Biography

Thanks for dropping by – My name is Todd Branston. I’ve been working in the field of addictions for 32 years, within the inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as working in the Department of Corrections, the Director of Counseling for a large chemical dependency hospital, to where I’m currently employed doing in-home chemical dependency engagement with (mostly) seniors. I am part of an experts forum on chemical dependency, and I have a contract gig running the chemical dependency program for a long-term transitional program to support people to overcome homelessness. My hope is to find enough time to teach a college class around introduction to chemical dependency.



I can answer questions related to getting/staying sober, queries related to support for loved ones, questions on support groups, relapse prevention, communication skills, alcohol and drug pharmacology, and finding ways to increase joy within sobriety. I see sobriety as a skill and understand that recovery looks different for everybody.  When you listen to my show you’ll hear information on harm-reduction, methadone, mindfullness, stages-of-change, as well as a host of therapies including RET and CBT.

I am a fan of mental-health and anti-craving medications as it seems to me that addiction is largely biochemical and that relapse is largely the result of cravings. I make the distinction between addiction and dependence as when we’re talking about addiction we need to talk about craving.  When someone talks about being addicted to xbox or watching TV we are talking about a behavioral compulsion – while they might feel the same they are indeed different. It is my experience that it is important to make the distinction as treatment for both of these afflictions can be different.

I do not have a 12-step orientation. I quit drinking over 36 years ago and have found what works for me. I attended 12-step meetings for some until I realized I wasn’t getting what I needed and understood that I needed to find a greater sense of connection not related to AA/NA. It has been my experience that in many 12-step groups many people are seen to fail under the guise of a lack of willingness. When I used to attend meetings I’d see many people who were shamed and bullied over various medications they needed to take. I have yet to understand how taking MH meds is any different than taking any other medication which you need to thrive and support your health. Suggesting that taking meds is akin to relapse is akin to playing God.

I understand that as recovery looks different for everybody: perhaps someone’s program could be riding a bike, spending time with family, doing yoga, swimming, writing in a journal, spending time with friends, therapy, playing with a pet, or being involved in a community that shares your interests; it seems to me that many paths have merit. I have met a fair number of people who do not drink but have a life committed to health.

 

 

You can also send me email @ tbranston@gmail.com    I would love to use your letter on my show and will honor your submission by changing your name and anything that could identify you.

 

Thanks for tuning in.