Journey's blog

Should Massachusetts Legalize Marijuana

Should Massachusetts Legalize Marijuana

I have just read “Marijuana linked to fatal crashes” in the AAA Horizons newspaper.  It states, “A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that fatal crashes involving drivers who had recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state legalized the drug in late 2012.”  This is not the first state who had legalized this drug and experienced fatal accidents that led to an innocent person’s life or the user from marijuana.  

The article also states, “Some states have enacted limits that make it illegal to drive with a certain concentration of the drug’s active ingredient in one’s blood.”  Why legalize a drug and then it has to be watched on how much is too much?  It is impossible for the police to know when a person is getting into a car and decide they should not be behind the wheel.  They find out once the accident happens and lives are taken.  People at the location watching the user don’t notify the police because they say, “Oh, they can drive, they’re okay.”  That is reality. 

Marijuana is illegal in 26 states while four states, including Washington, have legalized it for recreational use. The remaining 20 states, including New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, have legalized it for medial use.  I believe in this drug being ordered by a doctor for someone with a serious health problem that can be controlled or bring comfort to their pain.

Massachusetts will soon be voting on passing marijuana into the legal stage for our state.  I hope everyone takes the time to think with a clear mind about passing this law. 

I lost my husband, Richard Lopes, and my daughter, Lori (Lopes) Cahill of North Dighton from alcohol abuse.  From my losses, I became an author writing books about the effect of alcoholism on the whole family and the reality of the life behind closed doors living with an alcoholic.  I also became a motivational speaker on addiction and entered halfway homes, substance abuse rehabilitation centers and court-ordered programs to not only talk to the patients, but listen to their reasons for starting on alcohol and drug abuse.

A high percentage of the users admitted to starting out with marijuana.  Their friends pushed the drug on them claiming how wonderful you feel.  One man told me that he could not understand why he was in a drug facility for only using marijuana.  I told him that if it was not a problem, he wouldn’t be there and he should take advantage being with professionals and look at it as a chance to break the habit before it went into heavier drugs. 

Substance abuse is a worldwide problem that even doctors and counselors are trying to find ways to get the death rate down from the use.  If families have no one fighting addiction, this new law coming up may be looked at as “What harm can it do, especially if it helps a sick person?”  There is the difference, the use for the sick or pass it out to anyone for what they call “recreation.”

If you are on the other side of a family who is or has slowly watched a loved one killing themselves with alcohol and drug abuse, you look at this law as another drug that could become a suicidal weapon for our children, a parent, a relative, or a friend. 

Like most states, they look at certain things to pass that will bring in money.  The states who have passed this law have already had articles written on how the use of marijuana has brought in billions of dollars for them.  Yes, billions!  This reason is why the use is being pushed to pass instead of fearing what it may do to a person using it.  It’s all about money from my outlook. 

Any drug leads to another one that is needed to make it stronger and stronger.  Alcoholics drink a certain amount of liquor until they realize that they need more to make them get higher into a stage they call “relaxed.”  The more the addicted use and the longer, they reach the point of not being able to stop.  Another family is burying a loved one from addiction. 

Do you ever hear the expression, “We are just a number?”  No one is looked at as a human being anymore whether being in a job or someone struggling to get sober.  A patient may enter numerous times into rehabs and hospitals and have left the professionals watching them go out the door saying, “They will be back.”  Why not say, “We have to find a way to help this poor soul fighting for sobriety?”  

Please, think clearly and intelligently, when you go to vote on this issue.  Once you pass it, the law is here to stay.  Leave it in the doctor’s hands on who needs marijuana and who doesn’t for health reasons.


Alberta Sequeira: [email protected]




What should you be eating if you have a fatty liver?

Fairhaven Homecoming Day Fair, Fairhaven, MA

I usually write about alcohol or drug addiction. There are all kinds of addiction. What about food? June 23, 2016, I had a doctor's appointment and had a result that stopped me in my track. My doctor told me I had a "fatty liver." The frightening part was that he stated that you can get cirrhosis of the liver, and he had two patients who developed it from an unhealthy  diet.

I write often about alcoholics who die from cirrhosis, including my husband and my daughter. Theirs had been from drinking. I don't drink often. Maybe 4 glasses in a year. How could I get this and be in a category of cirrhosis of the liver? What happened to me with the news was absolute fear.

"How do you get a fatty liver," I asked.

Of course, his reply was, "From fatty foods." We eat all day long and don't think of what we are eating and how it can slowly kill us. How often do we say, "I don't eat much all day." You may not, but it is what you are eating. "Gee, I only had a Big Mack." Well, that Big Mack has 1,200 calories. Did you count the fries or soda with tons of sugar along with the fat count?

