Tag Archives: Freehold

Dr. Drew Speaks on Addiction and Mental Illness

Whether you call him a highly accredited medical professional or a salacious, celebrity commentator, you can’t deny that at some point or another, you’ve called upon Dr. Drew Pinksy for guidance. Dr. Drew’s experience as an addiction specialist and as a charismatic talk-show host/media personality, have helped him to sustain 30 plus years in the public eye with a variety of audiences seeking his insight- celebrities included!

It’s hard to nail down what Dr. Drew is ‘best known’ for, but depending on what you select, you may unwittingly reveal your age… So for now, let’s just read this in rhetoric.

Is it ‘Loveline’, the nationally syndicated radio show which helped to launch his career in media?
VH1’s Celebrity Rehab?
MTV’s Teen Mom?
His family of podcasts reflecting on mental health issues, relationship advice, sex education or drug addiction?

The guy has done it all.

It comes as no surprise that he would be a key panelist and guest speaker through The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) at a very special appearance which took place at the Event Center in IPLAY America in Freehold, NJ.

NSLS’s Q&A with Dr. Drew generated a crowd of all ages (male and female) for a LIVE broadcast with audience members able to interact on the spot by ‘tweeting’ in their general and personal questions for Pinsky to respond to. Video chats were set up on giant, high-def screens so students from across the country were all capable of joining in and participating in the conversation.

Before the nitty-gritty really began, Dr. Drew introduced the night by discussing his own battles with depression and anxiety and how choosing to live a life of service is what led him to overcome those obstacles and propelled his success. As a best-selling author, a board-certified internist, therapist, addiction medicine expert, Dr. Drew jokingly refers to his occupational course as a “mistake”.  Meaning, to him, he embarked on this accidental journey from a medical student to one of the world’s most recognizable doctors simply by building his resiliency, using all of his creative talents and passions to connect with people, and by exploring his options to their fullest potential.

As anticipated, once the conversation was sparked, there was a lot to cover!

Between the science behind addiction as a disease and de-stigmatizing mental illness – two very prevalent issues and hot topics among adolescent and adult Jersey residents – Dr. Drew linked all the facets of neurology/biology, lack of spirituality and psychology, experiential/behavioral afflictions and even regulation control, all as contributors to the chaos and clutter which can fester in an individual’s everyday reality. Dr. Drew is at the forefront of many of these celebrity psychiatric breakdowns and treats those with the most severe cases of drug dependency as we all see the pop culture headlines splash across every platform constantly. This subject matter may be at times controversial, but they are not going away. Addiction and mental illness are two things that have affected many of us directly or the people we love most. It is truly important to Dr. Drew to spread awareness and never stop talking about it.

Towards the end of the session, Dr. Drew presented the assembly with a copy of his latest autobiographical book, Cracked: Life on the Edge in a Rehab Clinic. In this enticing paperback, Pinsky reveals the intimate details and often fascinating anecdotes of his patients (identity protected, of course) as they undertake a lifestyle dealing with emotional trauma, sexual abuse, and/or a host of chemical nemeses: alcohol, Ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs and more. At the core of these stories is Pinsky himself, who has submerged himself intensely in his work. From the overly scrutinized, compulsive public figures and social influencers that the younger generation admires to the average mini-van driving ‘soccer mom’ that everyone ignores, Cracked exposes powerful scenarios and the sincere scope and rigor of addiction as a nationwide epidemic that simply does not discriminate.

If you or anyone you know is seeking help with social disorders, mental illness, or any form of addition, know it is okay to be there support system. If you notice a change in behavior or an individual who appears to be induced to a vulnerable state, do not ignore. Go to a professional or an authority and seek help.

#TrainYourBrainDay NJ’s Finest Escape Rooms!

escape room

Today is #TrainYourBrainDay! Looking to put your brain power to the test? An escape room is the perfect way to actively engage in some brain puzzles with your closest friends and family! The concept is simple—you are locked in room and must solve puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategies to escape in under 60 minutes. I’ve had the pleasure of partaking in a few escape rooms with my family. It was a lot of fun—I highly recommend!

The first escape room I did was The Dorm Room at Amazing Escape Room in Princeton, NJ. As a college student, I thought it was really neat being able to do puzzles in a place that felt a lot like my college home! My first experience in an escape room was tough but definitely a great learning experience for future escape rooms. It laid the groundwork for being able to decipher clues and come up with strategic ways to solve the puzzles and riddles. Unfortunately, my group and I fell just short of escaping. We still had a great time!

The next escape room I did was Lost Jewel of Zanzibar at Escape Room Center in my hometown of Bridgewater, NJ. Set in Africa in 1930, the objective is to find a mystical gem from  a powerful warlord before time expires. I really liked the safari-adventure feel to this room. It almost felt like a Disney attraction! With a little more experience under our belts, my family and I were able to escape this room under 60 minutes. Woohoo!

