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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2006 • Volume 12, Issue 4

Facing addictions I Battling steroid abuse I Health & wellness

Battling steroid abuse

by Karen Crowley Metzinger MA ’97

John Dempsey '78

John “Chip” Dempsey ’78,
photo by Scott Cavanah

John “Chip” Dempsey ’78 created his own niche as vice president of Addiction Intervention Recovery (AIR) by becoming an authority in the area of steroids and educating teens on the danger of steroid abuse. He also focuses on teaching parents, educators, and coaches the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs while informing them of the resources available to prevent health risks. Dempsey rolled out a steroid intervention program for AIR in 2005, and has been a speaker and panelist on performance-enhancing drug use nationwide. He has written articles for several publications on the use of steroids by teens.

“The Pew Research Center estimates that 87 percent of youths ages 12-17 have access to the Internet,” noted Dempsey. “A query for the words ‘buy steroids’ on Google shows more than 2 million results, while Yahoo shows almost 5 million. This represents a virtual “do-it-yourself” library on steroids. Anyone accessing the Internet can learn how to use steroids, design steroid cycles, mask steroid use, and easily purchase steroids. Any teen with access to a credit card, check, or money order is a potential customer of this threat to America’s youth.”

Relapse prevention

Dempsey is also a key player in AIR’s Recovery Assurance Program (RAP). He said this program is critical to support the lessons learned and skills acquired during treatment. Following treatment, each participant receives a personalized plan based on his or her history, treatment outcomes, and prescribed continuing care.

“RAP helps people to reduce diversion risks and increases recovery success,” explained Dempsey. “The structured program facilitates access to treatment resources and reinforces continuing care plans crucial to people dealing with addictions and compulsive behaviors.”

In June, AIR launched a “licensed professional-level” relapse prevention program to increase recovery rates for individuals addicted to alcohol and other drugs. Dempsey said this program provides the general public—for the first time—with access to the same level of post-treatment support services and monitoring received by members of regulated, licensed professions, such as pilots and doctors. According to Dempsey, up to 90 to 95 percent of these professionals who go through treatment for drug and alcohol addictions and participate in a post-treatment assistance program remain sober and in recovery, while as many as 50 percent of addicts in the general population relapse during the first year after treatment. Since chemical dependency is considered a chronic illness with relapse rates similar to that of other chronic illnesses, he says the new RAP program aims to prevent people from relapsing while helping families and employers save lives. For more information, visit .