What Are CRAFT and Harm Reduction and Can They Work With Young People Who Are Misusing Drugs or Alcohol? with Dee-Dee Stout

Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
Hopestream for parenting kids through drug use and addiction
What Are CRAFT and Harm Reduction and Can They Work With Young People Who Are Misusing Drugs or Alcohol? with Dee-Dee Stout

Dee-Dee Stout is a force to be reckoned with in the world of substance use treatment and specifically in the area of harm reduction. She’s in long-term recovery herself and is an author, coach, speaker, and professor. 

In this episode, Dee-Dee shares much knowledge and wisdom from her work with families and organizations related to CRAFT, motivational interviewing and harm reduction. It’s a must-listen for parents who aren’t finding success with traditional treatment programs or who are just looking for ways to improve communication in their home. 

We covered a lot of ground including:

  • Dee-Dee’s family trauma, challenges with existing therapeutic options
  • Dee-Dee explains CRAFT and harm reduction in Portugal
  • co-addiction/co-dependent, family systems, and an STI analogy
  • stages of change, getting un-stuck, diet Coke, the “f-its” and the trump card parents have to be careful with
  • CRAFT in the real world, harm reduction – Dee-Dee’s thoughts about teens and lifelong abstinence
  • abstinence, relapse, and the disease theory, harm reduction in a non-substance use scenario
  • asking kids why they’re using substances, partnering with kids as a method of harm reduction, safe vs safer
  • normalizing difficult conversations with our kids, fentanyl = the perfect door opener to talk with your kids about harm reduction and being safer
  • what kids are most afraid of, how to eliminate it from the conversations you have, the role of residential treatment, acknowledging the time and energy it takes to parent through this


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SPEAKERS: Dee-Dee Stout, Brenda Zane

[00:00:00] Dee-Dee: I wish we would do things in a more holistic way, and I wish we would actually look at why, and here’s the big question, how come you’re using the substances? Can we talk about that without judgment? Now, I, I don’t understand. That wasn’t me. If that’s you as a parent, I don’t understand, but I know this is important to you. 

And because you’re important to me, I want to know more. In all of the treatment and therapy that I had from age 12 until I think I finally stopped a few, a few years ago, been 40, 50 years, no one had ever asked me that. But I used drugs for 20 years. And when I stopped at 31, that’s two thirds of my life. 

Why isn’t anybody asking me, how come? 

[00:00:51] Brenda: Welcome to HopeStream. The podcast for parents of kids who are misusing drugs or alcohol or who are in active addiction treatment or early recovery. I’m your host, Brenda Zane, fellow parent to a child who struggled. So I’m right there with you. If you’re enjoying the podcast and want to hang out with me and a bunch of other great moms after the episodes, you can check out the stream. 

It’s a positive online space where you can get support and take a breather from the stresses of dealing with your son or daughter. Just go to the stream community. com to learn more. Now let’s get into today’s episode. Hello, hello. I’m really happy to meet you back here today. I love Thursdays because it feels like we can all just pause for a second and exhale and connect over some really important stuff. 

And as I’ve said before, I really am so honored to be on this channel. on this part of your journey with you. And just know it is part of your journey. It’s not your entire journey today. I want you to strap on your seatbelt and open your mind to hear some really incredibly important and maybe Completely new information that you have never heard before from my guest. 

There were a few times during our conversation where I admit I was a bit uncomfortable and my mind was a little bit blown. So I know you are going to want to listen in carefully and pay close attention to some of the ideas that she shared. My guest today is Didi Stout, and we talked about All Things Craft, which is the community reinforcement and family training methodology, which is a basically a collection of parenting tools and concepts. 

That can really help motivate your child to change their behavior with a lot less of the drama and the frustration all of the stuff that we hate as parents and then Dede and I pivoted to her favorite subject and one that she’s an absolute expert in which is harm reduction. Didi is well known for her wicked sense of humor, which you will hear, and her ability to make complicated topics accessible and understandable. 

She has a book called Coming to Harm Reduction, Kicking and Screaming, Looking for Harm Reduction in a Twelve Step World, which is widely available and has lots and lots of positive reviews. She has her undergraduate and master’s degrees in psychology and human sexuality and health counseling from San Francisco State University. 

She is a member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, which is also known as MINT, and she received her training in motivational interviewing in part from the original developer of this system or this methodology, William Miller, who in the industry and in the field of motivational interviewing is basically the godfather of that. 

So it’s a pretty big deal. Didi has worked in the addictions and mental health worlds for nearly 35 years, and she herself has a personal history of recovery from addiction and other psychiatric diagnoses, so she’s very well versed in everything that she speaks about from her own personal experience. 

This was a fun, wild conversation, and I won’t chatter anymore so that you can dive right in to my conversation with Deedee Stout. 

Deedee, welcome to Hope Stream. I’m so excited to have you here today. I think this is going to be an incredibly helpful conversation. I had to narrow down my Choices of what I wanted to talk with you about because I know you cover so much in what you do So we’re going to talk today about craft. 

We’re going to talk about Motivational interviewing and harm reduction so we have a lot to pack into a little bit of time But thank you so much for coming on  

[00:04:56] Dee-Dee: Oh, thank you so much. Truly, you’re welcome for my time I’m always happy to do that for Anything related to my favorite topic, which is harm reduction everything that I do fits under that larger umbrella And we’ll talk a little bit more about that, of course. 

[00:05:12] Brenda: Yes, we definitely will because I think it’s something that is very confusing for parents in particular. Scary and there’s just not enough information out there about it. So we’ll definitely dive into that before we do I’d love to just get some background let people know about you how you came to be doing what you’re doing today. 

So give us sort of the Dee-Dee 101 And  

[00:05:37] Dee-Dee: that’s hard to do, partly because I’ve been doing this work for nearly 35 years now, so I’m old. So let me talk a little bit about what I do and then maybe I can talk about how I got there. That’s perfect. Okay. So what I do, I have a private practice where I see individuals and their loved ones, their families, partners, whatever. 

And I am technically, because I’m in the state of California, so I’m not a licensed therapist. I’m a master’s level health coach and counselor. I had, for 20 years, I was certified through the state of California as an AOD counselor, which stands for alcohol and other drugs, that’s what we call it out here. 

And I did not renew a few years ago due to my frustration around their, I’m going to call it inability to Understand and appreciate harm reduction and some other things that are really important to me.  

[00:06:36] Brenda: Yeah  
[00:06:37] Dee-Dee: and I just decided to stop putting my money and my energy in places where I just did not see any change happening That’s my motto these days because I’m old, did I say that? 

[00:06:51] Brenda: You just want to see things happen.  

[00:06:53] Dee-Dee: Exactly. And I’m just not willing, I only have so much energy, I’m not willing to bloody my head, which is how I got to harm reduction in the first place,  

[00:07:04] Brenda: right?  

[00:07:05] Dee-Dee: But before I get there, so the other things that I do, I, and I call what I do family coaching when I’m working with families. 

Okay. Okay. Because it’s really, to me, about changing communication within the group, whatever that group is, if they define it as a family or something else. how do we talk to each other? How are we with each other? So there’s a lot of M. I. that comes into play there, which we’ll also get to. I’m also a writer. 

