This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series addiction.  

Addiction is the country’s #1 health problem. It affects business and disrupts personal lives. It costs businesses and individuals.  Joining Dennis McCuistion in this two part series are professionals  who proactively work to educate the public on addiction causes, the costs and the solutions to addiction.

  • Christopher Kennedy Lawford – Actor, Author and  Public Advocacy Consultant for Caron Treatment Centers; New York Times bestselling author of Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption and Moments of Clarity: Voices from the Front Lines of Addiction and Recovery
  • Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D- Clinical Psychologist and CEO of Innovation 360
  • Bill Teuteburg – Interventionist associated with The Caron Foundation and a longer term residential program known as Renaissance.

Christopher Lawford Kennedy begins the discussion on addiction causes by touching on his own experience with addiction, mentioning that he was a highly functional addict and how that played out in his life. He touches on how addiction is psychological, sociological and Dennis McCuistion, Niki McCuistion, Christopher Lawford Kennedy, Kevin Gilliland and Bill Teuteburg - Addiction Causesenvironmental. He likens his experience to the result of a “perfect storm” of events. He touches on his traumatic childhood, from the divorce of his parents to the brutal assassination of two of his uncles. He mentions that at the beginning his addiction saved his life, “they (drugs) stopped working,” he says, “but they saved my life in the beginning.” Eventually, he says,  the addiction takes over and you’re dancing with an 800 pound gorilla.

Dennis McCuistion and Christopher Lawford Kennedy at Addiction Causes TapingBill Teuteburg discusses the disease and how it  is even more  lethal than many  realize. “It’s not very often that you see alcoholism on a death certificate.  But you will see heart attack, falling off a ladder…” and the actual cause is an addiction.  Bill, now  an activist,  discusses  his personal experience. He has been in recovery from a heroin addiction for 24 years.

Kevin Gilliland touches on addiction as a  a chronic brain disease  and not solely  a moral  or responsibility issue. He discusses the  Bill Teuteburg - Addiction Causes Tapingmixture of genes and environment and that individuals may have different reactions to drugs or alcohol, even in the same family.  “You just don’t know if you are the one that will have one sip and then your brain will be hijacked.” Like Christopher, he emphasizes that addictions may seem to “work”   but then they become a runaway freight train.

The panelists discuss our drinking age,  and if it should be lowered or not. This episode on addiction causes is truly an eye-opening episode that will leave you waiting for Part Two, where each of the panelists discuss what to do about addiction, how to get treatment  and the hope for resolving the problem.

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1805 – 10.25.09