Successful Views of Addiction and Treatments; A-R-E’s 6th Month Anniversary

The purpose and importance of ARE is to communicate the real-life effects of addiction on the common person and society. My intent is to share my real-life experiences so that I can  help young people and adults understand the plight of the homeless (addicted or not) as well as the effect of and cures for alcoholism, depression, and drug addiction.

ARE attempts to explore solutions for pre-addiction and for those who are addicted.

Note: Let me, and the others that contribute to A-R-E’s initiative, know if we helped someone. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. or the Website’s “contact” tab.


Each post has content that all of us have experienced, seen others experience, or hope that people will never experience. The posts also cover the effect of addiction on people that we had no intent to hurt–such as unborn babies. My hope is that you share the posts with people and organizations that could benefit.




I am proud of what we started. Just the 4 bullets under Education and Treatments, could save one person. That one person could positively affect dozens more and so on.

Use your imagination. If one young woman or man influenced friends or romantic partners after reading ARE’s blog posts, then we and you made a difference.

This blog started out being called Bare Popa, which means Big Pop. Big Pop was my Great Grand Father, whom I was named after. He was a well respected, no-holds-barred, Irishman who was the Fire Chief of one of the largest cities in NY State. Because addiction is a dilemma, I’ve subtitled the blog is A Real American Dilemma. My editor and I renamed the website to Addiction Reality Education (ARE) because I know education, at an early age, will curb future addiction. In our research, we’ve also found treatments for alcohol addiction.

















Think addiction is a victimless crime? Watch this video of an infant in withdrawal.

Brian graciously said yes to my request to write this guest post.  This is something that has rattled me to my core, and this post allows me to voice my thoughts. Thank you, Brian!

Note: Before you do anything, view the video at the top of this article, The Most Vulnerable Victims of Addiction, from Reuters.  Read the article too, then come back here and read my take on the issue.

Yes, it’s hard to see, isn’t it? But we need to be strong enough to face reality.  So, if you need to, take a breath. Have a cry. And ask yourself, is it ok that this is happening? Can anyone honestly argue that substance abuse is a victimless crime?

I can’t get the image of the baby with the shakes out of my head.  I can’t get the image of a high mother putting her baby in the washing machine along with the dirty clothes out of my head. I can’t and I won’t because it’s remembering these images that remind me of how very important it is that we pressure our government officials to make policy changes that will protect the well-being of these innocents.

If you think addiction is a victimless crime, you’re wrong.

I’m a mother, a grandmother, and aunt, an educator, and a social activist. My goal in life is to leave the world a little better than it was than when I entered.

As an educator, I’ve taught youth with addictions, and I’ve taught youth who’ve been victims of addicted parents.  I referred the addicted students to counseling, but there wasn’t much I could do about the youth who were victims of addicted parents.

Here are two stories from my life:

Vivian and Michael:  A close friend of mine has custody of two of her grandchildren. Vivian and Michael have the same mother but different fathers.  I’m pointing out the parentage not to judge the mother but to make a point about the effect of substance abuse on infant development. All three parents were heavy drug users at the time of conception and throughout the terms of the pregnancies.  Vivian (who is as vivacious as her name implies) is now 9 years-old and is a struggling learner. Her eyesight is severely impaired  (she can see with strong glasses but is considered legally blind). She also has a number of learning disabilities including ADD, language impairments, short-term memory and working memory impairments, and more.  Michael, a rambunctious 3-year-old, is deaf in one ear and has apraxia.   Both children live with their maternal grandmother because their mother was abusive.  The mother now is drug-free and has a third child (by another father who was not a drug or alcohol user), and this 1-year-old child is healthy, thriving, and is developing normally.  Happily, the mother also seems to have her abusive tendencies in check now that she’s clean.

Note: Obviously, there’s no way to concretely show that the difficulties Vivian and Michael live with are the result of their parents’ substance abuse.  But the fact that the youngest child is developing normally sure makes it look as if drugs had something to do with those challenges Vivian and Michael face.

Kimberly: I taught Kimberly when she was a high schooler. Kimberly’s mother was an alcoholic and had an infant with fetal alcohol syndrome. Kimberly, who was 15 when I met her, had a number of learning disabilities and struggled daily in school. However, her biggest challenge was that she had to get up at 4 am every day to deliver newspapers (this was in the 90s when people still got newspapers delivered).  She then would return home and take care of the baby.  Then, once her mother was awake and coherent, Kimberly would come to school. This meant she was usually late, often missing the first class of the day.  She would get assigned detention for missing class, but she’d skip detention because she had to return home to take care of the baby. She couldn’t do her homework because she had to take care of the baby.  She’d get suspended because she’d miss detention, but that just meant she spent more time taking care of the baby.  Kimberly’s teachers (myself included) worked really hard to support Kimberly, and eventually she did complete high school.  The year after graduation, she committed suicide. Without the support of the school community, life challenges weighed too heavy on her.  I never did find out what happened to her baby sister, but this article in the Washington Post gives me a sense of what might have been her fate.

We know about neonatal abstinence syndrome (what happens to babies born to opiate-addicted mothers).  We know about fetal alcohol syndrome. But it’s obvious that being pregnant isn’t going to stop a substance abuser.  If it were, pregnancy would be touted as a cure for addiction.  And as this (2010!) NPR story shows, we also know that people do get better and children can survive these awful starts if they are given the supports they need.  And that’s the key — changes must be made if the littlest victims are to have half a chance.

We know all these things, but what are we doing about it?


How the Author’s Path Started – Brian Masters

Note: I feel you need to know about me, the author of the blogs and the book, Roads to Addiction – Highways to Recovery. The events below led to daily drinking, loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear, and a feeling of desperation. Through the events, people, educators, and other factors, my path has changed. NOW, let’s work together and prevent young people and adults from taking the wrong path.

Over three decades, I was married, had one son, helped build 3 companies, and led a happy life. Continue reading “How the Author’s Path Started – Brian Masters”

Hit Bottom? Live With It!

When you choose to drink and take drugs (of any kind) you have taken a step toward an addictive path. By making this choice you could enter the subculture. It is a fact I have learned from events I experienced, those that I met, addiction consultants, and friends who lost loved ones.  You have no friends in the subculture!

No matter your age, race, nationality, or gender, your actions make you vulnerable. So let me spell it out: Continue reading “Hit Bottom? Live With It!”

Wrong Decision

As time went on, I continued to stay with family, friends, and in my car. Living with family and friends can only go so far. At this point, even the closest people do not need to see depression and drinking (D&D) increase. Fact is, they will distance themselves from you. A common statement I would hear was, “We would like to see the person we knew 3 years ago.” Hell, I wanted to be the old me.

Continue reading “Wrong Decision”

Definitions of “Subculture” and what it means in my experience


A cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture. From Google.

A culture derived from another culture. An ethnic, economic, or social group exhibiting characteristic patterns of behavior sufficient to distinguish it from others within an embracing culture or society. From Merriam-Webster.

A group within a society that has its own shared set of customs, attitudes, and values. Often accompanied by jargon or slang. From

A Real American Dilemma

A subculture should be seen as a combination of the definitions above. A subculture is a group of men, women, and children who share their own habits, attitudes, ethics, and behavior. In this blog and in my book, I talk about a subculture of people who have a common bond for a need of alcohol, drugs, money, food, or a roof over their head. The subculture’s activities and needs are often at the expense of their own mental rationality, physical degeneration, or integrity.

Look at the Bonnie and Clyde” from Massachusetts who are robbing banks on the east coast. It is to fuel their Heroin addiction.