Welcome to the Roc & Doc Channel
Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers sponsors Roc & Doc — a YouTube channel dedicated to addiction recovery. Tony Massey (“Doc”) and Rennie Grant (“Roc”) discuss addiction, treatment, and recovery from an experiential perspective combined with the evidence-based perspective. Peruse the Roc & Doc show archives here for topics that interest you.
Episode 1: What is Recovery?
In this episode of Roc & Doc, we talk about what solid recovery is. There is a difference between simply being “clean” or “sober” and living a lifestyle of recovery. What are these differences? Watch here or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 2: Is Addiction a Disease or a Choice?
Much has been debated over the years about the nature of addiction. Some people reduce it to simple moral failure, while others see addiction as a disease. Roc & Doc tackle this difficult issue head on in this episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 3: Will the ‘Haze’ Ever Go Away?
Many people experience a kind of fogginess or “haze” in early recovery. One viewer writes in about her own concern about this lack of clarity and wonders if it will ever lift. Roc & Doc answer her question. Perhaps it’s your question too. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 4: I’m on Suboxone. But Am I Clean?
Some people in recovery have their criteria for what it means to be “clean” and they expect others to embrace their ideas. One popular idea in some recovery circles is that a person isn’t really clean if they are on Suboxone. Is that true? Roc & Doc tackle that subject in this episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 5: Court Ordered: ‘I Don’t Need to be Here!’
Sometimes the courts step in and order people into treatment. But what good can come from a person going into treatment against their personal will or desire? While there may be times when this doesn’t achieve the court’s desired outcome, but there are also times when people have transforming experiences. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 6: Safe with Narcan?
Jennifer G is a recovering heroin addict with 30 days clean. She says she has “a solid recovery program and feels great.” She says, “I really believe I’ll never use again.” She goes on to say that her wife has been given Narcan training and that it makes her feel safe to have Narcan around in case she relapses and overdoses. We’re grateful that Narcan is available. But we also know that there’s more to recovery than having a backup plan. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 7: “I’m not an alcoholic, I drink to have fun.”
Wondering where the line between casual drinking and alcoholism lies? Yolanda, who has 5 days sober, writes, “I’m not an alcoholic, I drink to have fun. I don’t like who I am sober, so I drink.” Doc brings up the prospect of denial. See the video below, or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 8: When Food Becomes The New Issue
Many people in early recovery rediscover appetite. And sure, while it’s great to reacquaint with an old friend like appetite, it’s not so great to rediscover a tendency to take things farther than normal. In this episode, Roc & Doc answer a viewer in early recovery who finds herself struggling with how much she eats. See the video below or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 9: Are You Enabling?
As much as every addict wants to believe that they aren’t “hurting anyone” but themselves, the reality is that the consequences of addiction are far reaching. Sometimes our efforts to help the addict are well-intentioned but are actually perpetuating the problem. So where is the line? When is my help no longer really help, but instead, assisting the addicted person along in their personal destruction? See the video below or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 10: The Power of Participation
Some people love to “share” in group sessions. Others fidget and wonder, “How much longer will this go?” The old saying is true: You get out what you put in. Group counseling in treatment is a collaborative exercise that gives individuals a forum to learn from others, but also to help others. There is power in the process of conversation and this episode helps those who are struggling with wanting to be there. See the video below or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 11: Do People In Recovery Make Better Counselors?
Often times, it seems more “real” when a person speaks from experience. Some people in recovery have the opinion that a person who never personally struggled with addiction could ever possibly make a good addictions counselor. “How can they possibly know what I’m going through? And if they haven’t personally struggled like me, how could they ever have any relevant answers for me?” Maybe you’ve heard this sentiment. Maybe you’ve shared it. Roc & Doc talk about that in this latest episode. See the video below or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 12: What if Your Dad is 80 and Addicted to Pain Meds?
Trudy has a question: “My dad is 80 years old and I’m worried that he’s addicted to pain meds…. How can I help him?” It’s a sticky question and one that can’t really be answered in simplistic or black and white terms. Some might simply say, “What the heck? He’s 80!” Others may think he needs rehab. Much about how to deal with loved ones who might be addicted can be learned in groups like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. And a big key is in the patience it takes to allow people the dignity of arriving at their own conclusions about drug use or alcohol consumption. Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. See the video below or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 13: Your Brain Will Heal
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. That’s great news for people in early recovery who may be concerned about feeling “in a funk.” It gets better. Your brain does eventually heal itself. But there are practical things you can do to help speed the process up. Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. See the video below or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 14: Discussing Your Recovery On Social Media
People who talk about their recovery on social media may be taking risks that they’re unaware of. Perhaps you’ve seen posts describing their experiences. The epic trek out of active addiction and into a new lifestyle of freedom and happiness often inspires zeal and some people feel compelled to tell the world. It seems to make sense. But all too often, people who do this are taking risks that they may be unaware of. Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. See the video below or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 15: Two Years Sober. Works in a Bar.
