Seeing Drug and Alcohol Addiction in a New Light | Ed Stevenson | TEDxCoeurdalene

We need to stop blaming addicts and start treating them. Right now, our treatment options are severely limited and often misguided. In this talk, Ed Stevenson passionately describes why we desperately need more treatment centers and better treatment options if we are to help our friends and family who struggle with addictions.

Ed was born in Leadville Colorado, which is referred to as the two-mile- high city sitting at 10,252 feet. He grew up in the Pacific Northwest where he attended college and majored in Business and Photography. Prior to graduation he was sought after by a large multi-national firm and then spent most of his career as an executive in the software consulting industry, working with Fortune 500 companies in Alaska, California and Seattle prior to settling in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho a few years ago. Once back in the Northwest, he and his wife co-founded Life Recovery Solutions, a behavior modification software company. His brother and nephew both died at an early age because of drugs and alcohol and because of this he spends his free time helping those struggling with addiction and other afflictions.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


50 thoughts on “Seeing Drug and Alcohol Addiction in a New Light | Ed Stevenson | TEDxCoeurdalene”
  1. – the victims of alcoholic parents are literally screaming inside for family and society to defend THEM. Why are the victims of alcoholic abusers NOT the primary focus? i suspect most of the commentors in the comment section probably are not aware that they should be helped first, for any real change. Treat the victims first and the addicts will logicically have to shape up, because they wont have any support for their addiction. Addicts depend on society not politely and in a civil fashion speaking out against their addictions. Any household where alcoholic abuse takes place will back up my comment.

  2. I am going to start a therapy organisation that will treat the real disease [HOPELESSNESS and it's twin DESPAIR]. THIS is exactly how I want to be with my people. I hope I can speak to Mr. Stevenson some day, or even work with him.

    I am a child of this kind of trauma and even though right now I'm completely alone and have 14.00 to my name, I am going to do this and my people will learn how to live, cope, and have hope.

  3. Spot on! 30 years into my recovery this year… there is a solution! We can and do recover, but still losing so many, we must do more, crush the "old model of addiction and recovery" if we are to ever gain ground. We must bring more awareness, crush stigma, policy must change from top to bottom. If there ever were a "third-world-war" eminent it would be this… we go out in a whimper, not a bang. Thank you for being in the trenches and fighting for the invisible. We need more like you. 🙂

  4. Most alcohol and drug addicts relapse because they go right back to the same friends they used with. They must ABANDON those "friends" and seek totally sober friends if they ever wish to succeed. Birds of a feather DO flock together and the only hope of staying sober is to associate with sober people.

  5. Ol buddy here likes to cite stats, yet shits on Medication Assisted Treatement (suboxone) and "zombie drugs" LMAO. Glad you want those with trauma to get trauma treatment. Sad that you don't apply your same principles of stigmatization to general mental health treatment. lastly, trauma treatment often involves medications.

  6. The problem here is that free will is very limited because not everyone is able to reflect and hence learn from their actions. This is largely due to genetic and environmental factors. However, we are unwilling to admit this to ourselves because we tell ourselves that everyone is "created equal". WE ARE NOT. The only conclusion here is stronger intervening in lives of addicts because on their own, they will not be able to overcome their addictions and damage society by continuing their poor genetic line and poor growing up conditions for their often plentiful children.

  7. Honestly, I think many of us have that pain..We do things that cause others to become addicts..because of our pain. I think drug addicts are the modern day lepers.

  8. Excellent video. We mistake the symptom of drug and alcohol abuse with the real disease. The disease is the emotional pain that the addict is trying to self medicate. Most rehab and programs like AA miss this point and concentrate on the symptom. That is why they often fail

  9. We have got the same problem in England there is no help for them I have A son who is in Prison who was on drugs and drink I have A daughter who is 50 years Old and she is an Acholic I had A granddaughter who was 23 years old who was in prison when she came out there was no help for her so what do you do

