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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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