Medical Professionals & Clinicians

EBI offers a unique learning experience for physicians and other healthcare personnel wishing to improve their knowledge and understanding of addiction and recovery.

There is general agreement that the current prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. is a "humanitarian crisis or disaster" in which the annual death rate from intentional and accidental overdoses of narcotic painkillers and other mood altering drugs now exceeds that of homicides, suicides, and automobile fatalities combined. (CASA Study, 2012).

Today, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who encounter addicts and their practices every day, are uniquely positioned to assist alcoholics and other addicts BEFORE the disaster occurs. However, because of a lack of appropriate training in addiction, such professionals generally don’t know how to recognize the disorder let alone how to respond to or prevent it. In truth, they have not been sufficiently trained in addiction and recovery to function competently as "Addiction First Responders." This means that their addicted patients are often misdiagnosed, mistreated, and/or given the wrong medications, frequently with disastrous results - up to and including death. Until this deadly deficit is corrected the offices of many doctors and other healthcare professionals will continue to be very dangerous venues for alcoholics and other addicts to visit in the expectation of receiving help for their physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering.

To compensate for this glaring deficiency in graduate education, the Elaine Breslow Addiction Institute at Beit T’Shuvah has designed a unique educational system of Immersion Addiction Training for physicians and other healthcare personnel who wish to upgrade their clinical skill levels as "Addiction First Responders."

The Origins of the Beit T’Shuvah Training Approach

The Programs and philosophy of the Institute are a direct outgrowth of Beit T’Shuvah's highly successful integrative treatment approach – a unique combination of Recovering Judaism, 12-step spirituality, psychotherapy, vigorous exercise, work therapy, and the creative arts. Psychotropic medications are used when indicated, but only after completion of a Clinical Diagnostic Evaluation to confirm an appropriate diagnosis.

This innovative approach comes at a time when the professional field of addiction is in theoretical and conceptual disarray because of widespread factional conflict and disagreement about treatment and recovery. Proponents of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) who derive their position from pharmacological and neuro-scientific advances about the commanding role of the brain in addiction represent one camp.  The other camp supports Abstinence and/or Faith-based spiritual approaches that mend broken people, heal damaged souls, and set addicts on a recovery path that can help them to rekindle their passion, discover their purpose, and resume their quest for spiritual freedom. The aim is to integrate thought and action, emotion and intellect, body and spirit without neglecting one for the other. The hope is that programs such as the one described in this brochure can be the start of a process that leads to integration, collaboration, and rapprochement between the warring camps – a both/and rather than either/or approach- for the good of the field as a whole,  and the people we serve as individuals, families, and communities.

The Training

A combination of didactic lectures, experiential learning, text study, personal and group reflection, and, most importantly, face-to-face interaction with recovering addicts in the Beit T’Shuvah program is enhanced by consultations and discussions by nationally known addiction experts from UCLA, USC, and other major centers of addiction in the Los Angeles area, as well as the country as a whole.

 

Offerings

The Institute offers a range of training options including One-Day Workshops, as well as 3 to 5-day Residential Immersion Training experiences. All workshops and other activities are conducted at the Beit T’Shuvah Addiction and Recovery Center on Venice Boulevard in Culver City, Los Angeles.

The topics listed below are suggestive, but not inclusive. Other didactic, research, spiritual lectures, and discussions - specially selected to suit the educational needs and interests of the participants in any given Workshop - will also be considered.

  • Addiction: A Tricky Disease - Now You See It!  Now You Don’t!
  • Straight From The Heart and Soul of The Addict: Tales of Survival and Recovery From Addiction, Alcohol, and other Drugs
  • Alcohol, Cocaine, Methamphetamines, Heroin, Marijuana, Gambling, Sex, Food, LSD, etc. have a lot in common, but are they all Addictions?
  • How to Protect Yourself, and/or Your Practice From Drug-Seeking Addicts
  • Understanding the Critical Role of Malignant Shame as the Driver of Addiction, and How to Convert it into Motivational Shame, The Engine of Recovery
  • Addiction and the Family
  • Exciting Advances in Pharmacology and the Neuroscience of Addiction
  • Integrative Treatment for Addiction: Recovering Your Passion, Discovering Your Purpose, Restoring Your Integrity: Mending Broken People and Healing Wounded Souls.
  • 12-Step Tutorial of Recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Introduction to Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral for Treatment (S/BIRT)– The Latest Diagnostic Tool
  • You Don’t Have to Be an Addict to be in Recovery
  • The Critical Role of Spirituality in Active Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery
  • The Many Faces of Addiction: A skid-row vagrant, a corporate CEO, your neighbor, your parish priest or rabbi, your spouse, your child, your best friend, your psychiatrist, yourself?……ad infinitum
  • Procrastination and Perfectionism: Stealthy Saboteurs of Addiction, Recovery and the Art of Good Living.
  • Recognizing and Diagnosing Addiction

 

FOUNDING MEMBER GARRETT O’CONNOR of blessed memory

Garrett O’Connor, of blessed memory, was a visionary, pioneering force behind EBI and the Medical Professional Program. In 2013 he came on board to Beit T’Shuvah as the Medical Director. What he brought to our organization was an unprecedented expertise and background in addiction treatment and psychiatry. Garrett's philosophies about recovery and spirituality were perfectly aligned with those of Beit T'Shuvah. His life-long work is an invaluable addition to the cutting edge curriculum we have developed over the past 30 years of successfully helping treat addicts and alcoholics. 

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Dr. O'Connor graduated as a physician from the Royal College of Surgeons and trained in Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a tenured Associate Professor of Psychiatry, he was Director of the Johns Hopkins Community-Based Treatment Program. He later began his Associate Professorship of Psychiatry at UCLA, designing, what are now, widely-used, new and innovative treatment practices. In 2003, he was appointed Chief Psychiatrist at the Betty Ford Center and in early 2008, was named the first ever President of the Betty Ford Institute for Prevention, Research and Education in Addictive Disease. 

For the 40 years until his passing, he lectured, consulted and led workshops on addiction in the United States and abroad. In addition to his teaching activities and clinical practice, Dr. O' Connor spent 20 years working to clarify the role of malignant shame as a major emotional consequence of the extreme cultural and familial trauma that often results from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. 

From 1986 to 2002 Dr. O'Connor served on the Executive Council of the California Society of Addiction Medicine and in 1989 was elected the organization's President. He was elected as a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2010. In November 2011, the California Society of Addiction Medicine honored Dr. O'Connor with a Life Achievement Award. Dr. O'Connor was in personal recovery from alcoholism for over thirty-five years and is widely known for using his own life story as a tool for teaching about recovery to patients, medical students, and other audiences, including his fellow physicians. He was married to the Actress/Writer/Director/Producer Dr. Fionnula Flanagan for 40 years. They have two sons and a granddaughter who are also in long-term recovery from addiction. 

His mark on the world, and the blessing he left with Beit T’Shuvah endures as the EBI of Addiction, Prevention and Family Education, and the Medical Professionals Program offered here.

To donate to his Memorial fund and help further his legacy to teach Medical Professionals to be agents in the prevention and treatment of addiction, click on the button below: 

Donate To The Garret O'Connor Memorial Fund