When does it stop being a party and start becoming a problem? Is there a way to steer clear of addiction?

Every Wednesday, Mike McGowan explores substance use disorders with expert guests.


Big Boys Do Cry

May 22, 2024 26 minutes

“Suck it up” and “Deal with it” were phrases many men heard if they began to express their feelings while growing up. Ryan Kopyar saw multiple generations of men in his family live out those phrases. Ryan discusses his new book, Big Boys Do Cry: A Man’s Guide to Navigating Emotions and Showing Up More Vulnerable in Relationships, and the importance in expressing difficult emotions. Ryan is an internationally-licensed counselor and acclaimed author with a diverse background in holistic healing, counseling, and hypnotherapy. Ryan’s books, his other works, and contact information, including event speaking and booking, can be accessed at Ryan Kopyar Holistic Healing and Counseling

Love is Love

May 15, 2024 31 minutes

Despite a growing acceptance, in many parts of our society, of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQIA+) community, this subset of the population has a significantly elevated risk of addiction and mental health difficulties compared to the general U.S. adult population. Recent studies have also shown that significant differences even exist among individual LGBQ and T subgroups. Kelly and Andrew, a mother – son duo, team up to educate folks about understanding and accepting gender dysphoria. Educational materials can be found at: 5 Short Videos for Teaching Students About What It Means to Be Transgender


May 8, 2024 26 minutes

Loneliness, isolation, and stigma are hallmarks of substance use disorders and mental illness, yet recovery requires understanding and support. In the midst of his own recovery, Kurt Schmidt recognized that need and went about the business of meeting it. Kurt is the Founder and CEO of ThePeerNetwork.com, which is a tele-health platform where recovering individuals who are self-determined in their journeys from mental illness and substance use disorders have access to online peer support and resources to empower them to lead fulfilling lives. Kurt is a Certified Peer Support Specialist and Licensed Master Social Worker. Kurt and The Peer Network can be reached at https://thepeernetwork.com/

The DAD Project

May 1, 2024 22 minutes

David Comer talks about the DAD Project, a City of Milwaukee Health Department program that works to strengthen the bonds between fathers and their children. Through weekly in-home visits and group sessions, the program supports Milwaukee fathers in engaging in early literacy activities, tracking their child’s development, and building a community of fathers. David is a Health Project Supervisor for the DAD Project and holds a Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling. The DAD Project can be accessed at DAD Project.

Recovery Has Given Me Peace

April 24, 2024 32 minutes

Chrissy Dunn began drinking and using marijuana in early high school. Before she graduated she discovered heroin and crack cocaine. What followed was a series of failed rehabs, relapses, and a pregnancy. Now five years into recovery, Chrissy discusses how she got to a place of peace. Chrissy got help at The Horizons Program at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. It is a substance use disorder treatment program for pregnant and/or parenting women and their children, including those whose lives have been touched by abuse and violence. Chrissy and the program can be reached at https://www.med.unc.edu/obgyn/horizons/

Recovery Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum

April 17, 2024 36 minutes

Recovery doesn’t happen in a vacuum any more than addiction does. Family, friends, and coworkers are all affected by the disease. Jim Savage discusses the importance of family education and support in recovery. Jim is the owner of “Rehab Works! Family Support Program” and Jim Savage Consulting. He is the author of Rehab Works! A Parent’s Guide to Drug Treatment and a new ebook, Sobriety Doesn’t Have To Suck: A Guide To Finding Happiness, Excitement, And Spiritual Fulfillment In Recovery. Jim has been helping individuals and families in recovery for over three decades. Jim’s’ contact information, video series, trainings, and other works can be accessed at Jim Savage, LCDC

Sometimes, You Can’t Go Home Again

April 10, 2024 29 minutes

When a child’s caregivers are bullies, the child often carries the scars of that relationship around with them into adulthood. Dr. Ghazeleh Bailey discusses the trauma caused by those primary relationships — and the healing that can take place. Dr. Bailey is a certified therapist, couple’s therapist, supervisor, and trainer with a PhD in Psychology. She is based in Berlin, Germany, and has a unique multi-cultural background and approach she uses to help people overcome childhood and generational trauma. Her work and research is focused on the healing power of emotional transformation and self-compassion. Dr. Bailey can be reached at Individual Therapy Berlin, and her YouTube channel.

EMDR, Getting at the Trauma

April 3, 2024 30 minutes

Dr. Wendy Freitag discusses Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR is a comprehensive psychotherapy that accelerates the treatment of many different pathologies and trauma related to disturbing events and present life conditions. Dr. Freitag is a Clinical Psychologist, EMDR Therapy clinician, trainer, and consultant as well as a Professional & Life Coach with over 30 years of experience. She is an EMDRIA Certified Therapist, Approved Consultant and Sr. Trainer for EMDR Institute of Dr. Francine Shapiro, and has been the President of the EMDR Research Foundation since 2006. Dr. Freitag can be reached at https://www.wendyfreitag.com/. To find an EMDR therapist in your area go to https:/www.emdria.org/

Grey Area Drinking

March 27, 2024 28 minutes

Sarah Rusbatch got to the point in her life where she realized that she was developing what she describes as a “dysfunctional relationship” with alcohol. She decided to remove it from her life in early 2019 and has never looked back. She’s now an accredited “Grey Area Drinking” coach, helping other women (and men) enjoy the benefits of sobriety and improve their health. She talks about what “grey area drinking” is and the benefits of living alcohol-free. Sarah is the author of the book, “Beyond Booze: How to create a life you love alcohol-free.” She is a certified Women’s Health and Wellbeing Coach, an accredited Grey Area Drinking Coach, and a keynote speaker who shares with global audiences her journey to sobriety and the impact of alcohol on mental health. Sarah’s book and her other works can be accessed at https://sarahrusbatch.com

Undoing Drugs

March 20, 2024 32 minutes

New York Times best selling author Maia Szalavitz talks about her most recent book, “Undoing Drugs: How Harm Reduction Is Changing the Future of Drugs and Addiction” and the future of drug treatment and policy. Maia’s previous New York Times bestseller, Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction wove together neuroscience and social science with her personal experience of heroin addiction. It won the 2018 media award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and has written for numerous other publications, including TIME, Wired, Elle, the Nation, and Scientific American. Maia’s many works and contact information can be accessed at Maia Szalavitz.