Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Don't Forget that September is National Recovery Month!

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Summer is quickly fading and school will be starting in the not-so-distant future.  We are just 11 days from September.  Can you believe it?  What does September hold?

Besides the inevitable start of school and the changing of the leaves, another important thing to mention is that September is National Recovery month and this year it celebrates 25 years! Recovery Month is, "a national observance that educates Americans on the fact that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. The observance’s main focus is to laud the gains made by those in recovery from these conditions, just as we would those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover"

For more information, you can check out their great website here!

At The Coleman Institute, we love National Recovery Month and can't wait to join the festivities next month.  We agree that, "prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover." If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, benzos, opiates, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today. 
We are here to help you! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Suicide is NOT the answer!

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know what I mean?  I'm talking about those days where all you want to do is crawl back in bed and never see the light of day again.  We've all been there.

Most of us, however, find a way to survive.  We find another way to look at life, our problems, and other people.  We muster up new resolve and courage to tackle life's issues that try to drag us down.  However, sometimes, life gets the best of us and kicks us when we're down.  What do you do when life kicks you while you're down?  How do you deal with it?  Do you rise above or sink into depression, sadness, even self-pity?  Even worse, do your problems ever cause you to consider suicide as a way of ultimately defeating your problems?

Tragically, the world lost once of it's brightest stars in comedian Robin Williams who took his own life last week.  Since his death, there have been pieces of information leaked by the media surrounding how he died.  One detail of note is that he died sober.  He did not have any traces of drugs or alcohol in his body at the time of his passing.  He died sober!  While we mourn his passing, we are grateful he got to kick his addiction in the teeth by not allowing it to have the final word in his passing.  Unfortunately, suicide did get the final word and this is heartbreaking and troubling.

Apparently, since Mr. Williams passing, more people are calling suicide prevention hotlines more than ever before! This is a good thing, but first, let me be clear and say that Mr. Williams suicide is NOT causing other people to want to kill themselves.  Rather, the ensuing raised awareness due to his suicide is giving people more hope to raise their voice about their own struggles with suicidal ideation.  This is a very good thing because, unfortunately, suicide is not going away anytime soon.  And talking about it is one of the best ways to prevent it.  

You can learn more about this new trend in suicide awareness here!

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, anxiety and/or addiction to alcohol or drugs and it's causing suicidal ideation, please go to your nearest ER or call 911.  Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  There is always a way out! 

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  At The Coleman Institute, we care for you and your sobriety.  Please give us a call today!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Good Night Robin Williams

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

It's a sad day today.  I was at band practice last night when I got a text message announcing the news that comedian and actor Robin Williams had died from an apparent suicide by asphyxia.  There is no word whether drugs and/or alcohol were involved.  The band was shocked and devastated.  Such a tragic loss and waste of a brilliant man with incredible talents.  Gone too soon. 

Thank you Robin Williams for making me laugh (The Birdcage) and cry (Good Will Hunting).  You were a very talented man.  I remember seeing you on TV in the late 1970's as a young boy watching your show 'Mork & Mindy'.  Who knew the great talent that you would display for the world through the years?!?  

As a matter of fact, my father shared one of your jokes with me recently that you told in my home town of Richmond, VA.  You started the show complimenting the Richmond crowd on the beauty of the city.  Specifically, you noted that Monument Avenue was gorgeous and had such an impressive display of 2nd Place Trophies you had ever seen.  Hint:  The South lost the Civil War but Monument Avenue has statues lining it with civil war heroes on the losing side. The joke was offensive to some but hilarious to me.  Of course, everyone knew he was kidding. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Williams had an addiction to cocaine and alcohol.  He quit drinking for 20 years but starting on a 3 year binge back in 2003.  Of cocaine, Robin noted that, "No. Cocaine – paranoid and impotent, what fun. There was no bit of me thinking, ooh, let's go back to that. Useless conversations until midnight, waking up at dawn feeling like a vampire on a day pass. No."  His struggle took him to Hazelden, a premier inpatient facility for treatment in the summer of this year to deal with his alcoholism.  On top of all this, he struggled with depression for most of his life.  

