Gratitude event!!! Pancake Breakfast

 Join us for our 1st Pancake Breakfast of 2018!

Get a jump start on your Saturday as members of the Gratitude Committee cook up a storm of tasty pancakes for you. 

Saturday, 3 March 2018
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (EST)
519 Church Street, Toronto, ON

Don’t like pancakes?  No worries!  There will be tonnes of other tasty treats to indulge in.  And what better way to enjoy fellowship and fun than over food at the 519!

Order your tickets HERE!

(All proceeds go to the 2018 Toronto Gratitude Conference)

Alcohol Abuse Costs Employers $74 billion/yr

Alcholo Abuse in the Workplace

Implications of Alcohol Abuse for Employers

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about one in 13 working adults in the U.S. has an alcohol use disorder. Additionally, 13% of men and 5% of women reported binge drinking at least once a week. Nearly one in four people over the age of 12 reported binge drinking in the past month.

Long work hours in some professional sectors have been associated with harmful levels of daily alcohol consumption. These include, but are not limited to, medicine & healthcare , hospitality, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, startups, retail industries, armed forces, and emergency services such as the police force or firefighting. In addition, shift work has been associated with binge drinking. Employers in these industries should be particularly thoughtful about offering support or treatment to workers who frequently work long hours in stressful conditions.

An estimated $74 billion is lost every year in reduced work productivity due to excessive alcohol consumption from absences, reduced output, premature retirement or death, or reduced earning potential. Although small- and medium-sized businesses are less likely to have programs to combat alcohol use, they are more likely to employ workers who struggle with alcohol use than larger businesses.

Employees with an alcohol use disorder miss on average 34% more days than other workers and are more likely to experience a workplace injury. In addition to missing work, workers who engage in heavy or addictive drinking are more likely to be fired or laid off than other employees. Employees with alcohol use disorders have 16% more work turnover every year than other employees.

Healthcare costs for employees with an alcohol use disorder are estimated to be twice that of other employees. Those with alcohol use disorders make more emergency room visits and spend more days in the hospital.

Few people who need treatment for a substance use disorder receive it. Of the 21.6 million people in the US who needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2011, only 2.3 million received substance use treatment. For employers, providing access to treatment can produce substantial savings, exceeding costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.

Employers should make screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment a part of their health plan. A recommended practice for primary care providers, this can catch people before they develop serious alcohol use problems and help those in need of treatment. The most effective interventions are brief (up to 15 minutes) and multi-contact in their frequency.

Employers directly benefit by helping workers get treatment and enter long-term recovery. When individuals with substance use disorders receive treatment and recover, absenteeism decreases by 36% and work turnover decreases by 13% compared to a person with an active substance use disorder.

Find out how much drug and alcohol abuse is costing your company with this handy calculator.

From the National Safety Council 

National Safety Council






If this is your first sober Christmas season in years, you may have been feeling the buzz of excitement surrounding the impending holidays in a more noticeable way than usual. Christmas music, lights, packed malls, excited kids, aggressive shoppers, self-centered drivers – you know the drill.

Not only can the faster pace get to you, but so can the sentimental side of the holidays. In fact, the sentimentality of it all can evoke feelings which can be uncomfortable. Sadness. Grief. Resentments. Keeping your guard up for potential relapse triggers is never more important than the coming weeks.

With this in mind, Perspectives randomly asked 12 Edgewood alumnus to give us some of their top strategies for getting through the holidays in one piece, sobriety date intact.

  1. Bev C. Sobriety date: November 25, 1997

Go to plenty of meetings. That is exactly what I would tell them. You’ve got to keep it simple this time of year.

  1. Ben O. Sobriety date: March 21, 2008

If a sponsee phoned this morning and asked about this season, I would tell him that I heard from an old timer at a meeting, ‘I’ve never seen a grateful person take a drink.’ So, find something every day to be grateful for, something that you actually connect to, not something that just rolls off the tongue and is easy lip service. Something real. Share it with someone, if it helps.

  1. Chelsea P. Sobriety date: August 20, 2011

Other than lots of meetings, I would suggest a new sponsee connect with lots of other women in recovery, and especially those with longer-term sobriety. If she was staying in Nanaimo and not going home, I would also suggest she find other women in the same boat as her. Girls that can relate to the feelings of not going home to their families over the holiday. If they are Edgewood alumni, they could participate in the awesome festive events there. I would probably also suggest some service work, and not just restrictive to A.A.. There are a lot of organizations that need help over the season, and helping others is always a good idea. And I’m a big fan of talking to my sponsees about the four quadrants – so, what can they do today that feeds each quadrant — emotional, spiritual, physical, mental — in order to feel whole?

