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Host : Gwen Carden
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BREAK THE CHAINS with GWEN CARDEN is a compelling hour of information and inspiration for people and their loved ones who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

The show sheds light on this devastating problem, which afflicts an astounding 23 million Americans.

Just as addicts come from all walks of life so, too, do the guests, who range from book authors to professionals working with people who have addictions, to family members profoundly affected by someone who is addicted, to addicts themselves.

Each show is designed to be captivating, informative and thought-provoking. Each show’s aim is to educate listeners and to give hope and empowerment to people mired in addiction as well as to those who love them.

BREAK THE CHAINS also provides an opportunity for listeners to call in and anonymously ask questions or to comment about a subject that has too long lived in the shadows.

Recent Episodes
 

The Joey Song
Sandra Swenson, author of the forthcoming book The Joey Song, tells the heartbreaking, frustrating, too-familiar story of a defiant, delusional addict and the mother who won't give up on him, until finally it hurts more to hang on than to let go. By the age of twenty her son Joey has OD'd, attempted suicide, quit college, survived a near-fatal car accident, done time behind bars, and been kicked out of rehab numerous times.

Sandy’s story may bring listeners to tears as she describes the suffering her beloved addict son inflicted on the one who loved him best – his mother. In the process Sandy discovered life lessons she needed to learn in the experience and shares them with others who may be walking along the same shattered path.
 

Acrobaddict: A Courageous Gymnast’s Tale of His Descent into and Liberation from Drug Addiction
Gymnast Joey Putignano takes listeners on a harrowing journey from the U.S. Olympic Training Center to homeless shelters to shooting heroin on the job as a cast member of Cirque du Soleil to being declared dead. Joey’s story, told in his new Book Acrobaddict (2014 Central Recovery Press,) goes beyond addiction. It is about the fragility and tenacity of the human spirit and how that spirit can redeem each and every one of us by helping to push us through the darkness, whether the darkness is from death, divorce or the disease of addiction. Acrobaddict is a story about the close relationship between athletics and drug addiction—how the same energy, obsession, and dedication that can create an Olympic athlete can also create a homeless drug addict – and how the human spirit can prevail.
 

Drugs and the Brain
For many years addiction was considered an affliction of the morally-depraved elements of society. Ignorance, some still in existence today, forced addicts to live out their lives as outcasts, as criminals in prisons or as inmates in atrocious mental institutions. Thanks to modern science, it is now known that addiction is not the result of immorality but is, in fact, due to complex issues stemming from the human brain. Some people are simply more likely to become addicted than others. Furthermore, we now know that abusing drugs and alcohol can cause fundamental changes in the brain that can take months, years or sometimes eternity to reverse. In this week’s episode we take a look at just what is going on in the brains of addicts, and why getting and staying off of drugs is so difficult for many people.
 

12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends
Letting go of resentment and forgiving ourselves for our past wrongs are critical to recovery from alcohol and other drugs. Yet, Steps Eight, Nine and Ten, which focus on making amends, can be some of the most challenging to work. Why? Because we must face ourselves and those we have hurt and damaged.

Once we have a willingness to experience our painful feelings, we can grow and mature into the person we’d like to be. We can reach our potential and become our true self. We find forgiveness and self-respect. Through this transformative process we can recover and maintain integrity, resolve or complete unfinished business, restore trust, self-esteem and self-confidence, deepen spirituality and peace and mind, and reinforce a strong commitment to recovery.

In this week’s show, psychotherapist Dr. Allen Berger discusses his new book 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends, and provides an intimate, passionate and honest look at why making amends is not only critical but absolutely essential for anyone wanting to decrease their chances of relapse and learn to maintain a healthy, balanced life. Learn more about Dr. Berger’s work at his website. Look for this and other books by Dr. Berger on Amazon.
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