August   September  09
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No matter how long I continue to counsel families struggling with substance abuse, the one concept that comes up again and again is that of being "powerless over alcohol." People with years of sobriety fall prey to the big lie that seduces them into believing they can drink again socially.

Others still struggle to come to terms with the idea. This is what "Step One" is all about. I invite you to read more about this below.

I hope you take a few minutes to listen to a couple of my "Recovery Now!" radio shows, and please don't miss--at the bottom of the page, a wonderful song by T Graham Brown "Wine into water."

We take our time putting this newsletter together--to give it a "human touch," to connect with you, make it interesting and informative. Please forward this to someone you care about. It's an easy way to help someone who may be feeling very alone.

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We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol
and that our lives had become unmanageable.
--Step One, AA 12-Steps

Step One:
What's the big deal about Step One?

After many years in recovery,
I know that I must not forget this one principle
--I will always be an addict.

--Joe Herzanek

Whether you are a fan of twelve-step programs or not, the first step an attendee will hear offers a great deal of wisdom. The alcoholic/addict should never venture into the world without remembering the important bit of knowledge that Step One provides: Chemically dependent people will not ever be able to gain control over their substance use. Millions of addicted people have tried, and many have even died trying. Not one person has ever successfully returned to social use.

Admitting Powerlessness
After many years in recovery, I know that I must not forget this one principle-I will always be an addict. Confusion on this matter can lead to disastrous results. My substance use took me places I didn't want to go, cost me more than I wanted to pay and kept me longer than I wanted to stay. My addiction is now in remission. Just the same, it is alive and well-ready to inflict a lot of pain on me. To forget this would be my greatest mistake.

I have a friend who owns a treatment center in the Colorado Rocky Mountains called Jaywalker Lodge. He accepts only men who are highly motivated to change.
Read more. . .

This article is excerpted from the book "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?"

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"We can't solve problems by
using the same kind of thinking
we used when we created them."

~ Albert Einstein

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Please Pray for My Son

Often, a conversation that begins with a routine ordering question, turns out to be something that touches our hearts. We recently received a question/comment/request from a mother in Rockford, Illinois who agreed to share this.

After taking care of her book order question, she wrote "Am anxiously waiting for my book to arrive-as I am praying that it will help our 30 year old son. He has been an addict for 15 years and well . . . you know. I feel as though I cannot go on much longer. I am being held hostage and tortured by a drug that I do not even use."

After several back-and-forth emails she wrote:
"Judy, yes you may quote me, and I am not ashamed for my name to be used either. How did a mother of four who is so dead-set against drugs and alcohol raise children who are driven to it? But I thank-you for your words. They mean more than you will ever know. I was beginning to feel as though the world was not there for me. and then here you are! I am so glad I am not alone. life. . . I am so very angry. More than words can say. And my son is wanting to end his life. He just cannot seem to get clean and stay that way and he has tried almost everything . . . and he so wants it. . . as do many I am sure. He is my heart. . . Oh I could go on but it is not your worry it is mine . . .and you have heard it all before. . . please pray for my son."

Please, let's take a moment to pray for all the sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends and loved-ones who need strength, hope and a miracle!
-Joe and Judy

I Will Never Give Up on My Daughter
A request for our free CD resulted in this conversation.

"Please send me the CD. I have your "Why Don't They Just Quit" book.  I'm sure this cd will be just as insiteful as your book. I will never give up on my daughter. Turning our backs on those we love is not tough love. It is rejection. Any information you can send is appreciated. I am the only one in the family that is still "going to bat" for her and I am open to any suggestions."

Bless you for all the good you are doing for others.
-Kat S., Shawnee, KS

I'd like to share my response to her, since this is something that is often misunderstood and extremely difficult for parents to understand.

Thanks Kat,
There is a fine line between detachment with love--and rejection. Often what a Mom needs to do is "detach" while letting her child know that she is there for her if she chooses recovery--but the Mom also needs to be clear that she will do NOTHING that will help her continue her addicted lifestyle.

