Episode 6 | Tackling the Substance Use Stigma

Episode Summary

Robert Plotkin – Vice President of Operations at Pyramid Online Counseling – is joined by 10-year NFL veteran, Pro Bowler and substance use speaker Randy Grimes, who outlines everything it took to reach a point of surrender. In an NFL era where trainers and doctors freely distributed narcotics and opioids, to help athletes stay on the field by any means necessary, Grimes felt the full effects of sustained addiction after he left the league.

For 20 years after he played his last down in the NFL, Randy Grimes struggled against opioid addiction practices that eventually resulted in the loss of his home, his car, his furniture, and his identity. It took the death of a close friend and league colleague to force Grimes to re-evaluate his life decisions, where an intervention was finally enough to make Grimes “raise his hand” and ask for help.

Grimes recalls his initial distaste for sobriety, his eventual love for newfound freedom, and his work with Pro Athletes in Recovery – an organization he founded specifically to tackle substance abuse and mental health stigmas and address challenging topics that include disorders, pain management, mental health, suicide prevention and the search for self-confidence and purpose.

Featured Guest

A Baylor graduate, 10-year NFL veteran and now a motivational speaker, Randy Grimes transformed a personal opioid addiction into a platform for national substance use advocacy. His dedication to ending stigma around mental illness and addiction led to the foundation of Pro Athletes in Recovery – an organization that pairs athletes like him with resources to overcome substance abuse – tools he never had during his playing days.

Prescription pill consumption practices during a successful career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers threatened a happy life with his wife and two children, as chronic substance use led to blackouts and an uncontrollable opioid addiction. Substance use habits continued a full 20 years after his career subsided; it wasn’t until addiction led to the death of a close friend that Grimes sought the help he knew he needed to save his own life.

His newly released book, OFF CENTERx, chronicles a path of self-destruction and redemption characterized by success on the field as substance use took its toll on a tired body. Today, Randy is frequently accompanied by his wife Lydia – a Certified Family Addiction Coach – at speaking engagements, where he addresses issues that include substance abuse, mental health, pain management, suicide, trauma, PTSD and more.

Connect

Website: https://randygrimesspeaks.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randy-grimes-02969b26/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sobercenter60

 

“I was a college All-American, I married my sweetheart…I got two great kids…I was a second-round draft pick, I was a Pro Bowler…and here I am lying on the floor of a vacant house with no utilities – for nearly a month – and that’s what it took for me to raise my hand. … I thought I was the only one out there who had gotten myself in that situation, and I didn’t know how to get out of it.”

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Episode 5 | The Attainable Miracle of Recovery


Episode Summary

Robert Plotkin – Vice President of Operations at Pyramid Online Counseling – is joined by author, treatment resource director and substance recovery advocate Harry Cunnane. He speaks to his own struggles against substance use disorder, which saw an alcohol and marijuana use habit evolve into cocaine and opiate addiction. After cascading into harder substances, Cunnane believed life’s milestones – attending college, becoming a father, etc. – would contribute to positive change. Yet, it wasn’t until he attended treatment and learned “to have fun again” that Cunnane learned to take steps toward recovery. Harry and Robert dive into the attainable miracle of recovery, captured by his book Under the Roof – a co-authored memoir with his mother and Representative Madeleine Dean – which chronicles his journey from frequent drug and alcohol use to volunteering and sharing a room with Pope Francis.

Featured Guest

Harry Cunnane is a substance use author, recovery advocate and resource director, who regularly leverages his own struggles with substance use habits to help others battling similar challenges. Now the resource director at Caron Treatment Centers – the same treatment center where he was originally a patient – Cunnane remains an active member of the addiction recovery community.

Today, Cunnane volunteers at local rehab facilities and Philadelphia jails, witnessing to the possibility of change and recovery through community, honest healing and evidence-based treatment. Together with his mother – Congresswoman Madeleine Dean – Cunnane co-authored Under the Roof, a memoir that details his battle for recovery and his mother’s fight to save her son.

 

Connect

Website: https://www.caron.org/our-team/harry-cunnane
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-cunnane-a06106175/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harry.eaton.14
Twitter: https://twitter.com/harrycunnane?lang=en

“Once that craving and overwhelming desire to use (substances) is no longer there, the things that you can focus on and do with your life are unbelievable”.

