Tom’s friend Blake Cohen is here to today to talk about his work, his recovery, and his upcoming book, “I Love You More” which is coming out in June. Tom and Blake have gotten to know each other while being part of a program where they go to schools and talk to students about addiction including everything from vaping to heroin. Blake is the National Outreach Manager at Recovery Unplugged which is a recovery program that includes music as part of the program.
Blake and Tom have a lot in common and in this episode, they discuss addiction, recovery, and Blake’s story. Blake also talks about why he wrote his book and what the purpose and format is. They both discuss their passion for helping addicts find a way to recovery in a positive life changing way that only gets better over time.
- [03:03] Blake had a great childhood. Sometimes he thinks he’s an example of a person who could never develop an addiction.
- [03:41] He grew up in Boca Raton, Florida. His brother did struggle with addiction.
- [04:39] When opiates were introduced in Blake’s life, he immediately got hooked. He had surgery on his wrist and got a prescription for pain pills when he was 15.
- [05:30] He loved the way he felt and took the whole bottle in one night.
- [06:01] He told his mom that he was in a lot of pain and got more pills.
- [06:44] When he was older he snorted oxycodone. It turned out his neighbor was a dealer.
- [07:42] Things evolved and Blake got arrested and went to some treatment centers.
- [08:13] His family held an intervention and sent him to treatment, and he got sober.
- [09:02] He majored in Psychology at UCF. He then switched to FAU.
- [10:06] Geographical change doesn’t make everything okay.
- [11:38] Blake’s Mom had back pain, and there were pills around.
- [13:30] Blake got sober at 25.
- [16:46] When his family found out everything that Blake was doing, he knew it was time to get sober.
- [18:15] Blake has always enjoyed writing. He believes in visualization and writing a book was one of the schools.
- [19:06] Blake’s book is for the families of the addicts and for people to learn what it is like to go through addiction. There are three short stories that go into recovery, continued use, and overdose and death.
- [20:01] The book is called, “I Love You More” and it jumps from the different perspectives of people involved.
- [20:45] It’s an easy to read book that brings perspective and has questions at the end that can be tied into a treatment center.
- [21:08] In his book, the stories are fictional but the emotions are very real. He interviewed people who have been through these situations.
- [21:22] This book is a powerful tool that can be used by treatment centers.
- [23:30] Blake currently works for Recovery Unplugged. It’s a really special program that has music infused throughout the program.
- [23:58] He is the National Outreach Manager and he connects Recovery Unplugged with the community.
- [25:02] Prior to this he worked as a director of admissions at another recovery program.
- [25:36] The fear of giving tough love is what stops family members from giving their loved ones the push that they need.
- [27:16] People in active addiction respond to tough love. That’s what they need.
- [30:43] In the beginning of treatment, people need to be prepared to work and take suggestions.
- [32:48] Once Blake gave AA a real shot it worked out for him. Work the 12-steps. Find a meeting that works for you.
- [35:16] The more we talk about it and educate people the more comfortable people will feel about asking for help.
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