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  • Writer's pictureChristie


Welcome back!

Today's episode I sit down with my academic soulmate Colleen Mistler. Colleen is entering her 2nd year of doctoral school in the Health Promotions Science Program at UCONN. In just 1 year of being a PhD student, Colleen has taken 36 credits towards her program, she has submitted 5 manuscripts for publication and she’s been awarded an NIH grant to fund her education in opioid use Disorder treatment. It was awesome to sit down with her and catch up about the rigor of her program how she's been managing and just getting a real opinion and having a conversation with her as far as substance use, perceptions of people who are in recovery, and how we can help those who want to get better.

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Topics discussed

  • Rigor of being a doctoral student

  • Harm reduction strategies

  • Why we should care about addiction


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  • This podcast has no affiliation with Springfield College, Mount Holyoke College, or the University of Connecticut

  • It is not that easy. Each program has its own set of requirements for prospective students.

  • I was the peer who organized logistics for the trip to Cuba through Spanish Abroad (main office located in Amherst,MA). Students spent 1 week in March in Havana, Cuba taking classes and engaging in experiential learning with small group discussion including, but not limited to maternal health, HIV topics and reproductive health.

  • An “embargo” is the official ban on trade or other commercial activity with a particular country. Some sanctions and embargoes still exist today between Cuba and other companies. Click here to learn more.

  • I stated that “access” is the number 1 risk factor. “Access” is not a risk factor, but a social determinant. Healthy People 2020 is the federal government's 10 year prevention agenda for building a healthier nation. Every 10 years, national objectives are set with the intent of improving the health of all Americans

  • Marijuana (Cannabis) is classified as a Schedule I. There are 5 schedules of drug classifications “depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential”

  • Crack Cocaine and Powder Cocaine are both criminalized. Powder cocaine is snorted, injected or swallowed, while crack cocaine is smoked. The discrepancy lies in the sentencing. Up until the Fair Sentencing Act, “this sentencing disparity was 100 to 1, which means that while just 5 grams of crack would carry a 5-year mandatory minimum, it would take 500 grams of cocaine to trigger the same 5-year sentence. While the law was changed in 2010, there continues to be a disparity of 18 to 1.”

  • “Avoid the perimeter” → Should Shop in the perimeter. Traditionally the items in the perimeter are perishable and tend to be healthier.


I have all my guests use headphones with a microphone. I use the Samson Q2U

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