Contributors

The editorial staff of Detox.net is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.

Dr. Scot Thomas received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. During his medical studies, Dr. Thomas saw firsthand the multitude of lives impacted by struggles with substance abuse and addiction, motivating him to seek a clinical psychiatry preceptorship at the San Diego VA Hospital’s Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program. In his post-graduate clinical work, Dr. Thomas later applied the tenets he learned to help guide his therapeutic approach with many patients in need of substance treatment. In his current capacity as Senior Medical Editor for American Addiction Centers, Dr. Thomas works to provide accurate, authoritative information to those seeking help for substance abuse and behavioral health issues.

Before working at Recovery Brands, Marisa worked as a Behavioral Health Worker for urban youth in the school setting and as a Mental Health Worker for adolescents in a partial hospitalization program, where she worked closely with therapists to implement individualized treatment plans and prevention programs, as well as intervening when problematic behaviors arose. Marisa has a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Psychology from Drexel University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Social Work from Widener University.

Brittany Tackett, MA is a transformational life coach, writer, and speaker in the mental health field. She is the founder of the inspirational personal development blog The Buttered Muse, launching in February 2016. Brittany holds a Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Transformational Life Coaching and International Certificate in Behavioral Studies. Brittany partners with clients to help them gain clarity and direction, connect to a higher purpose, transform limiting beliefs, and breakthrough layers of conditioning to foster new ways of being. Her clients include young adults suffering from ADHD, entrepreneurs starting new businesses, and recovering addicts who seek support in accomplishing their goals.

Lauren is a Web Content Writer at Recovery Brands. Before joining the company, she served as the Program Director for a community-based HIV/AIDS and cancer non-profit in San Francisco. Lauren holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Amanda Lautieri is a Senior Content Editor at American Addiction Centers. She has more than 10 years of professional editing experience that includes working as a web editor for several major online publishers and editing medical content ranging from academic texts to online training and recertification courses for emergency medical service responders.

Meredith Watkins is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in dual diagnosis and eating disorders. She is a seasoned writer and editor who has worked as a clinical editor for online addictions journals and websites. Meredith has also ghostwritten for numerous medical and addictions professionals.

Eric Patterson is a professional counselor who helps children, adolescents, and adults reach their goals and improve their well-being. Eric has also worked as a collaborating investigator for the DSM-5 field trials and completed an agreement to provide mental health treatment to underserved communities with the National Health Service Corp.

Melissa Mills is a Registered Nurse and Case Manager that has dedicated her career to assisting clients in finding the right care at the right time. She received her Nursing Degree in 1998 and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration in 2016 from the University of Cincinnati. Her clinical experience spans the life spectrum from infants to adults. She works as a freelance writer in an effort to bring light and understanding to complex medical issues. One of her passions in life is supporting those whose lives have been touched by dependency and addiction. She has volunteered at a local treatment center working with teens and adult patients and also organizing community events to increase the awareness of addiction. She currently works with patients who have been injured while working, which is an area of healthcare that is starting to get exposure in regards to the battle against addiction. Many of these patients will be on long-term narcotics and will experience dependency and addiction issues. Melissa is instrumental is working with them to get the care they need. Addiction has touched Melissa’s life in personal ways, she lost a cousin in 2009 and has watched many other family members struggle with this disease. Having three teenagers of her own now, she sees this crisis in a new light and wants to be part of the solution.

Nicole Arzt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in providing psychotherapy for individuals, families, and groups struggling with substance use disorders and psychiatric illnesses. She received her Master of Science from California State University, Long Beach in 2014. She has extensive experience working in a variety of dual-diagnosis treatment centers, providing services for all levels of care from detoxification to long-term outpatient therapy. Nicole currently works full-time as a therapist utilizing psychodynamic and humanistic work. A passionate writer, she has authored several scholarly articles, blog posts, and professional research centered on addiction and mental health.

Kindra Sclar is a Senior Web Content Editor for American Addiction Centers and Detox.net. Before joining the company, she worked for more than 8 years as a print and web editor for several print and online publishers. Kindra has worked on content editing for first responders, including firefighters, public safety communications, and emergency medical services. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English.

After graduating from Allegheny College with a bachelor’s degree in English, Kristy Snyder dove into the world of freelance writing and editing to forge herself a career. Today, she’s an experienced and talented wordsmith who specializes in many healthcare niches, including substance abuse issues and treatment. Through the years, she’s crafted numerous pieces on the harm of substance abuse as well as the various ways to get help, such as detox and rehab. Her goal is to provide informative and useful content to those who may be battling an addiction, as well as their loved ones.

