Archive | March, 2011

New website dedicated to helping addicts in recovery

Tags: , ,

New website dedicated to helping addicts in recovery

Posted on 28 March 2011 by Michelle Reed

Be sure to watch overcoming addiction with Derek Steele This Sunday April 3rd at 3pm on HoustonPBS (repeats Friday at 10pm)

Watch the video on this page on the Science of Addiction with Dr. Tom Kosten the creator of the cocaine vaccine.

By: Patricia Gras & Michelle Reed, Production Assistant

In today’s generation, social media plays a pivotal role in most young adults and teenager’s lives. From checking what our friends are doing on Facebook to Twitter, teens are connected to the digital world 24/7. And with a connection to outside resources, and friend’s lifestyles, some teens can be introduced to drugs and alcohol.

Since 2008, a steady decline in drug use has been shown among 10th to 12th grade high school students according to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse). In NIDA’s study, use of the painkiller Vicodin has decreased from 9.7 percent to 8 percent among students. While nonmedical use of hallucinogen’s has declined as well, studies show that student’s continue to choose crack cocaine and Adderall (a drug used for people with Attention Deficit Disorder or Narcolepsy to focus on normal tasks), as their drug of choice.

Finding a way to communicate with a teenager about drug addiction or alcoholism can sometimes feel as if you are pulling teeth, but it’s easier to communicate to your teen about issues like addiction in a way that they can understand, even if that mean’s allowing them to search the web for answers., a website that is a number once source for all things drugs, alcohol, and recovery, went online today. While the topics are geared toward adults, parent’s can use the website as an indirect way to communicate to their teen’s while spending time together.

The website was founded by Radar Magazine editor Maer Roshan who says in a New York Times article that he decided to create the website because while he was struggling with substance abuse earlier in his life, he found that there were no media outlets for him to go to for help.

“These are people who are united by their values, united by their mission; there’s a common lingo, common literature,” Roshan said in the article. “There’s an actual community here.”

The website not only offers serious stories on addiction and recovery, but it brings in funny stories that will help any addict recover in laughter. Even if the website isn’t helpful for a child, it is said to be incredibly helpful for recovering adults as well. Each story will be written by affluent writers, journalists and novelists all over the world.

And even though the website won’t replace the help of a doctor or a recovery center, it does serve as an outlet for recovering addicts to participate in a community where the writers, and the fans, are dealing with the same issues.

Links to a few Texas and Houston area recovery centers:

Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery Center:

Road to Recovery Texas:

Pathway to Recovery:

Burning Tree Ranch:



Living Smart with Patricia Gras airs Sundays at 3 p.m. and Fridays at 10 p.m. on HoustonPBS/Channel 8

(HOUSTON-March 18, 2011)- Living Smart with Patricia Gras, a locally produced, award-winning series on Channel 8, returns for its seventh season on Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m.  The show, which focuses on helping viewers get the most out of life by finding solutions to different life challenges. Each episode features a single guest discussing a specific topic. The show’s producer and host, Emmy-award winner Patricia Gras, says she selects her guest because they have something to share that will empower, educate or inspire viewers.

“When times are difficult and uncertain I want this series to remind us we have a choice, to survive or thrive, to be passive or proactive, to live in fear or live with hope. The underlying theme of this season, and really every season we produce, is there is always hope. There is always a better way to live.” says Gras.

For the new season, Gras went in search of practical solutions to help viewers who are dealing with an array of issues—from addiction, to career advice to improving relationships and finding better health and wellness.  Even though Living Smart airs nationally on over 200 PBS channel, the majority of experts featured on the show are Houstonians, which is important to Gras.

“Houston is a great city with amazing people who are doing remarkable things that sometimes fly under the radar. One of the things we want to accomplish with this show is give Houstonians an opportunity to share their expertise not just here in Houston but with the rest of the country as well,” says Gras.

Living Smart with Patricia Gras airs Sundays at 3 p.m. and Fridays at 10 p.m. on HoustonPBS/Channel 8.

- ### -

Additional Resources

Living Smart with Patricia Gras

About HoustonPBS

HoustonPBS/Channel 8 serves to empower, engage and enrich the lives of the people of Southeast Texas. HoustonPBS provides content and services that advance civic engagement, create an environment for learning and encourage the exchange of diverse perspectives. Millions of people tune in each month to watch quality programs about culture, arts, science, news and national and world affairs as well as award-winning children’s programming.

HoustonPBS/KUHT-TV is a service of the University of Houston supported through the Association for Community Broadcasting.

Comments (4)

Living Smart on Addiction Sunday April 3rd

Posted on 28 March 2011 by Patricia Gras

what I learned this week: We all have some sort of addiction, for me the solution has to be both scientific and spiritual.

What I am grateful for: When I lost friends and family to addictions. I never forgot the lesson.

This Sunday Derek Steele, a former drug addict now author and millionaire, has given his whole life to helping others with the same problem he once had. He is a courageous, committed and generous man who has chosen a path to serve others. Steele is also the author of the book “Addict at 10″, which details his triumph over long-term drug and alcohol addiction.
Steele suffered abuse and neglect during his childhood, and turned to drugs and alcohol at a very young age. Before long, he was addicted, and spent much of his life in and out of debt and jail. During what Steele calls, “a moment of clarity,” he realized the ramifications of his actions and checked himself into rehab at the age of 20. Steele became a self-made millionaire by age 35, and now spends his time giving motivational speeches in an effort to raise awareness about addiction.
On Living Smart, Derek Steele will share his story of overcoming his addiction and how he uses his past to teach healthy habits and lifestyles to the youth of America.
For more information


Do you know anyone who has been addicted to drugs or alchohol and what happened to them and to those around them?

