Many of the side effects from drugs may be attributable to nutrient depletions caused by the drugs when taken over time, and as a result, drug-induced nutrient depletion has become a hot health topic. Conditions such as high stress, environmental pollution, and poor nutrition prior to the medication can contribute to health problems. When people take medications that can cause additional nutrient losses, this can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.


Nutrient depletions can have a negative effect on digestion, metabolism, detoxification, and organ function which then disrupts immune function and overall health. In reality, doctors and pharmacists are often too busy to take the time to educate patients about the potential of drug-induced nutrient depletion.

Medication can be useful in the short term until the root of the problem is discovered. The long-term use of medications, however, can damage enzyme systems and block receptor sites. Long term use of medication can have unwanted and dangerous side effects.

It is always important to try to deal with the root of the symptoms versus trying to treat the symptom itself. Nutritional therapy is designed to help people identify imbalances in body chemistry to help the body heal naturally. There are a variety of ways that nutritional therapy can help people taking a lot of medications or who have concerns about how these medications are affecting their systems. How Nutritional Therapy Can Help:

  • Help find more natural alternatives to the prescription medication and work to get at the root of the underlying symptoms. Symptoms are our body’s way of telling us something is out of balance.
  • Help restore nutrients depleted by the prescription medication.
  • Provide information to the client about potential drug nutrient interactions.
  • Natural supplements may help relieve the symptoms that require prescription medication allowing the dose to be lowered or the medication to be stopped entirely.

Some people will say, “I take my multivitamin, so I have my nutrition bases covered.” It is important to note that the Recommended Daily Allowance or RDA was formulated to protect us from nutritional deficiency diseases such as scurvy, rickets or beriberi, but not necessarily to promote optimal health.

I have heard the RDA called “minimum wage nutrition” and by one bold practitioner as rats, drugs and assumptions. Hopefully, you got a chuckle out of that comment, but the point is that a multivitamin may not cover your bases. This is especially true if your multivitamin is not high quality or whole foods (no Costco supplements please), if your diet is poor, if your stress is high, if your toxicity level is high, or if you take prescription medications.

So, just to get you thinking here a few common prescription drugs and the nutrient depletion that they may cause as listed in The Nutritional Cost of Drugs by Ross Pelton and James LaValle:

Oral Contraceptives: Depletes all the B vitamins plus vitamin C, vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc.

Statin Drugs: Deplete Coenzyme Q10 an extremely important antioxidant that performs vital roles in generating energy in the cells including the heart. Ironically, those deficient in CoQ10 are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Corticosteroids: Deplete Calcium, Vitamin D, Potassium, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, selenium and vitamin A.

Now that you are aware of this issue, you can take action to prevent the negative consequences of drug-induced nutrient depletion. Helping people with this issue is an important part of my initial assessment. And as always, please feel free to contact me for a consultation as I am happy to help.

Ellen Syversen is a nutritional therapist and certified health educator, She can be reached at 541-912-8624 or



©Ellen Syversen, Pathways for Health, LLC.2012



Dear MAx,

I am so upset! My mother told me that she spent the weekend at a nudist community! She not only told me, but she has also told other people we both know, and who knows who else she told. My mother is 65 years old! She is a retired teacher! What is she thinking?!


Dear Crystal,

I cannot know what other people are thinking, but I can look at why people would want to go to a clothes optional community.

First, let’s make a distinction between a nudist and an exhibitionist. An exhibitionist is someone who would want to deliberately attract attention by taking off clothes. A nudist, or naturist, goes without clothing as a social practice; they “embrace the freedom to be without clothes”.

Public condemnation of nudity is probably rooted in the biblical story of Adam and Eve loosing their innocence by eating the forbidden apple. When the pair realized that their bodies were naked they felt, perhaps the first negative emotion, shame. They covered up and, thus, the start of the ever profitable global clothing industry was begun.

The practice of organized nudism started appearing in the US and Canada around the 1920’s, long after Europe and other parts of the world had begun recognizing it as a norm to frequent “nudist colonies” . The American Association for Nude Recreation (ANAR) was started in 1931 as a trusted source of information for nudists and about nudists.  Nudists “colonies” are now known as nude resorts, or nude parks; “nude communities” is used to describe all the people that embrace the nudist lifestyle.  These resorts and parks have become extremely popular.

