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A new addiction conference offers a different format, target

March 4, 2013
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The latest conference in addiction breaks from the norm in numerous ways. Its organizers maintain a lofty goal of 25,000 attendees for the first year, a figure attainable because the presentations will be virtual. The event also directly targets the recovering person to a greater degree than the treating professional.

“The target attendee is anybody struggling with any addiction, who is either on the path to recovery or hasn’t found it yet,” Tommy Rosen says of his inaugural Recovery 2.0 conference (www.recovery2point0.com), to be presented March 17-21.

Rosen, who operates a yoga and meditation practice, says he designed the Recovery 2.0 curriculum to reflect what has assisted him over the years in his own recovery. His pre-recorded interviews of a diversity of experts, with audio and video, will make up the free conference program accessible online, and the sessions will be available for purchase as a set as well.

“We see this as a sustainable business going forward,” says Rosen. “We’re going to do two a year, coinciding with the equinox in the spring and fall, since the equinox is a symbol of balance.”

The list of “presenters” at the conference indeed reflects a comprehensive and holistic approach to treatment and recovery, including numerous experts in areas such as yoga and nutrition but also addressing 12-Step and brain science subjects. Prominent individuals who are part of the conference program include author and recovery advocate Christopher Kennedy Lawford, The Hills Treatment Center founder Howard Samuels, and neuroscientist and recovering addict Marc Lewis.

Drawing from his experience

Rosen’s interest in reaching individuals in early recovery stems in part from his successful experience in treatment as a young adult. He recalls that in his early sobriety as a client at Hazelden, he lamented that many others didn’t have access to the challenging but positive experience he was undergoing.  “Here I had had an opportunity to do this review of my entire life up to that point,” he says.

Much later, on the occasion of receiving his 20-year chip for two decades of sobriety, that point hit home again when he was told, “You’re 1 in 1,000.” Thinking about that now, he says, “That’s not acceptable.”

Rosen says organizers generally are spreading the word about Recovery 2.0 through organizations such as the online social network In the Rooms and the recovery community organization Faces & Voices of Recovery. As of late last week, around 3,500 individuals had registered.

Rosen has partnered with Entheos, a company that provides a number of services related to helping individuals improve quality of life, to handle the conference design and database-related activity.

Despite the fact that the conference sessions are pre-recorded, registrants still will have an opportunity to interact with presenters on the day they see and hear their interview. Individuals can post a question to Facebook or Twitter on the day of a particular expert’s session, and that person will be available to answer the question in real time, Rosen says.