Dr. Jean LaCour, Founder and CEO of NET Institute Center for Addiction and Recovery Education, is a Wellness Warrior and global influencer in the area of addiction recovery. Over the twenty years she has traveled to twenty four nations and trained thousands of people who share a passion for relieving the suffering caused by addiction. She is also a consultant to the United Nations as well as a critical partner to the US State Department.
COVID has proven to be a perfect storm for substance abuse. 21 million Americans have at least one addition, yet only 10% receive treatment. It’s a tragic situation that is only getting worse as the virus continues to spread. Dr. Jean is blazing new trails in the field of prevention and recovery, offering hope to addicts all over the world. Salonpas sat down with Dr. Jean to learn more about her organization’s role in reducing addiction:
What attracted you to the addiction and recovery sector?
I come from three generations of well-educated women who, unbeknownst to each of us, married affluent men whose drinking progressed into the depths of alcoholism with all of its tragic pain and losses. I call addiction a “Sickness of Silence” because it is shrouded in secrets and shame. Neither my dear grandmother nor mother ever shared their stories or struggles with me.
What type of person makes an ideal addiction recovery specialist/counselor?
Addiction can be a life controlling and/or a life-threatening experience. People who are “Addiction Aware” personally or from helping a loved one, often want to help others with the wisdom they have gained. People who come to us for Addiction Recovery training feel a calling to service and compassion. People in this field understand that Emotional Sobriety, not just abstinence, is the basis for thriving in long term recovery.
Why has the pandemic created the ‘perfect storm’ for substance abuse. Are people falling off the wagon, and/or are new addicts being created?
Great question. The current terminology is actually substance misuse. Statistics abound about alcohol sales being 55% higher in the first weeks after Covid-19 hit, and this stat is just the tip of the iceberg. The fact that liquor stores were considered essential and therefore allowed to stay open during lock-down is a staggering commentary on our addicted society. Addiction is a progressive brain disorder with several well-known stages. A person often begins to use substances like alcohol, marijuana, prescription medications, or even food to cope with the anxiety of getting sick, and adapting to the ‘new normal’ of remote working, kids at home, loss of income, loss of social contact, etc. It can be a quick progression from normal social use of these substances to increased misuse to COPE with stress. This is when a person is most at risk for becoming addicted.
What goals do you have for the NET Institute Center for Addiction and Recovery Education?
In 2020, NET Institute is launching a new proactive approach based on Emotional Sobriety that can avert the hidden costs of addiction in the workforce. It will be available for businesses intent on addressing the needs and issues of remote workers, onsite workers, and essential workers. We will train and certify Workforce Facilitators to support positive change. We’re attracting Wellness and Human Resource Professionals, Coaches, Counselors, and others who appreciate the power of proactive preventive measures to help colleagues, companies, and communities.
As the ravages of Covid-19 rage on, we are experiencing a pandemic within a pandemic as more people are descending into the self-destructive world of addiction. We are overjoyed about bringing this powerful program to the workplace during these challenging times. The timing could not be better.
Please describe a typical day in your life; from when you arise to when you retire.
Oh my…! I am definitely a ‘night owl’… my best thoughts and most creative thinking happen later in the day and through the night when it’s quiet and I can focus. My staff is used to my 4 or 5 am emails. So I sleep till mid-morning, have my quiet devotional time and meditation. Then I start the business day with phone calls, projects, and staff time. When I’m overseas traveling I can easily flex to different time zones as long as I get my zzzs!.