Revisiting Old Memories, Part 7: Being Bottled and Passed Around

I recently drew up a list of topics I wanted to cover in my Revisiting Old Memories series in the future, and then selected a topic using a random number generator. Here is the blog post on that topic, which is based in part on a post I wrote for my ‘the prof speaks out’ Google blogspot on 5 October 2008. [I’ve made some slight revisions to the original post].

In mid-September 2008, I gave a talk on recovery at a ‘Who Cares?’ Carers’s conference in Gloucester. I had been invited to the conference by Andrea Wilson, and Ian and Irene MacDonald, and was given a 90-minute slot. My current partner Linda had come over from Australia to visit me in Wales, and she attended the conference as well.

Ian MacDonald had first contacted me about five years earlier and we had met several times over the years. He and Irene had lost their son Robin to a heroin overdose, and since then they had set up Carer and Parent Support Gloucestershire (CPSG), which provided one-to-one support sessions. You can read Ian and Irene’s Recovery Story here and a blog post about my visit to see them last year here.

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Bill White’s Norman E. Zinberg Memorial Lecture, 2012

Researcher, historian, practitioner and recovery advocate William (Bill) L White has been the most prolific writer in the addiction recovery field. Bill’s fascinating book Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America is a classic. You can see the Table of Contents here.

As many can testify, Bill is an amazing public speaker. Here is the Norman E. Zinberg Memorial Lecture, Experiencing Recovery, he gave at the Harvard Addiction Conference in 2012. Bill’s lecture is on YouTube, divided into ten parts:

Part 1: Early History of Recovery in the U.S.

Bill describes just how far back recovery goes historically in the US—to Native American Indians in the 1730s! (13’36”)

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Recovery Moments: Ian and Irene’s Story

Two of my favourite people that I have met on my Wired In journey are Ian and Irene MacDonald. I first met Ian in 2007 at a Federation of Drug & Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) meeting, although we had been corresponding earlier. Ian and Irene had lost their son Robin to a heroin overdose in 1997 and were now running a family support group, CPSG (Carer and Parent Support Gloucestershire).

Ian later asked if I would give a talk to family members in Cheltenham and I happily agreed. The talk took place in September 2008. I was still living in Cowbridge in South Wales at the time. My new partner Linda was visiting from Australia, so she came to Cheltenham with me. We spent a lovely evening with Ian and Irene. I remember thinking at the time how would I ever recover from losing a child?

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