04/08/20 Mitch Earleywine

This week on Century: Doctor Mitch Earleywine on alcohol addiction, treatment, and recovery, plus a conversation with the comedian, journalist, and activist Ngaio Bealum.

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Guest: 
Mitch Earleywine
Organization: 
Drug War Facts
 Mitch Earleywine
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040820

Mitch Earleywine

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DEAN BECKER: The failure of drug war is glaringly obvious to judges, cops wardens, prosecutors and millions more now calling for decriminalization, legalization the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the century of Lies.

DOUG MCVAY: Hello and welcome to Century of lies. I'm your host Doug McVay editor of drugwarfacts.org on Today's Show part of my conversation with the comedian journalists and activists Ngaoi Bealum, but first, dr. Mitch Earleywine is a professor of psychology at the State University of New York in Albany. He's also a widely published researcher and an author. He's on The Advisory board for NORML the National Organization for the reform of marijuana laws. And he's also the author of understanding marijuana and of the parents guide to marijuana many of you may be familiar with Mitch because of his work on marijuana, but you know Professor Earleywine also has a very Broad and deep knowledge of Substance abuse, addiction, Alcohol and Other Drugs. He teaches a class on drugs at Suny Albany. Now, of course currently schools across the U.S. are physically closed due to the covid-19 pandemic courses are still being taught remotely. Distance learning technology is becoming more widely used which is wonderful and Mitch's drug classes no exception. But what is exceptional is that he's making his lectures available to the public; the content he's producing and posting to his YouTube channel is tremendously interesting. It's informative. It's thought-provoking. I recommend it highly and right now we're going to hear a portion. This is from Professor Mitch Earleywine's class on drugs. The title of this lecture is alcoholism 2.