I came home and faced reality being a heart patient with a pacemaker and being diabetic that I better find out what was happening, because I have always been inline with my diet with my A1C results being good and nothing to worry about to control it. Diabetes on my mother's side of the family is very high. Relatives have lost toes, or worse, legs. 

I found what had changed it. I had a hip problem for over 2 months and stopped exercising from the pain. I had pain in my stomach and intestines from having two doses of prednisone back to back to try to help my hip, and it upset my digestive system so I stopped eating the salads and other foods that kept my Coumadin on the right levels. So what did I go for? The carbs, because they actually helped my stomach feel better, the crackers, toast, and other high carbs. 

Hearing the results of a fatty liver made me realize that exercise is more important than  we stop to think. So forget the excuses of not having time, too tired, came home too late, and so forth. Find a good tape, like Power Walking and do it in the privacy of your home. I am a senior and need the work more than when I was younger. Find the time! 

I'm sure I am not the only one having a fatty liver. I had a CT scan for something else when my liver showed up on the screen. It was a blessing. Imagine how many people are walking around with no idea their liver is being destroyed? I could have been one. This is what is happening to alcoholics and drug addicts. 

Like most of us do, I ran to the computer to look up the foods I need to bring into my diet and pray I find the strength to stay with it. We are odd creatures that need a scare to make us wake up and get on the right path. I am going to share an article I found. It is long, but it might save you. Print it out and put it somewhere, take it grocery shopping with you and be serious with the new you. 


November 5, 2012 Liver Doctor's Articles Comments Off on What Should You Be Eating If You Have a Fatty Liver?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and will have a major impact on the health care requirements of many countries in the future.  NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. These are the reasons I have done a lot of research into the diet and nutritional therapies that can reverse the pathology of NAFLD.
     The liver possesses remarkable properties of repair and renewal and it is possible to completely reverse NAFLD if it is detected early enough. We are seeing NAFLD in a much younger population and it is not uncommon in overweight children.  This is worrying because the earlier in life you develop a fatty liver, the more likely you are to develop complications.
     I have developed a very specific way of eating, which is designed to:
Reduce the fat in the liver
Minimize liver damage
Improve the function of insulin
Make weight loss easier
     This is not a low-fat low-calorie diet, and unlike those old fashioned diets, will not leave you hungry and tired. It is not a high protein diet either but rather provides you with first class protein regularly throughout the day, along with plenty of vegetables and some good fats.
     Enjoy this way of eating, as your liver will definitely thank you for it!
With your meals it is ideal to include:
Raw plant food, especially raw vegetables. A maximum of 2 pieces of fruit daily are allowed while you are trying to lose weight. Most fruits are fairly high in sugar.  Vegetables contain very little sugar, therefore you can eat unlimited quantities.
Cooked vegetables of different varieties including some starchy vegetables (except potatoes); this will compensate for the fact that you will not be eating bread, biscuits and sugary desserts.
     First class protein from one or more of the following choices –
Any seafood, canned or fresh (not smoked or deep-fried)
Lean fresh red meats
Eggs – organic or free range
Legumes (beans, chickpeas or lentils) & raw nuts & seeds
Protein powder – make sure it does not contain sugar; ideally use Synd-X Slimming Protein powder which is sweetened with the herb stevia. You can use this powder to make delicious smoothies.
     Extra Tip:
Satisfy your hunger
You may eat enough to satisfy your natural hunger at every meal and snack. Those who work in occupations requiring high physical exertion or those who do a lot of sport will need to eat larger amounts. Listen to your body and follow your natural instincts when it comes to the amount of food you need to eat to feel satisfied and happy. It is not how much you eat that counts, it is what you are eating that is so important for your liver and insulin levels.
     Quick easy healthy snacks
Healthy in between meal snacks may include –
Canned seafood (sardines, salmon, mackerel, crab meat or tuna) – one small can mixed with the juice of ½ a fresh lemon or 1 Tbsp of natural yoghurt and fresh chopped herbs.
A protein smoothie made with coconut milk or almond milk and 3 tablespoons fresh or frozen berries.
     Raw nuts and seeds of any variety by themselves, or with 1 piece of fresh fruit. Fresh nuts are best and you can add salt to them if desired. Use one handful of nuts maximum.
Raw vegetables – good examples are carrot, cucumber, zucchini, or celery sticks, or broccoli florets dipped into tahini, hummus or freshly mashed avocado.
     Raw fruit – one to two pieces of fruit by itself – or with 10 raw nuts or plain yoghurt.
Avocado Dip or Bean Dip with sticks of raw vegetables or par-steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower.
     A raw vegetable juice – one glass full.
Remember to stay away from or minimize the following danger foods–
Sugar and candy; some cheap chocolates contain hydrogenated vegetable oils which are most unhealthy. If you do indulge in a little chocolate the best types are dark chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa solids.
Foods containing flour.
     “Diet foods” that claim to be slimming – they are usually low in fat and high in sugar or artificial sweeteners, eg. Diet yogurts, diet jams, diet ice-cream, diet sodas, etc; These diet foods are not slimming; they are very fattening.
Fried snacks – such as potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, crackers, etc.
Fried take away foods.
Biscuits – both sweet and savoury varieties, as they contain flour, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and if sweet will be high in sugar.
Crumpets, muffins, bagels, white bread and donuts.

