The Easiest Way to Write, Publish And Be Selling Your First Kindle eBook in 30 Days or Less

Who else would love to write their first eBook this month? Are you a coach, consultant, teacher or trainer who would love to see your first book published, downloaded and discussed around the globe?

The truth is, most online entrepreneurs crave the attention, the affection and the publicity that publishing a book will bring, but don’t have the stamina and persistence to get to the finish line.

After all… writers block is probably the biggest enemy for “REAL” writers who want to self publish, how much harder is it for online entrepreneurs and marketers who want to publish purely for publicity purposes, right?

I’m going to give you a really simple “secret” strategy that will help you overcome this obstacle, and if you follow my directions, you’ll have your first book ready to be uploaded within 30 days. (works in just about any niche you have PASSION or genuine authority or expertise)

The secret is simple.

Codify and collate questions from your community, into content.

For example, the Tumblr platform has baked this into their platform incredibly well, and as a result, some of the most popular Tumblr’s are now very books to boot.

How so?

The “Ask Me Anything” and “Submit” feature allows other readers from around the web to submit questions, thoughts, opinions or stories… and due to the viral nature of social media, and built in beauty of blogging around a topic that people share passion and a sense of purpose… you can get an AVALANCHE of submissions in YOUR niche, very quickly.

Next –

You simply take the best questions, content and submissions, and codify it into a structure that works as a book. It really IS that easy, and if you have a popular blog or Tumblr now with lots of existing readers, you can literally do this in a weekend. (especially if you are in an emotive niche where people like to share)

A great example of this?

There are a bunch, but one of my favorites is the “Clients from Hell” blog. Not only have they created a world famous blog around a pretty common shared experience by service professionals (difficult clients) they’ve turned the blog into a brand, a business and a blooming bank account to boot! (with a whole store set up around T-shirts, Mugs, and other branded goods that creative professionals buy by the busload)

Their book… and blog is ALL user generated content. Anonymous people submitting their horror stories working with clients, or short blurbs about difficult customers. It’s very entertaining, a lot of fun, and one of the most popular books (and brands) in the industry.

I’ve seen this done by psychics, mediums, personal development coaches, online entrepreneurs, designers, credit repair counselors, spiritual teachers and just about every other type of “publisher” you can imagine.

The good news? you can do the very same thing with WordPress, or any other blog platform that accepts submissions, and the truth is… you can do the same thing with Twitter, Facebook, and social media that allows you to accept content from your community.

It’s creative – and cool, and pretty darn easy to establish yourself as a bonafide writer, publisher, expert and authority site in just about any niche you choose… including the one that MAY make you rich!

Vietnam Travel Tour: Planning a Peaceful Invasion

Perhaps for most of us, Vietnam is more likely to be associated with epic war films due to its historical background. But there’s more to it than being a mere battleground in movies. Its rich culture intermingled with breath taking highlands and terraces, pristine beaches and diverse island landscapes make it an ideal option for the next big adventure trip. Thus from north to south, here’s a ‘debriefing’ travel guide for you to conquer Vietnam’s top tourist attractions.

Infiltration and Timing

There are two approaches in ‘invading’ Vietnam, landing by plane in Hanoi and going south, or through Saigon heading north. Moving in and around the country can be through buses, trains or domestic flights. The optimal season to visit northern Vietnam is from May until October during summertime as winter times are cold and gloomy. Meanwhile, December to April is the best time to drop by the southern part as this is the dry season of the year.

Conquering Strategic Sites

Starting from Hanoi which is the country’s capital, one immediate jump-off is the Hoan Kiem Lake, which means “Lake of the Restored Sword”. This beautiful lake is one of the foremost scenic spots in the metropolis being embedded with a rich cultural history. Approximately 165 kilometers northeast from Hanoi is the Ha Long Bay. It is set in a 120 kilometer long coast line and literally means “Bay of Descending Dragons”. Being the top tourist attraction in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay comprises more than a thousand islands, each capped with abundant jungle vegetation, forming a fascinating seascape of limestone pillars. Some of the islands are hollow, having enormous caves within. No wonder it is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Numerous travel tour companies provide packages for cruising the bay.

Meanwhile, located near the Chinese border northwest of Vietnam is the Fansipan Mountain, which is the highest peak in all Indochina at 3,143 metres. Also, Sa Pa rice terraces can be found situated in the Muong Hoa valley, between Sa Pa town and the Fansipan mountain. Local tour companies will arrange hikes to both the rice terraces and summit taking a few days.

