Saturday, January 18, 2014

Free consultations by Dr.Michael O. Smith, MD, DAc, psychiatrist, acupuncturist in Delhi & Coimbatore

Nada India invites people and professionals for free consultations and professional guidance by
Dr.Michael O. Smith, MD, DAc
psychiatrist, acupuncturist, addiction specialist and public health planner from New York city
For appointment :Please call us on Mobile 9810594544 or write to

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Anger in Substance Abuse Recovery

Anger in substance abuse recovery can be potentially dangerous. On its own, the emotion can cause high blood pressure which can lead to stroke; depression, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders and a number of other physical conditions.

Drug abuse such as cocaine and heroin, as well as alcohol abuse can not only increase an individual's anger but it can aggravate unresolved emotions and be a revolving door to further alcohol and drug abuse as a coping mechanism. When it is combined with alcohol and drug abuse and addiction, it is important that the individual seek a substance abuse program that includes anger management in the recovery process.

Managing Aggression throughout Recovery

Individuals who have alcohol or drug abuse will act out their aggression in one or more ways including becoming physical such as punching, kicking or hitting. In some cases, the individual may vent their hostilities against a person or situation. It is not uncommon for individuals to seek revenge against the object of their feelings. On the other hand, some individuals never learn how to let out their emotions and so they hold it inside or they will avoid the source of their anger and refuse to acknowledge it. This type of internalized anger can be as damaging to the self as externalizing the emotion.

Persons struggling for balance find that participating in meditation or yoga helps them to manage their anger. Learning to take a deep breath and calm down and evaluate the situation before they react is also helpful. Additionally, developing ways to communicate aggression in ways that do not resort to physical or verbal abuse can help manage anger productively.

Best Methods for Treatment

Most substance abuse recovery counselors believe that when there is both anger and substance abuse, it is best to treat them at the same time. Therapy should be included to help the individual in recovery understand their rage, such as its origins, the triggers that aggravate it and how to effectively process it. Holistic therapies including meditation, yoga and acupuncture can help individuals remain calm and teaches techniques to control their emotions. Some counselors also recommend that the individual participate in group therapy.

Many individuals discover that after their substance abuse has ended, that they are not as angry or that it is not as easily triggered - in other words, they are able to better control their emotions. They also find that it is easier to understand their aggression, the reasons behind it and most realize that without drugs and alcohol abuse, the emotion is not as prevalent in their life.
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Substance Abuse in the Workplace

In a previous article we discussed the laws regarding substance abuse in the workplace. Let's examine some of the practical ramifications of those laws.

The Drug-Free Workplace Acts recommend that employers implement several policies and procedures with the goal of reducing the presence of substance abuse in the workplace. Employers should begin by compiling and distributing a report to all employees notifying them of the company's policies.

Drug-Free Programs

The law requires the establishment of drug-free awareness programs. The programs should include the following 5 components:

    Written policy
    Drug testing
    Supervisor training
    Employee education
    Employee assistance program

Employee education is implemented via an orientation, followed by both formal routine reminders and informal reminders such as posters.

Leadership Training

Employers should arrange specific training for their managers and supervisors, given their first-hand contact with the employees. Leaders should be familiar with and impart the company policy, have knowledge of substance abuse symptoms and understand how to approach and when to contact HR.


Employee privacy laws require managers and supervisors to maintain strict confidentiality regarding discussions with employees suspected of drug or alcohol problems. Information should be divulged on a need-to-know basis in compliance with state and federal laws.


Documentation is essential both in assembling solid support for eventual supervisory actions and recommendations, as well as recognizing developing problems, increasing the possibility of early intervention.

Supervisors and managers should maintain both informal and formal documentation.

    Informal Documentation: observations, brief comments or conversations that will eventually support the manager's explanations but are not considered part of an employee's file.
    Formal Documentation: progressive disciplinary actions, documented accidents reports and formal complaints that are part of the employee's personnel records.

Detecting Abuse

Detecting substance abuse is no simple matter. Abusers attempt to hide the problem, and co-workers, friends and family members may be hesitant to speak up. The key to detecting abuse is careful and consistent performance monitoring. Keep in mind that classic symptoms of substance abuse may be indicative of a difference problem entirely, such as a health or family issue.

Managers can detect signs of substance abuse in 5 main categories:

    Performance: lowered productivity, change in work pace, excessive absenteeism and tardiness, and extended or excessive breaks during work hours.
    Appearance: sloppy, unkempt or unshaven appearance, inappropriate seasonal dress, physical changes such as slurred speech, shaky hands, red eyes, weight loss or gain and excessive minor injuries resulting from accidents and domestic spats.
    Behavior: moody, argumentative, suspicious or paranoid, overly emotional, extremely talkative, displaying signs of fatigue, stealing or frequent borrowing of money from co-workers.
    Safety: careless around dangerous equipment or hazardous materials, more accidents and close calls and damage to equipment or property.
    Concealment: secretive behavior, isolation, denial of responsibility for problems, rationalizing or transferring blame to others and defensiveness regarding investigation into their private life.

Detecting and managing employees with substance abuse should be handled with the utmost care, and managers should tread lightly when addressing the issue. Alternatively, human resources outsourcing professionals can be consulted if your management team suspects a problem and does not feel equipped to properly address and defuse the situation. But either way, taking a proactive stance against workplace drug abuse will go a long way in reducing costs and maintaining a productive and safe work environment.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities

For individuals who are abusing any drug or alcoholic substances, finding the right substance abuse treatment facility is essential to getting the help you need to fight the addiction. Due to the fact that you are currently around the drugs, the people, and the places that lead you to this habit, the best way to get proper treatment, is to check in to an inpatient facility for treatment. Not only are you going to be taken away from the drugs, people, and bad influences, you are also going to be able to be in a relaxing environment, a healthy environment, and in a place where there are doctors, nurses, and support staff all around, at all times, to help you get past your addiction.

What you get in substance abuse treatment facilities

When you choose to check in to a facility for treatment, some of the benefits include:

- You are supervised, 24/7, by doctors, nurses, and other staff members who can help you fight the addiction, and who are going to help you get through tougher times like withdrawal, and early detox phases.

- A built in support system, where there are others like you, trying to fight addiction, and trying to get past their drug use and abuse.

- Trained staff, people to talk to, and a safe haven for you to stay in, when trying to treat the addiction.

- You are completely taken away from the bad influences, the addiction, the temptation, and the places and situations that led you to drug use and abuse in the first place.

Selecting a substance abuse treatment facility

In order to ensure you get the best treatment, and to help you get past your addiction, and future temptations once you leave the facility, you have to select a highly known and respected facility. You want one that:

- Is well known, either in your local city, or you can choose to go to an out of state facility for great treatment.

- Offers a holistic approach to treatment, so you do not get drugs or other medication to help fight withdrawal.

- The best trained nurses and staff on site in order to help if you do go through medical necessity while being treated.

- A facility that is going to give you a support system during, as well as after the treatment, if you find you are ever tempted, and considering turning back to drugs, after you have undergone the initial treatment, and gotten past your addictive nature that you fought with for so long.

With an inpatient facility, you have the technical knowledge, the medical assistance, and a safe place for you to get past the addiction. You also are taken away from people and situations that led you to drug use, and you are going to find that with the strong support system you get in a substance abuse treatment facility, you are going to be able to fight, and you are going to learn the tools to help you stay off drugs once you leave the facility.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Substance Abuse In Kalamazoo County

The Facts

In addition to other abused substances, Kalamazoo County is prevalent with methamphetamine addicts, according to a drug market analysis from 2011 created by the U.S. Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center in regards to high intensity drug trafficking areas (HIDTA) in Michigan. The West Michigan HIDTA includes Grand Rapids, Allegan, Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties. According to the report, in 2007 there were 36 methamphetamine laboratory seizures. By 2008 that number more than tripled to 127 seizures. Again in 2009 the number increased to 185 seizures. In 2010, the number of seizures decreased a small amount to 130, however this is still a high statistic. In 2010, more than half of the seizures were in Kalamazoo County. Given the numbers, methamphetamine weighs in as the greatest drug threat in the county.

When it came to admissions to treatment facilities for methamphetamine addiction in 2010, 19.7 percent were in Van Buren County, 9.4 percent in Allegan County and 7.7 percent in Kalamazoo County.

Other drugs commonly abused in this area include marijuana, cocaine, quinine and other club drugs.

Why Individuals Fall Into Substance Abuse

Statistics show that substance abuse in the Kalamazoo area is high. There are many reasons why individuals fall into substance abuse such as coming from a family with a history of addiction, traumatic experiences during childhood, depression or anxiety or early use of drugs.

The Signs

There are several signs that accompany drug and alcohol abuse. Physical signs include bloodshot eyes or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal, weight loss or weight gain, poor physical appearance, slurred speech or impaired coordination. Other signs include missing work or school, financial problems, sudden changes in personality or anything seemingly out of character for the individual.

How to Help

When an individual is suspected of substance abuse, confront that person. Offer help and support without being judgmental. Do not threaten or bribe the individual. Also, be sure to look out for yourself. It is only possible to help someone struggling with a substance abuse issue so much. Basically, do not neglect yourself. It will also be helpful to have your own support system. And finally, do not put yourself in a dangerous situation. While you can offer love, support and encouragement in terms of recovery, it is not possible to force someone dealing with a substance abuse problem to do something they do not want to. It is important to remember that their problem is not your fault. The person with the addiction must learn to accept that this hardship was their own doing and that they must take responsibility for their actions. This is yet another step on the road to recovery.

There are many resources available for addicts and their loved ones that will help with this process. Use these resources to help make it through the hardships that accompany substance abuse.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Resolved to Overcome Addiction?

Substance abuse treatment can be a scary thought, but continuing to live under the thumb of your addiction is even scarier. Many women resolve to overcome their addiction each year. With hard work and dedication, thousands are successful and by year end many will be living the sober, healthy and productive lives they've dreamed about.

Conquering Medical Detox and Getting Clean

Though the detoxification process may seem scary to women, it plays an incredibly pivotal role in the substance abuse treatment process. Seen as the first step towards recovery, it is designed to help cleanse the body of the harmful toxins found in drugs and alcohol. While women can expect some withdrawal symptoms, healthcare professionals will watch over them as they make their way through the withdrawal process, easing their discomfort. Once they have obtained sobriety, a woman generally feels more in control and ready to start substance abuse treatment. Women who make it through detox without relapsing will have a much greater chance of long term sobriety, so many women choose to enter a medical detox program to give them their best start.

Depression, Anxiety and Substance Abuse Treatment

It is natural for a woman to experience anxiety or even depression alongside substance abuse because the addiction often prevents them from achieving success in their work or home life. A strong substance abuse treatment program will give women the tools not only to overcome their addiction, but also any underlying feelings of depression or anxiety. Learning not only to address these emotions and disorders, but also how to recognize them as triggers and how to re-frame thinking and behavior can help a woman avoid relapse in the future. During substance abuse treatment, a woman learns not only how to handle her addiction, but also how to handle certain symptoms that were preventing her from achieving her other life dreams.

Achieving Long Term Sobriety

After a woman has made it through substance abuse treatment, she will need a strong support group when she returns home. This may include family and loved ones, but most often includes new, sober friends that can help her stay away from the drugs or alcohol that previously sent her lives into disarray. Many women find that developing new interests after rehab helps them create a new sense of identity and self-worth. The goal should be to maintain sobriety and go on to live fulfilling lives.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Substance Abuse Among Teens - Are Study Drugs Safe?

What is substance abuse defined as? According to Merriam Webster dictionary, substance abuse is defined as an excessive use of drugs such as alcohol, narcotics, or cocaine without medical justification.

Studies and polls reveal an alarming fact: substance abuse among youth and teens is continuously increasing and is more likely to happen when teens are not educated about the negative consequences drugs impose on their lives. In addition to the lack of education; parents need to learn how to effectively communicate with their children for substance abuse prevention and influence them to make the right decisions. 1 in 5 parents believe that what they say will not affect their child's decision on substance abuse.

What's popular among teens now? With the pressure of students getting the grades needed to attend colleges for their future careers, the rise of 'study drugs' are becoming more prevalent. 'Study drugs' are known as ADHD or ADD drugs generally prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as attention deficit disorder. A statistic from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, titled Drug Facts, reports teen prescription drug use was labeled as a nationwide epidemic; in 2012 nearly 15% of teens used a prescription drug non-medically.

Most of these abused drugs are attained by peers who are prescribed the medication. In general, teens are more likely to abuse study drugs than cocaine or heroin because there are less obvious symptoms and it gives teens an edge to studying. Teens may think it's safer to use study drugs since peers are being prescribed them, but are teens really getting the education and support they need to resists this substance abuse sensation?

New findings from the C.S Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, discovered through surveying parents of ages 13 to 17 that approximately 11 % said their teens had been prescribed stimulant medication for ADHD and among parents of children who were not prescribed ADHD medications, 1% said their teens had previously used the drugs for study purposes; while 4% of parents said they did not know if their teen had abused these drugs and 95% said their teens never abused the drugs.

"Surveys of teens repeatedly show that parents can make an enormous difference in influencing their children's perceptions of tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drug use," Pamela S. Hyde, JD, a Substance Abuse and Health administrator, said in a statement. "Although most parents are talking with their teens about the risks of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, far too many are missing the vital opportunity these conversations provide in influencing their children's health and well-being."

At this age, it is extremely important for parents to stay involved and believe their conversations about drug prevention does influence teens and youth. Take this opportunity to get involved and prevent substance abuse before it is too late! You want to be sure your family is safe.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Five Things You Didn't Know About Substance Abuse Treatment

Going through substance abuse treatment is not an experience you go through alone. Many people around the world are going through rehab at the same time and many go through rehab several times before achieving long-term success. While you might think that you know everything about this type of treatment, there are some things you might not know.

Understanding Substance Abuse Treatment

Customized and Specific Treatment Works

Substance abuse treatment programs do not have to be a "one-size-fits-all" type of solution. In fact, "one-size-fits-all" often doesn't work. Instead, the counselors and professionals can help you figure out a plan that actually works for you and meets the specific problems and needs that you have. Before committing to a treatment facility, have a discussion with the counselors to see what they can do for your unique situation.

Substance Abuse Treatment: Living Options

When you consider the rehab programs that are available, you might not realize that you have the option to either live there or stay at home and commute to the various programs. Not all people are suited for both types of these programs, so explore the specific details and decide which one will work for you - sometimes residential style treatment, while seemingly more intense, may be the best option.

Rehab is Social!

Many people do not realize that substance abuse treatment facilities have a social component to them. While you are going through substance abuse rehab, you'll be meeting with many different people, and building a support network to help each other during recovery. Furthermore, you might wind up establishing friendships. Once you have left the facility, you and these friends form a support system.

Single Gender Programs Are Available

Again, everyone has different needs when entering into a substance abuse treatment program, and you should find out what works best for you. One of the possibilities is going into a program that is designed for your gender.

The Key to Success Is Continued Support

When you leave the treatment program, you can still get support from the facility. For example, you may be able to attend support groups, where you can talk with other people who are in your situation. Additionally, a phone number will be provided to you so that you can call if you are ever feeling tempted to fall back into your old patterns and habits.

When you are unsure about some of the specifics regarding a substance abuse treatment program, it can seem even scarier than it is. Instead of letting this fear take over, use these tips to understand more about the treatment program and, ultimately, to create a better life for yourself.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

5 Reasons You Should Become a Substance Abuse Counselor

There seems to be a stigma attached not only to drug addicts, but to those who counsel them. This is a list of some of the reasons that professional counselors avoid substance abuse and a list of reasons that you should become a substance abuse counselor.

    The success rate is very low
    You only work with criminals
    They don't really want to stop using drugs
    The clients lie and manipulate
    Substance abuse counselors aren't as well respected as other counselors
    It probably isn't going to make you rich.
    There seems to be a lot of burnout with substance abuse counselors

These are just a few of the reasons you may hear those working in the counseling profession say that they don't want to work with drug addicts. Let's look at some reasons that you should consider becoming an addictions professional.

    It's Tough. Wait, I thought this was reasons that I should become a substance abuse counselor. We spend so much of our time seeking out the path of least resistance and forget the satisfaction that we get from taking on the tough challenges. Being an addictions counselor isn't the easiest job in the world, but it can certainly be rewarding when you see someone who felt helpless and hopeless make some significant progress and really be excited about life.

    Job Security. This is one job where your goal is to work yourself out of a job, but that isn't likely to happen. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor the number of substance abuse and behavioral counselor jobs will grow by 27% between 2010 and 2020. It doesn't take a genius to realize that we have a pretty significant drug problem in the United States. Just watch the news tonight. Besides even if we were to get rid of all the drugs in our country, there are still plenty of other addictions out there.

    It's not really about the drugs. Sure, drugs are the love of their life and it takes their money, family, health, freedom etc., but people use drugs for a reason. These reasons are often related to mental health issues and an inability to cope with the stresses of life. This is where the counseling comes in. I have often heard Licensed Professional Counselors and social workers say that they don't want to work with drug addicts, but I guarantee that whether you work in mental health counseling, marriage and family counseling, school counseling or any other counseling, that you will have clients with substance abuse issues.

    Your own personal growth. I have found that when I am working with clients and helping them make some positive changes in their life, that it causes me to examine some of those areas of my life. You feel like a hypocrite when you are stressing the importance of exercise and diet when you are having a donut and a soft drink for breakfast every morning. In group settings in particular, when you are addressing specific topics, you can find yourself growing along with your group members.

    Career growth opportunities. Compared to many other professions, addictions counseling is relatively new. States having a specific substance abuse counselor board and addiction credentials is still new and evolving. These boards are becoming more organized, more involved with legislation and more respected. In the past 15 years, I have seen them add many new credentials as well as many add on credentials. There are credentials for different levels of addiction counselors, counselor supervisors, counselors specializing in gambling, co-occurring disorders and peer counselors. These are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. Check your state board to see what credentials are available in your state.

I would like to just briefly address the bullets from the beginning of this article.

    The success rate is very low.

I have seen a lot of different statistics that seem to say a lot of different things depending on the agenda of the ones providing the stats. Relapse rates are high, but recovery can be a long process and is a continuum. It isn't as simple as pass or fail. All of us should be on a journey of growing and developing and the only finish line is death.

    You only work with criminals.

Drugs are illegal, so I guess this one is true. Of course speeding is illegal too.

    They don't really want to stop using drugs.

Some don't want to stop, some feel like they can't stop, but most do want help and most realize that something has to change in their lives for them to be happy.

    The clients lie and manipulate.

It's true that many will. It is what they know and is why they need counseling.

    Substance abuse counselors aren't as well respected as other counselors.

This is old school thinking. As discussed earlier this is an evolving field that is gaining more respect and credibility.

    It probably isn't going to make you rich.

It isn't the highest paying profession, but as the need continues to grow, that is improving as well. There is a lot of opportunity for growth.

    There seems to be a lot of burnout with substance abuse counselors.

As with many professions, there is potential for burnout and you should consider if this is the right career path for you. Counselor burnout is being addressed by some leaders in the field. Sometimes counselors need a little counseling themselves.

I feel that to be happy and have a successful career as a substance abuse counselor, you need to have a passion for it. Addiction touches us all. If you think that you don't know anyone with addiction issues, then you just aren't paying attention.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Substance Abuse and the Drug-Free Workplace Act

Substance abuse is one of the most critical problems facing employers in the workplace today. Over 22 million Americans are illegally using drugs and 74.8% of them are employed, the majority of whom are full-time. Substance abuse can affect anyone, at any age and from any walk of life.

The cost of substance abuse in the workplace has been estimated at $81 billion annually! This figure includes direct and indirect costs including loss of productivity, sick time, workers compensation claims, unemployment rating, turnover costs and hiring costs.

Problems in the Workplace

Numerous problems can be traced to employees who use illegal drugs:

    Absenteeism and tardiness. Two of the most common signs of substance abuse are frequent absenteeism and tardiness. These employees are 2 or 3 times more likely to be late and absent, request time off and to be laid off.

    Increased Medical Costs. Substance abusers utilize medical benefits at a rate three greater than regular employees. This in turn increases the cost of medical insurance for both the employer and all the employees in the company.

    Theft. Theft is another issue employers have to face regarding substance-abusing employees. Employers may be shocked to know that up to 80% of drug abusers steal from their workplace to support their drug use!

    Workplace Violence. Substance abuse is known as the 3rd leading cause of workplace violence. Other leading causes, such as family and marital problems and personality conflicts often result from an underlying substance abuse problem.

    Injuries and Accidents. Up to 40% of workplace fatalities and 47% of industrial accidents can be attributed to substance abuse. A sobering statistic informs us that the injured party in 80% of serious accidents is not the abuser.

Drug-Free Workplace Act

In 1988, Congress passed the Drug-Free Workplace Act. To comply with the law, federal grantees and recipients of federal contracts of $100,000 and above are required to:

    Publish a statement informing employees that unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace. The consequences of violation must be specified.
    Establish a drug-free awareness program to apprise employees of

        the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace
        the employer's policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace
        the availability of drug rehabilitation, counseling and employee assistance programs
        possible penalties imposed on employees for drug-abuse violations

    Distribute copies of the statement to all employees directly involved in implementation of the government contract. Such employees must agree to:

        comply with the terms of the statement
        inform the employer within 5 days of any drug-related criminal conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace.

    Require satisfactory participation in a rehabilitation program or impose sanctions on individuals convicted of a workplace, drug-related crime.
    Once an employer becomes aware of a workplace-related drug conviction, they must notify the contracting agency within 10 days.
    Constantly endeavor to maintain a drug-free workplace.

In our next article, we will provide detailed guidance to managers and human resources professionals for dealing with employees who are abusing drugs or other substances in the workplace.