Recovery Advocates & Marijuana Addiction Story

Talk Recovery Radio

Replay the Show

Talk Recovery airs live every Thursday from noon to 1 PM PST on Facebook Live and 100.5 FM Vancouver CFRO.

In this episode of Talk Recovery Radio

Guest 1: “The Dope Man” Tim Ryan and Jennifer Gimenez-Ryan share their story of recovery from addiction

Tim Ryan:

“Six months after I was released from prison, as a direct result of my own heroin addiction, my 20-year-old son, Nick–who I paved the way to use deadly drugs–died of an overdose.

I take responsibility for his death.

I will spend the rest of my life trying to prevent that from happening to another addicted person or parent.”

It was in prison that I found recovery—and a passion to help others. I am best known as “The Hope Dealer.” It is my mission to prevent addiction issues in others and inspire and change in the hearts of those people already addicted. I speak the language of solutions in the midst of an opioid epidemic that is killing hundreds of people in the United States every single day.

Jennifer Gimenez-Ryan: 

Welcome! We are delighted that you found us and look forward to the possibility of working with you.

One thing you should know about me: I speak on more topics than just alcoholism and drug addiction.

I share with complete honesty. It is my sincerest desire to help others. Sharing some of my most painful and private personal and professional experiences will prove that healing is possible for all who want it.

I have been honoured to present at thousands of conferences and events in the past 13 years on subjects such as mental illness and depression, suicide, destructive behaviours, violence, dysfunctional families/relationships, trauma, substance abuse, and more.

Tim’s Book “From Dope to Hope: A Man in Recovery”

Addiction and heroin abuse didn’t make Tim Ryan a better person, but recovery has redeemed his years. Substance abuse of heroin and alcohol stole more than half his life. But he has dedicated every waking minute since walking out of prison to dealing hope to addicts and their families. As a recovering addict, Tim is now known as The Hope Dealer. He’s also a successful entrepreneur, a nationally ranked barefoot water skier—and a truth-talking, convicted felon. Tim has been a featured thought-leader in numerous national media, including USA Today, Newsweek, and on “The Steve Harvey Show.” He was an invited guest to the 2016 State of the Union Address.

  •  As a business leader in a high-tech industry, Tim made and lost millions.
  • As a father and husband, Tim paved the way for his own son to use deadly drugs.
  • As a heroin addict, Tim is a walking miracle. He has overdosed eight times, was pronounced clinically dead three times, and suffered two minor heart attacks. He has been arrested more than ten times and served prison time alongside known gang leaders—many of whom became his closest confidants in recovery.
  • As the founder of A Man in Recovery Foundation and motivational speaker, Tim’s mission is to help one addict at a time transform their lives from dope to hope. This story chronicles Tim’s grueling journey into addiction, loss, and recovery. Sit with Tim in his prison cell. Walk with him as loved ones are torn from his reach. Rejoice with him as lives are miraculously recovered. “

The former A&E “Dope Man” , Tim Ryan a substance abuse interventionist, a man in recovery and Jennifer Ryan, supermodel actress and also a substance abuse counselor.

Jennifer and Tim talk about their Addiction Recovery and Treatment Journey

Jennifer speaks on her recovery about the hopelessness that she had for herself, it was not only her who did not have a belief that she was going to succeed in her recovery but also Jennifer’s doctors she had. Jennifer recalls one doctor who did not believe she was going to attain recovery at the addiction treatment centre Jennifer was at that he called Jennifer’s mother to tell her that Jennifer was not going to survive her addiction and she is a hopeless case. Jennifer ended up completing the addiction recovery treatment centre after one year and started being of service to other clients of the doctors who had an extreme lack of belief for Jennifer and her recovery.

Tim shares his story of recovery from addiction, Tim was arrested and sentenced to jail for 7 years as he overdosed while driving and hit a couple of cars and almost killed four people. While in prison Tim started his recovery journey from addiction. He took part in a therapeutic drug treatment program and did 13 and a half months in the program which was structured that built his foundation of recovery. On Tim’s 21-month recovery date his son overdosed and died and even though Tim was grieving his sons passing he continued his recovery journey and Tim went to a recovery 12 step meeting that night and the next thing he knew he was speaking all over America and he had a documentary on A&E called “The Dope Man”. Tim also wrote a book called “From Dope to Hope”.

Addiction Intervention

As an interventionist and consultant Tim says that 90 per cent of clients he works with after an intervention does not want to go to treatment as they are in denial or they do not want to start their recovery journey. But Tim also stated that after a few days in addiction treatment, once a client is starting to feel part of 90 perfect of them want to stay and continue their recovery journey.

Tim and Jennifer touch on anonymity in recovery support meetings. When they go to 12 step meetings and their homegroup they know they are just another person finding recovery from addiction no matter what their life looks like on the outside.

Social Media:   Facebook   Twitter    Website 

Guest 2: Neil Pollack Author of “Pothead: My Life as a Marijuana Addict in the Age of Legal Weed”

Beginning innocently enough in his 20s, Neal Pollack discovers that pot makes everything – food, music, sex – better. Getting married, having a kid, and enjoying professional success do nothing to dampen Pollack’s enthusiasm for getting high. As cannabis grows stronger and more widely available, the expansion and acceptance of marijuana Big Business shadow Pollack’s dependence.

By 2014, Neal is a correspondent for a national marijuana newspaper, mostly because it means free pot. Diving into the wild, wicked world of weed with both lungs, Pollack proceeds to smoke, vape, and eat his way to oblivion, leading to public meltdowns and other embarrassing behaviour. After his mother dies in 2017, he spirals out of control, finally hitting bottom during a reckless two-day gambling and drug-filled binge, culminating in a public crack-up at the World Series in Dodger Stadium. Three weeks later, he quits.

12 Step Program and Addiction

After joining a twelve-step program, Neal outs himself as a marijuana addict in a 2018 New York Times op-ed piece, leading to his decision to document his experience as a cautionary tale for the millions of recreational users in the hazy age of legalized weed.

Neal Pollack, author of book “Pothead” shares his story of 25 years of marijuana addiction. Neal speaks of the fact that society sometimes looks at Marijuana as a non-addictive substance that individuals do not need addiction treatment for as it is not addictive to some people. Neal says Marijuana can be extremely addictive to people and problem weed smoking is a thing. Neal says that he smoked marijuana to mask his personal flaws, to escape from responsibilities, emotional realities and also from being a father and a husband.

Trauma and Addiction Recovery

In March 2017 Neal’s mother passed away very suddenly and Neal began to have a downward spiral of Marijuana addiction without sight of recovery in his way.  Neal’s final day of using Marijuana he had a public meltdown in Dodger Stadium which he says it was very embarrassing and that is where his recovery journey began from marijuana addiction.

Addiction Recovery Book

When Neal released his book “Pothead” he felt it was a bit of an obligation for him to release a book on Marijuana addiction recovery because for so many years he thought Marijuana was the only choice and he would convince people to continue to use Marijuana who might have needed recovery. Neal’s book was published by the Central Recovery Press and is a self-help book for those looking for recovery from marijuana addiction, they can read Neal’s story and find recovery if they want.

Social Media:   Facebook

Website      Click here to buy the book

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Talk Recovery airs live every Thursday at noon on 100.5 FM, Vancouver Coop Radio. The Last Door produces this weekly radio show discussing the many pathways to addiction recovery. To end stigma we must continue to talk about recovery. Talk Recovery is in its 7th Season, Hundreds of guests, thousands of listeners, thank you. Show ideas? Email

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