Going Further South

Marching downward the map, one should not miss the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, the Thien Mu Pagoda. Comprising seven stories high, it overlooks the Perfume River and is considered as the unofficial representation of the former imperial capital. Then, next stop is the fishing village of Hoi An situated on the South China Sea coast. It is commonly called the “Venice of Vietnam” because of the narrow canals that traverse part of the town.

Advancing further down, Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most popular seaside resort town positioned along the second most outstanding bays in the country. It also happens to be the country’s scuba diving capital. It features beautiful beaches with pristine sand and crystal clear water.

Don’t forget to pass by the Cu Chi Tunnels. They are an immense network of underground connecting tunnels located roughly 40 km northwest of Saigon. They were utilized by the Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding places during the Vietnam War. They have now become a favorite tourist attraction in Vietnam.

Take a glimpse of how life is in the Mekong Delta, a region in southern Vietnam which is a very rich and lush area that produces nearly half of Vietnam’s agricultural output. Interestingly, all the villages are often accessible by river rather than taking the road.

Before the battle is to be won, plant your victory flag in Phu Quoc, the largest island in Vietnam located in front of Cambodia. The island’s features and intact coral reefs will surely calm your wary soul. One of its beaches, named Bai Dai (Long Beach), was even selected by the ABC News as one of the five clean and beautiful beaches. Phu Quoc is also known for producing the best nuoc mam or fermented fish sauce in the world. Sounds fishy? Take the Vietnam travel tour challenge and see for yourself.

Cruises Are a Great Option for Your Honeymoon

Cruises are actually a wonderful place to take a honeymoon. There are several reasons that they are great for this event in your life.

One of the great things about cruises is that they are almost all-inclusive. You can order room service anytime, you can order and eat as much as you desire at meal times. However, alcoholic beverages may or may not be included. You have access to pools, spas, and other amenities. The ship will take you to the shore, and you then have the freedom to explore and take excursions. If you do not want to spend any extra, you do not have to do so. Excursions cost, but you could choose to just enjoy the boat’s amenities that are included.

People may figure that cruises will cost a large amount. It is true that they can be costly, but for what you get they are well worth it. If you watch for specials, you may be able to get a good price. One thing to remember with cost is that your airline flight is not likely included. That is really the only transportation cost you will have unless you need to pay for a shuttle from the airports.

As you think about cost, try not to get overwhelmed. Just break it down. If you decide you want to go on a cruise, start having 20 dollars put in your savings account every week. By doing this, you should be able to pay for your honeymoon within four or five year’s time. The amount you save may actually exceed what you need. If you do not have five years before you are getting married, break it down in a different way. If you need to put it on credit, then you will know that you should be able to pay it off in less than seven years if you include the interest. To lucky ones, your honeymoon might be given as a wedding gift, and in these cases, you will not have to pay for anything except the extras.

There is a downside to many things, and that is the case with cruises as well. If you are prone to getting seasick or motion sick, then you might have a problem going on a cruise. If you believe you might have a problem, see your doctor. He or she should be able to provide you with something to help or a suggestion for something over-the-counter. You may or may not struggle if you get medication. There is a doctor on the ships, so if you end up having a major problem, they should be able to help.

Do not let a fear of cost or seasickness keep you from considering cruises as an option for your honeymoon. Sit down with the one you love, if you know them yet, and talk about it. If you have not yet met someone, maybe now is the time to start saving for the future.

Economic Conditions Have Turned Off The Light

Due to current economic conditions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off…

I saw this posted at the end of an email I received today. I know it was meant to be funny, and I did laugh when I first read it. Then I couldn’t get the impact of the statement out of my head. It kept repeating like a song that gets stuck in your head.

I want to believe the glass is half full. As a person trying to live in the real world and on the internet, the very thought that there is no longer any light at the end of the tunnel is devastating.

Fortunately I surround myself with fantastic people who always believe in a better tomorrow. Small business entrepreneurs, they come from all walks of life and they all believe in the light.

One guy buys distressed homes in the nicer blue-collar parts in town, doing most of the contractor type work himself he fixes them up. A new coat of paint, kitchen floor and clean the carpet so he can make them available for rent at affordable rates. Investing his future in the housing market in these economic conditions is a very risky and long-term investment. But he believes the light at the end of the tunnel is on.

