170 - Allie Severino - Host and Producer of "Dope Sick Nation"


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Today, Ben and I are chatting with Allie Severino, host of the “Dope Sick Nation”, which premiered on VICE in 2019. Allie’s goal is to help educate and heal America with her series offering a unique, inside perspective on the addiction problems facing our country in addition to the addiction treatment industry.

Allie is passionate about educating families on the advancement of addiction treatment, harm reduction, and holistic approaches. She believes in education to aid prevention and advance the recovery of people with substance abuse. Allie’s goal is to help families and loved ones affected by addiction.

Allie’s Addiction History

After getting arrested at 17 for drug use and receiving probation, Allie admitted herself into recovery. She earned her GED and started working full-time, obtaining her real estate license in the process. Allie wasn’t enjoying real estate as she had hoped, so she started her own Fresh Start magazine. She wrote and published under a fictitious name, not wanting anyone to know who published this magazine.

Pitching “Dope Sick Nation”

To get “Dope Sick Nation” picked up by a production company, Allie and her friends had to go in and pitch it more than once. The first time, they hated it; the second time, they loved the idea. She talks about how several of her friends died during the filming of the series. “There was a lot of emotional stuff going on while we were filming.” While there were definitely positive memories, such as Shane, who is still in recovery doing well, much of it was very intense.

Alex’s Story of Addiction, Relapses and Recovery

Starting treatment in Florida last year, he heard of “Dope Sick Nation” being filmed. In 2020, he had relapsed very severely and was drinking heavily daily. Since he was looking for treatment in Florida, he decided to reach out to Allie to be in the series.

Listen in and find out what you can expect from watching “Dope Sick Nation”, and how Alex decided to stay in recovery instead of going home to Arizona.

Check out our new website where you can download any episode right from my site along with other useful information for those in recovery.

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Show Notes:

  • [03:15] Allie gives us a bit of her history from addict to recovery.
  • [07:11] How Allie’s friend decided to create a movie on patient brokering.
  • [10:21] From the movie American Relapse to getting syndicated as a TV series.
  • [16:50] Ben and Allie discuss drug addiction recovery options.
  • [19:18] Allie’s experience with couples recovery.
  • [22:35] What you can expect when you watch “Dope Sick Nation”.
  • [25:45] Alex tells us his story of addiction, relapse and recovery.
  • [30:10] Allie’s visit with Alex in recovery.
  • [33:37] How we incorporate physical fitness at Rock Recovery Center.
  • [40:39] Alex’s plans for the near future.

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