  10. Im a recovering heroine and meth addict and i must say Your words have been my thoughts ever since i came back from a 6 month intensive care program in Mexico,in 2016. I feel i finally have a plan for my purpose of changing the perception of addicts. Sharing my story of hope for the least and the lost and opening my home to those who cant afford it as i have faith in my plan. i have a custom 3700 sq ft home on 5 acre overlooking the City of Temecula California, I have taken into my home one person, whom is now on his 4th day off meth and has decided to stay and help me help others gain control of their habitual thoughts, experiencing a natural high or joy once again. Dr. Joe Dispenza says, "In an age of information ignorance is a choice. that quote got me connected enough to guide me trough my recovery and, a way to help others like myself feel joy withought causing themselves or their families to go bankrupt. Paying a counselor, $250 dollars/ hour for an addict is out of the question so i took it upon myself that their is more people like Dr. Dispenza I myself am a recovering heroine and meth addict that has found his purpose of saving a culture one addict at a time. Dr. Joe Dispenza has changed my life even more with his eloquent explanations of Neuroscience, and how to be the in control of my thoughts. I utilize the philosophy that our thoughts have an effect on our destiny to help me stay grateful, bringing me one day closer to gaining full control of my mind. I understand that those thoughts of my familiar past had led me to hard drugs and heavy drinking, So i change the thoughts as soon as they enter and have become much better at doing so. The best part is i learned this on youtube for free.

  11. Food addiction is probably the worst addiction in the US. I think most people don't even consider it an addiction. Non-fatty liver disease is rampant due to the High Fructose Corn Syrup and sugar consumption.

  12. I can tell you from personal experience being addicted to meth for a long time I got caught with a small amount personal and it's a class 4 fenoly in Arizona no matter the amount all it does is create more problems now on probation can't afford that because no one wants to hire me it needs to be treatment not incarcerate

  13. Everything we know about addiction is wrong, this guy has it spot on… Now if only my parents could think like him…. 1.5 yrs ago my parents told me they use to love me now what's the point anymore

  14. This is true for some but not everyone you can treat your children like royalty and do the best you can with them you don’t cause them any problems or pain and you certainly don’t abuse them but still they can end up addicted to drugs and alcohol

  15. It is a good message. Not everyone has had a bad childhood. I'm the first in my family now and my ancestors who has an addiction. I have been using for over 25 years. Even though I'm fighting strong to stay sober, need to recover my family back, at times it seems hopeless. Some times someone just needs somebody to talk to, they just want to feel better but nobody gives anybody a chance. Everyone is so quick to judge.

  16. Thank YOU well spoken, an uncomfortable insight to a reality that folks dont want to acknowledge. I was an addict, l was lucky in that l had help and support and time, to remould my brain , my behaviour and my understanding. Thank You A.A. thank you speaker.

  17. I left a physically abusive person who has abducted my daughter and falsely accused me of being an alcoholic. He went so far as to bang my head off the ground and film me to show in court with a probable concussion pumped on adrenaline after the attack and claim I was drunk and he was just trying to calm me down. After my daughter and I left for a shelter we were stalked and harassed. I believe he hopes I will submit to substance abuse to validate his false claims. These are the tactics of abusers they will lie and gaslight say you are crazy etc. while trying to drive you crazy or look crazy. Counselling is helpful but I think exposing and convicting the abusers is just as important. God bless anyone suffering from abuse and self medicating I just want to expose these tactics so others know and do not feel alone. I fortunately do not need booze or alcohol to cope with the ongoing trauma and I do not want to give him any ammunition although his claims are false. I wish you all strength and God bless.

  18. Omg! Such a great lecture. People are in emotional pain and depressed ( cptsd ). Lets label the people on the street. Noone said oh i want to be a junkie or a drunk when i grow up. They have shattered lives. Lets not judge , lets help!!! I grew up with a borderline personality mother and she damaged me. I did self medicate for along time and i am now clean – thank goodness!!!

  19. The wonderful book "The Freedom Model for Addictions: Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap" documents the impressive evidence chronic intoxication is not a "disease" and why treatment and recovery are harmful and cripple people. Highly recommended if you want to gain perspective.

  20. I just gave my friend my RV after she got out of jail, with a warrant, she has no income and has to pay them, everytime she has a UA. The fees and costs of jail and after is just not helpful, it just helps addicts keep using. This guy is right on.

  21. I love the 5 year rule
    I was sober a year and was never treated properly. By anyone.
    No one has ever brought me a dinner.
    We retrain the brain.

    I look forward to the A word not being so stigmatized and just treated.

  22. hi everyone ,if anyone else wants to discover how to quit drinking alcohol safely try Nadazma Quit Drinking Helper ( search on google ) ? Ive heard some great things about it and my neighbor got cool success with it.

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