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Junkies Like Me

Yes, I would love to come and talk to your group, congregation or organization about the confounding, baffling and often heartbreaking disease of addiction! After getting sober myself, I went back to school to become a counselor and I’ve been working with individuals and their families wrestling with this for twenty years and appreciate the opportunity to share those experiences.

 

We’ve heard a lot about the opioid epidemic in recent years but the media rarely addresses the broader issues and challenges that accompany addiction in general. I support the compassionate approach, accompanied by consistent boundaries and accountability that abandons the blame and shame model. It’s a treatable, not curable condition that millions of people deal with, so let’s normalize it a little more and judge it a little less.

 

As we’ve continued to treat this as a criminal not a public health issue, we’ve perpetuated the stigma that prevents people from getting the help they need, and silenced the people who care about them. There are many causes of addiction, trauma, violence, mental illness, poverty and treatment can be ineffective, much too short, or just plain inaccessible. Addiction is exacerbated by loneliness and isolation while connection and community is the solution, so what can we do about that?

 

I love spending time with drug addicts, I am one after all! We’re smart, funny, creative, highly sensitive, emotional, intense people, and often infuriating and aggravating to our families and friends. Spoiler alert:  addiction is equally baffling to the addicts who often cannot understand their own behavior. Having grown up in an alcoholic home, become addicted myself, got sober and became a counselor, I believe I have a unique perspective. I like to sprinkle as much humor into my presentations as possible. I can be flexible about time and I do like to leave time for questions.