Alcohol Addiction and Rehabilitation

For every addiction there is a recovery program. A common misnomer is that alcohol is addictive. Alcohol in its own right is not addictive. According to Friedbert Weiss PhD. and Linda J. Porrino Ph.D., it is the effects from alcohol on the brain that make it addictive. The effects that make alcohol addictive are the large amount of dopamine and endorphins released into the body. This chemical surge increases the body’s cravings for the effects of the substances.This craving is also elevated by genetics. According to Doctor Todd Detar at the Medical University of South Carolina, the disease of addiction is a chronic brain disease. Not to be confused with a drug dependency, addiction stems from a genetic trait carried down from a parent to child. Addiction manifests as a compulsive obsession to use a substance regardless of its detrimental and sometimes irreversible effects. Generally, once the brain is exposed to the increase of dopamine and endorphins, the constant cravings become stronger and stronger.The stronger the cravings the more substance is consumed, the more substance consumed the more the body becomes accustomed to it. The cycle is vicious and unyielding, until the individual takes the first steps towards recovery. Once the individual realizes that he or she is addicted, they then need to take steps towards recovery. Societal views of addiction rest predominantly on the perception that those fighting addiction are weak or bad people, unwilling to lead productive and moral lives and control themselves. There is also a less common yet existent public view that an addict is victim of their societal situation, according to Alan Leshner. He also states that there is revealing research showing great differences in the brains of the addicted and non-addicted, regardless of the substance. However, with the dramatic latency between scientific advancements and their appreciation by the general public, a large disconnect has formed leaving many in society with older, more out of date views of addiction.Among the common substances abused by millions daily, Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance according to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Alcohol rehabilitation is common around the globe as more people suffer its effects than other substances. Since the 1800′s, leaps and bounds have been made to combat the effects of addiction. Where once drastic measures were taken to fight off the addictive bug, now, consultations with addiction counselors and groups have allowed increased rates of success. Further, depending on the quantity being consumed daily by the individual, some cases may require medical intervention in the beginning; other cases may require an increase in time at a treatment center.Alcohol rehabilitation works; some instances just take a bit longer. According to a study by Stephen A. Maisto, Ph.D., there is an increase in successful addiction recovery based on an increased period of time in treatment. An increase in both residential and medicated outpatient groups showed an increase in success in the recovery of persons fighting addiction. Combined with lecture style training, small group meetings, and one-on-one counseling, individuals have a better chance at a successful recovery than ever.This battle against the disease of addiction is one of the hardest someone will ever fight. Once the brain chemistry is changed, an individual must fight daily against the urge to self-medicate, falling into the grips of substance abuse once more. The pressure is all around to use these addictive substances. That need to relax or calm the nerves is strong, but human will is stronger. Never give in and never give up the fight. Alcohol rehab is a means to recovery; you are the method to success.

How Tax Planning Between Israel and the United States Can Significantly Reduce Your Taxes