My hope in this tragic situation is that more light on a national, and even international level, is shed on the reality of addiction and mental illness.  The two often go together.  In fact, there is a medical term for it: co-occurring.  

People around the world need to know that drugs, alcohol, depression and anxiety are very close neighbors and that those who struggle with them need to ask for help and the rest of us need to pay attention and do what we can to assist.  If you are not able to treat someone because you lack professional skills, you can still be of service.  Take them to an A.A. or N.A. meeting.  Financially support a part of their treatment costs.  Drive them to the ER or the doctor's office so they can get the help they need.  But, most of all, assure them that they are not alone and that you love them no matter what they do and will be there to assist, if you're able, when the addict or alcoholic is ready to change.  

Good night Robin Williams.  You will be missed.  Rest in Peace.

At The Coleman Institute, we laugh a lot.  We laugh right into the face of addiction because we see what a joke it is.  The people who suffer from it, however, have our utmost respect and compassion.  If you or someone you love struggles with alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  You do not have to go down the road Mr. Williams did as tragic as it was.  There is help.  There is hope.  There is healing.  It starts here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Travelogue: Tampa, Florida

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

If you have been following this travelogue the past 5 days, you have read about Chris and Ted's Excellent Video Adventure '14 that took us to La Mirada, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Atlanta, and finished in Tampa, Florida at Bay Center for Pain Management, which is the office of Dr. Imtiaz Hossain.  

 (Dr. Imtiaz Hossain of Bay Center for Pain Management in Tampa, FL)

Dr. Hossain is a very smart but modest man.  He is passionate about seeing people get off of pain medications as well as recreational drugs and change their lives.  One of the impressive qualities of Dr. Hossain is that he understands the human condition when people are faced with a tough problem like substance abuse.  He is very eager to soothe their fears and calm their worries.  He also challenges them in a friendly way to take responsibility for their lives and change their behavior. 

 (One of the detox rooms at Bay Center for Pain Management)

Dr. Hossain's office is unique in that it offers both family practice as well as pain management in addition to detox services as a partner in The Coleman Institute national provider network.  His knowledgeable and friendly staff help new patients feel right at home.  Through a commitment to compassion and quality medical care, Dr. Hossain is a great representative for the southeast!

(Dr. Imtiaz Hossain with his lovely and very friendly staff)

I hope you enjoyed our travelogue the past 6 days. I know Ted and I thoroughly enjoyed our time traveling and seeing many great places across the nation and spending time with our excellent team of doctors who are so committed, bright, affable, and passionate about substance abuse treatment.  A special thanks to Dr. Coleman and Gene Wilson for support and belief in this project. Stay tuned, however, because there will be more travelogues in the future!  The Coleman Institute is growing and we are exploring new areas around the nation so more people who need our help are able to do so.
If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  You do not have to struggle another day with addiction.  We can help you help yourself.  Give us a call today so your tomorrow will be a new day with new opportunities! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Travelogue: Atlanta, Georgia

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Last week, Ted Salins and I traveled to 6 cities in 6 days to go to 6 Coleman Institute offices and visit with 6 different doctors.  We had a blast!  Sunday and Monday were spent in La Mirada and San Francisco, California at the offices of Dr. Zaret and Drs. William and Daniel Glatt, respectively.  Tuesday our adventures took us north to Seattle with Dr. Rosenfield.  Wednesday led us down south to Austin, Texas to visit with Dr. Frederick.  After Austin, our next stop was Atlanta, Georgia to see Dr. Keating! 

 (Dr. William Keating of Keating Family Medicine)

Keating Family Medicine is our newest office located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia in a nice little town called Dawsonville. One of the unique aspects of this practice is the health spa that is connected next door which is run by Mrs. Keating. 

 (The Coleman Institute's newest office in Dawsonville, GA, just outside Atlanta)

We had a wonderful visit with Dr. Keating.  He is a man of compassion and has a deep love for seeing people achieve health and wellness.  We spoke about the importance of follow-up after the detox is complete.  He was very emphatic that people who sign-up for the detox with no plans to enter long-term recovery are setting themselves up to fail.  That is why we are so committed to providing each patient with an individualized treatment plan to help them learn the necessary skills required to stay sober and actually enjoy recovery. Dr. Keating is committed to explaining that plan to each patient so they can leave armed with the best choices for their future.

From the moment you walk into his office,  you immediately sense a peace and calm amongst the staff that fills the office.  This is a place of healing and a place of acceptance, which are two things most alcoholics and addicts are desperate to experience.  We're glad Dr. Keating is there to help provide them for each and every patient!

(The waiting area at Keating Family Medicine)

(The main detox 'bedroom' where patients get clean under Dr. Keating's care)

At The Coleman Institute, we do not want distance to keep you from getting clean.  That is why we have 8 offices outside our home office which is located in Richmond, Virginia and we have more planned in the near future.  With diverse locations such as La Mirada, CA, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Austin, TX, Atlanta, GA, Tampa, Fl, Barboursville, WV, and Schaumburg, IL, we want to be where you are!  If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  We are here for you!  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Travelogue: Austin, Texas

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Yesterday's blog chronicled our adventures to the Seattle, Washington office of The Coleman Institute known as Emerald City Medical Arts under the direction of Dr. Michael Rosenfield.  Monday's blog followed us to San Francisco, California with Drs. William and Daniel Glatt while Sunday's blog reviewed our first day in California at the La Mirada office of Dr. Philip Zaret.  And, today, our adventure continues to Austin, Texas with Dr. Daniel Frederick!

(Dr. Daniel Frederick of Central Texas Pain Center in Austin, TX, an affiliate office of The Coleman Institute)

 Dr. Frederick has been with The Coleman Institute for over a year now.  He specializes in pain management working with chronic pain patients to help manage their day-to-day lives while living with chronic pain.  Often times, chronic pain doctors get a bad reputation as 'pill pushers' who do more to aid addiction than to stop it.  While there might be some doctors who fit that description, Dr. Frederick definitely does not!  He is dedicated to helping patients who have legitimate chronic pain learn to manage their pain as best they can without using addictive pain medication.  In fact, he helps them learn to control the pain using other classes of drugs that are non-addictive.  Some are even able to just use over-the-counter medications like Tylenol.

He is a great asset to our company.  We see lots of people who are physically-dependent on legitimate prescription opiates given by a doctor (i.e. Vicodin, Percocet, etc.) who are afraid to get detoxed for two reasons.  First, they are afraid that they will be judged as just another 'junkie'.  Second, they are afraid if they come off of the drugs they were prescribed then their pain will be unbearable.  It is interesting to note that Dr. Frederick helps these people understand that their pain will most likely be LESS than it was before the detox because of the body and brain's remarkable ability to adapt and heal.  Also, he helps chronic pain patients understand, that while the nature of addiction is primarily physical, there are many reasons people use in the first place such as recreational use. Regardless of the reason one uses, physical dependence still happens.  Therefore, a chronic pain patient is not a bad person just like a recreational user is not a bad person.  They suffer from a similar physical dependence to a drug and become ill from it.  Fortunately, there is treatment available and new life to be discovered! 

We had a great time in Austin, TX.  In fact, we got to ride in a really cool rental truck (thanks Gene!) which helped us sort of look the part. I have a feeling, upon closer inspection, our city slicker identities would have blown our cover!

Artwork is a trend in many of our offices.  Here are two beautiful pictures from the Austin office.  Life is a lot like being a tree.  We can't control where we are planted but if we are open to the right support (i.e. sunlight and water) we can grow and bloom right where we are into a beautiful sight for all to enjoy. 

