discoverer of the addiction gene and President & CEO.,
SynerGene Global, Inc, San Antonio, Texas on the
genetics and biochemical causes of addiction.
of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Department of
Psychiatric Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia speaking
on collaborative research with SOS (see parallel box)
"SOS methods in Britain"
Manijeh K. Nikaktar,
CEO & Medical Director, SAT Health Center, Beverly
Your Sobriety Toolkit"
Los Angeles, CA
Secular Gorski Relapse Prevention
(actor, Los Angeles, CA
EQ Recovery, Emotional Intelligence Coach, EQ approaches
for secular recovery
Boston MA, SOS International Advisory Board member on
"Gays in Recovery"
"Women in Sobriety"
SDSU Centre on Substance Abuse, representing the
American National Association of Social Workers
Norwood, New York, International Advisory Board member
(Austin Texas) - "Texas SOS and SOS in the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice"
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, State University of
New York; Visiting Professor of Nursing, University of
Celinda Jungheim -
Ruth Hollman and Lew Hollman
Co-founder of SHARE!
Diagnosis Residence, LA.
actress and SOS International Advisory Board member.
Alfie. P &
Personal reflections of early SOS members
Gary Grossman & Michele Von Euer
"Improv for Awareness for Non-Actors"
and Donna Warren-
West Valley Mental Health, Canoga Park
11,12,13, 2000, more than 80 people crowded into the SOS
International Clearing House in Los Angeles, California, for the
most successful and best attended SOS event ever held ! SOS is
clearly alive and well, and kicking and growing as witnessed by
the enthusiastic contributions from SOS members from all over
the US and internationally. The speeches and wide attendance by
respected figures in the professional recovery movement also
attested to the fact that the SOS approach and organization is
an historical fact, with deep roots and a huge reputation.
focused entirely on sobriety methods for recovering people.
Attendees were treated to a tapestry of approaches and
techniques for understanding addiction and strengthening
sobriety based upon the ideas of total abstinence from all
mind-altering drugs developed by Jim Christopher. SOS members
from as far a field as New York, Texas, Colorado, Boston, London
UK, Belgium, etc spoke of the nitty gritty key issues of staying
sober and building local SOS groups.
Duaine M (Dallas, Texas) and Steve A (Austin Texas) gave an
inspiring report on how they were working in the Texas prisons
where SOS is officially welcomed by the authorities as the only
alternative to AA for helping prisoners get sober and help avoid
returning to goal. Steve himself was attending by permission of
his parole officer and explained how he met SOS in prison and
successfully used its approach to stay clean and to stay free!
There are now more than 100 SOS meetings in Texas prisons!!!!
Malcolm Rees from
London explained how focusing back on the basics of the Sobriety
Priority had helped expand the London SOS and gave attendees a
folder of tips to take home to their local meetings.
well-received was Larry B's talk on his Sobriety Toolkit,
Atanonka.F's ideas on an Independence Week of action on recovery
and the personal reflections of early SOS members, one of whom
had just come back to say thanks after 15 years of sobriety
without attending SOS groups! George N highlighted eloquently
the importance of SOS as a safe and comfortable environment for
gay people to recover and the actor Kenneth Campbell gave a
stirring speech on the secularized Gorki method which he uses
in his SOS group. A lot of interest was also shown in using
Emotional Intelligence as a tool for helping recovery, when
Steve Morgan explained his EQR or Emotional Recovery Approach
For more info
on SOS in USA or internationally
contact the International Clearing House
To add to this
more imaginative methods for strengthening sobriety came from a
simulated performance by 4 members of Recovery Inc, who showed
how they used cognitive methods to deal with disturbing everyday
incidents and behavioral problems. "Improv for Awareness for
Non-Actors" gave a display of how to use dialogue and
improvisation to touch personal questions and issues.
On a more solemn,
but warm note Cookie S from San Diego gave a speech in honor of
Jean Kirkpatrick, the founder of "Women for Sobriety", who died
in June and to whom the Conference was dedicated. Cookie went on
to say that she agreed entirely with what she had heard at the
SOS Conference and it was proposed that our two organizations
should work more closely together in the future.
strong links and respect for SOS in the professional recovery
sector, enthusiastic speeches about the work of SOS were made by
visitors from social services, National Social Workers of the
US, mental health professionals.
The authority of
SOS nationally and internationally was underpinned by the speech
of Dr Randolph Atkins from the University of Virginia, who has
chosen SOS to be the study group for comparison with AA in the
role of spirituality and secularity in recovery. SOS has agreed
to participate in this study which can have wide ramifications
for the traditional view of effective treatment methods.
But the man who
brought the house down was undoubtedly Dr Kenneth Blum, the
discoverer of the addiction gene, who explained extremely
complex but vital issues concerning the causes and treatment of
addiction, in the most informative and entertaining way the
audience had ever seen.
Steve Allen, famous
comedian and author opened the Conference to huge applause on
Friday night and on Saturday, comedian Darryl Hendriques had us
rolling in the ailles with his unique sense of humor, followed
by the LA rock band the Infidels. On Sunday members met to
discuss organizational issues and then took a good break at
famous Venice Beach