Saturday, April 25, 2015

Powdered Alcohol: Will It Be Another Concern for Parents?

Parents and employers, heads up. There is a new, potentially dangerous substance of abuse coming onto the market: prepared, flavored, crystalline ethanol in ready-to-drink packets. Add five ounces of water and, abracadabra, just like Cup-o-Soup™, a flavored cocktail equal to the alcohol content of a typical mixed drink results. It’s not magic, it’s powdered alcohol. On March 10, 2015, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau granted Palcohol, a powdered-alcohol manufacturer—the only one in America to date—approval to sell its novel product on the U.S. market. The substance may be available as early as August 2015. Learn about this substance (at least from the manufacturers perspective at Download a tip sheet for this topic at

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Best Model for Performance-based Intervention

Here is an effective workplace intervention model to help alcoholic or drug abusing workers and it succeeds almost every time it is tried, but follow up by a knowledgeable EAP pro is key. Use a provider who understands job security leverage dynamics and the core technology of employee assistance programming. Essentially, the model for performance-based intervention places the employee in the position of making a decision to accept an EAP referral or a legitimate disciplinary action for documented ongoing job performance problems. The supervisor does not accept any postponement of this decision. (This is a major Achilles heal for those who attempt this model of intervention.) The disciplinary action is held in abeyance, but the requirement is to go to the EAP now in order for this accommodation to be made. A common myth among supervisors is that this method of constructive confrontation punishes the employee for refusing to go to the EAP. Indeed, it does not. Never take disciplinary action “for failure to go to the EAP.” Instead, take disciplinary action for ongoing job performance problems. This should always be clearly stated to the employee so there is no misinterpretation. If you can communicate this much, you are home free. Drug and Alcohol DOT Supervisor Training Instructors Guide discusses this model in detail -

Monday, February 16, 2015

Understanding Mandatory Referrals

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fake It Until You Make It: EAP Counseling Tip

It sounds sneaky and dishonest, but the catchphrase “Fake It Till You Make It” (FITYMI) is one of the most useful pieces of advice in the business world. The goal of faking it until you make it is not about acting as an imposter. It’s about imitating confidence and energizing yourself to be successful while you wait for real confidence and know-how to arrive. Fear of not measuring up to expectations can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The truth is that their is no end to the process of FITYMI. It continues throughout our careers.The most famous study of FITYMI asked 50 students to act like they were extroverts, even though none of them had the desire to do so. The more these students faked it, the happier they became. And the more extroverted they actually became. Another variation on this same strategy is “bring your body and the mind will follow.” These tactics are well-known for helping alcoholics stay involved in programs like Alcoholics Anonymous until a level of self-motivation to stay involved is achieved. Fold in the FITYMI as you counsel clients facing the challenges of total freak out in a position they fear will do them in.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

So What? State Medical Marijuana Laws Linked to Lower Prescription Overdose Deaths

So the news today is bogus and incomplete in the continuing pursuit to get everyone in the U.S. legally stoned who wants to smoke pot. The excitement about medical marijuana is that, where legal, overdose deaths from prescription painkillers is lower. Of course, medical marijuana is almost never prescribed for pain, but the article doesn't say this. Medical marijuana is only used to treat:

•Muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis
•Nausea from cancer chemotherapy
•Poor appetite and weight loss caused by chronic illness, such as HIV, or (rarely!!--nerve pain)
•Seizure disorders
•Crohn's disease

There are 100 ways to treat pain. So already, the stories are incomplete. Let's use our brains a bit.

Important issues this report did not discuss is what about those who do not smoke POT and the use of Marinol? Marinol is THC legally prescribed. So where this medication is used, is the prescription abuse rate also lower there? More research needed folks. Or are marijuana users refusing to use Marinol and don't want it because they want to get high? Or perhaps they abuse narcotics and pills and marijuana makes it easy to get high so they abuse the hard stuff less?

The news today would have you believe the "medical marijuana" treats medical conditions like pain, and more people die from not have medical marijuana, and do so with painkillers in states where pot isn't legal, because obviously they need medical marijuana to better treat their pain and avoid the risk of painkiller ODs.
Fact: Nothing could be further from the truth.

Research legal Heroin. The above might be said for it too. Where Heroin is administered, painkiller deaths would naturally be lower among this population! Ask the Brits. Of course, prescribing Heroin is a big problem across the pond. But they do have plenty zombied heroin users, like Colorado with pot users. So, let's not get run away with the spoiled bananas just yet. We need to peel back this story being supported, funded, and touted the stoner lobby.

Monday, August 25, 2014

What's in a Name: Compulsive Use of the Internet, Internet Addiction, etc?

Although the term “Internet Addiction” is commonly used in mainstream literature, education forums online, and awareness materials, the term is not officially recognized as an addiction or medical diagnosis, yet. There are two reasons for this: 1) Addiction (or disorder) is a term reserved for an bona fide medical condition included in psychiatric, medical, and other diagnostic guides and manuals, and 2) the term has historically been used to describe dozens of different related syndromes associated with the compulsive use of technology in general that are important to distinguish. The preferred term is “compulsive internet use”. Other forms of compulsive use of technology include Facebook and social media use, gambling online, gaming, viewing pornography, online shopping, and financial trading. Any of these may impact and reduce workplace productivity, also known as “time theft”. Beyond electronic discovery of time consumed online, the most common productivity issue is work assignments not delivered on time, lying about use of time on the job, or lying about use the Internet for important business purposes. To document productivity issues, assign your employee measurable goals like a certain number of widgets or tasks that must be completed on time, very week.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Take It to Your Employees: Thinking Positive Gets More Done

The power of positive thinking leads to increasing your productivity, not just feeling hopeful and upbeat. Positive thinking fires up a can-do attitude, reduces stress, attracts others (resources) to you, and causes you to be task-focused, proactive, and have more energy. All contribute to improved productivity. Whatever your workload, positive thinking can often remove the drudgery from it. A positive mental attitude rubs off on others, making it more likely they’ll interact with you and others in the same way. This positive contagion is well understood by employers, which means that many employers will first hire you for a positive attitude and teach you the job skills later. A positive mental attitude is not something that magically appears; you must acquire a positive attitude and then maintain it. Explore how to create a positive mental attitude and maintain it and watch the results and impact on your life over the next 30 days. The classic on this topic is Norman Vincent Peale's "Power of Positive Thinking", but the latest book to arrive (March 2014) that examines this topic worth taking a look at is Positive Thinking: The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Positive Thinking (Positive Attitude, Positive Affirmations... by Chuck Winslow