A 2003 article in the Wall Street Journal reported that nude tourism was starting to take off in the US. They pointed to Central Florida’s Pasco County as the best place in the country to be nude. Pasco County boasted being home of six nudist resorts and estimated over 100,000 nudists visiting each year adding a significant amount to tourist revenue.

As I was researching this topic, I was having challenges understanding the statistics, so I called on Pat Brown, Past President of ANAR, and a resident of the Willamatans, the largest nudist resort in the Pacific Northwest. She confirmed that ANAR has approximately 50,000 PAID members, but there are several hundreds of thousands non-members served by the 500 clubs and businesses catering to nudists. There are various reasons people choose not to be official members of ANAR. But, within the paid membership, two-thirds of the members are couples, one-third individuals.

Pat also confirmed that there is a trend to the growth of the nudist lifestyle which is being fueled by—you got it!—aging babyboomers. She said that ANAR, as well as individual clubs are seeing younger members who are bringing their children and grandchildren on nakations. Because of the shear number of babyboomers, they will continue to influence trends around the world—including nudist recreation. Nudist housing developments, retirement communities, restaurants, and even Yoga centers are popping up across the US and Canada. Perhaps fueled by the continued buying power, remarkable health, and freedom-thinking of the boomers.

So, Crystal, it may be that your mother is part of the current babyboomer mentality that believe that the possibilities for life are endless. And, perhaps, those possibilities aren’t so much about embarrassing her daughter, but feeling free and young again. I would suggest having a discussion, in your awareness, with your mother about what she needs in this stage of her life, and, how you can support her.

Be well on your journey.


“Ask MAx” is originally published every Thursday in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can order home delivery at

Have a question about addiction, recovery, or other life transitions:‘Ask MAx’. Send your questions to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR  97440; or, e-mail your questions to:

Learn more about MAx Fabry at: http://www



Scorpio, Sign of Spiritual Regeneration and Rebirth

Scorpio, Sign of Spiritual Regeneration and Rebirth
by Mary Jo Wevers

Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix.“

                                                           – Christina Baldwin
On Monday October 22nd the Sun will leave the social and refined air sign of Libra and enter the intensely passionate and powerfully perceptive water sign of Scorpio. Each succeeding sign of the zodiac builds upon the foundation laid by the previous sign by rectifying or redirecting its energy. Scorpio ventures into the deeper levels of Libran relationships to transform and regenerate itself.
The movement of the Sun into the sign of Scorpio coincides with the time of year when vegetation dies as winter approaches. This is a period of dormancy and decay in the outer world. It is a time for us to direct our energy inwardly towards the dark, fertile part of ourselves that contains the creative potential for new life. As our energy and vitality is drawn down into the darkness it concentrates and gathers strength. It becomes fertilized in the primordial womb, in preparation for the next cycle of creation and rebirth.

The negative polarity of Scorpio gives it an introspective, investigative energy that is secretive and penetrating. Scorpio has a passionate desire to probe the depths of life’s mysteries. It uses its determination, intensity and inner strength in resourceful ways to overcome its fears and face the darkness: the turbulent swampy underworld with its shadows and demons. It understands that darkness and light cannot exist without each other. They are co-creative forces in life.

Scorpio uses its transforming and resurgent powers to cleanse and heal itself. Unafraid of death, Scorpio strips away the superficial and extraneous. It surgically eliminates the unessential and the false to revealthe “bare bones.” It uncovers deeper truthsdiscovers its true nature, and reveals its innate essence. It becomes transfigured and is reborn.
Just as a snake sheds its skin, we need to periodically shed parts of ourselves so we can spiritually transform and regenerate ourselves.Scorpio asks us to venture into the deepest parts of our subconscious, face our shadows, and experience the “death” of our ego-identified self so we can evolve at the soul level.
The emotional nature of Scorpio is expressed in powerful ways. The key phrase for this fixed water sign is “I Desire.” Scorpio is magnetic and sexual. It is strong willed, persistent, and has difficulty letting go. It can be extreme, obsessive, a lover of chaos, pain and suffering.
The vast amount of concentrated energy stored deep within Scorpio can burst forth unexpectedly and destructively, like a volcano. Scorpio is attracted to catharsis for its drama and intensity, and uses it to provide relief from strong or suppressed emotions.
Preoccupied with power, Scorpio ultimately comes to understand that true power cannot be gained by being obsessive, controlling and dominating others. Exercising self-control, being insightful and inscrutable allows us to reclaim our own power and use it to transform and regenerate ourselves.