I had written a blog for an organization that is now defunct, for the last three years And I have a book that I wrote a few years ago now, but it’s seeing a resurgence Which is interesting called coming to harm reduction kicking and screaming Because that’s how I came to harm reduction. The subtitle is Looking for Harm Reduction in a 12 Step World. 

I am a former member. I’m technically still a member. I’m abstinent from my own problem drug use. But I don’t attend meetings anymore. I’m not involved anymore. Although I have many people around me that are. And so I have nothing against 12 step per se, I just began to learn more about other forms of self help or things that we might not even consider self help actually providing support and saying, Oh my gosh, how did we just get stuck in this one lane? 

And so I went back because I had access to someone whose story is in what’s called the big book. Of Alcoholics Anonymous, and whose first sponsor was none other than the co founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson. He was also a medical doctor whose wife was my other sponsor and she had a PhD in human sexuality and was a family therapist. 

So between the two of them, they were on my master’s committee as well. They’re just phenomenal people. They’re both gone sadly now. I miss them terribly, Doc Earl and Mickey Marsh, and they were so open. So when I struggled with leaving AA. What was I going to do in my own world, in my work? All of these things were coming to a head. 

I was in the middle of my master’s program. And he just said, baby. He always called me baby because he was in his 70s then and he could get away with it. AA is always going to be there. And it’s okay. You go do what you need to do. That’s what recovery is. He went on to tell me stories of how conflicted Bill W. 

was about having to continue to go to meetings. Because that is not the intent of the founders They wanted people to recover They’re lives. Go have a life. And I appreciate for some people that may mean I need to go to a meeting every day for the rest of my life. Okay. If that’s what you need to do, then by all means, I’m not here to judge people. 

I, whether personally or professionally, my job is simply to help you sort out what you think might be the best road for you. Which isn’t the same for everybody.  

That’s right. That’s right. Hey, my gosh, how many pairs of jeans do we have? Exactly. That’s right. Exactly. Just for instance. Right? 

Yes. Yeah. But how many forms of treatment do we have for a potentially deadly medical condition with all kinds of social implications? Yes. Hmm. the other things I do. that are involved in this. I’m also a professor. I’ve been teaching college for about 25 years. I’m currently attached to Holy Names University, where I teach courses in motivational interviewing, motivational interviewing in trauma informed work, and substance use disorders for the graduate department of the Forensic and Counseling Psychology program. 

[00:11:16] Brenda: Wow, that sounds exciting. I know,  

[00:11:18] Dee-Dee: it sounds a whole lot sexier than it is, trust me. I don’t  

[00:11:21] Brenda: know, I’m thinking like, wow, can I take one of her classes online? I think that sounds so cool. I know, yeah, I, I would  

[00:11:29] Dee-Dee: let you in. We can talk about that. I’ll just audit your class. That’s right. Technically, of course, no. 

No. But it’s great because then I get to push my subversive thinking onto all of these unsuspecting students. All these young brains. That’s right. I love it. it’s my plot to take over the world as a harm reductionist. what else do I do? Oh, and then I’m a trainer. I spend probably a third of my time in practice, a third of my time teaching, and then this other third in training health professionals in skills such as motivational interviewing. 

But, in the last couple of years, interestingly enough, I have gotten more calls, emails, whatever, on, can you, Come and talk to us about harm reduction. come, it used to be come. Now it’s come on Zoom. Meet us on the Zoom link. Exactly, exactly. to me, that is super exciting. That’s very exciting. Very exciting. 

Awesome. And I’m still doing, in fact, I’m looking at my pile of writing over here that I have to get to in a a meeting I have tomorrow with my book writing partner. We’re working on a couple of new books having to do with harm reduction. it’s slowly moving forward, we think. At the same time, in some ways, It’s completely stuck in 1933. 

[00:12:56] Brenda: Yes, right depends on where you’re looking who you’re talking to and what day it is  

[00:13:01] Dee-Dee: Absolutely.  

[00:13:02] Brenda: Yeah  
[00:13:03] Dee-Dee: Wow, that’s a lot It is it is so my that’s what I mean. It’s always complicated when someone says well, what do you do? pick a day. What what day is it? And i’m doing this Yes. And then I, I do tend to do a lot of these, podcasts and other sort of events. 

I love doing them because they can be influential. And even if people don’t agree with what I’m saying, or, the studies that I may talk about, at least they’re getting exposed to a potential other way. And I just want us to be aware that they’re out there. Yes. Because the awareness is so little  

[00:13:47] Brenda: right? 

it’s easy to get really zoomed in and have that telescopic lens on is that the right? Maybe that’s the opposite. Is that right?  

[00:13:58] Dee-Dee: No, that is right. Particularly when you’re vulnerable. Yes. Yes. You’re scared already. This is exactly what my parents did back in the 1970s. I wound up having to take them to court. 

I wound up divorcing my parents.  

[00:14:14] Brenda: Wow.  
[00:14:16] Dee-Dee: yeah, and my family has never healed.  

[00:14:18] Brenda: Hmm.  
[00:14:19] Dee-Dee: I didn’t ever talk about that until just a couple of years ago and decided to talk about it because people were wondering, why do you work with the families that you work with? And I came out to a couple of families I was working with at the time and said, this is why I don’t want you all to be where my family is today. 

[00:14:39] Brenda: Hmm. Hmm. And it’s so hard. And that’s why I’m so excited to have you on today, because the communication breakdown that happens is so dramatic and real. And I think it’s hard to explain to people if you’re talking to somebody who’s got a normal functioning family, they don’t understand what it’s like to have a normal family. 

A young person in your home who’s supposed to be happy and healthy and Experiencing high school or college and they are not and all you do is yell and scream at each other Or that you don’t talk at all and it is devastating And so that’s why I really am so excited to talk with you because I think you can share some tools with us That will help Reboot those conversations and reboot them in a healthy, productive way versus the yelling and screaming and door slamming that usually happens. 

Mm hmm.  

[00:15:34] Dee-Dee: And I don’t want to suggest that there’s any magic here because there isn’t. I wish. if there were, you would be a billionaire living on an island somewhere. Exactly.  

Exactly. I have a little bottle on my altar in my bedroom of Pixie dust from Disneyland. Yes. Yeah, the original stuff. They don’t sell it anymore All right, and I like to say not even Disneyland sells the magic dust anymore. 

Okay, there is none, right? So it’s hard work It’s just plain hard work is what it is. It’s not going to work all the time. Yeah, and you’re going to get frustrated You’re going to have relapses You know returning to your old behaviors in the same way that your loved one who’s using drugs is probably going to You know, these are going to be parallel processes and if they’re not parallel processes Then it’s not going to work. 

I can guarantee that and that was the mistake that my family made Again 1970s who knew right now? They were getting expert advice and the expert advice was Unfortunately, very much what it sounds like today, oh, just drop your loved one off and come back in a month or so and everything will be fine. And sure, we’ll throw a couple of classes at you. 

Yes. And you’ll meet occasionally. And a Facebook group. That’s it. And we’ll probably have one meeting with you and your loved one while they’re in treatment here. Yeah, that’s great for a start But yeah, that’s it really and oh, by the way, let’s not even talk about what the bill is  

[00:17:12] Brenda: Yes, Don’t get me started on that exactly. 

