Eileen Lichtenstein’s Balance and Power Blog

Can you disconnect from technology, from work related stuff for an hour, a half day, weekend, week? We must usually plan to do that. It’s not always easy to make happen.
It’s good for our health, and often gives us the opportunity to reconnect with nature, with family, and to our inner quiet. Fun can go into that equation too!

I’m not talking about the four hour workweek here- just a few hours or longer.
Try it and enjoy- without guilt:)Costa Rica 2009 031

Free Consult for Work-Life Integration-Balance www.balanceandpower.com 516 623 4353
Video Skype sessions available, on your site or Wantagh, Long Island.

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Luxury Rehab: Helpful or Harmful to Recovery?

People have varied views on luxury rehab and we are dedicating this blog post to doing some mythbusting about it!

Some members of the recovery community sneer at the mention of luxury rehab, while others swear by his/her center of choice- a difficult situation to make sense of! Those who look down upon “plushy” treatment centers often ascribe to the belief that rehab should be about the bare minimums of life and be a difficult (in all senses of the word) time so individuals can prove their dedication to recovery and whatever that process mandates.

Others view luxury rehab centers as an imperative option to have to fulfill the unique needs of high-end executives, a cohort that is largely ignored and discounted in size. Instead of rehab being approached as an absolute last-resort, it is effective to attract these individuals into a life of sobriety. Luxury rehab programs have the unique ability to meet high-end professionals where they are and provide a comfortable environment for such clients to thrive in. This population of people would often be put at a disadvantage in more “rough & tumble” rehabs as they would be so busy re-adjusting to a radically different life-style that little energy would be left to devote to recovery. Undergoing deep reflection of one’s past and discerning how one can act differently in the present and future requires a great deal of dedication, motivation, energy, and hope and by providing a comfortable home-like atmosphere for these individuals, luxury rehab centers can maximize one’s chances of life-long sobriety. In addition, these programs aim to prepare clients for his/her future- a future that will often include mandatory attendance at cocktail parties, golf or tennis games, and conferences with evening open bars. By catering specifically to this high-end cohort of professionals, luxury rehabs are fully aware of these future hazards that clients will likely face and can approach them in one’s treatment plan.

In the end, the decision to seek luxury rehab or more traditional rehab depends solely on the needs of the individual in question. The GRR has 4 Recovery Residences, which span from the luxurious Plantation Home to the conservative Cottages, and we will be happy to hear more about your case specifically and give advice regarding what type of treatment program we would advise. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Email a Patient Advocate at tiptonl@thegrr.com for more information or call 843-283-8068.

Redefining Affordable Drug Treatment

Trying to find somewhere that merges quality with affordable drug treatment can be frustrating, but no fear, the GRR is here : )   Our newest facility, The Cottages in Sebastian, FL, re-defines affordable drug treatment as it offers a beautiful facility, all meals, gym membership, and activities/ transportation to them everyday. Our program has been perfected over the last 22 years and combines nutrition, physical exercise, 12 step meetings/living, individual and group therapy, supportive mentoring, recreational therapy, and re-immersion back into work. Our affordable drug treatment program in The Cottages begins at just 5k a month, less than half of comparable treatment centers! The Gonzalez Recovery Residences is also unique among affordable drug rehabs in our dedication to genuine sobriety (both physically and emotionally). We are able to have this deep sobriety as a major focus because our long-term program allows us to delve deeply and make lasting changes. Our clients who enter The Cottages are motivated to recover, have been through detox/ short term stabilization treatment, and are ready to move on to a transitional living program that is focused on re-integration into society. Interested in learning more? Call 843-283-8068 or email tiptonl@thegrr.com to get an online “packet” e-mailed to you!Image