Scorpio is represented by different colors and symbols according to the spiritual level of its expression. The black scorpion represents the lowest level of Scorpio. When threatened, it inflicts pain with the venom injecting barb at the end of its tail. The deep red phoenix rising from the ashes represents the resurgent power of Scorpio. The eagle soaring on high with its piercing depth of vision symbolizes Scorpio’s ability to see clearly into the heart of the matter while keeping an objective distance above emotional chaos. Having transcended death itself, the white dove symbolizes the highest and purest spiritual expression of Scorpio, the rebirth of the Soul.

Areas of life ruled by Scorpio include other people’s values, shared possessions, joint assets and wealth, as well as power struggles over shared resources and sexuality. Death, mysteries, secrets and hidden things fall under Scorpio. Significant breakthroughs and other deeply transforming emotional experiences are in its domain.
Occupations and archetypes for Scorpio include private investigators, criminologists, researchers, surgeons, psychiatrists, pathologists, organized crime, terrorists, sex workers, occultists and vampires. Parts of the body ruled by Scorpio are the organs of reproduction and elimination. The gem for Scorpio is onyx. Its metal is plutonium. Thorn-bearing shrubs and chrysanthemums are Scorpion plants.
“… within the seed of all darkness is light. Therefore, the potential for transformation is here for all.“

                                                       – Alana

 Pluto, Ruler of Scorpio
In astrology Pluto rules the sign of Scorpio. Pluto is the farthest known planetary body from the Sun. It represents the darkest aspects of ourselves, hidden from the light of our conscious awareness.
The name Pluto means “riches”, and refers to the gems, minerals, oil and radio-active substances found under the surface of the earth. Pluto represents power: the potent, intense, passionate, and sometimes explosive energy that can be destructive as well as regenerative and life-giving.


The dwarf planet Pluto was discovered in 1930, the same year as the discovery of radiation which lead to the development of the atomic bomb. This marked a new development in human consciousness. We became aware of the destructive potential of a new source of powerful energy, deep inside of us as well as in the earth.

Pluto rules what is buried and hidden in our depths, in our subconscious.This wealth of material is fertile ground for us to probe and mine. It contains our deepest fears and phobias, obsessions and passions that need to be brought up into the light of consciousness. Once we summon our courage and descend into our subconscious to uncover its hiddenmysteries and secrets, we can face them, transform them and become empowered.
In mythology Pluto is the “Lord of the Underworld.” At this time of the year he welcomes the return of his wife Persephone. She has been dwelling for six months above ground in the world of the living with her mother Ceres. Now she returns to Hades to preside over the dead with her husband and serve as “Queen of the Underworld.”

With the help of Pluto and Persephone, we can wade through our turbulent, swampy underworld, probing the depths of our psyche. Coming face-to-face with our Shadow, we can discover its true nature and reclaim our power. We can then emerge from our underworld with new self-knowledge, transformed, revitalized and reborn.

“Evil understood is power gained.”
Celestial Events
The Month Ahead

As the Sun moves into Scorpio Monday it conjoins Saturn, and forms a Grand Trine in water with retrograde Neptune conjunct retrograde Chiron in Pisces and Ceres in Cancer. We may feel overly emotional, vulnerable,victimized, needing protection, betrayed, jaded, fearful, chaotic andconfused. We can stabilize these freely flowing emotions with our conscious awareness and ground them in reality. Use your investigative powers and insight to dig beneath the surface and discover what is genuine and true. How can these deeply emotional experiences catalyze your spiritual transformation? 
Pluto in Capricorn

