Speeches and Presentations

These are the most commonly requested speeches and trainings that I give. I also have others on “Basic Training for New Clinicians” and “How To Succeed in College.” I can create a unique speech or training for your event.

21st Century Drugs

Aug 2011 – Present

This cutting-edge, clinical presentation covers the 21st century drugs: energy drinks with alcohol, synthetic cannabinoids (K2, spice, space), bath salts, adderall, soma, molly, hydrocodone (vicodin), buprenorphine (suboxone), opana, fentanyl, and the new king, oxycodone. Participants will be taught side effects, withdrawal symptoms, street names, costs, common places these chemicals are bought, legal issues, and strategies you can use to treat your clients. State & National Data from multiple private and government sources is provided as well.

This can be a one hour keynote or three, six, or a 12 hour course.


Life After Incarceration (or Drug Court)

Aug 2012 – Present

This is a keynote presentation and/or workshop for people involved in the criminal justice system, ex-offenders and criminal justice professionals (or those that work with those populations).

I discuss the three keys to preventing recidivism: employment, education and sobriety.

I go over the statistics, which include:
2.3 million Americans are incarcerated
6.9 million are somewhere in the criminal justice system
53% of males and 39% of females return to the system within 3 years
75% have some kind of substance abuse history

I discuss the importance of a 1st day, 1st week and 1st month plan. I present soft and hard skills to help with the working world.

We cover how to avoid old friends and acquaintances, and we also describe people who have made it (both famous and not-famous). We can also provide one or more individuals who were in prison, got sober and completed college. They are very articulate and can add an incredible spark to your entire conference.

This can be taught over one to three hours. It could be expanded to six hours if requested.


The History of Marijuana Policy in the United States (and Marijuana’s

Effects on the Brain & Body)

Jan 2014 – Present

Marijuana has been used in North America for a long time. By the late 1800’s, local, city and state governments were developing policies to deal with the control, sale and taxing of marijuana. We saw a rash of laws in the first half of the 20th century. Use of marijuana increased in the 2nd half of the 20th century, and a Medical Marijuana law was passed in California in 1996.

On January 1, 2014, it became legal to possess and use marijuana for recreation purposes in Colorado and Washington. Those states have become an experimental lab – other states are watching closely to see what happens economically, legally and health-wise.

This presentation goes through the history of marijuana laws and policy in the United States. It also discussed the effects of marijuana on the brain and body and cites a number of scientific studies. Finally, there is a very candid discussion about the pros and cons of legalization vs. decriminalization and the unintended consequences that arise from changing public policy.

This is a presentation that works equally well for advanced clinicians, high school or college students, community members, parents and/or lawmakers.

This can be one to eight hours.

On Death and Grieving

August 2014 – Present

This can be as short as 20 minutes or as long as two hours. The 20 minute version might be for a memorial event or candlelight vigil. The hour plus version could be part of a day long memorial or a regular conference. I have spoken before 350+ parents whom all lost their children (15 to 30) to the substance misuse disorders. In October of 2018, I keynoted “Survivors’ Weekend” in Albany and spoke directly to 150+ family members who loved one was a NY State Trooper who died in the line of duty. This is more for an audience that has firsthand experience with loss, but it can be tailored to a training for professionals upon request. This page provides links to what I’ve written on the subject.

Counseling in the Military and with Veterans

July 2015 – Present

I was an enlisted soldier in the Army from 1996 to 2004. I was a tanker (19K), but wound up spending most of my time in the S2/S3 sections (Intelligence/Training) at the Battalion level. I was activated after 9/11 (stateside only), was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and received my honorable discharge in March of 2004. In August of 2014, I was directly commissioned as a First Lieutenant as part of the Army Medical Corps. In the military, I train other medical professionals, advise commanders, supervise other licensed and non-licensed counselors, and provide direct service to troops (relationship, substance misuse, combat stress, other trauma, grief and lost, chain of command issues).

This training provides a solid background on military history, culture, and structure. Particular attention is paid to treating service members and veterans with any of the following: PTSD, complex PTSD (C-PTSD), and substance misuse disorders. There are extra readings, book suggestions, a few videos and a resource guide that is provided.

This is a three to six hour course.


Basic Training on Substance Misuse Disorders for Clinicians and Other Medical Professionals

November 2015 – Present

As the title states, this is for counseling and other medical professionals  don’t have a specialization or much background in assessing or treating or supporting substance misuse treatment and recovery support services.

The training begins with a statistical review of the prevalence and costs of substance misuse disorders in America. We look at how it affects families, the workplace, schools, colleges, law enforcement, corrections, health care, the military, and the foster care system (I can add other institutions upon request).

Participants will learn and review different types of denial, basic diagnosing, the stages of care, the ASAM levels of care, 12-step meetings, relapse prevention and ethics.

This can be a six to 20 hour course.


The Opiate Epidemic and the Medical Industrial Complex

Jul 2016 – Present

I retrace the history of opiate use from opium to prescription drugs and track the long history of heroin use. “The Opiate Epidemic and the Medical Industrial Complex” delves into how Big Pharma, doctors, insurance companies, marketers, the FDA, government policies, and consumers each hold some responsibility for the current epidemic, and what they can do to reverse this devastating trend.

Every group comes out poorly here. But solutions that have been undertaken in a variety of states are offered up at the conclusion.

This presentation makes the most sense for medical professionals, policy makers, politicians and community members who are advocating for change.

I can do one, two, four and six hour versions of this. I have a book coming out in December of 2018 on this as well.


Basic Training in Substance Misuse for Law Enforcement

Nov 2016 – Present

This is a training that I deliver to law enforcement departments and/or agencies. I use narrative stories, statistics, and the most cutting edge treatment and policing strategies to inform officers who take this course. There is a bit of humor involved, as well as lessons I have learned from law enforcement officers over the years. I created this training because of the concern about for-profit treatment programs reaching out to police in order to expand their client base. This training does not have a sales pitch nor push for a specific treatment program. I discuss naloxone and the different types of Police Response Programs that currently exist around the country.

I have 75 and 120 minute versions of this. I have enough material for a 16 hour course.


Video Game Addiction 101: The Latest Behavioral Disorder

December 2018 – present

Co-presented with Andrew Walsh.

Video game addiction is the latest behavioral disorder. To put it in perspective, worldwide revenue for McDonalds was $22 billion in 2017. Revenue in the U.S. alone from video games in 2018 is projected to be $30 billion. This seminar will discuss the history of video games, research, prevention and treatment to help professionals treat clients and their families.

This can be a one to six hour training or keynote.