Avoiding the Addiction Affliction

Avoiding the Addiction Affliction

When does it stop being a party and start becoming a problem? Is there a way to steer clear of addiction? Every Wednesday, Mike McGowan, host of the podcast "Avoiding the Addiction Affliction," explores substance use disorders with expert guests.

Episodes

February 14, 2024 30 mins

Children who grow up surrounded by trauma are affected differently by their adverse circumstances. Why do some children make it successfully into adulthood while others succumb to substance misuse, homelessness, crime, and mental illness? Dr. Kathryn Daley discusses her work with traumatized youth and the power of developed resiliency. Dr. Daley is a Senior Lecturer in Youth Work and Youth Studies and Theme Leader, Homelessness and...

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Anyone who has experienced chronic pain or has had a serious injury or surgery knows there is a role for pain-killing drugs. We’ve also all heard that those drugs can be dangerous when taken recreationally or incorrectly. Claudia Merandi discusses the important role opioids play in treating patient pain and the campaign to limit or eliminate those necessary drugs. Claudia Merandi is a former court reporter/owner of Merandi Court Re...

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Alcohol is such an integral part of our culture that deciding to stop drinking carries its own stigma...and benefits! Gabriella Flax talks about her decision to stop drinking and the physical and mental health benefits that being alcohol-free brought. Gabriela is a graduate of the University of St. Andrews and the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a stress reduction coach whose goal, as she says, is to "help ...

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January 24, 2024 32 mins

Men, young men in particular, make up the largest substance using demographic. Jim Scarpace talks about the baggage that comes with the cultural expectation of excessive use and how to break through the isolation that comes with the disease of Substance Use Disorders. Jim Scarpace is the Chief Clinical Officer at Gateway Foundation, one of the nation's largest providers of behavioral health services for clients diagnosed with co-oc...

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January 17, 2024 27 mins

Have you ever loved someone with a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and felt completely alone? As a mother of a daughter with SUD, it’s a question Brandi Mac asks regularly. Brandi talks about what she has experienced and the changes she made in order to start meeting her daughter where she is while in active substance use. Brandi, her blog, her guide, Doing What You Can Live With, her social media, and her contact information can be a...

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January 10, 2024 28 mins

What happens when mental illness intersects with substance abuse in a culture of silence? While You Were Out, a New York Times Editors Choice book by award-winning journalist Meg Kissinger, is a searing memoir of a family besieged by mental illness, as well as an incisive exploration of the systems that failed them and a testament to the love that sustained them. Meg is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won dozens of accolades, inc...

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January 3, 2024 26 mins

K.J. Aiello is a Canadian who describes herself as a mentally ill writer. It is, she says, who she is. Canada’s medical assistance in dying (MAID) law, which first came into effect in 2016, is scheduled to be expanded in March of 2024 to give access to people whose sole medical condition is mental illness, which can include substance use disorders. K.J. discusses the implications of the proposed change and the obstacles to getting ...

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When a culture submerged in alcohol consumption and sales comes out as a leader in excessive use among women and adolescents, it should surprise no one. Guida Brown talks about the latest studies showing Wisconsin among the nation’s leaders in alcohol consumption and excessive drinking and the mental health issues that correspond to that usage. Guida is a Community Relations Consultant with United States Drug Testing Laboratories. ...

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December 20, 2023 38 mins

Is weed addictive? That’s the question Walter Hendrickson asked himself as he began a thirty-day quest to stop smoking cannabis after nine years of daily use. Walter chronicled his journey daily on his TikTok account and first joined us on day six. We catch up with him here after 51 days to see how it all went. Walter talks about the discoveries, the temptations, the revelations, and the joy of the quest. Walter’s TikTok can be fol...

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Mental health crisis doesn’t happen on a schedule or in a therapist’s office. Amber Heil talks about the work of the Milwaukee Mobile Crisis Team, a community-based intervention model that focuses less on psychiatric inpatient admissions and emergency room visits and more on bringing services to the individual in need. Amber is a Master-degreed Social Worker and a licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker. If you need help in the Mi...

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Mommy Wine Culture is the pervasive message that alcohol helps women survive motherhood. That message couldn’t be more flawed and destructive. Celeste Yvonne pulls back the veil on what's really plaguing mothers and discusses her new book, It's Not about the Wine. Celeste Yvonne is a writer and certified sober coach with over twenty years of experience as a communications professional in corporate America. Her essays on parenting, ...

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November 29, 2023 25 mins

When the goal is to transform the current system of how substance use disorder is viewed and treated and break the mold of the endless merry-go-round of this disease, you assemble a stellar group of scientists in the field to work as a team. And that’s what Nancy Davis did. Nancy is the Founder and President of Cure Addiction Now (CAN), an organization dedicated to start funding important, well-thought-out research and generate new...

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When people decide to stop using alcohol or other drugs, one of the first things they are often advised to do is “go to a meeting.” Soon after they are advised to “get a sponsor.” Kris and Nanci, Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors, discuss the role of the sponsor and the unique relationship between sponsor and sponsee. Finding support among a community of like-minded people is one of the cornerstones of recovery. You can find AA meeting...

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November 15, 2023 24 mins

Carmen Skarlupka lost her daughter to an overdose. Like many parents who go through a similar devastating tragedy, she wanted to help make sure it never happens to another family. Carmen is the Co-founder and President of Never Use Alone. Never Use Alone is a toll-free national overdose prevention, detection, life-saving crisis response and reversal service for people who use drugs while alone. Never Use Alone’s peer operators are ...

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When young people leave home for college, they leave behind much that is familiar. Jeanne Williamson, David Israels-Swenson, and Matt Johnson talk about how the University of Minnesota Morris creates a community that sustains and supports students well-being and success. Jeanne Williamson is Associate Director for Student Counseling, Health, and Wellbeing; David Israels-Swenson is Senior Director for Student Activities, Health, and...

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The freedom young people experience when they leave home for college provides opportunities and obstacles. Sandy Olson-Loy and Adrienne Conley discuss some of those obstacles and how the University of Minnesota Morris works to create a community that cares. Success often depends upon making good decisions and connecting with a caring community. Sandy Olson-Loy is Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and Adrienne Conley is Associate...

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How do those who take care of the rest of us take care of themselves? Chaplain Teresa Durbak Sipos discusses how, when surrounded by trauma, those caregivers can take care of their moral and spiritual selves. Teresa serves as a behavioral healthcare chaplain and has taught mental health and addictions nursing for many years at three state universities in Ohio. Teresa is the author of "Integrating Spiritual Healthcare Interventions ...

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Is weed addictive? That’s the question Walter Hendrickson asked himself as he began a thirty-day journey to stop smoking marijuana after nine years of daily use. Walter is chronicling his journey daily on his TikTok account and discusses with us what he has learned so far. Six days of not using at the time of this conversation, Walter’s goal is to make it to one month and see what happens from there. Walter’s TikTok can be followed...

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When everything you have done is associated with substance use, how do you have a good time when no longer using? That’s the question Alex Peacock and Nolan Wright asked and why they formed Recess Games USA. The goal, their mission, is “To pair those in the community with people in recovery who are seeking healthy avenues to have good, clean fun while building a meaningful and purposeful life.” It is possible to have fun again. Ale...

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October 4, 2023 27 mins

As more and more states legalize marijuana and others have a variety of cannabinoid products available, it seems sensible to ask what they are, what they aren’t, and how they might affect young people. Annie von Neupert is Project Coordinator for REACH. REACH, a federal Drug Free Communities coalition, focuses on reducing misuse of alcohol, nicotine, and other substances by youth in Calumet County, Wisconsin. When a product is visi...

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