Andrew McKenna JD- Drug Rehab USA Expert

Andrew McKenna – Drug Rehab USA Expert
  • Deputy Director of NCADD Westchester
  • Television Contributor
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Former Marine Corps Captain
  • Former Federal Prosecutor
  • Published Author

Author: Sheer Madness


Andrew McKenna is the author of Sheer Madness: From Federal Prosecutor to Federal Prisoner, a memoir. As Deputy Director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence/Westchester, Andrew is a nationally recognized expert on untreated addiction and mental health challenges. He is a regular contributor on leading television networks and radio programs regarding the Opioid Epidemic, and the desperate need for quality treatment options. Andrew has delivered more than 60 Keynote addresses nationally; travels the country lecturing on various topics including addiction and mental health, criminal justice, and prison reform. Andrew, having toured more than 100 treatment centers, has helped thousands of people access help for their substance use disorders. He is a former Marine Corps Captain and Federal Prosecutor with the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., and a board member for leading non-profit organizations. Andrew lives in New York City and is working on a second book addressing the need for universal treatment access as a solution for chronic generational addiction and mental health problems facing our young adult and adult populations.

From Andrew:

I strongly encourage people (and their loved ones) who struggle with addiction, to seek treatment immediately. Trained professionals who specialize in addiction medicine can help you. Treatment centers can provide safe detoxification, in-patient treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive out-patient treatment services to help you. Despite the hopeless feeling that comes with active addiction, I assure you that hope does exist, and by reaching out for professional help you will receive the care that you need.
The great journalist and writer, Paul Grondahl, said it best: “Addiction doesn’t read resumes.” I can personally attest to this. Opioid addiction and depression took me to places I never could have imagined. During the compulsion stage of my addiction—when I had lost my free will—I robbed six banks.
Grondahl was right. Addiction can grab hold of anyone, irrespective of socioeconomic status, education, upbringing, race, creed, or sexual identity. The very essence of addiction—the disease that tells you in your own voice that you don’t have a disease—dictates that in order to break free we must ask for help. In fact, I have never witnessed a person do it on their own. I pray that you will take a single step back from the madness that you find yourself living every day, and ask someone for help.

A Note on Harm Reduction

From a Harm Reduction Model perspective, where I presume that education and traditional prevention efforts have not succeeded, and now we must seek to mitigate (reduce harm) the deleterious outcomes associated with full blown, active addiction affecting those afflicted with the disease of Substance Use Disorder.
According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), harm reduction “is an evidence-based approach that is critical to engaging with people who use drugs and equipping them with life-saving tools and information to create positive change in their lives and potentially save their lives.”

A Note on Good Samaritan Laws for Reporting Drug Overdoses

According to the Congressional Government Accounting Office (GAO), based on data collected by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 48 of 50 states have a Good Samaritan Law which protect people who call 911 (or otherwise obtain medical help) and/or administer Naloxone, from prosecution, in the event of a suspected drug overdose. Texas and Wyoming have similar laws providing protection from arrest and criminal or civil liability when responding to overdoses.

Specifically, harm reduction services can:

  • Connect individuals to overdose education, counseling, and referral to treatment for infectious diseases and substance use disorders.
  • Distribute opioid overdose reversal medications (e.g., naloxone) to individuals at risk of overdose, or to those who are likely to respond to an overdose.
  • Lessen harms associated with drug use and related behaviors that increase the risk of infectious diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis, and bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Reduce infectious disease transmission among people who use drugs (including those who inject drugs) by equipping them with sterile supplies, accurate information and facilitating referrals to resources.
  • Reduce overdose deaths, promote linkages to care, facilitate co-location of services as part of a comprehensive, integrated approach.
  • Reduce stigma associated with substance use and co-occurring disorders.
  • Promote a philosophy of hope and healing ― by employing people with living and lived experience in leadership and in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of services. People with lived experience can also model for their peers what meaningful change can look like in their lives.
  • Build community and increase protective factors ― for people who use drugs and their families.

For more information see GAO-21-248, DRUG MISUSE: Many States Have Good Samaritan Laws and Research Indicates They May Have Positive Effects

Content Written By Andrew

Content Reviewed By Andrew