July August  09
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Summer is here--and I've had plenty of time to gather a lot of new information for you to explore.

Since our last newsletter we have heard from some of you, been on several radio shows and once more, received recognition for our book. Again, we are offering our FREE audio CD of Joe's radio interviews (see below) while supplies last; also check out the interesting links at the bottom in our "Quick Links" section--including a handy Al-Anon group finder.

It's my personal hope that we have reached out to you and touched your life in some way--so you can help someone you care about find recovery.

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"Yes, Your Kid is Smoking Pot"
What Every Parent Needs to Know Now
by Elisabeth Wilkins, Empowering Parents Editor

"No one is immune to the disease of addiction," warns Katherine Ketcham, the coauthor of thirteen books, including "Teens Under the Influence: The Truth About Kids, Alcohol, and Other Drugs--How to Recognize the Problem and What to Do About It" and the bestselling classic "Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism."

For the last eight years she has worked with addicted youth and families at the Juvenile Justice Center in Walla Walla, Washington. She is also the mother of three children.  "I have extreme empathy for any parent who is dealing with this in their family." Katherine understands the difficulties families go through when dealing with addiction firsthand. "Although I've written nine books on addiction, I didn't know my own son was smoking marijuana until I found the pipe wrapped up in his gym clothes. I suspected it, but didn't have proof, and I wanted to believe he was not involved with alcohol or other drugs.

I knew it, but ignored it because I couldn't imagine he'd do that." After going through an inpatient treatment program, her son is currently in recovery. During a wide-ranging interview, Katherine spoke to us about teen marijuana use and drug addiction, and told us how parents can read the signs and get some help for their kids-and themselves.

"Chances are, if you think
that your child has been smoking pot,
he or she probably has."

--Katherine Ketcham

Tell us about what's going on with kids and pot right now. How has the scene changed in the last 20 to 30 years? It's said that marijuana is more potent now, for example. How is that affecting young people who smoke it?

This is why marijuana is so dangerous: the research holds that of the adolescents who enter treatment these days, the majority list marijuana-or weed, as the kids call it, as their drug of choice. Marijuana is a much more subtle drug than, say, alcohol. It gets them into the culture of the drug world, which is a perilous step because it can lead down the path to drug addiction. Read More
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"Joe was so clear, direct and certain about the necessity for me to keep my commitment to my boundaries that he helped me to follow through
when I was unsure."

I just read your most recent newsletter and appreciate your reminders about how to stay sane in the insanity of active addiction in the family. I am so grateful for Joe's answers a month ago when (my son) was in another relapse and his choices were so painful for me to watch. I needed someone to support me in keeping my boundaries and agreements about what I said I would do if he started using again.

He has been at the Christian men's recovery home for a month, as of today. To say I have been enjoying the peace at home is quite an understatement. I went to a church service at their church a week ago and he looks the best I have seen him in a very long time. Since all of his other detoxes were medically handled, he was always on some drug or another.  This time he went cold turkey; what a tough guy. It is working for him and I am incredibly grateful.

Thanks again for the hope, encouragement and suggestions you bring to me and other families struggling with the pain and chaos of a using addict in the family. 

Joe was so clear, direct and certain about the necessity for me to keep my commitment to my boundaries that he helped me to follow through when I was unsure. Since the result has been so positive, I will be forever grateful to Joe for his wise counsel and his understanding of addiction.

I am grateful today, humbled by the grace of God and inspired by Joe, and others who bring hope and skills to those impacted by the destruction and pain of drug abuse.

Blessings and gratitude to both of you.

--Mary (Denver, CO)


Several years ago we gave a couple cases of books to a local treatment center for family members of those in the center. We included a survey in each one. Surprisingly, these are still coming back to us! One reply arrived the other day with some great comments:

"This book changed our life as a couple and our whole family! It was beyond our expectations, was easy to read and we would recommend it to our friends. We are forever grateful."


My son was just sentenced to prison due to his drug addiction. He is 20 years old. The judge said it was not because of his criminal record but because it is the only way he might have a chance to stop doing drugs. The judge has suggested he be sentenced to a prison with a rehab program. I am still waiting to see where he will go.

I have your book and highly recommend it to anyone. I couldn't put it down when I started reading it. I had passed it on to a friend that was going thru the same thing with her son. Thank you for all your info.

