Monday, December 8, 2008


1. Eat Right and stay hydrated with water. Protein and fruits work well.
2. Sleep 8 hours and take two 5-minute rest breaks during the day. Breathe deeply and get centered.
3. Take a 5-minute walk or do some daily exercise. The 5 minutes is easier to fit in than 30 minutes every other day.
4. If you don't have a problem, drink socially, not alone. 2-3 drinks in an evening is fine. Just don't drive.
5. Don't smoke marijuana to get through stress. Also, take medications as prescribed.
6. Surround yourself with positive people. It is contagious!
7. You hav the power to make the day a good one. You can choose not to attend something if it is going to upset you.
8. Do something nice for someone else. Simple, but meaningful acts of kindness benefit the giver as well.
9. Find peace within yourself, at church, synagogue, the movies, the beach or with friends.
10. Be grateful to be above ground. It sure beats the alternative!


Thursday, November 13, 2008


After two years of protracted discussions about change, the Presidential election was filled with drama in the final two weeks. Voters obsessed on two subjects - the economy and the war. But tucked neatly at the bottom of a few state ballots was a question that could bring about disastrous social consequences for the next generation. At issue was the decriminalization of possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.
One ounce does not seem like much - a few joints, a couple of bowls or blunts. And proponents suggested that arresting people for possession of this substance does little more than create a backlog of cases in the court system. So in the name of legal expediation the proposal was put forth for the popular vote.
In a landslide vote of three to one, the majority spoke and the question passed. NOW WHAT?
Did anyone give thought as to how such a change in the law should be executed? Or how this would effect teens? Police are running around unsure if they should stop drivers when they suspect marijuana is the underlying cause for impaired driving. Teens are laughing aloud as they stand on corners openly thumbing their noses at law enforcement while 'blazing' in public. Drug treatment clinics are caught short when attempting to elucidate the merits of harm reduction as a means to control addiction to cannabis, to addicts who do not see the consequence of smoking. SO, NOW WHAT?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Healthcare parity bill

People with addictions have a difficult enough time finding appropriate treatment providers in their geographical areas. When the best provider is considered 'out of network' by an insurance carrier the bill may not be covered. Last week, step one in the journey towards healthcare parity for drug and alcohol treatment as well as services for people with mental illness was successfuly passed in Washington. Follow the website I have provided and let me know what you think about this issue.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lowering the drinking age in MA

The Amethyst proposal is one written by 100 college presidents opening up the discussion about lowering the drinking age to 18. The research in the field is very clear. An overwhelming number of research studies focus on the inability of the adolescent body to handle alcohol. In addition, the young person who consumes any alcohol is unable to make clear decisions. The combination of neuro-biological inability to process the drug and emotional immaturity will surely be a contributing factor to accidents and even death.

Welcome to my Blog!

Hi! I am Dr. Alicen McGowan and I will be writing this Blog on addiction and recovery. Please check back soon.