I know do not get me started on that. I know so Thank you for for sharing what you do and a little bit about how you got there because I feel like that could be its Own podcast about how you got there, but it’s good to know that you are a person in recovery you practice harm reduction and And we’ll get into what that means because I know parents are probably scratching their head a little bit But first I just want to talk a little bit about craft And the craft model if people have been listening to my podcast for a while They probably are fairly familiar with it. 

But if they’re not maybe you could just give us the quick 30, 000 foot view. The elevator pitch? Yes. And then just talk about why that might be different than what parents might also be hearing either from, if they’re going to Al Anon or if their kid is in a traditional treatment program, they might be getting some conflicting messages. 

[00:18:05] Dee-Dee: Yeah, they will no doubt be getting conflicting messages. I can almost guarantee that. And I have worked in treatment on and off for most of these 33 years. I will also add that. I can’t work in treatment anymore. I keep getting fired. So literally. Yeah, and for some very silly things and some of them serious, but some of them just plain silly, people unwilling to look at a couple of their Rules, for instance that they could change to make something more trauma informed for instance that they’re just attached to that’s just the way we do it, and they probably have no idea why. 

Those kinds of things. Yeah. So back to Kraft. So Kraft, my elevator pitch for Kraft is to say something like, have you ever seen the show Intervention? Yes. Award winning television show, right? Yes. And almost everybody says yes, or at least they’ve heard of it. They get the gist, and I’ll say it’s the opposite of that, which is why it’s not on television. 

No drama. Drama light. Yep. Exactly. Our goal is to get rid of drama and you can hear the networks Cringing at that, right?  

[00:19:24] Brenda: All the phones  

just hung  


[00:19:26] Dee-Dee: exactly Oh my god, we can’t have that no, that’s not going to sell any ads Exactly. That’s exactly it. And that’s why we also believe many of us who are big proponents of craft believe that the United States has not embraced it because ironically it’s embraced in many other parts of the world. 

[00:19:49] Brenda: Is it? That’s something I had never thought about that maybe other countries have adopted this, a little bit more wholeheartedly than we have.  

[00:19:58] Dee-Dee: They have. They have adopted harm reduction in big ways too. Look up Portugal. They’re the, the big harm reduction folks, who made big changes in, I think it was in 2000, I think it’s been 20 years now, and decriminalized everything. 

But some other countries have done that too. Switzerland has had legal heroin for years and years. They had a terrible problem with injection heroin use, open air in a particular park. It got to be known, I think, as Needle Park, I think is what it was called. And so they made huge changes. they said, okay, we are not just going to change a little bit. 

We’re going to do a 180 here. And we are going to completely go at this differently and look at it as a public health problem. If there was a pandemic, what would we do? I know, I know, you had to throw that in. you reinvent the wheel. And that’s what they did. And it’s amazing. When Germany instituted the first safe consumption site, Which has been, I think, about 20 years ago, too. 

Maybe not quite that long. and they didn’t have a lot of overdoses in the first place. But they had some. they had a handful of them, and they got worried. Okay, that shows the difference right there. And they instituted safe injection sites and they had no overdose deaths. None. There we go. It’s like, how many ways and times do you want to see this and not make changes? 

But you still want to keep doing things the same way. One of the old phrases from treatment that I remember both when I was a patient but also as a worker was attributed to Einstein, right? If you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results, that’s called insanity. Yes. who’s really the insane ones here? 

You’re complaining about drug users and their behavior and calling them insane. I’m sorry, they’re mirroring the culture in which they live. And of course, so are families because we’re all in this together.  

[00:22:10] Brenda: Yeah. I was just going to say, actually, that’s a perfect definition of what families go through because we, unless you start learning some of this, like craft and motivational interviewing, you are doing the same thing over and over with your, Teen or you’re young adult and nothing’s changing and you’re frustrated and you’re like, you’re terrible. 

You’re not changing What’s wrong with you?  

[00:22:34] Dee-Dee: Right, Exactly. I mean I said the same thing to my son when he was a teenager.  

[00:22:38] Brenda: Yeah  
[00:22:39] Dee-Dee: Until I got trained in mi So one of the things that you just said that reminded me and I don’t know if you’re aware of this But back in the day, so we’re going to say the 80s There was no such term as codependency or Sorry Kind of family. 

What we called people who were the family members or the loved ones of people who were using substances problematically was a co addict. That’s the term that was used. And that’s exactly why. Because you all begin to look the same as we do in our behaviors. That’s so true. It’s so true. Yeah, and that’s why, and it wasn’t meant as a judgment. 

I appreciate it can sound that way, but it was to help to illuminate for family members, first of all, that this is a family system condition, that you can’t take out one https: otter. ai Give them treatment, put them back into that system, and expect everything to be great. This is not an infection that I’m giving you antibiotics for, and I don’t need to treat anyone else. 

It’s more like an STD, and forgive me, I have a Degree in human sexuality here, but it’s more like STD STIs where if I don’t treat every one of your sexual partners You are likely to get reinfected.  

[00:24:06] Brenda: Yes That’s a great analogy and never thought about it that way.  

[00:24:10] Dee-Dee: Yeah, so and we just Do that, it’s yeah, it’s uncomfortable. 

I know, you know It is and I know you guys are tired and you’ve worked your asses off. I get it You know, that’s why I try to go very slowly with families that I work with Because I I appreciate that i’ve seen it and i’ve experienced Some of that. My son’s story was not one of addiction, gratefully, not quite, and he’s old enough, it’s unlikely to ever happen, but there were moments of experimentation out of control. 

I was in some of that for a period of time, and, Provides me I think with some great compassion And some empathy around what people go through with this.  

[00:25:01] Brenda: Yeah So craft is the opposite of what we see on intervention, which is lots of drama lots of yeah, all of that So it’s the opposite of that which I have heard from Moms, at least in my community in the stream that what what that can look like to other people is Is you’re not doing anything because there’s no yelling. 

There’s no screaming. There’s no slamming of doors And so no dumping the drugs the booze down the right or  

[00:25:28] Dee-Dee: whatever. That’s confusing, right? Yeah, I know because we’re a nation of productivity Just do it Yes. Yes. That’s what we like to see. Yeah One of the things that I do like to share with folks, and forgive me if this is too much information all at one time with studies, is called the Stages of Change, which came from your area, Seattle, that’s folks up there in part. 

And Stages of Change tells us, in short, that people go through stages, just like they do for grief or for change. All right, here we are, any kind of change. And it’s not going to be simple and straightforward. I call it a pinball machine. one day I’m over in this stage, next day I’m down over here again. 

Now I’m back up here and now I’m down over there. That is just the process of change. And the trouble is that there are three stages of change before we get to what we call action. the part that you see, I’ve, I’ve now put the drink down, I’m now not injecting heroin, I’m now no longer taking Xanax every day, whatever it is, right? 

Those three stages beforehand is where all the hard work happens, actually.  

[00:26:47] Brenda: Yeah,  

[00:26:48] Dee-Dee: we think that we’re going to start on stage three. Exactly. Stage four, actually. Yeah. And that’s a really good point and that’s exactly right It’s it’s like we want to take the elevator there. you can’t you can only take the stairs, right? 

And if you try to shortcut it It’s probably not going to be effective. And that doesn’t mean that some people don’t come into counseling or coaching or treatment of some sort already in that action stage, ready to go. Of course they do. And that’s fabulous. But even they can have setbacks. That’s typical of any kind of change. 

