U13 Urban Book Club was a free iPhone app which connected authors with their readers. I did a series on “Addiction and Mental Illness.” After the 24 hr question and answer period for each topic was over, U13 strung it all together and posted them on YouTube. Below, please find links to watch these honest and frank answers. My panelists and I were able to connect with people in a way I never would have imagined. It was incredible.
Marijuana-impaired driving: what do we need to know? Phil Drum is a pharmacist and an expert on all the latest traffic fatality statistics, while Corinne is a national spokeswoman. They lost a sister and daughter, respectively, by medical marijuana-impaired drivers. This is extremely educational with harrowing videos. To see some of Phil’s presentation materials click on this link.
The only drug Lori Robinson’s son ever used was pot. He suffered two psychotic breaks and ended his life before the age of 25. Lori shares her tragic story along with her mission to educate the public through her website momsstrong.org. Dr. Christine Miller, a neuroscientist and schizophrenia researcher discusses the science which shows that THC is associated with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.
The great voice over actor, Quinton Flynn, and I share our experiences with depression, anxiety and working in the world of Voice Overs! We collaborated together on the audiobook for A Night In Jail.
Ryan Garcia is 21 and he’s been sober for 3 years. He’s tried “every drug under the sun” and was addicted to heroine. Currently, he’s the manager of a sober living facility. He gave a lot of great insight into his own addiction: like how he first got hooked on Xanax (it made him popular at school).
For this AMA, I was fortunate to have Aubree Adams. She is the mother of a son who attempted suicide. She has channeled her pain into activism. She has a campaign she’s working on called “Every brain matters.” Aubree shares with us how teen substance use (including MJ) raises a teenager’s risk for suicide.
Dr. Daniele Piomelli is the director of The Institute for the Study of Cannabis at UC Irvine. He gave his lunch hour to the AMA (and then he had to get back to work). He talks about how cannabis affects a brain differently depending on how old the person is who is using it (there are far greater risks for a person who is a 12 year old than there is for someone who is 65). So glad I was able to get the time and answers I did get from Dr. Piomelli.
Brandon Silva, who is an Outreach Specialist from Behavioral Health Services, joined me to discuss vaping. Alarming stats: Vaping is up 900% in recent years. Kids are vaping marijuana and nicotine in the classroom. There is so much misinformation about it: that it’s just steam, it’s not smoke, there’s no nicotine, etc. Meanwhile, Juul had to admit that all of their products do contain nicotine. Brandon works with middle school and high school kids which contributes to his expertise.
In this Urban Panel, I had Jody Belsher who made the documentary The Other Side of Cannibis. Jody was one of my first supporters when Kirk and I were working on the novella. She rolled through the questions like the expert she is on the negative effects of cannabis on our youth!
In this Urban Panel, former addict, Jess Moss, speaks candidly about her own harrowing experiences with all manner of substance use…including the 3 days when she thought she was the mother of Jesus (marijuana and schizophrenia). Thankfully, Jess is now sober and works at Clear Recovery.
In this Urban Panel, Dr. James Tracy, DDS, LMFT, LAADC, Psychotherapy, an addiction interventionist, case manager and recovery coach shares his wisdom from over twenty years in practice helping families with addiction of all kinds. He also talks about how the teen brain is especially susceptible to mental illness when substances are introduced.
In this Urban Panels, I have a chat with my Co author and Brother, Kirk Anderson! This is the man whose life inspired this story of psychosis. We did this interview the morning after our short film was in a film festival. We were tired. But what fun.
Heidi A. Swan, co-author of A Night In Jail, describes the inspiration for the writing of the novella and their approach to the material.
Interviewer: Florentina Alden, CEO of Wellness of Leadership Consulting.