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text 2017-09-01 10:33
Philosophy At Inpatient Rehab California

The problem of drug addiction and other kinds of addiction is continuing to get worse on a daily basis as more individuals are getting themselves into dangerous obsession towards various addictive substances such as Marijuana, Heroin or even alcoholic beverages. You see, addiction to the said substances have no benefits that it can give to the one continuously consuming the substances and in fact, they do more harm than good especially to the physical and physiological health of the person involved.  If one gets addicted to dangerous drugs for example, it will definitely change him in ways that people who know him, people who love him, won’t think it’s possible for him to change that way. Drug addiction can change one’s way of thinking and most of the time, someone who is under the influence of drugs, has a tendency to commit crimes. Now, our treatment facility, the Inpatient Rehab California, believes that everyone deserves a second chance to be given the right treatment for whatever addiction the person at hand is enduring and wants to get back into the society. At our facility, our clients are treated with utmost compassion, understanding and most importantly, respect.

Compared to other treatment facilities around the world, our licensed doctors and nurses at Inpatient Rehab California don’t have the degrading and demanding attitude towards their clients and not knowing it at all.in fact, we don’t treat our clients as if they are sick  patients and we don’t even treat drug addiction as a disease. When helping our clients in dealing with their respective addictions, we always make sure that we treat any kind of addiction as a trait that you harbour. We also believe that any kind of addiction can be altered by using natural methods instead of chemicals which can have the tendency to worsen the condition of the person. We focus mainly on using holistic kinds of treatments which we combine with all-natural health supplements to get you back in your best condition. Our team of doctors and nurses are trained not just to get yourself out of that addiction but, to finally deduce the very root of your addiction so that you can understand the causes that have been triggering your addiction towards an addictive substance.

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review 2017-08-25 12:18
A good psychological portrayal of a young man suffering from schizophrenia and a mystery that is not all in his mind.
The Unraveling of Brendan Meeks - Brian Cohn

I’m writing this review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team. If you are an author and are looking for reviews, I recommend you check here, as she manages a great group of reviewers and if they like your book, you’ve made it!

Having read and enjoyed Brian Cohn’s previous novel The Last Detective  (you can check my review here), I was very intrigued by his new novel. Although it also promised a mystery/thriller of sorts, this one was set firmly in the present, well, as firmly as anything can be when told by a character suffering from paranoid schizophrenia who rarely takes his medication. As I am a psychiatrist, and I read many thrillers, the book had a double interest for me.

As the description says, the story is told is narrated, in the first person, by the main character, the Brendan Meeks of the title. Although he is from a good family and had an affluent (if not the happiest) childhood, his mental illness disrupted his education (he was studying a masters in computer sciences at the time), and his life. He now lives in a rundown apartment in St. Louis, surrounded by other marginal characters (a war veteran suffering from PTSD who never leaves the house, a drug-addict girl whose dealer has become something more personal, an understanding Bosnian landlord…). His main support is his sister Wendy. When she dies, he decides to investigate her death, and things get even more complicated, as his brain starts making connections and seeing coincidences that might or might not be really there.

Brendan is the perfect example of an unreliable narrator. His mental illness makes him misinterpret things, give ominous meanings to random events, and believe that everything that happens relates to him and “the code”. Brendan hears voices, abusive voices, mostly in the second person, that give him orders, insult him, tell him to harm himself and others… He has a complex system of paranoid delusions, all related to a “code” he believes was implanted in his brain, and he is convinced that there is a conspiracy of various agencies (mostly men dressed in dark suits driving black SUVs) that will stop at nothing to try and recover that information. Thanks to his parents’ money (as this is the USA, his access to care would be limited otherwise) he sees a psychiatrist once a week, but he rarely takes medication, as he is convinced that if he does, he won’t be able to escape these agents that are after him. Yes, the medication helps with the voices, but it does not seem to touch his delusions (if it is all a delusion). There are several points in the novel when Brendan ends up in hospital and is given medication, and then he seems to hold it together for a while, enough to go after some clues and make some enquiries, but the longer he goes without medication, the more we doubt anything we read and wonder if any of the connections his brain makes are real or just a part of his illness.

