How to Take Back Your Life and Body From Drug Addiction

Overcoming drug addiction is never a simple or easy task. It takes lots of work, discipline and commitment. The threat of relapse is always around the corner and it is easy to give in when you are feeling weak, stressed, or things simply are not going your way. Recovery from drug addiction usually does not occur overnight. It is typically a long journey, and the journey can be arduous at times. But, with the right resources and support group drug addiction can be overcome. Drug addiction takes its toll on the body and spirit. It leaves you feeling emotionally and physically devastated. Drug use causes lots of damage to the body and mental health. The good news is the right support group, nutrition and exercise programs can help repair your body and get your life back.

How Drug Use Damages Your Body

Focusing on rehab and sobriety requires commitment, work and energy. People who have struggled with addiction and substance abuse know the toll it takes on their physical and emotional health. You can feel it and see it when you look in the mirror or when you look at old photos. Rehab provides an opportunity to begin repairing the damage. What kind of damage are we talking about? Different drugs cause different sorts of damage.  For example:

Marijuana – Damages include chronic cough and recurring bronchitis. It can impair short-term memory, judgment, coordination and balance. It may be a causal factor for individuals with a predisposition to schizophrenia. It is also associated with depression and anxiety.

Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, difficulty sleeping, nightmares and anxiety.

Cocaine – Cocaine abuse can cause damage to nasal passages, difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal problems. It can also lead to insomnia. Long-term use can leas to anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks and mood disturbances.

Withdrawal symptoms include depression, fatigue, increased appetite, psychomotor retardation or agitation and hyper-insomnia.

Methamphetamine – Causes damage to essential organs such as the heart, lungs and liver. It can also lead to dental problems, insomnia and hepatitis. Other long-term damage includes memory loss, weight loss, impaired cognition, insomnia, paranoia and hallucinations.

Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, fatigue, and an increased craving for the drug

Heroin – Damages include collapsed veins, heart infections, abscesses, arthritis, hepatitis C and HIV.

Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, goose bumps and leg movements.

Repairing the Body with Nutrition

Any type of drug addiction may lead to nutritional deficiencies. Someone immersed in the powers of addiction usually puts eating and dietary needs low on the list of priorities. Poor nutrition is the leading cause of many types of illnesses and disease.

Healing the body has to take place gradually. Begin with small steps so that you do not freak your body out with big changes. Doing too much too fast may be too overwhelming for a body damaged from drug addiction. Taking baby steps will have more staying power in the long run as well.

A good rule of thumb is to eat foods low in fat. Include a diet of lean protein to help rebuild your muscles. Also include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Recovering addicts are not all the same. It is best to work closely in sync with your doctor and nutritionist and find the best nutrition program that suits your needs.

Repairing Your Body With Exercise

Exercise is the other part of the equation. A healthy diet and regular exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle in general, but it is particularly important for a recovering addict to rebuild her physical and emotional health. As with nutrition, it is important to start out gradually and take baby steps with exercise. One of the best types of exercise is a daily walk. Do what you can without tiring yourself out. The goal is to shoot for 20 to 30 minutes four to five days a week. Start slow and gradually increase the length of your walks

Once you feel your health beginning to rebound, consider going to the gym and working with a trainer. A professional trainer will create a physical training exercise suited to your needs and abilities. A good routine will include exercises cardiovascular exercises and strength building exercises for your muscles.

The body and mind are intimately related. Rebuilding your body through physical exercise will also help to rebuild your emotional and mental health. Feeling better physically and emotionally reduces the risk of relapsing. Good physical and mental health is the best foundation for maintaining a healthy drug-free lifestyle.


Rehab Information: The Basics

Although there is now widespread knowledge about the danger of using and abusing drugs, drug addiction is still a profound problem. Nevertheless, solutions exist. As known by many drug addiction professionals such as myself, the most effective solution for the abuse of illicit substances is the attainment of inpatient recovery services. To get more information about drug addiction and recovery services, review this brief guide:

Drug Addiction: A Brief Overview

Drug addiction is a profound problem in the contemporary world. This fact becomes plain upon consideration of statistics about the matter. For example, the Florida State of Technology reports that over 90% of today’s teenagers have tried alcohol. Additionally, more than 50% have experimented with marijuana. It’s also important to note that 17% of teenagers have tried cocaine.

