Time to wake up to the alcohol and drug addiction epidemic

Joe Herzanek, Addiction Counselor and Interventionist

Joe Herzanek, Addiction Counselor and Interventionist

So what have Joe, Judy and Changing Lives been up to lately?

We continue to learn and adjust our activities concerning how to best help with the ever-expanding alcohol and drug addiction epidemic. After leaving the Boulder County Jail last October I have been counseling with families who have this issue in their lives (actually counseling with both the family members as well as the addict).

I receive calls–lots of calls, from those who have come to their wits’ end trying to help someone close to them. I offer guidance on how the family, friends, employer, can best handle alcoholism or drug addiction–how to help the loved one see the light, have an epiphany, and begin recovery.

The biggest problem concerning this drug addiction epidemic (which has rapidly grown over the past year or so) is with men, women and yes, children–using a combination of alcohol and opiate pain medications. I’ve gone back into the jail several times recently to counsel with and visit certain inmates–when a parent tells me their son or daughter is there because of substance use and abuse.

I have also spoken with doctors, nurses, and even pastors who are addicted or have a family member in trouble. What I try to teach the family is that they have more power than they realize and the friends/family members need to start using it. My hope is that they (the family/friend/employer) will confront the person, intervene in their life and use whatever leverage they have, to get the person to begin the journey of recovery.

Sadly what I’m finding out is that many of the people I talk to do not follow through. Knowing this has led me to complete some training on Family Interventions. I have also been greatly encouraged by some in the field who also believe there is a tremendous need for this (family intervention) service amidst our out-of-control alcohol and drug addiction epidemic. Local treatment facilities are often looking for an interventionist to meet with the family. Churches have already contacted me in the past for help in this area. Time will tell but Judy and I both believe we should move in this direction.

Society’s laissez-faire attitude toward recreational alcohol and drug use is actually a subtle condoning of substance abuse. Almost half of the states in the USA have a form of legal, sometimes called medical marijuana use for their populace. this drug used to be a person’s first step to addiction. For many it still is. That is changing.

A recent study now states that illicit use of prescription meds has become the young person’s first choice at drug experimentation (after alcohol of course). Adolescents are getting opiate pain meds and tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax from medicine cabinets–and not just in their own homes, but their friends homes as well. Please keep this in mind if you have teens living at home. Being vigilant and staying informed it the best we can do for now. Please forward this to a friend if you think they might benefit from this information on our nation’s ever-growing alcohol and drug addiction epidemic–and how YOU can make a difference.

Grace & peace,

~ Joe & Judy Herzanek 

Joe & Judy Herzanek

Joe & Judy Herzanek

Affordable Phone Counseling for Families Dealing with Substance Abuse

Contact Us


Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts



5 thoughts on “Time to wake up to the alcohol and drug addiction epidemic

  1. Joe

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for your comment about your daughters pain med/opiate addiction. I do offer counseling (over the phone) for situations like the one you describe. Please give me a call and I can explain how it works and you can decide if you feel it will be a benefit to you.

    Your comment was great but there are so many more things I’d need to know to really give you clear guidance. 303.775.6493

    Regards, Joe


  2. linda williams

    I am looking for answers as to how to get my 27 yr old daughter to seek help for her prescr pill/ alcohol addiction..This has been ongoing on & off most of last 8 yrs..She has a 23 month old little girl & they live w us..She works part time but has no motivation to do much else..She sleeps alot when she is home..I think some of it is depression bc her relationship w the baby’s father didn’t work out..She does have a wonderful guy in her life now, but even he can’t seem to motivate her..She has gone from a beautiful girl to one who has gained a lot of weight & doesn’t really care about herself anymore..At this point she is not capable of motherhood, but she denies to us her pill use..What can we do that won’t but her child, our grandaughter in danger?

  3. Roger

    Hi Joe and Judy; It has been about 9 months since we counseled with you. Your clear understanding of alcoholism, and your suggestions on how to deal with our son were of enormous help. Though you are never sure that the nightmare is over we are optimistic that the end is in site.

    We are thankful for you counsel.

  4. jherzanek Post author

    Thanks Cathy! Your site “Treatment Talk” is a wonderful resource as well. So glad to partner with you to spread the word that “Recovery is Possible”!!!!

  5. Cathy | Treatment Talk

    Hi Joe and Judy,

    The work that you are doing is wonderful and I know has helped so many! I find people can be very uncomfortable talking openly about addiction which just furthers the stigma. Your site is an amazing resource for those in need of help.

Leave a Reply