Thinking About Drinking: Tips & Tools

Recovery, There’s a Podcast for that?!

Hello reader! Last month you may recall that I wrote about mobile recovery apps and how they can be utilized to support change in the use of drugs and alcohol. So, in keeping with the theme of technology, this month I wanted to take a look at podcasts and how they can help support folks who are evaluating their use of substances.  

One of the great aspects that I appreciate about the recovery community is that it is comprised of all different kinds of people, approaches, and professions. Over the years I have worked with individuals, family members, doctors, AA group leaders, SMART Recovery  leaders, counselors, as well as sponsors and peer recovery mentors. Through all of this, I have learned that it’s a combination of family, professional, and peer supports that can best help people to make lasting changes to their use of substances.

This is why I would like to offer you a mixture of podcasts from various people, places, and backgrounds. It's cliché, but I believe that there is no one right way to achieve harm reduction, or sobriety for that matter. It reminds me of math. Being married to a banker, my husband will often poke fun at how I calculate the sale price of an item. For instance, I take the cost say $19.99 then I check the sale offer 25% off. So then my brain says multiply $19.99 by .25, which is $4.99. Then I take $4.99 and subtract it from $19.99 to get the sale price of $14.99. My husband’s brain, on the other hand, will take $19.99 multiply it by .75, and get the sale price of $14.99. We both got to the right answer, we just took different ways to get there. Recovery is very much the same way.

The following are six recovery podcasts that I reviewed that might be worth taking a look at. Please keep in mind though that while these podcasts can be helpful tools to support recovery, they are not intended as a substitute for formal addiction treatment.

SMART Recovery Podcasts
SMART Recovery podcasts offer topics from various professionals on different aspects of recovery, ranging from self-esteem to anxiety to the science of addiction. SMART Recovery is an evidence-based approach that can support one in achieving harm reduction or abstinence. If you find that you are curious and may want to know more about SMART Recovery check out the link to the article above or their website.  

Sober Cast
 Sober Cast was started by an anonymous podcaster who could not find AA speaker meetings in a podcast medium. Sober Cast features recordings of AA speaker meetings and workshops. Speaker meetings include the personal stories of individuals who no longer use alcohol. Workshop topics include How to Find a Sponsor, People of Color, LGBTQ, and Sex and Sobriety.  

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is an addiction treatment and advocacy organization created in 2014 with the merger of the Minnesota-based Hazelden Foundation and the Betty Ford Center in California. The Foundation includes the nation's largest addiction and recovery publishing house, an addiction research center, as well as a prevention and educational unit for family members and professionals. The podcasts range from professional to personal experiences with addiction. Topics include research, addiction trends, best practices, and challenges. The podcasts skew a bit clinical, but there is worthwhile information, in particular for the audience that wants to know more about the science of addiction.  

Recovery Elevator 
Recovery Elevator is a team formed by Paul Churchill. Paul made the personal decision to quit drinking and has been sober since 2014. Paul and his team offer multiple podcasts related to addiction. It involves a mix of professional resources, interviews, and personal stories of individuals who have recovered from addiction. 

As a host, Paul interjects humor throughout the podcast, which I found very cool. For instance, his most recent podcast focuses on James Bond movies and analyzing Bond’s consumption of alcohol. “There is strong and consistent evidence that James Bond has a chronic alcohol consumption problem at the severe end of the spectrum… His workplace, MI6, needs to become a more responsible employer and refer him to support services and change their corporate drinking culture.”

The Unruffled Podcast
The Unruffled Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Sondra Primeaux and Tammi Salas. These two ladies focus on women and their experiences in recovery. The duo offers creative opportunities focusing on change, vulnerability, art, and recovery. They focus on where art and creativity intersect with sobriety and recovery from predominately alcohol. They offer a platform for woman to share their experiences and creative approaches to sobriety.  

SHAIR Podcast
SHAIR Podcasts are created by Omar Pinto, a Life Coach, and addiction recovery specialist. Omar has been sober for 15 years. His podcasts feature folks from various aspects of life including professional therapists, psychologists, and nurses who have struggled with addiction as well. The podcast utilizes an interview format, which features one guest per episode, giving them a platform to discuss their experiences with addiction and their newfound experiences in sobriety.   

Check out one or more of these podcasts and see what appeals to you. If you are an MSU employee, spouse, or benefits-eligible family member of an MSU employee and would like to discuss podcasts, or recovery for that matter, please feel free to contact the MSU Employee Assistance Program to schedule a discussion with a licensed professional today.

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