My book Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It contains an easy to follow eating plan with recipes specifically designed to reverse a fatty liver.  If you have been diagnosed with a fatty liver, you should find that you get faster results if you combine the right diet with a good liver tonic.




First of all, I had no intentions of ever writing a book. Honestly. It was when my father, Brigadier General, Albert Gramm, died of cancer that I wanted to leave a book to my family members and future generations about his military status. We seem to take our loved ones for granted while they are with us.

He had been one commanding officer of the 26th Yankee Division in the Army during WWII fighting in some of the famous battles of Lorraine, Metz and The Battle of the Bulge. I wrote to the Yankee Division Magazine and put an ad in to those who might have known my father. Slowly, the emails, letters and telephone calls came and I was sad to realize that I had let a great history go when Dad died in 1990.

He had been dying of cancer and he had hoped to go to Medjugorje in Bosnia to be in the presence of 6 visionaries having apparitions with The Blessed Mother since 1981 and still are to this day. He had hoped he would have been cured. Dad was too sick to make the trip.

I took care of him for his last 2 weeks with my family and saw a side of his faith that touched my heart. He held his rosary daily in his hands trying to say this blessed prayer every day while his concentration was leaving him. He had promised Our Lady that if she got him home safely to his family from the war, that he would say this prayer every day of his life, which he was struggling to do. This is when I learned in my forties for the very first time how to say this prayer. When he died in 1990, I was given his rosary and have said them faithfully.

Miracles happened to me after my father’s death, and I wanted to go to Medjugorje for his souls and A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje had been published. I came to realize, I thought I had gone for him but went more so for myself to return to my faith after fighting a losing battle of Alcohol Abuse in our family with my husband, living in fear and confusion from his abuse with two daughters. I added his military life and my pilgrimage into this one book. It is a wonderful, warm story, with lots of photo about family, faith and miracles.

Once it went into print, I had come to realize how much I enjoyed writing. I struggled with the thought of writing my life story with Richie’s drinking and our life with our daughters, Debbie and Lori, behind closed doors. This is when Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis came into print. Richie died at forty-five years of age in 1985 at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.

To my sadness, our family discovered my daughter, Lori, had been following the same path as her dad since her early teen years. We never knew until she was thirty-seven years old when she died in 2006 at thirty-nine from the same horrible, worldwide disease. I wrote with tears each day about her addiction that was so well hidden and the last 2 years battle for recovery in rehabs three times to not come through it.

I had buried her alongside of her father at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset, Massachusetts. Lori left two wonderful grandchildren, Joe and Meagan. Our daughter, Debbie and her husband Brian, took them in to live as one family. Joe got out of the Marines two years ago, found a wonderful girl, and Meagan got married December of last year. The sequel, Please, God, Not Two: This Killed Called Alcoholism was born and published about Lori’s three alcoholic rehab stays to only lose her life at the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts.

I took my pain and became an author and speaker on Alcoholism. I felt there was a message to be shared with substance abusers, family members, counselors and doctors with what I had learned with their suffering. That is why I wrote the books.

I then wanted to know what I could have or should have done to help Richie and Lori and decided to put my first Narrative Non-Fiction together. Who else to get answers from than the person who is suffering from this disease…the alcoholic, drug user and prescription users. I wrote What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Drug Addict: In Their Own Words. Thirty-four contributors wrote their hearts out on who in the family drank, why, what age they started, why, how they recovered, what family can do to help them desire the help from professionals and how they recovered.

We all have reasons to write. Mine was to share my mistakes that I could have done differently with Richie and Lori. I was young with no education or knowledge on this disease. Could I have saved them? Maybe not, because I learned they have to want the help, but I would have lived more peacefully thinking I did the best I could at the time.