The Sun in Scorpio disposits to Pluto in Capricorn. During Pluto’s slow 15 year transit in the sign of Capricorn, institutions and organizations that consolidate material wealth, power and resources are subject to Pluto’s influence. Pluto will dig deep, bring to the surface, and expose corruption and decay. As we sift through the ashes of old economic and political systems that are currently crumbling, we have an opportunity to eliminate that which is not honest, and in integrity. We are reminded that Capricorn discipline and responsibility is the balance to Plutonian power.
As we observe events in the outer world, it is important to look within and recognize the parts of ourselves that are also degenerating and need to be eliminated or transformed. This is a time for us to transmute immature parts of ourselves so that we may be spiritually reborn as wiser, more responsible, self-reliant individuals. Rather than give away our power and authority to others and then resent them for it, it is time to reclaim our own power as a wise, compassionate Spiritual Father to our self. Use self-discipline in exercising your power. Be honorable and respectful of others.

Saturn in Scorpio

Pluto in Capricorn disposits to, and is in mutual reception with Saturn in Scorpio. Saturn recently finished its two year transit in the sign of Libra. It entered the sign of Scorpio on October 5th, and will remain in Scorpio until December 2014.

Planets in mutual reception support and work together more than they would otherwise, because they are expressing their urge or principal in the sign ruled by the other. For the next two years Saturn in Scorpio will lend emotional depth and intensity to the ongoing deconstruction process of Pluto in Capricorn.
Witnessing changes in the external world generates feelings of fear, loss, and vulnerability. Saturn’s transit in Scorpio is a time for us to learn how to become a master of our emotions. Instead of being swept away in fear of change, we can ground ourselves in practical reality. Unearth your core values, be resourceful, and use your passion to build new structures and organizations working with others in your community.


Samhain on Tuesday November 6th

Halloween has its roots in the Celtic celebration of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season. Samhain was believed to be the time during the year when the veil between the living world and the world of the dead was the thinnest. In other cultures it is a time when ancestors and departed souls are remembered and honored.
Samhain is celebrated on the day the Sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio, or half way through its transit of this sign. This year Samhain falls on Tuesday November 6th. You may wish to mark this day spending some time in meditation. Going within, honor those that have passed over, or perhaps parts of yourself that have “died” so you could be reborn.

New Moon in Scorpio
A New Moon occurs when the Sun and the Moon conjoin overhead from our perspective on Earth. This represents the fusion of our outer consciousness and awareness, symbolized by the Sun, with our inner emotional and unconscious self, symbolized by the Moon. This is a fertile time for new beginnings, for sowing the seeds of your new projects and endeavors.
The next New Moon will occur on Tuesday November 13th at 2:08 p.m. (PST). This New Moon will be a Solar Eclipse New Moon at 21 degrees Scorpio, conjoining the transiting North Node. This is a new opportunityto balance our need for personal material wealth with sharing joint resources. By releasing our fixation on personal security and the material needs of the ego we can experience a spiritual rebirth. 
The area of your astrological chart where 21 degrees Scorpio falls represents the area of your life where you can consciously create new beginnings that are powerful, penetrating and transformative. Set aside time to reflect on how you can create new beginnings in the areas of shared resources, mysteries and spiritual regeneration. What emotional ties and issues around control do you have with others that need to be examined and purified? How can you transform obsession into personal power and courage? How can you reclaim your intensity and passion for life?
You may wish to set some new goals or create some Scorpio affirmations on November 13th. Examples are: “I penetrate into the heart of the matter with controlled intensity, using my inner strength.” “I transform myself with evolving self reliance.” “I release old toxins so that I may regenerate anew.” “I face my Shadow, probe its hidden depths with insight, and reclaim my personal power.”

You will begin to see evidence of the seeds you sow on this New Moon as they come to fruition on the following Full Moon in Gemini on November 28th. This Full Moon will reward you with new flexible ways to adapt to your environment and communicate with others.
“Fear is excitement without breath.”

                                                                                                              – Richard Heller


Thanks so much to Carole Rose, On Demand Stress Solutions, and Andy Libert, Tri Action Potential, and MAx Fabry,, for the great strategies to avoid and manage Holiday Stress at today’s seminar.

There is one more seminar scheduled for this year; be sure to check the details for registration. Seating will be limited to 15. FREE to members!! Includes 6 continuing education hours.

