102 Addictions, Stimulants & ADHD Treatment Innovations – Bright

outdoors, recovery, opiates, addiction, adhd, alcohol, George Bright, CoreBrain Journal

Opiate & Alcohol Recovery, Stimulants & Executive Function

I serve as medical director for an outdoor therapeutic program which has been in operation for thirty years. This ability to watch these young people grow into productive adults and help them achieve their goals has been a great satisfaction of my life.
~ George Bright

George Bright, MD – is Medical Director of a private multispecialty practice in Midlothian, Virginia, a suburb of Richmond. His practice focuses on the commonplace but often misunderstood and mistreated challenges of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and stimulants, combined with multiple recovery problems in Addiction Medicine.  Fasten your seat belts; you already know this conversation will prove seriously controversial.

Recovery dogma about psychiatric medications runs deep, as traditional recovery models disdain psychiatric drugs, especially stimulant medications. Two significant reasons: 1. most recovery treatment professionals don’t understand the necessity and detailed work for specific monitoring and dosage strategies, 2. new medications, as Dr. Bright discussed in this episode, aren’t as abusable.

Ed Note: And I’ll confess right up front, I completely agree with Dr. Bright, his excellent work, his use of stimulant medications, and his exemplary, well-managed recovery programs. He shows the recovery accomplishments that occur if you don’t live in the land of cookie-cutter medicine and lockstep, dogmatic recovery. This process can – work if you work it – as in Dr. Bright’s highly structured programs.

For the traditional recovery folk’s record, The Caron Foundation endorses and refers to his clinical experience and expertise at Blackwater Outdoor Experiences, also based in Richmond. Caron is an acclaimed recovery program with a well respected, international reputation for comprehensive recovery work, from substance abuse to dependent relationships.

His Comprehensive Practice

He treats children as young as 5, and patients all the way to adulthood.  His mission: provide educational support, counseling, psychological testing, and medical management. Also, he serves as medical director for an outdoor therapeutic program [linked above] now in operation for thirty years. Dr. Bright shares his experience mastering the structural complexity of that controversial interface between potentially addictive substances and addiction recovery.

Dr. Bright’s Perspective At His Adolescent And Family Health Center

“For more than 30 years, the mission of the Adolescent & Family Health Center has been to help people live brighter lives while simultaneously addressing the challenges they face.  Led by George M. Bright, MD, one of the leading authorities on ADHD and addiction, AFHC’s treatment team includes a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed professional counselor, an educational consultant, and an academic specialist. Also, we make direct referrals to an art specialist and an English/writing specialist, all of whom can bring a broad range of expertise and perspective to each patient’s diagnosis and treatment.”

Dr. Bright Reports From His Edge Here at CBJ/102

  • I started as a pediatrician & wound up in Adolescent Medical training at MIT & Harvard, then in substance abuse in the late 60’s [1:12]
  • Concerning 300 Opiate Addicts with comorbidity, we see a very high percentage with ADHD [1:58]
  • Chronic Pain patients also reveal 60-70% with comorbid ADHD [2:28]
  • When assessing anyone in this population, it’s important to look at them as a whole person [2:52]
  • That first evaluation is necessary for a variety of co-occurring issues from childhood [3:06]
  • For Opiates: Suboxone,  then Vivitrol injection or Naltrexone tablet [5:07]
  • For Alcohol: Vivitrol injections explained [5:48]
  • For Attention Deficit comorbidly present Adzenys XR-ODT – Why [6:35]
  • Parker bonds with Bright on courage and mission [11:28]
  • Adzenys pharmacology and application in recovery [12:38]
  • Clinical trials and amphetamines vs methylphenidates [15:38]
  • Problems with his programs addressed [22:13]
  • Using a PMP [prescription monitoring program] between states [25:08]
  • Follow up from his program in Richmond [26:01]
  • Dealing with other comorbidities and psych meds [30:29]
  • In this country, we look at the negatives too much [33:24]


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Dr. Bright’s Websites & Additional References:

  • Bright Adolescent and Family Center – Richmond, VA
  • Blackwater Outdoor Experiences
  • Deep Recovery – My first book, 1992 – Dr. Charles Parker – Global Amazon Link.  Back in 1992, I fought the fight for the correct use of psychiatric medications, then lectured nationally on the subject of considerable misunderstanding back then and even today. In this Episode, we bond on that imperative challenge. 
  • Stimulant Drugs and ADHD – Solanto & Arnsten – 2001 – Specific studies mentioned in this Episode on amphetamines compared to methylphenidate’s efficacy. I’ve spoken with both of these esteem researchers and look forward to their appearance here at CBJ.



Until next time, thanks so much for joining us here at CBJ again. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for the CoreBrain Journal Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Reviews do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read every one of them. If this post is helpful, please pass it on.


In closing, if you have any questions, drop a comment on any posting here at CBJ, and I’ll get back to you. This discerning show of world-class experts is here for you, your families, and your clients – to tighten the dialogue for more precise answers.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates, or if you’re on an Android Device subscribe for timely updates at Google Play. Yes, these extraordinary experts with years of experience are free.

Special thanks, George for joining me this week. George may live in Richmond but his fresh, experienced perspective for next steps in opiate and alcohol recovery do improve treatment options for many overlooked dual diagnosis adolescents and young adults.


Next CoreBrain Journal Guest

103 Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND, Seattle – Dr. Pizzorno is the President of Salugenecists, Inc. and Chief Medical Director for Village Green Apothecary. It’s a privilege to introduce Dr. Pizzorno to our well-informed audience as he is one of the world’s leading authorities on science-based natural medicine, a term he coined in 1978 when founding the highly regarded Bastyr University. He led Bastyr to became the first fully accredited, multidisciplinary university of natural medicine and the first school of its kind to receive research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This CBJ interview with Dr. Pizzorno will firmly open your door for improved attention to a topic dear to every family globally: The Toxin Solution – How Hidden Poisons —- Are Destroying Our Health. This new book will make you go to the kitchen and then into your makeup drawer to check those labels. – And he tells you how exactly how to check them on an app! You will love this one, he’s absolutely outstanding. Beware, his commentary might make you paranoid.


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1 Comment

  1. […] brain reality, especially regarding the underlying executive function challenges that led them to poor judgment, impulsivity and breaking the rules. In this CBJ/212 Episode, she talks about a program she developed: The ADHD […]

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