Recovery is never one size fits all. What works and is true for one person may not work or be true for another. Some people respond to environmental cues differently than others do. One person may have eight years clean/sober and be horrified even by the thought of certain environments. Another person may only have two years free and are able to handle environments that others can’t. So the “rules” vary and are unique to each individual. See the video below or get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 16: The Power of Community
We are social creatures. It’s been said that our two greatest needs are “to love and to be loved.” Unfortunately, a lot of damage was done when an addiction took priority over relationships. We often hear about consequences that have to do with legal problems, finances, and job loss. But perhaps no consequence is quite as profound as broken relationships. Recovery is a process of restoring relationships. Maybe that’s why recovery community is so powerful. Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 17: Just Say No To Stigma
There are a lot of reasons why stigma is slathered all over people with addiction. Old-think dies hard. Stigma surrounding addiction is a very real lingering cultural artifact in society and the unfortunate holdover of old ideas. But let’s face it, it’s much easier to subtly intimate or outright imply immorality or weakness than it is to keep up with neuroscience. Roc & Doc talk more about the problem of stigma in this latest episode as they interview the founder of The New Day Campaign. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 18: When Will They Get That I’m CLEAN?
Early recovery can be a time of serious relational struggles. We feel the weight of the troubles we caused in the days of our active addiction and we feel a sense of urgency to make things right. Part of this is a desire to prove that we’ve changed and to experience the full confidence of others — that they believe that we’re doing well. That they know that we’re really clean. Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 19: Is Addiction A Disease?
The frustration is understandable. But there is no redemptive value in labeling addicts as losers or casting them in other pejorative terms. The complex issue of addiction has more to do with neuroscience than ideas about morality. It’s convenient to make moral assertions about people stuck in addiction but the real issue has to do with the effects of drugs and alcohol on brain chemistry and this is a much more complex issue than simple caricatures can define. Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 20: When Will I Feel Better?
We didn’t recognize it at the time because the changes happened subtly and imperceptibly. Our bodies went through a long and progressively worsening downturn over time with prolonged exposure to alcohol or other drugs. Our organs were assaulted and the intricate functions of the brain were adversely affected. So it’s very common for people in early recovery to wonder, “Will I ever feel better? If so, when? How long does it take to feel normal again?” Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 21: Safe Injection Houses?
Did you know that more people die from opioid overdose than car accidents? The epidemic has reached every segment of society. In an attempt to combat the crisis, some jurisdictions offer safe injection houses. These are places that are equipped with clean needles, narcan, and staffing so that addicts can inject safely, reducing harm to individuals and others in society.
Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 22: Beating Holiday Triggers
Recovery can be hard when times are tough. But life hands out its share of good times too. Like holidays. Sometimes the good times can be just as challenging for some of us. After all, we once associated much of our drinking, using, eating, gambling, sexual exploits, etc., with celebration. We let the good times roll — right over us. Many addictions begin unknowingly with simple and fun things like parties.
Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 23: Addiction Triggers
Brenda is in early recovery and she just wants a break. She writes in with a question about an invitation to go with some friends to the beach for spring break. Of course, there are all kinds of triggers that could come in such a scenario at this stage of her recovery. A little knowledge goes a long way. Understanding what your mind is going through in early recovery and what you can do to combat triggers will help you beat triggers. Here are a few tips. Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 24: “Please Convince My Wife…”
It’s not uncommon for people in early recovery to want the world to know that they’re doing well. Maybe it’s their boss. Perhaps it’s a group of friends. And almost always, they want immediate family members to know that the days of their drinking or using are long gone. That was then, this is now. You are a new man or woman. Everyone can finally relax because you got this. But loved ones aren’t always so quickly convinced. They need time and actions to rebuild the confidence they once had. Get the full episode with notes here.
Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode.
Episode 25: The Place For Medication
It’s not uncommon for people in early recovery to look at any kind of ongoing medication with a measure of suspicion. It’s also not uncommon to hear of people in anonymous support groups telling others that they should never be on any kind of medication at all. So what’s the truth? More specifically, what’s the truth for you? Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 26: Stigma Only Makes It Worse
If you run in social media circles, you know that stigma towards addiction abounds in our culture. This comes from many grave misunderstandings about alcoholism and other substance use disorders, or dare we simply say ignorance. Roc & Doc talk more about it in this latest episode. Get the full episode with notes here.
Episode 27: You Can’t Shame People Into Change
The frustration is understandable. Someone you love is clearly caught up in active addiction. You feel like you’ve tried everything to get through to them. What, if anything, could ever work? Frustration of this magnitude can skew our thinking. It can inspire us to think that maybe the only way to get through to our loved one is to “shame” them. Get the full episode with notes here.