If you are interested in presenting in 2013, please send your proposal to

We will probably try to get our members together in December for another meet and greet.

Don’t forget, we sponsor these events so members can meet each other and learn how to refer to each other. PRACTITIONERS YOU CAN TRUST!!!



Most people desire to live a healthy lifestyle.  It is apparent in popular media that the American society has expectations of how people should look.  Dating back to the 1950’s, these expectations were much different than they are today.  In the 1950’s people were healthy, however, a diet was a practical lifestyle for healthy living ( and  Today, the word diet can be perceived as a burdensome word to be dreaded with the hopes to gain a smaller figure.  Popular media has created an entire industry based on the word “diet” and the American culture is its subject.

Numerous weight loss books have been written over the years.  There are general books, specific books to your gender/age/blood type, and other books.  There are videos, exercise programs, support groups, and talk shows that focus on people’s diet and other attributes of appearance.  A diet can be a good choice for some people, and it could be a fad for others.


People have physical attributes about themselves that they may not like, or want to be rid of.  The question is though, are people ridding their bodies of the unwanted features in a healthy way, or not?  Are you a person who dwells on imperfections of your body?  If you are concerned about a physical attribute then you can ask yourself what you are doing to change it.  If it is of serious concern, then contact your personal care physician for further assistance.

Basic ways to care for your body are living smart and healthy.

First, consider how you manage your time.  With the time you have throughout each day ask yourself if you are using the time wisely for your health.  Wise uses of your time each day are with healthy eating, exercise, stress management, and rest.


Second, healthy eating can be done best through cooking food from scratch at home (  By cooking your food you become more aware of the ingredients being added and the amount that you are cooking to eat.  When you go to a fast food chain or buy something pre-cooked you are preparing to consume food of a larger quantity than needed, more calories and fat, and likely laden with unnecessary chemicals.  There are thousands of healthy cooking cook books from beginner to advanced that can assist you in this endeavor.  If you do not believe you have time to cook at home each day, then you can either prepare multiple meals and freeze them one day each week, or find a cookbook that can help you cook healthy foods quickly.  Along with the food, do not forget that water is your best source of liquid to drink throughout the day.  In addition to healthy cooking and drinking, remember the holiday season is upon us and the tempting, fatty foods are here for the next few months.  This leads me to the third point…


Third, exercise is always important.  This does not mean that you need to get a gym membership or buy expensive exercise equipment to exercise.  It can be as easy as walking 20-minutes at a minimum of three days per week, or do some yard work that will exert your body for about 20-minutes.  With the Fall season upon us, raking leaves, cleaning rain gutters, or even gardening are all good, practical forms of exercise.

Fourth, when you exercise, you are also utilizing a form of stress management.  Figure out what your stressful triggers are and figure if you can exercise at or before a time that you may get triggered in order to manage the stress.  Find a time to meditate, pray, go on a hike, or window shop in order to manage daily stress.


Fifth, make plenty of time to rest.  Everybody is different.  So, some people may feel just fine after getting as little as 7-hours of sleep, while others need as much as 9-hours of sleep each day.  Find what works for you within reason and be sure to rest.

These are the contributing factors to a good diet, so you can get and maintain the body that’s right for you.  In maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, you will be modeling healthy eating for your children as well.  Remember, not everyone needs to look like a model.


Embrace the journey with your child as you experience the privilege of being a parent.

Learn more about me, Rachel Andrews, at:



Iatrogenic disease are symptoms completely from the side effects of drugs. One out of seven hospital admissions are due to iatrogenic reasons–14% of patients are there because a doctor may have “goofed”. Given this information, wouldn’t it be smarter to see a CHIROPRACTOR FIRST, DRUGS SECOND, SURGERY LAST!!

Chiropractic care is a safe and natural alternative for healing. Proper functioning of the nervous system is important to the body to heal. “Only Chiropractors are trained to detect pressure on nerves.” Pain is a symptom; it is natures way of saying there is a problem going on in the body. Chiropractors work on finding the cause of the pain and treating that rather then the symptom. Chiropractors work with the body to allow healing without the negative aspects of drugs.



