The Death Of A Lawyer And The Power Of Relapse

Brian Loncar While I am saddened on a daily basis by deaths resulting from drug overdoses as we deal with an unprecedented heroin and prescription opiate addiction crisis, it is rare that my faith in my own long-term recovery plan gets shaken. That does not mean I don’t try to stay present in my recovery […]

Why Are Lawyers So Afraid To Ask For Help?

Not long ago I gave a lunchtime presentation about addiction recovery. As I always do, I spoke about the function and value of the Legal Assistance Program (LAP) in helping lawyers deal with addiction and other mental health issues and get back on track even in the face of immediate consequences for behavior that may […]

Embracing Middle Age Sober

I don’t know if it originated with my father, but growing up in Pittsburgh, he used to regularly say to my older brother, Mark, my younger brother, Jeff, and me, “Today is the youngest you will ever be, live like it.” I thought about what he said the other day as I talked to a […]

The Insanity Of Addiction

Just about anyone in long-term recovery has a story that we look back on, roll our eyes, chuckle, and use as a gauge of how chaotic things were in addiction.  It may not have seemed funny at the time, but finding humor in my recovery is important to me. Despite my hangover, June 7, 2006, […]

The Bulimic Lawyer(And Law Student)

About a year ago, I gave a lunch talk to a group of family lawyers. I talked about drug addiction. Everyone nodded. I talked about alcoholism, and everyone knew someone. I talked about my two decades plus struggle with anorexia, then bulimia dating back to my freshman year at Penn State, through law school, and […]

From Federal Prison Inmate To The Bar Exam

  Christopher Poulos I decided it would be informative and empowering to every now and then profile a lawyer or law student who has overcome addiction to achieve their dreams or lay a path to achieving them. I can’t think of a better person to start with than Christopher Poulos. He is a 2016 graduate […]

Bar Exams, Booze And Getting Busted

 There is a popular internet meme that is often attributed to actor Robert Downey, Jr., although I can’t figure out when and if he actually said it and many 12-steppers claim it originated in the rooms. “I don’t drink these days. I’m allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs.”  Not long into […]

A Sober Navigation Of The Law Firm Holiday Party Circuit

Tis the season. The season for law firm office parties. Pre-sobriety, these soirees were my perfect start to a night of booze and blow. Every holiday season, I get multiple invitations from law firms to end my sobriety on their dime. I’m joking of course. My recovery is my responsibility. The point being, that this […]

When Addiction Threatens Your Relationship

October 20, 2016.  Florence, Italy. Waiting for her to walk through the door.  My mind drifts back to a time almost a decade earlier. A time of shame and fear. A time when I thought I would never see her again. I reflect on the past struggles and joys that brought me to this moment. […]

The Alcoholic Law Student

Brian Cuban I am often asked if the stress of being a lawyer “caused” me to become an “addicted lawyer.” Here is my answer. Fall, 1983. I’m officially a first-year law student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. I am shy and self-conscious. I bring with me the baggage of a drinking problem, […]