The Debilitating Effects Of Drug Abuse

As many drug addiction experts know, drug abuse can have a plethora of debilitating effects on the user. In addition to comprising work performance and school grades, the consistent abuse of drugs can alienate the user from her or his family members. Another debilitating effect of drug abuse is the onset of an increasingly dangerous lifestyle. This process transpires as the drug addict becomes willing to engage in illegal behaviors to obtain drugs. Drug abuse can also lead to the addict developing relationships with people who live outside the boundaries of the law, such as drug dealers.

The Power Of Rehabilitation Services

Drug addicts who are ready to escape the painful past of substance addiction should know that attaining professional rehabilitation services is the perfect solution. There are numerous recovery services that rehabilitation facilities can offer, including one on one counseling, group counseling, nutritional counseling, and restorative physical activity.

What Should You Look For In An Inpatient Recovery Facility?

If you’re serious about finding the ideal rehabilitation facility, it’s important to know that there are several attributes you should look for in the inpatient treatment facility. Some of them include:

  •  patient-centered services
  •  a holistic approach
  •  an established reputation
  •  a good Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating
  •  detail-oriented care

It’s also important to note that many inpatient treatment facilities provide clients with mentors who will help them develop success strategies to accelerate the recovery process.


Although grappling with addiction to drugs or alcohol can be a challenging endeavor, it’s important to know that you don’t have to deal with the problem by yourself. In fact, you can access cutting edge, customized rehabilitation services that provide you with the assistance necessary to recover fully and embrace a productive, fulfilling future. If you or someone you love is currently addicted to alcohol, I encourage you to  consult with a trained professional to obtain the diagnosis and treatment services necessary for recovery.

How to Choose the Best Drug Abuse Treatment Program

When it comes to drug abuse and addiction, I believe the only answer for real recovery is attending a rehab treatment program. There are several things that you should consider and ask yourself before choosing a drug abuse treatment program:

1. Where do you want to attend treatment?

Many people think that drug and alcohol abuse treatment needs to take place in the city or area that is your home. This is not necessarily true, and actually, many people prefer going outside of town for treatment because it offers them more privacy.

2. Do you prefer outpatient or inpatient treatment?

There are two main types of addiction treatment. First, inpatient treatment has the patients staying full-time on the facility’s campus. Outpatient treatment has patients attend a rehab facility 1 to 3 times per day for most of the days of the week. Outpatient treatment may be beneficial for some individuals, but keep in mind that inpatient treatment has the best success rates of any type of treatment.

3. How long do you want to attend treatment?

You should also consider how long you want to be in treatment. This decision may not be all up to you. For example, your counselor, therapist or a judge may end up deciding your treatment term. Generally speaking, there are two term lengths of treatment to choose from. First, There is short-term treatment, which lasts between two and eight weeks. Next, there is long-term treatment, which lasts between two and six months.

4. Do you prefer a religious or spiritual element to your treatment?

For many individuals, addiction treatment is just as much a spiritual journey as it is in physical and mental journey. If you belong to a particular religious group or spiritual group, you may prefer to have this element involved in your therapy. There are therapy programs for almost all types of spirituality.

5. Would you like a holistic approach to your treatment?

You can also choose to recover from drug abuse and addiction in a holistic manner. This means that instead of simply using cognitive behavioral therapy in group and individual sessions to treat your addiction, you will also aim to treat your body and spirit. By focusing on all of the mind, body and spirit, you are recovering as a whole individual. This approach to addiction treatment may include classes in yoga, Pilates, meditation, nutrition, music therapy or animal therapy. You may be able to get a nutritional counseling for personalized physical fitness training as well.

6. How will you pay for your treatment?

Finally, you must consider how you are going to pay for your treatment. In many cases, insurance companies will cover the cost of addiction treatment, but this is not true for everyone’s plan, so you will need to speak with your insurance provider to be sure. If insurance will not cover your treatment, you may consider using your savings or getting a personal or bank loan.

Throughout my years in the addiction treatment industry, I have seen some of the most amazing recovery stories unfold right before my eyes.  These dedicated and determined individuals are proof that if you want something badly enough, you can achieve your goals.

Don’t Gamble With Your Addiction

According to the National Gambling Impact Study, more than 125 million Americans gamble at least one time each year. For some it may be purchasing a lottery ticket, while for others it may be playing a slot machine in a Las Vegas casino. While most of the time these forms of gambling are harmless, for some people gambling has become an addiction rather than a mere game of chance. For those who find themselves addicted to gambling, I’d like to tell you about the many inpatient treatment programs available for gambling addiction treatment.

The Cold, Hard Facts

While gambling is sometimes looked upon by some as not a true addiction, the damage it inflicts on the lives of those with the addiction and their families says otherwise. For example, recent studies conducted by the National Institute of Health showed that over 2.5 million Americans are considered to be compulsive gamblers, with another 3 million categorized as problems gamblers and still another 15 million considered to be at risk of becoming problem or compulsive gamblers. Within the United States, more than $500 million is spent annually on various types of wagers, with 80 percent of adults admitting to gambling at least once in their lives. While the effects of gambling addiction take their toll on the addict, their families and friends also suffer. The NIH reports that families containing a gambling addict are much more likely to suffer from domestic violence and depression, while the children of gambling addicts have been found to suffer from such mental health issues as stress, depression, and eating disorders.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

For gambling addicts to truly recover from their addiction, the gambling addiction treatment program they choose must not only get their gambling addiction under control, but also examine the underlying problems that led to the addiction. In many cases, a gambling addict also has problems with drug and alcohol abuse. In some instances, they may also suffer from mood disorders, depression, and anti-social personality disorder. Therefore, a multi-pronged treatment program is used to help addicts overcome their problem. With many people, cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to change the gambler’s thinking, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. And like drug and alcohol treatment, which many of these addicts undergo simultaneously, support groups as well as individual and group counseling are used to overcome the addiction. According to most experts, a compulsive gambler can never again be a normal gambler, so it’s imperative all underlying problems be addressed in order to eliminate the gambling problem.

Seeking Help

Because they often have a stigma of weakness attached to them, gambling addictions often go untreated due to many people failing to come forward with their problem. However, for those who do, they and their families quickly find it is a decision they never regret. If you or someone you know suffers from a gambling addiction, I advise you that the best time to seek help is now. Inpatient treatment combining many different types of programs can be extremely effective, helping to end the cycle of misery.

How to Help Your Employees Love Their Jobs

Employees Love Their JobThe people who work in your office every day need some sort of motivation that will bring them back to the office every day with confidence. Your employees are working very hard on your behalf, but you cannot keep them motivated without some effort. In this article I explain methods I’ve used to motivate my employees, and you may also find that these methods improve the overall dynamic in the office.

Acknowledge Their Good Work

The people in your office will appreciate the acknowledgement of their hard work in the smallest of ways. You can tell your employees that they are doing a good job as you walk across the office floor, or you can mention to someone that they did a good job the next time you see them. Spreading good will in your office is easy to do, and you spend no money on the project. You can become the boss that spreads good will all over the office, and your employees will do better work when they know they are appreciated.

Give Out Awards or Incentives

Giving out yearly awards to people in your office who achieve high marks will help everyone have something to look forward to. The awards can be given out at any time, and you may give the awards for any level of achievement. The people who work in your office know that the awards season is coming up, and everyone can rejoice in someone’s accomplishments during the year.

Note Hard Work to Your Superiors

You have people who work above you in your company, mentioning the hard work of your employees to your superiors goes a long way. You can get people in your office better jobs with just one mention of how hard they work, and employees who know their work is noticed by the highest people in your company are more likely to come to work motivated.

Talk to People Individually

You must sit down and talk with everyone in the office on an individual basis at some point. Everyone in the office has a story, and you need to hear those stories as often as possible. You are not a counselor, but you are someone who can help your employees make the most of their work. Cutting someone a little slack during a hard time in their life will cause them to work even harder, and your other employees will see the effort you put into helping everyone. You are creating an environment in which everyone is valued.

Motivating the employees in your office is a very important part of your job, and you must think about how you will help your employees become the best workers they can be. I believe this will help you start a motivation program in the office that makes everyone feel welcome, and your employees will appreciate the knowledge that the work they do every day is noticed.

Ideas for Upgrading Skills and Performance at Work

Improve Performance at WorkPoor performance at work is generally connected to lack of formal job training. According to Forbes, over 70 percent of on the job training occurs informally. While this is beneficial, more formal training ideas and opportunities are needed for improving employee’s skills and work performance levels.


I strongly believe that proper staff motivation is necessary for skills improvement. Management can encourage employees to strive for excellence and take ownership of their position. Providing opportunities for advancement will challenge employees to continue to grow and take on more responsibilities. Management can also use annual performance reviews and other formal one-on-one meetings to provide honest and constructive performance feedback. Job rotation and cross-training are some of the best ways to naturally allow employees to expand their skills.


Cross-training is one of the least utilized skill training methods at work. In many companies, management often claims that scheduling difficulties, limited budgets and lack of manpower are the reasons why cross-training is unfeasible. However, cross-training is critical to developing employee skills, reducing turnover and increasing workforce flexibility. Encourage employees to learn about different job positions. Allow them to periodically train with an experienced mentor. If there is a job opening, consider hiring a cross-trained employee. Doing so will formally recognize and reward employees who have made the effort to expand their skills.


As mentioned above, over 70 percent of training informally takes place between employees. While this is important for relationship building, I have found that it also creates certain skill problems. That is, every employee is trained differently, with sometimes radically different approaches to standard tasks and processes. Therefore, consider creating standard work procedures for every position. This will increase quality, reduce mistakes and help employees improve their performance. Work standard forms are useful for reviewing the employee’s performance and providing objective feedback to employees.

Special Projects

A great way to allow employees to explore different aspects of the company and associated job positions are through special projects. Employee goals are typically included in career development plans and performance reviews. I encourage my employees to take on self-initiated projects or assignments. For example, this could involve taking a college class to improve job skills, joining the safety committee or participating in the company’s leadership training program. Empowering employees to choose their own projects will motivate them to learn more and strive for excellence.

On-Site Training

Bringing in a third-party to educate employees is an excellent way to improve their skills and raise their performance levels. Many community colleges and private education organizations offer both hands on and online job training. Because these formal classes can be expensive, there are informal and inexpensive options. That is, consider having an experienced employee or manager create their own curriculum and class for employees. For example, have an experienced maintenance professional give a class on machine troubleshooting and preventative maintenance for machine operators. Another idea is to have the HR manager provide legal and HR training to new supervisors.

To summarize, employee skills and performance can be improved through proper motivation, cross-training and work standardization. In addition to this, special projects and on-site training will provide excellent learning opportunities.

Tips for Maximizing Time and Setting Priorities at Work

Setting Priorities at WorkMaximize your time and set priorities at work so you can stay on top of your game and make your success. Time management skills can determine your overall productivity as well as the level of stress you experience at work. Combine time management with prioritization and you will rise to the top of your field and have the career of your dreams. These practices worked for me time after time and I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for learning to set priorities.

Tips for Maximizing Time

Modern workers face unrealistic demands for their time. You can either work smarter or work longer to get your tasks done on time. Ideally, you should use your time management skills to get your job done, leaving enough time to develop your career. I have found the following tips to be useful and they can help you get control of your day:

  • Keep a log of the time you spend at work and the activities you do. After collecting data for a week, you can quickly identify activities that are either wasting your time or taking too much of your time. Eliminate unnecessary tasks and become more efficient at others.
  • Before you start work, list your objectives for the day and place them on your schedule to make sure you have time to achieve them.
  • Distractions can quickly gobble up your workday. For example, The Huffington Post reported that workers spend an average of 2.6 hours per day reading email. Control this type of distraction by scheduling a limited amount of time every day for checking voicemail and email.
  • Get enough sleep. Thanks to hectic schedules and stress, almost one-third of all workers get fewer than 6 hours of daily sleep. When you get enough rest, you work smarter and are less likely to make mistakes.

Tips for Setting Priorities

According to a survey, more than two-thirds of workers admit to wasting time during the workday. This waste costs employers in the form of lost productivity, but it also costs you in the form of poor job performance. Some of the things I’ve learned might benefit you also:

  • Identify the real purpose of your job and define what you must do to get that job done. When you do this, you can prioritize the tasks that contribute the most to your objective and avoid or delegate tasks that are outside your purview.
  • Beat procrastination by assigning the highest priority to your hardest and most undesirable tasks.
  • Focus your efforts on urgent and routine tasks that are essential to your mission. Save unimportant tasks for later, even if they seem to be urgent.
  • Use the Pareto principle: 20 percent of your work can produce 80 percent of the results you need. Prioritize tasks that will generate the most movement toward your objectives.

Use these time management and prioritization tips to begin your journey to a more productive and successful career. With enough practice, you will discover the strategies that work best for you.


Tips for Expanding Your Circle of Influence

Circle of InfluenceExpanding your circle of influence in the office or in your industry is important. Your career hinges on knowing as many people as possible, and you should not shy away from making new friends at every opportunity. There are people in your office today who may get you a better job, and there are people in your industry who will offer you new jobs based on your prior relationship. Based on some of my experiences in this area, this article explores how you may increase your circle of influence through your career.

Make New Friends Every Day

The business relationships you create every day will bring new people into your life, but you should not force business relationships to remain at the office. Make friends that you can talk shop with during parties, and meet the families of the people you know. You may end going to events with these people, and you might vacation with someone you know really well. You will meet mutual friends all the time, and your circle will grow rapidly based on just one friendship.

Make Friends Outside Your Industry

You must be willing to look outside your industry for new friends. The people you meet at the office are helps, but there are business relationships to be made outside your office. People in other industries will notice your own work, and you may end up changing industries based on a relationship you have with someone in another company.

Your friends in other industries help you learn how other businesses do their work, and you will make more mutual friends through your side relationships. You are trying to create a business circle that reaches very far. The people you talk to every day will help you make new friends, and your sphere of influence will increase exponentially.

Make Friends in the Office

You must ensure that you are friends with everyone in the office. You cannot make everyone in the office happy, but you can be friendly with everyone. The most ornery person in the corner cubicle can be your friend if you try hard enough, and you will create a persona that everyone respects. Your career depends on knowing people who can help you at all times, and the people in your own office are your best helpers.

Make Friends With Your Boss

Your sphere of influence should include your boss. Your boss may have strong boundaries, but you are free to chat with your boss about work. A boss who gets to know you is more likely to promote you, and a boss who thinks of you as a human being is more likely to let you improve your career. Striking up conversations with your boss will help open the door to more serious matters, and your career may take off with one good recommendation.

Your career cannot improve if you cannot make friends. Creating a circle of influence starts in your own office, but you may expand outside your office. Making friends around the world of business will give you a wide range of people to lean on when you are ready to take the next step in your career. In my career as founder and CEO of several drug rehab facilities, I have benefited from knowing people in a variety of occupations because drug addiction knows no boundaries, and no matter what business you are in, there will always be something you can do to help someone who needs treatment for drug addiction. Many of the influential people I am affiliated with are not in the rehabilitation business, yet they have become involved in spreading the word about addiction and its dangers, especially to our young people. So, no matter what your business is about, make friends with people outside your field. You will all benefit.

New Study Suggests Painkillers Claiming More Women’s Lives

PainkillersA professor of pain studies at a prestigious university has recently come forth and stated that women really do feel more chronic pain than men. Given this information, I am not surprised to learn that the percentage of U.S. women who have overdosed on prescription painkillers has sharply increased over the past several years. From 1999 to 2010, the proportion of deaths attributed to women overdosing on painkillers has risen sharply by 400 percent. In contrast, the rates only rose by 265 percent among men. On July 2, 2013, Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC, stated that women were overdosing at rates never before seen, and new studies are showing that this trend has continued well into 2015.

Effectively Managing Pain

Since women deal with chronic pain more often than men, it’s more likely that they will be prescribed painkillers for their problems. This can result in women becoming more dependent on the drugs as a way of coping. The more often painkillers are prescribed, the more it becomes a daily habit to numb the pain with opiate painkillers. Casual use can lead to not paying attention to warning labels, which can further complicate the problem. Women experience more life-threatening consequences as the result of taking painkillers in part due to their generally lighter frames. This can result in a greater level of addiction, and the risks of taking pain medications may far outweigh the benefits for certain at-risk women.

Carefully Review Labels

While patients should talk about any concerns they have with their healthcare professional, I am deeply concerned about women who are pregnant and in danger of passing on a drug addiction to their baby. The addiction may require medical intervention early on. So, it’s important to discuss all medications with your doctor and pharmacist. Women should take control over their prescriptions and make sure to keep track of all of their prescriptions. Families should be aware of any changes in mood and temperament and be willing to get help for addicted individuals.

Conditions Treated by Painkillers

Women are also at greater risk of developing migraines. Because of this, they are more likely to be given painkillers to help alleviate symptoms. According to the CDC, women are more likely to get addicted to the painkillers quickly. The death rate for abuse is highest among women who are between the ages of 45 to 54, but all women are at risk of overdosing from painkillers. The problem is serious, and in 2010, four times the number of women died from prescription painkillers than from cocaine and heroine overdoses combined.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, I strongly urge you to not try to treat the addiction on your own. Getting appropriate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in a professional setting may be necessary to stop an addictive cycle. Women should be aware that they are at a greater risk of developing a dependency on opiate painkillers, and steps should be taken to ensure that addiction doesn’t set in.

As an Entrepreneur, You Must be Passionate About Your Dream

Passionate EntrepreneurThe American Dream today is to pursue your passion and do what you love. In fact, this country was founded on dreams just like yours and built by dreamers just like you. As an entrepreneur myself, I learned that you must have knowledge of your industry, funding, good partners and the ability to wear many hats. But more than that, you must have passion – passion enough for you and everyone you talk to about your dream.

What is Passion?

According to Entrepreneur magazine, passion is what leaves you feeling energized and excited even after you’ve spent the day working your tail off.

Here is an example: Think of your least favorite job. Now imagine you just spent the last 12 hours working on that job. How do you feel? Now keep everything the same, but imagine you were working on your dream job. How do you feel? Most people report they feel a lot better in scenario number two!

Passion + Planning = Success

However, there is a reason the Wall Street Journal reports that passion alone is not enough to propel you to startup success. In fact, passion without planning can turn a great idea into a nightmare in short order.

There are two sides to planning:

– Smart risks
– Rash risks

The former helps entrepreneurs like you channel your passion in productive, business-building ways. The latter can tear down your dream before it ever achieves lift-off.

Pacing Yourself is Another Key to Passion

Some entrepreneurs get so caught up in the urgency of their own passion that they develop depression, anxiety, or dependency on alcohol or substances. They are so wrapped in up their passion they have forgotten how to come down, to relax, to rest and rejuvenate for the next leg of their journey.

In these cases, the smartest thing an entrepreneur can do is take some time out and get back on track. Even the best ideas in the world can wait if the dreamer isn’t healthy enough to make them come true.

The Benefits of Taking Some Down-Time

Entrepreneurs are independent people by nature. No one ever tells you when you launch a new dream that it may cause stress, anxiety and possibly changes to your personal life and relationships along the way. Throughout my career, I have been caught off guard at times, but by sticking to my goals and  plans have helped me avoid giving up. Sometimes, however, you simply need a break.

These are some of the major benefits of taking time out for rejuvenation:

  • Time out to check in with yourself and your loved ones.
  • An opportunity to truly rest and restore before you return to your life.
  • Sometimes you can think more clearly in different surroundings.

Most successful entrepreneurs look back and see that they had lots of help and support on the way to success. By taking help when you need it, your dream has a much better chance of coming true. It’s important that you learn, as have I, that there is a difference between passion and obsession. Once you get that cleared up, you’ll have a much better chance at making things go the way they should.