I’ve been trying to stop drinking Diet Coke for, my students can tell you, for a number of years. and it’s not like I’m drinking a six pack a day, but I have a condition that does not do well with this fake sugar that’s in the stuff in this country. I can’t get a hold of the stuff in Europe because they don’t have it in there. 

See, there’s another difference. Another difference. I, use harm reduction to limit how much I’m going to have and on what days I’m going to have it. But there are days when I just say and I’m going to ask for some forgiveness here for my swearing So plug your ears if you don’t want to hear this What relapse is is when I get a good case of the fuckets? 

Yeah. Yeah, right and I just go. Oh, What’s the point who cares? What’s the difference and that happens with all kinds of behaviors? So I just don’t want to get stuck in that exactly, right? So craft helps and mi is part of this They both help us to help others to get unstuck from that point, if you will. 

[00:28:39] Brenda: Yeah.  

[00:28:40] Dee-Dee: The other thing about crafts that I love is that it’s really focused on loved ones, family members. Taking care of themselves. So one of the things that I love to do with families is to say for instance, as I usually hear people and you may hear this as well who come in and life by this point is absolute chaos and they’re thinking about throwing that person out of their lives. 

Either literally out of their house or cutting them off from communication. And I understand that. I really do. I got that to that point with my own son, 10 years ago, however, that you can only do once. So here’s my thing with that. I’ll say it’s like a Trump card. Yeah. You can only play it once. And when you play it. 

Now you can’t do anything else. That’s the nuclear option, right? So just think about it and be sure that that is what you need to do at this point It’s not for me to judge if that’s how you’re feeling right now The second thing the second rule of the nuclear option If you threaten it, you must follow through. 

Yeah. Yep, and that’s the biggest mistake. I see families making They set rules, they set lines in the sand, whatever phrase you want to use, and then they back off, and they back off, and they back off. I now do it with my cat, and like I said earlier, we know who’s trained here. It’s the same thing. 

It’s just behavior. Craft helps us to not do that. As much.  

[00:30:23] Brenda: I like how you said it’s a way of getting unstuck because that is really, I think, an interesting way of looking at it that maybe we don’t always think of, which is, yeah, we’re just stuck in some of these patterns, whether it’s drinking Diet Coke or taking fake Xanax or smoking too much marijuana, whatever it is, it is just that pattern of being stuck. 

So I love how you You said that I hadn’t really ever thought about it in that way.  

[00:30:51] Dee-Dee: Mm  
[00:30:51] Brenda: hmm.  
[00:30:52] Dee-Dee: Great Yeah, mi was developed motivational interviewing. Forgive me. I use the shortcut mi was developed specifically To help people work through their own ambivalence about making a change because we all are ambivalent about that Change in our lives. 

Any decision, just about any decision I think anyone can think of, they’ve spent time on all sides of that fence. Should I move? Should I not? Where should I go? Should I change jobs? Especially in this last year, I’ve heard a lot of this. Yes. Do I start my own company? Oh my God, I don’t know. 

it’s whatever it is. I do some life coaching too, along with, with folks around their, their relationship to substances. And, everything is filled with these decisions.  

[00:31:43] Brenda: Right.  

[00:31:44] Dee-Dee: it’s really important that those of us who are trying to help, and this is where it can get tricky for parents, I need to not take a stance. 

If I’m attached to a particular outcome, let’s say, getting you into treatment, if that’s the only thing that I, I’m going to count as a success, I’m probably going to be awfully disappointed a lot. I need to be open to any positive change, which is a phrase that we give to Dan Bigg, the late Dan Bigg, who founded the Chicago Recovery Alliance, and that was his term that he taught me years ago. 

So that’s how I define success now is any positive change and what craft does with that is say, we want to highlight those positive changes, those baby steps, like what I like to call them, right? Because it’s baby stepping all the way to the big change. That is how you make change for most people,  

[00:32:50] Brenda: right? 

So is motivational interviewing an element of craft or is that a separate thing?  

[00:32:57] Dee-Dee: It is an element. motivational interviewing is a style of conversation that has some skills and strategies underneath it. They can be specific to whatever job you’re doing, if you will, what the environment is that you’re working in. 

So for parents, it would be different than it would be for me professionally working in some ways, not completely, but it would be somewhat different. it could be different if a medical doctor. Was using these tools and strategies and skills and strategies, but it’s basically a way to have a conversation with someone that is more open, that is less directive, although at times we add information or advice, but we only provide that when we ask for permission. 

That’s a big thing that I teach parents and families. Ask permission,  

[00:33:52] Brenda: right? We call it I think in craft. Is that the information sandwich? Is that what you’re referring to? That’s a little bit  

[00:33:59] Dee-Dee: different, but it is in that ballpark. Yeah, that’s a specific strategy that uses The concept of asking for permission. 

Let me put it that way. Yeah  

[00:34:09] Brenda: I’m just wondering if I can totally put you on the spot here. So I have, let’s say I have a 17 year old smoking weed every day. COVID’s been really rough on us. he or she’s been doing school from home, not really. there was a lot of logging into Zoom and then leaving the room. 

So not passing, but the school’s passing them anyway, because that’s what’s And I’m pretty sure they’re taking pills. Every once in a while. And I am terrified because I know that those pills are not actually Xanax or Oxy. They are fentanyl. And so I’m freaking out. I’m the mom, and I still have I’ll still talk to my kid. 

It’s not like things are, I’m not ready to kick them out, but I know they’re doing this. They’re not motivated, dropped out of sports. Not really into college applications. Is this a scenario where you could use motivational interviewing? you can  

[00:35:06] Dee-Dee: I mean what you can use is a piece of mi which is One of the basic skills called oars plus and oars stands for open ended questions Affirmations is the a r is for reflecting and the s for summaries The plus i is for giving information or advice Which we touched on and that core skill will take you far. 

It’s all part of from back in the 60s We’ve repackaged it, but it’s active listening is what it got called in the 60s And that is a core skill you put that on top of the other core skills that we call spirit And the spirit of am I means how you are, literally, how am I coming closed and angry? Am I coming open and willing to listen? 

Am I looking at this and we use the acronym PACE, which I’ll go through quickly. The P is for partnership, right? We’re in this together. And that’s true whether i’m working with someone or i’m doing this with a family we’re we’re doing this together. The a is for acceptance of various things The c is for compassion because we always have to have compassion and the e for evoking And evocation and evoking is eliciting i’m trying to get the other person involved in this process if you will So it is about a way of maintaining curiosity rather than judgment. 

[00:36:48] Brenda: Got it. So you can’t come at this with the sort of the snarky, passive aggressive way, which I think is easy to slip into. Oh, you betcha.  

[00:36:59] Dee-Dee: Yeah. I still slip into it. The good news is what experience does. You catch it quicker, you figure out, you know how to get out of it quicker, and you do something differently, faster. 

You’re not perfect. There is no perfect here. what would that sound like, just maybe one or two questions that a parent, if that is their scenario, and they’re having a conversation, it’s, they’re sitting around having breakfast or whatever, things are okay, kid’s not high, but mom’s freaking out. 

[00:37:35] Brenda: Mm hmm.  

[00:37:36] Dee-Dee: So one of the things that I might say would be, or have a mom say, I’m curious about your use of the street drugs, and a little concerned about that. I’d like to talk about that. What do you think? Okay. What  

[00:37:53] Brenda: do you want to know?  