At The Coleman Institute, we care for chronic pain patients who are addicted to prescription medication as well as recreational drug users.  Regardless of the reason, we want to help you get clean and stay clean.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today.  We're here for you! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Travelogue: Seattle, Washington

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

If you've been following our blogs this week, you have been learning about our travels on Sunday to La Mirada, California (Dr. Zaret's office) and then on Monday as we traveled to San Francisco (Drs. William and Daniel Glatt's office).  Today's blog will focus on our arrival in Seattle to speak with Dr. Rosenfield. It's not very often that someone gets to see the Golden Gate Bridge AND the Space Needle in one day within about 3 hours of each other but we did!  Ah, the miracles of modern travel!  
(The Space Needle just 10 minutes from the office of Dr. Rosenfield (a.k.a. Emerald City Medical Arts)

  We had a great visit with Dr. Rosenfield and his staff.  Dr. Rosenfield is a very intelligent man who is filled with humor and compassion.   There is a lighthearted yet professional feeling in his office.  We also had a great lunch from California Pizza Kitchen which was absolutely delectable!
(Dr. Michael Rosenfield of Emerald City Medical Arts)

One of the nice things about this office is that local artists' paintings and drawings adorn the walls of the waiting area as well as the treatment rooms.  Emerald City Medical Arts also houses local art for displays and showings as a gallery after business hours.  It is a great way to connect the local community with the practice and show support for artists.  

(Local artwork adorns the walls of the front office at Emerald City Medical Arts)

During our visit, I had the opportunity to discuss both The Coleman Institute and Emerald City Medical Arts' focus on aftercare follow-up after the completion of detox.  Aftercare is important because it helps the patient to learn the fundamentals of recovery and how to stay clean.  The detox process gets a patient clean.  However, to stop there, would be a travesty, as a patient needs to learn new coping skills for dealing with life without drugs or alcohol.  Participation in an aftercare program helps them do just that.  For each patient, in all our locations, I personally create an individualized treatment program utilizing local resources near the patients home.  I try to keep resources within a 30 minute drive whenever possible to help ensure flexibility and follow through on the patient's part. 

       (L-R: Chris Newcomb, M.Div., Aftercare Coordinator interviewing Dr. Rosenfield about the importance of aftercare after detox)

At The Coleman Institute, we love to see people get clean and stay clean.  That is why we are committed to having a strong national provider network of intelligent, compassionate, and innovative doctors to assist us as we fight addiction together.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Travelogue: San Francisco, California

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

If you read yesterday's blog, you learned about the adventures of Professor Ted Salins and his sidekick (me) on our cross-country trip to 6 TCI offices to video each doctor for our website.  After having a great time with Dr. Zaret and his staff in La Mirada, California, Ted and I packed up our equipment and headed back to the Santa Ana airport to catch our next flight to San Francisco to visit Glatt Medical under the direction of Drs. William and Daniel Glatt.  

(L-R: Drs. William and Daniel Glatt)

We arrived at Glatt Medical and were met by Dr. Daniel Glatt.  He surprised us with an invitation to accompany him to a San Francisco Giants baseball game that evening against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  We graciously accepted! 

 (L-R: Dr. Daniel Glatt, Chris Newcomb, group garlic fries, and Ted Salins)

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh was the victor that particular evening but Ted and I felt like we had won the World Series with great seats and a great doctor host!

 (AT & T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants)

Our time with Drs. William and Daniel Glatt was wonderful.  It is very evident that this father/son medical team have a passion to bring help, hope, and healing to anyone struggling with addiction regardless of how they got started (i.e. chronic pain or recreational use). Furthermore, I had a terrific conversation with Dr. William Glatt about Glatt Medical's agreement with and commitment to helping patients engage in an individualized aftercare plan to help them remain sober and grow in recovery.  Their compassion, humor and intelligence makes them great doctors as well as great human beings.  We're happy to have them as a part of The Coleman Institute's National Provider Network.

