Addiction can become frighteningly personal when a family member or friend develops the disease. No one is immune. I used to be surprised, but no longer am, by how frequently I would get a call from professional colleagues looking for direction about an addicted person in their own families. So many people want to find addiction help for family or friends.
Affected friends and family members often look for help before the addicted person does. Fortunately, there are many options available for them. Some of the various opportunities will be the focus of this and a few upcoming articles on Modern Addiction Recovery.
Learning more about the condition is often where people start. The internet has brought an enormous amount of information within easy reach. Many people, however, still like to learn the old-fashioned way, hearing an expert teach about the issue in person. In the Baltimore area, I can think of no better learning opportunity to recommend than the Dick Prodey Lecture Series – an eight-part weekly series that Dick has been hosting since 1980.
When Kolmac took over the Partners in Recovery program at Sheppard Pratt in 2008, we assumed co-sponsorship with Sheppard and NCADD of Maryland of what has now become an institution. The presence of 40 to 100 people each week in the auditorium of the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center testifies to the need that it fills in the community for accessible and reliable information. Being in an audience of others who share similar concerns, without a need to identify oneself, provides a safe opportunity to move gently out of the painful secrecy that can inhibit the search for help.
Over the years, I have heard many lectures about addiction for both professional and non-professional audiences and find Dick’s presentations to be the best that I have attended. The fact that he simplifies complex issues without distorting them is a basic part of his success. Importantly, his delivery style is low- key and non-threatening while softened with humor. What I find to be most remarkable is the freshness of his presentation despite the fact that he has been giving these talks for over 35 years.
The lectures are from 7 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday evening and are designed so that one can start at any time in the cycle. I hope that some of you will come to one of them, judge for yourselves, and let me know what you think. We are excited to help you find addiction help for family and friends.