We want to change these numbers:
Change starts with open conversation. Change almost always starts at the table. This is a conversation for kids, parents, those in recovery, those still in the grip of addiction, people that have never taken a drug, folks that are passionate about the healing nature of substances, citizens that are interested in policy reform, even people who want the status quo to remain. It is our goal to inspire a million people within the next year to gather around the table and share a compassionate conversation about drugs and addiction.
Drugs Over Dinner is a toolkit to plan, host and moderate a conversation about drugs and addiction. We have gathered thoughtful and compelling homework and resources for your guests.
“We are such a fast-food culture, I love the idea of making the dinner last for hours. These are the conversations that will help us to evolve. The Huffington Post is excited to partner with Drugs Over Dinner to help expand this conversation from coast-to-coast and around the world.” – Arianna Huffington
“This is a chance for everyone – 8 to 80 years old – to engage in an open dialogue that I hope brings empathy and understanding to the face of addiction.” – Jamison Monroe, Founder Newport Academy and Co-Founder Drugs Over Dinner
“Humans need to feel connected in order to thrive, but at a very young age many of us experience an unnameable loss of connection. That loss can turn into a longing, and that longing can steer us down a path of deeper suffering. Coming around the table with loved ones to share in a “shame-free zone”, and to listen with a compassionate heart, allows us the possibility of nurturing the pain that is underneath the longing.” – Angel Grant, Teacher and Co-founder Drugs Over Dinner
“One thing our culture does well is: produce a lot of drug addicts. One thing it doesn’t do well: convene people around the dinner table and engage in difficult conversation. We’ve forgotten how to eat together.” – Michael Hebb, Founder Drugs Over Dinner
Drugs Over Dinner Advisory Board
Gabor Maté M.D. is a physician and best-selling author whose books have been published in twenty languages on five continents. He is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
His interests include child development, the mind-body unity in health and illness, and the treatment of addictions. A speaker in great demand, he frequently addresses professional and lay audiences internationally. His most recent book, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction, won the Hubert Evans Prize for literary nonfiction. Addiction, he shows, is not an inherited disease or a moral failure but a reversible neurobiological, psychological and spiritual outcome of trauma and emotional loss. Its treatment requires a combination of science, insight and compassion.
Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
She has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on several boards, including HuffPost’s partners in Spain, the newspaper EL PAÍS and its parent company PRISA; Onex; The Center for Public Integrity; and The Committee to Protect Journalists.
Her 14th book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder was published by Crown in March 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Christina Huffington is a graduate of Yale University. Her own experience with drugs and addiction has translated into a wider interest in treatment, stigma and the failed drug war. She lives in Los Angeles.
David Sheff is the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, the follow-up to his New York Times #1 best seller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. Clean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public health challenge of our time. Writing about Clean, author Benoit Denizet-Lewis says, “David Sheff has written the most important book about addiction in a decade.” Richard Branson says that Clean is “an important expose of a failed system.” Eric Schlosser wrote, “Clean will change not only how you look at drug abuse–but also what you think should be done about it.”
Sheff’s Beautiful Boy, published in 2008, was based on his article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. The article won a special award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.” Beautiful Boy was named the year’s Best Nonfiction Book by Entertainment Weekly, and it won first place in the Barnes and Noble Discover Award in nonfiction. Sheff also contributed to HBO’s Addiction: Why Can’t They Just Stop. In 2009, he was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People. He won the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence (CPDD) Media Award.
Along with The New York Times Magazine, Sheff has also written for Playboy, The New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Outside, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Esquire and Observer Magazine in England, Foreign Literature in Russia, and Playboy (Shueisha) in Japan. He has conducted seminal interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, nuclear physicist Ted Taylor, Congressman Barney Frank, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Betty Friedan, Keith Haring, Jack Nicholson, Carl Sagan, Salman Rushdie, Fareed Zakaria, and others. He also wrote an award-winning documentary about John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, and a radio special about Harper Lee’sTo Kill a Mockingbird, both for National Public Radio.
Sheff is the author of Game Over, called “the bible of the videogame industry” by The Wall Street Journal, and “beguiling” and “irresistible… almost as hypnotic as a successful video game” by The New York Times. Author Gore Vidal said that China Dawn, Sheff’s book about the Internet revolution in China, is a “fascinating… study of go–getting businessmen in a revived China bound to shape our future.” All We Are Saying, based on Sheff’s interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1980, was a Literary Guild Selection book. Charles Champlin, Arts Editor of the Los Angeles Times, wrote: “David Sheff’s sympathetic questions evoked so much of the Beatle past and of Lennon’s intellectual past and present and future plans that the interview would hardly have been less engrossing and important even it if were not illuminated by tragedy.”
Sheff graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives with his family in Northern California.
Nicolas Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would smoke pot regularly, do cocaine and ecstasy, and develop addictions to methamphetamines and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to.
It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. Now in his twenties, Sheff is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic who has written two memoir, Tweak and We All Fall Down, about his experience. He has also been published in Newsweek, Nerve, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
In a voice that is raw and honest, he spares no detail in telling the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. He plunges into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, painting a picture of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope.
In an extraordinary turn of events his father, David Sheff, simultaneously wrote a New York Times best-selling memoir about their experience, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey through His Son’s Meth Addiction.
Dr. Hart is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University. He is also a Research Scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. A major focus of Dr. Hart’s research is to understand complex interactions between drugs of abuse and the neurobiological and environmental factors that mediate human behavior and physiology. Dr. Hart is a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and on the boards of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the Drug Policy Alliance. His recent book, High Price, A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society is a complex story of scientific achievement in the face of overwhelming odds; it also highlights that U.S. Drug policy is based on many false assumptions and the enforcement of such policies is racially biased. Dr. Hart is the author of High Price.
Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national organization committed to protecting our children from addiction to alcohol or other drugs, and ending the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease. Mr. Mendell founded Shatterproof to honor his son, Brian, who lost his battle with addiction in 2011.
In its first year, Shatterproof was influential in the passage of legislation in two states that will significantly reduce the number of deaths related to overdose, and has provided funding to expand the use of an intervention program that has proven to reduce the number of our teens that will become addicted. Shatterproof has also launched a series of innovative rappelling events in thirty cities across the United States to reduce the stigma associated with this disease, and raise funding for its mission.
Prior to Shatterproof, Mr. Mendell founded and was CEO of HEI Hotels & Resorts. HEI manages a portfolio of ~40 hotels, with revenues of ~$650 million and value of ~$3 billion. Prior to HEI, Mr. Mendell was president of Starwood Lodging Trust and a member of its board of trustees.
Mr. Mendell is a member of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, the Industry Real Estate Finance Advisory Council and a charter member of President Obama’s Better Building Challenge. Mr. Mendell received his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and his MBA with distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Karen Moyer is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, wife, and mother of eight. She is the owner of multiple business ventures as well as a pioneer in philanthropy as Co-Founder and Vice President of The Moyer Foundation and Founder of their signature programs in Camp Erin and Camp Mariposa. Her efforts to impact communities nationwide stretch beyond The Moyer Foundation as she has also served as a board member for numerous health and children’s organizations including a founding and executive committee member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Her dedication to improving the lives of others expands the globe with multiple humanitarian trips completed to Africa, Honduras and Guatemala.
Karen is driven and passionate about fighting the fight for children in need. She is dedicated to writing a series of children’s books on childhood grief and addiction prevention. The HBO documentary “ONE LAST HUG: Three Days at Grief Camp” featuring The Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin program was recently awarded an Emmy® for Outstanding Children’s Programming. Karen is currently working on two film projects focused on addiction prevention and survivors of suicide loss. At The Moyer Foundation, she volunteers her time and talent on a daily basis and plays an active role in helping the Foundation achieve its mission to provide comfort, hope and healing to children affected by loss and family addiction.
In addition to their six biological children, Karen and her husband former MLB pitcher Jamie Moyer, have adopted two daughters from Guatemala. The family currently resides in the San Diego area.
West Huddleston is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and the Executive Director of NADCP’s three divisions, the National Center for DWI Courts, the National Drug Court Institute and Justice for Vets. Located in the Nation’s Capitol, NADCP represents 30,000 professionals working in over 2,800 Drug Courts, DWI Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts around the world. Prior to being appointed CEO in 2006, Mr. Huddleston served as Director of the National Drug Court Institute (NDCI) for nine years.
Mr. Huddleston is regarded as a national pioneer in Drug Courts and other alternative sentencing strategies. Mr. Huddleston has spent the past two decades providing leadership and training to justice teams throughout the world, furthering the Drug Court movement and its impact on the addict, family and community. During his fifteen years of service at NADCP, Mr. Huddleston has authored nineteen publications and briefs; testified before U.S. Congress, numerous state legislatures, and international parliaments; been interviewed repeatedly by radio, television, and print media; and delivered over 550 keynote addresses in forty-six states and ten countries.
