All Things Substance Podcast

Other Substance Episodes

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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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 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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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

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

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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Marijuana Basics for Therapists

Marijuana Basics for Therapists

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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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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Sex and Addiction: An Interview

Sex and Addiction: An Interview

Episode 18 Why the phrase "addiction to porn" doesn't fit with the current scientific findings  What does the research say about problematic sexual behaviors? What does research say about pornography? I see requests online all the time in therapist FB groups about...

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Sex and Addiction: Interview with Dr. Coleman

Sex and Addiction: Interview with Dr. Coleman

Episode 17 Why the word "addiction" doesn't fit when talking about sex Is sex an addiction? What does the research say about problematic sexual behaviors? How can we evaluate potential issues with sexual behavior? The word addiction and the word sex shouldn’t be put...

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Is Food Addiction Real? Part 2-Episode 16

Is Food Addiction Real? Part 2-Episode 16

Episode 16 Can you be addicted to food? Is it possible to find recovery from food addiction? What should therapists know about food addiction? Food addiction is a real thing, even if the DSM doesn’t say it yet.  Food addiction is not an addiction to eating, it's an...

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All Things Substance Episode 15-Interview with Kelly Coffey

All Things Substance Episode 15-Interview with Kelly Coffey

Episode 15 Can you be addicted to food? Is it possible to find recovery from the self sabotage around food? What should therapists know about food addiction? Food addiction is a real thing, even if the DSM doesn’t say it yet.  Food addiction is not an addiction to...

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Why We Need to be Asking Clients About Gambling

Why We Need to be Asking Clients About Gambling

Episode 14 What do mental health therapists need to know about gambling addiction? What types of gambling are there? What’s the connection to mental health? Gambling addiction is a pretty specialized topic.  Mental health therapists are a logical place for problem...

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Video Game Addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder

Video Game Addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder

Episode 13 What does the  DSM V have to say about video game addiction? What types of games are part of this proposed disorder? Is video game addiction a real issue? Video games are often seen as sucking away people’s time and the popularity of games is at an all time...

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The Harm Reduction Model and Abstinence

The Harm Reduction Model and Abstinence

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 harm reduction can...

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Effects of Substance Abuse-Progression

Effects of Substance Abuse-Progression

Episode 11 What are effects of substance abuse? What does progression mean when talking about addiction? How does progression relate to the DSM criteria? What addiction criteria shows up most often? Progression is the key to addiction. It’s not about choice or...

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Addiction: Stages of Addiction and Use

Addiction: Stages of Addiction and Use

Episode 10 What stages of addiction and use are there? How do I know which level of use my client is in? Do people bounce around in use stages or move in a linear fashion? Stages of use are helpful in assessing your client’s use and  determining when you should be...

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Addiction: Protective Factors

Addiction: Protective Factors

Episode 9 What reduces the risk of addiction? Will changing environmental factors help or is it just up to genetics? Is prevention only for kids? This episode looks at the protective factors for addiction. Genetics isn’t the only factor and much can be done to help...

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Risk Factors, Genetics and Addiction

Risk Factors, Genetics and Addiction

Episode 8 What role is played by genetics in addiction? What makes one person become addicted  to drugs and alcohol and another person doesn’t? Is environment more important than genetics? There are many factors that influence the development of an addiction. There...

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Brain Science of Addiction

Brain Science of Addiction

Episode 7 What role does the brain play in addiction?  Is addiction a matter of willpower and choice or is it about biology? Addiction is a hard thing for many people to talk about. Either their own addiction or their loved one’s addiction. This is because addiction...

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Addiction Defined

Addiction Defined

Episode 6 What is the definition of addiction Is addiction a choice or are addicted people victims of circumstance? Episode 6 is the first part of a series about addiction. This episode looks at the definition of addiction and the components of addiction according to...

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We Can Evolve

We Can Evolve

Episode 5 Can addiction and mental health work together? What do I need to be able to work with addiction? What role do specialized addiction treatment programs do and how can we work together?   This last episode of the five-part discussion about why addiction...

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It’s Up To Us

It’s Up To Us

Episode 4 Why is addiction treatment training important for mental health therapists? How will addiction treatment training help you better serve your clients? This is part 4 of the five-part discussion about why addiction is absolutely the business of mental health...

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The Reality We Face

The Reality We Face

Episode 3 What is generalist therapy? What is being a licensed mental health therapist like?  What challenges exist that we didn’t anticipate?    This is part 3 of a five-part discussion about why addiction is absolutely the business of mental health therapists...

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The Message We Get

The Message We Get

Episode 2 Did mental health therapist training really give us all we needed? What happens once we graduate and become mental health therapists? This is part 2 of 5 part discussion about why addiction is absolutely the business of mental health therapists and why we...

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Why We’re Here

Why We’re Here

Episode 1 What do addiction and therapy have to do with each other? What role should we play in treating addiction? Part one of a five-part discussion why addiction is absolutely the business of mental health therapists and why we all need to know how to assess and...

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