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Technology Addiction Help for Preteens with Dr. Lisa Strohman

In this episode of The Middle School Years Podcast, I’m joined by Dr. Lisa Strohman, founder of the Digital Citizen Academy (DCA), a resource for parents, kids, and schools to help educate them on online safety as well as technology addiction.

Dr. Lisa is dishing about all things tech when it comes to our middle schooler and it is an eye opener for sure. My mouth dropped when she shared that our kids are spending 9-11 hours on their devices daily. It really shouldn’t be that shocking but it’s definitely scary to me as a parent.

When you allow your child to go online, on a device, you’re allowing them to connect to millions of people you have no control over.

Dr. Lisa reveals that research is showing that just four hours of frivolous use online is actually rewiring the brain and this doesn’t just apply to our kids. Grown up check 1-2-1-2. Mama, you really want to hear what she says about the effects of excessive gaming and heroin. It will make you rethink Roblox…well, at least I have.

@drlisaStrohman says excessive screen time has the same effects as smoking crack. CLICK TO TWEETDr. Lisa believes that technology does have some positive influences for our kids. It’s not all bad but as parents, we must educate ourselves so that we can best support our kids. Technology is here to stay but that doesn’t mean that we can’t help our kids be kids as long as possible.

As a parent of a kiddo with a school issued iPad, I’ve struggled to help Mekhi balance screen time. I had to ask her thoughts on school issued technology and how parents can manage screen time when textbooks, homework, and school life revolves around iPads, tablets, or laptops. She gives some great insights that I’m planning to use with my kids.

Grab your earbuds, take a walk and listen in as Dr. Lisa helps us better understand the implications of technology excess.

Let’s get to it.

Click the play button and listen in as Dr. Lisa shares about helping our preteens with technology addiction and then tell us your biggest aha from this episode.

Tips for Parents and a Social Media Campaign Bettering the Lives of Children with ASD


Renowned Autism Specialist, Dr. Annette Nunez, the Founder and Director of Breakthrough Interventions, LLC joins eHealth Radio and the Autistic Syndrome Information & Health News Channels. Dr. Nunez is a licensed psychotherapist and has worked with children with ASD and other related disorders for over 22 years.

Listen to host Eric Dye & guest Dr. Annette Nunez discuss the following:

  • Summertime is here, which means parents across the board will be looking for activities to keep their children occupied while school is out. However, this can be more difficult for parents of children with Autism.  What are some activities or exercises parents can do with their children at home?
  • As an expert for over 20 years, what are the top misconceptions of children with autism?
  • We learned you’ve recently started a social media campaign called #iAcceptAutism. Can you tell us about the movement?
  • What do you hope participants in the campaign will do as a result?
  • For parents of children with autism who may be struggling in school or at home, what advice do you give to them?




Dr. Annette Nunez is a highly sought after Autism expert, author and founder and director of Breakthrough Interventions, LLC, a multi-dimensional therapeutic program with specialized one-on-one programs at home and in school for children with autism. She is a licensed psychotherapist and has worked with children with ASD and other related disorders for over 20 years.

Dr. Nunez’s mission is to enrich the lives of children by providing academic, behavioral, cognitive and social support so that each child will be integrated into general educational classrooms, be able to develop friendships with peers, and become productive, independent individuals.

She received a BA in Psychology, an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Research Methods with a specialization in Child Development. At UCLA, she studied and trained with renowned autism expert, Dr. Ivar Lovaas on Discrete Trial Training (DTT). She also received training from the Institute for Child Development in California on the Floortime Approach and developed a successful behavioral program that combined aspects of DTT and Floortime.

As part of her doctorate work at the University of Denver, Dr. Nunez developed the Children’s Social Competence Scale (CSCS). The CSCS is an early intervention evaluation tool that measures social competency in young children. She serves as the Program Director for Connect Us, a non-profit organization that helps children cultivate positive relationships through facilitated play. Her research interests include the mainstreaming and socialization of children with High Functioning Autism and Aspberger’s.

Dr. Nunez wrote the The BI Approach, as well as a book titled Friendship Is, a touching children’s book which shows just how children with autism care for others in their own unique ways and takes a unique look at social acceptance and friendship. She is currently writing a book about the SCIP Model that will be published by early next year.

