Going Cold Turkey from Heroin Feels Like Hell. Our Guest Article Today.

Going Cold Turkey from Heroin Feels Like Hell. Our Guest Article Today.

“Going Cold Turkey From Heroin Feels Like Hell.  ~ By Aleksandre McMenamin

 

Anyone who has ever used heroin can attest to the fact that it is one of the most euphoric experiences that your brain can feel. There is an immense joy that is felt when using heroin; a pleasurable sensation that is without equal, feeling vastly better than anything your meager memory can recall. Even the elation of sex is incomparable, chemically, with the gamut of gratifying feelings that heroin creates for you. This is why heroin is the most addictive substance on the planet, and one whose presence is substantially growing in different regions of America. Nobody ever tells you all of the incredible catharsis that comes from using heroin. You only hear about the destructive nature of it, but the reasons why it is such a powerful temptation are too often disregarded.

Understanding the feeling of heroin is crucial to understanding why people use it, and why it is so difficult to stop using. Although there are many forms of treatment for heroin addiction, the one way that every addict has tried, at least once (and probably multiple times), is just stopping. It sounds so simple! Simply don’t use heroin, again. This process is called “cold turkey,” and it is hell.

The most initial and apparent effects of quitting heroin cold turkey are ones that are physical in nature. Within 24 hours after heroin has left your body, an intense feeling of nausea begins to saturate your body. At first, you will experience aches and soreness anywhere that you can feel. Your body is telling you that need that shot, and as far as you are concerned, you absolutely do. Every fiber of your being will be telling you to get heroin, and to do so at any cost.

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cooking the heroin.

For those who are able to get past this initial feeling, the nightmare has only started. Soon, you will begin to sweat, profusely. Your body is shaking so much that it is literally exhausting any and all energy that you have. Your skin will be burning up, but also experiencing a cold chill that echoes throughout your body, inescapably. This is the shock that occurs when your body finally realizes that another dose may not be coming. Because of exhaustion, you will need to keep eating and drinking water, but will probably not be able to keep anything down. Your stomach will reject everything that you put inside of it.

At this point, the tiredness will reach an extreme point. Never before in your life will you have needed to rest more than you will now, and the hunger is only making it worse. Getting up and walking somewhere will take concentrated effort and a great deal of pain. Every step feels like a marathon, in and of itself, because the exhaustion and discoordination are taking over every aspect of yourself. Sleep does not come easily, though, because the worst part of this journey is nothing physical, but entirely psychological.

Heroin is an exhilarating drug, but all of the incredible feelings are ones that are created by the drug, thus making your brain dependent on these artificial emotions. This stifles your brain’s ability to create its own endorphins, which means no dopamine. This is, by far, the most dangerous aspect of heroin, as well as the most destructive part of going cold turkey. At this point in the process, you have lost all of the endorphins that were generated from the heroin use, but your brain is unable to produce its own. Scientifically, this is a process that can be broken down, but the real feeling is unexplainable.

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dramatic shot, teen heroin user - after shooting up
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Happiness will be impossible. The ultimate feeling of despair sets in, and you can’t believe that anything you had ever experienced before had even qualified as anguish, in your mind. As hard as you might try, you cannot think of one happy thing. Every aspect of self-doubt that sits, like a maid-in-waiting, in the back of your mind will be brought to your conscious mind. In your mind, every notion of joy and exultation that you see experienced in the world is an affront to the most inescapable of truths: we are alone. Any meaning that you ever placed on your own existence is an insult to this fact, which permeates every thought. For the next several days, the thought of suicide will always be on your mind, and it will seem like an inevitable option.

Even though sleep is the only hope you have of escaping the horror of your waking existence, it will be nigh impossible. By this point, the shock your body is experiencing will reach its apex. Every nerve will feel like it is being burned alive, individually. Only after hours of this pain will the exhaustion overtake you so you can get an hour of rest. However, due to the psychological aspects of heroin withdrawal, your active mind will fill every moment of rest with images that can only be equated with hell. Nightmares begin to define your existence, as you wake up to paranoia and hallucinations and go to sleep to the world that you imagine you deserve (which is the greatest punishment).

