Uncomfortable and unpopular topics now have a new home in the Dark and Enlightened podcast. Jaclyn Brown embraces these "dark" topics by sharing some of her own personal experiences and the stories of others as well. Hope you join her on this journey and experience some enlightenment along the way.
This is Great, But It Sucks
This is the season finale and it's all about me. My husband, Jordan, interviews me about my life. I apologize in advance for all the scatterbrained convo, but welcome to my life. This was awkward at many points, but I needed it. I hope you enjoy learning more about me.
Here's the bio I use for things where I want to sound like a real functioning human:
Jaclyn Brown (she/her) is an impacted family member and lost her younger brother, Marc Kane, to a heroin overdose on November 16, 2018. Since then, she has become very passionate about advocacy and education in the areas of stigma surrounding substance use, harm reduction, and mental health. In October 2021, she left a 12 year career in the insurance industry to pursue her passions of coaching and advocacy. She owns her own coaching and consulting business, Stay Golden Coaching & Consulting. She is the Chair for the Family Caucus, which is an initiative of Mobilize Recovery and Partnership to End Addiction. She works with family members to empower them to use their stories to effect change in their own communities and combat the stigma that is often associated with substance use. Jaclyn also hosts “Dark and Enlightened,” a podcast about where she has open and honest conversations with guests about dark and stigmatized topics, in hopes that listeners will leave a little more enlightened than they were before. In her spare time, she prioritizes self care: creating art, eating tacos, hanging out with her husband and dogs, and binge watching Netflix reality shows.
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Uncovering and Discovering
This was a deep conversation and I learned a lot about my friend, Carol Cruz. We talk about everything from body image to eating disorders to her 18 months at an orphanage as a child to selling drugs to an undercover cop to some very movie-like plot twists in her life. I am grateful for the opportunity to get to learn more about her and I hope you take the time to learn more about her too.
Carol Cruz (she/her/ella) is a passionate and dedicated individual with a remarkable journey of long-term recovery that began in 1994. She has emerged as a true champion, bringing hope and empowerment to others on their own recovery paths. With extensive experience as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist, Coach, Trainer, and Developer of Peer and Supervision Training Curriculum, Carol has honed her skills to become an influential figure in the field. Carol's commitment to community organizing is unwavering, and she actively contributes to the Recovery Advocacy Project, advocating for the rights and needs of individuals navigating their recovery journeys. Her role in this organization is vital, as she utilizes her expertise and firsthand experience to drive positive change. In recognition of her exceptional leadership, Carol served as the Chair for the Inclusivity Caucus, a groundbreaking initiative launched at Mobilize Recovery 2020. Through her advocacy efforts, Carol has made a lasting impact on the recovery community. She firmly believes in the power of building strong and supportive communities, and she tirelessly works to dismantle barriers and challenge prevailing recovery norms. Her ultimate aspiration is to foster an inclusive environment where individuals and families can thrive, finding a true sense of belonging. In summary, Carol Cruz's journey of long-term recovery, combined with her extensive experience as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist, Trainer, and Developer of Training Curriculum, has positioned her as an influential force in the field. Her unwavering dedication, leadership, and advocacy work are driving positive change and creating a more inclusive recovery culture where everyone can flourish.
Girlfriend's Guide to Recovery Journal: https://a.co/d/2Y3WUja
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Deprogrammed from the Program
Today, I talk with my friend, Chauncie Beaston, about anything and everything because that's what happens when you throw a couple of ADHD baddies together. Our topics range from how she decided to leave NA for harm reduction because of her son to how she started her nonprofit because she was having a manic bipolar episode to how she found out she had a brother on MySpace to details about her ketamine treatment to her obsession with peer reviewed studies. We truly just cover it all. I hope you enjoy this episode!
Email me: email@example.com
Follow me on TikTok: @jaclynbrown
Chauncie Beaston is a person in recovery from SUD. She spent over a decade in active addiction experiencing everything from homelessness to incarceration. Today, she is a business owner, content creator, as well as the founder and executive director of the grassroots nonprofit, Where You’re At Foundation. It is a harm reduction organization that provides evidence-based strategies and education for reducing negative consequences associated with drug use with a focus on expanding access to supplies like Naloxone and Fentanyl test strips to more rural areas outside of Richmond, VA. She is dedicated to shifting the public perception of people who use drugs and ending the stigma around drug use by advocating for sensible drug policy that will save lives and end the failed war on drugs.
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Sometimes, I Need Help Too
This was definitely one of my favorite interviews because I feel like Ryan Hampton is my twin, so I was just really talking to myself. FOR REALSIES THOUGH, we had a great, deep conversation about everything: mental health, online hate, his writing process, The Sacklers reaction to Unsettled, conspiracies about his 10 year resume gap , our shared autoimmune disease, Quincy, and so so much more. I hope you enjoyed our conversation!