She conducts many seminars throughout the country and in China and plans to continue educating parents and professionals about mainstreaming and socialization of children with HFA and Aspberger’s. Dr. Nunez was recently honored by the Autism Society of Colorado as a finalist for the 2011 Faces of Autism Professional Award.


His latest project drops July 28

Canadian/U.K. hip hop legend Madchild sat down with OK! to discuss his new album, surviving and thriving after substance abuse, and all of his signature ink!

What can fans expect from the new album?

“They can expect a more mature album… For hip-hop purists I think this album is going to go over very well.”

 How have you been able to come out stronger after substance abuse?

“It’s tough times seeing this many young artists pass away. But the bottom line is a lot of people deal with… I mean how many of us are normal? A lot of people deal with different issues, whether it’s a chemical imbalance or something else. People suffer from depression, it can be later in life or something you battle with your whole life. You gotta stay busy. You gotta keep living. Sitting around, you can get in a place where you got the blues, that’s the worst thing you can do. Set new goals, new bars to reach.”

How do you feel about Canadian artists taking over in the US?

“I’m incredibly proud! There’s definitely been a couple times when he showed respect to me, which has been an honor. It broke things over for Canadians, and we’re going to see more and more artists coming over.”

Tell us about the tattoos! 

“I’m still getting more and more. It becomes addicting and I have an addictive personality. It’s fun keeping going. I can’t sit as long as I used to sit, that’s for sure. I’m glad that I have a few pieces from Mr. Cartoon… Bob Tyrrell… They’re about love and loss and pain and life.”

The ink looks painful. Does the pain make them more significant? 

“It just sucks! There’s nothing weird or cool about it. It just f*****g sucks.”

Madchild’s latest album, The Darkest Hour, drops July 28, and will be followed by American, Australian, and Canadian tours.


Dr. Matthew Budoff Joins “Let’s Just Talk” Radio to Discuss the Dangers of High Blood Pressure


Listen Now

Our guest today is UCLA Cardiologist, Dr. Matthew Budoff, Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Director of Cardiac CT at the Division of Cardiology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  Dr. Budoff topic today is The “Silent Killer,” millions of adults worldwide have high blood pressure. It affects one in three adults; millions have levels that are uncontrolled and most don’t even know they have it.

Dr. Budoff has led dozens of studies surrounding heart disease and high blood pressure and was recently published in The Journal of Nutrition. Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine; Director of Cardiac CT, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California

Matthew J. Budoff, M.D., FACC, is Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Director of Cardiac CT at the Division of Cardiology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. Dr. Budoff received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as a fellowship in cardiology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. Budoff is chief investigator in several active medical research trials and is a frequent lecturer on topics of cardiology at symposia, congresses and annual conferences on nearly every continent. He has authored or co-authored over 500 research papers, six books and 36 book chapters.

Dr. Budoff received the Einstein Award for Scientific Achievement from the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, UK, and was awarded the Top Oral Abstract at the American Heart Association’s 2009 meeting. Most recently, he was named to the U.S. News & World Report list of Top Doctors for 2017.

Teen who allegedly livestreamed fatal crash still in shock, parents say

The parents of an 18-year-old who allegedly livestreamed a car crash that killed her younger sister say their daughter is still in shock.

The driver, Obdulia Sanchez, 18, of Stockton, California, crashed on July 21 in Los Banos, California, about 80 miles southeast of San Jose, the California Highway Patrol said. The car went through a barbed wire fence and overturned in a field, ejecting Obdulia Sanchez’s 14-year-old sister and another 14-year-old passenger. Her sister died, and the other passenger suffered a major injury.

The highway patrol said alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

ABC-owned station KFSN in Fresno reported that Obdulia Sanchez was livestreaming video on Instagram when the crash occurred. Video before the crash shows her singing along and dancing to music as she drives.

In live video after the crash, Obdulia Sanchez refers to the victim as her sister.

“I f—— killed my sister,” Obdulia Sanchez says in the video, according to KFSN. “I know I’m going to jail for life … I don’t f—— care at all.”

Her father, Nicandro Sanchez, said the teen is still in a state of shock.

“I think … she don’t know what’s happened,” said her father, Nicandro Sanchez, according to KFSN. “What I think — she knows she do something wrong. Because she knows, and that’s what I feel. She feels bad but she still killed her own sister.”

