professional staff at PromisesEducational Resources to Help You Support Loved Ones with Addiction: People to Follow

Educating yourself about the many facets of addiction is particularly helpful if you are coping with a loved one who is struggling with addiction. The internet has made it possible to access information on any subject 24/7, including addiction. It can be challenging to find true addiction authorities in the morass of online resources that range from well-researched and evidence-based to shoddy and inaccurate. Here is our shortlist of recommended addiction recovery thought leaders to help you get started.

  1. David Sack, MD
    Dr. Sack currently serves as chief medical officer of Elements Behavioral Health. Dr. Sack is board certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine and has conducted research on alcohol dependency, opiate detoxification, schizophrenia, depression, insomnia and cognitive disorders. A sought-after media expert, Dr. Sack has appeared on Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Doctors and many other broadcast outlets. He blogs for the Huffington PostPsychCentraland Psychology Today and has also been interviewed and quoted by major print media such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Time Magazine.
  2. Nora D. Volkow, MD
    Dr. Volkow has been director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) since 2003. As a research psychiatrist and scientist, Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of drugs of abuse. Her research has been instrumental in demonstrating drug addiction is a disease of the brain. Nora’s Blog highlights important work being done at NIDA and other news related to the science of drug abuse and addiction.
  3. Jason Z. W. Powers, MD
    Dr. Powers is the chief medical officer of The Right Step and Promises Austin, both members of the Elements Behavioral Health family. While he originally trained and was board certified in family medicine, after a personal struggle with addiction he became board certified in addiction medicine. Dr. Powers developed Positive Recovery, a scientifically validated approach to addiction treatment. Blog articles are accessible on Psychology Today, the Huffington Post and the Positive Recovery website.
  4. Lotta Dann
    Based in New Zealand, Lotta Dann is a housewife, mother, blogger, published author, website manager and recovery advocate. Sober since September 2011, she moderates and manages the large online community Living Sober, which is focused on individuals struggling with alcohol abuse and those who have achieved sobriety. Blog posts include twice-weekly articles on Mrs. D’s Blog, inspirational interviews by people in long-term recovery, advice from addiction experts and non-alcoholic drink recipes of the week.
  5. April Lane Benson, PhD
    Dr. Benson is a nationally known psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder, which is a type of behavioral or process addiction. Dr. Benson appears widely on broadcast television including CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Evening News and is quoted in major news outlets such as The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Chicago Tribune. Her blog features articles focused on helping people and family members impacted by compulsive shopping.
  6. Gary Gilles, MA, M.Div, LCPC
    Gary Gilles is a licensed clinical professional counselor in private practice in the Chicago area and published author. His blog reflects a deep interest in how addictions intersect with important relationships: marriage, dating, parenting, child/teen development and transitions into older adulthood. He is passionate about helping people navigate through addictive patterns with real-life solutions so they can develop healthier relationships moving forward. Relationship Matters features a wide array of articles focused on dating, marriage, parenting and the workplace.
  7. Lisa Smith
    Sober for more than 10 years, Lisa Smith is passionate about breaking the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction, especially among professional women. Smith is a lawyer, frequent speaker on addiction and writer and author of Girl Walks Out of a Bar. This personal memoir recounts her experiences as a high-functioning person who abused alcohol and drugs. Addiction articles and interviews in which she is quoted are available on her author website.