Alberta Sequeira


Meet Alberta Sequeira on Sunday, June 12, 2016/Speaking and Signing Books

Calendar of Events - The Lafayette Durfee House, 94 Cherry Street, Fall River, MA

Don't miss Sunday, June 12, 2016 meeting author and speaker, Alberta Sequeira.


Alberta at Tony's
Author Series - Alberta Sequeira
Sun Jun 12th 1:00pm - 4:00pm/ 94 Cherry Street, Fall River, MA 
book signing author presentation

Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis (about losing my husband), its sequel, Please God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism (about losing my daughter) and the Narrative Non-Fiction, written by 34 alcoholic and drug uses, as the conclusion to the mindset of the addicted, What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict: In Their Own Words.

Reason: There will be a small introduction to each book and how they follow each other. The rest of my time will be spent talking on “The Effect of Alcoholism on the Whole Family” from my experience of losing two loved ones from this disease.

I will bring you behind closed doors of a family’s private life of hardships and struggles with alcohol abuse. You will hear the reality of the the constant confusion, disappointments, broken promises and fear of physical and emotional abuse.

From losing a husband and daughter to this horrible, worldwide disease, I will talk of ways to make healthy decisions for yourself and those towards the alcoholic.

You will hear a few stories from 34 alcoholic and drug uses who contributed their life stories to my book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict, to help you understand their mindset with going into recovery. What do they need and want from us for help? I will also give a small talk that I present to the substance abusers in halfway homes, court-ordered programs and rehabilitation centers.

Website: "Journey Through Alcohol Abuse" at

The Death Rate is Climbing

Today, I just hung up from talking to a friend who had attended a funeral for the son of her boss. He was 42 years old and had been an alcoholic and drug user for years. Countless times he had been into short rehabs stays, coming out dry, and only returning to his same neighborhood and friends, to open him up again to falling back to using.

It’s not important to know his name or where he lives. There are too many fighting this disease, not just in your neighborhood or family, but worldwide; young, old, white, black, rich, poor, famous and an average person with no fame, married or single.

He had just gotten back with his ex-wife to start life over with their two children. She came home and found he had hung himself. Where do I find the correct words to explain the pain deep within families who have lost loved ones to this cruel and heartless demon? Only the ones who have lived through the fear, confusion, breakdowns, and abuse, know what I am talking about with this kind of tragedy. You can feel sad and sorry for families, but until, you walk in our shoes, you will not share in our emotions and stories.

This poor man who had been fighting to get his life back to normal, must have felt hopeless, worthless, and gave up on ever living a life without a struggle with addiction. The news brought me right back to losing Richie and Lori to their addiction.

They didn’t commit suicide like him, but everyone seems to have a different reason for turning to alcohol, drugs, or prescription pills to handle their problems. No one wants to come out of the closet and say, “I need help.” No one wants to bring up the past with some tragedy that happened in their life to only reopen it again with the pain, not knowing what did or didn’t happen to their young memories.

There are many catastrophes that happen to an alcoholic or drug user that maybe the parents, siblings, or friends can’t understand why the addicted can’t “get over” something in the past that happened to them and get on with their life without using.

To many, a death of a parent or close friend, being forced into an abortion, being beaten by a child, listening to parents fight, seeing a parent or someone close to you coming home in blackouts causing the fear, confusion and violence in the family behind closed doors can be devastating to the child who can’t defend themselves or find security within the family. They grow up with no feeling of love.

Remember, how a child is treated in life, especially their toddler years, young child or teenage years, molds them into what and who they become later in life. Not talking about the actions with substance abusers, only makes the addicted turn to the same treatment to their family members and the cycle continues for years throughout the generations.

Richie and Lori died of cirrhosis of the liver. That is a horrible way to die. Richie and Lori had IV’s in both arms, swollen stomachs like pregnant women, their skin and whites to their eyes had turned yellow and their organs slowly shut down. Richie went into a coma, his last 3 weeks in the VA Hospital in Rhode Island and died, and Lori’s doctors from Charlton Memorial in Fall River, Massachusetts did a procedure twice to tie tiny elastic bands around her veins in her esophagus. She also lived three weeks, hemorrhaged from her rectum and went into a coma and had to go on life-support. Two days later, we had to say goodbye and let her go home to God. I heard Lori take her first cry at birth and her last breath on this earth. 