He said he and his wife, Gloria Sanchez, are numb and unsure of what to feel. They said they don’t know if their daughter was drinking before the crash.

“It’s an accident,” Nicandro Sanchez said. “It happened that way. Who knows why?”

Merced County prosecutor Rob Carroll says video of the livestream will be a key piece of evidence.

“The video is very disturbing,” a California Highway Patrol officer told KFSN on Monday. “It’s very disturbing to us because of the callous nature of her actions, both leading up to this tragedy and in the immediate aftermath.”

The highway patrol said it is still looking into whether Obdulia Sanchez dialed 911 to report the crash.

Obdulia Sanchez was arrested and booked at the Merced County Jail, charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causing bodily injury and with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. She is being held on a $300,000 bond. It was not immediately clear if she had an attorney.

Snorting Coco Loko and Other Non-Drug Fads With Dr. Polacheck of Betty Ford Foundation

The latest “drug” trend amongst teens and young adults isn’t even considered a drug…

Coco Loko, a powder which markets itself to be “chocolate” is being snorted and causing major damage unknown to many of its users. Watch as Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Dr. Matthew Polachek explains why this substance is so dangerous and what parents should look out for on KTLA 5 Morning News

A Fork in the Road – Lisa Cohen

Lisa Cohen

I was raised in Newport Beach, California. Even though my parents divorced when I was ten years old, I had a relatively normal childhood. When I was eleven, my mother remarried; and after that, I always felt unsure of where I belonged.

I was twelve when I first got high, smoking a marijuana joint with friends. My addiction really escalated while I was in college after I was introduced to Oxycontin and Xanax. Eventually, I became so out of control that my parents sent me to Israel for a rapid detox procedure that would mitigate my withdrawal symptoms.

My mental health was rapidly deteriorating. Despite two suicide attempts, I returned to college. I maintained a whopping eleven days of sobriety before relapsing. The year 2012 was the first time I checked into rehab, but it was not the last. Over the next two years, I was in and out of treatment five times.

A truth I had yet to discover was holding me back from recovery.

When I began receiving treatment for my addiction, the doctor told me I would not be able to drink alcohol. I wasn’t expecting that. I didn’t have an issue with alcohol; I wasn’t an “alcoholic.” Why would I need to quit alcohol? Just get me off of these pills and I’ll be fine. Naturally, I rebelled against the doctor’s orders.

I would go into treatment and detox from the opiates, and maintain sobriety for the remainder of my stay. Once out of treatment, I would celebrate my sobriety by getting wasted on alcohol. Within a week of consuming alcohol, I would be sticking a needle in my arm.

It was a vicious cycle: detox from heroin, go into rehab, check out of rehab, drink, use heroin and go back to rehab. I couldn’t understand why treatment wasn’t working for me. Why was this happening to me again and again?

My need for heroin was growing ever stronger. My parents finally cut me off because they couldn’t bear to watch me kill myself. I started living on the streets. I owed money to dangerous drug dealers who were beginning to follow me, so I stole money to pay them back. I did whatever it took to feed my addiction; nothing else mattered, not even my own life.

True recovery takes daily hard work – work that will never be finished. Stick with a program that works for you and develop a long- term support system.

My fight or flight reaction kicked in when I realized I was out of options. To survive, I was forced to decide between selling my own body or dying. It was at this fork in the road that I truly hit rock bottom and knew I needed help.

I was estranged from my family, but managed to find a friend who referred me to a treatment center. I was near death by the time I entered rehab. I spent two days in the hospital.

This time, my mindset had completely changed. I knew in my heart that this was my last chance, and I threw myself into the program. Instead of fighting the staff members and anyone who was willing to help me, I began to take direction from them. I’ve been in recovery ever since.

In the past, my addiction had run the show. I refused to admit I was an addict and to accept that in order to stay away from my “drug of choice,” I had to quit everything, including alcohol. Time and time again, my need for heroin paved the way to alcohol consumption, my fix to ease the pain. The alcohol then paved the road back to heroin. I was nally ready to accept that sad truth.


Through my recovery, I reconnected with my family, especially my mom. Because my mom and I saw the suffering of people from the disease of addiction and the importance of treatment centers in the initial stages of recovery, we decided to provide others with the same kind of help I had received.

We started a treatment center, and together we work in recovery every day. We witness the beauty of people breaking free of addiction’s grip. We are part of saving the lives of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, husbands and wives. It has been a gift that has helped me hold steady to my own recovery, and that has brought my mother and me closer than ever before.

