Monday, June 25, 2012

SHHHH! Using Silence as a Tool for early Recovery from Addictive Behaviors

Most addicted people have a great deal of noise to battle. Noise both inside their minds and noise around them in their troubling relationships with others. The noise can lead to negative emotions and thoughts that make it difficult to proceed living without resorting to your addiction of choice (e.g. alcohol, drugs, sex, internet, gambling, work, etc.).

Take a moment and sit or lie down alone in a quiet room. Turn off your cell phone, computer, television, ipad, ipod, pager (if you still have one) and any other distractive external noise. Now all you are left with is yourself. Your Self. You may notice when you do this that once you eliminate the external noises what you left with are the noises you've made in your mind (along with some physical noises you may experience). Now you have removed the external noise, focus on your breath. Breathe in and experience the movement that sustains your life and most living beings on the planet. If your window is open, listen to the trees, the birds, a dog barking. Just listen. Don't judge.

When we practice silence we are practicing listening. One of the key factors in early recovery from addictive behaviors is the ability to listen: to a sponsor, a friend, your family, other people in recovery, testimonials, your Higher Power! Without the ability to listen, we are fooling ourselves that we are in recovery. Take time each day to practice a silence exercise that can build a strong sense of listening and feeling more and more comfortable with your Self -- your True Self.

If you, or someone you love is seeking addiction treatment, call us today at (215) 834-7979 and speak with a listening, caring professional seeking to help you in your time of need. Call us today!


Dr. William J. Heran
CEO and Founder
Main Line Recovery

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inspirational Painter overdoses: Thomas Kinkade dies at age 54.

(Reuters) - "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade died of accidental acute intoxication from alcohol and an anti-anxiety medication, according to autopsy report made public on Monday by local NBC Bay Area TV.
The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office reported Kinkade's cause of death as "acute ethanol and Diazepam intoxication" and manner of death as "accident," according to the NBC station. Diazepam is the active ingredient in Valium.
A Santa Clara County Coroner's investigator confirmed to Reuters that the autopsy report on Kinkade had been completed but said he could not release it after business hours.
Kinkade, the self-proclaimed "Painter of Light," whose works captivated millions of Americans despite the scorn of many art critics, died in April at his home in Northern California at the age of 54.
His brother told the San Jose Mercury News newspaper that the painter had battled alcoholism for several years and suffered a relapse before he died.
Patrick Kinkade said his brother had been burdened in recent years by a separation from his wife, financial troubles and the low opinion of his work by critics.
Thomas Kinkade was arrested for drunk driving in 2010, the same year his company filed for bankruptcy. Art galleries reported a surge in sales of Kinkade's paintings following his death.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rodney King: Finally at Peace! (1965-2012)

Imagine being on a roller coaster ride without any safety mechanisms and shifting, turning and twirling at high speeds. At first you are charged and your adrenaline spikes, but shortly you realize the danger of the ride and wish to get off...however, the ride continues, continues and continues.

This is the image I have when I think of Rodney King's life. I did not know Mr. King personally, but I've known thousands of addicted individuals who experience a very chaotic and unsafe life; never knowing when the dangerous ride will end. From what we've seen on television from the beatings to the Celebrity Rehab episodes, Mr. King appeared to be a gentle, but troubled soul. I'm sure we all pray for his family and loved ones.

Maybe his life can touch someone today and initiate a call for help. Addiction is unrelenting and will not give up without a true mind, body and spiritual transformation! Call today and speak with someone at Main Line Recovery and we will assist you in getting the help you truly deserve and want. Call us at (215) 834-7979 today!