Michelle D. Karmozyn is a prevention scientist with a specialty in understanding the relationship between drug use and behavior problems in children and adolescents. She received her Ph.D. in Preventive Medicine-Health Behavior Research from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation research focused on the relationship between early drug and alcohol use and aggressive behavior in adolescence. She is also the author of scholarly articles related to these topics. Michelle is currently dividing her time between the demands of parenting her children, freelance writing on addiction, and investigating mindfulness as a technique for preventing and reducing drug use in children and teens.

Corinne O’Keefe Osborn is an award-winning, Boston-based journalist specializing in organic content writing. Her most recent work focuses on psychology and addiction. She has an excellent understanding of psychology and is able to turn complex material into approachable and informational content. Corinne spent the last few years researching and writing a book about recovery. After years struggling with chronic pain and addiction, Corinne began pursuing a relentless quest for recovery. She uses her experiences to educate other people about the world of chronic pain, its effects on family life, its inherent gender biases, and its deep connection to mental health issues. Corinne has a background in gender and politics. She spent several years in DC writing material for a variety of progressive political organizations including Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood, and The Rockefeller Foundation. As a former gender studies major, she enjoys her current work on eating disorders and other women’s health issues.

Angela Rogers, LCSW, has been a licensed therapist since 1989. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee. She also holds a Masters Degree from University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work.

Christina P. Kantzavelos is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 10 years of clinical experience in both outpatient and inpatient psychiatric services, insurance case management, acute inpatient hospital services, assertive community treatment, applied behavioral analysis, home health, and private psychotherapy. She specializes in addiction, crisis and grief therapy, mental illness, depression, anxiety, and chronic health conditions. Her foundation as a therapist is based on compassion and understanding. Christina currently works as a medical social worker, as well as a private psychotherapist. She dedicates her spare time to domestic and international humanitarian work and writing.

Patrick Condron, M.Sc., M.A.C., is an addiction specialist and drug and alcohol counselor. He is Executive Director of Lazarus House, Inc., a transitional residential program for men and women who continue to work on their recovery towards independent living.

Lauren Brande, MA, has dedicated her life to psychological research. She started off her career with a scholarship from the Western Psychological Association for her undergraduate work in perceptual processing. In 2014, she achieved her master of arts in psychology from Boston University, harnessing a particular interest in the effects that drugs and trauma have on the functioning brain. She believes that all research should be accessible and digestible, and her passion fuels her desire to share important scientific findings to improve rehabilitation.

Leah Miller earned a certificate in chemical dependency counseling from Suffolk County Community College and her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Hofstra University. Leah began working with substance use disorders through an internship and saw the need for integrated treatment for dually diagnosed clients. Through schooling and beyond, Leah has worked with people with substance use disorders as well as severe mental illness including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. Leah also works with families of clients to educate them about the diagnosis of their loved ones and how to help them work towards recovery. Through her work with American Addiction Centers, Leah strives to educate the public and reduce the stigma surrounding substance use disorders and mental illness.

Emily Mendez is a mental health writer and expert with more than a decade of experience in mental health and substance abuse. As a former private practice psychotherapist, Emily specialized in treating adults and children suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and substance abuse. Emily is interested in the interplay between physical illness and mental health and is the author of Four Behavioral Treatments for Migraines Worth Trying.

Dan Wagener, M.A., is a Senior Web Content Editor at American Addiction Centers (AAC). Before AAC, he worked for a government contractor in the Washington, D.C. area, where he edited websites for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Prior to that, he was Senior Manager of Web Content and Communications Manager at the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and Senior Managing Editor at the Center for American Progress, a political think tank in D.C. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in English from La Salle University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Lewis & Clark College. He has worked at substance abuse and mental health treatment programs for teens and adults.

Stacy Mosel is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist and substance abuse specialist. After receiving a Bachelor's degree in Music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she continued her studies at New York University, earning a Master of Social Work degree in 2002. She has extensive training in child and family therapy and in the identification and treatment of substance abuse and mental health disorders. Currently, she is focusing on writing in the fields of mental health and addictions, drawing on her prior experience as an Employee Assistance Program counselor and as the assistant director of a child and family services agency.