PROFESSOR MITCH EARLEYWINE: let's take a look at some of the Key activities that are associated with either the 12 steps or the traditions and then see how they relate to some other treatments. We know like behavioral activation. So Key activities literally almost every session of 12-step facilitation focuses on the key notion of getting active. So getting active means going to meetings going to multiple meetings finding a meeting where you eventually feel like you fit in, attending it regularly participating in those meetings, being the person who makes the coffee or you know arranges for things getting active also includes identifying 12-step peers. So you've got folks to also have committed to not using drugs or alcohol finding a sponsor literally getting somebody to commit to having an important kind of relationship with you wear because of some expertise they have their be willing to offer you some guidance and then having some folks talk to having some phone numbers calling the 12-step hotline, Regularly. This is the kind of thing that obviously increases commitment to a sober lifestyle and helps you occupy your day with activities that are essentially incompatible with alcohol consumption. Now when we talked about behavioral activation and when we talk about it again, we talk about depression. This is really just hey, let's make sure I spend my time doing things that are consistent with my values. I don't mean to minimize the spiritual aspects of this and if that is the mechanism we maybe need to find better measures of it, but this is really cool. So whats another level. Well, how about speaking at meetings? There are certain speaker meetings where one or two people are often the key speakers at that time and they go up and sort of tell their tale explaining exactly what happened to them, what they learned or focused on a couple of key steps and how they were instrumental in their recovery. This is really an opportunity to also make a public commitment as we talked about in motivational interviewing and, Oh that stages of change model. What's going to get activity to Really Happen? Well, if I've suddenly told everybody. Hey, I am an alcoholic and by the way, I'm making this public commitment to no longer consume alcohol. That's a pretty impressive kind of public commitment and sets us up for this cognitive dissonance where I no longer going to be able to behave in that way. Without really challenging my beliefs or I have to change my beliefs, what I love about this. Is it really boils down to an intriguing? Quotation that has been attributed to a whole lot of different people but faith without works is dead. It's one thing to say. Oh, yeah. I am making this commitment and I'm going to confess it to myself and a deity that may not be invisible but it's another thing to start walking the walk and as we walk the walk particularly if we take on the identity of someone who is in recovery, we start behaving in that way more and more often and lo and behold as the Days without drinking add up and particularly as we endure challenges without running to alcohol or a drug. This eventually becomes particularly informative and maybe even easier so a few of the 12-step terms that I think in a sense can be translated into behaviorism terms, but really have a nice. Accessibility if you will a certain intuitive appeal that a part of 12-step either Traditions pretty much the Traditions one is including enabling. So anybody who minimizes the negative consequences or facilitates, the drinking of someone else is said to be enabling. So if I know the dean calls me on a Monday and I had my wife answer the phone and say oh Mitch has the flu but really I'm all hungover. We would say she's enabling and that that, the Hallmark of codependency as if that's going to happen in so many ways that you guys know my wife. I do think of the behavioral expression of secondary gain. What does a person get by engaging in this behavior is certainly working on an intriguing set of contingencies and something to look at it from that perspective as well the expression people places and things meaning, who are the folks. Who've been paired with alcohol consumption or drug use, where are the places that have been paired with alcohol use or drug use and what are the things where the couch ramones if you will this is a lot like the Queue reactivity work when we talked about what the opiates were folks would you know shoot up with water or essentially expose themselves to the cues for the drug in an effort to extinguish some of those classically conditioned responses. Truth be told this is not something you want to do on your own and I've told a number of stories where folks kind of inadvertently find themselves in these situations that tend to elicit craving. But if you can identify these and make a relapse prevention plan for running into somebody who used to be when your drinking buddies or eventually ending up near a bar that used to be your hangout that sort of stuff. It's from a cognitive level a great plan. And if you can expose yourself to the idea time and again, and even the spaces under safe circumstances, some of those classically conditioned responses are bounded down. And then the halt expression which is literally hungry, angry, lonely and tired in a sense. These are internal states that have often predicted alcohol consumption in the past. Why not take advantage of that knowledge and either think about this from a cue reactivity perspective or as signs that it's time to, you know, reach out to 12-step buddies or sponsor pray whatever, you know. Being the technique you want I like this because in the sense it's saying let's go ahead and attend to our internal State our own effects etcetera. Whereas people place and things are often a kind of external outside your own body approach fault is really saying hey, we need to learn to attend to our own inner experience and have that be whatever it's going to be. It may not always be pleasant but certainly something I could tolerate and maybe even saver if I let myself, so now if I can have a range of a affect whether it be delighted or depressed can I do that without drinking and under those circumstances take care of myself by intervening when I'm hungry angry lonely or tired in a way that doesn't involve drug use so I don't end up at high risk for relapse, right? Well if you're hungry eat something as we learned in, in, one of my favorite can do any movies if you're angry. Can you work something out? Is there a way to make it a series of requests are you lonesome by all means request some support if you're tired; sleep and it's stunning the number of cognitions we have around each of these. Oh my God, I'm not allowed to eat because -no everybody needs to eat. Oh my God. I'm not allowed to get angry because trust me plenty of things can make you justifiably angry. It doesn't mean you have to behave in a hostile or aggressive way. It just means it's time to intervene. What about being Lonesome? Well, we have individual differences on this. But hey, if you haven't been around folks or if you're around folks in just don't feel connected by all means. Let's talk about building some social skills and making that feeling not only something you can tolerate but something you can intervene with and finally tired this American Butch presentation of oh, I only need five hours of sleep. That's a biological phenomenon. You guys have heard me for celebrate on the love, the Heaven of sleep before so I'll leave that at that. Bottom line is so she'll know these terms for test. If you happen to be taking a test in the class that may or may not be presented related to this material. Those are the definitions your professor might be going for. Curious other set of 12-step terms that I just think are intriguing include moral inventories. These are hard to describe without some sounding judgmental, but they're really about taking a look at pretty much every Behavior. You've ever admitted all you're a prince and saying what were my motivations here? Was this really about genuine contribution or was this some Machiavellian self-gain and if so, what do I want to do about it, building up to essentially one of the steps that's really all about repair. So if I make this inventory and realize inventory and realize hey, there's some folks who I have wronged. I need to get in touch with them and offer to make amends if I can do so in a way that sounds productive and isn't going to essentially create even more trouble why not go ahead and do this. So I like this approach to all of life and got to admit. I have mailed a few checks in my day and made some apologetic calls, and we could all just take a look back at anybody we may have wronged and try to essentially reach out and offer to make amends. What a wonderful approach to life allanon. So if you happen to be related or associated somebody with an alcohol related problem. Is it worth going ahead to connect to that community and talk to those folks and see if they can offer some support and then the slogans as I realize these get minimized and ridiculed frequently, but the method behind the madness and the Delight behind the message is actually pretty intriguing. So the first one is first things first, essentially if I make sobriety less than type priority. What's going to happen odds are high I'm going to increase my probability of at least a laps if not a relapse and the other expression that I don't have on here one drink one drunk. This notion of control drinking is really counter to the disease model. That's Central to the 12-step model. So there isn't going to be a little lapse anything like that should be taken super seriously now my friend stand people who you guys have heard me talk about before has ribbed this whole movement and talked about it as cultish, but I do want to focus on the positive on this at least for now fake it till you make it is unfortunately one of the most misunderstood Expressions, but what we're really saying is act as if you have faith faith will be granted to you, right? If I omit the opperance if I walk the walk even if the chatter inside my head is not consistent. What could possibly go wrong? Right if I don't feel like getting out of bed and staying sober that day and I do it anyway? wow, there's one time when I have challenged a serious set of cognitions dealt with a serious set of negative emotions and in some ways built up some self-control for when these events invariably happen again in the future easy. Does it make you have dose and in parentheses here because that was one of the big Jokes, at least among the real answers was easy dose it but easy does it just means hey, let's make sure consistent with the first things first notion. We take our lives only so seriously, and we only demand reasonable amounts from ourselves each day. I think oh coincidentally if you happen to be dealing with oh a coronavirus and it coronavirus and a national quarantine. It's kind of an American tradition to start sitting outrageous elaborate goals when in fact just getting through this time would be completely delightful and an admirable achievement. There's no need to have to learn a foreign language and master the Ocarina at this time. Right? So let's make sure our goals are reasonable and our expectations for ourselves include plenty of time devoted to self-care and finally turn it over whatever that higher power is and folks who are atheist but you know definitely relish and appreciate nature and the Delights that are inherent in the universe why not appreciate the fact that that is so huge and that my little problems could be turned over to it in a sense. Let me let the reverberations of the Big Bang handle some of this let me let the god I happen to love who I'm praying to when I'm on my knees with my hands as pressed together, handle that and there's an opportunity here to then look upon my problems from more distance treat my own cognitions with a little more flexibility and then behave in ways so that my negative effect isn't a disaster that has to send me towards some kind of negative reinforcement model where I have to consume alcohol.