At The Coleman Institute, we are here for you!  We understand addiction and we want to help you help yourself.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869 today. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Travelogue: La Mirada, California

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

I love my work at The Coleman Institute!  This past week my colleague Mr. Ted Salins, Adjunct Professor of Film at Randolph-Macon College, and I had the opportunity to travel to 6 of our offices to visit with the doctors at each location and to capture them on video so that prospective patients can put a face to a name and get a feel for the high quality, intelligent, and compassionate doctors we have in our national network.  Our travels took us from Richmond, Virginia (Home office of The Coleman Institute) through Chicago, Illinois to La Mirada, California (Office of Dr. Zaret) to San Francisco, California (Office of Drs. William and Daniel Glatt), to Seattle Washington (Office of Dr. Rosenfield) through Atlanta, Georgia through Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas to Austin, Texas (Office of Dr. Frederick) back through Atlanta, Georgia (Office of Dr. Keating) to Tampa, Florida (Office of Dr. Hossain) back through Atlanta, Georgia again and back home to Richmond, Virginia.  That is 10 stops in 6 days!  I now know the Atlanta, Georgia airport like the back of my hand!

As we took off from Richmond International Airport, I wondered how it would feel to be a major rock band taking off for your first headlining tour.  Would the tour be a success?  Would anyone show up?  If the tour was Ted and I as the headliners, it would be easy to answer that question.  Crickets!
But, in my mind, I imagined we were members of one of the greatest bands in history: The Beatles!  And as the plane taxied down the runway, I envisioned our first 'video gig' in La Mirada, California with a marquee that read:

‘Chris and Ted’s Excellent Video Adventure Tour ‘14 
sponsored by 
The Coleman Institute  

As predicted, we were met with crickets at the Santa Ana Airport!  All kidding aside,  I am happy to report that our first stop on our 'tour' was a great success!  It was so easy to see why Dr. Zaret (see below) has been with The Coleman institute now for so many years!

(Dr. Phil Zaret of Michael's Medical Group in La Mirada, California;
a part of The Coleman Institute National Provider Network)
His affable personality, medical expertise and compassionate desire to see people freed from addiction to opiates was palpable.  We had a fantastic conversation about our mutual philosophy regarding the importance of combining a safe, innovative, outpatient, medical detox with the important post-detox healing practice known as ‘aftercare’.  His staff shared the same passion as well.

Dr. Zaret gave us a tour of his nice facility and we enjoyed meeting his staff.  I also had the privilege of spending time with one of Dr. Zaret’s detox patients who was on their last day coming off of heroin.  We had a very good conversation.  It just goes to show you how addiction works, where it comes from and it’s unpredictable nature.  This particular patient is a martial artist with a black belt that took 6 years to obtain.  The patient was also a musician.  Clearly, they had an active and passionate life before addiction took over after a close friend overdosed and died.  I have tremendous hope for this young adult to turn their life around after completing the detox through Dr. Zaret and then implementing the suggested individualized treatment plan that I created specifically for them. 

Much like The Beatles and every other rock band who travel from city to city often for just one night, we were not able to stay very long with Dr. Zaret before catching an early afternoon flight to San Francisco.  As we were leaving, Dr. Zaret came out and asked if we wanted to take a picture of him next to his car. At first, forgetting what kind of car he had, I thought the request was a little odd.  Very quickly, I remembered that he drives a beautiful black Corvette with the license plate “Detoxer” on it!  Of course, this was a great idea!

(Dr. Zaret with his black corvette.  Thumbs way up!!!)
This was just the beginning of our 6 day journey.  Life is like a journey and so is sobriety and recovery.  Some days there is turbulence and other days it’s very calm.  Either way, the importance thing is stay the course, pay attention to road signs, and have a great time.  And that is what Ted and I did as we traveled across this great nation. 

Unfortunately, in one blog, I can’t explain all the great things myself and each doctor discussed during our mini-tour.  However, in the coming days, you will be able to read about some of those conversations here. Furthermore, we will have a much more robust synopsis of each office, including a video by each doctor, on our 'locations' page coming soon.  

Finally, in the near future, Ted and I will also be visiting our Chicago, Illinois and Barboursville, WV office's, under the direction of Dr. Wolfrum and Dr. Adams respectively, as we were not able to fit all the offices into 6 days.  We look forward to visiting with both of them very soon!  Stay tuned: Next stop, San Francisco, California!