doesn't work, then make all the preparations you can now-with the facility for him to start treatment right after the first of the year. Have your spouse sign an agreement stating his intention to follow through and keep his promise.

My son, who is 33 and using a lot of drugs and alcohol, wants to borrow money. He has a wife and two beautiful children. This has become a pattern over the last several years. I know he is behind on his rent. It's so hard to say no. Please help.

This is especially difficult because of the children. Without knowing more details, I strongly suggest getting some good professional advice and possibly trying some type of intervention. At 33, it's time to grow up. His situation will either get better or worse over time. Giving him money (paying his bills) is not the answer. Help him to "see the light or feel the heat."

Pain, and the consequences of poor choices can be a very good teacher. There may be no better time to drive the point home, than the Holidays. Help him to become the father he was meant to be.

My husband is in treatment now and will be home at Thanksgiving.
All of our friends drink. I don't want him to relapse. How do I keep my husband away from them?

Your husband will have learned a lot about this in treatment. He knows that being around alcohol (or drugs) is a bad idea. Just the same, drinking is part of the fabric of our society and most people drink socially. For the two of you to go to Holiday events, may require some discussion about leaving early or just avoiding some of them.

Getting out of a treatment program now can be even more stressful than it normally is. Make sure your husband attends regular support groups. You might offer to go to an open meeting with him once in a while. Anything you can say to encourage his newfound sobriety will help as well.

If you have a question for Joe, please email it to:

We will respond to your question, and (with your permission)
we may post it in our next newsletter.
  Words of Hope from Our Readers
Our Readers

Dear Friends,

During the past few months, following the release of our new book "Why Don't They Just Quit?" Changing Lives has had the pleasure of hearing from some of you . . . very special people.

With their permission, we are honored to share some of their heartfelt comments and experiences, with the hope that you too, will know that you are not alone, and to "never give up hope."

Note: Please take time to click on the very special memorial site of Austin Hesse (below). I believe it will touch your heart as it did ours.

"I found your book very informative as well as enlightening. As I said before, I would have loved to have read it a while back when my sons, Eric and Ryan were immersed in the drug world. I'm sure your words could have provided  me with the strength and reassurance I desperately needed to help support  them lovingly instead of aide in prolonging their use.  Live and learn the hard way I guess?

"Why Don't They Just Quit" is helping me now to understand their recovery process and heal myself from guilt, blame and all that's involved when your family is caught in the tangled web of addiction. I've sent Eric, my oldest son a copy and am planning on giving Ryan a copy when I see him in the near future.

Thank you for writing this book."
-Janis P.

". . . I read your book twice. I thought I knew quite a bit about alcohol addiction but in reality, I probably only knew 20% before reading your book.

I dated a lady for 6 months and had to end it with her on September 17th after many conversations (about her excessive drinking) ended up falling on deaf ears. This was extremely excruciating as we had discussed living together and planning to have a life together. She decided that "her best friend" was more important than me and our relationship. This hurt quite a bit, but she made a decision that getting "high" was a very "high" priority for her.

I commend you for your book and your tenacity in being in recovery for such a prolonged period. Keep it up!"

"I wish I would've known about your organization years ago. My 22 year old son battled drug addiction for years. In and out of rehabs. His drug of choice became crystal meth. Austin couldn't find the way to break free from meth. He took his life last August. Austin was so tired of the grips meth had on him. He couldn't see any way out. Please visit his memorial website and I would love to hear from you. I miss my son so much."  www.austin-hesse.last-memories.com
-Jill S.

". . . I started reading the book and couldn't put it down. It is very easy to read. I have a brother that is an addict and it helped me see the other side of things. I plan on sharing this book with him.

Joe, thanks for sharing your life story with the world. Keep up the good work. God Bless you for reaching out to others!"
-LeAnn K.
I would like to personally thank you for partnering with us in the battle to free those we care about from the bonds of addiction. I believe that your family and relationships can be fully restored and that you can play an important role in breaking the cycle.
I hope you enjoy the Holidays and remember . . . Never give up hope!

-Joe Herzanek
Changing Lives Foundation


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It is because of people like you, that we are passionate about what we do. We love reading your stories of encouragement and we know that sharing one's story not only brings healing and hope to others, but to the person who has been through it personally.

That is what this community is about... providing hope.

If you have a story to share, we would love to hear it. Please email us at:
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that need
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-Joe Herzanek
Part 3: All About Treatment
"Why Don't They Just Quit?"


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they don't

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Changing Lives Foundation would like everyone to be aware of the dangers of addiction, along with the ways that friends and loved ones can help those who are struggling. Now, for a limited time, you can receive 10% off your entire order. And, as always, we offer
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