treatment on demand

Treatment on demand for drug addiction is not a reality in most places of the USA, yet cities like Baltimore could save over $46 million if everyone who wanted treatment received treatment. Unlike other illnesses, those suffering from drug addiction are turned away from treatment centers or forced to travel hundreds of miles to acquire treatment. There is no better solution to this opioid crisis than that of treatment on demand. 

On July 11, 2019, I was interviewed on DC’s WUSA9 to talk about the opioid crisis and my opinion for its solution treatment on demand. The video is posted below. Most of us are well aware of the opioid crisis in the USA.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), opioids were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 (67.8% of all drug overdose deaths). As an addiction counselor of over 20 years, I’ve written from the perspective of what society, as well as families, can do about this crisis. 

Now it’s time to write about a solution to this crisis, which I know will work, namely, treatment on demand

I don’t write this out of a naive ignorance to the societal factors and big business practices…

Read more: Treatment On Demand For Drug Addiction Is The Solution

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selfishness mindfulness

Selfishness is overwhelmingly the norm of our culture. Yet at the same time, self-help practitioners and life coaches are promoting practices such as mindfulness and self-awareness into an age of selfishness, enabling that selfishness to become the emerging goal of mindfulness. I fear that maybe my mission of life coaching is partly to blame for this selfishness, even though my approach to life coaching is very different from most coaches. 

As a life coach, speaker, and author on the topic of finding inner peace through mindfulness, I fear that maybe my life’s mission is to blame for this selfishness. Have I been leading people astray? Actually, no! 

A close examination of my material and mindfulness itself eschews selfishness in all of its manifestations. So why the existential angst that I’m feeling? Our culture encourages individuality, no pain, no suffering, only encouragement, praise, and a “way to go” for every action performed. Individualism based on the absence of hardship inevitably leads one to believe themselves as the center of the world. For most people, the focus is on self, and on being happy.

Insert the practice of mindfulness and the various claims from life and wellness coaches that they will…

Read more: Selfishness Is NOT Mindfulness: My Approach To Life Coaching

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trauma and addiction

Trauma and addiction tend to go hand in hand. As a disease, substance dependency (addiction) finds it’s origin in past trauma. Understanding that people struggling with addiction as a disease and are most likely victims of trauma, maybe we can be compassionate towards them. Recovery is possible if we treat the root of the disease, not just the symptoms.

Through the decades of working with clients, who struggle with trauma and addiction for their freedom through recovery I have learned that more often than not, they are also running from past life memories of traumatic experiences. They lack strong coping skills, therefore turning to avoidance rather than dealing with life’s issues head-on.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that more than a third of adolescents with a report of abuse or neglect will have a substance use disorder before they reach their 18th birthday (Behavioural consequences of child abuse ). The reality of trauma is that it can come from anywhere and manifest in a variety of physical and psychological symptoms.

What do I mean when I write the word trauma? When a person fears for their safety, experiences intense pain, or witnesses a tragic or violent act, that person…

Read more: Trauma And Addiction: How To Be Compassionate

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successful

To be successful, as defined by society, causes us to focus on wealth and power, not on one’s ability and goals. When I can say that I’ve done my best, and am comfortable with that, then I’m successful and at peace.

“If I try to fail and succeed, which have I done?” - anonymous

I use the above quote with my college students when I'm lecturing on the topic of being successful, challenging them to look at life from a different perspective. In challenging our perspectives, and even our definitions, I am not merely playing semantics as I  firmly believe that words actually do hold meaning. If you aren’t sure about the validity of that statement, think of the last time someone’s words either caused you joy or caused you pain. Words do have the power to affect our emotions, therefore, by challenging ourselves to look at our own definitions from a new perspective can change how we feel.

How I define being successful, or how successful is defined for me, influences how I feel about myself. Many of us have culturally learned that success is defined by tangible goods and/or wealth. We hear expressions such as “If I…

Read more: How To Be Successful - It’s Not What You Think

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chronic pain management

Unfortunately, many people struggle with chronic pain management, as do I. Over time I've gained insights into what techniques work for me and which don't work. Much of the content of my life coaching message comes from my personal pain management struggles. One thing I have learned with certainty, there are ways to manage pain and discover pain relief daily.

Pain, whether it be physical or emotional, is unavoidable. As I write this, about seven years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, an overall body pain due to overstimulated nerves. It took a while to find that diagnosis and a couple of years more to find the right combination of medications. I've reflected much on pain and how best to live with chronic pain, gaining insights into chronic pain management, yet the learning continues.  

We try our best to avoid pain, almost at all costs. Personally and as a society, we make every effort imaginable to avoid, end, or numb, all pain. Yet, the more we try, I feel the more we end up still in pain and not feeling at peace or happy. According to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, "In 2012, health care providers…

Read more: How I Cope With Chronic Pain Management Using Mindfulness

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