DOUG MCVAY:You're listening to Century Of Lies. I'm your host Doug McVay. You just heard a portion of a lecture by Professor Mitch Earleywine PhD a psychology professor at Suny Albany and a renowned researcher and author will have part of an interview with Mitch on next week's show Ngaoi Bealum, is a comedian journalists activists good friend and a friend of the show. I caught up with him recently to see how things were going in the shutdown. Here's part of that conversation. What's it like for a for a for a marijuana smoker, down in, down in Cali these days

NGAOI BEALUM:. Well, we're fortunate in that cannabis is considered an essential service so you can find it and I had some stockpiled so I don't really have to leave the house and delivery services will bring it over for you. So that part is not too bad. Of course the challenge of having cannabis and being stuck in the house is you have to ration your snacks because I just found a big chunk a hash and I'm going to smoke part of it, but I know it's going to give me the munchies and not just the munchies the out-of-body experience munchies. And so I have to make sure I have some healthy snacks on hand first and and not eat all the snacks, right, you know, you don't want to kill off all that Honey Nut Cheerios before the end of the of the quarantine.

DOUG MCVAY: That's an aspect that I had never considered but you're right. It's the oh my goodness that a portion control takes on new challenge,

NGAOI BEALUM: right? And you know, what is portion control to a person with the munchies means is that you is that even a thing you just eat to you're not hungry now that can take a minute that could be a whole pizza that could be a pint of ice cream. You never know. You never know what's going to happen. It could be a bunch of Pancakes, the whole loaf of bread.

