Marty Lythgoe’s Journal

By Marty Lythgoe LAADC-CA, NCAC II, SAP

Lessons from the Trash Barrel (a recycle from July 9, 2018)

Lessons from the Trash Barrel (a recycle from July 9, 2018)

In the city in which I live we are blessed to have a strong ecology focus in our local government.  We have separate large barrels for trash, for yard waste, and for recyclable materials.  The trash barrel is picked up every week. while the yard waste and recyclable barrels are picked up on alternate weeks. Taking Out The TrashLast week was the week for the recyclables.  When I came home from work and began to put the barrels away, I noticed that the recyclable barrel had not been completely...

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Trauma & Addiction: How It Can Be Treated

Trauma & Addiction: How It Can Be Treated

It is estimated that over 70% of those experiencing mental health and substance abuse problems have had a background of trauma. Experiencing trauma, whether as a victim or as a witness, has a profound impact on the brain and the body. Just what is trauma? Trauma is a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury. The symptoms of trauma include: Re-experiencing the traumatic event through memories, dreams, or flashbacks. Avoidance or...

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Drug & Alcohol Addiction: Reflections On Mother’s Day

Drug & Alcohol Addiction: Reflections On Mother’s Day

Sounds like a good and worthwhile idea, a holiday set aside to honor our mothers.  And yet for those in early recovery, it can be a deadly trap.Early Recovery & Persisting IssuesWe would like to think that stopping drinking and/or drug abuse solves the problems that accompany any addiction – family problems, job problems, legal problems, financial problems – and there is some truth in that.  But because addiction is more than the abuse of a substance and recovery is more than abstinence,...

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Truths of the 12-Step Program

Truths of the 12-Step Program

When I first began my recovery, I was fortunate to choose a sponsor in NA who was part of a “sponsorship line” that passed on some basic truths that have been key to my recovery and have stood the test of time over nearly 38 years. They are still just as true today as they were when I was a newcomer. I pass them on to you in hopes they will enhance your recovery.

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3 Step Guide: Addiction Relapse Prevention

3 Step Guide: Addiction Relapse Prevention

Like other chronic conditions, addiction relapse is a common occurence. It is one thing to stop the addictive behavior; it is another thing to stay stopped. It is still another thing to stay stopped and at the same time enjoy full physical, psychological, social and spiritual health.Step 1: Abstinence Is The Stopping Of Addictive Behavior.It is the first requirement toward recovery. It is the beginning. It is the ticket to get into the theater, not the movie we are going to see. Recovery is...

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What Constitutes an Addiction?

What Constitutes an Addiction?

Biological - Psychological - SocialAddiction is a bio-psycho-social disorder characterized by a maladaptive pattern of behavior or substance use which leads to significant impairment in a person’s life. It is critical to understand addiction as a complex issue with roots that seem to be: Biological – there is clear evidence of genetic predisposition to addiction and evidence of biological differences in the way addicts respond to different stimuli and experience pleasure. Psychological – there...

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Addiction and Personality

Addiction and PersonalityThe belief that personality plays a role in addiction – that it may even be the major or sole cause – has a long tradition. In the nineteenth century, alcoholics were thought to suffer from “degeneracy”, an inherited trait that encompassed criminality, feeblemindedness, sexual promiscuity, along with drug and drinking excesses. In the twentieth century one of the prominent psychoanalytic views was that alcoholics and addicts have a dependent personality. We struggle to...

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Codependency

Codependency is a condition of lost “selfhood”. Originally the term codependency was used to describe the person whose life was affected as a result of being involved with someone who was chemically dependent. It is a normal response to an abnormal situation. It is born out of our natural inclination to help and has its roots in caring and compassion. Codependent behavior is an attempt to bring some control to an out of control situation.The ProblemCodependency becomes a problem when we focus...

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Addiction is More Than a Brain Disease

Addiction is More Than a Brain Disease

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in a far-reaching decision, labeled addiction as a “brain disease” several years ago.  Their statement, which carried significant clout, was the result of brain research and also opened the door for further research.  Looking for a pharmaceutical cure for addiction, millions of dollars have been poured into the development of antagonist drugs to stem the epidemic of substance abuse in this country.Is the brain centrally involved in the development...

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The Disease of Addiction

One of the “great debates” in the addiction treatment field is whether addiction is truly a disease.  While the American Medical Association classified alcoholism as a disease way back in 1956, many are skeptical and continue to view addiction as a moral issue, a character issue, and even a cop out.  So let’s take a look at an accepted definition of “disease” and see if addiction fits. Disease:  A morbid process with characteristic identifying symptoms, regardless of whether   the etiology...

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About My Logo

The two trees of my logo have meaning for me both in the natural and in the spiritual realms.  In the initial stages of trying to design a logo for my counseling practice, I had in mind symbols which might represent both recovery from addiction and also living victoriously in Christ. As I experimented with different symbols, I became clear that I also wanted to represent the city of Ventura, where I practice and where I was born and raised.  I considered the ocean, the islands and the pier,...

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