Drug Rehab Centers in Virginia: Stay Selective Even in the Midst of Few Choices

When it comes to finding drug rehab centers in Virginia, the selection is much slimmer than in other states like Florida, Arizona, and California. Despite this more limited selection, one can still exercise high standards of program quality. The Gonzalez Recovery Residences’ Colonial Home is located in Alexandria, VA and is among the premier drug rehab centers in Virginia. When researching drug rehab centers in Virginia, many people are concerned with the ability to keep his/her job while seeking treatment and we make that a very real possibility! Most of our clients at The Colonial Home are professionals who work and have family/strong social ties in Washington DC or somewhere in Virginia. Therefore, we are able to cater to the unique needs of professionals (and adult students) with substance addictions and interweave their professional responsibilities with their treatment plan (eventually resulting in them regaining full-time work while continuing to reside in our recovery home). For those with family in Virginia, seeking an in-state rehab center can be critical as addressing family problems and helping to develop familial support is an imperative part of treatment. Lastly, one may be seeking drug rehab centers in Virginia due to legal complications that have been brought about by his/her addiction. We are lucky enough to have a founder, Boris Gonzalez, who is a graduate of Tulane’s prestigious School of Law and he is exceptionally willing to lend a legal hand to our clients and help write letters for use in the court cases. Overall, The Colonial Home in Alexandria is a recovery house at its very finest as we take clients who have already attended short (30, 45, 60, 90 day) primary treatment programs and transition them into a 3 Phase Recovery Residence program that will help them regain a productive and fulfilling life that he/she can be proud of.

Affordable Alcohol Treatment in Florida and Washington DC

By the time most alcoholics and addicts are willing to seek treatment for their substance addiction, their lives either already in shambles or on the fast track towards this end. Finances are often ruined, relationships strained to a breaking point, and times desperate. Such circumstances can make affordable alcohol treatment a top priority. The Gonzalez Recovery Residences is quite unique in our program design as it is designed to cost HALF the amount of comparable treatment centers. We emphasize affordable alcohol treatment because, through reduced rates, clients can stay in our supportive residences for longer. When one takes a gander at the scientific evidence on what is the best predictive factor of life-long sobriety, the length of time already sober emerges as the clear frontrunner. By providing quality affordable alcohol treatment, our clients are able to graduate from our program with significant time and experience being sober, an absolutely invaluable accomplishment. We work to bridge the gap between sequestered detox/ primary treatment and “real life” by merging the two in our 3 Phase System (around which our affordable alcohol treatment program is based). This way, clients get the structure and attention of a sequestered experience while also learning how to navigate their work and social lives soberly. By getting our clients back itno the working world while still in treatment, we help minimize the financial impact of seeking treatment for a substance addiction. Steeped in 22 years of tradition and quality, the Gonzalez Recovery Residence’s affordable alcohol treatment program is designed to transition addicts and alcoholics into productive, joyous, and contributing members of society.

Love your writing!


The best time to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust. -Josh Billings

You know, for the life of me, I don’t know if this character defect has anything to do with my being an alcoholic, because it dates back to my earliest memories.  It’s probably tied in somewhere, and, at the end of the day, does it really matter?  It’s something I have struggled with all my life, and I could probably recount a dozen examples of it in the past year alone, so clearly I am going to struggle with it in recovery.

When something happens in the world around me about which I have strong feelings, then I have an extremely difficult time letting it go (friends and family reading this are either laughing or rolling their eyes at this exact moment).  When I strongly feel like I know…

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Questions to Determine what Level of Addiction Treatment One Needs

When you are researching options for how to get yourself (or someone you love) help for a substance addiction, you may be overwhelmed with the options! Fortunately, there are a few questions that can help you narrow down what level of care one needs: outpatient therapist visits, a structured outpatient program, detox, or residential addiction treatment. Each of these categories of treatment are designed for people at different stages of addiction and using the questions below, you can decide where you or a loved one belongs.


1. Have there been repeated failed attempts at sobriety?

If yes, a profound addiction is at work and high levels of care are needed. After detox (medical detox if substance of choice was alcohol or benzodiazepines as withdrawal from these can be lethal), long term residential addiction treatment is recommended so the individual is finally prepared to re-enter life without needing drugs/alcohol to cope or “enjoy” oneself.

If no- outpatient care is recommended, either an after-work program or seeing an addiction specialized therapist a few times a week.