--Carla (Marseilles, IL)


Thank you so much for your prompt reply.  I am really enjoying the book. I am actually reading it for a second time & my husband is reading another copy I purchased through the web site. I will certainly be recommending this book to any I feel it can help. Actually the whole chapter 4 is comforting!!!

Your book helped me find hope in a very dispairing & black section of an already hard, hard, place in my life. I had made a very quick, rash, & harsh judgement-call on a life situation, and the consequences of that decision was literally killing me. 

Just as Robert Louis Stevenson said,"sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences." I felt as though I were at a buffet table!  After much scripture reading & reading Joe's book, I was able to ask God's forgiveness, apologize to my husband & finally forgive myself.

Anything I can do for you would be a great blessing to me! Please let me know if you are in the area! Lot's of prayers,

--Jean S. (Jacksonville, FL) 

"Be kinder
than necessary,
for everyone you meet

is fighting some kind of battle." 

~ Chuck Swindoll
Our Latest Review:
Perfect for Family Members

Kathy Ketcham
We want to thank our friend and talented author--Kathy Ketcham/Teens Under the Influence: The Truth About Kids, Alcohol, and Other Drugs- How to Recognize the Problem and What to Do About It for this wonderful review of "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?" on Amazon.com.
May 14, 2009
By Kathy Ketcham "Author" (Walla Walla, Washington USA)

Family members often have nowhere to go with their concerns about their addicted loved one. What do I do? How do I help? How do I balance my love for my child (husband, wife, friend) and my desire to protect them from harmful consequences with the need to do everything within my power to get them help?

"Help" almost always means bringing the problem into the open--asking friends and family for support, emergency room visits, legal interventions, admitting openly and honestly what drug use and addiction have done to your family--and most of us hide away, hoping the problem will resolve itself over time.

But addiction is a progressive disease and over time, things will get worse. Joe Herzanek's factual, fascinating book offers compassion for family members, solid evidence-based information about the disease, answers to commonly asked questions, and most important of all, a sense that you are not alone.

As the author of several books on addiction and recovery, I know how important it is to have solid, effective, caring, experience-based information about drug use and addiction--especially for the scared, tired, shamed, blamed family members. This book is an invaluable addition to the literature on addiction. If you or someone you know needs help, buy this book and pass it around to your friends and family members.

Almost every family in this country is affected directly or indirectly by drug use. We have to do everything we can to help people understand what they are facing, using facts support by scientific research, and fighting the stigma that keeps so many hurting people hiding away in silence and shame.

This book is an important and essential resource for family members, teachers, court services personnel, counselors, treatment personnel, ministers, doctors, and anyone whose life is affected by alcohol and other drug use/addiction.

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Free Recovery Audio CD!
Listen in your car or share with a friend or relative.
(See bottom of this block for details)

Over the past couple years I have taped various radio interviews. Among these were several with a wonderful weekly show called "Recovery Now!"

Host Ned Wicker and I have engaged in easygoing discussions which cover a multitude of topics. A while back Ned wrote to me:

"Thanks so much for visiting with us yesterday. Your passion, your heart and your vast knowledge came through so strongly. We know the listeners will be touched by your story.

We would very much like to have you on again in the future. There are so many topics and hot button issues for people. You are a strong guest and make the show so easy for us. I've done radio for over 30 years and have been through the drudgery of "yes and no" responses. The best radio happens when a conversation takes place. You made that happen."

Ned Wicker
Ned Wicker/Host: Recovery Now!
Addictions Chaplain
Waukesha Memorial Hospital Lawrence Center
Waukesha, WI

NOTE: After clicking on link, scroll down to the corresponding dates:

September 15, 2008:
Joe Herzanek introduces his discussion of "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?" a book (and DVD) he has written to explain all aspects of drug addiction and alcoholism. He has much experience dealing with drug addiction and alcoholism as he has spent the last 15 years working at the Boulder County Jail helping those struggling with addiction to overcome it.

September 22, 2008:
Joe Herzanek continues his discussion . . .

November 24, 2008:
Joe Herzanek discusses Step 6 of the Twelve Step program: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. A subtle but very key step in your recovery.

We are also waiting for Joe's shows from March 2009 to be posted. Keep checking back for--Step 12: giving back to others can help you stay in your recovery and really enjoy of full life. Also, a summary of the 12 Step program. Joe helps describe why each step is key to recovery.

Joe will be speaking on Steps 6 & 7 in July. Stay tuned!

To get your FREE AUDIO CD:
(Sept. 15 & 22 Recovery Now! shows, plus Joe's recent 60 minute interview with Berk Lewis "Next Step Radio")

Email us:
Ask for the FREE AUDIO CD, include your name and mailing address.
Issue: 3
In This Issue
"Yes, Your Kid is Smoking Pot"
Feedback From You
Our Latest Review
FREE Recovery Audio CD!
Ask Joe
Quick Links
Find out how to have an eNewsletter of your own

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Best Self-help Book 2008
Next Generation Indie Book Awards

NIEA Finalist Award

Health Category
National Indie Excellence Awards


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- Q&A "ASK JOE" -

Ask Joe
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Q  Hi Joe:
I purchased your book in Jan. I read it from front to back several times for more than one reason. It was so full of information I wanted to make sure I absorbed it all.

My 20 year old son has just entered rehab for the 3rd time. We have tried to send him to the best places and so far have spent $30,000.00. He is addicted to Oxycontin. I had so much hope the first few times and now I am starting to realize what a stronghold this drug has on him. I am worried that he may never recover.

I am also feeling so much guilt and keep looking back to try and figure out what I could have done differently when he was growing up. I'm constantly convincing myself that if we had only been more firm with him, had more rules, if I hadn't been a working mom and put him in so many daycares, things would have ended up differently. I know that I'm just trying to find a way to ease my pain and guilt. Do you have any suggestions?

--Guilt-ridden in Minneapolis

A   Sorry to hear about your son. I'll get right to the point. He doesn't need another rehab to go to; he can completely stop using pain meds if he wants to--and you didn't cause his addiction.
His age is a big issue. Most treatment places won't even take him because he's an adolescent. They have learned over the years that the success rate for treating adolescents is abysmal. He needs to feel the pain and consequences of his use.
I would use the tough love approach if it were me. Foster Kline's book, "Parenting Teens with Love and Logic" is a book you should also read.
If the "want to" is there, your son will be able to quit. Your job is to make it crystal clear to him that you love him and will help him on the journey to recovery. And you will not do anything that keeps him from growing up and becoming a mature adult.
This is a process that will take some time but needs to begin now! The longer you wait the harder it will become. He will fight this in the beginning, that's just the way it is. "Do you love your son enough to let him be mad at you?" I hope you do because that too is part of the process.
Seek some wise counsel for yourself as well.
Best regards,  

Email your questions to Joe. He will reply to you personally.

Quick Links

Addicts to Athletes: Recovering meth addict starts local running club for others in recovery

Drugs and Teens: What can parents do?

Al-Anon Group Finder
(Finding a group you like is kind of like finding a church you like--you may have to try a few different meetings.)

Myths and Facts About Using Breathalyzers

Living in a Sober House

Recovery Arts Blog
(packed with tons of recovery-related film, music, art info and testimonials).
Also, scroll to the bottom of this blog for a list of American Treatment Centers-by state.

Empowering Parents
Straight Talk, Real Results.

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Some of you have asked "where can I go to talk to others who have similar questions to mine, or to ask Joe a question?"

Now you can read comments from others like yourself, post your own information and read additional helpful, interesting info!

Visit often. This blog is updated frequently.

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Joe Herzanek/Larry Weckbaugh Interview

Joe Herzanek interviews Larry Weckbaugh of BelayCounseling about the importance of family participation when it comes to successful recovery (Program recorded when Larry directed Family Week Program for University of Colorado Hospital's CeDAR treatment program for chemical dependency).

Watch interview clip

Do You Know About The
"Why Don't They JUST QUIT?"


Do you know someone who:
  Doesn't like to read
Doesn't have time to read a book
Speaks in English as a second language?

This DVD is perfect for watching together as a family or group.
Provides excellent information for those seeking clarification and answers.
(Info in DVD is completely different from the book. This is a "companion resource"
sold as a set, along with the book)

Save 25%
Recently slashed pricing on "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?"
Book/DVD Combo Pack!

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Visit our website now to order your set

Joe Herzanek
Changing Lives Foundation
*Disclaimer: The information provided in this email is for educational purposes only. The views expressed herein are those of the author only. Knowing that each person's situation is different it is very important that you meet with/consult a professional in this field before acting on any perceived advice given.

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