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Mayo Clinic – Addiction Takes Center Stage


Dennis Douda: It’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning examination of a family’s addictions. Who knew Eugene O’Neill’s play “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” would one day become a teaching opportunity for one of the world’s most respected medical facilities.

Timothy W. Lineberry, M.D., Psychiatrist, Mayo Clinic: We wanted to do is take the power of drama and mix that with cutting-edge scientific information. So one in eight higher than that rate I gave you before…

Dennis Douda: Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development staged a day-long series of seminars and panel discussions at a place famous for putting raw human emotions on stage, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Mark Frye, M.D., Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic: Personal stories are amazing ways to really appreciate struggle and the road to recovery.

Dennis Douda: Mayo psychiatrist Dr. Mark Frye said treating addiction can be particularly complex when mental health is a factor. Women with bipolar disorder, for example, are at seven times higher risk for alcoholism.

Dr. Frye: A lot of neuroscience research is moving forward to try to better understand that risk. Clinicians are recognizing that it’s important to really screen for that.

Melissa Gilbert, Actress: Dealing with feelings and emotions you know. I never, we weren’t allowed to have them when I was a kid except on camera.

Dennis Douda: Actress Melissa Gilbert revealed a family history of alcoholism and her own struggles with drug abuse and alcohol two years ago in her memoir. Being in the spotlight made appearances at recovery programs an act of courage.

Ms. Gilbert: As I was walking in, someone came running up to me and said, “Oh my gosh, I loved you on ‘Little House on the Prairie.’ Oh, you’re, oh my. Oh, sorry. Oh. How do you do anonymous?” and I said “I don’t.”

Dennis Douda: Yet, she says an important part of staying sober for anyone means not hiding the truth.

Ms. Gilbert: I have a disease. I have an addiction and it’s treatable.

Dr. Frye: And that we recognize that there is hope. People can get better. Things are not hopeless in terms of treatment.

Dennis Douda: For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I’m Dennis Douda.



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