“Prevention, intervention and rehabilitation save lives, communities and money. Public safety is synonymous with rehabilitation. We are faced with the silent epidemic of a new age addiction to prescription drugs. We have not even begun to realize the depth and severity of the problem or the means to heal it. We are watching friends and family suffer, communities and the workplace suffer from ignorance and denial. It is easier than one thinks to embrace the present epidemic than stay silent and ignore the problem. We can make change.”
Over 80% of all criminal cases involve drugs and alcohol. With Rick’s contribution as co-author, the LexisNexis Massachusetts Criminal Practice Guide has published a formative, first-of-its-kind chapter addressing the important and widespread issue of substance use, substance abuse, and addiction in the courts. Topics addressed by the Chapter include Defining Addiction, Understanding Alternative Disposition, and Developing a Recovery Management Plan.
Rick’s work on substance abuse and the law has sparked increased interest around the issue and shed light on the relevance of client addiction to the work of lawyers, social workers, judges, and other staff in the criminal justice system. Rick now conducts a course on the subject, based around the LexisNexus book chapter, for legal professionals and law students. More information about the course can be found on the For Professionals page.
Rick has held the position of Youth Commissioner in his home city of Newton, Massachusetts, and has shared his Experience, Strength and Hope and at a variety of community organizations. More information about the places Rick has visited can be found on the Events page here.
Rick also serves on the Board of Directors of Improbable Players, a touring troupe of young, diverse actors who present a repertoire of plays that spotlight tough social problems as they relate to substance abuse. Additionally, he is a Board Member of the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR), Hope House, and Over My Shoulder, a non-profit devoted to promoting mentor relationships.
In addition, Rick has participated in numerous individual and family interventions and has served as a mentor, sponsor, and recovery coach for many people struggling with drugs and alcohol. “Addiction may not be a choice but recovery is.”