Welcome New Author: Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz

Scot HodkiewiczKiCam Projects is delighted to welcome author Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz, whose book Going through Hell to Get to Heaven will release in January 2019.

We first met Scot at BookExpo in June and immediately were moved by his story. Scot and his family were nearly killed when their vehicle was hit by an intoxicated driver on a highway in their home state of Wisconsin. Through the course of his long, painful recovery, Scot learned that he’d been living his life according to his own “master plan”—and that his plan wasn’t the one that mattered. A Christian, Scot realized his faith wasn’t as strong or as active as he’d once believed. In fact, he’d put his own will over God’s will, and he would have to search his soul to find both the humility and the strength to change his approach to life.

Along his journey, Scot encountered many angels on Earth who helped him face his mortality, the fear of losing his veterinary business, worries about not being able to provide for his family, and a dependency on pain medication. With each trial, Scot learned to listen for God’s voice and direction, and his story now enables others to do the same.

Scot’s goal for this book is to help other Christians consider their lives and ask themselves whether they’re living on their own terms or on God’s. Each chapter contains reflection questions perfect for use in Bible studies and other faith-sharing groups, but Scot is never preachy. His style is conversational, often humorous, and always relatable to anyone who has ever had to overcome a challenge or tragedy.

As Scot says, “Heaven and Hell are here on Earth, and we get to choose which one we enter. To enter Heaven, we just have to get rid of the anger and hate that keep us in Hell.”

Welcome to the KiCam family, Scot!

Accept Reflect Commit

What We’re Doing to Battle the Addiction Epidemic

You’ve probably heard some of the news about the addiction epidemic in the United States, but here are some facts you might not know as we approach National Recovery Month:

• More than 20 million Americans over the age of twelve have a substance-use disorder, and drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
• As of late 2016, Ohio led the nation in opioid-overdose deaths, and one in nine heroin deaths in the United States occurred in the Buckeye State—the most in the country.
• Montgomery County, Ohio, is on pace for 800 overdose deaths in 2017—highest per capita in the nation.

At KiCam Projects, we’re doing our part to raise awareness about addiction, destigmatize it, and provide information that empowers readers to help themselves and their loved ones lead healthy, sober lives.

“From the beginning of the company, we’ve been committed to furthering the conversation about addiction by publishing at least one addiction-based book each year,” says Lori Highlander, who founded KiCam in 2015 and has spent most of her career as an executive in the addiction-recovery field. “Most people’s lives have been touched by drug or alcohol addiction in some way, and we want to do everything in our power to help readers take action to better their lives, their family members’ lives, and their communities overall.”

Addiction Recovery ChangeIn October 2016, we published Addiction, Recovery Change: A How-To Manual for Successfully Navigating Sobriety, written by Adams Recovery Center, to meet the needs of individuals leaving treatment and beginning a new lifestyle.

In May 2017, The Fix: A Father’s Secrets, A Daughter’s Search focused on addiction’s effects on the family, based on the real-life experience of author Sharon Leder, whose father died of a heroin overdose.

Accept Reflect CommitAnd on September 12, we will release Accept, Reflect, Commit: Your First Steps to Addiction Recovery, also by Adams Recovery Center, a practical guidebook for individuals ready to seek treatment for themselves or a loved one.

The launch of Accept, Reflect, Commit will be marked by a training and networking event for addiction-care professionals hosted by Adams Recovery Center from 1-3:30 p.m. September 12 at the Union Township Civic Center near Cincinnati.

“We’re currently planning our addiction-related books for 2018 and 2019, because we know this problem isn’t going away,” Highlander says. “As long as our country is dealing with this crisis, KiCam will be here, working to be part of the solution.”

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Q&A with Author Kayla Scoumis, Adams Recovery Center

Kayla Scoumis is the clinical coordinator for Adams Recovery Center and the primary author behind Accept, Reflect, Commit: Your First Steps to Addiction Recovery. Applying the hands-on clinical experience she and her colleagues have gained in the field, Kayla wrote Accept, Reflect, Commit to serve not only individuals battling addiction, but the loved ones supporting those individuals, as well.

What’s more: The core concepts addressed in Accept, Reflect, Commit are issues faced by all people at one time or another, whether addiction is present in their lives or not. Here’s the background on Accept, Reflect, Commit and how it can help readers of all circumstances and walks of life.

1. What prompted you and the Adams Recovery Center team to write Accept, Reflect, Commit?

Addiction is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world. It’s not something we can just ignore or pretend affects only certain people or areas. It’s widespread and it’s making an impact on people of all demographics. Opiates are especially concerning, and overdoses are happening daily. With all of this happening, there is a lot of confusion and judgment when it comes to addiction and its treatment. We wanted to create more access to information about addiction treatment and the issues present for those in early recovery. We want people to gain a better understanding of what it means to recover from addiction and the changes that are necessary to live a life of sobriety.

In a way, our clients inspired it, too! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a client say, “Wow, I wish my mom/brother/cousin/friend/etc. could learn this stuff,” and we agree! So, we basically put our program into a book, as well as information about seeking treatment. Reading this book is like attending some of our most important group sessions. Though it does not replace treatment, it can be a great asset for those seeking recovery, and it can provide valuable information and insight for the people supporting individuals battling addiction.