My most recent escape room experience took place in Power Surge at Escape Garden State, minutes down the road from the #HipNJ HQ in Fairfield, NJ. This room takes place in Thomas Edison’s secret office. The goal is to access his secret work before time expires or else it will be gone forever. Personally, I thought this was the most challenging of the three I’ve done. It took a lot of ideas, guessing, and yes some clues from the Game Master, but we were able to escape! It was definitely my family’s most impressive escape yet!

If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to test your puzzle-solving skills, check out any of the locations I mentioned. The staff was very accommodating and the whole experience was seamless, fun, but definitely a challenge!

New Jersey escape rooms can be found in Princeton, Bridgewater, Fairfield, Hoboken, Atlantic City, Cherry Hill, Hackensack, and Freehold.

Springsteen on Broadway

Springsteen on Broadway: A Jersey Girl Review

By: Lisa Marie Latino

My loved ones know that my taste in music bends towards the sweet side (I mean, it’s 2018 and *NSYNC was just playing on my iTunes), so I raised more than a few eyebrows when I told them I was seeing Bruce Springsteen‘s wildly successful Springsteen on Broadway. As I explained to their shocked faces, I was merely going to support my fiancé Joe in his Bruce fandom, and far be it for me to skip out on a fabulous New York City summer night that would also include dinner at Capital Grille.

After winning the coveted ticket lottery for the show, Joe made sure to give me a crash course on E Street Band lore so I wouldn’t be like the clueless bandwagon fans I despise during New York Yankees playoff runs. On our way to our favorite weekend getaway spot, we listened to Bruce recite the words to his best-selling autobiography, Born to Run. While some of his music may not have been in my wheelhouse, the man’s writing CERTAINLY was. I appreciated the way he poetically strung together his words so that every sentence would appeal to the five senses. Hearing him tell his tale made the prose all the more powerful.

Upon the book’s conclusion, I started diving into The Boss‘ catalogue. Of course I knew his too-many-to-name mainstream hits like “Hungry Heart”, “Human Touch”, “Glory Days”, “Streets of Philadelphia” and “Secret Garden” (what Jersey Girl doesn’t?) But I discovered other “obscure” ones—songs like “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, “Dream Baby Dream”, “One Step Up”, “Downbound Train”, “The River”, “Atlantic City” and “Trapped”. As I filled my iPod with these tunes, I admitted to Joe that he more than proved his point on why Bruce was the rock ‘n roll G.O.A.T.

The buzz in the air was palpable as we took our seats in the cozy confines of the Walter Kerr Theatre. We were surrounded by all walks of life from around the country, if not the world. People that were seeing Bruce for the 10th time, 30th time…and probably no one else there for the first (oh well). But it didn’t matter; once the house lights dimmed and he sauntered from stage right with his guitar, we were all one in our awe.

From our proximity, it literally felt like this living legend was hanging out with us in our living room, especially whenever he stepped away from the microphone to just be out in the open. Once the music started (first song: “Growing Up”) it gave you that pushed-off-an-airplane-without-a-parachute exhilarating feeling. For over two straight hours, he effortlessly went from storytelling, to cracking jokes, to making you cry, to singing along with his piano, to jamming out with his array of guitars, to strumming his harmonica, and back around again. Every song was reworked to fit the show’s acoustic nature, including the two he performed with his wife, Patti Scialfa“Tougher Than the Rest” and “Brilliant Disguise”and my personal favorites, “Dancing in the Dark” and “Born in the USA”.

What was evident beyond Bruce’s difficult relationship with his late father, and his great affection for his mother, is his complicated love story with New Jersey. In one breath, recalling the lyrics to Born to Run, he talked about how he viewed his hometown of Freehold as a “death trap” and a “suicide rap” but in the next, mentioned how he currently lives 10 minutes down the road. “I was born to stay home!” He joked. He peppered other Garden State references throughout the show, like how he cut his chops playing for obscure, Jersey Shore-area places like Marlboro Mental Hospital. These “growing up” Jersey (and Italian-American!) anecdotes added another layer of intimacy to an otherwise already-vulnerable performance that included a moving tribute to Clarence Clemons and a reciting of the Our Father.

Springsteen on Broadway

After the show, I made a beeline for the stage door in the hopes to meet him. As luck would have it, I got a prime spot behind the metal barrier, and he chose my side to bless with his presence.

As I stuck the Playbill out for his signature, I told him how Springsteen on Broadway was the first time seeing him live. Bruce actually stopped signing for a second to react.

“Really?” He quipped, part amused and part shocked.

“I know, and I’m from Jersey too. But I LOVED the show, you were great!”

“Well, I’m glad you enjoyed it,” he smiled, and continued down the line. That was the cherry on top of a perfect evening.

Of course, I gave the signed Playbill to Joe.