This article is the first of two that will provide an overview of U.S. and Israeli personal income tax and estate tax (taxes paid at the time of death). The article is intended for people who live, or plan to move to Israel, and to US parents with children in Israel. It is also relevant for business people with activity in the U.S. who are neither U.S. citizens or green card holders.As a general rule, U.S. citizens and residents pay tax on their worldwide income. Thus the U.S. taxes of an Israeli citizen residing in the U.S. and a U.S. citizen living in Israel are basically the same. Both must file annual tax returns in the U.S. and report their worldwide income and foreign bank account.On the other hand, non-citizens of the U.S. who are not residents of the US pay taxes only on income that is generated in the United States. The income that may be subject to Federal income tax fall into two categories: income that is tied to a business in the U.S., or “passive” income, such as interest, dividends, etc.Obviously, for a non-citizen/non-resident with significant income outside the U.S., the question of when and whether that person will be considered a U.S. resident has very important tax implications. Most non-citizens may think that the term “resident” means what it does in the world of Immigration law. However, this is not the case. For tax purposes, a person who is either a citizen or green card holder indeed pays tax on world wide income. However, non-citizens without a green card will generally be considered residents if they meet the following criteria:a. Was in the U.S. 31 days during the year in question, and
b. Was in the U.S 183 days during the 3-year period, from the year in question and 2 years before that. However, in making the calculations, days present in the U.S. the year in question are counted as full days. Days present in the first year before that are counted as 1/3 days. Days present in the second year before that are counted as 1/6 days. So if the person was in the U.S. in 2009 the total of 93 days, and 120 days in 2008 and 120 days in 2007, the sum is 153 days. This person will not be considered a resident in 2009 for U.S. income tax purposes.To summarize, if you have substantial income outside the US and are neither a citizen or green card holder, you need to count your days carefully. Proper planning options are available.On the other hand, if a significant part of your worldwide income is generated in the U.S., and you are a non-citizen, non-resident, then it may be preferable to be considered a resident for tax purposes. Why? Because non-citizen non-residents pay a relatively high flat tax on the gross amount of income received and the amount of deductions they can claim to reduce their income is limited. Thus the income on which the flat tax is imposed is high.With regard to Israeli taxation, Israel, like the United States, taxes its residents on a world-wide basis. Regardless of citizenship, an Israeli resident is taxed on income worldwide. Also like that U.S., Israel taxes non-residents only on income generated in Israel.Does this mean that people end up being clobbered by taxes in both countries?If this were the case, obviously few are the people that would move or invest abroad. Treaties to avoid double taxation solve this. The goal of the Treaty is to provide a tax credit in his/her country of residence for taxes paid in the other country. For example, a U.S. based taxpayer with $50,000 taxable income in Israel would be taxed in Israel at 17.5%. The U.S. taxpayer would only be required to pay additional taxes in the U.S. if his/her tax rate on the $50,000 is higher than 17.5%, in which case, the person would pay the I.R.S. only the difference. In the reverse case, the Israel-resident taxpayer is required to pay the 17.5% to the U.S., and then a Cap up to the marginal tax rate in Israel.The most interesting scenario involves U.S citizens or residents who move or return to Israel. Under the above analysis, it would appear that this person pay Israeli taxes on worldwide income, and receive a credit for any income taxes paid in the U.S.This is not the case, however, due to very special circumstances. First, Israel has granted substantial tax exemptions to Olim Hadashim and veteran ex-pats to attract them to move to Israel. The essence of these exemptions are that people moving or returning to Israel are exempt from taxation for a period of 10 years for all income that is generated outside of Israel. (Legislation providing investment benefits for this group is being finalized, and worth while exploring as well).Given, however, that the person is a U.S. Citizen or resident, one would think that this income would still be taxed in the U.S. In some cases, this is the case. However significant loop-holes exist. With proper planning, the U.S. citizen with either an active U.S. business or passive income can move to Israel, and with proper planning, be exempt from taxes in the U.S. as well. This is true with regard to various types of investment income, capital gains, and most significantly, for salaries and several other related expenses paid to that person by a U.S. business, whether it is owned by that tax payer or not.Will this income be taxed in Israel as Israel-sourced income? A complex question. Clearly, income generated in Israel is subject to Israeli tax. Yet proper planning can be highly effective. Clearly, the aim is to be fully exempt in both countries.To summarize, the status of taxation between Israel and the U.S. is very fact specific, and depends on the status of each and every person and family. Non-U.S. taxpayers who maintain some business activity in the U.S. should plan their U.S. actions carefully and count days. With regard to U.S. Citizens and residents living in Israel or planning to do so, and with regard to families of such people, there are significant areas where proper planning can be most beneficial. And for the person or family before or after the move to Israel, the importance of having a healthy monthly stream of income in U.S. Dollars to support live in Israel cannot be overestimated. Financial security is often a key factor in determining if and how a person will enjoy the life they hoped for in Israel. Proper planning can help and have a great beneficial for all parties involved.And as this article provides an overview of the subject, nothing in it should be construed as providing legal or other advice for any specific case.

How To Deal With Divorce For Indian Mothers And Women

Divorce is not a common occurrence in India. And it is rarer still for mothers who have already had at least one child. For a mother who is divorced and working, the trauma of divorce can last for many years. Pointed remarks, judgmental stares, and labels prompting social stigma, can make it difficult to move forward in life. Not only does a divorced mother have to gain a new social standing for herself, but she has to face the serious problem of social alienation and unsure finances, which is known to be especially common in the Indian culture.Here is some advice for mothers trying to deal with divorce, and settle in a life worth living and being happy for:Financial issuesIt is always tough to break the usual cycle of using her husband’s income to support the child and herself, but this must be replaced with financial independence. Surveys have shown that only one third of Indian women who get divorced are able to retain their pre-divorce standard of living. Such a steep drop is bound to hinder lifestyle, career-centered thinking, and generally evokes a feeling of being incapable of handling things. This should not discourage women from learning and building an independent financial future for herself and any children.Women who are working shouldn’t delegate the important responsibility of handling finances to other people. For instance – investing in schemes, paying income tax, etc. should not be left for the husband to look after, instead they should show a keen interest in seeing their hard earned money through – watching it reap benefits, or falter with losses.Handling loneliness and anger problemsIndian women are known to be very dependent on their husbands for taking most decisions. Ways to solve these issues are by talking to friends, spending time with family members, and seeking the help of a professional if necessary. The chances of a divorced women being accepted back into society comfortably, to this day, is still bleak. It’s best to involve oneself in social functions and develop interest in recreational activities. Doing so gradually and steadily is advisable.ParentingIt is quite normal for divorced mothers to be confused. However, this very confusion can be disastrous for her child’s upbringing.Schedules that get disrupted, unbalanced decisions and family issues that are left unsettled, can lead any child into believing the attitude of getting away is acceptable.If the ex-husband has visitation rights, it is best not to discourage it. It is important to remember that the visitation rights are for the child. Children are better off with both parents, irrespective of how it impacts a woman emotionally. From a child’s innocent perceptive and for his/her benefit, that is a matter of fact. This by no means implies that women should allow their former spouses to dominant any part of their lives.Dealing with divorce is an excruciating experience for mothers in India, with degraded financial support and higher responsibilities. Professional divorce counseling can also be helpful in overcoming post-divorce difficulties. These are some issues to keep in mind when putting together a life after divorce, and Indian women are best advised to begin gaining their independence within the marriage, rather than starting late when the vows are no longer pertinent.

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