Interview for National Drug & Alcohol Facts week

Recently I was interviewed by Paige Long, a mental health advocate and an employee of the UniWellness secure telehealth platform.

How to support a family member suffering Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and key guiding principles for families to keep in mind were included in part one.

Click here to see the interview…..

Pawn shops and addiction

by Stas Novitsky

Pawn shops are predatory. They knew I wasn’t in a good place pawning my TV, jewelry, computers, and bike every week, but they made the transaction anyway.

I would go to countless pawn shops multiple times a week and do the weekly shuffle there. After the pawn shop to my dealers and then to hustle money to buy my stuff back plus drugs. At one point I sold them a stolen bike my 65-year-old homeless using partner had “given” me.

My addicted self thought nothing of it, I just wanted to get high. Needed to get high. … Read more...

Relapse means an addicted person lacks willpower #MythBustingMondays


Myth: Addiction is a moral failing
Fact: Addiction is a disease

Just as a person doesn’t choose to have an addiction, they also cannot simply choose to stop being addicted. When some of us drink alcohol, we can stop. For others, it triggers something in their brains that screams, “I need more.”

In reality, addiction is a chronic brain disease that requires intensive and thorough treatment. Once a person becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, their brain adjusts to the excessive amount of toxins entering their body. As their body’s tolerance for the drug grows, they need to … Read more...

Stop ‘should-ing’ yourself

After Charles’ addiction and suicide, I looked back with all the wisdom and all the facts of “after” and told myself I should have done something this way or that. I tortured myself with it. The coulda, woulda, shoulda consumed me for months and years.

I blamed myself for something I did, something I said, things I didn’t say or do. People tried to talk me out of it. They’d swear up and down that it wasn’t my fault. But that guilt baggage is part of the process of accepting the unfair end I’d been given.

But it’s not just …

Booking speaking engagements now

Creating a demo reel and should have my TEDx video in February. I sorely need video and that will be a focus in 2019.

Negotiating contracts now for spring and fall and if you know of an event looking for a speaker, do keep me in mind. See the speakers page for more info.

Karla Helbert, MS, LPC and I will be doing a Coping Strategies for Grief workshop at Ellwood Thompson locally in Richmond, VA in late February. Date to be announced soon. Checking on room availability and we will announce here and on our facebook pages.

And …

The Opioid Crisis: Together, We Can Help Each Other

by Don Holman
Don provides current events updates regarding national policy on the addiction and opiate crisis in the US 

The Opioid crisis is such a complex problem and reminds me of solving a Rubik’s cube.

On October 7, 2018 I attended the FED UP Rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. FED UP is an advocacy group that focuses on keeping the Pharmaceutical Companies and the FDA accountable for their part in creating the Opioid Crisis and ensuring that they do not continue on the same path. The Rally each year in D.C. is an opportunity for those who … Read more...

First study on Preventure in the U.S. is funded!

VCU CCTR Endowment Fund

This is a program we have worked to get funded since 2016. And while I’ve spent three years trying to bring it to Virginia, Jasmin Vassileva Phd has spent seven years. VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies and Beacon Tree Foundation are behind the grant.

This will be the first study in the U.S. on this intervention.

Preventure is an evidence-based prevention intervention included in the first-ever US Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.

The intervention is associated with 30-80% reductions in alcohol and drug use in adolescents in schools at 3-year follow-up. It … Read more...

The Opioid Crisis: Everyone is familiar with the ONDCP, Right?

by Don Holman
Don provides current events updates regarding national policy on the addiction and opiate crisis in the US 

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)

The title of this post is meant to be somewhat facetious since many people I talk to are not aware of what the ONDCP is, what they do, or even what the letters in the acronym represent. If you are familiar with the ONDCP you can skip through the next three paragraphs since they are copied directly from

“The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) works to reduce drug use Read more...

Thank you to my parents for loving me through my addiction

by Tiffani Borello

Thank you to my parents for loving me through my addiction
Tiffani’s dad on the left. Pic on the right shows her grandmother, brother, sister, Tiffani and her mom. One of her siblings at bottom of article.

Dear Mom and Dad, This letter to you is long overdue, and it took me a while to build the courage to write this to you two. First off, I want to thank you. Thank you for always being there and picking me up when I fell down.

You’ve invested so much time, sweat, pain, tears, and money trying to fix my mental health and addiction. You tried so hard until … Read more...

My addiction landed me at Rikers Island

by Tiffani Borello

My addiction landed me at Rikers Island

I lived on an island. On this island there were no tropical palm trees, beautiful resorts, or restaurants. This is the island I lived on for a year when I just turned 21 is called Riker’s Island which is a penitentiary.

During my active addiction I was desperate for money and was hanging around the wrong crowd and did something I am very ashamed of. I committed a felony which cost me a year of my life. I remember getting sentenced in the court room and it was the day before my moms birthday may 19 2017, … Read more...