Another couple of business owners started their own niche bar and club, party style, tour business. They work to bring paying customers to not only the larger clubs in Las Vegas, but the smaller locals style mom and pop bars around town.

They lead by example. Not only do they have fun making money while having a rolling party, but they are actively bringing the stimulus through the doors the local businesses need.

And another guy, no longer working at a local Vegas club decided to build an online business he could pass to his son after his college graduation. I’m assuming that he’s going to need a good hearty income to pay off his college loans.

He chose the niche market of sports clothing. He’s not trying to run Nike out of business or take jobs away from Big-5 Sporting or even Wal-Mart. But he does believe that even in these economic times, if you have a dream your willing to combine it with hard work there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

By surrounding myself with people who still believe in a brighter future. The people who will never except that economic conditions are so bad its time to turn the light off.

I can change that song in my head, change it to a song I learned as a child.

And with the current economic conditions, it’s needed more today than ever.

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…

How Word of Mouth Promotion Can Help You Make Money Online

A lot of people have turned to blogging to make money online. These blogs range from providing up-to-date information about a specific type of product, topic or service like digital cameras, marathons, hemorrhoids, restaurants, etc. You name it and there’s bound to be a blog that talks about it on the internet.

But blogs are not just used for promoting products and services. Professionals from different industries have also discovered that they can make money from blogging by building a community of avid followers.

They start by building a personal brand and reputation online. Likewise, they put themselves out there and let people know that they genuinely want to help them. They then provide a mountain of tips and advices on their blog and sneak in some sales pitches in between to entice them to buy a product or two or even to avail of their services and in the process, make money online.

People, as well all know, are constantly looking for solutions to their problems online. So if they stumble upon your blog which is full of insights, suggestions and tips that are specific to their problems, they would not just visit your blog often, they would also want to share it with their personal network of family and friends! As your followers grow in number, so does your potential to make money online.

The question here now is, “how do you make sure that people find your blog?”

There are many ways to promote your blog online and I’m pretty sure that you’re well aware of some of them. However, there’s one channel that many professional marketers overlook and that is through word of mouth promotion. I know, it sounds pretty old school. But hey, it works and here’s how!

1. A Personal Encounter Has More Impact Than An Online Interaction

Let’s admit it! We can all remember our first date, our first kiss, our first car or even funny incidents with family and friends. It gives us a mental picture that we can easily pull out of our memory and share with others or just to reminisce about it.

This is also true with networking in person. Meeting people in the flesh and engaging them in a lively conversation has more impact than if you were just chatting online or exchanging comments on Facebook or Twitter. Not only that but you will leave a lasting impression which can be strengthened further when they visit your blog and read about your insightful thoughts and recommendations.

Although engaging people online in discussions has its merits, think of how you’re missing out on their expressions and reactions. A personal encounter on the other hand won’t give them a chance to conceal what they’re really thinking or feeling and you can immediately find ways to assure them or provide them with a solution. Of course, don’t forget to let them know about your blog so they could still find you online after your meet up.

2. A Personal Encounter Can Lead To A Community Of Prospects

You might be wondering how this is possible but I tell you, a number of marketers have found networking events are a goldmine of potential business to make money online.

Joining networking events and conferences such as one that is sponsored by your local chamber of commerce would give you ample opportunity to meet with industry leaders and influential people. These people would naturally have their own community of followers who they can influence and if you can get them to see the value of what you’re offering, you would have a huge chance to market to their followers as well!

Mike Eagar of Wildfire Marketing shared how word of mouth marketing had helped him sell thousands of books about social media from just one community at a time when eBook readers hardly existed.

What he did first was identify the trade shows and conferences that would attract influential leaders to join. He would then contact the organizers and provide free resources as well as conduct workshops based on the book that he was selling. However, he made it his top priority to build personal relationships with the leaders of the community.

One event alone led him to conduct more than 20 large speaking engagements that subsequently resulted to thousands of books sold!

Even though this example involved the physical selling of books, this is relevant to promoting your blog too and make money online. For instance, if you’re a social media marketer who offers coaching and social media marketing services, you can reach out to potential businesses that are looking to break in to the social media arena and use its power to boost their business from these networking events. These businesses would know of other businesses that would also want to take advantage of the internet’s reach and they can very well recommend you to them and so on.

So don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth marketing in promoting your blog and selling your products and services on the internet. It is without a doubt a channel that every professional marketer should exploit to make money online.

Making a Good Income From Home – Is It Possible?

Is it possible to make a good income from home? Is it even possible to make a better income from home than you would in a high profile corporate job?

Let’s explore the possibilities:

Tutoring online

If you have a teaching background, you can always tutor online. Mathematics and English are two subjects that are in high demand. You can create your own tutoring website, or you can join one of the many tutoring websites that are available online. These exist to help put you and students seeking tutors together.

Selling stuff

You can find a good dropship wholesale website. This means that a company offers you products at wholesale prices which you can then sell at retail. When you make a sale charging retail prices, the company then ships the product for you without showing the price they paid. They just include a packing slip and you invoice the customer yourself.

Being an affiliate for another business is also possible. You find a big online business like Amazon or Clickbank, build a website featuring their products or reviews of their products, and when you make a sale, you get paid a commission. This may be a good way of selling as you don’t have the hassle of invoicing and shipping as you never sell the product direct. You just lead the customer to the website.

Customer Service

Many people are looking for someone who can do their customer service for them. You will have an 0800 (or 1800) number directed to your phone, and you handle all the enquiries that come in for the business that hire you. This service is getting more and more popular as many small businesses outsource this.

Virtual Assistant

Many small business owners need their admin tasks taken off their hands in order to free them up for doing what they’re good at. Here you will be doing admin related tasks like answering the phone, typing, filing, sorting and book-keeping. Some Virtual Assistants can even create websites using the Microsoft Office Suite. This service is also getting more and more popular as it is a cost-effective way to have someone work for you, without any employment related hassles.

Network Marketing Home Business

Network Marketing or Multilevel Marketing (MLM) is another possible way to work from home. In fact, this is the only business where you don’t have to trade time for money. However, most people are wary of this as there are many scams around. However, there are many good companies out there that offer a legitimate way to build your own business.

My advice would be to find a company that you can join for free. These companies are the most successful as they don’t need your money. If you want to pay a joining fee and pay for a kit, you need to do your research to find a company with a product that you believe in and feel passionate about. You have the internet, and can do the research. Check the company’s reputation while you’re at it. It is best not to go for a new company as they have no track record yet.

It is entirely possible to replace your day job with a profitable home business. It is even possible to earn the same amount as a corporate level job would pay. You only need to do your due diligence in order to not get scammed.

Building a Drug-Free Environment for Teenagers

Teenagers fall prey to using illicit drugs because they are tempted to try these drugs. They believe that taking such drugs will help them attain pleasure and stay active. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the negative effects of using drugs on health and are putting their lives at risk.

Drug abuse is harmful for teenagers:

The harmful consequences of teen drug abuse include increased risk of getting addicted to drugs later in life. Since their body and mind is still in a developing stage, their health can seriously get affected by drug abuse.

Short-term consequences of drug abuse include blurred vision, nausea, glazed eyes, increased fatigue, sudden weight loss or weight gain, mood swings, etc. Long-term consequences include kidney, lung and liver failure, brain damage and high blood pressure leading to heart attack, stroke and death.

Most common drugs used by teens:

There are different types of illicit drugs that are generally used by teens. These drugs are very harmful and may lead to serious health problems. You need to know them to protect your teen from drug abuse.

Some commonly abused drugs include

•Alcohol
•Tobacco products
•Marijuana
•Cocaine
•Heroin
•Inhalants
•Ecstasy
•Prescription drugs
•Hallucinogens
•Methamphetamine

Parents and school/college authorities should keep an eye on teens:

Adolescence is a stage in life when significant changes in body and mind occur. Teens find it a pleasure in taking any kind of risk. If they are with the wrong crowd, they can get into drug abusing habit. Therefore, parents and school/college authorities should monitor their teens’/students’ behavior. If they notice that the teen is gradually changing his or her behavior, immediately take necessary action.

Some common behavioral changes

•Fall in academics
•Rebellious behavior
•Change in friends
•Change in appetite
•Lying to get away with things
•Neglecting physical appearance
•Unexplained need for money

Parents and school/college authorities should watch out for these changes. If they do notice any of these changes, they need to confirm the drug abuse. For this they can take help of drug testing kits. Once drug abuse is confirmed they need to speak to their children.

Initially, if parents get to know that their teen is abusing drugs, they should talk to him/her and explain the negative effects of drugs, because teens at a tender age are very rebellious. Parents, therefore, should handle the situation very carefully.

Even after the parents’ intervention, if the teen is adamant and does not want to mend his/her ways, it would be appropriate to take him/her either to a counselor or a rehab center.

Evils of Addiction

In a recent survey it was found that most cocaine addicts are working with reputed organizations at a fine post. Statistics also reveal that employees working in MNCs are more likely to try drugs like cocaine and heroin some time in their career as compared to students and professionals working in smaller offices. Most MNCs have therefore come up with their own drug and alcohol testing policies as per the OHS system.

Not only does this policy help in identifying drug abusers in the organization but also helps in keeping the employees away from drugs. The mere fear of being caught can cause an employee to steer clear of drugs like heroin and cocaine. 10 panel drug tests in workplaces has also helped a lot of people to get rid of their addiction problem. A workplace drug testing program helps the employers to understand the loopholes in the organization as well. The employee is of course sent to a rehab or a detox center in order to get proper treatment.

The Evils of Drugs

Excessive intake of drugs or frequent drug abuse can lead to addiction and once a person is hooked to a certain drug, he can cause some serious troubles for himself and the people around him. As far as the official point of view is concerned, a drug addict is no asset to the company because of the following reasons:

1. A drug addict is extremely careless with his work and is less likely to do it right
2. An employee hooked to drugs would have trouble taking quick decisions
3. A drug addict experiences severe drops in concentration levels
4. Shift in focus and craving for the drug at work can also lead to poor efficiency
5. If an employee comes to the office stoned, his behavior would not be proper to his colleagues and fellow employees
6. Some one who is addicted to drugs does not go unnoticed and can end up spoiling the name of the organization as a whole
7. An addict can cause people around him to fall into the world of addiction as well

There are a number of health related risks related to drug abuse as well. A drug like cocaine can destroy almost every organ in the human body and an overdose can even lead to death. Psychological problems like nervous breakdowns and extreme depression are common among drug addicts.

The worst part about drug addiction is that even when an addict knows that he is as depressed as he can ever be, he shows no intents of coming out of his addiction. Drugs have a firm grip on addicts and therefore treating a drug addict is a lengthy and tough task.

In MNCs and various other companies, drug and alcohol testing is a monthly affair. Drug and alcohol testing is also important in order for the employers to make sure that they are offering a safe and healthy work environment to the employees. In most offices a 10 panel drug test is conducted in order to make sure that the employees are not on drugs.

Support Networks in Recovery From Addiction

Support networks must be made a critical component of an addict’s recovery plan in order to prevent relapse and maintain and improve emotional, mental and spiritual health. Recovering addicts that do not have a support network often become depressed, withdraw from social interactions and eventually return to using drugs in order to self-medicate their emotional pain. Consequently, understanding how support networks can benefit a recovery program and what types of networks are available is essential for people who are battling the disease of addiction or alcoholism.

Support Networks: Why They Work

There are 8 primary reasons why support networks are crucial for people in recovery:

1.) Fellowship

The power of fellowship is felt in nearly all groups that gather for a specific purpose; especially groups with powerful missions like those dedicated to the recovery of addicts and alcoholics. Humans are innately social creatures that need to be around other people that share the same goals and interests. And while there might not yet be enough scientific evidence to prove it, for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years mankind has recognized the power of fellowship; it’s a call that all humans respond to and this may be even truer for addicts that need to know they are not alone in their struggle.

2.) Friendly Observation

People in recovery sometimes struggle with issues of honesty regarding their desire to use or their actual drug use despite recovery efforts. Having a strong recovery-based support network serves as a safety net in this regard, as people within the group can recognize issues and signs of relapse or impending relapse among others in the group. In this way people can “keep an eye on each other.”

3.) Environment of Understanding

People in the general public often find it difficult or impossible to understand the true nature of the disease of addiction and fail to recognize how powerful it really is. By creating a recovery support network, an addict or alcoholic can ensure that the people they surround themselves with understand addiction and will therefore be less likely to judge, admonish or “feel sorry” for others that they know have a legitimate, neurological disease that requires a daily effort to overcome.

4.) The Power of Sharing

There is a great deal of power in sharing and we see this in many different ways in society, from the individual talking to a therapist, to those who take part in groups and organizations, to people who open up to their barber or stylist, we clearly see that sharing helps people. Sharing can relieve stress, create stronger relationships and allow people to “let go” of emotional and other pain that they otherwise would allow to fester and grow. And according to Dr. Barton Goldsmith, sharing with others helps give us new perspective;

“There will always be problems in our lives, but sometimes we don’t have the capacity to handle them all by ourselves. Getting a 360-degree view is impossible when all you can see is what’s going wrong. And talking with another person can give you perspective.” (Goldsmith, Barton, Ph.D. Talk About Your Problems, Please Psychology Today March 3, 2011)

5.) Emergencies

When an addict has an “emergency”, it often means they are about to relapse. For some, this could prove fatal, so prompt action is required. Addicts that have good support networks are able to rely on people within them to come to their aid in the event that they feel drug use or a return to drinking is imminent. Additionally, a person in recovery may be empowered and enlightened when another addict asks them for help when they feel like using.

6.) Confidence

The confidence that a strong recovery-oriented support network can provide is significant. Many addicts report that just knowing there are people that they can talk to and others who are like them that they can turn to in the event of trouble makes it much easier to deal with the daily problems that often stress addicts and alcoholics out. When it comes to relapse prevention, confidence is one of the most critical components of recovery stability.

7.) Education and Resources

The more people an addict has in their networks, the more likely it is that new and useful information will be passed among the various members. And the more education and resources an addict has access to, the more likely it is that they will acquire the right combination of knowledge and tools not only to stay clean for life, but to help others do so as well.

8.) Entertainment

Being part of a recovery-oriented network doesn’t mean that there’s no fun or entertainment involved. People in recovery can still do all of the fun things they want to do, provided others in the group want to participate. Fortunately there are many recovery-sensitive groups and organizations that arrange outings, events and so on in order to provide clean entertainment for its members. Remember; it’s as important to share a laugh with your networks as it is to share emotional pain.

Types/Components of Support Networks

Each addict’s complete support network structure is unique. Some addicts consciously build their support groups, while others are unsure of what groups and networks exist, how to join and what the benefits are. The following are 11 different components that in whole or in part make up the support networks of many people in recovery:

1.) 12 Step Programs

Groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) have provided the fellowship and support necessary to help thousands of people maintain their recovery, “one day at a time.” Both groups are founded on the principle of the discussion and sharing of experiences, usually pre-empted by the humbling statement of;

“Hi, my name is so-and-so, and I’m an addict.”

Many rehab centers and drug treatment programs use 12 Step programs as a basis for the continued recovery program of their patients upon graduation. While these groups are not for everyone, they are convenient in that they can be found in virtually every area of the country.

2.) Recovery-Specific Groups

Recovery specific groups are those that gather for a particular purpose or activity in order to have clean fun together. Often there isn’t any structure to the groups in the sense of recovery-oriented dialogue or practices- in most cases these groups are just people trying to live normal lives but who all happen to be in recovery. Examples of recovery-oriented groups include the infamous 5th Chapter motorcycle club and Young People in Recovery.

3.) Connections Made During Treatment

When addicts complete drug or alcohol treatment together, they often form lasting bonds that become a key part of their support system. Of course, these relationships should only be maintained if they are healthy. These can be especially powerful relationships because the parties are essentially on the same “level,” and are likely going through similar experiences related to post acute withdrawal, issues re-integrating with society, etc.

4.) Recovery Forums and Websites

Recovery forums and websites provide an additional opportunity to develop relationships, discuss issues, share experiences, collaborate, meet and take part in activities together and much more. Forums are also an excellent way to gather information and resources and to easily develop a support system that might not be available in certain areas- especially very small cities and towns.

5.) Family & Friends

Family and friends that support the addict’s recovery are possibly the most important part of a strong support system. From old friends that bring understanding, history and loyalty to new friends that have been acquired along the path to recovery, often these individuals can provide more emotional support than others. The same is true of family members, but people in recovery must beware to limit relationships with family members that were enablers or those who do not suppo
rt or take addiction recovery seriously. In many cases relationships with family members are cited as the cause of substance abuse, so it’s important to choose the family and friends that are permitted into a support network carefully and honestly.

6.) Spiritual & Religious Groups

Even if you don’t take part in organized religion, there are often groups within groups among these types of organizations. For instance, AA and NA 12 Step meetings are often held at churches or other spiritual gathering places. In fact, some religious groups sponsor these programs because their ideals are largely aligned.

7.) Rehab Alumni Associations

For addicts that attended and completed a rehab program, there may be an opportunity to join an alumni association for that particular treatment center. This is an excellent way to stay connected to the people who were influential in the early part of a person’s recovery, and to meet new people who are also living a life free from drugs or alcohol, one day at a time.

8.) Community Outreach Programs

Many communities have outreach programs for the disadvantaged, and this can include drug addicts in some cases. Programs can be as simple as the provision of a place to gather and meet, or it can include funding for specialized treatment, groups, therapy and other benefits. In order to find out if your community offers such programs, your town or city hall is an excellent place to start.

9.) Healthcare Professionals

Therapists, doctors, nurses, dieticians, massage therapists, chiropractors and many other types of healthcare professional play a central role in the support network of addicts and alcoholics in recovery. In fact, most people in recovery probably underutilize this source and fail to recognize the benefits. However, this group is likely one of the most important parts of a recovery support system considering that these professionals help to maintain the physical, mental and emotional health of an individual. Consequently it’s vital that people in recovery are open and honest with their healthcare professionals and alert them to any issues that could indicate a relapse is imminent.

10.) School/Educational Resources

If you’re a student, it’s likely that your school or university has special programs available for people who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. These programs could consist of therapy or counseling, the hosting of recovery-related groups, resources to get outside help and possibly funding for treatment. Additionally, other students may become part of a support network, as they are almost certainly experiencing the same stresses and issues related to schooling, social pressures and so on.

11.) Volunteer Organizations

By volunteering for any number of a wide range of organizations, people in recovery can help to give back what was given to them in the way of compassion, understanding, advice, resources, financial assistance, etc. But perhaps even more importantly, the interactions between other volunteers and organizers can blossom into significant meaningful relationships that can one day become a key part of a healthy support system.

If you’re an addict or alcoholic in recovery and you don’t have a support network, it’s imperative that you take action now and get involved. You can start with a simple search in Google for recovery related forums, or you can check the Yellow Pages for the nearest AA or NA meeting. Remember; if you go to the same lengths to stay clean as you once did to use, you’ll very quickly develop a strong network of link-minded, recovery-oriented people that will offer a mutually beneficial way to keep fighting the good fight, one day at a time.

Tips to Conduct an Effective Drug Testing Program

The main purpose of conducting a drug testing program is to ensure that the dangerous habit of drug abuse is completely eliminated among the people. But to achieve the desired positive results, the program should be effective. And for effective implementation of this program, there are certain aspects to be taken care of. Here are a few tips that enable effective implementation of the program.

Explain the importance:

Teachers, parents, employers or any other personnel conducting the drug testing program should make it clear to the suspects that the purpose of the program is to ensure better and healthy living of the individual. It is their duty to explain the benefits of detecting and preventing the drug abusing habit. By doing so, the individuals will be encouraged to take the test without any inhibitions.

Determine the best method:

Drug testing methods are classified into different types depending on the sample used – hair, saliva, urine and blood. Of these methods, choose a method that is convenient. The convenience of the test should be judged in terms of ease of conducting and effectiveness in giving reliable results.

Be aware of drug detection windows:

Knowing drug detection windows is important for effective implementation of the program because, the drug detection periods vary from sample to sample and from drug to drug. For example, in case of amphetamines the drug detection period is 1 to 3 days in urine, 24 hours in blood, 90 days in hair and 0-24 hours in saliva.

Implement preventive methods to avoid sample alteration:

There is a probability that the suspects adulterate or manipulate (alter) test samples. Hence, make sure that the testing area/room does not contain any kind of materials/solvents which can be used to adulterate the test sample. It is also important that while collecting test samples, the donors should be monitored.

Use reliable test kits:

The effectiveness of the program is also dependent on the effectiveness of the equipment. Since testing at schools or workplaces requires on-site testing tools, drug test kits are recommended. These kits can also be used for home drug testing as they ensure privacy of results. These kits are cost effective, fast, safe, accurate and reliable. They are of different types based on the specimen used (saliva, urine, hair, etc.) and the design of kits (cups or strips). FDA approved kits give accurate results as they abide by the SAMHSA cut-off levels.

An effectively implemented drug testing program not only fetches accurate results but also plays a vital role in eliminating the habit of drug abuse.