Tag Archives: Drugs

Bacteria, Risks and the Future of Drugs: An Interview with Filmmaker Michael Graziano

resistance

 

Yesterday we shared the trailer for an amazing new documentary called “Resistance” which uncovers the way the misuse of antibiotics may actually be hurting more than helping.

Today we have creator Michael Graziano’s interview with our Intent staff and he’s sharing the things he learned about the surprising future of antibiotics, his favorite Swedish singer and taking big risks for the sake of following your gut.

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A Focus On The Positive Is Key To Success In Addiction Recovery

think positiveOne of the best experiences I had in writing my book “The Law of Sobriety” was the opportunity to think back on the clients I have worked with throughout the years. By looking at many different cases I was able to clearly see patterns emerging that signaled either success in addiction recovery or a return to the life of an addict.

The biggest issue that I noted and, in my own life have found to be true, is that the more that you focus in on what you want in a positive fashion the more likely you are to reach that goal. The clients that I worked with that used the positive influences, energy and elements in their life were the most successful in recovery and continue to be throughout their life.

Most people, when they think about their future, think about what they don’t want to happen. They don’t want to be addicted, don’t want to hurt friends and family and don’t want to experience that constant downward spiral. Focusing in on what they don’t want brings a negative energy and mindset to your recovery. In keeping with the Law of Attraction you know that the more you dwell on the negative the more this becomes a reality. On the other hand, focusing in on the positive goals and objectives you have allows you to tap into the powerful energy in the world around you.

Key ways to set positive goals for your immediate recovery and life include:

  • Take the time to really understand what you want in your life. What your friends and family want for you is important to consider, but you have to make the decision for yourself in order to be authentic and honest.
  • Think both short and long term when setting goals. Short term goals are like milestones that will help you achieve your long term goals as a sober, happy person.
  • Seek help and work with an addiction recovery therapist, coach or counselor that can assist you in taking full advantage of the power of the positive energy in your life.

Getting help in goal setting and focusing in on the positive goals in your life is a critical part of your recovery. This is a central part of charting your path forward and dealing with issues, challenges and the reality of this important lifestyle change.

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Sherry Gaba LCSW, a psychotherapist and life, love and recovery coach, is featured on Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of  The Law of Sobriety, which uses the Law of Attraction to help people recover from addiction; she is also a contributor to Conscious Entrepreneurs, and to several e-books: Empowerment Manual: Finding Purpose with Intention, Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction. The e-books Relapse Prevention and Eliminate Limiting Beliefs can be downloaded free of charge at www.sherrygaba.com. Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements.

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7 Old-Time Ads That Would Cause Riots Today

Before tobacco companies were legally mandated to disclose the connection between cigarettes and cancer - it was probably a winning strategy to be the most popular death stick with doctors!When there are campaigns in the US to ban literary classics and relegate women to second class citizenship it can be hard to tell how much progress we’ve made over the years.

But can you imagine a time when it was okay to send all of your friends cartons of cigarettes for Christmas? How about feed your baby coca-cola in their morning bottle? Women are still fighting for the right to make decisions about their own bodies, but what about a time when wives were only considered important for their ability to put dinner on the table?

Check out these real ads from the past that would cause certain outrage today. Some of them are ironic, some illegal and others infuriating. We still have a long way to go with some of the issues these ads raise, but sometimes it’s good to see how far we’ve come already.

What do you think of these? Which is the most surprising to you? Tell us in comments below! 

This Middle School Musical of “Breaking Bad” Barely Masks the Whole Meth Aspect

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 1.22.20 PMYou’ve undoubtedly seen or at least heard of the hit t.v. series, Breaking Bad, which tells the story of a science-teacher-turned-meth-dealer in contemporary New Mexico. Walter White, the show’s protagonist, discovers he has terminal lung cancer at the beginning of the show and decides to produce and sell methamphetamine as a way of raising money for his family before his inevitable death. He encounters drug dealers, crooked policemen, addicts, and more, all with plenty of blood and morbid humor along the way.

Blood and drugs may be the golden ticket for prime-time television, but does this sound like an appropriate premise for a middle school musical? Regardless, that’s exactly what these middle schoolers did (with the help of internet comedy duo Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal.) This musical recap of seasons 1-5 of Breaking Bad conspicuously mask the whole meth aspect by saying Walter is cooking “blue candy”. But we have to assume the kids know the real premise of the show, and that fact might make their parody somewhat troubling (though certainly entertaining!).

What do you think of this middle school Breaking Bad parody? Is the content too adult for their young minds, or is it good to get them thinking and talking about these issues at a young age? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

How to Help Someone Struggling With Alcoholism

Anonymous DrinkerToday, it seems like alcohol is the drug of choice for many who suffer from addiction. And why not? It’s legal, socially acceptable, and fairly inexpensive. However, as anyone who knows an alcoholic will tell you, it can easily be abused. While alcohol does have reputation for loosening people up, it can cause some people to completely lose control. The results of alcoholism can include broken relationships, broken lives, and even death. So what do you do if someone important to you is an alcoholic?

Stop Blaming Them

This is one of the hardest things for a family member to do. Many people still see alcoholism as a choice. By this logic, the excuses, broken promises, and bad behavior are also choices. However, this is not the story. While the decision to pick up the first drink was a choice, what ensued after was not. Some people have a genetic predisposition toward addiction. Once alcohol is introduced to these types of genetics, the result is unavoidable. Blaming them, especially to their face, will just cause them to drink more.

Stop Enabling Them

The flip side to the blame game is the enabling game. While you should try to be understanding, it’s possible to be too understanding. Even if person is drunk, you should never excuse irresponsible behavior, violence, or property damage. Instead, getting them into program with competent health care professionals (like 12 Palms Recovery Center, Alcoholics Anonymous, etc) is a better way to show true understanding and compassion.

Stop Trying To Cure It

Many people feel that’s it’s up to them to help their loved one through this situation. This is particularly true if the friend was always in a more care-giving role than the other. This role of caregiver can extend to parents, children, lovers, siblings, or even best friends. However, there’s nothing you can do to cure it. The alcoholic themselves has to want to cure it, or no cure will ever work. A recovery center can help them get the help and strength they need to cure themselves.

Stop Pretending It Will Go Away

Far too many people feel that if they ignore the problem long enough it will go away. However, alcoholism does not get better on its own. It’s a progressive disease. Eventually, an alcoholic left to their own devices, will drink themselves to death 100% of the time. That’s where you come in.

Get Rid Of All The Alcohol In The House

This rule includes all alcohol, even the cooking wine. While this does not stop an alcoholic from drinking, it does make it more difficult. Additionally, it removes the temptation from a recovering alcoholic. A recovering alcoholic can fall off the wagon at any time, so removing temptation plays a major part in recovery.

Alcoholism is a frightening disease. Since many people are able to drink alcohol with no ill effects, it’s not unreasonable that someone who is now an alcoholic once thought that too. When a person becomes an alcoholic, they’re relying on you to step in and get them help they need

5 Early Signs of Addiction to Look Out For

Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 4.30.33 PMThe vast majority of people who have an addiction, regardless of the type of addiction, have very similar patterns of behavior. Often the people who are close to an addict miss the early signs of addiction or accept the behaviors of the addict based on the lies the addict tells. Understanding these “games” that addicts play can help you identify the telltale signs of addiction even in the early stages.

As I talk about in “The Law of Sobriety”, addicts realize that what they are doing is destructive, negative, and harmful. They do whatever they can to hide their addiction from friends and family. Some addicts are very good at this secretive double life but it always comes to the surface when the addiction takes over. For many this is a slow process while for others it can be relatively fast.

There are 5 typical behaviors that are common with addictions of all types. If you suspect someone has an addiction these will be red flags that can help you to determine if you need to reach out to get them the help and support they need.

  1. Manipulating their time –  an addict needs to find time to engage in their addictive behaviors away from who that are critical of the behavior. Watch for absences, irregular schedules, and lack of accountability for time in the addict’s life.
  2. Denial – the addict will deny or minimize any type of behavior that is related to the addiction.
  3. Defensiveness – questioning the addict about their life, habits, behavior, changes in their personality, or any other issues will trigger extreme defensiveness or blaming.
  4. Lies – catching addicts in lies is usually not difficult to do. Telling lies and trying to remember these stories is stressful, difficult, and overwhelming.
  5. Isolation – most addicts remove themselves from the people that know them best because their change in behavior, lifestyle or personality is most obvious to those who are familiar.

Changing from addiction to a clean and sober lifestyle first takes acceptance and acknowledgement of the addiction. Detecting addiction-related behaviors and getting help and support for yourself as well as the addict is essential in providing the right environment for this acceptance to occur.

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Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab  on  VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law  of  attraction to  recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty  Heart” and your “Are You a  Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for  webinars, teleseminars,  coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen  to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with  Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take  Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the  Empty Heart: 5 Keys to  Transforming Love Addiction.

When More is Never Enough: My Triumph Over Addiction

200559715-002Food, work, the internet, caffeine, booze, exercise, shopping, lovers… many of us grapple with addiction in some way. Many commonly ascribe genetics to addiction, but it’s actually a complex spiritual condition stemming from unresolved emotional pain. Regardless of whether it is pain originating in childhood, or another lifetime, unresolved pain shows up on the physical plane as a voracious appetite for more. To constantly need something outside of ourselves to be OK is a very legitimate state of dis-ease.

Addiction comes in many shades, and while I (maybe) didn’t look like a person who was suffering from addiction, I, too, used to be trapped in the insatiable cycle of more – that never seemed to be enough. I was young and fit, but it wasn’t enough. I had a good job and a boyfriend, but it wasn’t enough. I had a closet full of designer clothes and a home on the beach, but it wasn’t enough. I didn’t know what was missing exactly, but I still felt like I needed something more, and then I’d be happy.

The belief that more money, more work, more accolades, more food, more alcohol, more clothes, more concerts, more lovers – whatever it may be – will make us whole/better/happier is an indicator that we are in emotional pain. With this corrupted thinking, we believe we are not enough just as we are, making it very difficult to value ourselves. If we can’t value ourselves, it makes it very difficult to value anything thing else we create.

On the spiritual plane, when we’re in emotional pain, we go “out-of-body” as spirit. You may be familiar with going out-of-body from instances when you are driving and suddenly you realize you have no memory of the road you’ve traveled down for the past twenty minutes. Where did you go? If you weren’t there, who was driving the car?

Every spirit creating through physical form is innately a trans-dimensional creator, meaning we go in and out-of-body many times throughout our day. What people call “spacing out” is more accurately understood as “going out” of our physical form. When we are struggling with emotional pain, we go out-of-body more frequently because we are living in a pain body and it doesn’t feel comfortable to be in-body. What’s more, we go out-of-body to a greater degree when we ingest drugs or alcohol. You may recognize how people you know seem to have different personalities (alter egos) when they’ve ingested drugs or alcohol. This is because going out-of-body leaves our bodies open to a number of spirits who then direct through us. Just as if you were to leave your house with the door wide open, lights on, and the music blasting, some people might take up residence in your home and party down while you’re gone- the same goes for your physical form.

In other words, the sensation of lacking control, otherwise known as addiction, is a result of literally not being in-body enough to maintain ownership of your body; therefore multiple spirits direct through you, making it feel like you have an insatiable appetite for more. These spiritual dynamics – compounded with the inability to value ourselves – prompts us to feel like we need even more, sending the cycle of compulsion spinning round ‘n round and making it nearly impossible to sit still and even enjoy the present moment. As we heal old emotional pain, and cultivate our own personal self worth, it becomes easier to be in-body and present in our lives a greater percentage of the time.

Despite the our society’s vague promise that net worth equates to self worth, I discovered that the real seeds to self worth – and ultimately a much happier life – are Dollars funnel.authenticity, vulnerability and integrity. Probably much to my parents’ dismay, these weren’t attributes I emerged with from childhood. I was pretending on the pretending and I didn’t even know I was pretending. Most people don’t. They just know they want more.

So how does one go about cultivating authenticity, vulnerability and integrity?

Authenticity means being true to yourself. Not going with the crowd just because that’s the easiest way to win approval and acceptance. Taking time to truly find what lights you up inside, and not just doing what you think is expected of you from your parents, teachers, and friends. It means making hard and sometimes unpopular choices, but if you find the courage deep inside of you to do so, you’ll find the authenticity, and power, you never knew you didn’t have.

Vulnerability means expressing the full rainbow of emotions we human beings are capable of feeling, rather than just portraying a picture perfect veneer. Only when we are truly honest with others about who we really are, and what we’re experiencing, can we share a genuine heart connection. If you are being validated for an image of perfection you portray, your performance is being validated, not your authentic self; therefore, you don’t feel seen or loved.

One of the most effective ways I’ve found to get comfortable being vulnerable is to create art of any form. Art is effective in drawing out our vulnerabilities because in order to access our creativity, we must suspend our judgment, and let go of fears of what other people might say or think of us. In creating (paintings, music, writing, acting, dance) you are removing the mask you may not even know you hide behind. The more I did this, the more comfortable I got feeling exposed, and discovered in the midst of creative passion, the tell-tale signs of being in body – hot hands and feet, heightened concentration, and unabashed enthusiasm – appeared and I found myself relishing the elusive, present moment. In the throws of inspiration, there was no place I’d rather be, and the last thing I needed was more.

Integrity is being honest with yourself and others. It means telling the truth, and following through with what you’ve committed to do. Integrity is the willingness to apologize when you’re wrong and pave the way for forgiveness. A common saying amongst people healing from addiction is “you are only as sick as your secrets.” Integrity means telling the truth – even when it’s uncomfortable – even when it can get you in trouble. I grew up stretching and bending the truth because I pushed and rebelled, and when I got caught, I didn’t want to get in trouble. Sure I escaped being punished, but years later, in a never-ending quest for more, I found myself in a different kind of trouble. I had fear and shame (emotional pain) and as a result I was “out of body” and on the never-ending quest for more.

I finally resolved to tell the truth, even if my voice shakes. I committed to show up and follow through with what I set out to do; I began creating art, making music and writing. As I cultivated my authenticity, vulnerability, and integrity, I started to experience a contentment I’d never known before, and was surprised to see my addictions lose their grip on me. I still work, eat, shop, drink, love, and of course use the internet, but none of these things dictate my days or nights and rather than feeling like it’s not enough, I feel gratitude for my life and what I’ve created.

I now know the aforementioned practices were immensely powerful because they served as building blocks for what I now know as self worth. While there are certainly many different pathways to healing from addiction, I’ve found it cowers in the face of true self-worth. I realized this one day, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and felt sincere love and respect for the woman staring back at me, and it felt really good to be in her body.

Are Your Hidden Habits Hurting You?

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 3.13.24 PMYou can’t turn on the television or read a newspaper anymore without learning about some celebrity who has died from a “hard” addiction. The trial of Conrad Murray and the death of Michael Jackson are example of such a headline. Hard addictions usually include illegal drugs, prescription drug abuse, designer drugs and/or alcohol. Hard addictions can also include sex, gambling and food. What about those habits that aren’t considered “hard-core addictions”? These other hidden habits can have a negative impact on your life. While the consequences may not seem as severe, they do impact our every day lives. What do these hidden habits look like?

There is an ever-growing list of hidden habits that are viewed as “soft”. The key factor is that these habits, while harmful, do not usually result with the extremely harsh consequences of typical “hard addictions”. The follow are a few examples of activities or substances that can harm your day-to-day quality of life.

  • Talking on the phone excessively
  • Texting/ IM’ing
  • Procrastinating
  • Daydreaming rather than accomplishing your tasks
  • Complaining consistently
  • Gossiping with friends or co-workers
  • Acting negative during a large portion of your day
  • Belittling loved ones or co-workers
  • Caffeine in any form

All of these activities can appear harmless, if they are done in small doses. When we overindulge, we run the risk of having a hidden habit turn into a dangerous addiction. When we use any of these activities to overcome your emotional feeling, or to make you feel full, complete, whole or satisfied, there may be underlying issues. The underlying issue of fear is similar to those that experience “hard” addictions.

Regardless of whether a habit appears “soft” or is an addiction, it can be equally devastating to the person displaying the behavior. All negative activities steal your time and energy. You find yourself devoting more time to things that are not benefiting your life. The benefit of having a hidden habit, over having a hard addiction is that hidden habits are usually easier to break. But it will take vigilance, mindfulness, and time to overcome.

If you have taken a moment to reflect on your day-to-day activities, and find that you have negative habits that are taking away from your quality of life, it is time to take action. Being aware of your negative habit is the first step. Once you are aware of the hidden habit, think about the reason you have the habit. Are you truly engaging with your negative habit because you have become comfortable and complacent?

If your negative habit is not serving you, think of ways to replace your negative habit with a positive one. You can also ask those surrounding you, who you trust, to hold you accountable. If you set a goal of cutting caffeine out of your daily routine, let others know so they can hold you accountable when you walk towards the coffee pot. If you feel the urge to spread the latest gossip, take a second to think. Is the news that you just “have to share” going to benefit anyone, or are you simply spreading news that could potentially hurt someone? As you become more aware of your hidden habits, it will take some work on your part to break them.

We all have habits, good and bad. It is important to conduct a self-check on a regular basis to determine if your habits are hurting you or helping you. By being mindful, aware and pro-active, you will find your old negative habits replaced by healthy positive habits. These healthy habits will improve your emotional, spiritual, physical and mental well being. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

 

Originally published October 2011.

The Connection Between Trauma And Addiction

078/365 mourningTrauma is a word that we hear a lot in typical conversation. Trauma, by definition, is any type of experience that causes distress or emotional disturbances for an individual. In some cases trauma may be strictly emotional and psychological while in other situations there may also be a physical component.

For example, a person who witnesses a death or a serious accident may experience emotional and mental distress over the images that they remember from the event. A person who was actually in the incident may have physical trauma or injury as well as the mental distress and disturbance of the experience.

Trauma is very personalized and can be different for different people based on life experiences, upbringing, and even your current emotional health. What one person may see as a traumatic incident that is distressing or shocking may not be problematic for another individual. This is why trauma is often so difficult to identify, treat, and manage for both mental health professionals as well as for individuals.

What I found when preparing my notes for my book, The Law of Sobriety, is that many of the people I worked with in addiction recovery had significant trauma in their lives that they had not addressed. This could have been trauma from a dysfunctional family as a child, current or past abusive partners or spouses, or trauma from things they had witnessed or lived through that were not relationship based. Often the individual was bothered by these distressing memories but didn’t seek help or even know that they had been traumatized by the experience.

These people often dwelt on the negative emotions that were part of the memories of the trauma. The more they dwelt on the negatives the more that other similar negative experiences occurred in their life. Often alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping or food was used as a way to try to self-medicate and get to a less stressful emotional space. The result was that that negativity caused by the trauma fueled the addiction.

Working through the negativity of trauma and learning to focus in on positives in your life is key to breaking the trauma and addiction connection. It is possible to put trauma behind you and to overcome the fears, disruptions and negativity associated with these events in your life and move forward as a sober, happier you.

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Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty Heart” and your “Are You a Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction.

Watch Russell Brand Give MSNBC Anchors a Piece of His Mind and Lesson in Manners

Russell Brand, comedian and star of such hits as Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, has been the brunt of many tasteless jokes since he rose to fame. Let’s face it: he’s an attractive guy, with a raunchy sense of humor, and a history of escapades. What many don’t realize, though, is that Brand is also a committed yogi, meditator, writer, activist, and more. His real interests and intents, though, are apparently too “serious” for this group of MSNBC news anchors to explore. So they decide to comment, instead, on his appearance, his accent, and what they see as his inherent silliness. Expecting Brand to dance and sing for them like a good celebrity puppet, the anchors get quite a shock when he turns the joke on them and gives them a piece of his mind.

The confrontation is subtle and never fully explodes, but there does appear to be some tension around that table. After Brand’s lengthy explanation of the examples and global situations informing his upcoming stand-up tour, “Messiah Complex,” one of the anchors can do nothing more than comment on the thickness of the comedian’s accent. More than once Brand has to remind the anchors that he is sitting right there and would prefer not to be referred to as “he” and “him.” Basic manners, people. In the final climactic moments, Brand shows them what real, relevant news-casting might look like, taking over reporting duties altogether.

Sex, drugs, and celebrity aside, there are some basic courtesies we would expect professional news-casters to show their guests. We’re glad Brand had the presence of mind to stand up to them, especially as playfully and endearingly as he did.

What do you think? Does Brand’s response seem reasonable to you?

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