How to Get the Most out of Therapy – Some Practical Tips

Get the Most out of Therapy
Therapy is experienced differently by different individuals. There is no magic wand in therapy to quickly and easily fix all problems. Instead, therapy should be seen as an investment in yourself with benefits revealing themselves as the process unfolds. A couple of questions to ask before entering therapy may be: What do I hope to get out of therapy?  Why am...

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Unveils Campaign in Times Square to Raise Awareness on Opioid Use

Drug-Free New Jersey Unveils Campaign
The New Campaign Encourages Vital Family Communication Regarding the Opioid Epidemic and COVID-19 Pandemic MILLBURN, NJ — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) today announced the unveiling of a new public health campaign featured in Times Square that is reminding families to talk to their children and communicate about the two life-threatening public concerns – the COVID-19 pandemic and...

Secrets to Make COVID-19 Holidays Bright

COVID-19 Holidays
How many times have you asked yourself, “why is this year unlike any other year?!!” while you suit up and put your mask on, or turn on your computer for just one more zoom meeting? Covid-19 has changed the way we meet, greet, and interact with the world. Now, we don’t run around hugging our friends or go to the...

NEW OREGON DRUG POLICY MAKES WAVES IN RECOVERY COMMUNITIES

OREGON DRUG
By following public health models rolled out in Portugal, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, Oregon is spearheading a new attempt to improve the ongoing opioid epidemic. Oregon has particularly high rates of substance abuse and mental health disorders, which is only complicated further by limited access to treatment when compared to the rest of the country. According to the 2017 National Survey...

Winners and Boozers

Winners and Boozers
When I asked her if she thought it was wise for her to go on drinking since her father had become diabetic and that alcohol turns to sugar, the look on her face said “You are now the enemy.” She had been such a winner before, accomplishing so much. Now, she was more and more a boozer, giving over so...

Covid Sobriety Blues: Staying sober during a pandemic

Covid
I recently had the good fortune to have an op-ed published in our local newspaper, the San Diego Union Tribune on August 29 (about the relationship between Covid-19 and Mental Health). In the article, I talk about the fact that pretty much everyone on Earth is currently struggling with intrusive fear. I normalized the sensation of fear pointing out...

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT TO TREATMENT IS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT
“After a one year drop in 2018, U.S. opioid overdose deaths increased again in 2019, topping 50,000 for the first time according to the CDC.” (Associated Press 10-22-2020) There were 82,000 alcohol related deaths in 2018; they have never been higher. Overdose rates have risen by 30% during the pandemic. 23,000,000 Americans have substance use disorders (SAMHSA). 8,500,000 Americans...

The Bleakness of Poverty

The Bleakness of Poverty
In our global community, the concept of poverty has varied dependent upon our ideological perspectives. Our perspectives about the causation of poverty is frequently skewed by our relationship to poverty itself. There are many variables that might be the causation of poverty: if we have never fallen unto hard times, if we have never had to live paycheck-to-paycheck, then...

Staying Strong, Sober and Sane on Thanksgiving

family celebrating thanksgiving
Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of the ever-stressful holiday season. It’s a challenging time of year for everyone, and especially for people in recovery. Family events—both large and small—can be stressful, complicated, and triggering for people struggling with substance use disorder. Add a global pandemic to the mix, and the usual holiday stress expands tenfold. For people who completed a...

The Fire Extinguisher: A Breakthrough In Relapse Prevention

The Fire Extinguisher: A Breakthrough In Relapse Prevention
In my 30 years of working with addiction in various levels of care and treatment modalities, I have seen clients who relapse even after numerous treatment attempts and continually fail to maintain their sobriety. It just seemed that there was something else happening in this pattern of relapse that occurred even with all their most sincere and committed efforts....