Since retiring from a career as a medical, geriatric, and public social worker, Charles Hooper has published hundreds of articles and blog posts on a variety of topics, including health and medicine, substance abuse, politics and government, and advocacy. His professional work included guiding clients with mental health and substance abuse challenges to the proper treatment. Charles graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master's degree in social work. He also received an Outstanding Scholar award and graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where he majored in sociology and political science.

Clemmensen is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who has experience providing both individual and group therapy in an outpatient setting. She works with individuals who have disabilities, those who are experiencing depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other mental health concerns. She also works with those who are struggling with both a mental health disorder and substance use disorder.

Sophie Stein is a Clinical Editor at American Addiction Centers. She received her master’s of science in nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is credentialed by the ANCC as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (P.M.H.N.P.) and is licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse. Sophie previously worked as a P.M.H.N.P. at an outpatient psychiatric practice providing mental health care for children, adolescents, and adults. She performed patient evaluations and medication management, including using pharmacogenetic testing to guide her treatment plans. Sophie is passionate about helping those struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders, and she believes that providing those individuals and their loved ones with thorough, accurate educational resources is essential. This is what led her to her current position as clinical editor at American Addiction Centers, where Sophie works to ensure the information provided is reliable and up to date.

Rai ("Ray") Cornell is a freelance health, psychology, and science writer. She has worked as a substance abuse and mental health counselor in a drug rehabilitation center and at a community counseling clinic. She has worked with adolescents, adults, and couples on issues including substance abuse, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and personality disorders. Rai also developed curriculum for a sexual assault survivors group and worked with a team of counselors to create personalized treatment plans for individual clients.

Leah Walker is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She earned a master’s degree in Family Studies and a PhD in Family Relations. She has over 20 years of clinical experience working with children adolescents and adults. She has a clinical focus in family relations, substance-abuse and trauma. She has worked in several treatment settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and in-home therapy, both as a therapist and a clinical supervisor. She currently serves as a Director of adult outpatient services in a community mental health center.

Cassandra Keuma is a Licensed Practical Counselor Candidate. She has her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health and is also a 500 hour certified Yoga Therapist. Her clinical experience includes youth corrections where she worked with both the general population and the sex offender population, inpatient psychiatric care where she worked with clients with varying degrees of mental illness and those who had attempted suicide, and residential treatment where she worked as a group and individual therapist with clients dealing with addiction to substances. She is currently working with the University of Utah conducting research on the benefits of mindfulness in treating those with chronic pain while also focusing on reducing their reliance upon highly addictive opiates.

Kelsey Galles was a content marketing specialist at Recovery Brands where she strategized impactful ways to connect people struggling with addiction to educational resources and treatment options. Kelsey studied at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and integrated marketing communications with a minor in global health.

Devin Hayward, M.S., is a mental health and substance abuse counselor. She works in an outpatient therapy setting providing compassionate, individualized treatment programs to those in need. Devin has a diverse range of treatment experience, including detox, aftercare treatment, group counseling, SMART Recovery, DBT informed therapy, and dual diagnosis.

Kary VanArsdale is a psychologist and certified international commerce specialist. She received her Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Her dissertation research focused on the relationship between unemployment and depression among senior citizens. Kary is also the author of scholarly articles related to early intervention screening initiatives and the prevention of post-partum depression. Kary currently serves as the Director of International Operations for DRE Medical in Louisville, Kentucky. Previously, Kary served as Regional Preventive Health Manager for Magellan Health Services, the nation’s largest managed behavioral healthcare organization. In her role at Magellan, Kary designed initiatives to identify the existence of mental health and substance abuse disorders among covered members across seven states. Kary also has extensive experience providing psychological services to adolescent substance abusers in a forensic inpatient setting.

Anjali Talcherkar is an integrative practitioner specializing in the use of Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) in addiction treatment. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Addiction Studies and is currently a 3rd-year Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Medicine. Anjali has assisted at UCLA’s Center for Addictive Behavior, investigating how yoga-based relaxation techniques and meditation aid in recovery from addiction, and in Harvard University’s research department, the Division on Addiction. Anjali is a certified yoga and meditation teacher with knowledge in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing tradition. Her dissertation research focuses on combining Eastern approaches with conventional interventions, such as the 12-steps. As a recovered substance abuser, Anjali’s personal experience also motivates and informs her work. Anjali currently divides her time between research, freelance writing, and clinical work.