Learn more about Dr. Thomas Ruckman at

Pioneer Chiropractic Clinic

105 W. Q St, Ste 2

Springfield, OR  97477





A good night’s sleep is essential to good health. Fifty years ago the average amount of sleep per person was 10 hours a night, and now six hours a night is the norm. When we are young, sleep is a time for growth, and when we are adults, sleep allows the body to repair and regenerate. I always tell my clients who stay up all night on the computer, “No sleep means no repair. No repair means health continues to be compromised, and healing will not take place!”

More and more research is showing that we need to be in sync with our circadian rhythms, going to bed after the sun goes down and getting up with the sunlight. Most of us can not be perfect in this regard, but I encourage people to go to bed by 10:30 at the latest for optimal health. With good sleep we are better able to respond rather than react to life’s circumstances.

Many of my clients do realize the importance of sleep, but have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep through the night. In my clinical experience, sleep disorders tend to fall into a few categories.

  • Blood Sugar Imbalances: Individuals with blood sugar issues tend to have a hard time sleeping through the night as blood sugar dips too low causing waking at an early hour.
    • Recommendation: Eat a high protein snack before bed time.
  • Serotonin Deficiency: When levels of this neurotransmitter are low, there is inadequate surplus to use for conversion to melatonin. If it is hard to get to sleep (night owl syndrome), accompanied by chronic anxiety, irritability, depression or negativity, serotonin deficiency may be an underlying cause of insomnia.
    • Recommendation: There are beneficial supplements to raise serotonin levels as well as dietary changes that can increase levels. Work with a qualified nutritionist or other health care provider.
  • High Levels of the Stress Hormone Cortisol: Cortisol levels should be lowest at night, however, in our high stress world, this is not always the case.
    • Recommendation: Work with a qualified nutritionist or other health care provider to assess salivary cortisol levels and develop a plan that includes diet, lifestyle and supplemental support.

Since most of us can not spring back from a missed night’s sleep like we did in college pulling “all-nighters”, I also want to provide some additional tips for a general good night’s sleep.

  1. Develop a sleep routine. Go to bed at roughly the same time every night, ideally between 10 and 10:30, before your second wind hits around 11:p.m.
  2. Stop screen time about 30-60 minutes before bed to allow your mind to settle down.
  3. Find calming activities like a bath, a good book, a cup of hot tea (tulsi or chamomile are good choices) or some other relaxation practice to get your body headed for shut down mode.
  4. Write down your worries and to do’s on a piece of paper before bed to put those worries to rest for the day.
  5. Make sure your room is as dark as possible as this will help melatonin production.
  6. If blood sugar is a possible issue, have a high protein snack before bed.
  7. If falling asleep is a problem, read something on the boring side until you feel drowsy, and do the same if you wake up in the middle of the night.
  8. Sometimes less is more in terms of commitments. Make your health and sleep a priority and do not overbook yourself. Be especially careful during the holidays to watch your stress and your sleep.
  9. Make sure you are getting enough physical activity during the day so your body is physically tired at night, but try to avoid evening exercise.
  10. Make sure you are eating a whole foods diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, keeping hydrated but not gulping liquids before bed.
  11. Check prescription medications to make sure insomnia is not a side effect.
  12. Aim for 8 hours minimum sleep time per night.
  13. Watch alcohol intake as this can contribute to insomnia, especially middle of the night waking. Limit caffeinated beverages to the morning.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for physical, mental and emotional health. Practice good “sleep hygiene” as part of your self care routine and you will be happier, more vital and your friends and family will thank you! Feel free to contact me for a consultation to get back on the road to peaceful sleep. For now, bon nuit!


Written by Ellen Syversen

Pathways for Health, LLC



As most if not all others in this modern age I have suffered my own version of stress.  Its an important topic.  More to the point I have pursued academic studies for a number of years, at both the behavioral and brain levels (e.g. chronic stress destroys brain circuits).  Earlier this year I was the Keynote speaker at an international Stress and Behavior conference in New Orleans.  There is an amazing amount of exciting research being done at all levels, and much much more we need to understand.  It will be a pleasure to hear other people’s perspectives at the seminar on October 13.