2. There’s so much news about the heroin epidemic nationwide—what are you seeing in your day-to-day experience?

Here’s the thing: The clients we see fully recognize that they are in a miserable situation. They desperately want to get out of the cycle they are in and don’t want to continue using. However, that requires change, and change can be super hard, especially when addictive substances are involved. Drug and alcohol addiction incites people to develop certain behaviors and thought patterns that are problematic and destructive. We discuss many of these thoughts and actions—such as manipulation, dishonesty, black-and-white thinking, etc.—in the book.

Another thing we are seeing with the heroin epidemic is the roadblocks clients face with seeking treatment. It can be overwhelming to acknowledge a need for help, let alone to actually seek that help! Many people seeking treatment are facing obstacles such as difficulty with insurance companies and wait lists at treatment centers. When someone is already feeling down and out, the perceived impossibility of actually climbing out of the hole can feel too great to accomplish. In the book, we offer information about different treatment options and provide guidance for those seeking treatment to hopefully make it feel more doable.

3. What are the primary misconceptions about drug addiction?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that people who are addicted to substances can “just stop it.” Many people still believe that people choose to be addicted and can stop at any time. This is so far from the truth! Once a person becomes addicted to a substance, he has a physical and mental dependence on it. Also, even when the substance is taken away, the behaviors and thought patterns are still there and probably will lead a person back to using. People need more from addiction recovery than to simply take away the substances. Individual needs will vary based on a lot of different factors, which is why we recommend seeking a professional assessment to determine the best option.

That leads me to another huge misconception, which is the belief that the “cure” for one will be the “cure” for all. Just because Dad was able to stop drinking one day and never look back does not mean it will be the same for his son. Understanding and accepting an individualized approach to treatment can assist people with the frustration they may feel toward themselves or their loved ones for not “getting it.”

4. How does this book help those in addiction and their loved ones take steps toward recovery?

The book outlines many issues that people face when seeking treatment. My hope is that people who are struggling will read this book, be able to identify themselves within the pages, and gain a better understanding of themselves through its content. My goal was to write this in a very casual, relatable way. I think one thing that often drives people away from seeking help is the fear of judgment, or the belief they are “lesser” than others. Hopefully people who read this will feel understood and accepted—like they aren’t the only person who is struggling with this, they aren’t the only person who thinks, feels, and behaves the way they do. I think when people find that connection and relatability, they feel a lot more open to change.

When it comes to loved ones, I also hope they can better understand their people and their struggle. What I hope for even more, though, is that they can begin identifying their own issues. Addiction is often a systematic issue—meaning it does not just affect a singular person but also those around them. People often adapt to the addicted individual’s behaviors and develop their own problematic responses. Loved ones reading this book can hopefully identify with their own issues and learn about the changes they need to make, as well, not only to better support their person but also to better care for themselves.

5. What gives you hope that those battling addiction can get clean and sober and stay healthy?

Seeing the changes our clients make every day brings a lot of hope and inspiration. People come in feeling so lost and unsure of themselves, but with time and effort, they are able to begin seeing a lightness in life again. The amazing thing about sobriety is that, regardless of how people find it, when they truly want it, they can have it. Stories of inspiration, hope, and connection are all around us if we look for them. It’s difficult to see that sometimes in the wake of terrible stories on the news and statistics, but the reality is that people can make positive changes and drastically improve their lives.

6. This book is a great read even for those whose lives haven’t been touched by addiction. What common issues, faced by all people, do you address?

Oh, wow—so many! Honestly, I think people could easily ignore the addiction-specific information and still learn a ton about themselves. The book touches on very human issues such as comparing ourselves to others, instant gratification, holding others and ourselves accountable, being afraid to show our true selves, dealing with grief, and engaging in a victim mentality. Those are things that anyone (I would even say everyone at one point or another) can have issues with and can benefit from learning more about. We all have changes we can make to be the best versions of ourselves and stop engaging in problematic coping skills to deal with life’s stresses.

7. What’s the number one thing you hope readers take away from Accept, Reflect, Commit?

That change is possible if you allow it to be possible. Though there are many roadblocks in addiction recovery, the biggest one people face is often themselves. It’s not just the drugs or the alcohol or the relationships or the neighborhood—it’s them. While that may be difficult to accept, my hope is that people can actually find empowerment through that knowledge. Literally nothing can hold you back or drag you down unless you allow it to do so. In the book, I encourage people to challenge their perspectives and try on some new ones that might be better suited for a happy life. My hope is that everyone who reads this book can walk away from it believing that life is within reach.

Ocean sunset

Finding Beauty in the Struggle

We’re busy adding authors to our stable for 2017 releases—more on that exciting news later!—and in the process, we stumbled upon something pretty cool.

Our first book, “Beautiful Scars,” is at the printer, driving toward its May 17 release. And three of our potential 2017 manuscripts have working titles with the words “beautiful” or “beauty” in them. Working titles are just thatworks in progress that will evolve with timebut the coincidence certainly is meaningful.

There seems to be a universal desire, something innate in the human spirit, to find beauty. We’re hardwired to seek beauty in others, our surroundings, our circumstances and ourselves.

Each of the authors working with KiCam has endured something in his or her life, a tragedy or a challenge. All of them are survivors, and they’ve found real beauty in that survival.

The act of overcoming, of rising above, often brings out the genuine beauty in a person. Struggle strips away our outer appearance, our need to please and our concern for what others think. In its complexity, it simplifies life to the basics that really matter.

KiCam Projects’ mission is to bring to life true stories of survival and recovery that inform and inspire. We’re trying to change the world, one great story a time. Along the way, we hope we’ll also make the world a more beautiful place for our authors and our readers.

Are you interested in working with KiCam Projects? Learn more about our submissions process.