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Hazelden program helps attorneys overcome addiction

January 13, 2011
by News release
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Center City, Minn. — Hazelden, an alcohol and drug addiction nonprofit treatment center with facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York and Florida, has launched a new "Legal Professionals Program" dedicated to helping legal professionals (lawyers, judges, legal assistants and others) overcome addiction.

According to Hazelden, an estimated one in five legal professionals has an active addiction or substance abuse problem, which is nearly twice the rate of the general population, as well as that of physicians, pilots, or other licensed professionals.

Legal professionals also suffer from depression at nearly three times the rate of other professionals. As mental health disorders commonly go hand-in-hand with addiction, these statistics highlight the need for tailored treatment for legal professionals.

"For legal professionals, treatment can be especially complex because the very strengths prized in lawyers, like problem solving and persuasiveness, can be stumbling blocks to addiction recovery," said Link Christin, MA, JD, LADC, director of the Legal Professionals Program and a veteran litigation attorney of more than 30 years.

With the right care and support, addiction can be treated and managed for life. Built on Hazelden's clinically integrated, individualized treatment model and led by three attorney/clinicians, the new program also involves:

  • Intensive group therapy
  • Psychoeducational services
  • Presentations by Hazelden clinicians and outside experts
  • Individual counseling
  • Weekly meetings among other legal professionals, facilitated by an attorney/clinician, which will provide patients with powerful insight from peers facing similar challenges and situations
  • Ongoing one-on-one sessions with an attorney/clinician, where participants will have the opportunity to address issues related to career restoration, professional practice, reputation, licensing or disciplinary matters and continuing care
  • Optional attendance at a weekly attorneys-only Twelve Step meeting off-campus

At Hazelden's Center City, Minnesota location, Christin works alongside two dedicated attorney clinicians in counseling legal professionals in treatment: Emil Jalonen, MA, JD, LADC, and Chuck Rice, MA, JD, LADC.

"Lawyers are accustomed to solving other people's problems. Being the one asking for help is unfamiliar territory, but it's the first step we all take in getting our life back from addiction," Rice noted. "We help patients see this reality in their own lives, and overcome these challenges during treatment."

For more information about Hazelden's new program, visit