If you’re looking for help, do yourself a favor and get out of your own way. Let the people in your program guide you and be willing to accept that guidance. Your mind may play tricks on you in order to access what it thinks it “needs.” Stick with a program that works for you and develop a long-term support system that will shed a light on your mind’s own dangerous tricks.

True recovery takes daily hard work – work that will never be finished. In time, this work becomes gratifying and delivers a high unobtainable through drugs or alcohol. Find something you believe in, and devote yourself to it each and every day. I did and was rewarded with a life full of hope and joy.

Suspect Due In Court Monday After 9 Die In Sweltering Truck

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Nine people are dead and the death toll could rise after emergency crews pulled dozens of people from a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, victims of what officials said was an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.

The driver was arrested, and nearly 20 others taken from the rig were hospitalized in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke, officials said Sunday.

“We’re looking at a human-trafficking crime,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, calling it “a horrific tragedy.”

One U.S. official said Sunday evening that 17 of those rescued were being treated for injuries that were considered life-threatening. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the information has not been publicly released.

Authorities were called to the San Antonio parking lot late Saturday or early Sunday and found eight people dead inside the truck. A ninth victim died at the hospital, said Liz Johnson, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The victims “were very hot to the touch. So these people were in this trailer without any signs of any type of water,” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.

Authorities would not say whether the trailer was locked when they arrived, but they said it had no working air conditioning.

It was just the latest smuggling-by-truck operation to end in tragedy. In one of the worst cases on record in the U.S., 19 immigrants locked inside a stifling rig died in Victoria, Texas, in 2003.

Based on initial interviews with survivors of the San Antonio tragedy, more than 100 people may have been packed into the back of the 18-wheeler at one point in its journey, ICE acting Director Thomas Homan said. Officials said 39 people were inside when rescuers arrived, and the rest were believed to have escaped or hitched rides to their next destination.

Four of the survivors appeared to be between 10 and 17 years old, Homan said. Investigators gave no details on where the rig began its journey or where it was headed.

But Homan said it was unlikely the truck was used to carry the immigrants across the border into the United States. He said people from Latin America who rely on smuggling networks typically cross the border on foot and are then picked up by a driver.

“Even though they have the driver in custody, I can guarantee you there’s going to be many more people we’re looking for to prosecute,” Homan said.

Mexican Consul General in San Antonio Reyna Torres said Mexican nationals were among the survivors and those who died on the rig.

The Mexican government also released a statement Sunday night expressing its condolences to the relatives of those who died and called for an “exhaustive investigation”

A Guatemalan official said two natives of Central American country were among those hospitalized. Consul Cristy Andrino in McAllen said the two told her they had crossed into the U.S. on foot and were later picked up by the rig.

Guatemala was seeking to obtain witness status for the two survivors so they wouldn’t be deported, Andrino said.

Federal prosecutors said James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Florida, was taken into custody and would be charged on Monday in federal court. The local U.S. Attorney’s Office wouldn’t say whether Bradley was the alleged driver of the truck who was arrested. It was not immediately known whether Bradley had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department stepped in to take the lead in the investigation. Department Secretary John Kelly said the deaths demonstrate the brutality of smuggling organizations that “have no regard for human life and seek only profits.”

The truck had an Iowa license plate and was registered to Pyle Transportation Inc. of Schaller, Iowa. A company official did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

San Antonio is about a 150-mile (240-kilometer) drive from the Mexican border. The temperature in San Antonio reached 101 degrees (38 Celsius) on Saturday and didn’t dip below 90 degrees (32 C) until after 10 p.m.

The tragedy came to light after a person from the truck approached a Walmart employee and asked for water late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, said McManus, the local police chief.

The employee gave the person water and then called police, who found the dead and the desperate inside the rig. Some of those in the truck ran into the woods, McManus said.

Investigators checked store surveillance video, which showed vehicles arriving and picking up people from the truck, authorities said. Walmart released a brief statement Sunday saying it was doing what it could to help investigators.

On Sunday evening, about 100 people gathered at a San Antonio church for a vigil to mourn those killed.

Immigrants’ rights activists and church officials held up handmade signs reading “Who here is not an immigrant” and “No human is legal.”