These effects can last weeks, at varying degrees of intensity. It is not a steady drop off. One day, you will think that everything is getting better and that you are on the other side of this, but the next day could be just as bad as the first. And after the effects of heroin withdrawal finally wear off, you begin to realize that you will never truly be free of it. After decades of sobriety pass, the craving never really leaves you, like a parasite in the back of your mind that refuses to die.

Because of all the physical and psychological risks of heroin withdrawal, it is incredibly dangerous to simply quit “cold turkey.” Today, there are plenty of tools to detox from heroin addiction, safely (such as Subutex Titration, which is wonderfully explained in this article here). 

If you are suffering from heroin addiction, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to speak with a health professional today and to give yourself the best chance to get better and move on with life.

“Hate The Addiction Not The Addict.”

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If you need help from drug addiction? Please visit Narcotics Anonymous Today
SUICIDE is never an OPTION to Stop Addiction: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline    CALL: 1-800-273-8255  Available every day  24 hours a day  .  .  .  .

 

 

“Presented By: “Recovery Starts Here ~ Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon”

 

Welcome New Author, Dustin L. John and New Book ~ A Walk In His Shoes.

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“I am so honored and excited to have my long-time recovery pal, now a brand new Author, Dustin L. John to my recovery blog! We have known each other now for about 2 years. We met on social media and he did a very nice Book and Author Interview on his fantastic blog My Sober  awhile after my recovery book was released.”

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About The Author:

Dustin John was born and raised in Gallup New Mexico. At age 11, he moved to a small town in Southern Utah. Leading a seemingly normal lifestyle after graduating high school, Dustin’s life took a turn for the worse. A short time after a divorce lead him to bankruptcy, his life began the slow dive into addiction.

By age 22, he was jobless, homeless, running from the law, and searching for his next shot of heroin. Travelling across the western states in search of a safe haven, Dustin landed himself directly in the midst of a massive underground drug ring. After a decade of playing on death’s doorstep, Dustin made a miraculous escape into sobriety. Dustin and his father, Dallas documented Dustin’s drug riddled history in a uniquely written, father/son memoir titled “A Walk in his Shoes”.

Dustin’s father Dallas, passed away from an aggressive illness just months before the book’s final manuscript was published. Dustin has been sober since February 1, 2012 and continues to help in the fight against addiction. He resides in Southern Utah with his wife and their many reptiles.

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About Dustin’s New Book Release:

Dustin’s life was once full of joy, happiness, security, and success. With a lucrative job, a wife, and a home of his own, he was destined for a life of fortune, prosperity and comfort. That was before heroin. This unique and gripping tale is the first of its kind to tell the story of addiction through the eyes of both father and son.

Together, Dustin and Dallas shine a blinding light on the dark life of a junky. As Dustin decides to travel across the western states in search of a safe haven, Dustin wanders within a few footsteps of his own demise. Instead of finding freedom, however, his addiction cascades into corruption, deceit, and evil. As alcohol and drug abuse continues to ravage every community in America, this groundbreaking memoir offers important insight into the inner workings of an active user, as well as the pain of those loved ones who must helplessly stand by as the family structure disintegrates from addiction . . .
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Now of course I had a few burning questions for my old friend and make him feel like he was “sittin on the HOT SEAT” a little bit. LOL. But handled the answers pretty damn well! LOL.

My Burning Questions for Dustin:

1.) I know you are a fantastic blogger and write there, but what made you come to be a writer and share your recovery? —
“The main reason I became a writer is because I knew my story needed to be told. Studying addiction issues in the US made me realize that my experience with addiction could help other families and the only way I could get my story out to the world was to put pen to paper.”

2.) Who inspires you in your recovery? (Writer, Author, etc.) —  “My father was a great inspiration. He was not in recovery but he co-authored my latest book and told the family side of my addiction to heroin. He died of an aggressive illness months before we were able to publish the final manuscript. He was a photographer and a columnist at a newspaper for many years. I decided to dedicate the book to him.”

3.) Was there any fear around sharing your life in book form for the world to read about your addiction and recovery? —  “There is massive amounts of fear in publicizing my story. Many times in the editing process I felt like minimizing what I did while telling my story. Once I realized that my fear was a boogeyman and a great gauge for honest writing, I began to embrace that fear.”

4.) What can you reveal personally about yourself that readers may not know about you and any advice to others in recovery? —  “As a second hobby I breed exotic reptiles. I can also say my ABCs faster backwards than I can forward. One piece of advice I would give to the recovery community and to everyone as a whole would be to learn who they are and where they came from. There is nothing more helpful for gaining happiness in the world than self-knowledge. Taking an objective view of your childhood is the most powerful practice towards freeing yourself from dysfunction and other harmful human attributes.
Dig deep. Be open and honest. Connect. As Socrates said “know thy self!”

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Dustin John
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So I am again so happy for my good friend and now fellow author! Dustin can tell you himself how long I have bugged him to write a book and share his story and testimony. He is also a great blogger like I had mentioned earlier, so take a visit to his blog at ‘My Sober Life, and . . .he has a special Giveaway going on over at Goodreads to, so get the details on his blog: Goodreads – Autographed Book Giveaway | My Sober Life on how to enter.

You can also connect with Dustin on Twitter  @DustinLJohn – Lets Tweet! and over on LinkedIn too!
Connect with Author, Dustin John on LinkedIn
Connect and Follow on Goodreads
So go grab a copy of Dustin’s new book today and read an Amazing Story and a Beautiful Life in Recovery!
I really appreciate the honor of sharing my dear friend Author, Dustin L John with all of you . . .
His book is available below on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so just click the book to purchase today …

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fpo            Product Details
(click book for B & N)        (click book for Amazon)

Happy Holiday Season & Blessings All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

I Welcome Dustin John To My Recovery Blog Today And His Fantastic Blog~”My Sober Life”…

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and Welcome new Friends,

 

Many of us on this crazy journey of recovery come across some pretty amazing people. And my Guest Blogger is no different. We have met on many social media sites, and he too has been in recovery for a long awhile. When I first visited his blog, I was struck on how very open and candid Dustin was. I like that! Because in order for us to help others in recovery, or help those reaching out for a helping hand on how to even start the recovery journey, we need not ‘Sugar Coat’ recovery at all.

We need to be able to share our inner most feelings of all we have been through with addiction. We lay our hearts bare in order for others to know they are NOT alone, they CAN recover, and there are many of us IN recovery who can if they Live or Die from any type of addiction. And that’s what my good friend Dustin seems to always accomplish on his blog when sharing his own personal testimony of where he had been, to where he is today!

Here is a little more about “Dustin John”, and about his must visit blog tilted; “My Sober Life” at: http://www.jdusty45.wordpress.com

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sober from alcohol and other drugs since February 1, 2012 and I have been sober from heroin for over 5 years.
Dustin John –
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My Sober Life

My Soundingboard of Hope, Freedom and Happiness

 “I am 33 years old. For the better part of 13 years I was using heroin and other drugs. I have been sober since February 1, 2012. After seeing the devastation that addiction and alcoholism causes in families across the world, I wanted to share my story in hope that my past mistakes will help others who are plagued by addiction and alcoholism. Sobriety is possible and when it is truly found, peace and happiness will follow” …

A Bit Of Dustin’s Back Story:

At the age of 20, I was married before the ink had fully dried on my high school diploma. At the time, I thought I had the perfect life. I had a pretty wife, a steady growing credit score, a nice home with 2 cars, a great job and some financial stability. Having my life in order at such a young age gave me a sense of satisfaction a sense of wholeness and responsibility. I felt like I had reached the “American Dream” if such a thing ever existed. We even had the white picket fence in a neat little row against the freshly laid concrete sidewalk. I had installed new white stickers on our mailbox that advertised our union as a small new family. “The Johns’”
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Within the first year of my marriage, there was so much tension in our home you had to cut through it with a pair of pruning shears. It was constant, it was thick and it was very depressing. There was persistent arguing and squabbling over trivial matters, day in and day out. I was extremely young, naïve and inexperienced in the relationship field but I did the best I could in keeping our relationship afloat. It was like trying to scoop water out of the sinking Titanic- with a thimble. It finally dawned on me that no matter what I did, it wouldn’t be enough. I would never be able to make my partner happy.

I viewed my partner as my “life-long” companion where infidelities, lies, manipulation and divorce did not exist. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I knew my wife and I were finished. The endless fighting and verbal boxing matches had us at the breaking point. Her infidelities had driven in the final wedge. At that point, I had lost my ability to love her, or at least that is how it felt. I gave her a week to move out of our home.

The emptiness of my home mirrored my empty soul and I knew that being alone in that solitude wasn’t the best idea. After a few phone calls to friends, my home became a regular karaoke lounge with drunken hacky sack tournaments in the kitchen. I’m not sure why we thought alcohol and hacky sack went together because you would never get more than two kicks before someone would either fall over drunk, or kick the sack behind the stove which would usually end the game instantly. Regardless of our insanity it- coupled with drugs and alcohol, was helping to suppress my emotions.
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*And That is How The Cycle Of Addiction can begin…. This was a part of another extensive interview Dustin had done on another website titled; “Breaking The Cycles” and you can read the full interview, courtesy of  http://www.breakingthecycles.com/blog/2014/06/15/dustin-john-todays-face-of-addiction-recovery/
It’s another fantastic recovery blog. I wanted to share a little of Dustin’s interview from there, as it shows one of the reasons many of us turn to addiction in the first place. I can be from life trauma and events, or many other reasons, but we USE to try to cope or escape hurt, pain, life disappointments, loss, tragic events, and more.

Dustin and myself are no different. We may not have been raised to know there are much healthier ways to process life’s trials and events. Here is a perfect example from Dustin’s own blog, “My Sober Life” as to why I’m truly inspired by him deeply. I always feel that our Higher Power has had a huge part in my meeting Dustin.
It’s one of the blessings and rewards of life*!
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Get High or Get Higher Power?
Courtesy of Dustin John ….

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I have been wanting to do a blog on my version of God; or more accurately, my higher power for many weeks now but I kept putting it off. The topic is controversial to say the least- mainly if the status quo deity is put into question. Religion beliefs are often a topic in recovery and I feel that having an honest and open discussion is relevant and absolutely necessary in my own personal recovery. Some of you may disagree with my beliefs and that is perfectly fine. My goal is not to argue that my higher power is right or wrong or that any of my reader’s belief’s are incorrect. I am only explaining my experience and what works for me.

Many conversations in the rooms of AA/NA, give strong evidence that many addicts struggle with finding, keeping and believing in a God or any form of higher power. I want to explain my higher power so that others who are struggling can see that they are not alone in their struggles. I also want to explain how I finally found what I believe to be my higher power.

GROWING UP

I was raised in the LDS church as a young child. Up until my mid 20s, I believed in the Judeo-Christian ethical standards as well as a living, breathing deity who had a flowing white beard and had a homestead somewhere above the highest of clouds. After continually struggling to make even a single right turn into the driveway of virtue, I began to question what kind of Satan-spawn I had become. The harder I tried to do right by God, the further he faded from me. No coffee or caffeine? No hot drinks? No nicotine? No masturbation? God must have known me quite well. I was doomed right out of the placenta bursting gate.

