Dr. Kevin McCauley
Dr. Kevin McCauley is a non-practicing physician who has worked in the field of addiction treatment for nearly two decades. Kevin first became interested in the treatment of substance use disorders while serving as a Naval Flight Surgeon for Marine Corps heavy-lift helicopter and fighter/attack squadrons.
Due to the Navy’s policy toward treating such disorders as a safety (rather than moral) issue, he witnessed pilots self-report their addiction since they knew they would be treated medically and, once safe to do so, returned to flying status under careful monitoring. “These were charismatic and otherwise highly-capable, self-disciplined pilots who did come forward and ask for help – and they all got better and went back to flying! That just destroyed the prejudice I had picked up in medical school that addicts never ask for help and once an addict, always an addict.”
Unfortunately, the Navy did not have a similar policy for other kinds of addiction, and when he found himself addicted to opioid pain medications following a surgical procedure he was imprisoned by the Marine Corps in solitary confinement, court-martialed, and transferred to the U.S Army’s maximum-security prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Once released, the Navy paid for Kevin’s treatment, for which he will always be grateful.
Kevin now has over ten years of continuous sobriety and has worked in a non-clinical capacity at several treatment centers giving lectures on the neuroscience of addiction and recovery management concepts. His career path has taken him from Orange County, California to Salt Lake City, Utah where he currently serves as Director of Program Services at New Roads Behavioral Health in Sandy and Provo. He has given over two thousand lectures on addiction and recovery throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and Australia. His main interest is the debate over whether or not addiction can rightfully be considered a “disease.” Kevin also continues to assist pilots with substance use disorders through his collaboration with the Air Line Pilots Association’s HIMS Program.
In 2014, Kevin married his ninth-grade sweetheart, Kristine. They currently live with her son Ethan in Hawaii, where Kris teaches second grade at the Honolulu Waldorf School. Kevin hopes eventually to resume his medical training and return to the practice of medicine.
Wednesday October 28th
Lunch Plenary - Addiction and Recovery 2020: The Latest Findings from Neuroscience Research
1.5 CE Credit
Research in neuroscience provides an evidence-based and comprehensive understanding of addiction that fits well with the experiences of people needing, seeking, and in recovery. There are several insightful and well-articulated arguments challenging the disease conceptualization of addiction, but two important areas of research – epigenetics and psychoneuroimmunology – greatly advance awareness of how environmental stress creates vulnerability to addiction. This lecture reviews the most up-to-date science of addiction, the current arguments for and against addiction’s conceptualization as a disease, and how the principles of recovery management counter the pathophysiology of addiction and improve a recovering person’s chances of achieving long-term recovery.