This is sooooo hard for a Mom. Parents often need outside help (a counselor, sponsor or a friend who has gone through the same thing) to keep things in perspective--especially when their addict/alcoholic keeps hounding them and trying to persuade them to "help" them.

It all seems to get so complicated, but it's really not.

One Thing I've Learned
"One thing I've learned in dealing with my kids' addictions (and the consequences of such) is the importance of not only taking care of myself and still doing things I enjoy, but also educating myself about whatever they are dealing with.  It makes our conversations more honest & productive, plus the 'unknowns' of probation, detention, etc. don't drive me (quite as) crazy. I can also help others with my knowledge, which really helps me, too."

-Julie M. Coppell, TX

What A Book
"Finished the book late last night. What a book. Tell Joe I have to agree with everything he says about addiction. Very informative book, and I will use it a lot in my lectures at Valley Hope. Thanks to both of you."

-Dan O., Columbia, MO
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Listen Now!

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.

Step 12: Staying Connected
Giving back and staying connected are the key parts of the last step in the 12-Step process. How do you stay in recovery?
30 min.

A Summary of all the 12 Steps
A quick review of each step and why you need each one to recover from addiction and to avoid relapse. We gone through each of the steps now, and this time we review all with Joe Herzanek, author of "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?"
30 min.

Two New Shows Coming Soon 
Keep this email and click here to check for 2 new radio shows that I just recorded yesterday. Scroll down the page a bit to access a new show each week. My new shows will address "the role of Spirituality in Recovery" and "Steps 8 & 9" (see all Twelve Steps).

I don't know the exact dates yet, but I do know the shows will play soon.

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


(Sept. 15 & 22 Recovery Now! shows, plus Joe's 60 minute interview with Berk Lewis "Next Step Radio")

Email us at:
[email protected]
Ask for the FREE AUDIO CD, include your name and mailing address.

T Graham Brown ~ Wine into water

T Graham Brown

T. Graham Brown spent most of the '90s out of the spotlight
and the reason why was alcoholism.
As the title says, he spent many years trying to figure out how to turn the wine into water, and the record shows that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.

Listen now . . .

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Issue: 4
In This Issue
Powerless Over Alcohol? Step One: What's the big deal about Step One?
Feedback From You
Two New Radio Interviews
T Graham Brown ~ Wine into water
Ask Joe
Quick Links
Now Available At:

Did You Miss an Issue?


In it you will find:



- Q&A "ASK JOE" -

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Best Self-help Book 2008
Next Generation Indie Book Awards

NIEA Finalist Award

Health Category
National Indie Excellence Awards


Ask Joe
#2 Lg. Header with photo

Q  Dear Joe:
My 18-year-old daughter has had drug and alcohol problems off and on for the past four years, trying to deal with being molested and tensions in our marriage. This fall she did heavy drugs and narcotics as well as selling them at college. 

She came home after her first semester of college, in debt, flunking the majority of her classes, and unable to continue her education until she repays in full. We are unable to afford paying and think it's a good life lesson for her to be held accountable for this debt. 

She is living with her grandmother now after much tension at home.  How can I trust and forgive her when she doesn't feel sorry for hurting us after detox? She is frustrated that we seem to have cut her off. She wants support and credit for "supposedly" staying clean and working although she has refused any more treatment or support groups. 

It is tearing me up for our family  to be like this. All I do is pray and keep my distance, guarding myself and son. How can I be supportive and forgiving when I am so hurt?

- Carrie H., Bend, OR


Quick Links

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Support Group
 for individuals, friends and families who are looking to connect during life's challenging times.
Share personal experiences, evaluate information and get support during times of need, illness, treatment or recovery.


About Recovery
Addiction resources by state. National helpline available 24 hours a day.


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.)


About Recovery

How to find a meeting using
(A large global database of local 12 step fellowship meetings in your area.)


Recovery Arts
Recovery Arts Blog
(packed with tons of recovery-related film, music, art info and testimonials).

Face the Fear
Sober Inspirations
(very cool inspirations delivered to your email daily.  Free).


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"If  you

can dream it,


can do it."

~ Walt Disney

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)

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.