Prior to his work at NADCP/NDCI, Mr. Huddleston worked for eight years as a board-licensed clinician throughout the Tennessee and Oklahoma justice systems developing, offender-specific, in-custody and community mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. In doing so, Mr. Huddleston served as the director of two community corrections programs and as the director of a 125-bed pre-release correctional center. In addition, he lead the team that developed the first two drug courts in the State of Oklahoma, one of which served as a national mentor court for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1995-1997.
Mr. Huddleston serves as an advisor and/or consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Organization of American States (OAS) and as a distinguished faculty member of the National Judicial College. Mr. Huddleston has received numerous honors throughout his career; most recently the “2010 Friend of the Field Award” from the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence for his national leadership in expanding access of life-saving medications to addicted people; the “2008 U.S. Congressional Horizon Award” for his lifelong dedication to bettering communities throughout the nation; and the “2008 America Honors Recovery Award” from the Johnson Institute for his service to those suffering with addiction.
Political Director To Russell Simmons + President, GlobalGrind.com. Michael is a 21st century civil rights leader. As the Political Director to hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons and President of GlobalGrind.com, an online destination founded by Simmons with over 4.5 million viewers per month, Michael is a leading voice for young America.
A trailblazer of social media with 120,000 followers on twitter, Michael has led national conversations about the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial of George Zimmerman, the Boston Marathon bombings, the rise of violence in Chicago, America’s relationship with race and the Obama presidency, amongst many other topics. His 2012 essay titled, “White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin” was shared over 190,000 times on Facebook and was credited as one of the catalysts of bringing that story to national attention. Michael regularly discusses the aforementioned topics, current events, and how they affect his generation on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR and HLN, to name a few media outlets.
In his role as Political Director, Michael and Russell focus their work around three core themes: violence, poverty and ignorance. As President of GlobalGrind.com, Michael leads a website that serves a multi-racial segment of the 18-34 population, covering entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, style, music and politics.
Michael has delivered keynote addresses and participated in panel discussions at Princeton University, Yale University, UCLA, NYU, Georgetown University, University of Michigan, Tulane University, American University, Southern University, University of Wisconsin, University of Idaho as well as at numerous rallies and private functions.
Michael serves on the Board of Directors for The Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance. He is also active on the Leadership Council of Gen44, the Democratic Party’s group for young professionals, and was an official surrogate for the 2012 Obama campaign.
Michael is the founder of Dot2Dot, an annual summit of the most inspiring young leaders, who gather to engage in a conversation about the future of the generation.
Dr. Hallowell is a child and adult psychiatrist and the founder of The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, MA and New York City. He was a member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School from 1983 to 2004 until he retired to devote his full professional attention to his clinical practice, lectures, and the writing of books.
Dr. Hallowell is a highly recognized speaker around the world. He has presented to thousands on topics such as ADD,strategies on handling your fast-pace life, the Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, how to help your employees Shine, ADHD and Relationships and other pertinent family and health issues. He has been prominently featured in the media, including 20/20, Oprah, Dr. Oz, CNN, PBS and NPR as well as 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Dateline, Good Morning America, US News and World Report, Newsweek, the Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, New York Times and other popular publications.
Dr. Hallowell is considered to be one of the foremost experts on the topic of ADHD. He is the co-author, with Dr. John Ratey, of Driven to Distraction, and Answers to Distraction, which have sold more than a million copies. In 2005, Drs. Hallowell and Ratey released their much-awaited third book on ADHD, Delivered from Distraction. “Delivered” provides updated information on the treatment of ADHD and more on adult ADHD.
Dr. Hallowell’s most recent book, SHINE: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People was published January 17, 2011. In Shine, Dr. Hallowell draws on brain science, performance research, and his own experience helping people maximize their potential to present a proven process for getting the best from your people. He introduces the 5 steps in the Cycle of Excellence: Select, Connect, Play, Grapple and Grow, and Shine. He shows how each step is critical in its own right and translates into actions a manager or worker can do and do now to propel their people to excellence.
Dr. Potenza is a board-certified psychiatrist with sub-specialty training and certification in addiction psychiatry. He has trained at Yale University receiving a combined BS/MS with Honors in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics and a PhD in Cell Biology, the latter concurrent with the MD through the Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed internship, psychiatric residency and addiction psychiatry fellowship training at Yale. Currently, he is a Professor of Psychiatry, Child Study and Neurobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine where he is Director of the Problem Gambling Clinic, the Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, and the Women and Addictive Disorders Core of Women’s Health Research at Yale. He is on the editorial boards of ten journals and editor-in-chief of the Current Addiction Reports journal and has received multiple national and international awards for excellence in research and clinical care. He has consulted to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization and has participated in two DSM-5 research work groups.
Dr. Potenza’s research has focused on the neurobiology and treatment of substance and non-substance addictions and other disorders characterized by impaired impulse control. This research has a developmental focus, with implications for adolescents, young adults and older adults considered in studies. Dr. Potenza’s interdisciplinary research has applied brain imaging, genetic, epidemiological and clinical trials methodologies to gain knowledge and improve prevention and treatment strategies. This work has also involved identifying potential intermediary phenotypes, like facets of impulsivity, that may in part explain the high rates of co-occurrence between addictions and other mental health conditions, and might represent novel targets for prevention and treatment strategies.
Cameron Bishop is Director of Health Policy & Government Affairs for RBP Canada Ltd, a subsidiary of Indivior PLC – an addiction treatment company based in Ottawa. In this capacity, he is responsible for all regulatory and legislative initiatives involving opioid dependence including the expansion of treatment access for patients and physicians. He is also directly responsible for interfacing with stakeholders across multiple groups, including users and patient organizations, public policy makers, government bodies, regulatory agencies, law enforcement, public health and social security, as well as clinicians and medical associations.
Prior to joining RBP, Cameron served as Vice President (Government Relations) with Environics Communications where he oversaw a diverse portfolio of private sector and not-for-profit clients, such as eBay, Home Depot and the Canadian Standards Association, with issues ranging from policy development and analysis to government procurement and relationship building with key public policy makers.
From early 2007 through to spring 2010, Cameron was Director of Government Relations with the Canadian Lung Association. He was responsible for various projects including the development of a nationwide campaign to ban smoking in cars where children are present, the Association’s 2008 federal election effort, as well as work done on developing a Comprehensive Air Management System for Canada, through a Cabinet-authorized Committee of health, environment and industry stakeholders. He lead the Canadian Lung Association’s successful advocacy and policy efforts towards securing a multi-million dollar federal investment for the National Lung Health Framework – Canada’s first ever action plan on lung health. He also directed the Association’s 2009 national H1N1 awareness campaign focusing on individuals with asthma and COPD.
From 1997 through to 2006, Cameron served in senior capacities for both Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers on Parliament Hill, including as Communications Advisor to the Chief Government Whip under Prime Minister Jean Chrétien; Legislative Assistant to the Vice Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs; and, Press Secretary to the Minister of Public Health under Prime Minister Paul Martin.
As Legislative Assistant to the Member of Parliament for Sudbury, he worked on a review of existing elder justice laws, culminating in the drafting of the first-ever “Older Adult Justice Act for Canada” and referral to the Justice Committee by the House of Commons in May 2004. As Press Secretary to the Minister of Public Health, he directed the national media campaign for the pan-Canadian consultations on public health goals for Canada and was responsible for political outreach on behalf of the Minister.
Cameron currently serves as Co-Chair of the Legislation & Regulation Committee on Canada’s National Advisory Council on Prescription Drug Misuse and was a key partner in the development of the country’s first national strategy on prescription drug abuse entitled “First Do No Harm: Addressing Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis”. He is one of the two Canadian co-chairs of Drugs Over Dinner (Canada) – an international movement with the goal of reframing the public conversation about drugs and addiction. Additionally, he serves on the Leadership Council of the Clinton Foundation’s 20/30 initiative for the Ottawa-area.
Carlene Variyan is Co-Chair of Drugs Over Dinner Canada – an initiative with the goal of reframing the public conversation about drugs and addiction.
In her professional capacity, Carlene is the Manager of Health Policy and Government Affairs for Indivior Canada. She works to increase awareness and combat stigma around substance use disorders. Carlene works on a daily basis with governments and institutions to craft solutions in the areas of prevention, access to treatment, and quality health outcomes.
Carlene sits on the Legislation & Regulation Committee of Canada’s National Advisory Council on Prescription Drug Misuse, which recently published the country’s first national strategy on prescription drug abuse entitled “First Do No Harm: Addressing Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis”.
Immediately prior to joining Indivior, Carlene served as the Parliamentary Affairs advisor to the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. In this role, Carlene managed day-to-day legislative agendas, constructed procedural strategies to achieve political objectives, and acted as the primary parliamentary procedure advisor to all caucus members and their staff.