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Episode 4 | In Pursuit of Daily Usefulness

Episode Summary

Vice President of Operations at Pyramid Online Counseling, Robert Plotkin is joined by Timothy Harrington, VP of Marketing & Business Development for NuLife Virtual. Tim discusses the positives of a new mental health landscape, where the pandemic has accelerated a global concentration on behavioral health and appropriate coping. He discusses how a past characterized by substance use, divorce, and family chaos have framed his focus on community-fueled healing. Tim outlines how his personal struggles fall in line with natural human isolation, and the value in growth through trial that helped him – and others – become useful each day. He also identifies how his current pursuits – including NuLife Virtual – have helped to foster conversation and progress through the marriage of technology and treatment.

Featured Guest

Timothy Harrington is VP of Marketing & Business Development at NuLife Virtual, a powerful mobile application pairing healing resources with individuals challenged by substance use habits. Behind his direction, NuLife functions as a comprehensive care center for addiction treatment, offering virtual access to medical appointments, educational material, social communities and other resources valuable in helping patients sustain recovery.

Timothy has served as a trusted voice in the behavioral health field for 19 years, actively engineering conversation and positive change to reduce mental health and addiction stigma. Integrally responsible for founding multiple programs to further this mission, Tim serves as Chief Empowerment Officer of Family Addiction Recovery Services, Sustainable Recovery Renovention® Services, Inc. and LaunchPad Discover Your Purpose Services®. He is also the cofounder of Wide Wonder ZERO Stigma Education Services, which aims to create the first ZERO stigma city in America.

Connect

Website: https://nulifevirtual.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothy-harrington-5106b88
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.harrington

“The bravest, most courageous word we ever say is ‘help’.”

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Episode 3 | Leaving Mental ‘Hellness’ for Mental Wellness

Episode Summary

Vice President of Operations at Pyramid Online Counseling, Robert Plotkin is joined by mental health speaker and educator David Woods Bartley. David discusses his life before and after an August 2011 suicide attempt, when clinical depression and mental illness saw him nearly end his life. David draws frequent connections between mental wellness pillars and stories from a past animal sanctuary, A Chance for Bliss. David outlines mental illness not as a one-time struggle to be overcome, but a life-long challenge that doesn’t need to keep listeners from thriving.

Featured Guest

David Woods Bartley is a mental health speaker and trainer, well-known for mental health advocacy after battling through his own life-threatening mental health challenges. After surviving a suicide attempt and learning to manage clinical depression, he works to end mental health stigma through open, honest conversation. In association with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the International Association for Youth Mental Health (IAYMH), the National Storytelling Betwork’s Healing Story Alliance and other affiliations, David looks to open doors to mental healing on a global scale. His testimony and contributions to the mental health community have been broadcasted across TEDx and INBOUND conference stages, alongside presentations to the United States Food and Drug Administration, Lyft, Boston College, Sacramento State University and other law enforcement and community organizations.

Connect

Website: https://www.davidwoodsbartley.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidwbartley
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-woods-bartley-96325512/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/davidwoodsbartley

“The three most important words in mental health are ‘connection, connection, connection’..Connection creates hope, and hope saves lives.”

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Episode 2 | The Courage to Embrace Change w/ Brian Cuban

Episode Summary

Vice President of Operations at Pyramid Online Counseling, Robert Plotkin is joined by Dallas-based attorney, author and addiction recovery advocate Brian Cuban. The younger brother of well-known entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Brian discusses his past struggles with bulimia, cocaine and alcohol use, and his journey from a 2005 near-suicide to long-term recovery.

Cuban emphasizes the importance of a compassionate community, made of trusted peers, friends and family members – to this day, Brian lives within walking distance of his brothers. Discussion includes the importance of therapy and healing, through regular exercise, mindfulness and conversation. Brain shares the value in his realization that thoughts are not facts, and that self-awareness makes all the difference in maintaining recovery.

Featured Guest

Dallas-based attorney and addiction advocate, Brian Cuban joins WellCall to discuss hope and healing through substance use recovery. His best-selling book “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder” outlines the successes, setbacks and ultimate victory which defined a 27-year battle against eating disorders and BDD. Mainstream media outlets like CNN, Fox News and The Huffington Post have carried his story and body-positive message to online and print audiences around the world. Younger brother of Dallas Mavericks owner and businessman Mark Cuban, Brian has also spoken at colleges, universities, conferences and non-profit events across the United States and Canada.


Connect

Website: https://briancuban.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bcuban
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/briancuban/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bcuban

“Develop your compassionate community. Develop your connections, whatever your path…build your connections. Do what you need to do to look in the mirror and say ‘I am enough’.” 

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