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Science Backs “Alternative,” Holistic Healing

My introduction to alternative therapies came when I graduated from medical school in 1977 with high grades and a disappointed outlook on medicine. I decided to drop out and live on the road in a van. Actually, my plan was to drive to Peru to climb mountains and explore the jungle. In a Peruvian frontier [...]

EMDR Therapy and Addiction: The New Frontier

Almost everyone who has been touched by addiction has a story about a turning point or revelation of new awareness. For those of us who are in recovery as well as being in the helping professions, it can be when the bottom dropped out, when we first sought help, or that first year of recovery. [...]

The Flow of Recovery

The healing process from the trauma of addiction is not just related to past explanations of our trauma, but also the direct experience of our emotional thoughts and feelings, and the remnants of those emotions that we continue to revisit (Epstein, 1995, p. 192). The ability to change, and to some extent heal, from the [...]

Mindfulness Interventions for Residential SUD Treatment

As a clinician, working with young adults (ages eighteen to twenty-nine) can pose many challenges. Overall, young adults exhibit the highest rates of cannabis use (19 percent), alcohol use (59.6 percent), binge drinking (37.9 percent), and illicit drug use (21.5 percent) compared to adolescents and older adults (SAMHSA, 2014). In addition to having the highest [...]

Ask the LifeQuake Doctor

Dear Dr Toni, Is there truly such a thing as workaholism? My partner, who’s a healer in the addiction field, is convinced I’m a workaholic. I’m a gay man in a long-time partnership. We own a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, my parents are in their eighties and need my financial assistance, and I’m [...]

Sober Living: A Community Benefit

The opioid epidemic is far from contained; in 2017, the national death toll from drug overdoses climbed to a record high of 70,237 deaths (Hedegaard, Miniño, & Warner, 2018). Today, people are dying from opioids that are stronger and more dangerous than ever before, and the crisis has spread across rural, suburban, and city regions. [...]

Harm Reduction, Safe-Injection Sites, and Naloxone

Safe-injection sites, also known as supervised injection facilities, fix rooms, safer-injection facilities, drug-consumption facilities, or medically supervised centers were first developed in Australia and then in Vancouver, British Columbia (Dolan et al., 2000). The idea is to create a place where addicts can go and administer drugs with health professionals standing by with naloxone/Narcan if [...]

Time Flies and Everything Changes

It is with a degree of sadness, and a whole lot of appreciation to the new stewards of this magazine, that I sign off. As the cocreator of Counselor and its predecessors The US Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Focus on Alcohol and Drug Issues, Changes Magazine for Adult Children of Alcoholics, Professional Counselor, [...]

NACoA is Thinking About . . .

Substance use disorders (SUDs) tend to run in families, but so does recovery! Both need external programs and support so all members of the family can heal at their own pace and in their own age-appropriate way. It takes time to understand the emotional and psychic devastation that accompanies addiction as it is transmitted from [...]

Legal Cannabis: Does it Intersect with Recovery?

HIV was a crisis of the magnitude never before seen in America. It was a tangle of issues, many of which were steeped in morality. Everyone seemed to have an answer, from sequestering patients on an island to pressing criminal charges against them (Kirp, 1986). The national dialogue was a mishmash of feeling. What it [...]

Managing Persistent or Residual Symptoms

In my previous column I discussed the daily challenges shared by clients in co-occurring disorders treatment groups that I regularly conduct in an intensive outpatient program (IOP). In this column, I discuss an issue that often arises and perplexes these clients: experiencing persistent, residual, or chronic symptoms related to their psychiatric disorders. Clients also experience [...]

Stroke Prevention: An Important Cornerstone of Wellness

As a wellness advocate, I embrace a strong commitment to encouraging people to enhance both their quantitative level of health and well-being, and the qualitative dimensions of their lives, through actively pursuing a wellness-oriented lifestyle. As recent events have made me painfully aware of the potential devastating impact of a stroke on our overall level [...]