Until May 2011, Carlene was an advisor to the Honourable Ken Dryden, Liberal Social Development critic and former Minister of Social Development. She worked extensively on key social policy files including universal child care, early learning, mental health and addictions, and poverty.
Carlene is Vice-President of the National Liberal Women’s Commission, Canada’s oldest federation of female political activists. She works to recruit and train female candidates to run for elected office, and to enhance the role of women within political organizations and campaign structures. Carlene is also the acting Chair of the Judy Lamarsh Fund, a national fund dedicated to helping women overcome the financial barriers to entering political life. Carlene also works on several multi-partisan initiatives to increase women’s participation in politics.
In 2012, Carlene received the Famous Five Foundation’s Norton Rose Mentorship Award, a recognition handed out each year in conjunction with the Governor General’s Persons Case awards. In 2013, Carlene was awarded the Government of Ontario’s ‘Leading Women, Building Communities’ award for her work supporting the Famous Five Foundation.
Carlene is a national political commentator on CTV’s “Power Play” current affairs program and CPAC’s “Primetime Politics” program, providing insight into current events in the world of politics and government.
Carlene holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Summa Cum Laude, from Carleton University. A proud native of rural Saskatchewan, Carlene now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario.
Tommy Rosen is a yoga teacher and addiction recovery expert who has spent the last two decades immersed in yoga, recovery and wellness. He holds advanced certifications in both Hatha and Kundalini Yoga and has 20 years of recovery from acute drug addiction. Tommy is one of the pioneers in the burgeoning field of Yoga and Recovery assisting others to holistically transcend addictions of all kinds. He teaches regularly at yoga conferences and festivals, including Wanderlust, Hanuman and Sun Valley. He is the producer and host of the Recovery 2.0: Beyond Addiction Online Conference series and teaches annually at Esalen and Kripalu. Tommy’s first book, Recovery 2.0, is due out from Hay House on October 21, 2014.
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles has represented the 36th Legislative District in the Washington State Senate since 1994. In addition to her position as Ranking Member of the Senate Higher Education Committee, she sits on the Ways & Means, Rules, and Judiciary Committees. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education from UCLA.
Sen. Kohl-Welles has worked on medical marijuana issues since 1995. Initiative 692, allowing for marijuana use for qualifying patients and was approved by voters in 1998, was influenced by her 1998 legislation. Subsequent legislation of hers enacted into law resulted in defining of a 60-day supply of medical marijuana and expansion of authorizers for medical marijuana to include all health care professionals with prescriptive authority.
Her 2011 bill, Senate Bill 5073, which established a licensed, regulated system for production, processing, and dispensing of medical cannabis, was partially vetoed by then-Gov. Gregoire, leaving home grows and collective gardens as the main source for qualifying patients. Following the failure of legislation to pass to align the medical and recreational marijuana markets in the 2014 session, she is working with the Governor’s Office, the LCB and others on legislation for 2015.
Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx, Refuge Recovery and Against The Stream, is a Buddhist teacher, author and counselor. He is trained to teach by Jack Kornfield of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.
He teaches meditation classes, workshops and retreats nationally as well as leading groups in juvenile halls and prisons. Noah holds a masters degree in counseling psychology from CIIS. He has studied with many prominent teachers in both the Theravadan and Mahayanan Buddhist traditions.
Dr. Adriana Galván is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Brain Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory. Dr. Galván’s expertise is in adolescent brain development. Her research aims to uncover the neurobiology underlying characteristic teenage behavior, such as risk-taking, exploration and thrill-seeking. Through her research, Dr. Galván’s goal is to understand the opportunities and vulnerabilities that accompany adolescent brain and behavioral development in order to inform policy, juvenile justice and public health issues that affect youth.
Alison Holcomb is Criminal Justice Director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State. She was the primary author of Washington’s marijuana legalization law, Initiative 502, and directed the campaign that secured its passage. Before joining the ACLU, Alison litigated drug, civil asset forfeiture, and civil rights cases in state and federal courts for more than decade. She is a graduate of Stanford University and of the University of Washington School of Law.
Greg Williams is a communications specialist, social entrepreneur, and a health policy consultant. He is a documentary filmmaker specializing in the creation of compelling and purposeful new media content, and his recent award-winning feature film The Anonymous People is widely acclaimed as a “sea change” for addiction. Currently, Greg is serving as the Campaign Director for UNITE To Face Addiction – a historic event planned for October 2015 in Washington, DC that aims to forever change the national dialogue around this public health crisis. Greg has a Masters Degree from New York University from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study focused specifically on Addiction Public Policy, Health Finance, and Documentary Film. His work is dedicated towards creating positive changes in health system efficiency and quality. For the past seven years he has worked with non-profit and government agencies to create positive changes in substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery policies for youth and families.
Dr. Pajer recently joined the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) as the Chief of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine. She currently sits on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and recently ended an 8-year term on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Prior to this job, she was the Chief of Psychiatry at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax for three years and Senior Physician of the IWK Mental Health and Addictions Program, where she was also Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine. She has a keen interest in system change, continuous quality improvement, and patient-focused care and research.
Dr. Pajer completed her M.D. at the University of South Alabama and later completed her Psychiatry residency at the Yale School of Medicine. While at Yale, she also obtained a Master’s in Public Health (Chronic Disease Epidemiology). Dr. Pajer is the recipient of numerous grant awards, including funding by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In 2009, she was recognized as one of “America’s Top Psychiatrists”. She was one of six women honoured at the Women Reshaping the World Conference held in Halifax in 2013.
Sarah’s belief that education is a lifelong pursuit within and outside the classroom has led her to achieve some of the highest accolades in her profession. Sarah graduated from Duke University, earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University, and received her License in Clinical Social Work in both New York and California. She also received specialized training in working with families and couples from the esteemed Ackerman Institute. Her involvement with this group continued in her collaboration with the two co-directors of the Relational Trauma Project at the Ackerman Institute for Families and Couples.
Sarah finished a postgraduate program at Fielding University for Executive Coaching and is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Additionally, she has completed the National Institute for Psychotherapies psychoanalytic training. Her professional experience includes therapy for latency-aged children at Four Winds Hospital, and she conducted group therapy for individuals who either worked in the World Trade Center or were nearby during the 9/11 attacks. Later, inspired by the remarkable women she has met on her journey, Sarah initiated a discussion series in which women of diverse backgrounds could meet, share and support each other in achieving their professional and personal goals. Most recently as a new mother herself, Sarah created another series, called Wise Women of LA, in which women who are contemplating becoming mothers and women who have already become mothers gather together to share their collective wisdom to help each other find their own answers. They motivate and inspire each other to find new approaches to handling the complex issues surrounding the concept of motherhood facing contemporary women today.
Hakique is certified as a specialist physician both in Addictions Medicine (by the American Board of Addictions Medicine) and Public Health and Preventive Medicine (by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada). He is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and the University of Alberta. He has served as President of Alberta’s resident physician’s association, and in various other leadership positions in the medical community and beyond. Since beginning his career, he has worked in executing public health approaches to critical issues such as prescription drug abuse and dependency, pandemic influenza and public health emergency response, and population health disparities experienced by Canada’s First Nations people.
He was a member of the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons Advisory Committee on Methadone Maintenance Treatment, and was a founding member of the provincial Coalition on Prescription Drug Misuse – the first cross sectoral collaborative effort of its kind in Canada. He also sat on the National Advisory Committee which delivered Canada’s national strategy on prescription drug abuse – First Do No Harm. Hakique teaches the Alberta version of the core course on Opioid Dependency Treatment for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
In recognition of his contributions to health care and the community at large, Hakique was recognized as one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 in Edmonton, Alberta.
Gabriel directs the New York State office of the Drug Policy Alliance, partnering with community organizing groups, human service agencies, and researchers to advance effective drug policies guided by science, equity and compassion. Recent campaigns include ending New York’s marijuana arrest crusade, developing municipal-based drug strategies, passing and implementing historic 911 Good Samaritan legislation to prevent accidental overdose fatalities, creating a tightly-regulated medical marijuana program, and reforming New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. He is the author of numerous articles and several reports, including Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy (the subject of a New York Times editorial) and From Handcuffs to Healthcare: Putting the Affordable Care Act to Work for Criminal Justice and Drug Law Reform.
Sayegh joined DPA in 2003 and launched DPA’s innovative State Organizing and Policy Project in 2005. He directed the project until 2010, coordinating drug policy reform campaigns with local partners in numerous states, including Alabama, Connecticut and New York. Prior to joining DPA, sayegh served as session staff in the Washington State Senate, focusing on criminal justice and social welfare policy; conducted research on global trade agreements and domestic welfare reform; organized with grassroots community groups on ending domestic violence and mass incarceration; and worked as a line cook at a few different diners. He lives in Brooklyn.
Chris Blackwell discovered Bob Marley, created Island Records and signed artists from Traffic to U2, and pioneered a new style of chic travel with his hotels in Miami and Jamaica. At 76, he runs his empire from a one-room bungalow on the beach – and he still doesn’t own a suit.
Dr. Hedy Fry was first elected to Parliament from Vancouver-Centre in 1993, becoming the first rookie to defeat an incumbent prime minister – Canada’s last Conservative Prime Minister, Kim Campbell. From 1996 to 2002, she served Canadians as the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women; her service in these portfolios is respected by members of cultural communities across Canada and internationally. In 2006, Dr. Fry was a candidate for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, traveling across the country meeting with grassroots organizations on her “True Grit” campaign. She currently serves Michael Ignatieff’s Liberal team on the Opposition benches.
Prior to being elected to Parliament, Dr. Fry was well-known to Canadian audiences as a panelist on the long-running national CBC television program Doctor, Doctor. She practiced family medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital in the West End of Vancouver for two decades and was a local, provincial and national leader in medical politics. Dr. Fry served as president of the Vancouver and British Columbia Medical Associations, during which time she was hailed as a powerful and successful negotiatorhammering out a deal with then-premier Bill Vander Zalm that ended two years of negotiations with a groundbreaking agreement that included Canada’s first retirement plan for doctors.
As a leader in the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Fry was instrumental in initiating a range of innovations. Under her guidance, the B.C. and Canadian Medical Associations officially recognized self-government and self-determination as crucial determinants of Aboriginal health. Dr. Fry was repeatedly selected by her peers to take on challenging and unprecedented issues including environmental health, mandatory seat belt and helmet laws and employment as a health determinant. She was a spokesperson for the CMA on health care financing and delivery, making presentations to governmental and professional bodies in the United States.
I am the author of Breaking Open the Head (Broadway Books, 2002), 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006), and Notes from the Edge Times (Tarcher/Penguin, 2010). My essays and articles have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, ArtForum, The New York Times Book Review, The Village Voice, and many other publications. In the 1990s, I co-founded and co-edited the literary journal Open City, with Thomas Beller and Robert Bingham. At various times, I have been a regular columnist for Art & Antiques, The Art Newspaper of London, Arthur, Conscious Choice, and Dazed & Confused.
In 2007, I launched the web magazine Reality Sandwich and co-founded Evolver.net with Ken Jordan, Michael Robinson, and Talat Phillips. Evolver currently includes Evolver Learning Labs, our webinar platform, and The Evolver Network, our nonprofit initiative. We have also produced a publishing imprint, Evolver Editions, in collaboration with North Atlantic Books. My life and work were featured in the documentary 2012: Time for Change, directed by Joao Amorim and produced by Mangusta Films. Amorim and I also produced a series of short animations, PostModernTimes.
I have spoken at conferences and festivals around the world, including Boom in Portugal, Lightning in a Bottle, Burning Man, Mystic Garden in Maui, DazedFest in London, Distortion in Copenhagen, La Callaca TedX in San Miguel del Allende, the World Psychedelic Forum in Basel, and Summit Series in Utah. I have been interviewed by The Colbert Report, Coast to Coast AM, The History Channel, Whitley Streiber’s Unknown Country, BrandX with Russell Brand, Interview Magazine, Purple, and many other places.
I have written introductions for books including The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary, The Joyous Cosmology by Alan Watts, and Rainforest Medicine by Jonathan Miller Weisberger and Kathy Glass. I have written catalogs for art exhibitions including a show of Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol at the Gagosian Gallery in New York.
I am the host of a new talk show, Mind Shift, which seeks to explore the evolution of technology and spirituality, and our potential for the future. Mind Shift appears on Gaiam TV. I co-host retreats to Costa Rica, with the Secoya, tribal people from the Amazon in Ecuador, and Colombia, with the Kogi and Aruak people. Please email me or join the mailing list for information on this, and other events.
Chris Grosso is a public speaker, freelance writer, recovering addict, spiritual director and bestselling author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality, which earned praise from Ram Dass, Tony Hawk, Ken Wilber, Tara Brach, Bernie Siegel, Jack Kornfield, Dr. Lissa Rankin, Marci Shimoff, Publishers Weekly and more. Chris writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine and is a professor with en*theos Academy. He is currently working on his second book, which will be published in the fall of 2015 by Sounds True and feature a foreword from Ken Wilber. A self-taught musician, Chris has been writing, recording, and touring since the mid 90’s.
Claudia Black, Ph. D. is the clinical architect and actively involved in the Claudia Black Young Adult Center at The Meadows. She works with the executive director and clinical director and their team assessing and enhancing the quality of the program. She is frequently on site speaking with clients and family members. She serves as a Senior Fellow and has been a clinical consultant at The Meadows Treatment Center in Arizona since 1998.
Claudia Black’s seminal work with children impacted by substance abuse in the late 1970s created the foundation for the adult child movement. Today Claudia is a renowned author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. She sits on the Advisory Board for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics, and the Advisory Council of the Moyer Foundation.
Claudia’s pioneering contributions are many:
Her work, her passion has been ageless and offers a foundation for those impacted by addiction to recover, and gives our professional field a library of both depth and breadth. Dr. Black is the recipient of numerous national awards including the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington School of Social Work, the 2014 Father Joseph C. Martin Professional Excellence Award and the NAADAC 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Black has been a keynote speaker on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. Her workshops have been presented to an extraordinarily wide array of audiences including military academies, prison systems, medical schools, and extensive mental health and addiction programs. Claudia has extensive multi-cultural experiences working with agencies and audiences in Japan, Brazil, Australia, Scotland, Iceland, Germany, England and Canada. Many of her books and videos have been translated and published abroad.
Claudia is the author of It Will Never Happen To Me, Changing Course, My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has A Disease, Repeat After Me, Relapse Toolkit, A Hole in the Sidewalk, Depression Strategies, Straight Talk, Family Strategies, Anger Strategies, Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets, The Truth Begins With You, and her most recent book Intimate Treason. She has produced several audio CDs and over twenty DVDs. All of Claudia’s materials are available from her website claudiablack.com.
Chloe Cockburn serves as an Advocacy and Policy Counsel in the Advocacy department at the National office of the ACLU, specializing in mass incarceration policy. She assists ACLU state affiliates around the country in devising state legislative strategies, including writing proactive legislation, to reduce the number of people incarcerated in jails and prisons and to displace criminal justice as a primary social problem solving tool. Prior to joining the ACLU, she worked in the general counsel’s office at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York and thereafter spent four years as a civil rights litigator with a focus on criminal and racial justice. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School.
Cristiana has over 15 years of international career experience working in strategy and business development for global corporations (SONY, Shell), international organizations (ILO, IFAD, FAO, UNDCCP) and the media (RAI, Gruppo Espresso, World Economic Forum Media, Entertainment, Information & Sports Industries, Univision). Current clients include the World Economic Forum, and the Inter American Development Bank working closely with the President of IADB and the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Forum.
She is a member of the board of Revlon, Viacom, Internews, The Paley Center for Media, and The School of Nutrition and the Feinstein Center for Humanitarian Affairs at Tufts.
As the CEO of the Sorrells’ charitable foundation, Cristiana leads its efforts in supporting education and health projects worldwide.
Ms Falcone graduated from the University of Rome La Sapienza in Political Science and earned her Master’s Degree in Humanitarian Assistance from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with a thesis on the role of media in complex emergencies.
She holds a Masters in Diplomatic Studies from the Italian Society for International Organizations and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy and several post graduate certificates in leadership, corporate strategy, management and change management. She is the recipient of the 2012 Poder Award in leadership and the Scuola D’Italia 2014 Award.
Alex Munter is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, bringing to the role more than 20 years of leadership in health and social services and an incredible commitment to helping families in our community.
In 2012, Alex served as co-chair of Ontario’s Health Kids Panel along with Kelly Murumets, President and Chief Executive Officer of ParticipACTION. The final report recommended starting kids on the right path from conception to birth, changing the food environment, and creating healthier communities.
Prior to joining CHEO Alex was Chief Executive Officer of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) — the provincial government agency responsible for planning, integrating and funding health services in the region. He strengthened the region’s health system by making strategic investments at hospitals and community-based agencies in both urban and rural areas of our region. In particular, he made great strides in improving care for the elderly by putting in place programs that help vulnerable seniors stay independent and healthy for as long as possible in their own homes.
Prior to joining the LHIN, Alex was Executive Director of the Youth Services Bureau (YSB), one of Ontario’s largest accredited children’s mental health agencies. During his tenure, the organization grew by one-third, adding services and expanding its reach. It won recognition for a ground-breaking new health clinic for street-involved youth, the establishment of a youth mental health hub and launch of innovative new clinical mental health programs, closer co-ordination between hospitals and community mental health providers, new programs to help at-risk youth find and keep jobs and new measures to improve the agency’s governance, efficiency and service quality. From 2004 to 2010, Alex also taught in French and English at the University of Ottawa as a Visiting Professor in its Faculty of Social Sciences.
Alex was a City and Regional Councillor in Ottawa from 1991 to 2003. From 1997 onward, he headed council committees responsible for health and social services with oversight of the city’s $550 million human services budget. In that role, he led Council to unanimously adopt pioneering smoke-free regulations in 2001; helped open new child care centers, expand the number of child care spaces, and expand public health programs for children and youth; worked with provincial government to oversee the transfer of ambulance services and social housing to the municipal level; initiated Canada’s first comprehensive public access defibrillator program; expanded long-term care for seniors; funded hospital expansions and worked with the Community Care Access Centre and community support agencies to improve at-home support services for seniors and people with disabilities.
Sarah Bowen, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Pacific University outside Portland, OR, and is Affiliate Faculty at the University of Washington, where she received her PhD in 2008 under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Marlatt. Her research and clinical work has focused primarily on integration of cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based therapies for addictive behaviors, with a specific focus on mechanisms of change. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters in this area, Dr. Bowen is lead author of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors: A Clinician’s Guide. Dr. Bowen has facilitated mindfulness-based relapse prevention groups in private practice, VA medical centers, and government treatment agencies, and has offered professional trainings to researchers and clinicians internationally. She has a particular interested in adapting and disseminating mindfulness-based treatment for dually-diagnosed individuals, and for underserved populations.
Carrie Wilkens, PhD, is the Co-Founder and Clinical Director of the Center for Motivation and Change in NYC, a private practice of psychologists who specialize in the treatment of substance use/compulsive behavior disorders and trauma using a variety of evidence-based treatments. She, along with her partners Dr. Jeffrey Foote and Will Regan, recently opened a private, inpatient/residential program employing the same evidence-based approaches in the Berkshires. She co-authored an award-winning book, Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change with Drs. Foote and Kosanke. Together they also co-wrote a user-friendly workbook for parents: The 20 Minute Guide: A Guide for Parents about How to Help their Child Change their Substance Use. In collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Dr. Wilkens and the CMC team is developing a national parent training program (the Parent Support Network) to provide parent coaches to families in need of support through a free hotline. Prior to these ventures, Dr. Wilkens was the Project Director on a large federally-funded Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant examining the effectiveness of motivational interventions in addressing the problems associated with binge drinking among college students. She is regularly sought out by the media to discuss issues related to substance use disorders and has been on the CBS Morning Show, Katie Couric Show, and Fox News as well as a variety of radio shows including frequent NPR segments such as the People’s Pharmacy and The Diane Rehm Show.
Lee McCormick is the founder and co-owner of the Ranch Recovery Center in Tennessee, where a holistic and spiritual approach to addiction is the focus. He founded Spirit Recovery, Inc., which produces Recovery Conferences, Sacred Journeys, workshops, and other recovery and personal growth experiences. Lee is the author of The Spirit Recovery Meditation Journal and contributor to Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul. He has an upcoming documentary titled Dreaming Heaven that describes the journey of a group of recovering souls.
Lee is a partner and co-creator of the Dreaming House in Teotihuacán, Mexico; a group retreat center at the foot of the pyramids. His pursuits also include being a certified chemical dependency counselor, spiritual teacher, and Toltec Guide trained in the tradition of the Eagle Knight lineage of don Miguel Ruiz.
Brent Bolthouse got SOBER at the age of 16 and has stayed clean for the past 27 years. He virtually invented the Hollywood nightlife scene we know today. Since his move from Joshua Tree to Los Angeles over 20 years ago, Brent has managed to position himself as arguably one of Los Angeles’ leading entrepreneurs and one of the most powerful event producers in the country. From his event production skills, new west side venue, DJ prowess, various club nights, and his passion for photography, to his annual Neon Carnival in the Coachella Valley, Bolthouse has carved out a niche that has made him more than just a local force.
Leonard Lee Buschel is the founder of Writers In Treatment (W.I.T.), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization grounded in the arts and recovery. W.I.T.’s primary purpose is to save lives through promoting and providing treatment as the best first step solution for addiction, alcoholism and other self-destructive behaviors. W.I.T. also offers educational, prevention and awareness programs through their nationally acclaimed REEL RECOVERY FILM FESTIVAL and SYMPOSIUM presented in Los Angeles, New York, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Houston and Vancouver BC.
Leonard also produces the yearly Experience, Strength and Hope Awards event in Los Angeles. Recipients have been Academy Award winning Lou Gossett, Jr., Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, Duran Duran founding band member, John Taylor, Carrie White and Joey Pantoliano. Celebrity guests appearing on stage have included: Actors Robert Downey, Jr.(Iron Man, Air America); Ed Bagley, Jr.(Saint Elsewhere, Arrested Development); Tony Denison (The Closer); Joanna Cassidy (Body of Proof, Blade Runner, Boston Legal); Jack McGee (The Fighter); Ione Skye (Say Anything); Danny Trejo (Machete); Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue) plus comedians Bobcat Goldwait, Alonzo Bodden and Mark Lundholm.
Mr. Buschel is also the Publisher & Editor of the weekly Addiction/Recovery eBulletin, which reaches over 17,000 treatment professionals and recovering individuals every week.
Jesse Schenker has amassed an impressive culinary history as executive chef and owner of recette and The Gander in New York City. His contemporary approach to creating American classics is a reflection of his devotion to highly-refined technique combined with his passion for comforting and satisfying food.
Schenker ultimately made his mark on the culinary scene with recette, the intimate, urban American restaurant which opened in New York’s West Village in January of 2010. Just months after its opening, recette received glowing two-star reviews from both the New York Times and New York magazine. Sam Sifton called recette one of his favorite newcomers of 2010, particularly noting Schenker’s Salt Cod Fritters as “one of the 15 best things” he ate in NYC in 2010.
In April 2014, Schenker opened The Gander in the Flatiron District where he serves a menu of sophisticated, yet casual, American dishes complimented by a deep international wine list. The warm and welcoming restaurant and bar room is open for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Over the years Schenker has received a number of awards and accolades, including a spot on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in the food and wine industry in December 2011 and inclusion in Details magazine’s “America’s Best Young Chefs” list in August 2011. Schenker was also victorious in his battle on Food Network’s Iron Chef America in 2010.
Most recently, Schenker wrote his first book, All or Nothing: One Chef’s Appetite for the Extreme (Harper Collins). The page-turning memoir will be on sale in book stores everywhere on September 30, 2014.
Eric is the managing director of Thiel Capital in San Francisco. He is also a research fellow at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University. Weinstein speaks and publishes on a variety of topics including, gauge theory, immigration, the market for elite labor, management of financial risk and the incentivizing of risk taking in science.
Natalie Bruss is the Vice President of Digital Strategy at ID, where she helps clients navigate the social and digital media landscape, in addition to seeking opportunities for strategic partnerships in this space on their behalf. Natalie also spearheads ID’s representation of select digital clients for strategic branding, marketing and public relations campaigns. She has been honored by Variety as one of their “New Hollywood Leaders” for her work establishing key social and digital partnerships for talent, brand, film and non-profit clients and was also selected for Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list.
Frequent guest speaker, Natalie has participated in and moderated panels for numerous industry conferences including SXSW, the 140 Character conferences in LA and NYC and Cosmopolitan Magazine, in addition to speaking for classes at MIT and Harvard. In 2012, Natalie worked with the White House to curate their first-ever “21st Century Innovators and Communicators” summit, an intimate meeting comprised of 20 individuals at the nexus of the media, digital and political landscapes.
At ID, Natalie has worked with a variety of clients including Stand Up To Cancer, Alicia Keys, Maker Studios, Katie Couric, Universal Studios, Fast Company, Tim McGraw, J/P HRO, Sean Parker, Pee-wee Herman, Ben Stiller and Relativity. Her personal passion lies in the charitable sphere (she negotiated Facebook and Stand Up To Cancer’s partnership in 2010, making SU2C the first charity to allow donations via Facebook Credits, and also collaborated on Ben Stiller’s STILLERSTRONG campaign.
Natalie began her career at Creative Artists Agency and subsidiary The Intelligence Group before working at Fanscape, a leading viral agency. Prior to joining ID, Natalie headed up the marketing team for the multi-award-winning Burma: It Can’t Wait project– a May/June 2008 campaign to help to free Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi. She is a graduate of Harvard University.
Mikaela Reuben has seen firsthand the destruction that substance abuse causes, both for the addict and the people they love. Mikaela’s sister was 12 years old when she was first exposed to the world of drugs and alcohol. Over the next 14 years she habitually consumed the numbing concoction of alcohol, heroin and meth. Mikaela was the witness and the lifeline on the journey through her sister’s years of addiction and the chaos that surrounded it: prostitution, violence, and gangs.
Her sister’s struggle is what initially inspired Mikaela to pursue health. She began at age 17 studying Kinesiology at the University of Victoria, followed by the study of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia. With an interest in nutrition all along she later studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and was trained under renowned celebrity chef Wayne Forman. Mikaela uses her knowledge of the body and of different cultural healing traditions to empower people to live with happiness and health, in balance and harmony with their true self. It’s not just about food and exercise – Mikaela uses human connection to intuitively meet the needs of her clients. Currently Mikaela is a Culinary Nutritionist and Health Consultant working for the likes of Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Super Sprowtz and Lululemon as a private nutritional chef, health coach and recipe consultant. She has molded a career that inspires people to make better health and food decisions.
Stephanie Gailing is a wellness advisor, educator, and writer. Author of Planetary Apothecary, Stephanie has been featured in publications including Seattle Magazine, Marie Claire, Martha Stewart Living, and The Global Times. Stephanie earned her Masters Degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University and undergraduate degree from Cornell University. Her guiding principle—from which she lives and approaches her work—is Namaste, the Sanskrit term that embodies compassion, love, and the honoring of the inextricable connectedness between everyone and everything. She currently calls Seattle and New York City home.
I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my life – having started at 18 – failing twice (Maritime Vacation, NBHost) – before finally figuring it out. When I was 24 I bootstrapped Spheric Technologies, a social enterprise consulting and applications company. The company grew by 150%+ each year, raked in many business awards, employing 30+ before I sold it in May of 2008.
After that, I took some time off, but eventually decided to move to San Francisco. After a few months, I co-founded Flowtown, a social marketing application, which raised venture funding and eventually got acquired by Demandforce.com (NASDAQ: INTU) in 2011.
In January of 2012 I started Clarity, a platform that helps entrepreneurs find, schedule and pay for great advice over the phone to grow their business. We’ve raised $1.6M in funding from some amazing investors and are currently growing 30% each month. It’s a problem I’m passionate about solving and believe it has the potential to positively affect a billion people over the next 10 years.
In a previous life… As a teenager I grew up in a challenging environment. By the time I turned 17 I had been to jail twice for drug related charges. At 18 I went to rehab and discovered computers. It saved my life. The reason Portage (rehab) worked for me, was because all the staff were ex-drug addicts. They helped me climb out of a hole, that they once found themselves in. That philosophy, that I learnt at an early age, is the reason why I spend so much time giving back. Getting support from those who’ve been through it before is why I’ve had success, in both business, and in life.
Prior to opening Jaywalker Lodge on April 14, 2005, founder Bob Ferguson served for over 10 years in senior management and business development positions at three of the premier residential programs in the addiction treatment field:
In his role as Director, Bob oversees administration, marketing, and admissions for Jaywalker’s team of 22 full- and part-time treatment professionals. Bob continues to remain active in the Roaring Fork River Valley community, where he serves of the Board of Directors of the following organizations:
Bob lives with his wife and two children in Snowmass Village, Colorado. When he’s not at Jaywalker Lodge, Bob stays busy coaching his kids’ hockey and lacrosse teams. Above all, Bob is most grateful for his own recovery from addiction which began in February 1992 at a wonderful four-month residential treatment program… one that would later serve as the inspiration for Jaywalker Lodge.
Elisa Hallerman is the founder of the first ever Recovery Management Agency. RMA provides crisis management services, support for family systems, guidance and countless resources in the area of addiction and mental health.
She currently has a Masters in Depth Psychology and Somatic Studies and is working on her PhD. in the same field. She is a an attorney as well as a certified drug and alcohol counselor Her clients call her their “saving grace” and “guardian angel” She has helped hundreds of people who believed there was no hope to find it again.
Her work is truly changing the way we do and think about recovery.
Scott is the Associate Director of the Master of Communication in Communication Leadership program at the UW. Scott seeks to create a rich infrastructure that supports innovation and collaboration through participatory media and community engagement. Scott serves on the Advisory Board of the Head Start Center for Inclusion and on Board of the South African NGO Saving our Schools and Community (SOSAC). Scott is an award winning author, filmmaker and the Executive Producer the Four Peaks TV program – a monthly series that features interviews with leading media and technology visionaries.
Molly O’Donnell is an ethnographer for Microsoft with 9 years of research experience. As a visual anthropologist, she is known for capturing events and telling compelling visual stories that strive to inspire empathy with her subjects. Molly is a trained social scientist committed to identifying tensions and barriers that get in the way of achieving goals and success in product design and experiences. She also looks forward to completing her degree in the Master of Communication in Digital Media program at the University of Washington in late 2014.
Boston born, Seattle raised. I moved to Seattle when I was about 9. I graduated from Puget Sound Community School, a small, alternative high school and middle school this year.
Art and creating, specifically music and food, has always been my main focus in life. I currently cook at Westward and Little Gull Grocery Restaurant on North Lake Union and produce music at home.
David Llama is the Creative Director at El Animal, a media production company rooted in multi-sensory storytelling.
David’s creative approach to story comes from his years working as a film and advertising editor in Mexico and the U.S. Growing up between two different cultures – from Mexico City to Seattle – gave him the skills to synthesize and elevate the most compelling moments in any situation, be it a full format documentary film or a 30 second animation. At El Animal, David weaves stories layered by his inspiration from music, nature, texture, and everyday people. The goal is to always craft stories that communicate our human connection.
El Animal works with big brands, including Microsoft, T-Mobile, Pandora, HTC, and RedBull. In addition, El Animal is proud to collaborate with changemakers including TriFilms, Powerful Voices, and Forterra.
Civilization is the design firm that provided the branding, art direction, design, and development for this site. Civilization believes in design as a means of social change, and are passionate about communicating the greater social, cultural, and environmental value of their projects. The collective intelligence of their team comes from dedication and experience in the fields of design, technology, and the arts.
I am on this planet to share practices that wake us up from suffering. I suffered so much, for so many years, and now I experience space around that pain and freedom from a lot of the suffering. Meditation consistently teaches me that the ways we distract ourselves from pain inevitably ripen into deeper pain. The practices I study and teach create awareness, and awareness is freedom. The teacher who blew my heart open taught to love people, serve people, remember God and tell the truth.”
Angel has been teaching meditation and yoga all over the globe for more than a decade, and served as co-founder of Yoga In Common and Yoga in the Forest in coastal South Carolina. She leads workshops, retreats, heart-intensive teacher trainings and works one-on-one with clients to rewire patterns that have kept them on the hamster wheel of suffering.
From inside the walls of schools to living outside with them in wilderness therapy, Angel has engaged extensively with at-risk youth. She also creates and travels the country to facilitate guided meditations on dying and meditations specifically for the addiction healing process.
In 2011, she founded a project called The Yoga Bus, and traveled the country with her two dogs, living in a tiny RV that she helped build from the ground up. The project’s focus was yoga-based workshops for healing traumas of populations who would likely never go to a studio. She furthered this work in South Africa though TRIAD Trust, an organization centered around HIV education and prevention, in a region believed to have a 40% infection rate.
Angel is Co-founder of Drugs Over Dinner, Director of Content for Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death, and Co-Founder of Night School at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle. Recent death and addiction meditations have been held at Summit Series, Newport Academy, and The Conscious Dying Summit.
Aside from being recognized as one of the addiction field’s youngest and most prolific agents of change, Jamison Monroe Jr. is also the founder and CEO of arguably the most recognizable name in adolescent treatment – Newport Academy. Considered the gold standard for treatment of adolescent mental health, substance abuse and comprehensive family reconstruction, Monroe’s Newport Academy has gone from a single facility in Southern California to one of the most respected treatment brands in the country. With inpatient adolescent treatment facilities open in multiple locations, Jamison Monroe Jr. launched The Newport Academy Day School in 2010, which is a nationally recognized and state-of-the-art education model designed specifically for teens committed to remaining abstinent from self-destructive behaviors, who want to break free from the overwhelming pressures of a typical high school environment, while acquiring the tools necessary to flourish in a structured academic setting. Monroe’s Newport Academy brand is one of the many ways he is making a significant impact on the terrifying and skyrocketing adolescent mental health and addiction crisis in the U.S.
Thoroughly passionate about all aspects of recovery, Jamison has immersed himself in a multitude of projects that focus on the battle against substance abuse and his commitment to eliminating the stigma associated with mental health diagnosis. Currently enjoying praise for a truly game changing documentary about the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Orange County and beyond called Behind The Orange Curtain, Monroe, is a regular national news contributor on the topic of adolescent mental health and an award-winning global advocate for effective healthcare provisions for adolescent addiction treatment. As a result, Jamison has emerged as an international youth advocate and recently testified in front of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on the subject of teen prescription drug abuse. Monroe’s global impact has been recognized by a host of international dignitaries and his tireless efforts have earned him several accolades including the illustrious Mona Mansell Award, which was presented to Jamison in 2014 by the Freedom Institute for his indelible mark on the addiction community and his passion for positive change, and the Mental Health Association of Orange County’s Community Service Award, which is given to individuals who have made a positive contribution to the mental health community.Monroe currently resides in New York City where he can focus on the East Coast Newport Academy locations and serves on the board of directors for several non-profits and some of the world’s most progressive creative thinking projects such as the Inspiration Foundation, Global Adolescent Project, The EIC’s Prism Awards, and is a Recovery Month planning partner for SAMHSA worldwide. A regular contributor to CNN, HLN, and The Huffington Post, Jamison Monroe Jr. continues to raise the bar wherever his passion and commitment take him.
Michael has been staging convivial gatherings and redefining hospitality/tablemaking since 1997; co-founding the City Repair project with Mark Lakeman; and co-founding family supper, ripe, clarklewis, and the Gotham Bldg Tavern in Portland OR with Naomi Pomeroy. His expansive multidisciplinary dinners have taken place on five continents, have been exhibited in several museums and featured in the NY Times, W, Art Forum, The New Yorker, GQ, The Guardian and dozens of international publications. Michael strongly believes that the table is one of the most effective (and overlooked) vehicles for changing the world.
He is also the founder of One Pot – a creative agency that specializes in the technology of the common table, and the ability to shift culture through the use of thoughtful food and discourse based engagements and happenings. One Pot has worked closely with thought/cultural leaders and many foundations/institutions including: The World Economic Forum, Republic of Gabon, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, X Prize Foundation, FEED Foundation, Architecture For Humanity, and Summit Series. Michael is the founding Creative Director of The City Arts Festival, the founder of Night School @ The Sorrento Hotel, and is currently a Teaching Fellow at UW’s Master of Communication in Digital Media department. His writings have appeared in GQ, Food and Wine, Food Arts, ARCADE, Seattle Magazine and City Arts.
Our content librarian has spent thousands of hours selecting the most poignant and insightful content available. Pull up a chair and enjoy.
Olivia Kirks shares her experience with opiate addiction. Having battled drug abuse since 2006, she has been clean and sober since July 17, 2014. Kirks is an adjunct professor at Murray State University. She holds a master’s degree in European history from Murray State University.
In this article, Michael Pollan explores how research into psychedelics, shut down for decades, is now yielding exciting results
Brazilian prisoners are given ayahuasca in hopes of transformation, as an attempt to potentially alleviate the mass incarceration problem in Brazil
Crowdfunding allows science researchers to bypass institutional reservations and study taboo subjects.
A new wave of research suggests that psychedelic drugs, unlike traditional antidepressants, may be able to provide long-lasting relief quickly for those dealing with some of our most common mental illnesses.
Dr. Gabor Maté speaks on the mind-body connection, and the medical and emotional potentials of psychedelics.
A chemical in Ayahuasca may have the ability to reproduce insulin-producing beta cells in diabetics.
Article and nine-minute mini-documentary about MDMA as a means to heal PTSD.
#Cut50 aims to reduce the incarcerated population of the U.S. by 50 percent over the next 10 years by convening “unlikely allies,” communicating a powerful new narrative and elevating proven solutions such as restorative justice and youth empowerment programs that provide jobs and skills.
Hear from experts on both sides of the fence about the pros and cons of marijuana legalization.
Mass Incarceration, mental health and primarily locking up “black and brown men.” The U.S. spent $80 billion in 2010 to lock up people on the local, state and federal levels. Could that money be better spent on education, healthcare and getting at-risk people the counseling they need?
The drug Naloxen (Narcan): an explanation, and the pros and obstacles that go along with it
With death from heroin and prescription narcotics at epidemic levels, U.S. Health and Human Services officials said the department would add more federal money and effort behind programs to distribute naloxone, an overdose-reversal medicine, to first responders and family members
“This is not a ‘drunkalogue.’ It is not a retelling of my wildest nights and most desperate days because, in the end, every addict’s story is the same. At first, the substance — whether it’s drugs or food or sex or alcohol — works perfectly. It erases the boy who broke your heart, drowns out the voices saying you will never be enough, numbs the fear that suffocates you — until, first slowly and then all at once, it stops working and all you’re left with is pain a hundred times worse than what you were trying to forget.”
A kids’ kit from the National Association for Children of Alcoholics that includes Q&As about alcoholism
Solid, basic information about addiction that is clear and easy, for younger kids to understand.
Telling infographics on drug use, based on a survey of 41,675 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades.
Blakinger was a senior at Cornell when she was arrested for possession of heroin. After less than three years, she got a second chance.
Dr. Gabor Mate and Dr. Jana Davidson tell the difference between treating an adolescent and adult, and why drugs are not enough in treating depression.
Warning: explicit language. Nic Sheff on his dad’s memoir Beautiful Boy, which elucidated the pain caused by Nic’s addiction.
Often parents think their addiction doesn’t affect their children. This article offers clear and compassionate understanding of this topic.
David Sheff, who wrote a memoir about his son’s drug problem, talks about the illness of addiction.
Top Manhattan chef Jesse Schenker was once a homeless junkie. In this article, he talks about flipping the switch on his addiction to something positive.
“It’s always been about teaching the minority community how to work with a system that doesn’t favor them, instead of teaching people in power how to treat minorities respectfully…but things are rapidly changing.”
Russell Brand tells Oprah about how his substance abuse began in his formative years: “I was very lonely and confused”.
With death from heroin and prescription narcotics at epidemic levels, U.S. Health and Human Services officials said the department would add more federal money and effort behind programs to distribute naloxone, an overdose-reversal medicine, to first responders and family members.
The drug Naloxen (Narcan): an explanation, and the pros and obstacles that go along with it.
“I guarantee that every time Hoffman put that needle in his arm, he felt guilty. He felt conflicted. He craved that high that would take the pain away, but knew the pain he caused himself and those around him every time he took a hit.”
The Adverse Childhood Experience Study, and what it tells us about people struggling with addiction.
Only 11% of the 22.7 million Americans who needed drug or alcohol treatment in 2013 actually got it, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. While some of those who went without care did so by choice, at least 316,000 tried and failed to get treatment.
Across the country, 44,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2013, more than double the number in 1999. Nearly 52 percent of the deaths were related to prescription drugs.
The partner of someone struggling with addiction shares the key to trusting him again.
Too Smart To Start helps prevent underage alcohol use by offering strategies and materials for youth, teens, families, educators, community leaders, professionals, and volunteers.
Kids who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are significantly less likely to use drugs, yet 20 percent report not getting that benefit.
A child of the 1960’s, and baby boomer, tells her story of getting clean “better late than never,” and what it was like to truly “feel” for the first time at age 42.
Drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so.
Data shows more than 23 million adults living in U.S. once had drug or alcohol problems.
This article from Minority Nursing talks about African Americans, spirituality and how substance abuse can be related to socio-economic struggles.
Many Faces, One Voice is a vital record of people who now publicly advocate for the millions of Americans suffering with addiction. Their inspiring stories are essential to understanding the success, the hope and the power of recovery.
A drug addict reaches out 12 years after a robbery, and the family responds.
Former crack addict, now clean for over 20 years, succinctly tells her story and how she has become a better wife, mother and grandmother as a result of being in recovery.
We can be convinced logically of the need for intervention and change. But it is the story of one individual that ultimately makes the difference—by offering living proof.
Dr. Carl Hart shares about what happened when he brought people into his Columbia University laboratory to smoke crack cocaine as part of a study.
Advocacy with Anonymity answers the question, “How can I stand up for my rights without violating the anonymity tradition of my twelve-step group?”
Chiara de Blasio, daughter of NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio, speaks vulnerably about addiction, depression, anxiety and what it takes to be happy.
Chris Grosso shares a bit about his own self-destruction and offers a clear and simple practice that has been pivotal in his recovery.
Is addiction is a pandemic American disease driven by our high-stress culture or a human dis-ease driven by our existential angst; are we all addicted to something?
Misconceptions about addiction- from caffeine and gambling to AA and DARE.
Dr. Gabor Maté says we’re a culture of addicts, explains why and talks about healing.
Dr. Gabor Mate shares a bit about brain chemistry to eloquently confront the problems with treating drug users as criminals.
Drug Enforcement Agency facing budget cuts, seizes less marijuana.
Three men’s stories put a human face on the all-too-tragic tale of men and women whose lives get caught up in the penal system and then fall into a cycle of recidivism and poverty. The three are speaking out about their journey from prison to prosperity and why the justice system needs to move away from mass incarceration and toward rehabilitation and reform.
Twelve years ago, Portugal eliminated criminal penalties for drug users. Since then, those caught with small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or heroin go unindicted with possession a misdemeanor on par with illegal parking. Experts are pleased with the results.
With death from heroin and prescription narcotics at epidemic levels, U.S. Health and Human Services officials announce the department would add more federal money and effort behind programs to distribute naloxone, an overdose-reversal medicine, to first responders and family members.
Local mom explains what has happened in her community and calls for things to change.
Dr. Carl Hart, from Columbia University, is on a mission to educate on empirical evidence while discouraging the dissemination of hysteria and hype.
Macklemore talks about how his battle with drug abuse affected his creativity and his relationships, and how he got on the road to recovery.
Tony Head participated in an innovative research study at Johns Hopkins University exploring the psychotherapeutic potential of psilocybin for cancer-related anxiety
Video based on Michael Pollan’s The Trip Treatment. Where he explores Psilocybin and the work being done to treat anxiety, addiction, and depression.
Dr. Gabor Maté speaks at SFU about addiction, what’s going on emotionally and in brain circuitry. There’s also a lovely dubstep remix in the background. You may want to turn on the captions to catch everything.
A 23-minute Democracy Now interview with neuroscientist Carl Hart on brain science and myths about addiction.
Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson speaks openly about his struggle with alcoholism, treatment and about stopping ridicule of people in pain.
Addiction is a serious health concern affecting more than 12 million women annually. How do their struggles and recovery differ from men? How do we disentangle our notions of drug addiction and what it means to be a “good girl?” Christina Huffington delivers a candid and vulnerable interview with Huff Post live about her cocaine addiction and what it took to get clean at age 22.
Former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu shares about his passion for performance and his choice to not take drugs. “Instead of making the choice to not do drugs to make yourself better than everyone else, do it because you want to inspire everyone else. You have to do it simply for the love of it, and then the payoff will come.”
Bethany Hamilton, author of Soul Surfer and pro-surfer, talks about her natural high
This animated infographic explains the changes in the structure and function of the brain that can result in compulsive substance use.
Short 5-minute animated video on addiction—simple but powerful—that uses metaphor so it is accessible to all ages.
Indie pop band Echosmith talk about authenticity, playing Vans Warped tour and how drugs take you out of the moment.
Grammy Award winner Mya talks about fitting in and how she dealt with hard times without drugs.
Attending college on a full football scholarship and on the road to play pro, Ronnie became addicted to prescription medicine and overdosed before he and his family could see his dreams become a reality.
Tim Howard, U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper shares how he gets high naturally.
College student shares about getting a full scholarship to college, the stress of maintaining it, turning to Adderall and energy shots and the negative effects that decision had on her life.
The painful story of a teen who didn’t die after overdose, but, after friends waited hours to call 911, was left brain damaged.
Six college students share the ways they deal with stress in a music video set to Asher Roth’s “La Di Da.”
College student talks about his substance abuse that began in high school and almost ruined or ended his life, and then how he got sober.
From THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE, a feature documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
Jefra Bland, Miss Kentucky Teen USA, shares about the effects of her father’s prescription drug abuse.
Chiara de Blasio, daughter of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, shares about her struggle with depression and substance abuse, and about her sobriety.
Ted talk: Shaka Senghor, former drug dealer, speaks openly about the depths of his darkness and how he turned it all around
Ethan Nadelmann’s candid TED talk about why we need to end the “war” on drugs
A three-minute video of Dr. Gabor Maté speaking incisively about the root cause of addiction
In this TED talk, Gabriel Sayegh, NY State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance and former meth user, speaks vulnerably about his experience with drugs and candidly about drug policy.
President Barack Obama and David Simon, the creator of HBO’s The Wire, sat down to talk honestly about the challenges law enforcement face and the consequences communities bear from the war on drugs.
Historic and poignant Congressional testimony by Columbia University Professor and Neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart about his research on the psychopharmacological effects of marijuana in humans. Listen until the eight-minute mark.]
A short clip on prison reform, including a range of views from Newt Gingrich to Van Jones.
Richard Cone, a professor of biophysics at Johns Hopkins University, participated in a research study exploring the psychotherapeutic potential of psilocybin for his cancer-related anxiety and depression.
Dr. Stephen Ross, director of the NYU Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship is gearing up to embark on a new research project utilizing psilocybin to help treat alcoholism.
Article and nine-minute mini-documentary about MDMA as a means to heal PTSD
Students in recovery from substance abuse are finding more support on a growing number of college campuses, including the University of Texas at Austin. This story takes a look at what students in recovery face as they get to college, and explores an avenue to stay sober.
NPR audio with Jason Cherkis, journalist who found that treatment centers don’t typically use the new medications that block opiate cravings, a look into how treatment tends to fail patients and families.
Doctors are taught in medical school to not “pull the lid off something you don’t have the training, time or ability to handle.” What if, instead, they used 10 questions that could address and explain causes of many of the biggest factors that can foster disease and shorten life, like depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, and complicated, chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity?
This story is part of a series that explores social and environmental factors that affect health throughout life. It looks at factors that alter the executive function of the brain, which makes people less capable of regulating their behaviors.
Having a high IQ may have its drawbacks: a new study finds that highly intelligent children are more likely to try illegal drugs in their teenage and adult years.
In this brief podcast, the National Director of Children’s Programs at Betty Ford Center shares a story about working with a 5 year old named Jeffy whose mom was in treatment for drug addiction.
Drug courts were established 25 years ago, transforming the legal response to drug addicts. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to West Huddleston, CEO of an association of drug court professionals.
The story of a teen who got busted for selling pot to the girl he had a crush on, who was also an undercover police officer posing as a student at his high school.
Producer Brian Reed recounts one of the more riveting arguments he’s ever heard about whether marijuana is dangerous or relatively benign. It takes place in Congress. On one side, a congressman who isn’t even on the committee that organized the hearing. On the other side, a DEA official who says that pot insults our common values as Americans.
In Act One, Blunt Force, writer Domingo Martinez tells a story from his memoir The Boy Kings of Texas, about when he was forced to face how he might look in 20 years, if he kept doing what he was doing.
Under California law, it’s legal to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes if you have a doctor’s recommendation. A few years ago, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman was trying to find a way to deal with the proliferation of marijuana in his county. Allman wanted to spend less time dealing with growers who were growing small, legal amounts, so he could focus on other problems — including criminals who run massive marijuana farms in the Mendocino National Forest. He came up with a plan to allow small farmers to grow if they registered with his office. Growers would pay for zip-ties they could put around the base of their plants, and the cops would know to leave them alone. It saved time and generated revenue. Here’s the story of how the county and the nation responded to the sheriff’s plan.
For decades, Alex Kotlowitz has been writing about the inner cities and the toll of violence on young people. When he heard about a program at Drexel University where guys from the inner city get counseling for PTSD, he wondered if the effect of urban violence was comparable to the trauma that a person experiences from war. Kotlowitz talks to a military vet from Afghanistan and a guy from Philadelphia who sold drugs in bad neighborhoods, and found out they are doubles of some sort.
In Glynn County, GA, Superior Court Judge Amanda Williams runs the drug courts in Glynn, Camden and Wayne counties. We hear the story of Lindsey Dills, who forges two checks on her parents’ checking account when she’s 17, one for $40 and one for $60, and ends up in drug court for five and a half years, including 14 months behind bars, and then she serves another five years after that—six months of it in Arrendale State Prison, the other four and a half on probation. The average drug court program in the U.S. lasts 15 months. Judge Williams’ drug court is much more punitive than most. Long jail sentences are contrary to the philosophy of drug court, and the guidelines of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. For violating drug court rules, Judge Williams also sends Lindsey on what she calls an “indefinite sentence,” where she did not specify when Lindsey would get out. (30 minutes)
According to new federal data, about half of all drug arrests in 2011 and 2010 were for marijuana use. But even though usage rates for marijuana are similar among whites and blacks, black Americans, according to this data, were nearly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.
“I came to this fight about 23 years ago,” said Carl Hart, a professor at Columbia University, thinking that “we should punish drugs harshly, because I thought drugs were destroying my community. But over the years I have discovered a few things that changed that opinion. I discovered that drugs — first of all, we had been lied to in terms of their potential dangers.”
UNITE to Face Addiction Communications Director Donald McFarland discusses his story and why he is a part of the Washington DC rally on October 4th, 2015
The Bubble Hour’s mission is to provide hope and inspiration to people who are wondering about their drinking, struggling to get sober, or who are sober and want to stay that way.
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