Following the death of Whitney Houston, Spero Alexio and Terry Gorski had a series of conversations about the unique challenges of treating a drug dependent celebrity.
The value of peer support is well documented, yet there are still major hurdles to overcome.
There's much talk about trauma in addiction treatment, but little how traumatizing it is to get sober.
Craving and Relapse Prevention Based on the Gorski Model, Part III of VI
In part three of this six-part series, we will continue our discussion of setup behaviors that lead to the craving cycle. Remember that, despite its danger, many alcohol and drug treatment centers focus merely on teaching the tools of recovery to utilize once craving hits, rather than on how to avoid falling into the craving [...]
Trauma-Informed Treatment: The Understanding and Implementation of an Evidence-Based Practice
A hot topic has arrived in substance use disorder (SUD) counseling: trauma-informed treatment. With the advent of medical model treatment, evidence-based practices (EBP) like trauma-informed treatment are becoming normal practices to improve client outcomes. The current issue is understanding the fundamental frameworks of trauma-informed treatment and its application within the treatment arena. While the practice [...]
A Tribute to Terence Gorski
As I was training on motivational interviewing the other day via Zoom, I referenced relapse prevention in the context of the maintenance stage of change and had to pause for a moment. I was overcome with emotion as I remembered that my most revered and instrumental mentor had passed away. As I shared with the [...]
Now What? Adjusting Your Marketing Strategy to Address Dramatically New Market Conditions
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an historic, life-changing event. Similar to other historic, life-changing events like the Spanish flu epidemic or the Great Depression, COVID-19 hit the US hard because we weren’t prepared for it. There are significant consequences for every industry, especially behavioral health care. To say that US businesses have been hard hit [...]
Combating the Role of Increased Suicides and Overdoses in Declining Life Expectancy
Recent research establishes that after decades of increased longevity, Americans are dying earlier, all too often at the prime of life due to drug overdoses, suicide, and a spike in diseases such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, and obesity (Healy, 2019; Woolf & Schoomaker, 2019). This research suggests that the recent decrease in life span is [...]
A Conversation with Terry Gorski: Celebrity Addiction Treatment
Following the death of singer Whitney Houston in 2012, Terry Gorski and I had a series of phone conversations and written exchanges discussing the unique challenges of treating drug-dependent celebrities. This candid and insightful dialogue reveals some of the therapeutic approaches, special considerations, and interventions required for treating high-profile clients. Terence T. Gorski (1949–2020), MA, [...]
Advocacy, Stigma, and the Integrity of Peer Recovery Support Services
Since the beginning of time, individuals and communities have overcome challenges by relying on the support of their friends, families, and neighbors. From natural disasters such as wildfires and floods to pandemics like the coronavirus, we truly count on those who are going through the same things we are to help ease the emotional and [...]
A Movement for Millions: Reimagining Recovery
Thirteen years ago, I was waiting tables at a restaurant by the pier in Newport Beach when the manager brought out a tray of seasonal cocktails and told the staff we were required to taste them so we would be better prepared to sell the new drink menu. No one knew I had just spent [...]
Practice-Based Research Networks and the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network: Increasing SUD Research in Diverse Settings
The opioid crisis has reached every corner of the United States, with no community left unscathed from devastating loss of life and productivity caused by opioid overdoses and opioid use disorder (OUD). In 2017, 20.7 million people in the US were estimated to have at least one substance use disorder (SUD), yet over 80 percent [...]
Designing One’s Own Recovery
The parallel pandemics of COVID-19 and addiction have caused our nation (and the globe) to evaluate not just how we do things in our daily lives, but also to consider why we do them in the ways we always have. This rediscovery of the daily activities, chores, and pursuits we partake in includes those activities [...]