Business of Well-being

Addiction and the Workforce

In the midst of the Great Recession, and the impact it has had across a multitude of professions, there is a corresponding phenomenon - a tragic but undeniable fact - that continues to strike our most able and ambitious professionals: Addiction. The excessive consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs leaves these already distressed individuals in a state of despair, physical harm and emotional chaos.

For companies that promote wellness and want to enhance morale, helping these people is a noble undertaking and a moral priority. After all, a company is only as successful and unified as the individuals who work there. Once addiction enters the equation, once it leads to greater chemical dependency and the exhaustion of one's finances, desperation takes hold. I have experienced this challenge myself, and I have healed - and continue to heal - guests who want to repair and rejuvenate their mind, body and soul.

My advice to companies that search for and absorb the cost of sending these employees to a traditional drug rehab center is, therefore, very direct: Avoid this route, by any and all means, because it will not cure addiction and may make things even worse.

I write these words both as a healer and as someone who counsels guests who have significant jobs in corporate America. These same individuals have been ordered to attend or voluntarily entered conventional rehab facilities, only to be told they have an incurable disease -- that acceptance of this fact (which is not true) is the beginning of a lifelong process.

So, the patient repeatedly hears of resignation and waving the white flag of surrender. The problem with this approach, and there are multiple problems with this form of "therapy," is that it starts from a false premise, establishes a dangerous precedent for nearly guaranteed relapses and does nothing to heal the brain.

So, far from workers returning to their lives, families and the excitement of the office, these people are still in pain and (most likely) in the midst of addiction to prescription medications -- all written, filled and given to them in the name of science.

To understand the severity of this problem, for companies, their workers and citizens in general, take a look at some of the more recent statistics about the so-called War on Drugs and treatment for addiction. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 22 million persons, age 12 or older, need treatment for illegal drug or alcohol use problems.

At the same time, 2.3 million persons aged 12 or older received treatment at a specialty facility, which did not differ from the rates and numbers in 2010 and 2002. If your further dissect these statistics, and extrapolate from there about the approximate number of corporate employees who are at a conventional rehab center, there is one word you will not see - it will neither be mentioned nor implied - so let me be straightforward and concede the obvious: None of these centers will seek to achieve, promise to deliver or even bother to try and heal their patients.

All of which means the relapse-to-rehab rate is the equivalent of a perpetual revolving door where wellness - never mind corporate wellness - is impossible. We need to acknowledge these facts because, aside from the billions of dollars companies spend on rehab centers and the lost hours they endure while workers undergo treatment at a conventional facility, there is no effort made to understand the causes and the cure for addiction.

Let me be clear: Addiction is a disease and Western medicine has many advantages - my intention is to inform, not attack - but the standard treatment for this disease is, at best, a veil for a worsening problem and an excuse to apply the wrong principles for the wrong condition.

Most importantly, addiction is a curable disease; it damages specific areas of the brain - scans of patients prove this point - where we can repair and reinvigorate these sections of the organ. In fact, a conventional doctor would agree, upon performing and reviewing a brain scan of a patient suffering from addiction, that there are easily recognizable areas harmed by the use of drugs and alcohol.

But confirmation of the obvious - that you can, see the areas inflamed, weakened or damaged by addiction - does not mean consensus about the treatment. The very idea that we agree about the existence of a problem, but have markedly different treatment modalities, can mean only one thing: One of us must be wrong.

For argument's sake, if traditional rehab centers are effective - if these facilities are worthy of the fees they charge companies, individuals or insurers - then two things should easily follow. One, the number of people addicted to drugs should be declining and the percentage of people who relapse should also be decreasing.

And yet, the opposite is true: We the people, through local, state and federal government (along with the alphabet soup of bureaucratic enforcement agencies), spend $40 billion per year - or $500 a second - unsuccessfully fighting the manufacture, sale and use of illegal drugs. The numbers are undeniable, the consequences (from addiction and ineffective treatment) are indisputable and our use of conventional drug rehab centers is incontrovertible.

Bottom line: We need to make healing a priority. Again, I offer this statement with humility (about my influence) and resolution (for my work), because if you heal a person's brain they can heal their life. This combination of mind, body and spirit - complemented by an all-natural, exclusive and safe treatment - is the key to wellness.

No amount of personal criticism will heal these patients, and no dose of prescription medication will eliminate this disease. Now is the time to delineate and respect the division between convention rehab facilities and a new philosophy, born of determination and reinforced by evidence: That addiction is a curable disease, where can repair and rejuvenate areas of the brain damaged by addiction.

Include super foods, juices, cleanses, meditation and exercise, all amidst the majesty of a tranquil environment and azure water of the Pacific Ocean, and you have the blueprint for recovery and lasting healing. For workers and their families - to be true to the ideal of corporate wellness - we need to heal the brain. This is our summons to action.

About the Author

Johnny Tabaie is the Founder and Director of The Holistic Sanctuary, home of the exclusive, all-natural and proprietary Pouyan Method, which enables patients to permanently end a variety of addictions.

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