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Voices for Recovery

Thomas Gilbert (05/18/2012)

I was a former prosecuting attorney, criminal defense attorney, and judge when I went to a Rolling Stones concert in 2002 and smoked a joint (which wasn’t my first). I was observed by a constituent who rightfully reported my actions, leading to a public statement and a year and a half of total public humiliation. The story took on a life of its own, which hurt a lot of people. The story was voted the No. 1 news story in my local newspaper both in 2003 and 2004. Jay Leno and the Tonight Show joked about the “pot-smoking judge.” There were multiple radio shows about the whole situation. I decided to take this opportunity to remain focused on recovery and be responsible for my actions. That’s what it took for me to get treatment and commit to recovery.

I am now in long-term recovery from alcoholism and addiction to marijuana. That means I have not had a drink or drug in more than 9 years, am actively working a program of recovery, and am living a life beyond my wildest dreams.

With a master’s degree in addiction counseling, I help families throughout the country with interventions and chemical dependency counseling, and run a small legal practice for people in the recovery community. I speak out against the misconception of addiction and try on a daily basis to be an example of the solution. My life has never been better, and this can be a reality for everyone because addiction is a treatable disease and recovery is possible.

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