And I think it’s okay to keep it simple. The basics of taking it one day at a time can be really helpful at what can be a very stressful and hard time of year for a lot of people. Oh, and, of course, reach out to their sponsor.

  1. Sheila B. Sobriety date: October 5, 2012

I wouldn’t sugar coat it – I would tell them it’s gonna be tough – then encourage them to look for the laughs, or at least the smiles, in every day. Even if it is a little dark or sarcastic, or the absurdity of the commercialism – or even Trump. To binge-watch comedy on Netflix. Offer them my account if they don’t have one. And, of course, use your call list and go to lots of meetings.

  1. Norm G. Sobriety date: June 7, 2010

Have an escape plan for quick exit from family and all other Christmas parties you may attend, if the drinking should trigger you. Or simply stay away and do Christmas with family during quiet times when alcohol is not being served.

  1. Paulette C-C. Sobriety date: August 27, 2007

If this is your first Christmas, take your own vehicle so you have an out. And take an A.A. buddy with you for support. If you can’t trust yourself, stay out of slippery places, for goodness sakes. Don’t put yourself in that position. Remember, it’s one day at a time, no more, no less. Christmas is just another day.

  1. Graeme O. Sobriety date: June 5, 2016

My advice for getting through the holidays unscathed is to embrace it. For me, part of recovery has been changing my attitudes completely. I had long carried an unhealthy resentment towards the Christmas season for making me feel inadequate when I got together with family and friends while I was still drinking. It was forced socializing. Since I’ve been in Nanaimo for the last few Christmases, I’ve found that attending a lot of meetings – especially events like Alcathons over Christmas Eve and Day, make the holidays really fun instead of a period to dread. I stayed close to other friends in recovery during the Christmas season and did festive holiday stuff with them, including Christmas dinner. Before I knew it, the season was over and I had a great time. This year, I will spend my first Christmas in four years with my family, so we’ll see how that goes. In short, stay connected at all times. Don’t say no to recovery Christmas events. Pretend to like Christmas events until it comes true. Fight against your previously held attitudes and beliefs.

  1. Brent W. Sobriety date: August 25, 2010

I guess the one piece of advice I would give to the newcomer in the festive season would be to surround yourself with like-minded people in the program. Reach out and share, share, share!

  1. Ann S. Sobriety date: April 28, 2005

Go to meetings, yes – but also change the routines. Have an emergency plan. If it’s my sponsee, I would make sure she had my number and could call at anytime. Steal into a room and call when she’s losing it. Usually there are people – new people – getting sober who can all stick together and go to meetings as a little crew over Christmas.

There are usually meet-athons and gratitude dinners at home groups. But, overall, if you have those two or three members who are on speed dial, you’re gonna be okay.

If your family is good, stick with them and make up for all the shitty Christmases by being present and doing the dishes. If they are drinkers, maybe go for one event and let them know you need to be at meetings the rest of the time.

Also, I had a sponsee who brought a sober buddy to her family Christmas. She was helping this newcomer who had no family in town, but also [helping] herself.

Finally: Be gentle, this is a first.

  1. Blaine N. Sobriety date: March 2, 2007

At Christmas time, I spend a lot of time with sponsees and family. It is common to have at least one sponsee at my place for Christmas dinner. I keep myself surrounded by people in recovery, and always have an exit plan when my uncles start to get into the sauce. That’s usually when me and the kiddos head out. My suggestion to a newcomer is to talk on the phone lots. Stay active in service positions. Spend time at the local Alcathon – especially in early recovery. It helps when those feelings come up. And the fellowship is awesome.

  1. Tyler J. Sobriety date: December 14, 2003

Well, if you are in early recovery, maybe your first year, I’d sat hit lots of meetings and those Christmas social recovery events. Stay with safe people, and have fun! Treat Christmas with the excitement that you did as a child. If you are in later recovery, say six months to infinity, do some service work! Recovery or community – as long as you’re helping someone else. It always makes me feel grateful being able to enrich someone else’s life in some small way. Feeling grateful helps me to enjoy the true spirit of the holiday season.