[00:37:55] Dee-Dee: Yeah, I’ve been reading a lot lately and I’ve tried to go on Google and get some information. 

And I’m really concerned about what’s in those things. I don’t know. What do you think? What are you finding  

[00:38:06] Brenda: out there? I don’t know. I just take whatever my friend like. My friend’s got some stuff. I’m pretty sure it’s from his mom’s medicine cabinet. I wouldn’t take some I’m not stupid, mom. I wouldn’t take something that’s Deadly. 

Like I’m pretty sure John’s mom has Xanax and so we just take some of hers. Got it. Yeah, you’re not trying to die.  

[00:38:27] Dee-Dee: I don’t want to die. Good, thank you. I’m glad to hear that, because there are, there are, I don’t know, would it be okay if we talk about this for  

[00:38:36] Brenda: a minute? I guess it feels weird to talk about this with my mom at breakfast, but okay. 

[00:38:43] Dee-Dee: I thought you might like it better than the talk. Yes. That’s a little stressful for me too, frankly. Yeah. That’s weird. Okay. Thanks. I really appreciate it. And you tell me when it’s enough. Okay? Okay. Okay. I just get concerned because there are so many reports of kids using these drugs and they don’t know what’s in it. 

And that’s just really scary to me because, I really love you and I, I’m selfish and I want to see you grow up and I want to see what life is going to give you and what you’re going to do with that and all of that. I don’t know. What do you think about that? Maybe I’m just being silly. 

[00:39:26] Brenda: no, I get it, but I just I’m not dumb. you know that I’m not stupid. So I just think maybe you’re worrying about something that isn’t really anything to worry about. But I do like I know there was a guy at the other school that overdosed last year. Yeah, but I don’t know. I just don’t even think I’m in the same category as that. 

Like I’m not a druggy or anything. Okay.  

[00:39:49] Dee-Dee: Okay. thanks for sharing that with me. I really do appreciate that. And if you have concerns or if you wind up having to get the drugs from someplace else, maybe we could talk about that, about how to do it more safely, if that’d be okay. What? I know. 

I’ve been learning. What are you saying? There’s ways you can test the medications that you’re getting or the drugs that you’re getting that might be able to help you a bit. Okay, that’s too weird. Like now, now that’s weird. I gotta go. Okay, you got it. I appreciate it. Thanks for talking to me, honey.  

[00:40:24] Brenda: Yeah. 
Okay. Nice. That’s so amazing. That is so like I can’t imagine like I really was putting myself in. I think a lot of kids shoes. I literally would have looked at my mom like she was the one on drugs if she would  

[00:40:41] Dee-Dee: have said that well. That’s what I got, but it’s one of my favorite stories is talking about that how what happened with my own son around a stupid behavior or he had nothing to do with drugs and his his line to me was finally stood with his hand on his hip and went, Okay, what stupid training have you been to now? 

Exactly. Oh, so something’s different. They went see right there. That’s that that’s that you’re doing Stop that  

[00:41:07] Brenda: right. What podcasts have you been listening to mom? Exactly  

[00:41:11] Dee-Dee: now it would be a podcast exactly, and I just heard a laugh and said oh, yeah Okay,  

[00:41:15] Brenda: something’s different here. Yeah. 


[00:41:18] Dee-Dee: Okay That is that Reflecting.  

[00:41:22] Brenda: Yeah, I can see what you mean. That is not the intervention that you see that would not sell any ads on tv Because it’s like calm Respectful you could still be freaking out inside Like I’m sure you are, but what you’re presenting to me as your 17 year old is okay, we’re just going to chat about this, which is so different than anything I think that at least I’ve ever, have heard about up until now. 

[00:41:51] Dee-Dee: Yeah. It is very different. And of course, craft has, very structured sessions that we go through it and forms and all kinds of good stuff, to do it. So I tend to take a lot of that and say, okay, so let’s use it in a kind of everyday world. One of the places that has done a good job of translating some of that with Bob’s permission, Bob Myers, who developed this, is the Center for Motivation and Change out in New York City. 

Yes. The folks there, you may know their book,  

[00:42:21] Brenda: Beyond Addiction. I think everybody listening is so tired of hearing me talk about, they’re like, Brenda, stop with the Beyond Addiction.  

[00:42:30] Dee-Dee: And they’re friends, so I will say that, for full disclosure here. And they’ve done books, booklets, workbooks, called the 20 Minute Guide. 

They have one for parents and one for partners. And I love them and we don’t have to walk through every single page in every, In order all of that. So I like to go. Where would you like to start? Most people want to start with communication And I go, okay, that’s great and then I try and inject some of the other pieces in there But it really is starting to practice the skill of how do I sit with uncomfortable feelings? 

Yeah All right, because that’s what it is. That’s the freaking out. Yes, that’s just an uncomfortable feeling and I’m an adult and I’m not perfect at it But I’m pretty damn good these days and I need to do that because if I freak out Then everybody’s gonna freak out and that’s true whether I’m talking to my son Whether I’m talking to a friend or whether I’m talking to a client, right? 

I need to stop now. Sometimes I’m gonna need to walk away That’s part of taking care of myself, which is crucial in craft too. And it’s just good common sense. If I can feel like I can’t get a handle on this, I am so freaked out. Maybe I’m having a panic attack, literally, then I need to walk away. 

And I need to say to you, I am so sorry. I got to step out for a minute and let’s come back to this. And then you agree to come back to it within a certain length of time. 24 hours, 48 hours is usually what we talk about, as being as long as you want to let that go. And then you have to get back to it But the other main thing here that I like to Model and we just did is don’t go for the talk. 

Yeah And please don’t always have it at like the dinner table you know because now nobody’s going to want to come and eat You wonder why your kids are eating in their bedroom. that’s why Yes,  

[00:44:44] Brenda: that’s like the danger zone  

[00:44:45] Dee-Dee: Exactly. Is that safe for me to come to the dinner table because I know you’re going to bring this up. 

[00:44:51] Brenda: Yes. and what you did, I’d love to transition because I, I, what I also picked up on in that little scenario was what I think is harm reduction, which, as a kid, I think is really interesting and probably something new, but to parents, too. So you said something about, what was it that you said? 

we could go get the drugs tested? Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve been reading up online. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s talk about harm reduction. And What that might look like because I think you wove it in there. So seamlessly It’s just magical But what is that and I would love to talk about how that might look for kids who are under 18 So they’re still in the home. 

Yeah, it’s tough. Yeah, it’s really tough, but i’d love to get your thoughts on that  

[00:45:42] Dee-Dee: I guess the first thing i’ll say about harm reduction Harm reduction is the gigantic umbrella everything Falls under harm reduction. Everything.  

[00:45:53] Brenda: Like your diet coke drinking, right? Exactly. Abstinence is  

[00:45:57] Dee-Dee: part of harm reduction. 

for me, this is my personal recovery, my road, that is the ultimate harm reduction. Now, interestingly enough, no one has ever said, gee, Dede, you were so much fun when you drank and used a ton of cocaine. Why don’t you do that anymore? It’s amazing. Nobody has said that in all these decades. 

All right. for me, I just go with abstinence because it’s easier, frankly. I don’t think about it, but that is not the road for a whole lot of people. And it doesn’t need to be the road for everyone. So I, I want to invite people to think about this. I’m going to digress here for just a minute. 