I thought the depiction of Brendan’s mental illness and symptoms was very well done. It brought to my mind conversations with many of my patients, including his use of loud music or the radio to drown the voices, his feelings about the medication, his self-doubt, the attitude of others towards him (most of the characters are very understanding and friendly towards Brendan, although he faces doubt and disbelief a few times, not surprisingly, especially in his dealings with the police and the authorities), and his thought processes. He is a likeable and relatable character, faced with an incredibly difficult situation, but determined to keep going no matter what. His sister’s death motivates him to focus and concentrate on something other than himself and his own worries, and that, ultimately, is what helps him move on and accept the possibility of a more positive future. He also shows at times, flashes of the humour that was in evidence in the author’s previous novel, although here less dark and less often (as it again fluctuates according to the character’s experiences).

The narration is fluid and fast, the pace changing in keeping with the point of view and the mental state of the protagonist. There are clues to the later discoveries from early on (and I did guess a few of the plot points) although the narrator’s mental state creates a good deal of confusion and doubt. The rest of the characters are less well-drawn than Brendan, although that also fits in with the narration style (we only learn as much as he tell us or thinks about them at the time, including his doubts and suspicions when he is not well), and the same goes for his altered perceptions of places and events (sometimes offering plenty of detail about unimportant things, and others paying hardly any attention at all).

Where the book did not work that well for me was when it came to the mystery/thriller part of it. There are inconsistencies and plot holes that I don’t think can be put down to the mental state or the altered perception of the character. There is an important plot point that did not fit in for me and tested my suspension of disbelief (in fact made me wonder if the level of unreliability extended beyond what the novel seemed to suggest up to that point and I became even more suspicious of everything), and I suspect readers who love police procedural stories will also wonder about a few of the things that happen and how they all fit together, but, otherwise, there are plenty of twists, and as I said, the build-up of the character and the depiction of his world and perspective is well achieved. Although the subject matter includes drugs, overdoses, corruption, child neglect, difficult family situations, abuse, adultery, and murder, there is no excessive or graphic use of violence or gore, and everything is filtered through Brendan’s point of view, and he is (despite whatever the voices might say) kind and warm-hearted.

I recommend it to readers interested in unreliable narrators, who love mysteries (but perhaps not sticklers for details or looking for realistic and detailed investigations), and are keen on sympathetic psychological portrayals of the everyday life of a young man suffering from schizophrenia.

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text 2017-08-18 14:00
Rehab Facility California - Tips for staying sober

It's quick and easy, going through recovery, getting sober and staying that way.

We at Rehab Facility California, would absolutely love to say that that is, indeed the case. That getting clean is simple and quick. Well, it isn't. There's pain, anxiety, and doubt, the kind of thing you would expect from making such a big life decisions. But there's also a sense of direction, and, most importantly, hope.

So for those hoping to stay clean, here are some tips.

Stick to your plan. Stay the course.

You have some sort of plan, or a goal or some sort of objective. The steps aren't all there, but it can only lead to one place: being clean for life. That's good. Now stay the course, and do what you need to stay clean. Eat regular, nutritious meals, get enough sleep, get some exercise. Do whatever recommendations you've received for your daily regimen. Stick to the plan to start, and, as you become more and more attuned to the sobriety and the necessary things for it, you can do more and more.

It's a long time commitment.

Rehab can take a lot out of you. It can take a lot out of anyone. Here, at Rehab Facility California, we understand how drastic of  change in life rehab is. We know that people who recover are eager to get their life back on track. That's the goal of rehab, and it's a goal that takes a while to achieve, due in no small part to the necessary steps. Now that you're clean, leave behind the things that represent the old ways that led to your addiction, and dedicate yourself to the things that can help you stay clean. It'll take a while, but it's worth it.

Rome wasn't built in a day. It all started with bricks.

As extension to the above point, recovery is a long term goal, and a long and arduous process. It isn't easy and it isn't fast. One way to stay sober, to successfully make use of the tips given to you by rehab is to make small goals to start with. Stay clean for a day. Something to that effect and scale. Why are these important, you want to stay clean for life, after all.It's because the small things lead up to the big ones. Small, achievable goals lay the foundation for the larger ones, allowing you to learn the best way to go about achieving big goals, as well as giving you the confidence and self-esteem boost for them.

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review 2017-06-10 18:44
No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai, translated by Donald Keene
No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai,Donald Keene

I’ll start this off with some content warnings. This book includes several suicide attempts (one successful), a main (POV) character who becomes an alcoholic and a drug addict and who is probably depressed, and several mentions of rape and child molestation. Most of these things aren’t described in much detail, but they’re there.

