Recovery, Renewal and Growth

Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement – An Attorney’s Personal Experience

As part of my estate planning law practice, I work with clients in drafting and executing prenuptial agreements prior to marriage. This is something that I am particularly passionate about, largely due to what I have witnessed and experienced through the divorces of my parents, friends and family members. I have written and advised on …

At the Heart of Recovery: Making Choices

As I continue to reflect upon the wisdom of the 12 Steps and listen to others share their reflections, I usually learn or hear something that I was unaware of before.  The 12 Steps have a way of giving new insights and new perspectives. That is the beauty of the 12 Steps! I want to …

Service in Recovery: What You Give, Gives Back to You

The word “service” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Twelve Steps. Yet, it is a highly respected hallmark of this widespread approach to recovery. Hang around where Twelve Steppers gather, and you’ll likely hear “Thank you for your service” buzzing in the air. Service looks different for each person in a Twelve Step program, ranging from …

Augsburg University’s StepUP Program Marks 25 Years

This year marks the 25th anniversary of StepUP, Augsburg University’s Collegiate Recovery Program. Twenty-five years ago, it was 1997. It was a remarkable time in many ways. That year, Google.com became registered as a domain name, Princess Diana died, a gallon of gas was $1.22, Bill Clinton was President, and StepUP, one of the nation’s oldest …

In Planning Summit on Drug Abuse, Community Voices Are Most Important

Substance use disorder and the rapid rise in overdose deaths are among the most urgent issues facing our state. To save more lives and help communities heal, we must work together. That is why I’m particularly excited about an upcoming summit here in Minnesota. In January, several partners will host the SUD Shared Solutions Summit, …

Ask the Expert: Dr. Derrick Stowell and Horticultural Therapy

We feature an expert in the mental health and substance use disorder field to answer questions. This issue we talk to Dr. Derrick Stowell of University of Tennessee Gardens about horticultural therapy and it’s benefits for those with substance use disorder, mental health issues and traumatic brain injuries. Q: How would you describe the people-plant relationship? …

A Perspective on Substance Use Related Deaths

Background In 2014 I authored an article for the Phoenix Spirit advocating for the passage of Steve’s Law. Steve’s Law, also known as the Good Samaritan Law, did pass in 2014, providing limited protections to people who call 911 and/or administer naloxone in response to a suspected or known drug overdose. The person calling 911, …

How to Sanely and Safely Relate to a Self-centered Person

Trying to care for a selfish person is like traveling into a black hole looking for love. The more you do it, the more you lose yourself. Eventually you disappear and perish in agony. —Anonymous Nothing pains me more in my mental health practice than witnessing a well-intentioned person trying desperately to be loved by …

Bumpy Holidays

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” Franklin D. Roosevelt November and December bring a variety of holiday festivities featuring food laden tables shared with family and friends. Hallmark paints a …

Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse: From Diagnosis to Treatment

Addiction. The definition and understanding of addiction has experienced an enormous metamorphosis in the past hundred years. In the first half of the 20th century, the concept of addiction was undoubtedly confined to those with an extreme affinity to “demon rum;” cigarettes were still viewed as an enjoyable pastime, never a deadly addiction. The 60s …