Go to: to learn more about DR. JOHN FENTRESS


The following estimate is from the CCO Report:

Financial Model and Analysis of Potential Statewide

Savings from Statewide Adoption of the CCO Health

Care Delivery System Redesign

Posted on their website:


“The model assumes phased‐in cost savings. In year one, the projected savings are between 10% and 20% of a fully achieved status. In the biennium ending June 30, 2015.the achievement rate increases to 40%to 50%. In year one this equates to $155 million to $308 million in total savings. While we believe that these assumptions are reasonable based on the initiatives underway, it is also possible that greatersavings could be achieved with more aggressive implementation.”

I am wondering what the phrase “aggressive implementation” means? They have already announced that they are cutting back on Emergency Room visits. Where else will they find room for “aggressive implementation”?

Is anyone following these changes?!!!


“Ask MAx” is originally published every Thursday in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can order home delivery at

Dear MAx

My partner stopped using alcohol and drugs last February. Things seemed to have been going pretty good until right around the beginning of November. What I am noticing now is that he is moody, snapping at people, and acting ‘squarely’. I don’t think he is using again. He sees an addiction counselor on a regular basis so I don’t feel it is my job to hold him accountable since he trusts his counselor. I have been reading a lot of books on addiction, have been talking to other people about it, and even attended an Alanon meeting. What information am I missing?


Dear Sam,

Holidays are difficult for people in recovery. We live in a society that includes intoxicants in all its celebrations. The early stage of recovery is difficult because of the detox process happening in the body. Throw in the holiday season with learned behaviors of celebration and, there you are, Sam, a ‘squarely’ partner. Let me share this bit of information offered by Sue Hosington, Director of Mental Health of the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota:



The holidays can be a challenging time for all of us. It is so easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season, while feeling let down by unmet expectations. The holidays can be especially challenging for individuals recovering from chemical dependency. Maintaining sobriety can be difficult when memories, increased family contacts, and the emotional highs and lows of the season present us with unexpected issues.

Recovering people frequently have unrealistically high expectations of themselves, which simply adds to the stress of the time. Another source of potential relapse stems from feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety, and depression. Worry is a common expression of anxiety, and loneliness is a common expression of depression. These two emotions are especially heightened during the holidays.

It’s good to develop a holiday plan, one that will help confront memories, which threaten the quality of your holiday experience. Your plan will benefit from improved self-care, enhanced support from others, and healthy ways to celebrate. Some suggestions follow:

GOOD SELF-CARE is vital. Remember to slow down. Take some quiet time each day to reflect on an attitude of gratitude. Plan relaxation and meditation into your day, even for a few minutes, no matter how you are. Relax your standards, reduce overwhelming demands, and delegate responsibilities. And remember to laugh during your day.

EAT, HYDRATE, EXERCISE and REST. Go easy on the holiday sweets and follow a balanced diet. Monitor your intake of caffeine, nicotine, and sugar. Exercise regularly to help maintain your energy level amid a busier schedule. Don’t try to do too much. Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue is a stressor that can make us more vulnerable to relapse. Try and maintain some kind of schedule. Plan ahead—don’t wait until the last minute to purchase gifts or prepare to entertain.

ENHANCE YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM. Our culture presents the holidays as a time of joy, but this is not always so. Holidays can trigger many painful memories. They are a good time to reach out more frequently to your counselor, sponsor, and Twelve-Step group. Spend time with recovering people and activities. Let other help you realize your personal limits. Learn to say “no” in a way that is comfortable for you.

FIND NEW WAYS TO CELEBRATE. Create some new symbols and rituals that will help redefine a joyful and rewarding holiday season. You might host your own holiday gathering for special recovering friends and/or attend celebrations of your Alcohol Anonymous group to celebrate and not with people who are substance users. Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary temptations, such as gatherings where alcohol is the center of entertainment. If there are people who have a negative influence on you, make a choice to not be with them—or to limit time spent with them.

I hope that this information is not only useful for you, but for all people experiencing recovery in their life.




Have a question about addiction, recovery, or life transitions such as retirement, career change, grief and loss issues, empty nesting, etc, ‘ASK MAx’. Send your questions to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR  97440; or, e-mail your questions to

Learn more about MAx Fabry at