Almost all of this book is written as though it was the notebook of a man named Oba Yozo (I’m pretty sure that’s the original name order, with family name first, although I could be wrong). Yozo writes about his life from his early childhood days to what I’m assuming is near the end of his life. The book ends and begins with a chapter written from the perspective of someone who did not personally know Yozo but read his notebooks and met someone who did know him.

When Yozo was a very young child, he became convinced that he did not qualify as human. The thought that someone else might realize he wasn’t human so terrified him that he began to behave like a clown. If others were laughing at his antics and jokes, then they weren’t looking at him too closely. Unfortunately for him, he occasionally met individuals who seemed able to see beneath his clownish mask. Beginning in his college years, he was also taken aback by how attractive women seemed to find him.

Yozo seemed incapable of empathizing with others and could only view their words and actions in terms of how they directly related to him. This was especially driven home by the last few pages of the book, written from the perspective of a man who didn’t know Yozo. For the first time since the book began, a POV character was writing about people who weren’t Yozo as though they had thoughts and feelings of their own, and about the wider world and what was going on in it. It was like a breath of fresh air and really emphasized how isolated Yozo had been, even though he spoke to and interacted with more people in his portion of the book than the man at the end.

The beginning of the book worked best for me. Yozo was essentially trapped by his fears, worried about how others perceived him and what they might have been able to see in him. Because he couldn’t understand the thoughts and behaviors of those around him, he doubted the correctness of his own opinions and feelings - after all, if everyone else was human and he was not, who was he to contradict what others said or did? This was especially tragic when it led to him not telling anyone that one of the servants (or several) had molested him. Or at least I think that’s what happened - the author/translator was very vague, saying that he had been “corrupted” and that “to perpetrate such a thing on a small child is the ugliest, vilest, cruelest crime a human being can commit” (35).

Things started to fall apart during Yozo’s college years. Yozo’s father wanted him to become a civil servant, while Yozo wanted to study art. This devolved into Yozo skipping classes, drinking, hiring prostitutes, hanging out with Marxists, and occasionally working on his art. My patience with Yozo pretty much ran out, and it didn’t help that the book developed a very clear misogynistic thread. An example of one of this section's more off-putting quotes: at one point, Yozo said “I never could think of prostitutes as human or even as women” (63). Women, in particular, seemed drawn to his self-destructive orbit, and the result was misery for everyone involved.

Yozo continued his habit of believing others’ assessment of him. Sometimes this had a positive effect on Yozo, such as his brief period of contentment with his wife, a girl (really a girl - she was only 17 when he married her) who genuinely believed that he was a good person and that he would never lie to her. However, since Yozo seemed to gravitate towards people who looked down on him, his habit of accepting and believing whatever people said about him usually drew him further into his downward spiral. I’d say it was depressing, except Yozo was generally so detached from everything that the word seems too strong to be appropriate.

There’s a manga adaptation of this that I might read, just to get a different interpretation of the story. That said, I suspect the manga won’t work for me much more than this did. No Longer Human was well-written, but not my sort of book at all.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2015-11-21 13:58
America's Legal Drug Epidemic
American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America's Deadliest Drug Epidemic - John Temple

Eye-opening.

 

Heart breaking.

 

Anger inducing.

 

Highly recommended reading for anyone who cares about the state of healthcare in the US or drug abuse in their communities.

 

This is the story of America Pain, a "pill mill" created by Chris and Jeff George and their friend Derik Nolan. The empire was head quartered in Florida (Broward County, Palm Beach County, one small clinic in Georgia that didn't pan out) but the effects were felt throughout the Southeast. The rise of Oxycontin abuse started in the early 1990s when a drug company was losing its patent on a product and needed a new blockbuster drug product to market and sell to make up the profit loss. Aided by differing and often lax state laws, American Pain was a rags-to-riches-back-to-rags story.

 

John Temple wrote a well-researched and stark book. He did not try to analyze or make the facts fit an exploitive narrative; he let the experts and the facts speak for themselves. He also didn't try to over describe or create a character out of the very real people he profiled in his book. He seemed to take the most care with Alice Mason, whose son died after one trip to American Pain. Mrs. Mason was from rural Kentucky and was in mourning for her son; Temple neither made her out to be naïve or dumb redneck and he didn't poke at her mourning either.  

 

Maybe that is why I found this book so page-turning good; the story stood on its own merits without commentary from the author. I will be looking for more of Mr. Temple's work in the future. 4.5 stars.

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