I’m going to try and be quick. And when my grandmother and. Back in 1956, had breast cancer, they did a radical mastectomy because that’s what they did. They took her breast, they took her lymph nodes under her arm, they took a lot of tissue from around the ribs, and that was the way. Today, in 2021, if she had the same diagnosis, the first thing that they would probably do is a biopsy, right? 

They save that radical mastectomy for the worst cases. And when when all else fails, which by the way is a slogan from AA when all else fails you go to AA Isn’t that interesting? Interesting. Okay. Yeah. in the same sort of thinking about this, abstinence is not right for everyone. I get very worried when I hear 15, 16, 17, 18 year olds say, I’m never going to use another drug, which includes alcohol, for the rest of my life. 

I, I believe their sincerity. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that’s what they want. Do I think that’s likely? No. And what I know is it’s more likely that they’re going to set themselves up for quote unquote failure. I don’t see it as a failure, but they’re going to now. When they go to a party at college or with someone and they have that beer and then they have the case of here we go again Close your ears the fuck it. 

[00:48:12] Brenda: Yeah,  

[00:48:12] Dee-Dee: and now we’re off and running because what’s the point?  

[00:48:16] Brenda: Right?  

[00:48:16] Dee-Dee: See, I really can’t do it,  

[00:48:18] Brenda: right?  

[00:48:19] Dee-Dee: And if you’re there getting told by Professionals not like me but professionals like me that say One drink and you’re going to, the sleeping tiger is going to be waiting to jump out and get you again. 

That is not useful. No, that’s not true either. But that’s what people get told. Then the relapse is likely to be worse too. We know that from research. Tons of research on that.  

[00:48:48] Brenda: Interesting. Okay.  

[00:48:50] Dee-Dee: Okay. I’m going to throw out another one just for fun here. Because I think that’s going to blow your mind. 

Research also shows us That those people that believe in the disease concept of addiction have worse relapses.  

[00:49:05] Brenda: Hmm. Hmm. My brain is churning. I’m thinking that one through and that is because think of what I  

[00:49:15] Dee-Dee: just said about a case of the epics.  

[00:49:18] Brenda: Yeah.  

[00:49:19] Dee-Dee: huh.  
[00:49:20] Brenda: It’s Oh, this is just me. This is what I have. 

I have no control over it. Yep. Interesting.  

[00:49:28] Dee-Dee: Yep. So we have to be careful with this one. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m not here to dissuade folks from believing it actually is a disease or not. We will not get into that. at some level, does it matter whether it is? Yeah. So okay, keep going. This is so fascinating. 

[00:49:49] Brenda: Okay,  

[00:49:50] Dee-Dee: so young kids who are never going to use again, right? It’s a real problem. So with harm reduction, let’s think of this in other cases. now it’s not such a big deal because there’s only right about 40, 000 people to die in traffic accidents. And a lot of those routines. Yes, that used to be the number one way that teens would die. 

And did we outlaw cars? Did we change the driver’s license age to 21? Did we do anything like that? No, we enacted some new laws, things around texting. but that isn’t just for teens, that’s for all of us. we have added, oh, like my car has, and I’m sure yours probably does, most of them do these days, you can talk through your car. 

Through your cell phone. So you just hook that through, so you don’t have to actually hold the phone or you don’t have a, a, a, We used to have mobile phones in the cars too, but that was a different system. So that’s an improvement, and so that’s what we look at. How do we improve things and make it safer? 

Seatbelts. Seatbelts. Absolutely. I remember those. Yeah. Boy, am I old. Shoulder restraints. Airbags. We now have airbags. Some cars have them in the side panels. Some cars will even break automatically if you’re too close to a car in front of you, right? So all of these things are designed. So let me blow your mind again for a moment So for instance, if we really cared about drunk driving, we would Require all cars to have systems in which you need to blow into a tube or something Before you can turn the car on we would prevent it before it happens That’s real harm reduction, but we don’t do that. 

We’d rather punish afterwards. And that’s just the system we live in, in a lot of ways. And treatment is a lot of that. So again, looking at the system we have, this is why I unfortunately do talk about blowing up treatment, because I wish we had true prevention. I wish we would do things in a more holistic way, and I wish we would actually look at why, and here’s the big question, how come you’re using the substances? 

[00:52:13] Brenda: Exactly. Can we talk about that?  

[00:52:16] Dee-Dee: Without judgment? Yeah. I don’t understand. That wasn’t me, if that’s you as a parent. I don’t understand, but I know this is important to you. And because you’re important to me,  

[00:52:30] Brenda: I want to know more. Yeah. Oh, that’s so powerful. Just to say, I know this is so important to you, to say that to a 16 year old who’s smoking a lot of weed. 

Oh my gosh, that would just be transformational. Wouldn’t it?  

[00:52:46] Dee-Dee: I’m getting goosebumps. I know. Because nobody has asked me that. In all of the treatment and therapy that I had from age 12 until I think I finally stopped a few years ago and said, okay, I’ve had it up. Been 30, 50 years. No one had ever asked me that. 

Amazing. But I used drugs for 20 years.  

[00:53:07] Brenda: Right.  

[00:53:08] Dee-Dee: And when I stopped at 31, that’s two thirds of my life. Hey, isn’t anybody asking me how come and not in the finger pointing. Why are you doing that? I heard that a lot. Yes The delivery is key. Yeah So one of the things that I do and i’m sure you do as well and this is what coaching about is about right Let’s practice Yes, and families are not always keen on that and I understand Neither are your loved ones who are sitting in, if it’s a good treatment and practicing things like refusal skills or, how do I breathe through this craving or, other things. 

Just because I have this thought doesn’t mean I have to act on it. But we need to practice. So that when Things get rough. I’m more likely to fall into that habit now of being more curious, of being less judgmental, and using skills like active listening, that piece of MI, or doing some other pieces of MI or craft. 

[00:54:17] Brenda: so that it comes more naturally instead of Yeah. Yeah. It’s  

[00:54:22] Dee-Dee: like driving a car. That does not come naturally.  

[00:54:24] Brenda: Right.  

[00:54:25] Dee-Dee: That’s why we have lessons. Yeah. And learner’s permit.  

[00:54:31] Brenda: Exactly.  

[00:54:32] Dee-Dee: It’s a process to  

[00:54:33] Brenda: that. Yeah. you mentioned in our little scenario, one kind of way you could practice harm reduction with a teen in saying, okay, we’re going to be testing these and, and Dr. 

Nzinga Harrison said the same thing in the marijuana episode. Just about, okay, if this is going on, we at least need to know what you’re putting in your body. And I’m not. By saying that I am not approving it. I’m not saying that I am okay with this But at least we need to know what’s going on in your body. 

How else Does harm reduction work with younger people or or does it?  

[00:55:11] Dee-Dee: it does because it works with everyone and again harm reduction if we’re talking around drug use That’s a more specific kind of harm reduction,  

[00:55:19] Brenda: right?  

[00:55:20] Dee-Dee: And in those cases The main thing that I want to do, and I’m going to borrow this from the spirit of MI, and that’s at first P, I want to partner with you. 

I need to ask you, how can we do this? How can we agree that I’m not comfortable with you smoking tobacco in the house, or, Cannabis, whatever it is. I wouldn’t be able to do it because I have asthma, right? So I I would say You can’t be doing that in here in my little 740 square feet because it’s going to kill me I will not be able to breathe and work literally So how can we though because I want to support your autonomy and I want you to learn How to make your own decisions and this is a big one  

[00:56:04] Brenda: Yeah,  

[00:56:04] Dee-Dee: i’d like you to do it more safely There’s always risk. 

And I don’t ever use the term safe, because safe doesn’t exist. Safer can exist. Okay? Yeah. But this is about risk reduction, which was a term that we first used back in the 90s, when we were looking at safer sex practices around HIV and AIDS, ironically.  

[00:56:30] Brenda: Right.  

[00:56:31] Dee-Dee: That’s when harm reduction really took off. 

[00:56:34] Brenda: That makes sense.  

[00:56:36] Dee-Dee: Okay. Yeah, So we’re applying a lot of the same ideas and concepts here To drug use and and saying we want to keep folks safer And we want to help you to make the best decisions for yourself So how do you do that? And it might be that a conversation that I’m going to have with, and I’ve had this with my son as a young adult, because I was amazed at how he made decisions. 

I was rather in awe of it, to tell you the truth. He knew how he made decisions. And I said, Jesse, do you have any idea how rare that is? That I can ask somebody, when you go to make an important decision, how do you do that? what’s the process and they’ll go? I don’t know. I just decide right And i’m guilty of that as well sometimes so I have to stop and think about it If this is really important, how do I get the accurate information? 

Where are the sources?  

[00:57:34] Brenda: Yeah.  

[00:57:34] Dee-Dee: Do I sit down with paper and pencil? Do I want to do it online? Do I grab my phone? where are the things, the tools that I need to do this. So when I’m working with young people, one of the things I like to do is to use the internet, if you will, to say, cause I don’t know everything about everything. 

There’s no way. And so they’ll say, I’m going to use this particular product that I found somewhere. Okay. Whatever it is, let’s look it up. And let’s see what it says In various sources, what can I find? And let me look at some other sources that I’m aware of. And when it comes to substances, there’s a couple of books that I have that I’m particularly fond of. 

One is called Buzzed. Non judgmental, straightforward, kind of pharmaceutical information on all kinds of different drugs, if you will. They don’t have an agenda. The curriculum that I love for teens around safer drug use is called Safety First, coming from the Drug Policy Alliance. It’s free. It’s used by a lot of PTAs and other groups around the country. 

Again, it’s about safety first, and it also helps people have conversations about these issues. The main thing that I need to do as a parent is get to a place of calm Yes, so which parent hopefully if you have more than one not everyone does you know I was a single mom It all fell on me, right? That’s the way it is sometimes. 

So what do I need to do? Here’s the first step of craft and of everything else in this world when it comes to drug use and our kids How do I take care of myself first? You so that I can get ready to have this conversation. I’m also, and I’ve told parents, sometimes you need to have a timer. Go for three to five minutes. 

That’s it. That’s it. That’s it. And then you shut up and you don’t do all the talking too. So I want to invite you, my child, into this process. I’m going to set a timer for how long we’re going to talk about it. It’s going to be a targeted talk. I want to talk about one thing. One piece, I’m going to make sure that I’ve got as best accurate information I can get and that means nothing from any site that has to do with recovery treatment. 

None. Mm. Because they all have an agenda. To get you there. That’s right. Yes. That’s right. And I used to do that job. So I freely admit it. And I was good at it. So I’m not gonna be disparaging against them because we need to have treatment. I get that But we don’t want to get our information from them. 

some of our government sources can also be loaded, pardon the pun. we have to be careful with some of those as well. Drug Policy Alliance is one of the best. Buzzed for the book is another good one. I believe CMC, Center for Motivation and Change, has some information on their site. I don’t have specific drug information on my site, but I can also. 

You know come up with some other tools. So we want to have those kinds of pieces around as well And then one of the things that I also like to encourage is to normalize these conversations So when I was doing my human sexuality degree One of the things I think my son would remember is I would leave my books my textbooks open and laying around With pictures of, people having sex, with different body parts, with all sorts of things, right? 

And they were teenagers, and of course his friends were over there going, Whoo! Look at that! What’s really fascinating though, Every one of his good friends, he had three good friends, and he came to me at some point, and by the way, continue to, and they’re in their 40s now, to ask me questions. 

They didn’t go to their parents. They went to me. So fascinating. And I’m glad to play that role, because they’re not my kids, so I could be more, less judgmental. Yeah, yeah. More open to it in some way. That’s fine. But it also helped me, bless them, to be less judgmental with my own child.  

[01:02:06] Brenda: Yeah. 
[01:02:06] Dee-Dee: And to get more comfortable with that. So I had to get education.  

[01:02:11] Brenda: that is really Interesting. And it is hard to start that. So if your family has been pretty quiet about substance use, then, just starting to have some of those conversations can feel pretty awkward. I think and I could be wrong, but I think they feel way more awkward to the parent than it does to the kid because they’re already in a relationship. 

Talking about this stuff with their friends and online and snapchat and the whole nine yards. So It probably will feel more awkward to you as a parent to start it. talking about it then to them The  

[01:02:50] Dee-Dee: kid will be embarrassed, but you’ll feel more awkward. And so I encourage people to say that This is really I’m really uncomfortable with this. 

This is not my area, Right. ask your kids. Tell me, what do you know about fill in the blank? Yeah. Xanax. What do you know about whatever the drug is? What do you know about cannabis today? Because I, yeah, I smoked a little bit back in the, this is me back in the 60s and 70s. Gave me panic attacks, so I quit. 

Didn’t like it. would have been better off, by the way, if I had continued to, to smoke that and not start other things. Such is life. Speaking of harm reduction. Exactly. But, here we are. And I would want to ask my kid, in fact, I have With Jesse. Now it took a while before we had that. Have you ever tried fill in the blank? 

[01:03:42] Brenda: Yeah.  

[01:03:42] Dee-Dee: And he looked at me with those big eyes like, oh shit, do I tell the truth or not? I was like, I just want to know because I don’t know. I don’t use those things anymore. Yeah. So help me out here.  

[01:03:56] Brenda: Yeah.  

[01:03:57] Dee-Dee: And that’s the way that I approached it. And so we can have those conversations now. 

[01:04:02] Brenda: That’s amazing. And I, yeah, I like just going back. I just keep thinking about how you said safer. Mm hmm. And how important that is, especially today with fentanyl. I just think. Oh God. We just don’t have the luxury of being able to say, it’s all or nothing. You’re You know, you have to get into treatment today because I don’t think that’s realistic for the majority of people and if anything, fentanyl does give you a perfect door opener to a conversation to say, Oh, my gosh, I just read the statistic or I just it’s on the news. 

And so you can easily say, Did you see that drug bust? They just did in San Diego with all of those people. Hundreds and thousands of, fentanyl pills. Have you seen those around your school or are you seeing those around on your campus or whatever it is, it’s, it’s a great door opener because now it is like just part of the conversation. 

[01:05:04] Dee-Dee: And I want it to be part of the conversation all the time. And that’s the point with all of these more tender conversations. whether we’re talking about sex with our kids, the sex drugs and rock and roll thing Those conversations need to be happening out of the gate I you know as young as possible in an appropriate way, of course, right? 