Those gathered held a moment of silence, then gave speeches blaming federal and Texas authorities’ embrace of harsher immigration policies for contributing to the deaths.

Jonathan Ryan, executive director of a nonprofit called Raices, said it’s “an unfortunate example” of what happens when such policies are enacted.

A new law approved by the Texas Legislature lets police inquire about peoples’ immigration status during routine interactions such as traffic stops.

Bob Libal is executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based nonprofit that supports more liberal immigration policies.

“These tragedies are compounded when it’s incredibly dangerous and incredibly expensive and we push migration into the hands of illicit actors,” Libal told The AP in a phone interview. “Everyone’s thoughts today should be not in politicizing it but in making sure that everyone who survived this ordeal is treated with respect and get the protection they need.”

A group of immigration lawyers and advocates sued Homeland Security Secretary Kelly and other U.S. officials this month alleging that guards on the U.S. border with Mexico have illegally turned away asylum-seekers.

In the May 2003 case, the immigrants were being taken from South Texas to Houston. Prosecutors said the driver heard them begging and screaming for their lives but refused to free them. The driver was sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison.

“These criminal organizations, they’re all about making money. They have no regard for human life,” Homan said.

The Border Patrol has reported at least four truck seizures this month in and around Laredo, Texas. On July 7, agents found 72 people crammed into a truck with no means of escape, the agency said. They were from Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Authorities in Mexico have also made a number of similar discoveries over the years.

Last December, they found 110 migrants trapped and suffocating inside a truck after it crashed while speeding in the state of Veracruz. Most were from Central America, and 48 were minors. Some were injured in the crash.

Last October, also in Veracruz state, four migrants suffocated in a truck carrying 55 people.


Chris Cornell’s sudden, shocking death illustrates the challenges modern rockers face.

Dr. Cali Estes once rushed to a singer’s side when his manager alerted her to his unstable state.

“I’m gonna put you on a plane to make sure he gets through the night,” Estes recalls the manager saying.

It wasn’t just about getting sober enough to finish a gig, though. The rocker was in trouble. The situation could have been life-threatening if left untreated, says Estes, an addiction psychologist and founder of The Addictions Coach and Sober on Demand.

Estes wishes a similar intervention happened with Chris Cornell.

The celebrated voice behind Soundgarden and Audioslave was found dead Wednesday, an apparent suicide by hanging at age 52.

Little is known about Cornell’s final hours. The rocker had been open about his drug addictions, but his death could be attributable to a number of factors, Estes says.

Being a rocker certainly didn’t help.

Estes routinely works with touring musicians to help them stay sober or work on harm reduction strategies to avoid more dangerous habits. The artists face several unique challenges which can fuel addiction, depression or related mental health woes.

The grueling schedule turns what once was a passion into a job, one that can wear on them over time.

“Sometimes they don’t feel like going on stage, and they reach for something,” she says.

Some rockers’ spouses aren’t supportive of their unique job demands. Or, in some cases, record sales are slipping, and their managers apply pressure to reverse the trend.

Age can play a factor, too.

At 52, Cornell still looked the part of a vibrant rock star. Age creeps up on singers all the same. Rockers and fans alike expect an image from 20 years ago, and that’s not always possible.

It’s hard to forget how an out of control rocker fits a certain image in our culture. It might be self-destructive, but fans sometimes eat it up.

“It’s cool to be high … it’s cool to be a mess on stage,” she says.

Friendly Betrayals

Another obstacle hindering stars getting the help they deserve? Their inner circle.

“People are paid pretty good money so the artist is a happy artist. If they need something, it’s gotten for them. There’s no questions,” she says.

The addiction specialist is careful not to read too much into Cornell’s death at this point. Without more information, specifically the toxicology report, his death could have been the result of a number of specific factors.

That won’t stop some reporters from speculating based on a finite amount of data.

“The press needs something to latch onto,” she says, adding some outlets are analyzing comments from his final live performance for clues about his mental state.

The Warning Signs

Estes say people seriously consider suicide can exhibit behaviors that should alarm friends and family. The person’s depression may suddenly lift, she says. They also may randomly give cherished items away.

In other scenarios, they might go from being very talkative to being completely withdrawn. Their moods can swing from happy to sad to angry, she adds.

“That could be drug use, mental health [problems] or both,” she says. “You need a professional to evaluate the situation.”