Ryan Hampton travels coast-to-coast to add solutions to our national addiction and drug overdose crisis. In recovery from a decade-long opioid addiction, Hampton is regarded as a forefront expert and thought leader in America’s rising addiction recovery advocacy & drug policy reform movements. An alumnus of the Clinton White House, he’s worked with multiple non-profits and addiction recovery organizing campaigns. He’s now a prominent, leading face and voice of recovery advocacy and is working to change the longstanding negative narratives about those impacted by addiction, recovery, and overdose.
Through his books and media, organizing campaigns, and social content that reaches millions, Ryan breaks down cultural barriers that have kept people suffering in silence and is helping to inspire a new generation of advocates recovering out loud, pushing for common-sense policy.
He was part of the core team that released the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General’s report on alcohol, drugs, and health in 2016 and was singled out by Forbes the following year as a top social entrepreneur in the recovery movement. Ryan connects a vast network of people passionate about ending the overdose crisis in America. He has been featured by—and is a contributor to—media outlets such as the Today Show, the Associated Press, USA Today, MSNBC, ABC News, Fox and Friends, the New York Times, NPR, HLN, Vice, Slate, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal, and others.
Ryan has received praise from Democrats and Republicans alike for addressing addiction as a trans-political issue—crossing the political spectrum to build an inclusive coalition focused on solutions. He works closely with the White House, Senate Democrats, Republicans, U.S. House leadership, and state legislatures across the country. Notably, he helped craft binding provisions addressing substance use disorder in the historic SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, signed into federal law in October 2018.
In 2016, he created the web series Addiction Across America, documenting his 30-day, 28-state, 8,000-mile cross-country trip visiting areas hit hardest by the addiction crisis. His first bestselling book, “American Fix — Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It,” was released by St. Martin’s Press in August 2018. His second book, “Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis,” was released in September 2021 and chronicled his behind-the-scenes efforts representing tens of thousands of victims in the Purdue Pharma opioid settlement litigation. Ryan is currently working on his third book, scheduled to be released in 2024.
In 2019, Ryan was named by Facebook as an inaugural community leadership fellow and created the national advocacy initiative, Mobilize Recovery. Since its inception, Mobilize Recovery has recruited and trained over 8,000 new advocates from all 50 states focused on community-based solutions to end the addiction and overdose crisis. In 2022, Mobilize Recovery traveled to 25 states, hosting 35 organizing and advocacy training events throughout September and October, distributing 10,000 doses of free naloxone and over 11,000 fentanyl test strips.
He lives in Nevada with his husband, Sean, and their boxer puppy, Quincy.
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This wasn't what I had planned, but I am giving myself grace to not beat myself up for putting my mental health first. I word vomit a bunch of things and if I actually knew how to take someone's offer for help, this is what I would vent to them about. So, if you listen to this, you are inadvertently helping me in the way I am comfortable with accepting help. Just listening helps.
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I'm Not There, But I'm Here
Today's episode includes topics I have never talked about before! I interview my friend, Michelle Kavouras, about her role as a peer doula. She primarily works with a population of pregnant people with substance use disorder and she talks about the issues these people face. Additionally, she tells a bit about her story and having to give up one of her children for adoption due to her SUD. I hope you can listen to this episode with an open mind and heart.
Additionally, the release date of this is Michelle's 7th year anniversary of her recovery. We didn't plan it that way, but it just fell into place like that :) Happy anniversary, my sweet friend. I am so incredibly proud of you and all you do. Hope you enjoy this episode!
Follow me on TikTok @jaclynbrown or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle's bio is short and sweet: she is an advocate, peer doula, teacher, harm reductionist, and survivor of this beautifully traumatic life.
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Finally, honest convos!
I’m so grateful to have found Dark and Enlightened. Jaclyns raw and honest conversations with her guests leave you feeling like you’ve just eavesdropped on a friend’s genuine, yet private convo. She isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions and highlight topics so many people try to sweep under the rug.
This is a must listen podcast for me every time a new episode comes out.
I give it a 5 Steve rating!
Dark but Honest
Great podcast! This podcast is worth listening to if you are interested in hearing open conversations about a lot of “dark topics” related to mental health, emotional health, physical health, and the impact those issues can have on your life. Jaclyn keeps it real, doesn’t sugar-coated it, and some of the conversations can get pretty raw. But the vulnerability of Jaclyn and the guest speakers help make the conversation relatable, and might make you feel less alone if you have similar experiences, or might help you to understand someone who is dealing with similar issues. Some of the episodes did make me cry, but there is some humor to mix a little light into the dark. Don’t be daunted by the length of the episodes…they go by pretty fast, and the topics deserve the full in-depth perspective.
Podcast came to me right on time
Jaclyn does a great job making me cry & laugh all in one episode. The topics she brings to the mic most certainly need to be discussed. Her & her voice (figuratively & literally) were made for this! So grateful for this content. 10/10 recommend.