And if you don’t know what that means and that’s okay. I am not judging that for a moment Again, then you need to get education on that. How do I have this conversation and you know pick the person that you go to That’s also open for a lot of conversation, but get some information But then ask your kids That’s the number one thing that we always say. 

tell me a little bit about what you’ve heard at school about the fake drugs that are running around. That’s gotta be scary, honey. Yeah. just open it up that way. There’s an open question is what I just did. Not, have you ever tried that? No, that’s not going to work. 

That is not an open question, and that’s going to shut down any conversation we might have been able to have. But I can certainly still say, this really concerns me for all of you. Yeah. Sure.  

[01:06:25] Brenda: It must scare you too. Yeah, and you come at it, your tone of voice is compassionate versus accusatory or defensive or anything like that. 

So just the way it, it lands in your ears doesn’t feel like, Oh my gosh, this is going to be a confrontation with my mom, I got to get out of here. It sounds like if you come at it with that tone of voice, it sounds huh, I, I think she actually might be. Concerned, and maybe she’s not going to try to get me to go to treatment today if we have this conversation because that is the fear they’re going to shoot me off somewhere. 

I’m not having this conversation. I’m out the door.  

[01:07:09] Dee-Dee: Yep. Boy, I know that one really well, don’t I? And sometimes, The way to get around that Is to say that up front sometimes I even have to do that with a client. I have a big booming voice I was trained in radio and so I will say to folks on occasion I’m, not sure how to say this without sounding like a smart alec, but tell me You know, if it comes across that way. 

And so I might say that with my kid, I promise I’m not going to ship you off to treatment. That is not even in the back of my head, let alone in the front of my head. Let’s start there. and mean that because again, treatment is the radical mastectomy. I’m not saying never do it. And I’m saying that’s, we want to avoid that for a whole bunch of reasons. 

A main one for a lot of people may be financial. And it should be  

[01:08:02] Brenda: absolutely  

[01:08:04] Dee-Dee: So that residential treatment is only supposed to be For people who need to get away literally who have to get a break away from the daily use That sort of environment and the drug Probably needs to be a high intensity kind of drug. 

cannabis is not a high intensity drug I didn’t i’m Again, not saying there aren’t ever instances, but rare for people to need residential treatment for that. If there’s no withdrawal, and there’s not from cannabis or other drugs, not physical withdrawal that we can actually give you medications for or that insurance is going to cover, you’re not going to die from withdrawal from that. 

You may want to, but, so that’s another conversation, I feel like you’re going to, exactly, but, you’re not going to. again, looking at that as The most serious intervention possible and keeping it there.  

[01:08:59] Brenda: Yeah.  

[01:09:00] Dee-Dee: And let’s look at what are some other things that we can do. Now again, I appreciate with everybody’s time, nobody has time for this. 

you’re going to have to make it.  

[01:09:10] Brenda: Right.  

[01:09:10] Dee-Dee: Yeah, you’re going to have to take some classes. You’re going to have to get some training and education around how do I talk with kids. I’m going to have to do some reading at least. And maybe you’re not a big reader and I get that. That’s why we have podcasts. 

Exactly. Exactly. And audible. Everything else, right? But it’s the  

[01:09:32] Brenda: same, if your child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when they were 5 years old, you would spend a whole lot of time reading about how to cook and what to do. Medications they need and what, you would, you would dive into it. 

That’s right. You would spend an awful lot of time there. You would be monitoring, you would be watching for new scientific research. Like it is a thing. So this is your thing that you need to learn. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Wow. So, good.  

[01:10:04] Dee-Dee: So one of the questions that you asked me that you haven’t asked me yet, but we’re on your list here that I loved was if I could give you a billboard in Times Square, what would it say? 


[01:10:14] Brenda: was just  

[01:10:15] Dee-Dee: going to ask you that because I’m now  

[01:10:17] Brenda: I am dying to know. Now  

[01:10:19] Dee-Dee: I’m dying to know. the first thing I thought of was brief. and i’m serious about that. I do a lot of work and breath work and meditation and Mindfulness, whatever we get so used to running around with this shallow throat breathing, right? 

that is not a way to get oxygen into our bodies literally, it actually gets more co2 So we’re poisoning ourselves when we start to panic and then the billboard would actually say under that stay calm and stay connected  

[01:10:52] Brenda: Yeah,  

[01:10:53] Dee-Dee: love it. Because that is the most important thing. Yeah. We know when kids stay connected. 

To extracurricular activities when they’re connected to friends when they’re connected to their families It’s one of the positives we’ve seen from the pandemic ironically with people being sheltered at home, right? there’s a lot of down to that and there’s some upside and that’s one of them families are actually together They’re eating together more often than they usually do they’re having time for conversations All right, and kids are liking it. 

Yeah You Imagine that. I know. The most important person in a teenager’s life is still their parent. They don’t like it. Exactly. And they’re not supposed to. That’s developmentally accurate. Yes. But, we are. So let’s take advantage of that. And it doesn’t mean you need to be their best friend. there will be time for that later. 

[01:11:56] Brenda: Yep Yes Oh, I love it. So So good. I have a thousand more questions, but we will we’ll wrap up forever. I know Literally we’ll do another one. how can people First of all learn about you and what you’re doing because I know you’ve got obviously so much going on Tell us your website and i’ll also put All of these resources in the show notes so people can go to the show notes and find those as well But how can people find you  

[01:12:27] Dee-Dee: and I will send you a list of some good options for families. 

Oh, perfect Great great that I was thinking about that. I have so I will do that You reach me through dd stout consulting, which is d e e d e e stout like the beer ironically s t o u t consulting  

[01:12:49] Brenda: Awesome.  

[01:12:50] Dee-Dee: Brand new website, completely renovated, all kinds of stuff on there. If, if you can’t sleep one night, you can go to About Me, I think, is where my CV lives, which is 19 pages now. 

if you’re really bored, that’ll put you to sleep. But you can find all kinds  

[01:13:09] Brenda: of things. Yeah, I did peek at your resource page, which  

[01:13:13] Dee-Dee: is amazing. Oh, Worked really hard on that  

[01:13:15] Brenda: one. Yes. I’m going to link to that because you have some amazing resources  

[01:13:19] Dee-Dee: there, right? And those are almost all sources that I have personally vetted. 

So either I know the person I have had a client be there. That’s about as far Away from bedding as I get. At least I’ve had clients be there. Otherwise, I don’t get listed.  

[01:13:36] Brenda: Yeah. No, it’s so important. So important. thank you. I can’t say thanks enough. This was just incredible. And I know it’s going to help so many families start these conversations and wrap their head around safer. 

I just want to that that’s gonna be my billboard for today is  

[01:13:52] Dee-Dee: safer. I like that. Yeah, I like that. All right. Thanks, DeeDee. I appreciate it so much. And please feel free to reach out to me.  

[01:14:01] Brenda: Thank you so much for listening. If you’d like to go to the show notes, you can always find those at brendazane. com forward slash podcast. 

Each episode is listed there with full transcript all of the resources that we mentioned, as well as a place to leave comments if you’d like to do that. You might also want to download a free ebook I wrote called Hindsight, Three Things I Wish I Knew When My Son Was Addicted to Drugs. It’s full of the information I wish I would have known when my son was struggling with his addiction. 

You can grab that at brendazane. com forward slash hindsight. Thanks again for listening, and I will meet you right back here next week.

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