DOUG MCVAY: There are people who consider it can you know, basically a serving is more like a Boehner so, you know to bottle this is a container it's several glasses.

NGAOI BEALUM: I still have been in Jerry's ice cream where it'll say the Pint will say for is the amount of servings. Nope. I didn't you I've never eaten a fourth of the midi Jerry. I throw the top away. It's not coming back. It's ah, we're gonna eat that whole thing man. That's just how it goes. We're older now. We're a little more responsible. Let me be now we eat half of it. but still he

DOUG MCVAY: and I might actually be the one good thing about the quarantine is I'll drop a couple of the excess pounds that I've put on over the last few, you know, getting old you is the sedentary life thats that,

NGAOI BEALUM: That's the thing. Like I'm more sedentary, you know, I they still let you Golf out here for now. As long as you don't touch anybody. They reconfigured the golf holes. You don't have to touch the flag stick. It just kind of rolls toward the cup and as long as it hits the cup or the flagstick that counts so it's actually improve my score one person to a golf cart and they sanitize all the cards and I carry hand sanitizer with me everywhere I go and I apply Liberally, I handed out to people I throw it on people's faces. Just whatever whatever I think will work. I'm very careful that like careful about these things. But yeah, but yeah, so that's the challenge. I've become a juggler again to so we'll see. Maybe I'll be really good at that again. We'll see how it goes.

DOUG MCVAY: Very cool. Very cool. That Is it, making the productive use and I can imagine I mean we're supposed to remain active. There's some you know, stay indoors stay indoors. But what if you really do only have a small space say a cramped attic room and you just, you know, barely enough space to like, you know stand up and try and do yoga, you know thats tough, right?

NGAOI BEALUM: Yoga, Tai Chi all these things. I guess you could run in place right treat your house like it's a treadmill Pace a lot. I'm a Pacer anywhere, anyway, so he's walking around trying to sit hit your step count in the kitchen in an hour clean your house. That's my advice everybody which I'm not taking to myself do as I say not as I do

DOUG MCVAY: that was part of a conversation with the multimedia Entertainer comedian journalists and activists Ngaio Bealum, you can find him on Twitter and Instagram. He's at Ngaio420. That's at Ngaio420; you're listening to Century of Lies. I'm your host Doug McVay, you know, I was looking through some old files recently looking at old photos and some sound recordings and I found a recording of Ngaio that I thought I'd lost I saw him at Seattle Hempfest back in 2015 doing set and recorded it enjoy.

---- Audio 2015 HempFest ----

NGAOI BEALUM:Let's hear it for New Jersey Weed Man, by the way. Who says people in New Jersey are rude, that was very polite. He brought me a joint and a lighter now. He's going to smoke it for me, right? I will pass through this delicious. Is that a terpenes the listerine, got some purple lean sizzling in there. I can taste the list of reasons that make your breath great. This is great effects of breath. Look at all these old older people. We're all getting old right some of his men here. Here's the thing though. Here's the thing. This is what I noticed we keeps you cute old Stoners are way cuter than old drums. You know, that's what I'm saying. If you do, Jersey- right, Toledo wasn't Toledo window box, George Carlin. Somebody from the old elephant castle. It's the Bellas Fair Bud. Someone swam over the river from Canadia. I don't even know how you get to Canada- practice what everybody's Fancy with the weed now, it's all like, oh, you know everybody like has tasting notes. This delightful train wreck has notes of limonene and Munchies. I don't know people just make, All so crazy who's in charge of naming weed. By the way, do we need we've named Green Crack. Do you want weed that makes you act like crack? That's not cool. Let's change it up Nah man weed after people is also weird. My boy called me up the other day, right? He's like, hey, man, I crossed a white widow with a train wreck. I call it Courtney Love. That joke always kills it Seattle. Oh take your time. Where did he go? There was we named after Charlie Sheen for a minute. Charlie. Sheen is not a weed head. Charlie Stevens a crackhead. Would you smoke weed that makes you act like a crackhead? No, you wouldn't I'm good on the Charlie Sheen. Do you have some Willie Nelson in the back? Perhaps right. Let me get an eighth of the Miles Davis right a half ounces of Jerry Garcia. Right and a couple grams of Snoop because I'm going to a party later and we don't love these hoes. There's Obama kush get you so high you stare off into space like a president. Thank you. We need more minorities in the Cannabis industry by the way. Can you guys work on that? Yeah, you can help me fund my new business. I got a new business we're going to it's a minority staffed cannabis concentrates extraction company- black lives shatter.