2. Have negative social consequences resulted from drug/alcohol use or procurement? (such consequences could include: isolation, breakdown of marriage, severed connections with close friends or family members, or an inability to maintain a stable romantic relationship)

** may be difficult for addicts/alcoholics to answer objectively, they may need to rely on impartial advice from those close to him/her to answer this as addicts/alcoholics are often in profound denial about their addiction causing ANY sort of problem.

If yes- the addiction has begun to ravage the individual’s life. Despite hurtful consequences, the addict/alcoholic is unable to stop themselves from continuing their addiction. It is time for intensive help- residential addiction treatment is recommended so the individual can come to terms with the harm his/her addiction has caused and develop skills to replace the addiction’s function.

If no- the addiction has been caught in its early stages, a very good sign. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to convince these individuals that they are headed down a dangerous and unsatisfying track, an intervention is often necessary in these cases to create a “bottom” for the individual to hit (safely during an intervention before his/her life is destroyed by the addiction.

3. Has drug/alcohol use or procurement caused problems in your working life? (Loss of job, decreased productivity, demotion, etc)

** ditto to last Q’s disclaimer on objectivity

If yes- Continuing to engage in the behavior after something as important as one’s work life has been jeopardized is a sure sign of trouble. Time needs to be spent both reflecting on the problems substance abuse has caused and how to stand up to temptation and resist using it. As this is infinitely easier said than done, residential addiction treatment is suggested for these cases as having 24/7 mentors and a strong/stable program are going to be key for developing the skills necessary for life-long recovery.

If no- refer to above question’s “if no” answer. Outpatient options are favored unless significant other problems due to drug/alcohol use have occurred.

4. Do you feel that it is either impossible or useless to function soberly?

If yes- consistent professional intervention is needed to aid the individual throughout early recovery. Not only will the individual need to be in residential addiction treatment to keep him/her safe from accessing the drug/substance, he/she will need very positive recovery role models present around the clock to verify that sobriety is (indeed) worth it!

If no- challenge the individual (or yourself) to “prove it” by staying sober. If the/she/you decline because “it’s no fun” or “it’s a bad time” are brought up, recognize these as excuses and attempt sobriety anyways.

5. What percentage of your day is dedicated to locating, using, and being high/drunk on your substance of choice?

If a significant amount of one’s DAILY life is dedicated to escaping life through substance use, there is a major problem. If getting drunk/high is among the top 2 priorities of someone everyday, he/she is in need of IMMEDIATE residential addiction treatment. If, however, one only uses substances once or twice a month- outpatient therapist visits would be a more appropriate place to first seek help.



We find it extremely beneficial for some of our clients to participate in anger management classes, it aids them both while in our recovery residences and when “out in the real world.” Great stuff!

Eileen Lichtenstein’s Balance and Power Blog

Anger is a healthy emotion when expressed appropriately. Someone recovering from an addiction finding anger and resentment difficult to deal with may find that their need for the addictive substance increases with their heightened emotions, as anger can make a person’s negative internal state intolerable and it feels horrible. The addict has one solution only- the substance.

Therefore, Anger Management is an essential component in overcoming addiction. The probability of a relapse significantly increases when emotions of anger and resentment are not dealt with properly and unresolved anger often leads to further use of drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. Addictive substances may exacerbate a person’s anger, and often this becomes a vicious destructive cycle. One key to being substance free is managing anger in appropriate ways. Effective treatment for someone being treated for substance abuse includes anger management. This is often the only way to break free…

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Quality recovery blogging!


Just because you are struggling does NOT mean you are failing.  Every great success requires some kind of struggle to get there. -Unknown

The title of this post also happened to be the topic of the meeting I run on Monday mornings.  I picked it because I was going to take my new sponsee to the meeting with me, and I wanted a topic that helped me in early sobriety.  As it turns out, she had to reschedule… disappointing, but it was still a great topic, and a great meeting!

“First things first” is one of the most common slogans in Alcoholics Anonymous, it would be hard to find a meeting that doesn’t have it posted somewhere in the room.  For alcoholics, this expression means, quite simply, that not taking a drink or drug has to be our top priority.  We must take all steps necessary to achieve this goal before we…

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