Randy Haveson, M.A. has been working in the addiction field since 1986 and in higher education since 1990. He has a BA in Psychology, an MA in Counseling, and he jokes that he has his PhD in personal experience. His warm demeanor, keen sense of humor, and powerful message make him one of the best and most sought-after speakers and consultants in the college market today. He was named as one of the Best of the Best speakers by the BACCHUS Network at their 25 year anniversary celebration and was honored by the Georgia chapter of the National Speaker's Association by being named the Showcase Speaker of the Year in 2002.
In 2014, Randy founded RISE Speaking & Consulting, founded on the four pillars of Recovery, Intervention, Support, and Education. He works from the heart and his mission is to help keep others from falling into the pit of addiction and assisting those who have. For more information about Randy and his speaking, training, and consulting opportunities, visit RISE.
When I was growing up, no one ever taught me how to drink. The information I received about alcohol and other drugs was that it was cool. It was fun. It was a way to feel more relaxed and out of your own head. I was scared the first time I drank, but I did it anyway, and I loved it. I also felt the same way about pot, cocaine, and hallucinogens. I hung out with people who drank and used like I did. There weren't any guidelines. No one ever stood up and said, "Whoa dude, you need to slow down." For a while I was having fun, but just like the graph showed, the fun slowed down and the dependency began.
I thought alcohol was the solution when it was actually the problem. By the time I was 21 I was a full blown addict, but I didn't stop until I was 24. I went through hell. I put my family though hell. I became a person I never wanted to be. So I decided to write this book for the hundreds of thousands of people out there who are on the same path that I was on. I'm hoping that it doesn't have to get as bad for you as it did for me. I thought that maybe if I write some guidelines it might help people make better decisions than I did.
...I thought alcohol was the solution when it was actually the problem. By the time I was 21 I was a full blown addict...
It's funny though, when you think about it. I'm an alcoholic that teaches people how to drink. But hey, who better than an alcoholic to teach people how to drink? I realize now I don't need a glass of alcohol to dance, a joint to be creative, a line of cocaine to be charming, witty, and funny. All of those qualities are inside of ME, not in other substances. Today I'm happy, my life is full, and I don't drink or use.
My hope is that if you ever see a yield sign in front of you because of your drinking or using, you'll find a way to tap the brake and see if you still have control. If not, there's no shame in asking for help. I did, back in 1984, and it saved my life. Now I get to be here, writing these words for you. Who knows what kind of greatness is inside of you waiting to get out? So, go find out.