The hardest decision in this world is to let a loved one die by taking them off a machine. You always live in fear that if you wait a little longer, they may come out of the coma. As a parent, I wished God had taken Lori the three weeks earlier than to have lived on hope within the three weeks that she would recover, instead of shutting a machine off to watch her heart rate slow down to a stop. It makes you feel like you ended her life. This is alcoholism.

The smartest remark I heard from anyone was from Dr. Phil on his show to an alcoholic and drug user he was sending off to a location for help. I had written to him three times praying for him to help Lori, but I”m sure he is so overloaded with letters and emails that some of us get lost in the pile.

He remarked to the woman, “You realize you’re not going into rehabilitation for a day, week or a month. It’s until! There is the answer! Until you are dried-out, can make healthy decisions with your life, and face the deep-rooted problems that are eating away at you, then you have a chance for survival.

Who and what keeps the addicted active? I saw on television, a football player (yes, I forgot his name) who had been an alcoholic and addict and recovered. His desire was to help young kids. He said a remark to them that had me stop in my tracks? “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future!” Think of it. When they get out of rehab, they run to the same friends doing the same abuse, at the same location. They meet with the same drug dealers.

Years ago, our kids, even us parents, were street smart. Today, we are not fact smart. Our education has to start at the grammar school level. Our children are not as innocent to things happening in their neighborhood as you think. In my book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Drug Addict, two contributors admitted to trying their first drink at five years old and the other at seven.

This is why I believe we need a daily class on substance abuse with grammar age children. By that age, our sons and daughters are mixing in with others who are looking for ways to get their thrills and they look up to them, instead of having the education that these kids have no future if they continue and face death if they don’t stop. We have to show our children the facts about the high death-rate with alcohol and drug abuse along with stopping doctors who refill pain pills without even taken a second glance at what might be going on with the person. I blame them with the same actions that families do…doctors enable them. Filling prescription drugs over and over, makes them as responsible with their death as the pill they are passing out to the addicted.

Health insurance companies have to change with today’s life with addiction and pay for long term recovery programs. They need to face the reality that substance abusers need anywhere from 6 months to a year in a professional environment, instead of the useless stay of ten days, without coming out until their time is up and advance outside with more professional for another six months. In my past life watching Richie and Lori, I came to the conclusion, it’s not counselors they needed but psychiatrist.What works for one, may not work for another. Professionals need to know the ones who had serious problems as children and realize that a counselor is not going to do the recovery for them.

Addicts have to take their own responsibility with the years of using that they have to get real with the fact, you can’t get dry and then return to the same friends who use, the same corner to get those drug. You have to have no doubt in your minds that this continued action is going to kill you. Not maybe, but when.

Start with today’s grammar school children and open up about alcohol abuse and drug use. Do we need to put fear into them? In my opinion, YES. It can save their lives.


Alberta Sequeira
No. Dartmouth, MA 02747
“Journey Through Alcohol Abuse”
Email: [email protected]

Do You Want to Recover




This is the first step toward recovery—admitting you have a problem…and wanting professional help!

How many times have you said, "This is the last drink, I will stop tomorrow, I can stop anytime, I hate myself for drinking again, I keep disappointing my family, I want help and am scared to go for help." Many excuses. You start today by calling a substance abuse rehabilitation or ask your doctor to get you into a location. Go with an open heart and listen. Don't argue or disagree. Get the chip off your shoulder that everyone is against you. You drink because of stress, your family demands, money problems, there is confusion in the house. You would be surprised in recovery finding out all those problems stem from your drinking. 

Do you find you look for fights so you can walk out of the house and have an excuse to go to that bar? Isn't that why you start the fight? Do you find any excuse to start the fighting?

If you truly want help, you have to get honest with yourself. Don't try proving it to others. Prove it to you. The first step is scary, but thinking about it makes it that way. Once you take the step, it begins your first day of recovery. 

Open up with your pain and past hurts. If you don't, the program will not work. Something deep within you is making you depend on drinking and drugs. Don't you find instead of dealing with the problems, you are hiding behind them. There is no shame in whatever happened to you. Hold your head up high. The shame is if you walk away from your help and continue on the road of death, instead of fighting the demon trying to pull you to the cemetery.

Yes, this disease will kill. The percentage is high.  You know about the deathrate, hear it on television, read it in the newspaper and still say, "It will not happen to me?" Why not? You are the only one making it happen. No one is killing you, but you. Family can love and support you, but you have to take that step on your own to recover. You took the path of destruction, now you have to go back and take the other one in the fork.

One Day at a Time. Isn't that what they say? They do because it makes sense. You fall, that's okay. Get up again. Fight, fight and fight more. Want recovery more than life itself. Pick up that phone and take the first step. Realize that doctors and counselors are there because they want to help. Most have been right where you are now. That's why they understand your pain. If you fight the program, you will return to the streets, with your drinking and drug friends, and the drug dealers. They will all own your soul.






New Addiction Bill Passed in Maine

New Addiction Bill Passed in Maine—What Does It Mean?

I would like to voice my opinion about this new January Addiction Bill passed in Maine. I am not a professional who had been trained on the topic or a counselor. I am an ordinary wife and mother who lost a husband and daughter to their alcohol abuse. From these losses, I took my pain and wanted to reach out to others—maybe save one person! I became a Motivational Speaker and four-time award winning author on three books about living with and losing two loved ones from their alcohol addiction. There could have been a high chance of drugs being involved.

Don’t over-look a family member’s opinion or message because they have had no degree on the subject. Who knows the pain watching a loved one slowly killing themselves and not being able to do anything to stop the downward speed of their dying from addiction, than someone who has lived through the illness?

First of all, I have always had this uneasiness with any organization getting money to help the sick and then the public hears that a quarter of the money had been used for the cause while the other three-quarters can’t be accounted for from the people collecting the funds. Funds that were sent from honest, suffering family members, who most likely, lost a loved-one from their alcohol or drug addiction, praying their contribution will help another person live by finding new and healthy ways to bring the addicted into a recovery program leading to their sobriety. We want to feel with our donations that our loved one’s death will come to have a meaning by helping others. With this money, we can learn new ways of doing so, not only from the professionals, but people within the family.
Here is an example: “Worst Charity for Veterans Run by VA Employee.” The charity brought in $29 Million in donations from Americans from 2010-2014. It was discovered that less than 2 percent was actually spent for veterans and their causes. No one can explain where the rest had been sent to instead of the program. Money donated for 911 victims and their families had the same results and millions being sent overseas during wartime to help with the ammunition or equipment needed for our soldiers, claim that no one knows where a high percent went to while the needed money had disappeared. If the State of Maine is going to start this program, for the sake of the lives that could be saved, please, don’t follow this path.

My first comment is finding a way to give a 100% guarantee that 100% of the funds will go directly for the alcoholic and drug users. If not, the persons in charge, who can’t account for the missing money, should be liable to add that loss to the program.

Lets talk about the treatment programs. From my experiences with them, there is no foundation. My daughter, Lori, had three rehabilitation stays; once in Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island and twice at the Gosnold Rehabilitation Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts. They took the alcoholic and drug users who had been drinking since teenagers or younger, and put them in the detox centers, and if money was there, a huge ten-day program was next with counseling. Once that was completed, if they stayed, they were let out to go right back to the same location, friends doing the same drinking and drugs, and right back to the drug dealer.

We have to treat the addicted the same as someone who has cancer, being in an accident causing someone to be paralyze, depression or suicidal victims. They need heavy rehabilitation to heal. We don’t heal our loved ones by putting them back out in the street for them to return in a month with the routine of returning, returning and returning. You are putting a bandage on their cut. Insurance companies are in control of a person’s stay, and patients are just a number without them knowing their condition or needs.

Addicted patients need a good 6-9 month program, without being release, until they can get the alcohol and drugs out of their system. Until they can do that, their bodies and minds can’t make any healthy decisions. Lori signed herself into a three month program after two years because the doctor said her liver, kidneys and mental state were ready to shut down.

Within two weeks, they gave her the choice to finish her time or go into a halfway home that had no counselor to watch over them coming and going. No one watched over them to see if they could find jobs, and no professional was in charge 24/7 to see who was getting drugs inside the facility or staying during the night.

These are the things $3.7M should be going towards instead of guessing where it should be placed. Get a plan! Most addicted have deep-rooted problems from the past and a counselor running meetings is not going to do it. Money has to be put into giving the mental sick, because that is what they are, a one-on-one treatment with a psychiatrist, who has a degree in knowing how to win the trust over with patients so they can open up about their pain and past treatment from someone or pain with loss. Until this happens, they bury their past deep within themselves and will never recover.

Here we go, the Marijuana Fund. I believe in Marijuana if it is prescribed to handle a medical problem. I have been to halfway homes with men saying, “I have no idea why I am here. All I did was use Marijuana.” I tell them, “If it wasn’t a problem, you would not be here. Look at being in this rehab as a gift so you can put your life together before you go deeper into something stronger.” Most who were fighting drug use admitted they started with Marijuana. My feeling on this bill, which will be on the list to be voted on in Massachusetts, have the states interest because they see and hear the “Billions” of dollars other states are making from the sales. So I ask………….is it a way of making the money that interest them….or do you really want to find a control and save lives?

If Maine or any state wants to get “serious” about trying to stop the death-rate from this disease, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has to want every penny from the funds to work as much as the addicted have to want their recovery. You can’t stop in-between the treatment. Sit, make a plan step by step, beginning to end, and build a strong desire to solve the worldwide problem of addiction, and results from your program bringing the death -rate down.

Stop putting money in front of reaching a goal. If money is important with adding Marijuana openly to addicts than don’t waste the taxpayers dollars on trying to cure the alcoholic or drug user. It’s a curve to making money and adding a small amount to the fund to satisfy the professionals and users, only for the corrupt to benefit from the profits. 

Jails for addicts. I do not believe an addict should be put behind bars, unless their actions killed someone, they robbed a business or some violent crime had been committed. Getting them off the street is a start, but not hidden with criminals for being sick. Spend the money on a clean center without the atmosphere coming across as a hospital. Don’t make them feel like they are being punished for a disease they are finding impossible to beat. They are mentally and physically sick. Until professional make this the number one problem, all your money will not find a cure or at least a control with drugs.

Let me remark on the section for “What Still Needs to be Done.”

I agree that a heavy educational program should start with the grammar school level. Why? Our kids are not as innocent as we think. In my book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict written by 34 alcoholic and drug users, a woman told her story with starting at five and one at seven years of age with drinking.

Developing a support system: I believe it starts with family. A.A. and Al-Anon call this a “family disease,” and yet, I do not believe they treat it that way. We all go into different rooms for our meetings and no one is suppose to talk to the alcoholic or the family member as to what had been discussed trying to find help for all of us. In fact, I honestly feel that once a month an A.A. meeting should have a non-drinker talk about what they are feeling living with the alcoholic and an Al-Anon meeting should hear an alcoholic talk about their fears. This is how we learn what everyone feels and needs to desire recovery.

We need to stop this merry-go-round. As a family, we need to hear what others are feeling and need to stop the enabling, abuse, fear and confusion each and everyone of us suffer within the family behind closed doors. I had a breakdown trying to push my body and mind beyond what it could take trying to keep peace in our family instead of doing something about the repeated, daily action day after day. I feared being on my own, getting a divorce and had no understanding about the disease. Instead of hating the disease, I hated my husband. With my daughter, I lived in fear of losing her and didn’t make private times to listen to her pain and learn what she might have been doing with her friends. We learn more by listening than doing all the talking. The alcoholic and drug users cry out for help, but we don’t put our listening ears on to hear them.

I agree completely with helping them get an education and employment to give them hope and feel good about themselves again. That was the number one complaint I heard from the patients in a halfway home for men. They said with no jobs to get money, they felt like failures, trapped and saw noway out to get their life back to what it was without using.

Efforts to identify: Give the private counseling with doctors, psychiatrist, family members and a priest or minister. Yes, bring their faith back. A high percent of contributor to my book, believed going back to prayer, helped them in their hard times to recover.

In 2013, my husband, Al and I, met, in Boston, Massachusetts, with Steven Meunier, at the time, Senator John Kerry’s Policy Advisor. After losing Richie and Lori, we wanted to talk to them about what we thought had been needed to support and help the alcoholic, drug user and the mentally ill. We wanted to start by modifying, not change, the Patient Privacy Act. It gives the addict eighteen years of age and older, the right to refuse any help from doctors, staying in rehabs for help, or including any family member in their meetings and counseling. We believe in their privacy, but when a doctor states that the addict’s liver and kidneys are ready to shut down, we believe the family should have every right to over-ride that rule. We were the sober ones and remembered what happened during their younger years. They were drunk and remembered nothing, but suffer from “thinking” what happened to them or stay in a confused state not being able to judge what did or did not happen to them.

Both Senator Kerry and Mr. Meunier left their positions: Kerry to position of Secretary of State, and Mr. Meunier left to work for Blue Cross-Blue Shield. Neither had any idea where our papers went and the case had been dropped. We went to Senator Michael Rodrigues to push this further, asking him to help us go to Washington to talk to the people running the Alcohol and Drug Program,s and never heard from him for the past year.This shows the low interest our government and others have with putting this topic as number one.

This email was a way of trying to answer what is in the Maine’s program, what does it mean, and especially to face the reality what “might” be missing in the program or what is needed from a family who looks back saying other options were open.

I hope the state of Maine puts their hearts into this program for the alcoholic and drug user because good and healthy people are dying that have a lot to offer our country, their loved ones and themselves.

