Addiction 101

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Date(s) - February 25
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Michigan Heart and Vascular Institute


Addiction 101” will be presented on Tuesday February 25, 2020; 7:30pm-9:00pm, by James Balmer, Dawn Farm President. 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. We know substance addiction is “a primary, chronic disease” but we often treat people with addiction with short-term treatment interventions rather than the type of extended support provided to people with other chronic illnesses. If detoxification from substances was a “cure,” then people leaving jails and treatment centers would be “cured” forever and relapse a non-issue. The truth is, 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.” According to author/researcher William White, “an unrelenting source of hope” (i.e. hope-based services delivering an appropriate level of care over an adequate duration of time, including robust connection to the community of people in recovery) is the key to initiating sustained recovery. There is also much that concerned individuals and the larger community can do to support recovery. This program will provide an overview of how we currently approach and historically have approached addiction, treatment and recovery. The Presenter will 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 substance use disorders, recovery, family and related issues; and to dispel the myths, misinformation, secrecy, shame and stigma that prevent people with addiction and their families from getting help and getting well.  All programs are free and open to anyone interested.  Registration is not required. 1.5 hours of free C.E. approved by MCBAP (Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals) is provided. A certificate to document attendance is provided on request. The Education Series is organized by Dawn Farm, a non-profit community of programs providing a continuum of services for people with substance use disorders. For information, please contact Dawn Farm at 734-485-8725 or [email protected], or see

Location: St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center Auditorium (ground floor,) 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197.