The Recovery 2.0 Conference: Life Beyond Addiction

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Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond

My friend and fellow activist Tommy Rosen has a mission: to help five million addicts heal and thrive in recovery by 2020. A couple of weeks ago, at Tommy’s eighth Recovery 2.0 Online Conference, I joined him in this mission. I am honored to share the incredible work we are doing at Newport Academy to help teens heal and thrive.

Recovery 2.0 is a global movement that embraces an holistic approach to recovery from addiction of all kinds. The community honors all effective paths to recovery and emphasizes the importance of mind-body practices such as yoga and meditation, athletics, nutrition and community as part of an effective path to recovery and joy in life.

Firstly, I am deeply thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking event—for the fifth time—and to be among 25 brilliant presenters. The list includes physician and addiction expert Gabor Maté; yoga teachers Rolf Gates and Guru Singh; Betsy Farver-Smith, Vice President of Alumni Relations at Hazelden-Betty Ford Foundation; musician Anders Osborne, who shares his story of recovery; and many more.

Newport Academy Empowering Teens Resources Recovery 2.0 Tommy Rosen Jamison Monroe

Thinking is Not a Way Out

“For addicts, our thinking can literally kill us,” says Tommy, a vinyasa flow and Kundalini Yoga teacher. Tommy is now a leading authority on addiction and recovery following his own recovery journey. “We must find a way to change our thinking and move beyond the grip of addiction. Each Recovery 2.0 Conference is a catalyst for such a transformation.”

The conference goes live at 6:00 am PST on Wednesday, July 12. It continues through Sunday, July 16. And all of it is free. That’s right: Tommy’s goal is not to profit from this event, but rather to get this information to as many people as possible.

Power in Numbers

Consequently, it’s working. More than 80,000 people around the world will be participating in the conference this week. This is beyond inspiring. It is powerful. In addition, it shows that the message that Tommy and I and our colleagues have been working to share for so long is truly starting to spread in a big way.

For me, that message begins with the understanding that teens in treatment are not broken or “bad.” There is so much shame, both internal and external, that comes along with substance abuse, mental health, and psychiatric diagnoses. But the truth is that these teens typically have a transient condition. Furthermore, it is often one that they can move beyond with proper treatment. Hence, it is a perception shift that is needed. Furthermore, we need to incorporate this shift into our language to subvert the shame and social pressure.

Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom

In my discussion with Tommy, on day four of the conference, we touch on many topics. We cover the rampant over-diagnosis of ADHD to the power of gratitude and mindfulness. In addition, we discuss my personal story of recovery to our approach at Newport Academy. This is informed by the understanding that addiction is a result of underlying trauma. As Gabor Maté puts it:

The question is not why the drugs, the question is why the pain.

At Newport Academy, we’ve developed our entire treatment philosophy around that question. Tommy and I discuss experts’ growing understanding that most teen mental health conditions stem from relational trauma, or attachment disorder. In addition, we’re becoming more and more knowledgeable about how important the early years of development are. This crucial time is key in terms of setting up our mental health and our capacity for intimate relationship. Therefore, this impacts us for the rest of our lives.

Join the Movement

I encourage you to register for the free Recovery 2.0 conference and to share this link with anyone you know who might benefit from it: No matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to access the recordings and watch them according to your schedule. I know the wisdom shared here will profoundly affect your life, as it has mine.

It has been incredibly inspiring to witness Tommy’s commitment to growing this event. It is a natural extension of the work he has been doing for more than 20 years now—helping people to overcome addiction using the tools of yoga, meditation, and 12-step philosophy that helped him to heal. “The work that I do allows me the opportunity to pass on to others what was so generously given to me when I needed it most,” he says. “To say thank you to those who have helped me—not with words but with action—has been one of the great joys of my life.”

Teen Treatment: Newport Academy Teen Substance Abuse Treatment Recovery 2.0

Photos courtesy of Unsplash