Alberta Sequeira
No. Dartmouth, MA 02747
Tel: 508-938-5322
“Journey Through Alcohol Abuse”
Email: [email protected]

Save the Date!


Alberta Sequeira will be speaking on the topic "The Effect of Alcoholism on the Whole Family." She will also be book signing. All her paperback and handbooks for workshops will be on sale at $10.00 each.

Ms. Sequeira lost her husband, Richard Lopes and her daughter, Lori Cahill of North Dighton, Massachusetts from their alcohol addiction. Richard died in 1985 at forty-five years of age at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island and Lori passed in 2006 from the same disease at thirty-nine at the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts.

She will be speaking to family members about enabling and a special talk directly to the alcoholic, drug user, including people fighting with the overuse of prescription drugs, hoping to give them strength to go into recovery and heal from this horrible worldwide problem. She will show that this is a family disease that is effecting every member of the family. No one comes out a winner. Ms. Sequeira invites all coping with the stress and the person suffering. This is an event for all.

Date: June 12, 2016

Location: Lafayette-Durfee House

94 Cherry Street, Fall River, Massachusetts 02722

Hours: 1pm-4pm

Phone: (508) 813-8230

FREE 90 Day Offer in Kindle from 5/2-9/2

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From May 2, 2006 until September 2, 2016, all my paperback and handbooks printed in Kindle will be available to you free for the next 90 days so you can get a feel of my writing for both the alcoholic and family member. All my books are available at Or, just key in my name Alberta Sequeira and every Kindle version is available to download.

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Do you have someone suffering from substance abuse and can't stop? Are you going crazy trying every action to help them? Did you come to the conclusion that the screaming, yelling, fighting, threats, grounding, and taking the keys off them are not working? Do you find yourself 24/7 with just thinking with worry with where they are, what time they are coming home, who are they with, are they drugged-out laying unnoticed in some back alley? Have you stopped smiling, enjoying life, are you depressed, losing weight, or developed lost of happiness? 

The questions we all ask could take up 50 pages. Until you come to the understanding that "they" have to want the help and go into rehab on their own, nothing is going to change. As parents, mates, friends, or siblings, all we can do is love and support them. 

I am asked numerous times, "How do I know it is a problem?" The answer......"When it causes problems. Has the once content family gone to fighting, confusion, fear or abuse? Are they missing school, work, are the bills not being paid, money missing, do you find the family events have stopped, or friends are not coming over anymore? Does it all revolve around the drinking? There is your answer. First step...AS SOON AS YOU SEE these problems, get professional help, even if you have to go alone. 

Someone has to get off the merry-go-round and make changes or the cycle of problems stay the same through years, until innocently, our enabling brings them deeper into their addiction, we have breakdowns, blackouts cause violence, and every member of the family falls apart mentally and physically along with the substance abuser. 

You love them? Develop "Tough Love!" Even if it kills you. Feeling sorry for them, wondering where they will go if you kick them out or if they will survive, makes you keep them from being responsible for their actions.

After losing my husband, Richie Lopes and my daughter, Lori Cahill, I wanted to know, "What Did I Do Wrong? What Could I Have Done Better? How Can We Help These Poor Souls Who Are Killing Themselves?" Yes, more questions. 

I had to have answers. I give speaking engagements to the patients behind closed doors and to family members and had the same unsettled feelings that are asked of me. Finally, I said, "I have to go directly to the on person who knows.......the alcoholic and drug user themselves!" 

That is why I collected over 34 individual stories from substance abusers from all walks of life from Canada and the United States. I threw over 23 questions at them wanting nothing but the absolute true to help others, whether it was the addicted, family members, doctors or counselors. This worldwide problem is not being solved or getting answers. Instead, the death rate is climbing every day, never mind months or years! 

If you want to hear the sad torments from the addicted with their feelings of pain suffering from this disease, then read What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict: In Their Own Words, in paperback or Kindle. Learn and listen to what they are asking for to help them desire the want for recovery. 


All my books are listed under Kindle and I am offering them to be available to you free in Kindle for the next 90 days so you can get a feel of my writing for both the alcoholic and family member. All my books are available at Or key in my name Alberta Sequeira and every paperback, Kindle and handbook is available to purchase. 

My number one book starts in the beginning with me meeting my husband, Richie, not realizing his problem right from the beginning in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round. The painful sequel is after losing Lori in Please, God, Not Two. The conclusion to every family member, including the addicted, being affected is in What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict.  

Alberta Sequeira