THE CRUX

Despite my appalling past; homelessness, IV drug use, robbery, theft etc., I have always thought I was a decent and respectful human being. It may be difficult to believe that, and after reading that previous sentence, I think I may have threw up a little from the ridiculousness of my statement. Anyone who has been addicted to drugs I’m sure can relate. I knew I had done some really terrible things and for God and my sober self, that was a big problem.
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The thought of going to hell drove me to study religion and to study it passionately. Both sides. Both arguments and even other religions. So that is what I did. I studied Christian, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Taoism. After studying these religions* and reading their doctrines, I began to study agnosticism and atheism. I knew I couldn’t make any accurate or true claims about anything if I didn’t understand both sides of the religious coin belief and non-belief.

THE SEARCH

After countless hours of work, I came to my own conclusion based on empirical evidence, logical consistency, and facts. I now consider myself to be an atheist. However, just because I do not believe that Gods or Deities’ exist, does not mean I do not have a higher power.

CRUX-BASED FINDINGS

When I first realized I was in fact, a strong atheist, I began to feel an emptiness. Like my life was missing something crucial. A pinging vibration of hollowness echoed throughout my body. “If I did not believe that Gods’ exist, how could I ever stay sober?” AA/NA taught me that to continue a happy and fulfilling sober lifestyle, I had to find a higher power!

THE SEARCH CONTINUES

I had heard in a meeting one time that someone was using a doorknob as their higher power but I felt more powerful than a doorknob. After-all, I could turn one and walk through a door so I knew the doorknob would not suffice as my higher power. I think the point of a higher power is choosing something that is more powerful than me and something I CAN’T control- unlike the turning of a doorknob. That is however, only my amateur opinion. If a doorknob works for someone as a HP, then grab hold of it!

FINDING MY HIGHER POWER

My HP had to be something much smarter than me, much stronger than me, something I could not control, something I do not understand, something that would keep me safe and something I COULD allow to run my life so I didn’t screw it up again. After pondering these strict and crucial requirements for my next potential higher power, I finally realized this higher power was right in front of me the entire time. It was with me throughout my entire life and it knew me much better than I knew myself. It is thousands of time stronger than me and it is thousands of times smarter than me. Its capabilities are known to be almost limitless.This amazing higher power I am describing is the subconscious mind.
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Actual X-ray of my big yellow-purple brain dots.
JUST SOME THOUGHTS

Being conscience of our unconscious mind is extremely helpful for living a successful life; even if you think having it (subconscious) as your higher power is ludicrous. For many years, I thought of my subconscious mind as an abstract concept and I never put much “thought” into it. Today, I work to provide a conduit of clear communication between my conscious and subconscious mind. A working relationship between the two is essential for my daily recovery. Having this deity-free higher power has continued to keep me sober and has help me understand so many things that used to baffle me.
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I welcome all troll-free comments but if any of my readers are having a hard time with God or a higher power, please feel free to comment. Also, I would love to hear any of your thoughts on this topic. I appreciate all my readers support. Thank you all!

Dustin J.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” –Andre Gide
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Now all my recovery buddy’s know that when I have a Blog Guest, I only ask 3 questions of them as to not put on any pressure! LOL. Dustin seems to handle any Just Fine! 🙂
So here is my 3 questions I asked of him, and how he answered them for us! …
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Q ~ Knowing you live life in recovery, how did you decide to write & blog about it and your journey?

