Alcohol Awareness in a Sound Byte Culture

Every April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence promotes awareness of alcohol abuse and addiction by organizing local and national events for “National Alcohol Awareness Month.” I’m a bit embarrassed to have just learned of this (I’ve been an addictions counselor for many years). It seems a likely indicator of their […]

Governor LePage is Weak On Drug Policies

Last week Governor LePage told reporters that the current legislature is “weak on drugs.” His plans to increase spending on law enforcement is designed to reduce the availability of illegal drugs in Maine. That not every citizen of Maine is outraged by his proposal is a testament to our collective apathy. Regardless of your position […]

Reasons to Keep Living

I am grateful to my mother for teaching me a very simple lesson, “People need something to do.” She explained this to me as a child. I was observing folks who had just come from a spiritual retreat. They were filled with energy and optimism but seemed not to know what to do with themselves. […]

What People Like You & I Need

Today’s BDN featured a piece by Kathleen Pierce about a woman who gets it. Lea Moon, owner of Snuggle You Up understands that people need to be hugged, held, and nurtured. It immediately made me think of the Free Hugs Campaign in which a gentle man known as “Juan Mann” (pseudonym) gave hugs to strangers […]

Dealing with My “Drinking Problem”

I try my best never to tell someone that they’re an alcoholic. My belief is that only the individual has the right to apply that label to themselves. I have treated people who have “alcohol issues”, folks who have a “slight problem with alcohol” and many who “might kinda be a little bit concerned about […]

When You Go Back Out: Relapse & Addiction

As an addictions counselor, all I can do when folks go back out into the throes of active addiction is pray and hope that they return. It’s not so important that they return to treatment with me of course, but that they escape the hell of active use and return to the safety and manageability […]

Best Starting Points in Addiction Recovery Treatment

Seeking professional help for addiction is usually overwhelming. In this professional’s opinion, AA and NA (along with your primary care physician) are better starting points, but if you’re going to add a trained clinician, please consider starting with counseling and not therapy. There’s an important difference between the two. Therapy is about the past and […]

Being One of the Cool Kids

My latest favorite song is a guilty pleasure. I just appreciate how it feels. It reminds me of a scar that I don’t look at anymore: “I wish that I could be like the cool kids ‘Cuz all the cool kids, they seem to fit in” – Echosmith, “Cool Kids” Too many of us never […]