Our guest for Episode 32 had a rough start in life. Born with a heart defect and debilitating asthma, Leonard lost his father to a heart attack when he was just 3 weeks old. He grew up fast in Logan, PA, learning about being a man from the guys who hung out on the corner. His only real sense of stability was the home that he lived in for 20 years. He never really felt a sense of confidence until he started selling dope and then he felt like “the man” because he had the good stuff that everyone wanted.
Leonard’s first dabble with addictive behavior began with a pound of sunflower seeds and an upset stomach inside a movie theatre. Ironically, the last he used ended almost the same way, but this time he found himself sick and sweaty inside a phone booth in California. After a stint in rehab at the Betty Ford Center, Leonard emerged having lost the desire to use drugs and eventually, the desire to use alcohol as well. He has been sober ever since.
Today, Leonard Lee Buschel is a California Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, the founder of Writers In Treatment, director of the REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium® and the editor/publisher of the weekly Addiction/Recovery eBulletin®. He also directs and produces the annual Experience, Strength and Hope Awards® in Los Angeles. Leonard’s memoir, HIGH: Confessions of A Cannabis Addict, was published in 2021 and is about his journey from drug dealer to drug counselor.