Comments (0)

Reflections and a question

Posted on 17 March 2011 by Patricia Gras

What I am grateful for: People around the world work very hard to understand one another

What I learned this week: There is still a lot of ignorance about people of other races, religions and countries. We all need enlightment.

This week we’ll celebrate the End of Racial Discrimination, so you can watch our video on the Center for the Healing Of Racism with Cherry Steinwender. The 21st of March we celebrate the end of discrimination day. Take a look.

Question of the week Whether you are White, Black Native American etc. Have you ever been discriminated and what did you do about it?

Comments (0)

Japan, Libya and the Revolution Continues

Posted on 02 March 2011 by Patricia Gras

What I am grateful for: When people face a tragedy together, it tends to bring out the best in them.

What I learned this week:  Not to let all the upheaval around the world take my peace of mind

Why do you think we’ve had so many major earthquakes around the world?

Japan has been hit by the worst earthquake in its history.  If you want to help check this link.

Here is a search site to find missing persons in Japan.

Please spread out this. (Japanese) (English) (Chinese) (Korean)

This is comprehensive information from Columbia School of Journalism

A story on what may have caused the earthquakes in Japan, Chile and Haiti

On Lybia and the Middle East I found these updates

Oil prices have lowered due to the Japan earthquake but experts believe it won’t last too long.

Watch our Documentary on Fuel for Thought: High Gas Prices and how the got that way. .

During our pledge drive our local shows are on hiatus, but you can watch Brene Brown’s Living Smart look to the right of this blog.  Her national show Tired of Trying to Be Perfect? will air this Saturday
March 12 at 3 p.m. for The Gifts of Imperfection: Living with Courage, Compassion and Connection featuring Houston’s Dr. Brené Brown.

I will be live tomorrow night asking you to join Ch. 8  at 7pm during our airing of Celtic Thunder, one of my favorite groups.

The Libyan Uprising, which started on February 5 in response to Libyan’s distaste in Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, has not only sparked more violent protests in the Middle East but a debate on what the future holds for United States oil prices. According to the New York Times, Libya holds the largest crude oil reserves in Africa and produces 2 percent of the world’s oil. While the U.S. produces 9.8 million barrels of its own crude oil a day most of its oil is imported from Libya, now U.S. money sales are going overseas lowering its trade deficit. The biggest problem common citizens are going to be seeing is an increase in gas station prices. Throughout the weeks, prices have been hovering around $3.16 a gallon costing most people $10 more than average. And U.S. oil prices increased to 7 percent at $2 of $100 a barrel in February. Yet, the overall price of crude oil has lowered $6.13 for April a CNN article  said. President Obama promises that we will make it through the disruption in oil, but the question we are all faced with is, do we believe him? What do you think about the oil price increase, and what do you think will happen to U.S. oil prices in the coming weeks?

Watch our Documentary on Fuel for Thought: High Gas Prices and how the got that way. .

Differing Points of View  on Libya Uprising:

Gaddafi Vows to Fight to ‘Last Man and Woman’ as Loyal Force Battle Rebels

Libya Rebels Push Back Gadhafi’ Forces attack on oil port

Zawiya, Rebel-Held City Near Tripoli, Celebrates Battle Win

Deadly Fighting as Gaddhafi tries to retake rebel-held town

U.S. Mulling Military Options in Libya

Blog: The Limpet’s Legion


What I am grateful for: I have true friends who despite my flaws, believe in me, support me and stick with me through thick and thin.

What I learned this week:  To take responsibility for my own actions, especially when I am wrong.

Question of the Week: If you had the power to change the world, what would you do?

Are you worried about gas prices?

Comments (3)

The Arab Revolutions continue

Posted on 01 March 2011 by Patricia Gras

Question of the Week:

If you could leave your job today, what would you want to do?

What I learned this week:

There is power in our ideas, our dreams and our words.

What I am grateful for:

The People revolutions continue. The people are removing the tyrants.

One view point on the Middle East Youth.

Things I have noticed with these revolutions

1. The Arab Community and the Intenrational Community are coordinating and cooperating like never before.

2. It appears a new world order will surface after these revolutions.

3. Countries who have not joined the revolutions are watching carefully, and are trying to figure out how to contain  the trends, pander, or move on without change.

4. Hopes and Dreams have played a major role in the movements towards democracy.

5.  The people who were willing to give up their own lives for liberty and freedom have amazed the world.

6. Many in the military are refusing to heed their tyrannical leaders.

7. The internet and globalization played a role in the speed all this has happened.

The next few months will be crucial on who fills the vacuum in all of these countries.

Comments (1)

Patricia Gras (Twitter)

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Must Read Books

  • 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
  • Kite Runner by by Khaled Hosseini
  • Mistress of Spices by Chitra Divakaruni
  • Paula by Isabel Allende
  • The Kingdom Within by John A. Sanford
  • The Middle Passage by James Hollis
  • The Nature of Evil Daryl Koehn
  • The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Take A Closer Look