Back in 2008, I asked my father if I should try and write a book about my addiction and what my family had been through. It was quite the tale and we had all learned a great deal by doing everything the wrong way for many years. My father knew that the amount of people suffering from the disease of addiction were legion so we began putting ink on paper.
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Because of numerous relapses between 2008-2012, the book was finally edited, re-drafted, edited, chopped, edited, rewritten and then we finalized the perfected manuscript in late 2013. From robberies at gunpoint to traveling across the western states’, wrecking stolen vehicles and hitchhiking with a murderous tow truck driver, my story leaves no stones unturned in my fight for survival. . Being held hostage by a crowd of burly chainsaw wielding psychopaths’, I somehow find my way out. A mysterious masked boy on a bus sees my life unfolding and tries to warn me of my fate years in advance.
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I wrote a chapter telling my story from the addicts perspective and my father wrote a chapter describing the same timeframe but from the family’s eye-view.  Luckily we finished the final manuscript just days before my father passed away.

“Every addict who is looking for long-term sobriety, myself included, have many multi-faceted triggers and emotions that will send us swerving off the sober path. We will all eventually have to learn to deal with death and we need to do it without drinking, drugging, or other self-destructive behaviors. Losing my father (age 59) was a devastating blow to my family. His death was untimely and it shook me to my core. I have yet to give in to my addiction over my father’s death and having an online sounding board has been a huge help for me. It has also given me the opportunity to share things that were not discussed in our book. I learn new things about addiction almost every day and being able to share those new thoughts and ideas make blogging a substantial recovery tool.”
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Q ~ Since your sobriety, what has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you?

would have to be marrying the woman of my dreams. We met playing Texas Hold’em online. When I first began chatting with her, I didn’t realize she lived almost 8,000 miles away. She is a blonde haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian from Finland who can swear at me in 4 different languages. She has never done any kind of drugs and that was new to me, weird and completely awesome. After a 2 year, really long distance relationship and a couple of trips back and forth to Finland, we began the never-ending pile of documents required for her citizenship. We were married June 9, 2012. She has been my guiding light, my rainstorm in the desert, my everything.
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Q ~  As far as your recovery, what was it that made you decide to get clean and sober?

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I honestly didn’t want to. I had to. That’s how powerless I am.  I love the feeling of using heroin and other drugs. The problem is I can’t do it anymore. I was standing on the reaper’s doorstep in 2006. I was facing a 1-10 year prison sentence and I was hoping drugs would take my life before I got caught by the authorities. I was completely worn out; homeless, running from the law, shooting heroin and cocaine into my arms many times a day, committing more and more horrendous crimes every day. I was not slowing down. My liver was failing, my bruised and battered veins were collapsing and I weighed 112 pounds (including the stolen lawn mower I was pushing).
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I was finally arrested in July of 2006. When all my court appearances had been settled, I was given 13 months in a maximum security facility and tens of thousands in fines and restitution. I had tried to get sober many times before this but I never could gather more than a few weeks of sobriety. Being housed with rapists, murderers and hard-core criminal’s for over a year was eye-opening to say the least. It wasn’t the career I had in mind and I knew I had to make some life-altering decisions from that point forward. I was truly willing to do whatever it took to stay sober.
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I was able to gather over two and a half years of sobriety after my sentencing. I had stopped attending meetings and working with other addicts. Within 6 months I had relapsed. I asked a judge to throw me back in jail so I could get sober again. He did of course (30 day sentence) and I have been sober since February 1, 2012. I have been clean from heroin for over five and a half years.
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I want to say “Thank You” to Dustin John for letting me share his Recovery & Sober Life today. He is a true inspiration to many of us recovery bloggers out here in Recoveryville!  Please take some time to go visit his blog and find a wealth of information, and honest sharing about how to “Stay Clean & Sober”!! I know he thinks I’m going to let him get away with mentioning “TEXAS’ EM” in his Guest Spot!! Bad, Bad, Boy DUSTIN! LOL…
You can contact with Dustin here:

To follow more of my story, information about addiction, and to stay tuned for my book hitting the shelves, please follow my blog at www.jdusty45.wordpress.com

You can also find me on Twitter at @DustinLJohn

Contact me by email  jdusty45@yahoo.com

“Thanks everyone for coming by and visiting! God Bless,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon