About David Joel Miller

David Miller is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Counselor, faculty member at a local college, certified trainer and writer.

Counselorssoapbox videos

Today marks the first counselorssoapbox video.

Future videos will cover the topics of mental health and wellness, drugs and drug use disorders, psychology, and life skills to have a happy life. I hope you will join me for future videos. David Joel Miller.

The first series of videos will cover basic drug education.

 

 

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Learning about alcohol and drugs.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

How much do you really know about alcohol and drugs?

drugs and alcohol

Drug and Alcohol problems.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Despite the prevalence of drugs and alcohol in our society, many people have never had any formal education about drugs or alcohol. Most people get their education in this area the same way they learn about sex, on the street, and by experimentation.

As a society, we have a love-hate relationship with drugs and alcohol. The consensus seems to be that drinking and doing drugs can be enjoyable, but that “losing control” of that habit can be harmful maybe even deadly. Clearly simplistic solutions, just say no, or saying only bad people have problems is not working.

Ignoring the effects of addiction and alcoholism is easy.

Most people try to ignore the problem until it overwhelms them personally, or someone close to them. It’s reassuring to believe that addiction or alcoholism is something that happens to “those kinds of people,” the weak, or the lazy.

Not everyone who experiments with drugs or alcohol develops a problem. We know that young people are likely to try new and exciting experiences. Initially, it all sounds like fun. Most go on to have typical lives. But increasingly we are seeing people of all ages, including the older generation, whose lives are being damaged by substances.

Most people’s conception of an alcoholic is the homeless bum on the street, someone who can’t work and drinks all day every day. The unpleasant truth is that 95% of all alcoholics have full-time jobs. It’s entirely possible that you meet these hidden alcoholics every day. For every person with a drinking problem, estimates tell us that, 5 to 8 other people are harmed by that person’s drinking.

In some hospitals, half of the bed are taken up by people whose illness is primarily caused by or made worse by the direct results of alcoholism.

The problems with alcoholism and addiction are all around us.

In every city in America of any size, and I feel confident this happens everywhere else on planet Earth, we see the harm caused by the misuse of substances. A quick look at last night’s paper shows several people arrested for DUI. Several accidents in which one or both drivers were intoxicated. And an occasional story about someone dying of a drug overdose.

The war on drugs misled us.

American’s have noticed a staggering increase in the number of people who are dying from overdoses of prescribed opiate drugs. Despite a long-running war on drugs, the devastation is worse now than it was before. Several unpleasant facts emerge from studying substances and substance use disorders.

The majority of drug overdose deaths arise from prescribed medications, not street drugs.

Legal or tolerated drugs, nicotine, and alcohol each kill more people per year than all the illegal street drugs combined. Most of the deaths from drug overdoses involve people who have more than one drug in their bloodstream. Mixing alcohol with other drugs, prescription or street drugs, increases the risk of death.

Many professionals lack education about the effects of drugs and alcohol.

Most professionals working in the mental health field have minimal training in substance-related problems. Most counselors and therapists receive from one to three units in substance-related classes in an entire master’s program. Surveys indicate that the majority of people with substance use disorder, 60% or more, also have a co-occurring disorder. Furthermore, many people with diagnosed mental illness, approximately 50%, also have a substance use disorder.

In my own experience, it is extremely common to find someone with severe depression or high anxiety, who is also abusing substances. Use of alcohol or drugs may temporarily mask symptoms but in the long run, using substances as a crutch makes the problem worse.

Therapists who work with couples often find that one or both parties are using drugs or alcohol, and this is contributing to the marital discord. Unfortunately, many counselors who were not trained in substance use disorders ignore the problem rather than ask about it.

Since I started in the counseling field as a substance use disorder counselor, I’m acutely aware of how commonly mental health problems and alcoholism or addiction occur together. Substance abuse counselors, at least here in California, typically go through a 36-unit program with many of the classes specifically focused on alcohol, drugs, and the process of moving from use to addiction.

Very soon school will be back in session, and this semester I will be teaching several classes in the substance use disorder program. While I don’t want to shift the counselorsoapbox.com blog specifically towards drugs and addiction, I thought it might be useful to share with you some of the material I use in my substance abuse counseling classes. Also, in the near future, I am planning to release some of this material as videos on our very own counselorssoapbox YouTube channel. Stay tuned, and I will let you know how the videos are progressing.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading, and please remember to click like if you enjoyed this post and please leave comments. Talk to you again soon.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Anticipation.

Anticipation.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Anticipation

Anticipation.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Anticipation

“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting”

― Andy Warhol

“… We need the sweet pain of anticipation to tell us we are really alive.”

― Albert Camus

Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.”

― Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Where do you buy your e-books?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Writer.

The Internet is sure changing writing and e-books.

Writing.

Writing.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

I live in the United States of America, California to be more exact. I’ve noticed that a lot of Americans seem to be very ethnocentric. It would be easy to forget that not everyone, everywhere, has the same experiences that you have.

California, the part of America I live in, is ethnically diverse. But California’s ethnic diversity is nothing compared to the diversity on the Internet. Because I write in English it would be tempting to believe that most of my readers lived in the United States, or maybe the United States plus one or two other English-speaking countries. I know it’s possible to translate web pages automatically, but I still suspect most of my blog readers are reading counselorssoapbox.com in English.

The diversity of my readers continues to amaze me. Thanks to all of you in the over 130 countries who have read counselorssoapbox.com. Thank you to all the people in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who have read this blog on a regular basis since the very beginning.

Recently I’ve noticed a measurable increase in the number of posts read by people from China, Hong Kong, Nigeria, India, and Germany. From the stats, I can’t tell if these are a few people in each country who read every post I write, or if there are one or two posts that were read many times in these countries. I suspect it’s a mixture of regular readers and a few posts that resonated with readers in a specific country. Either way, I wanted to let you know I appreciate readers wherever you may live. Sorry if I didn’t mention your country, but to mention all of you would resemble the roll call of the UN.

So that brings me back to my question. Where you buy your e-books?

In the US Amazon is undoubtedly the largest seller of e-books. Amazon has certainly done an excellent job for me, and I continue to enjoy publishing my books on Amazon. I can tell from the stats I see on Amazon that they sell my books not only in the US but also in the UK and several other English-speaking countries. As good a job as Amazon does in the US and the UK; I suspect that they are not likely to be the primary bookseller in all those 130 other countries.

Recently I took two of my books, the novels, Casino Robbery and Sasquatch “wide.” Which means those books are now available on several other platforms.

To celebrate the addition of these other distributors one of my books Sasquatch is currently available free on each of the new e-book distributors platforms.

Using e-book aggregators.

To make those books available on all those other platforms, and to reach more of the countries in which I have blog readers, I’ve used two aggregators, who do the work of making the books available on various platforms.

The first aggregator I tried was Drafts2Digital, who makes my books available on Kobo, Apple iBooks, and Barnes & Noble

The second book aggregator I have used is PublishDrive who distributes my books to Google Play Books and some smaller European distributors.

Through these two aggregators, my books are also available on several other platforms.

My book Sasquatch will not be free forever.

So, if you get books from any of these other e-book distributors, you might want to grab a free copy of Sasquatch while it’s still available. If you do read one of my books, I would really appreciate you leaving an honest review. Reviews help me evaluate the job I’m doing of writing books my readers would like to read. Reviews also help others decide if they want that book.

If you read e-books, please leave a comment below and let me know where you get the books you read. Till next time, thanks for reading.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Alcohol Changes Your Blood.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Alcohol can affect your body in a great many ways.

Alcohol

Alcohol.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Alcohol is so much a part of our society that we tend to take it for granted. That can be a costly mistake. The World Health Organization recently reported that one in every 20 deaths each year was attributable to problems caused or made worse by alcohol consumption. VA hospitals said that more than half of their hospital beds were occupied by people with issues connected to alcohol use.

Many people are poorly informed about alcohol and the problems it can cause. It’s easy to believe that alcohol-related issues only happen to alcoholics or people who frequently get drunk. Even small amounts of alcohol can make medical issues worse.

Alcohol affects your blood in several ways.

Alcohol is highly water-soluble, meaning it mixes readily with your blood. Blood flows throughout your body reaching every cell. Consumption of alcohol may interfere with some of the vital functions of your hematological or blood system.

Alcohol can contribute to anemia in several ways.

Alcohol contributes to anemia by interfering with the production of red blood cells. Alcohol in the bloodstream interferes with the healthy nutrition needed to produce red blood cells. One of the breakdown products of alcohol metabolism, acetaldehyde, is believed to interfere with the ability to utilize iron, an essential part of red blood cells ability to distribute oxygen throughout the body.

Alcohol can result in defective red blood cells.

Many people are familiar with the way doses of alcohol can result in infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol, and its breakdown products, poison and deform growing cells. Deformed red blood cells can’t do their job. Some alcoholic beverages contain lead or other heavy metals further damaging blood cells.

Alcohol damages white blood cells.

White blood cells are an essential part of your immune system, your body’s defense against infection. Chronic alcohol use affects white cells. Just how much alcohol, spread out over how what amount of time, it takes to damage white blood cells is hard to estimate.

Once white cells are damaged or destroyed, they can no longer fight infections. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of severe infections, especially in the respiratory tract. Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of white cells both by reducing their number and interfering with their ability to adhere to bacteria. When you drink, your white cells get intoxicated and can’t do their job.

Alcohol damages platelets and increases bleeding.

Platelets are an important part of your blood clotting system. As alcohol consumption increases, the likelihood of developing bleeding problem increases. People with severe alcohol use disorders are likely to bleed in the intestinal tract, these gums, the nose, and many other places. Heavy drinkers are likely to bruise easily. Alcohol interferes with the production of platelets.

Alcohol interferes with the livers metabolism disrupting blood clotting factors.

Alcohol the bloodstream interferes with the production of blood clotting factors. Not only can it reduce the ability for the blood to clot where needed, but it can also result in clots forming where they shouldn’t be created.

Alcohol damages the immune system in several ways.

The body has two separate immune systems alcohol interferes with the functioning of both. Excessive alcohol consumption has been found to increase both the severity and the progression of HIV/AIDS.

Much of the damage alcohol does to the hematological system is reversible with abstinence. The primary connection between alcohol and its effect on the hematological system is because of alcohol’s impact on the liver. Heavy Alcohol consumption is well-known to cause cirrhosis of the liver. But alcohol consumption is connected to four separate liver ailments. Some of these liver impairments can be by as little as one or two binge drinking episodes.

Once alcohol consumption has damaged the liver damage to other systems in the body may not be reversible.

Who’s most likely to have alcohol caused hematological problems?

Not everyone who consumes alcohol will develop permanent damage to the body. Two groups are at exceptionally high risk. 20% of the US population consumes 80% of all the alcohol drunk in America, these heavy drinkers are highly likely to develop alcohol-related issues as they age and the liver function declines.

The second high-risk group for alcohol-related problems is those people who may not drink on a regular basis but when they do drink and up intoxicated. The damage alcohol does to the body on anyone drinking occasion is related to how high the blood alcohol content goes on that occasion. In addition to the well-known problems connected to getting drunk, like DUI’s and violence, binge drinking can also result in damage to the body and an increased risk of being infected if you are exposed to bacteria or virus.

Want to know more?

Many of the students in my substance abuse counseling classes are surprised at the many ways alcohol can affect the body, emotions, relationships, and society. If you’re interested in more information on this topic you might want to take a look at the book we use for that class; Loosening the Grip. A Handbook of Alcohol Information, 11th edition, Jean Kinney, MSW.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Fun.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Fun

Fun.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Fun.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

― Walt Disney Company

“If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”

― Groucho Marx

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

― Dr. Seuss

“I have never been convinced there’s anything inherently wrong in having fun.”

― George Plimpton

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration