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All Things Substance Podcast

Full List of Podcast Episodes

Addiction and love-Andrea Owen interviews Betsy

Addiction and love-Andrea Owen interviews Betsy

Episode 119-Repost of this episode.  Addiction and love? I got a chance to sit down with Andrea Owen (our January recovery story) on her podcast Make Some Noise. During that conversation she talks a bit about her own recovery journey and the concept of love addiction....

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Sex in Recovery

Sex in Recovery

Episode #120 (Repost of this episode. Original air date February 2023) Sex is a vital part of who we are as humans. It’s a way to connect with others. A way to have pleasure. Research tells us that sex is super beneficial for our health and well-being. Experiences...

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Looking for love in all the wrong places: A Recovery Story

Looking for love in all the wrong places: A Recovery Story

Episode #118 (Re-post of this episode. Original air date in February 2023) It was all about love. That’s what Dufflyn was looking for from the time she was a small girl all the way into her 40’s. She consistently was seeking to fill a need and find a place to belong....

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What Does CBD Do?

What Does CBD Do?

Episode 68 What Does CBD Do? Is it good for anxiety and/or PTSD? Is CBD good for treating substance use disorders? Is CBD good for chronic pain and arthritis? With CBD being added to more things all the time (drinks, lotion, vitamins and even water) it can be hard to...

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What is CBD?

What is CBD?

Episode 65 What is CBD? What’s the difference between CBD and Marijuana? Is CBD really what people say it is? CBD is everywhere. It can be hard to know exactly what CBD is and isn’t. You can search on the internet and it seems the loudest voices are promising huge...

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Sleep Medication Risk

Sleep Medication Risk

Episode 50   What should I know about sleep medication risks? What are the risks in the non-benzodiazepine class of medications? What is the addiction potential of those medications?   The desperation that comes from trying to sleep causes people to make choices...

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Sleep Disorders and the Role of Sleep Medications

Sleep Disorders and the Role of Sleep Medications

Episode 49 Sleep. One of the essential building blocks of our lives. It seems so simple to get and it's really one of the harder things to do at times. Chronic sleep deprivation and insomnia can wreak havoc on a person’s health and mental health. Treatments can vary...

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What Gets a Client Sober, Won’t Keep Them Sober

What Gets a Client Sober, Won’t Keep Them Sober

Episode 160 (re-post of episode 97) Love of others, the law, nor the hope of a good future are enough to keep someone sober long term. Great way to start us off right? I know it sounds like a real downer, but I promise if you stick around it’ll get better.  People...

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ADHD Treatment for Adults

ADHD Treatment for Adults

Episode 45 ADHD treatment can bring to mind a few different things. Medications, particularly stimulants are usually at the top of the list. ADHD treatment for adults can be complicated due to the abuse of stimulant medications, the medical providers being hesitant to...

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All About ADHD Medications

All About ADHD Medications

Episode 157 Repost of 44 What medications are used to treat ADHD? What are the different kind of medications? How do ADHD medications work? ADHD diagnoses are becoming more common for children but especially in the adult population. Research tells us that...

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Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax

Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax

Episode 156 Repost of 37 What are the benzodiazepines used for anti anxiety? What’s the difference between them? Are benzodiazepines ever safe? Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin are some of the most prescribed medications in America for anti anxiety.. What’s the difference...

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Benzodiazepines: Benefits and Risks

Benzodiazepines: Benefits and Risks

Episode 155 Repost of 36 What are benzodiazepines? How are they used? What are the risks? Benzodiazepines can feel like a miracle for a person with anxiety. Feeling panicked to feeling ok in a matter of minutes. But there’s more to them than that.  Tune in to this...

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Legalization of Marijuana-Repost

Legalization of Marijuana-Repost

Episode 22 Why is marijuana illegal anyway? What’s the difference between legalization and decriminalization? What implication does this have for therapists? The debate over legalization of marijuana is all around us. It’s a complex issue and there are a lot of terms...

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Common Claims About Marijuana-Repost

Common Claims About Marijuana-Repost

Episode 21 What are common things people say about the effects of marijuana? What are the facts about those common claims? What implication does this have in therapy? Conversations about the effects of marijuana give rise to really interesting information being...

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Marijuana Basics for Therapists-Repost

Marijuana Basics for Therapists-Repost

Episode 20 What is marijuana and how is it used? Why is THC potency important? What does this have to do with therapy? Marijuana is here to stay and it looks like we’re heading towards legalization. We need to know the facts about marijuana. It comes up in therapy...

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Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Holiday Skills (Repost)

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Holiday Skills (Repost)

Episode #151 The holidays are here, no matter what your faith tradition or country, there's a holiday in here for everyone. For some the holidays are a joyful time where they look forward to seeing family and friends. For others, the holidays can be a difficult time....

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Meeting Our Own Professional and Personal Needs

Meeting Our Own Professional and Personal Needs

Episode #150 I don’t believe we can rely on our agencies or employers to take care of our development or help us with safe care. I believe we need to make sure we are being proactive to make sure we have what we need to help us keep developing as therapists and that...

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Substance Use in the LGBTQ+ Community

Substance Use in the LGBTQ+ Community

Episode #149 Trauma and substance use have a bidirectional relationship. According to my guest, Eric Sullivan, growing up gay is a form of complex trauma. The LGBTQ+ community faces a lot of factors that put them at risk for higher rates of problematic substance use....

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Therapists Deserve to be Cared for Too

Therapists Deserve to be Cared for Too

Episode #148 How do we not just survive, but thrive in our work? How do we get to keep being our badass therapist selves and still enjoy what we do? Hint: I’m not going to just say self-care. There really are things we can do to help ourselves.  Our workplaces,...

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Why Therapists Burn Out & How to Protect Yourself

Why Therapists Burn Out & How to Protect Yourself

Episode #147 Being a therapist is badass. We are depicted as cardigan-wearing, somewhat nerdy, mild-mannered intellectuals or touchy-feely, overly sensitive, preschool teacher-esque guides for adults. The reality of our jobs is far grittier and messier than people...

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Trauma and Substance Use are Bidirectional

Trauma and Substance Use are Bidirectional

Episode #145 Bidirectional means “moving or taking place in two usually opposite directions.” This concept is super important to understanding how trauma and substance use connect. They don’t just intersect, they interact and drive the other. Research is clear about...

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Nurturing Our Resilience Through Connection

Nurturing Our Resilience Through Connection

Episode 144 As trauma therapists, we understand the immense weight of our work. It's not easy to hear the stories of pain and suffering day in and day out. We chose this path because we have a passion for helping others, but that doesn't mean it's always smooth...

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Screening for Substance Use

Screening for Substance Use

Episode 143 Screening for substance use allows you to provide comprehensive care to your clients. By assessing their substance use patterns, you gain valuable insights into how their substance use may be contributing to their mental health challenges. This holistic...

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The Skill to Help You Thrive Instead of Burning Out

The Skill to Help You Thrive Instead of Burning Out

Episode 142 Learn how to THRIVE while treating trauma & substance use! Tired of feeling limited in your practice? We've got you covered! Hi, we’re Betsy Byler and Jenny Hughes and between us, we have 30+ years of treating trauma and substance use under our belts!...

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The Intersection of Trauma and Substance Use

The Intersection of Trauma and Substance Use

Episode 141 Want to treat trauma and substance use with confidence? We've got you covered!  Hi, we’re Betsy Byler and Jenny Hughes and between us, we have 30+ years of treating trauma and substance use under our belts! Today we’re joining together in this episode to...

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Gambling Addiction Treatment

Gambling Addiction Treatment

Episode #140 Gambling addiction treatment and the gambler brings to mind a certain image for many of us. We might think of a man looking downcast with his hand on his head and a drink in front of him. Some might think of someone spending hours in front of a slot...

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You don’t want to miss this…

You don’t want to miss this…

Episode 132​ Normally, when I make an announcement it’s a brief thing. Perhaps a few sentences and then we move onto the main topic. However, today is a little different. My announcement needed some more context, so today’s episode is going to do just that.  When I...

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The Power of Secondary Gain

The Power of Secondary Gain

Episode #138 Secondary gain is a powerful thing. It impacts behavior in ways that we wouldn’t think of, but when it comes to substance use it’s an important factor in making long lasting change. Behavior is so complex sometimes. So often people want to stop a behavior...

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Re-post Why Readiness to Change May Be the Biggest Factor

Re-post Why Readiness to Change May Be the Biggest Factor

Episode #137  (Repost of Episode 109) People change because they want to or because they have to. When neither of those things are true, change isn’t going to happen. When clients come to us, we have to focus on what they bring to the table. If they come to change a...

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Re-post Harm Reduction and Abstinence

Re-post Harm Reduction and Abstinence

Episode 136* Repost of Episode 12 What does abstinence mean in the context of addiction? What is the difference between harm reduction model and abstinence? Is the harm reduction model and abstinence mutually exclusive? In the addiction treatment world, abstinence and...

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Re-post 10 Reasons We Need to Assess Substance Use

Re-post 10 Reasons We Need to Assess Substance Use

Episode 135* Repost of episode 69 Why should mental health therapists assess substance use? Is that really in our scope? My answer is a resounding, Yes. In this episode I go through ten reasons why assessing for substance use is vital to our work and to our client’s...

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Is Willpower Enough?

Is Willpower Enough?

Episode #134 Just say no. You should just quit. So and so just stopped doing it, so can you. Some people believe that willpower should be all someone needs to overcome addiction. Willpower is a part of how people make change and make new habits. But willpower isn’t...

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Psychiatrists and Therapists

Psychiatrists and Therapists

Episode #133 Therapists and psychiatrists want the same thing: for our clients to be well. We don’t always get the chance to work together. I wanted to see what we could do to bridge the gap between us. I interviewed  a psychiatrist friend of mine, Dr. Jess...

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Liability and Risk When Treating Substance Use

Liability and Risk When Treating Substance Use

Episode #131 People are complicated creatures. We work with people when they are confused, hurting, anxious or generally distraught. Sometimes that can impact our work with people and how they feel about us and their lives. We mean well and we work hard to give people...

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Skills Acquired: You Have What You Need

Skills Acquired: You Have What You Need

Episode #130 Do you feel equipped to work with substance use? If your answer is “yes”, what is it that makes you feel that way? If your answer is “kind of” or “no”, what would it take for you to feel ready to work with your client’s substance use? What do you need?...

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An Unintentional Mistake You Might Be Making

An Unintentional Mistake You Might Be Making

Episode #128 Avoiding topics of conversation is super normal for people. We work hard to help our clients talk about the hard things and to face the things that need to come to light. There’s an area that we might not be asking about that could make a huge difference...

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Recovery: Process of Change

Recovery: Process of Change

Episode #127 What is recovery? People talk about recovery with a capital “R”. But what does it mean? Is it something that happens over time? Is it possible to finish recovery? Recovery really is, at its core, the process of change. It is a living and active process...

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How Does Addiction Progress? Stages You Need to Know

How Does Addiction Progress? Stages You Need to Know

Episode #126 Stages of addiction can help us understand how severe someone’s use is. This is key to understanding if someone’s use needs a specialist or not. The number of stages  vary from model to model depending on who is talking. Previously, I’ve talked about a 5...

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Triggers and Cravings

Triggers and Cravings

Episode #125 Triggers and cravings are a huge key to what helps addiction develop. It makes sense then that recovery is going to need solid ways to manage triggers and cravings. Triggers aren’t something we control. They are developed when we pair reinforcement with a...

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What 20 Years Has Taught Me

What 20 Years Has Taught Me

Episode #124 Adding substance use to your scope of practice  means that you will want to have a source for good information. How do you know who to trust? Why am I the right person for you to talk with and listen to? Over the last 20 years of my career, I have been...

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A Snapshot of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of AA

A Snapshot of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of AA

Episode #123 The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have brought many into recovery and saved lives all over the world. Most people know that there are 12 Steps, but they don’t know what the Steps are and most haven’t heard of the 12 Traditions. Today we’ll be covering...

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What’s a Recovery Meeting Like?

What’s a Recovery Meeting Like?

Episode #122 Recovery meetings can be a giant help to people as they move through recovery from all kinds of things. If you’ve never been it can be hard to know what happens at a meeting and to know how your clients would benefit from attending recovery meetings....

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A Recovery Story: Brian

A Recovery Story: Brian

Episode #121 Brian was 18 when he first suspected that he had a problem with gambling. Surely 18 years old was too young to have an addiction right? He spent the next several years trying to win his way out of the hole of debt he was in. He found out that it's true...

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Sex in Recovery

Sex and Recovery

Episode #120 Sex is a vital part of who we are as humans. It’s a way to connect with others. A way to have pleasure. Research tells us that sex is super beneficial for our health and well-being. Experiences vary wildly depending on the people and the circumstances....

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Addiction and love-Andrea Owen interviews Betsy

Addiction and love-Andrea Owen interviews Betsy

Episode 119 Addiction and love? I got a chance to sit down with Andrea Owen (our January recovery story) on her podcast Make Some Noise. During that conversation she talks a bit about her own recovery journey and the concept of love addiction. We talked about...

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Looking for love in all the wrong places: A Recovery Story

A Recovery Story: Dufflyn

Episode #118 It was all about love. That’s what Dufflyn was looking for from the time she was a small girl all the way into her 40’s. She consistently was seeking to fill a need and find a place to belong. For a long while alcohol and drugs were the answer. Recovery...

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Jenny Hughes Guest Episode

Jenny Hughes Guest Episode

Episode 116A Vicarious trauma is inevitable for therapists. We have signed up to hear hard things and to help hold those traumatic experiences. So how do we truly take care of ourselves? How do we avoid burnout? Self-care alone doesn't always work. Check out the...

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Addiction Myth: People Have to Hit Rock Bottom to Get Sober

Addiction Myth: People Have to Hit Rock Bottom to Get Sober

Episode #117 People have to hit rock bottom before they can get sober. It’s a really good thing that this isn’t true. If people had to find the very bottom before they could get clean, there would be so much more misery. People get sober at all different times of...

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Do they need a specialist? Making treatment decisions easily (A re-post)

Substance Use Decision Tree-Explained

Episode #116 Sometimes we have to make decisions pretty quickly. I remember being floored when I was out of school and had to diagnose in the first session. I had held onto charts because I wasn’t ready to do the diagnosis. I got in “trouble” with the three support...

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Would You Have Guessed They Had Alcohol Problems?

Would You Have Guessed They Had Alcohol Problems?

Episode #115 People often hide things they are ashamed of. They also hide things that feel like it's the only thing holding them up. That can make it really hard to find out organically if someone is overusing substances. In today’s episode we’ll hear about five real...

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To Take Insurance or Private Pay Only?

To Take Insurance or Private Pay Only?

Episode #114 Going into private practice is a big deal. There are a lot of things to consider. One of the biggest decisions that has to be made is if a therapist will take insurance or not. Some people might wonder why that’s even a question, of course private...

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A Recovery Story: Andrea

A Recovery Story: Andrea

Episode 113 Andrea Owen is an author, global keynote speaker, and professional certified life coach who helps high-achieving women maximize unshakeable confidence, and master resilience. She has taught hundreds of thousands of women tools and strategies to be able to...

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Let’s talk about alcohol

Let’s talk about alcohol

Episode 19 Let's Talk About Alcohol How does alcohol work? What long-term effects of alcohol What should therapists ask about alcohol Alcohol is a part of most adults' lives. We might be tempted to skip over assessing someone’s use of alcohol.  Someone’s drinking...

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Switching From Nonprofit to For-Profit

Switching From Nonprofit to For-Profit

Episode #112 We’re therapists, not business people. We went into the field to serve people, not to serve capitalism. But the field is changing. Agency work is one choice a therapist can make, but increasingly people are looking to go out on their own. They end up...

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Interview with Amber Lyda

Interview with Amber Lyda

Episode #111 Amber Lyda was a bit ahead of the curve on the whole online therapy practice gig. She decided she wanted to be able to do more things outside of work. She realized that in order to do so, she had to change something drastically. Thus began her journey to...

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Private Practice Edition-The Future of Therapy

Private Practice Edition-The Future of Therapy

Episode #110 The number of therapists in private practice is going up. When I started in the field, private practice was something you did later in your career. The changes in the landscape of agency work is changing that though. Rising productivity, less time for...

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Re-post Why Readiness to Change May Be the Biggest Factor

Why Readiness to Change May Be the Biggest Factor

Episode #109 People change because they want to or because they have to. When neither of those things are true, change isn’t going to happen. When clients come to us, we have to focus on what they bring to the table. If they come to change a particular behavior, then...

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When is Outpatient Therapy the Right Fit?

When is Outpatient Therapy the Right Fit?

Episode #108 When therapists think about working with substance use, they may envision a meth addict or a heroin addict. They worry that someone will overdose and die. They are concerned that the person’s use will be more than they can handle. The great news is that...

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Special Episode: Holiday Resiliency Plan for Moms

Special Episode: Holiday Resiliency Plan for Moms

Episode 106b I had the privilege of talking with  my good friend and colleague Sarah Sanders. Sarah is hosting a free event for moms of young children. The focus of the event is a 5 day challenge to help moms create a resiliency game plan for the holidays. So often...

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A Recovery Story: Amy

A Recovery Story: Amy

Episode #107 I had the privilege of interviewing Amy Willis. Amy is a mindset and sobriety coach living in Toronto, Canada. Amy grew up with the ups and downs of living with someone who struggles with alcoholism. There are very good times and bad times. She began...

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Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Holiday Skills (Repost)

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Holiday Skills

Episode #106 Substance use is our problem. By “our” I mean mental health therapists. The subfield of substance use isn't big enough to be its own thing. It's just a further specialty. Like other specialties such as eating disorders, sex therapy, OCD treatment, trauma...

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You don’t want to miss this…

Charting the Course is Here!

Episode 105 This is the program you need in order to feel competent and confident in addressing  your clients’ use of alcohol and drugs. You don’t need to go back to school or refer out. The majority of clients who are using substances problematically don’t meet the...

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You Don’t Need Personal Experience to Work With Substance Use

You Don’t Need Personal Experience to Work With Substance Use

Episode 103 One of the things that gets in the way of a therapist deciding to step into substance use work is this belief that if they aren’t in recovery, then they aren’t going to be able to work with this population. As therapists, the imposter syndrome can be all...

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Substance Use and Mental Health Are Under the Same Umbrella

Substance Use and Mental Health Are Under the Same Umbrella

Episode 102 Substance use is our problem. By “our” I mean mental health therapists. The subfield of substance use isn't big enough to be its own thing. It's just a further specialty. Like other specialties such as eating disorders, sex therapy, OCD treatment, trauma...

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A Recovery Story: Betsy

A Recovery Story: Betsy

Episode #98 Recovery stories are so important, for us to hear but also for people in recovery to tell. This is true for me as well! For this recovery week, in National Recovery Month, I’m going to share my recovery story. I’ve told this story in small bits here and...

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A Recovery Story: Jean

A Recovery Story: Jean

Episode 93 I had the privilege of “meeting” Jean McCarthy as a guest on her podcast, The Bubble Hour. She was a gracious host, providing a place for people to tell their stories of recovery. It was after the interview that we talked, not as two podcasters or content...

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How to Repackage Your DBT Skills to Work with Substance Use

How to Repackage Your DBT Skills to Work with Substance Use

Episode 92 Therapists love tools. We love learning new ways to help our clients live more skillfully and have more ability to manage their symptoms. There is no shortage of tools either. We can choose from a multitude of modalities from every kind of theoretical...

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RvW: Picking Up the Pieces

RvW: Picking Up the Pieces

Episode 89 The ruling seems unreal. Waking up in a new world, one where Roe v Wade was overturned. is not what we had planned for. As therapists we spend our careers encouraging people to see themselves in  new light, to have agency to make choices that are right for...

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Treating Chronic Pain

Treating Chronic Pain

Episode 88 Treating chronic pain is difficult on a good day. After the over-prescribing of opiates in the 90’s and early 2000’s, it's become more challenging. Opiates used to be the treatment of choice, but the medical community has more research and information that...

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A Recovery Story: Natalie

A Recovery Story: Natalie

Episode 87 Natalie is a mom of two, wife to her husband and a therapist specializing in treating trauma and substance use. Her use history  is a little different from the things we usually see in outpatient therapy. She managed to skate by several therapists without...

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What is Normal Marijuana Use?

What is Normal Marijuana Use?

Episode 86 So far we don’t have a determination about what is “normal” marijuana use.  We have very little direction on marijuana use at all. Even medical marijuana doesn’t have a dosing or recommended amount. It doesn’t have anything saying don’t use more than this...

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Marijuana Issues and Therapy

Marijuana Issues and Therapy

Episode 85 Marijuana gets a lot of press coverage in the United States. The federal government still has it as an illegal substance, schedule 1 (which means it's on par with heroin). States are starting to legalize recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana has been...

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What is normal drinking?

What is normal drinking?

Episode 84 What is  normal drinking? This is a very common question. I was asked a couple of different versions of this question from colleagues. In today’s episode I’ll talk about what government entities say is “moderate” and talk about a few scenarios that I’ve...

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How to Take a Substance Use History

How to Take a Substance Use History

Episode 83 Taking a drug use history can sometimes feel like guessing. What questions should you ask? What do the answers mean? Did you ask the right things? In today’s episode we will be going over the questions I feel are necessary in getting a good history on...

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Helping An Addicted Loved One

Helping An Addicted Loved One

Episode 82 ​Helping an addicted loved one can be really difficult. What should a person do? What shouldn’t they do? I had an opportunity to talk with Dr. Kate Watson of the podcast Only Trying to Help about this very thing. This is our second podcast together and for...

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Good Therapy-Protecting the Therapy Hour

Good Therapy-Protecting the Therapy Hour

Episode 81 Good therapy depends on both us and our clients. We need to show up ready to work, but our clients need to show up ready also. Substance use can get in the way. There are two ways that substance use interferes with our work. One is when a client’s brain and...

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Adding a Substance Use Lens

Adding a Substance Use Lens

Episode 80 Adding  a substance use lens for our work is at the heart of my message. We already use a mental health lens, a trauma-informed lens and a lens for whatever our main theoretical orientation is. Adding a substance use lens is looking at the presenting...

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A Recovery Story: Gabe

A Recovery Story: Gabe

Episode 79 Gabe is a dad of two children, husband to his wife who is also in recovery and a successful small business owner. He’s built his life around recovery and is celebrating 16 years of recovery. The days when he was using feel like a long time ago. But his life...

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Setting Up for Sensitive Conversations

Setting Up for Sensitive Conversations

Episode 78 Deliberating setting up for a sensitive conversation will make the whole discussion easier on both you and your client.  People know when they come in to see us that we will be asking them questions. They even know it's going to be personal. They might have...

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Shame and Addiction

Shame and Addiction

Episode 77 Shame and addiction cannot be separated. The deeper someone goes into their addiction, the more things happen that they want to keep hidden. So many things are “normal” when a person is stuck in active addiction. Things that “normal” people who shake their...

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Therapy Paperwork Basics

Therapy Paperwork Basics

Episode 76 Therapy paperwork is a core part of the job. It’s sometimes also a pain in the ass. Developing good habits at the beginning of your career will be incredibly helpful. The majority of our job is about being with people, holding space, helping clients see...

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A Recovery Story: Jonny

A Recovery Story: Jonny

Episode 75 Jonny is a dedicated husband, dog-dad and sponsor living in Michigan. For Jonny, most people around him weren’t able to tell he was developing an addiction. He was able to “hide in plain sight.” It wasn’t that no one was around or paying attention. His...

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Fear and Addiction

Fear and Addiction

Episode 74 Fear and addiction always show up together. Being in active addiction fills a person with fear of so many things. That’s going to show up in our therapy sessions.  Our whole job is to hold a safe space for people. We know that, but they don’t always know...

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Client Responses That Impact Assessment

Client Responses That Impact Assessment

Episode 73 We can ask all the perfect questions, but sometimes a client’s answers aren’t as clear as we’d hoped. There are lots of reasons for why a client might not want to share about their use of substances. Today we’ll discuss the most common responses and how to...

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Diagnosis Can Be Healing

Diagnosis Can Be Healing

Episode 72 ​Why do we need to diagnose clients? Is it harmful to give someone a diagnosis? Can’t I just give everyone an adjustment disorder? Diagnosing is fundamental to the work of a therapist. If for no other reason than you need to be able to bill insurance to get...

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A Recovery Story: Sean

A Recovery Story: Sean

Episode 71 Sean is a dedicated husband and  father to his four girls and committed to his recovery. For Sean, his substance use wasn’t an issue. for most of his life. He drank some here and there, but didn’t drink to cope with things. It wasn’t a big deal in his life...

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Why Therapists Might Not Assess for Substance Use

Why Therapists Might Not Assess for Substance Use

Episode 70 What keeps therapists from asking about substance use? ​Fear of practicing out of scope? Not enough information about drugs? Not sure what to ask?  There are a lot of reasons why a therapist might be hesitant to assess substance use. Knowing ourselves is...

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Re-post 10 Reasons We Need to Assess Substance Use

10 Reasons We Need to Assess Substance Use

Episode 69 Why should mental health therapists assess substance use? Is that really in our scope? My answer is a resounding, Yes. In this episode I go through ten reasons why assessing for substance use is vital to our work and to our client’s well-being.  I often...

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What Does CBD Do?

What Does CBD Do?

Episode 68 What Does CBD Do? Is it good for anxiety and/or PTSD? Is CBD good for treating substance use disorders? Is CBD good for chronic pain and arthritis? With CBD being added to more things all the time (drinks, lotion, vitamins and even water) it can be hard to...

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To Graduation and Beyond

To Graduation and Beyond

Episode 67 What should you focus on as graduation approaches? What should you look for in a first post-grad job? What about going into private practice? Everything you’ve done since entering college has been leading to this moment. The papers are in, the internship is...

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A Recovery Story: Nick

A Recovery Story: Nick

Episode 66 ​Nick is a kind, hard-working man working each day to rebuild his life. Nick started using substances at age 12. It wasn’t a slow start for him as he felt like he had found the thing that helped him manage his worries and the feelings he didn’t know how to...

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A Holiday Message

A Holiday Message

The episode this week is a short holiday message to go along with the picture of yours truly, circa 1980, complete with Miss Piggy housecoat. Wishing you and yours peace and rest this holiday season!

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What is CBD?

What is CBD?

Episode 65 What is CBD? What’s the difference between CBD and Marijuana? Is CBD really what people say it is? CBD is everywhere. It can be hard to know exactly what CBD is and isn’t. You can search on the internet and it seems the loudest voices are promising huge...

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12 Tips for Being a Great Intern

12 Tips for Being a Great Intern

Episode 64 What are employers looking for in an intern? What will set me apart from other interns? What’s the most important quality for an intern? Being a great intern isn’t something that happens without effort. What a student thinks makes them a great intern, might...

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Coming Out to Find Recovery

Coming Out to Find Recovery

Episode 63 Coming out was the key for Casey to find recovery. He is a passionate, creative and strong voice for recovery living in San Diego, CA. He has turned his recovery into a career and went to school to become a substance use counselor. He spends his days...

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Guest Interview

Guest Interview

Guest Interview on Only Trying to Help Podcast I had the privilege of being a guest on another podcast. Dr. Kate Watson lends tools from the counselor toolbox to everyday people who want to speak more compassionately and courageously toward the people they love. Dr....

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Vaping

Vaping

Episode 62 What is vaping? What’s the difference between different types of vapes? What are the issues around vaping? Before 2010, there really wasn’t much new in the tobacco realm. Snus had become a thing and was being promoted in different flavors. At the end of the...

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Delta-8

Delta-8

Episode 61 What is Delta-8? What does it do? What’s the legal status? Delta-8 is the newest product to come out of the CBD industry. This product, though, can get people high. Derived from hemp, Delta-8 is legal in most states and increasing in popularity.  It's a...

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Therapist Internships

Therapist Internships

Episode 60 Therapist Internships: A guide to choosing the right one What should I be most focused on in choosing an internship? How should I go about picking an internship site? Why are internships so important? Therapist internships are the most important part of...

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A Recovery Story: Jill

A Recovery Story: Jill

Episode 59 Jill  is a holistic health nurse, certified professional recovery coach, bioenergetic practitioner, and yoga instructor.  Jill’s recovery journey included healing her own significant health challenges that mainstream medicine inadequately addressed. She...

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Cross-posted podcast interview

Cross-posted podcast interview

Episode 58 I had the privilege of spending some time with Paul Krauss, host of the Intentional Clinician podcast. Paul and I talk about integrating substance use into mental health work on this week’s episode.  On his podcast he features entertaining and informative...

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Over the counter medications

Over the counter medications

Episode 57 Which over-the-counter medications are used most often recreationally? Which over-the-counter medications pose a risk to a person’s health? Over-the counter medications are incredibly numerous in type and treatment provided. They are a huge part of our...

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12 Tips for Grad School Success

12 Tips for Grad School Success

Episode 56 What are the harder things about grad school? How should I deal with working, school and having a life? What should I focus on in school?     There’s little else you will invest more money into than your education. Sure, you’ll likely buy a house...

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A Recovery Story: Lisa

A Recovery Story: Lisa

Episode 55 Lisa is a school social worker who found herself in a pattern of problematic drinking. She kept learning and came to understand what recovery could look like for her. She discovered the concept of gray area drinking which is when someone experiences an...

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What are steroids?

What are steroids?

Episode 54 What are steroids? What are the real risks to using steroids?What does it have to do with mental health? The pursuit of a perfect body is not just for women. There are unrealistic body expectations of men too. Steroids are more complex than we think and not...

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What are barbiturates?

What are barbiturates?

Episode 53 What are barbiturates? How were barbiturates used historically? How are barbiturates used in recent years? Barbiturates are an older class of drugs that had tons of uses and were the go-to for many years. Newer medications with less risks superseded these...

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Becoming a Licensed Therapist

Becoming a Licensed Therapist

Episode 52 Becoming a licensed therapist, today on the Student Edition What should I know about licensing before I graduate? How do I find out what the state requires? What else should I make sure I know about licensing? Getting a license is the single most important...

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A Recovery Story: Vanessa

A Recovery Story: Vanessa

Episode 51 On my very first meeting of She Recovers (online support) I heard this beautiful accent. I flipped back to the zoom screen to see who the voice belonged to. That's how I first knew Vanessa. Over the meetings we attended together I would hear parts of her...

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Sleep Medication Risk

Sleep Medication Risk

Episode 50   What should I know about sleep medication risks? What are the risks in the non-benzodiazepine class of medications? What is the addiction potential of those medications?   The desperation that comes from trying to sleep causes people to make choices...

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Sleep Disorders and the Role of Sleep Medications

Sleep Medications

Episode 49 Sleep. One of the essential building blocks of our lives. It seems so simple to get and it's really one of the harder things to do at times. Chronic sleep deprivation and insomnia can wreak havoc on a person’s health and mental health. Treatments can vary...

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The New Roofies

The New Roofies

Episode 48 What are roofies? How are they used recreationally? What's the most commonly used roofie? Roofies have been around for years. They hit their heyday in the late 80’s and 90’s. Women all over the world were warned not to set their drinks down, not to accept a...

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A Recovery Story-Kathie

A Recovery Story-Kathie

Episode 46 Kathie is a therapist, substance abuse counselor, peer recovery mentor, She Recovers coach and founder of Free Living Recovery.  She spent 20 years as a paralegal and eventually found herself pursuing more education in the counseling realm. She now...

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ADHD Treatment for Adults

ADHD Treatment for Adults

Episode 45 What if the symptoms don't seem like ADHD? What if someone has abused stimulants before? What if a client is abusing their medication? ADHD treatment can bring to mind a few different things. Medications, particularly stimulants are usually at the top of...

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All About ADHD Medications

ADHD Medications

Episode 44 What medications are used to treat ADHD? What are the different kind of medications? How do ADHD medications work? ADHD diagnoses are becoming more common for children but especially in the adult population. Research tells us that approximately 70% of...

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How to become a therapist

How to become a therapist

Episode 43 How to Become a Therapist What’s the difference between: a Marriage and Family Therapist a Professional Counselor a Clinical Social Worker a Psychologist How do I know what to pick? When thinking about how to become a therapist can be confusing with all the...

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Meth: A Recovery Story

Meth: A Recovery Story

Episode 42 Meth addiction is all around us. We see it in the faces of people on the street. We see it in the news. We might even see it in our families. Recovery from meth is hard and and may seem impossible. People do come back from the dark place that is meth...

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Why Do People Use Meth?

Why Do People Use Meth?

Episode 41 What is meth and why would people use it? Have you ever thought “Why would someone ever use meth?” Even those who know how bad it can be still can end up using it and falling into a full blown meth addiction. This episode sheds light on the attraction of...

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Meth Facts

Meth Facts

Episode 40 Meth popularity is extremely high right now in the US, Australia and the UK. This drug is especially damaging with really visible consequences. This episode will cover the meth facts including how its used and long-term effects. Helpful Links History of the...

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What’s it like to be a therapist?

What’s it like to be a therapist?

Episode 39 In this student edition episode: We’ll be answering the question “What’s it like to become a therapist?” This question gets asked often and we generally don’t have time to really give a true answer. Today I’ll be talking about the good, the neutral and the...

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Interview with Heidi

Interview with Heidi

Episode 38 Meet Heidi, a recovering alcoholic, a good friend and a fellow counselor. I love doing school-based work. One of the reasons I love it so much is my relationship with the counselors. Today, I want to introduce you to Heidi. I have had the privilege of...

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Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax

Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax

Episode 37 What are the benzodiazepines used for anti anxiety? What’s the difference between them? Are benzodiazepines ever safe? Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin are some of the most prescribed medications in America for anti anxiety.. What’s the difference between them?...

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Benzodiazepines: Benefits and Risks

Benzodiazepines: Benefits and Risks

Episode 36 What are benzodiazepines? How are they used? What are the risks? Benzodiazepines can feel like a miracle for a person with anxiety. Feeling panicked to feeling ok in a matter of minutes. But there’s more to them than that.  Tune in to this week’s episode of...

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What is the difference between cocaine and crack?

What is the difference between cocaine and crack?

Episode 35 Is cocaine dangerous? What is the difference between cocaine and crack? How popular are cocaine and crack? Cocaine used to be the drug of the 80’s. Business people and movie stars living large. Cocaine is making a comeback all over the world. In this...

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Khat and Kratom

Khat and Kratom

Episode 34 What is Khat? What is Kratom? Could Kratom help with opiate addiction? In this episode we’ll be talking about two different plants:  Khat and Kratom. One is a cultural staple in some parts of the world. Another is being proposed as help for opiate addicts,...

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Synthetics: Fact and Fiction

Synthetics: Fact and Fiction

Episode 33 What are synthetic drugs? Are synthetic drugs legal? Have people really become cannibals from synthetic drugs? Synthetic drugs were all over the headlines for years. What’s fact and what’s fiction? Are they dangerous or is that just hype? Tune in to this...

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Story of Recovery: Anne

Story of Recovery: Anne

Episode 32 A Recovery Story with Anne. Many therapists join the field because of their own personal experiences. Our guest today is no different. Her own journey was supposed to be macro social work. We’ll hear the story of how she moved through her education, to...

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Psychedelic PTSD Treatment

Psychedelic PTSD Treatment

Episode 31 What is Psychedelic PTSD Treatment? What is MDMA? What about Ketamine and Psilocybin as treatment options? MDMA or Ecstasy is a unique kind of hallucinogen. It’s known as a party drug but also as a psychedelic PTSD treatment. We’ll explore this and two...

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Dissociative Hallucinogens

Dissociative Hallucinogens

Episode 30 What are dissociative hallucinogens? What is Ketamine? What are the effects of dissociative drugs? Dissociative hallucinogens are specifically drugs like Ketamine, PCP, Salvia to name a few. They are known for making a person experience a form of...

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What is LSD? What is DMT?-Classic Hallucinogens

What is LSD? What is DMT?-Classic Hallucinogens

Episode 29 What types of hallucinogens are there? What is LSD? What is DMT?  What are mushrooms? What are the effects of hallucinogens? Hallucinogens & Psychedelics. There are lots of different kinds of these drugs. This is part 1 of 3 where we are covering...

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Inhalant Abuse

Inhalant Abuse

Episode 28 What is inhalant abuse? What types of things do people use when they are huffing? What are the risks of inhalant abuse? Inhalant abuse or huffing is a commonly practiced way to get high. The prevalence varies from place to place, but inhalants can often be...

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Psychology podcast interview with Dr. Dave

Psychology podcast interview with Dr. Dave

Episode 27 I'm on a break from the podcast, but will be back with new content next week. For today, I'm posting an interview I did with the creator of Shrink Rap Radio, a psychology podcast. I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Dave Nuys. He's been podcasting for...

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An Interview with All In: An Addicted Gambler’s Podcast

An Interview with All In: An Addicted Gambler’s Podcast

Episode 26I'm taking a 2 week break on the podcast. I am reposting an interview I did with a fellow podcaster. In December 2020, I had the privilege of talking with Brian, the host of a gambling podcast called All In: An Addicted Gambler's Podcast in December of...

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Medication Assisted Treatment Explained

Medication Assisted Treatment Explained

Episode 25 What treatment options are there for opiate addiction? What is medication assisted treatment? What’s the difference between agonist, partial-agonist and antagonist options? What is the therapist role in treating opiate addiction? The opiate epidemic is all...

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A Recovering Opiate Addict’s Perspective

A Recovering Opiate Addict’s Perspective

Episode 24 How does opiate addiction start? What does progression look like in opiate addiction? What keeps people stuck in a cycle of opiate addiction The opiate epidemic is all around us. We hear about the deaths and the dangers. Most of us know a bit about it, but...

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Opiates and Heroin Introduction

Opiates and Heroin Introduction

Episode 23 Where do opiates and heroin come from? What’s the difference between the prescription painkillers? How did opiate addiction get so bad? The opiate epidemic is all around us. We hear about the deaths and the dangers. Most of us know a bit about it, but we...

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Legalization of Marijuana-Repost

Legalization of Marijuana

Episode 22 Why is marijuana illegal anyway? What’s the difference between legalization and decriminalization? What implication does this have for therapists? The debate over legalization of marijuana is all around us. It’s a complex issue and there are a lot of terms...

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Common Claims About Marijuana-Repost

Common Claims About Marijuana

Episode 21 What are common things people say about the effects of marijuana? What are the facts about those common claims? What implication does this have in therapy? Conversations about the effects of marijuana give rise to really interesting information being...

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