  1. Fiona S.  Sobriety date: August 28, 2012

My best advice would be take care of yourself first. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not up for doing the same things you’ve done in previous years. Your recovery and mental health are more important than pleasing other people.

Posted from Edgewood Treatment Centre’s December 2017 Newsletter 


Merry Christmas and a Sober New Year

Should Doctors ‘prescribe’ Health Apps to Patients?

Thanks to the growth in Digital Health and mobile health technology during the past few years, there is now a new way that doctors can assist patients: through technology adoption.

Apps such as iTriage, Glucose Companion, and Tummy Trends are among some of the Top Apps that Doctors now recommend to patients as a companion to in office monitoring and treatment, based on a report compiled by Medical Economics.

However, not everyone is convinced that physicians should be ‘prescribing’ apps to their patients.

According to Healthcare Attorney Careen Martin, writing for the Star Tribune “This shift has pros and cons. On the one hand, the ease and convenience of mobile health apps increase patient engagement. Clinicians can use apps to improve decision-making based on concrete long-term data methodically tracked and sent directly to them. Apps could also lead to increased efficiency.

On the other hand, patients may second-guess physicians, place blind faith in an app, or forgo necessary in-person treatment. The use of apps might also undermine long-term doctor-patient relationships.”

Privacy can be another roadblock. While traditional healthcare providers are bound by the HIPAA requirements for protecting the confidentiality of patient data, health and medical apps are not. App privacy policies will typically some general privacy terms, yet they may ultimately disavow any responsibility for the privacy of patient data.

Dr Jeff Livingston MD, writing on the popular blog KevinMD, has this to say about doctors recommending apps. “There has been an explosion in health apps. Patients are using them for weight loss, calorie counting, exercise monitoring, ovulation calculation and for many other health needs. But to truly integrate the concept of health apps in the health care system healthcare providers will need to get involved.”.

By LiveClinic @liveClinicInc





Dos and Don’ts of Choosing a 12-Step Sponsor

Most experts advise, “Get a sponsor.” But why? And how?

Addicts helping addicts is part of what makes AA/NA so effective. Sponsorship involves one recovering addict walking another through the Steps and helping them stay sober. A sponsor is someone you call when you need emotional support or feel threatened by relapse. They will respond without judgment or criticism by teaching you the language of AA/NA, encouraging you to continue working your recovery program, providing emotional support by staying in regular contact and sharing their experience of recovery.

Working with a sponsor is like any relationship – it requires some navigating in order to be mutually beneficial. Here are a few dos and don’ts to follow when making this important decision:

DO Get a Sponsor
While it is true that not everyone needs a sponsor, most recovering addicts benefit from giving sponsorship a try. A sponsor is in the unique position to understand what you’ve been through and offer their friendship, advice and support when you need it most. There is no such thing as too much support, or too much accountability, in early recovery. Sponsorship guards against many of the problems that contribute to relapse, including isolation and dishonesty. If you’re willing to learn by working the Steps, a sponsor can be an important influence on your continuing sobriety.

DO Choose Wisely
Not all sponsors are an ideal match for a newcomer to AA/NA. Frankly, some should be avoided. Who you put your trust in during the vulnerable early stages of recovery can be critical for your continuing sobriety. Choose someone you relate to, who has had the type of recovery you respect and admire. Don’t shy away from someone who is honest and willing to confront dishonesty or diseased thinking.

The ideal sponsor has at least one year sober, preferably more, and has an active relationship with their own sponsor. In studies, the average sponsor had about 10 years of sobriety and AA attendance and was strongly affiliated with the AA program. While length of time clean is one factor, it is not the only one. Does your sponsor live the 12-Step principles in their own life? Do they already have a number of sponsees? Are they honest and open-minded?

DON’T Make a Rash Decision.
When choosing a sponsor, talk to a number of people and find out if they’re truly living by the program’s principles. Choosing the right match from the start can quickly get you on the road to recovery.

DO Establish and Respect Boundaries
A sponsor is another addict in recovery who is willing to share their experience. They are not an expert in all things. Do not rely on your sponsor for legal, financial, employment or relationship advice outside the scope of the 12-Step program. If they try to provide this type of advice, meddle in your personal life, make specific demands for your thinking or behavior, or try to convince you that they have all the answers, find a new sponsor. Do not, under any circumstances, get romantically involved with your sponsor. This is a set-up for relapse. Protect yourself by choosing a sponsor of the gender you’re not attracted to.

DO Seek Additional Help
A sponsor is not a therapist. They do not have special training; they are not perfect. They are simply fellow addicts in recovery. If you need guidance in other areas, which most recovering addicts do, it is a good idea to see an individual therapist.

DON’T Hesitate to Change Sponsors, if Necessary.
Like all relationships, the sponsor-sponsee combination must be mutually rewarding. Someone who is inspirational and caring in the early stages of recovery may not be as effective when you’re more grounded in your sobriety and need a different type of guidance. It is also possible for sponsors to relapse, in which case finding a new sponsor, at least for the time being, is strongly advisable.

If you feel that your sponsor is not a match for you – not because they are honest and forthright, but because you don’t feel safe or comfortable with them or your philosophies are dramatically different – talk to a few other sponsors and see if there’s a stronger connection. While a change of sponsor is sometimes necessary, be sure you’re not giving up on a worthy mentor just because loving confrontation can be difficult to take or because addictive thinking is causing you to sabotage your recovery.

When you look back on your recovery 5, 10, 20 years down the road, your 12-Step sponsor is likely someone who will stand out as an important part of your journey. Even when your recovery is firmly grounded and you are confident in yourself, your sponsor may continue to be a lifelong friend. They may even be the person you emulate if and when you become a sponsor yourself.

By Promises Treatment Centres 




5 Things to Consider When Choosing an AA Sponsor

by Kerry Nenn for

Who would make a good sponsor for you? How can you tell? What can you do to find out?

These are all great questions to ask. Finding the right sponsor can be a key part of your recovery process, so you’ll want to take some time and make the best choice for your sobriety.

Picking the Right Sponsor

When the time comes, the following are important factors you’ll want to consider when choosing your AA sponsor.

#1 Gender

For men and women in early recovery, getting into a new romantic relationship is not recommended…at least for the first year. The reasoning behind this guideline is simple: you’ll have enough going on with yourself and maintaining your sobriety post-rehab.

Combining the emotional ups and downs of a new relationship with your recovery can quickly create relapse triggers, ultimately setting you up for a relapse.

That’s why AA recommends choosing a sponsor of your own gender, which will help keep your focus exactly where it needs to be – on recovery.

#2 Key Qualifications

When you’re looking to find an AA sponsor, it helps to write down some questions before you speak to the potential candidates.

Can a potential sponsor answer yes to the following?

  • Have you worked the 12 Steps?
  • Do you have a sponsor?
  • Does your sponsor allow you to sponsor?

If he or she answers “no” to any of these three questions, they’re probably not the sponsor you’re looking for right now.

For someone to sponsor you, they need to have worked the steps themselves. If they don’t have a sponsor, or their sponsor is not recommending they sponsor others, there could be issues going on behind the scenes that would potentially inhibit the relationship.

#3 Personality

Here’s a look at two sponsor personality factors you’ll want to consider:

  • Are they enjoying life in recovery? A good sponsor experiences laughter and enjoyment in life. It’s not all sunshine, but some joy should be present. Do they smile? Laugh? Try visiting them at home. See what they are like with their family. This will give you a better idea of what things are really like to know if they will be a good sponsor.
  • Can you relate to them? Perhaps surprisingly, it’s actually a good thing if you can’t. You don’t always need a sponsor you can completely relate to….you need someone who has gotten past where you are. It’s hard for someone to help you get to the other side if they have never left your shore.

#4 Number of Sponsees

How many sponsees does your potential sponsor already have? If they have several, this probably indicates they are a good sponsor. However, too many sponsees can spread them thin and make the relationship less effective.

That’s not to say you need a sponsor who pledges to be available to you and only you 24-hours a day, focusing every ounce of his or her time on you and your sobriety…those are promises that no one can humanly keep. However, you do want to discuss your potential sponsor’s realistic availability and then set up some communication ground rules.

#5 Service Involvement

Is this person going out of their way for others? Are they welcoming to newcomers? Do they volunteer in any way?

Someone who is active in service work is good sponsor material. Giving back and helping others tends to provide recovering addicts with a sense of peace and pleasure – something that was totally missing during active addiction. If your potential sponsor truly enjoys giving back and seeing others succeed in sobriety, that’s a good sign.

Ultimately, there are no hard and fast rules to sponsorship. Every person and situation is unique. However, considering these key factors will help to provide a solid and sober foundation as you choose an AA sponsor.