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Addiction 101 - September 2018

Dawn Farm Addiction and Recovery Education Series

Release Date: 09/23/2018

“Addiction 101” was presented on September 18, 2018, by James Balmer; President, Dawn Farm. Substance use disorders are poorly understood by the general population as well as by many professionals. “Why don’t you just stop” is a common refrain from family member and friends, and people with addiction often wonder why they return again and again to substance use and associated self-destructive behaviors, even when they’re highly motivated to stop using. People with substance use disorders who are abstinent but not engaged in a program of recovery experience continuing, distressing symptoms and adaptive defenses to these symptoms that eventually drive most back to substance use. How can they be helped? As addiction/recovery researcher George Vaillant said, “If you want to treat an illness that has no easy cure, first of all, treat them with hope.” This program will provide an overview of how we currently approach and historically have approached addiction, treatment and recovery, review addiction as a brain disease, discuss the symptoms produced by use of substances and symptoms that occur during abstinence when adequate treatment and recovery support are not provided, discuss the role of hope in recovery initiation, and discuss and how individuals and communities can help create a community culture that supports sustained recovery.

This program is part of the Dawn Farm Education Series, a FREE, annual education series developed to provide accurate, helpful, hopeful, practical, current information about chemical dependency, recovery, family and related issues.  The Education Series is organized by Dawn Farm, a non-profit community of programs providing a continuum of chemical dependency services. For information, please see http://www.dawnfarm.org/programs/education-series.

About the presenter:
James Balmer, President, Dawn Farm:
Jim Balmer was a co-founder of Dawn Farm in 1973 and has worked for Dawn Farm since 1983; first as Clinical Director, later as President. Jim has led the organization through its growth from a single residential program to the organization it is today; with two residential treatment programs, a sub-acute detox, outpatient and community corrections services, a youth and family services program, outreach and education programs and numerous transitional housing sites. Jim has trained addiction professionals around Michigan and the United States, as well as the Philippines, Japan and Kazakhstan. He has co-authored articles and papers on the subject of addiction and recovery. Jim is in the process of writing a book that will describe Dawn Farm’s unique history, mission and values, which he extensively researched on a sabbatical.