OKC con­sul­tant plans se­ries of events on ad­dic­tion

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - NEWS - BY MEG WINGERTER Staff Writer mwingerter@ok­la­homan.com

An Ok­la­homa City ad­dic­tion con­sul­tant hopes a se­ries of events start­ing in Septem­ber will help fam­i­lies strug­gling with sub­stance use to come to­gether.

Neal Nordlinger, who owns in Cri­sis Con­sul­tants, said he plans to co­host two to four events a year to send a mes­sage that fam­i­lies deal­ing with sub­stance use dis­or­ders aren’t alone, and that peo­ple can re­cover from ad­dic­tion. Nordlinger’s con­sult­ing busi­ness attempts to match peo­ple with treat­ment options based on their med­i­cal and fi­nan­cial needs.

The first event will fea­ture Kevin McCauley, a for­mer Navy flight surgeon turned ad­dic­tion lec­turer, who will speak about the bi­ol­ogy of ad­dic­tion at 6 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Ok­la­homa City Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art’s No­ble Theater. The event is free.

McCauley speaks monthly to fam­i­lies at North­bound Treat­ment Ser­vices, which has fa­cil­i­ties in Cal­i­for­nia and St. Louis. He was court­mar­tialed and lost his li­cense to prac­tice medicine due to an ad­dic­tion to pre­scrip­tion opi­oids.

Mike Neather­ton, CEO of North­bound, said he con­sid­ers spread­ing in­for­ma­tion about ad­dic­tion to be part of North­bound’s mis­sion, even though it doesn’t have a fa­cil­ity in Ok­la­homa. Hope­fully, peo­ple who hear McCauley speak about ad­dic­tion will be in­spired to push for more fund­ing for treat­ment, he said.

“Treat­ment works the best when there is a col­lec­tive com­mit­ment,” he said. “We want to be part of a so­lu­tion re­gard­less of where it is around the coun­try.”

Na­tion­wide, about 17 mil­lion peo­ple have a sub­stance use dis­or­der in­volv­ing ex­ces­sive al­co­hol use; 4.2 mil­lion in­volv­ing ex­ces­sive mar­i­juana use; 2.5 mil­lion in­volv­ing opi­oid mis­use; 1.9 mil­lion in­volv­ing co­caine, metham­phetamine or other stim­u­lants; and 246,000 in­volv­ing hal­lu­cino­gens, ac­cord­ing to the Sub­stance Use and Men­tal Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

One per­son can have more than one ad­dic­tion, but even if the to­tal were no higher than the 17 mil­lion peo­ple with an al­co­hol use dis­or­der, one out of every 19 peo­ple in the United States still would have a dis­or­der.

Nordlinger said he hopes the events will chip away at the shame and se­crecy sur­round­ing sub­stance use dis­or­ders.

“Ev­ery­body, I don’t care who you are, ev­ery­body knows some­body,” he said. “I want peo­ple to re­al­ize there is hope.”

For more in­for­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter, go on­line to www.eventbrite. com/e/why-ad­dic­tio­nis-a-dis­ease-and-whythere-is-hope-tick­ets-36421846724.

Kevin McCauley

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