Law Schools Empowering Student Recovery

Wooden signpost with two opposite arrows over clear blue sky, Addiction and Life signs, Choice conceptual imageI thought it would be nice to every now and then, feature a law school taking proactive steps to make sure the student body is empowered to seek help for problematic drinking, drug use and other mental health issues. The first school is the Southern Illinois University School of Law (SIU Law).

I reached out to Dean and Professor of Law, Cynthia Fountaine with some questions. If you would like your school to be profiled, feel free to reach out to me with the proper contact information.

BC: What steps does SIU Law take to empower students who may be struggling with alcohol, substance use and other mental health issues to come forward and get help?

CF: SIU Law has taken many steps to ensure that students feel supported and empowered to get the help they need. As a first line of contact, students are encouraged to speak with whomever they feel most comfortable speaking to—whether that is the Dean of Students, the Associate Dean, a faculty member, or me. My door and the doors of my faculty and staff are always open to students.

Read the rest at my column on Above The Law

Law Schools Empowering Student Recovery


A Letter To My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

Unhappy schoolboy walking alone in school corridorI break my initial and on-going recovery from drugs, alcohol and eating disorders into two basic parts. Dealing with where I am and dealing with how I got there.

The dealing with the present was of course initially getting sober and now focuses on staying sober. That began with twelve-step. There was also psychiatric treatment and numerous types of therapy, including cognitive behavioral (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). I continue to see a psychiatrist to this day. There also was (and still is) medication to deal with clinical depression and body dysmorphic disorder.

The hardest part of my recovery however was facing the past, specifically my childhood.

Read the rest on my column at Above The Law.

A Letter To My 13-Year-Old Self


The Death Of A Lawyer And The Power Of Relapse

Brian Loncar

Brian Loncar

While I am saddened on a daily basis by deaths resulting from drug overdoses as we deal with an unprecedented heroin and prescription opiate addiction crisis, it is rare that my faith in my own long-term recovery plan gets shaken. That does not mean I don’t try to stay present in my recovery and adjust when necessary, but there are basic, core recovery maintenance principals that work for me on a daily basis.

Two weeks ago however, one of those “shaking” moment occurred. A headline in the Dallas Morning News:

“Attorney Brian ‘Strong Arm’ Loncar Death Ruled Accidental Cocaine Overdose

Read the rest on my column on Above The Law.

The Death Of A Lawyer And The Power Of Relapse


Why Are Lawyers So Afraid To Ask For Help?

Shocked and terrified.Not long ago I gave a lunchtime presentation about addiction recovery. As I always do, I spoke about the function and value of the Legal Assistance Program (LAP) in helping lawyers deal with addiction and other mental health issues and get back on track even in the face of immediate consequences for behavior that may run afoul of state bar disciplinary rules.

Read the rest on my column at Above The Law.

Why Are Lawyers So Afraid?