I wrote that joke Friday. here I'm hogging somebody I don't want to be that guy right off, weed, the joint and the microphone then I believe that's all right, because I will take your lighter right if I leave the house with three ladders. I come home with three letters. They're not always the same three lighters. You guys don't talk about its conservation of life; lighters are neither created nor destroyed. They just spontaneously generated and liquor stores and Costco's you guys though. I'm getting to that rambly point. See there's probably some hash happened this morning. I just ramble you have a ramp like see I can smoke weed and come out and tell jokes I practice at but has makes me rambley like an old hippie. You know what I mean? You were hanging out with those guys going on, it gets tangential. You know what I mean? You ask them how to make a pie? He'll tell you how to grow a tree. You want my apple pie recipe man. That's great. That's fantastic. We've been friends long enough. I think you're ready. The first ingredient is love. Listen. I know it sounds corny man, but people don't say it enough and everybody acts like it doesn't matter. If you don't start with love is then we're going to taste right? So right there first you start with love and then it's 2 cups of apples. I recommend a cross or a mix of the Fuji and the pink lady the Fuji comes from Japan, Which is interesting. It's one of the older variations that started in because a Christian, which is the birthplace of all apples. I was in Kazakhstan one time after college because I follow the Silk Road on my Vision Quest and it was there and this little hut that I met this cat. I think he was like a cougar r or whoever or whatever but he had this hash. It was all brown and crumbly and delicious and kind of spicy it smell like cinnamon. It's 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. It just went on and on for days and days. let's talk about crust brother. Follow me. I want to show you these seeds I got from my friend Running Bear. I met him at a rainbow Gather in Wyoming a 1982 and we stayed up all night. We did psilocybin mescaline and we hybridize these gluten-free seats, but they keep a flaky crust because the government spiked the food supply and I look what are your intentions with this pot supply of wooing or a pie. It affects the magnets, took a week and a half and it took me five years to actually make, their pie but it was the best pie I've ever had in my life because I was finally ready, for my tree had grown. I'm Glad You Stoners could hang on for the end of that story. I know it's hard out there sometimes wait what how much cinnamon? I'm a good cook though. I love to cook. I'm a good cook because of weed right because I don't have a lot of money. So I will invent food to eat you understand and we have bisquick and peanut butter. We got peanut butter rolls coming in 10 to 12 minutes. You know what I'm talking about 12 to 14. Really I read the box. I looked in the pantry one time. We have marshmallows margarine and Top Ramen. I'm making ramen treats. They were hella good too

----Audio End----

DOUG MCVAY: That was Ngaoi Bealum performing live at Seattle HempFest in 2015 now so far as I know we are still planning for Seattle Hempfest to take place in August this year. I'll keep you informed as things progress as far as schedules or if there are changes and for now, that's it. I want to thank you for joining us. You have been listening to Century of Lies where production of the drug truth Network for the Pacifica Foundation radio network on the web at Drugtruth.net. I'm your host Doug McVay editor of drugwarfacts.org the executive producer of the Drug truth network is Dean Becker. Drug Truth Network programs including this show Centre of Lies as well as the flagship show of the drug truth Network cultural baggage. And of course our daily 420 drug war news news segments are all available by podcast the URLs to subscribe our on the network homepage at drugtruth.net. The drug truth network has a Facebook page. Please give it a like, drugwarfacts.org to give its page a like and share it with friends. Remember knowledge is power you Follow me on Twitter. I'm at DougMcVay. And of course also at drugpolicyfacts for now for the Drug Truth Network, this is Doug McVay saying so long; so long, for the Drug Truth Network. This is Doug McVay asking you to examine our policy of drug prohibition. The century of Lies drug truth Network programs are kind at the James A Baker III Institute for public policy.