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Health, Science & Environment

Special Project | Dealing with Addictions at the Holidays

  • Part 1: Guide//5 Helpful Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays
  • Follow these basic tips and you can have a wonderful and happy sober holiday season.
  • Part 2: Advent//Deepening Our Commitment to Recovery
  • Having struggled through the dark in our addictions, why not spend these weeks of light … renewing our commitment to recovery?

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Part 1: Guide//5 Helpful Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays / When you’re constantly running from place to place and engaging with different people, it’s easy to begin to feel worn down and drained, which can lead to feelings that could put your recovery at risk. PC: ID 101157670 © Gpointstudio

The truth is that sometimes, the holidays can just be tough. But you don’t have to go in blindly. Follow these basic tips and you can have a wonderful and happy sober holiday season.

Beth Leipholtz, the Fix

12/10/18 | For some people, the holidays are a joyful time that is looked forward to all year long. For others, this isn’t the case. Sometimes the stress of traveling, gift-giving and time with extended family takes a toll and can be daunting – especially, perhaps, for those in recovery from substance use disorder.

The truth is that sometimes, the holidays can just be tough. But you don’t have to go in blindly. / Beth Leipholtz: Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in hersparetime she enjoys writing about recovery.

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Part 2: Advent//Deepening Our Commitment to Recovery / We are here only to bring light in our own unique ways to those alone in the dark, to remember that light from above illuminates the unsteady ground under our feet.

Haven’t we struggled through the dark in our addictions and now live inside truth’s illumination? So why not spend these weeks in spiritual reflection and renewing our commitment to recovery?

Kerry Neville, the Fix

12/12/18 | Advent, from the Latin, adventus — “a coming” — is, for Christians, the season celebrating Jesus Christ’s impending birth and his second coming after his death. The liturgical readings over the four weeks are centered on hope, preparation, joy, and love. It is also the season of the Advent wreath and its four candles, one lit successively each week, and of the Advent calendar and its 25 chocolates secreted behind twenty-five cardboard windows. Reflection and prayer, sweetness and light: the dark illuminated by remembrance and anticipation.

When I was drinking? The season for wanton indulgence: cranberry cosmopolitans, eggnog, mulled wine, and Irish coffees. Parties and booze and blackouts and hangovers. Superficial, carnal pursuits superseded any spiritual meditative pleasures. How many Christmas Eves did my then-husband and I spend slogging wine into the wee hours while last-minute wrapping gifts, crankier with each downed glass? And then the wretched hangover on Christmas mornings when our kids, wiggly with Santa excitement, woke us at dawn — “Get up! Get up! Get up!”— and how we dragged ourselves from bed, desperate for ibuprofen and coffee? / Kerry Neville teaches at Georgia College and State University. She is the author of two collections of short fiction, Remember to Forget Me and Necessary Lies. Her work has appeared online in publications such as the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and the Fix.

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The Real Roots of American Rage

The untold story of how anger became the dominant emotion in our politics and personal lives—and what we can do about it.

Charles Duhigg, the Atlantic

I. An Angry Little Town

Soon after the snows of 1977 began to thaw, the residents of Greenfield, Massachusetts, received a strange questionnaire in the mail. “Try to recall the number of times you became annoyed and/or angry during the past week,” the survey instructed. “Describe the most angry of these experiences.” One woman knew her answer: Recently, her husband had bought a new car. Then he had driven it to his mistress’s house so she could admire the purchase. When the wife found out, she was livid. Furious. Her rage felt like an eruption she couldn’t control.

The survey was interested in the particulars of respondents’ anger. In its 14 pages, it sought an almost voyeuristic level of detail. It asked the woman to describe the stages of her fury, which words she had shouted, whether punches had been thrown. “In becoming angry, did you wish to get back at, or gain revenge?” the survey inquired. Afterward, did you feel “triumphant, confident and dominant” or “ashamed, embarrassed and guilty”? There were also questions for people like her husband, who had been on the receiving end: “Did the other person’s anger come as a surprise to you, or did you expect that it would occur?”

Charles Duhigg won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting while at The New York Times. He is the author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better.

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The people, Yes!

David Culver, Publisher and Editor, Evergreene Digest

E. coli outbreaks point to lagging implementation of landmark law.

 / Romaine lettuce in the produce area of a market in Simi Valley, Calif. U.S. health officials linked an E. coli outbreak in several states to romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions in Northern and Central California. / Mark J. Terrill • Associated Press

  • Leverage technology to improve food safety by using produce traceability.
  • Related: The Chickenpox Vaccine Is Safe. Avoiding It Is Not. There Is No Argument.

Editorial Board,  Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter <>.


November 30, 2018 | The emptied-out produce shelves greeting consumers at grocery stores after the recent romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak show just how much work lies ahead to modernize the nation's food safety laws.

In retrospect, passing a landmark regulatory overhaul eight years ago was the easy part. That law, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), was signed into law in early 2011. It was rightfully heralded by the Editorial Board and other observers as providing some of the most important new consumer protections in decades. The previous food safety regulations too often dated from the horse-and-buggy era.

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The Chickenpox Vaccine Is Safe. Avoiding It Is Not. There Is No Argument. These Are Facts. Jack Holmes, Esquire

  •*Apparently, the percentage of kids under two who go unvaccinated in this country has quadrupled since 2001, because yeah, your doctor says they're safe, but did you read that email with the subject "FW:FW:FW:FW:FW: vaccine DEATH??"
  • Not vaccinating your kids is still a thing, somehow.

Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.