Dr. Bill Heran

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I scared some people awhile back when I pointed to addiction’s prevalence among physicians as example of how there is no contradiction between being professionally successful and having a substance use disorder. I suspect this recent study showing extensive drinking problems among surgeonsgenerated similar anxiety. The study is not without flaws (particularly a low response rate), but its central finding resonates with what other research using a range of methods has found: The rate of substance use disorders among physicians (nurses too) is as high or even slightly higher than among the general population.
What is addiction among physicians like, what happens to such doctors, and what does it teach us about addiction and drug policy?
Some Examples of Addiction among Physicians (altered a bit for privacy)
1. Benny was a friendly, well-liked, surgical resident whose heavy pot use was the subject of humour rather than concern among the medical staff, who considered it a harmless hobby in which he engaged off duty. Unfortunately Benny was called into surgery at a time he didn’t expect and went into the procedure still under the influence of cannabis. Everything seemed to go well until afterwards, when Benny couldn’t find his hospital locker key. Still a bit foggy-headed, he assumed he’d dropped it somewhere in the halls and it would eventually turn up. He went home in his scrubs to get some sleep. The next day he got an urgent telephone call from the attending surgeon. The patient had developed a high fever and begun vomiting uncontrollably. The medical team felt a hard protrusion at the surgical site and feared that a clamp had been left inside the patient. Emergency surgery revealed that the object was in fact Benny’s locker key.
2. Richard was an experienced anesthesiologist who was dependent both on alcohol and opiate pain medication. At the outset of a surgical procedure, while badly hung over, he administered the wrong dose of anesthesia, causing the patient’s heartbeat and breathing to stop. When the nursing staff tried to sound the alarm Richard became belligerent, saying nothing was wrong and ordering everyone not to sound a code blue. After precious time had gone by, Richard was eventually overruled and a frantic effort was made to resuscitate the patient. The patient did not die but was in a comatose state, which to the best of my knowledge she is still in today.
3. Chi-Ah was a high achieving medical student with an abiding interest in geriatrics. She worked incredibly long hours throughout medical school and residency, graduated with honours and became a skilled and beloved doctor. In the process, she also became dependent on the stimulants and sleeping pills she used to manage her existence. While examining one of her elderly patients, Chi-Ah suddenly became very confused and wandered out into the waiting room. Her grey-haired patients looked up at her reverently — the wonderful young doctor who had dedicated her career to helping them — and then were shocked as she said loudly “God I’m tired!”. Chi-Ah then blacked out, pitched forward across the waiting room table, and landed on a woman in a wheelchair, badly bruising the patient’s face and breaking her own ankle.
What Happens to Addicted Physicians?
For decades, what generally happened to addicted doctors is easy to summarize: Nothing. There are many reasons for this, including self-protective tendencies within the guild and the widely shared belief among doctors that they are above the frailties of lesser mortals. Medicine was dragged into facing up to addiction within the ranks by external pressure in response to numerous scandals. In the UK, the most famous was the case of the serial killer Dr. Harold Shipman. Many felt that if his drug problems had been investigated more thoroughly when they first came to light, he would never have remained in a position to murder several hundred patients.
Addiction is taken much more seriously today, and the modal intervention is the Physicians’ Health Programme. These programmes have the dual function of helping addicted physicians and protecting the public from the damage they may cause. Although some physicians come to PHPs voluntarily, many are referred under threat of losing their licence.
Importantly, PHPs do not fall into the well-meaning trap of assuming that if an addicted physician enters treatment, everything will no doubt work out all right in the end. Instead, PHPs couple treatment with long-term and rigorous drug and alcohol testing. Physicians on the monitoring programme sign a contract agreeing to swift and certain consequences for substance use. The PHP have a huge motivational lever in place: The power to temporarily or permanently remove the physician’s licence to practice medicine.
The results of PHPs are spectacular: Over 80% biologically-confirmed and total abstinence at 5 year follow-up. The results are so remarkable that Dr. Tom McLellan’s advice is that if you go into the emergency room on the morning after New Year’s Eve, the best way to ensure that your doctor will not be hung over is to insist on an addicted doctor.
What Can We Learn From Addicted Physicians?
1. Even people with severe substance use disorders respond to management programs that include swift and certain consequences for use and non-use. Reality-Based Community readers are well-familiar with programmes such as HOPE Probation and 24/7 Sobriety. The principals of those programmes have long been shown effective in physicians. The problem is that crime policymakers, who like most people buy into the idea that doctors are somehow fundamentally different than the rest of humanity, react to data on physicians’ health programmes by saying “Surely, that stuff works on doctors, but they are nothing like people on parole and probation!”. This has since been shown to be profoundly wrong-headed: Human beings (doctors or otherwise) are simply more likely to change when the consequences of their behaviour come quickly and consistently than when they are slow and probabilistic.
2. The idea that if we just educated people about all the various drugs they would make safe, wise choices about which to use is complete rubbish. Physicians have years of training in biochemistry and pharmacology, far more than could ever been attained in the general population, and yet they are as much or more prone to addiction.
3. Relatedly, greater access to substances in a population produces more cases of addiction. Why do doctors, who have so much more to lose than people who are unemployed or in poverty, have rates of addiction as high or higher than the rest of the population? Because they have much higher access to drugs (both because of their prescribing privileges and their high incomes). It is amazing that some people argue that “addicts will always get their fix” no matter what, or, that neighborhoods with high addiction rates simply have less collective willpower to resist than do neighborhoods with low addiction rates. In truth, the more substances are available, the more people will use them and the higher the rate of addiction will be. That’s why controlling the supply of addictive drugs is good public health policy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The heaviest cell phone in the world!

There comes a time in early in recovery that you are faced with the choice of succumbing to cravings, or picking up the phone and calling a relative stranger you met in the rooms and be vulnerable with him about feeling weak and unsure about your situation. We use social networking each and everyday by either keeping track of our Facebook account, LinkedIn, incessant texting, etc. However, when the thought of reaching out and making the call to a guy you just met at a meeting last Thursday becomes necessary...the phone can look and feel very heavy! Especially when reaching out for help when these raw feelings are no longer anesthetized!
The importance of that first call can be life changing. Admitting that you are vulnerable and needing help is the foundation of personal transformation and recovery. When you finally make the call and receive a caring individual who is willing to walk you through the moments, with all of its angst, you've made it!
Be courageous and make the call. Understand that the past behaviors of isolation and indecisiveness were part of your active addiction and preventing you from experiencing life fully.
Embrace the call and do not look are not alone!

Dr. Heran

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Welcome to Main Line Recovery!

Main Line Recovery is a premier psychotherapy practice on the Main Line section of suburban Philadelphia. We provide cutting edge assessment and treatment for: addictions, depression, anxiety, trauma, marital conflict, family issues, grief/loss, GLBT, interventions and monitoring.

When you choose Main Line Recovery you have chosen a highly professional and extremely confidential environment where you can explore the core issues of your problem. We also partner with a psychiatric practice who can provide evaluations for medication and medical issues.

If you are hurting and need a compassionate and knowledgeable therapist, then do no hesitate by calling us today at (215) 834-7979.

Thank you for visiting us today!