The College on Problems of Drug Dependence 2013

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For the past half-dozen years, I have been attending The College on Problems of Drug Dependence, better known as CPDD. The conference has been in existence since 1929 and this year is celebrating 75 years! It is the longest running conference on drug addiction problems in the US and is attended by the brightest minds in the… [Read More]

Hitting Rock Bottom: Addiction Stories

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Not long ago I was contacted by some folks who have been working hard on a show called Hitting Rock Bottom. It tells the real stories of people who have struggled with addiction, hit rock bottom, and found a way out. Unlike reality television that often turns tragic stories about addiction into entertainment, this show has… [Read More]

Whose Will: A new book about addiction, courage, and hope

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I had the recent pleasure of speaking with Willie Harris, the author of Whose Will: Ordinary Person, Extraordinary Life a riveting account of his personal struggle with addiction and path back to a spiritual and connected life. Like most, the roots of Willie’s problems with alcohol and drugs began early in life, in a family awash in… [Read More]

Addiction treatment system 14 years later….still in need of an overhaul

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This past week The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University released a scathing report of our addiction treatment system: Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap between Science and Practice. While the report says nothing new, it does a nice job of summarizing the fact that we have made little progress since the… [Read More]

Siddhartha’s path out of addiction

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I’m not sure how I missed reading Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha (Hilda Rosner translation) in high school, but I did. It’s one of those enchanting books I wish I would have read earlier! If you are unfamiliar with the story, I encourage you to read it and soak in its many wonderful messages about life. I… [Read More]

The Race to Nowhere

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Last week I watched the independent film Race to Nowhere that has won numerous awards for its strong messages about our broken educational system. Through interviews with students, parents, teachers, and others, the movie illustrates the dark side of being a kid in school. The race to nowhere for students is paved with an over-scheduling… [Read More]

Interview with Dr. Bruce Alexander

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Last year I dedicated a post to the work of Dr. Bruce Alexander, a psychologist from Canada who wrote a great book about the the globalization of addiction. I am now extremely excited that my good friend Jari Chevalier, from Living Hero, recently completed an interview. There are so many wonderful things in this podcast that I… [Read More]

Mark Girard Working with Altered States

For the past few years I have taught a foundations course on addiction treatment to graduate students. An important aspect of the course is helping students understand that longterm successful outcomes  necessitate resolving underlying drivers of addictive behavior, namely, adverse childhood experiences. In an effort to illustrate concretely how this may be done, I enlisted… [Read More]

Calm Energy an Antidote to Addiction

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I have mentioned Dr. Robert Thayer before on this site, but have not dedicated a blog entry to his ideas until now. When I first read his book, Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise, I was immediately impressed by the implications of his  work for those struggling with addiction. In a nutshell, he provides… [Read More]

Social Isolation in America

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As a young boy, I remember venturing out on summer evenings to play hide-and-seek with the other neighborhood kids. We made up teams, sought out secret hiding places, and took full advantage of the local woods that surrounded our corner of the world. Our parents all knew each other, and while we were expending our… [Read More]