Court cases that involve disputes over children tend to be the highest conflict situations that exist in the court system. The subject matter is difficult to ignore: where your children will live, where they will go to school, and how much time each parent will spend with them. You cannot find a more important subject for most parents. Yet many parents completely sacrifice their status as a parent because they prioritize drugs over their children. As a divorce and custody attorney, approximately 25% of my cases involve children and drugs. It is an epidemic. But what is really sad is that such an important part of life has been given a back seat to the addiction. The fact is that thousands of parents have made a decision to give up their kids just so they could continue to exist as a drug addict. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m happy to be doing a givewaway to two people of one of my favorite books, “Sacred Therapies”. It has meditation and yoga sets useful for mental health disorders including PTSD, OCD, anxiety and helpful practices for addiction issues. You can read about it at Sacred Therapies: The Kundalini Yoga Meditation Handbook for Mental Health . There are sets for addiction and impulse control as well. Many people with alcohol or substance abuse issues also have dual diagnosis situations where there may be major depression, generalized anxiety disorder or another underlying situation. Mr. Khalsa has protocols for several of the DSM IV-R conditions based on his clinical trials and yoga studies. Read the rest of this entry »
Drinking is a problem faced by many adult men and women, but the good news is by having a plan you can exercise self-control. Also, if you have a history of drinking, you will need to use honesty and self-observation.
Whenever summer approaches, the temptation to drink increases both due to the heat as well as the number of gatherings. Always keep a bottle of water by your side. This is because apart from being a healthy alternative, constant sips of water will keep your stomach full and can reduce the interest in both sodas and alcoholic beverages. This also is an intelligent way to meet the daily requirement of 8-12 glasses of water a day and keeps you hydrated all day long to avoid dehydration. Read the rest of this entry »
Disappointment can lead to disillusionment, sadness, anger and attempts to numb the pain including drugs and alcohol. What do the great sages of the east/west say about this feeling of being let down by others or life?
There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
Martin Luther King, Jr
See your disappointments as good fortune. One plan’s deflation is another’s inflation.
Jean Cocteau Read the rest of this entry »
Marijuana is a controversial topic and some say it can be used without abuse in a way that many can drink socially without becoming an interference. Others say that it can be a gateway drug and reduce one’s productivity.
There are a number of arrests where those in trouble were using marijuana purely for personal reasons and they had a clear history. They also paid taxes, cared for their families and were gainfully employed. For them, marijuana was a recreational drug that they used irregularly but responsibly. For this reason, a small group of people has always been vocal about the need for legalizing the use of marijuana. In the November 2012 election, voters in Colorado and Washington took the world by surprise when they voted to make marijuana legal. There is still a lot of controversy on this and a variety or opinions. Lets take a quick look this
In the last three decades, hospitals have been noticing an alarming trend. Nearly four to ten percent of pregnant women in the US are using drugs such as marijuana and cocaine during their pregnancies. There is also a hidden and unestimated number that have been using prescription drugs for pain during their pregnancies resulting in addicted newborns. Sadness fills most people’s hearts when hearing about babies addicted at the time of birth. Researchers say that the number of newborn babies that are addicted to prescription drugs have already tripled. According to the statistics, state funded Medicaid programs spent more than $720 million on caring for these sick and addicted babies.
Hospital staff and researchers have always had to struggle with crack babies or babies that were born addicted to cocaine or illegal drugs ingested by mothers with drug issues, but now the situation seems to have been changed a bit. Many pregnant mothers with drug issues can be addicted to strong prescription drugs like Vicodin and Oxycontin and were located in states including Maine and Kentucky. The newborns also show a different addiction pattern as well as completely different drug related side effects. In fact, doctors have named the condition as neonatal abstinence syndrome. Read the rest of this entry »
As a social worker and yoga teacher, I have found that a number of different yoga sets and meditations can be helpful for anxiety, depression and addiction issues. This video shows a powerful meditation that is useful for breaking unwanted habits.
There have been a number of studies and books that have discussed how kundalini yoga can relieve various mental health issues. For instance, the book titled “Sacred Therapies: The Kundalini Yoga Meditation Handbook For Mental Health” discusses double-blind studies that have been effective for treating OCD, anxiety and a number of other conditions in the DSM IV-R:
I have seen over the years in classes that I’ve taught as well as attended, very impressive changes by those who regularly practice the different sets. The two hemispheres of the brain are balanced, insomnia improves, the glands are stimulated and there is an interesting way that calmness grows and yet there is more energy at the same time. Read the rest of this entry »
Many people are turning to prescription drugs to ease physical and emotional pain. Sadly, some addictions grow and surprise those who are following instructions properly. Recently, I spoke with someone who decided to not take an anti-anxiety medication on the weekend and was stunned to see that she was having withdrawal symptom. Researchers have noted that illegal drug addiction statistics are very high, but there is also an alarming rise in prescription-related drug addictions. We hear all the time about people raiding their family medicine cabinets for pain killers. Recent statistics by the CDC and SAMHSA have proved to be very disturbing. Here are some recent stats:
11% of Americans under the age of 12 have taken prescription pain or antidepressant medication at least once in their life. There is a higher chance of these patients getting addicted to prescription medication later on in life.
More than 60% of Americans have taken addictive pain and antidepressant medication for more than 2 years and for as long as 14 years. Note that there are medications for depression and anxiety that are not addictive and it is important to have this discussion with your doctor. Read the rest of this entry »
It is common knowledge that after rehabilitation programs and medical detoxification programs there still can be problems of cravings. Cravings are a component of addiction where someone still wants the same soothing and numbing feeling that was part of their lives. These cravings may strike at any time, sometimes appear to have no emotional underlying trigger and they can be major causes for relapsing back to a former habit.
A recent study is offering hope for addicts. According to researchers at the Yale School of Medicine, it is possible that acupuncture could control drug cravings and be an aid in the rehabilitation journey for some people. Acupuncturists offer auricular acupuncture that seems to help in controlling cravings and treating addictions. In fact, the study has gotten around the internet and some supermodels such as Kate Moss had been spotted with plaster on their earlobes. This is supposed to work on pressure points and stimulate endorphins to combat cravings. Read the rest of this entry »
Addiction to anything can be difficult and discontinuing something is not easy both physically and emotionally. Patients that are addicted to prescription opioids and alcohol can undergo very challenging withdrawal reactions. In fact, some drugs have medical reactions that can can result in flaring blood pressure levels, hallucinations, coma and death.
Even those addicts who wish to quit, many hesitate when they consider facing the withdrawal symptoms they have to undergo. The physical reactions include cramps vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, and a range of reactions that are extremely painful for the addict. These reactions can also extend from 3 days to a number of weeks. For this reason, most addicts are supported medically with opiate replacement drugs during detoxification. Opiate replacement drugs like methadone and suboxone are provided to soothe the withdrawal reaction and to help the addict recover. Even with these drugs, medical supervision is absolutely necessary to monitor the patient. Read the rest of this entry »
You had a great weekend out with your friends and family You went out for lunch with your brother-in-law and had two beers, had two glasses of wine waiting for your friends to turn up for the barbeque, spent the night with your parents with a barbeque in the night again with a little beer and crashed at your parents place for the night. The next day, you are at work chugging away at your computer and BAM, without any warning it’s time for random alcohol testing and you are on the list! What are you going to do?
The above-mentioned scenario is not something unique. It is literally happening in workplaces all over the US and Canada. The fight actually began a few years back but picked up pace when a random alcohol test was carried out on a pulp-and-paper mill worker in Saint John. The case is old, dating back to 2006 but it forms the crux for future battles as legal experts are waiting for the court to make it rulings on the case. According to legal experts the battle started when Irving Paper and Pulp started random mandatory alcohol testing for its 334 employees. The company stated that since employees were working at ‘safety sensitive’ jobs, they were well within their rights to ask for random alcohol tests. Read the rest of this entry »
First of all, is getting caught with drugs considered a felony or a misdemeanor? The actual rules on getting caught with drugs will vary from state to state. It will also depend on the circumstances of your arrest and the amount and type of drug that you had with you at the time of arrest.
Marijuana faces the least amount of punishment as in many states it is considered to be decriminalized. For example, in California and Massachusetts, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is punishable with a fine of $100 as a first offense. In a few states, it is still considered a misdemeanor and it will go on your record as a criminal offense. In most states, a first time drug possession charge is noted as a misdemeanor. The amount of drug in your possession is also important. In some states, two ounces of marijuana could get you a felony charge yet be viewed as a misdemeanor charge in another state. We will discuss how this can impact employment shortly Read the rest of this entry »
The laws for drug testing at work are extremely complicated. In a nutshell, drug testing at work is allowed but only if the employee is under suspicion or has recorded events of reckless behavior that could be attributed to drugs. As an employee, you are entitled to refuse the test as it is an invasion of your privacy. Employers are within their rights to test employees as they will be working on their premises and but employees have a right to their privacy too. As a result, employers can ask for drug tests but you are well within your rights to refuse them. However, if you refuse, that can cause issues.
You do not have to submit to drug testing at work, but you might have to face the consequences if you refuse. If there is a mandatory test you cannot say no. There is a good chance that you will be passed over for promotions because of your refusal. The rules may vary but in a few states, employers may fire you and potential employers will refuse to hire you. However, this is completely up to the state you live in too.
Read the rest of this entry »