EP 41 – Flindt Andersen: The Struggles and Triumphs of Overcoming Addiction

In this gripping episode, Flindt Andersen, a recovered addict turned advocate, shares his raw and harrowing journey from severe opiate addiction to sobriety. He uncovers the harsh realities of addiction, the devastating impact on health, family, and society, and the critical need for effective solutions. Drawing from his personal battles with alcoholism, drug addiction, and a life-changing open-heart surgery, Flindt paints a vivid picture of the unrelenting grip of addiction. 

He also boldly critiques the lack of effective substance use disorder and mental health solutions in California, emphasizing the need for addicts’ perspectives in policy-making. Flindt highlights the alarming rate of drug-related deaths, the challenges of methadone treatment, and the dangerous rise of fentanyl. 

He passionately advocates for comprehensive treatment programs, education, and the life-saving potential of Narcan in schools. Through his non-profit organization, he has helped thousands of families navigate the tumultuous path of addiction recovery since 2009. 

This candid conversation illuminates the complex nature of addiction and underscores the urgent need for change and action.


Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the stand or beliefs of the host or the podcast. We aim to provide a diverse range of perspectives and ideas, fostering open and respectful discussions. We encourage critical thinking and forming your own conclusions. Enjoy the show!



About Our Guest (Flindt Andersen)

Flindt Andersen is a passionate advocate for addiction recovery, using his personal journey from opiate addiction to sobriety to inspire and help others. After overcoming his own struggles with alcoholism, drug addiction, and health complications, he founded a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding those battling substance use disorders. Flindt has been instrumental in helping thousands of families since 2009, emphasizing the importance of education, persistence, and self-care in the recovery process. He is a vocal critic of the current state of recovery efforts and is actively working towards establishing more effective solutions. His insights into the complex nature of addiction and the importance of comprehensive treatment have made him a respected figure in the field. 

Follow Flindt’s ongoing advocacy and work on his Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/andersenflindt/), visit his website (https://www.flindtandersen.com/), or learn more about his non-profit at (https://www.newperceptionsnorth.com/). 


Show Notes

  • [02:23] In this candid conversation, Flindt Andersen shares his tumultuous journey from severe opiate addiction to recovery, and how his personal experience led him to establish a non-profit organization to help others struggling with addiction. 
  • [09:03] Flindt emphasizes the importance of persistence in overcoming life’s challenges, shares his personal health struggles due to alcoholism and drug addiction, and underscores the need to educate the younger generation about the long-term health risks associated with these habits. 
  • [14:29] Flindt shares a vivid memory from 2000, post open-heart surgery, describing the powerful hold of addiction and how it can override even the most profound familial bonds and responsibilities, despite the visible impact on loved ones. 
  • [16:10] Flindt passionately discusses the lack of effective solutions for substance use disorder and mental health in California, critiquing lawmakers and medical professionals for not consulting addicts for solutions, and questioning the allocation of funds in treatment centers due to a severe shortage of beds. 
  • [18:13] Gary discusses the complex nature of addiction, comparing it to diseases like cancer and heart disease, while emphasizing the unique denial and resistance to help that addicts often exhibit, and likening the daily death toll from addiction to a 747 plane crash. 
  • [19:45] Flindt discusses the alarming rate of drug-related deaths, compares it to hypothetical scenarios to emphasize its severity, criticizes the insufficient response from insurance companies and the state, and expresses concern about the current state of recovery efforts, including the limitations of treatment centers. 
  • [23:07] Flindt highlights the pitfalls and challenges of methadone treatment for opiate addiction, emphasizing its addictive nature, the difficulty of withdrawal, and the restrictive system that leaves patients feeling trapped. 
  • [25:48] Flindt shares a personal journey of self-realization, emphasizing the importance of self-care and teamwork in his professional life, and expressing gratitude for the rewarding experience of impacting lives over the years. 
  • [27:42] Flindt discusses his experience in helping thousands of families through addiction treatment since 2009, the challenges of measuring success rates due to the nature of addiction, and the importance of providing support and advice to families.
  • [30:06] Flindt discusses the challenges faced by parents who have lost children to addiction, questioning the effectiveness of long-term harm reduction methods like Suboxone or methadone, and highlighting the supportive community of parents who attend their meetings, even after loss, as they plan to extend their reach to Los Angeles. 
  • [32:03] Flindt discusses the challenges and realities of dealing with addiction, the role of fentanyl in increasing the risk and severity of addiction, and his plans to establish a new facility in Los Angeles.
  • [34:02] IFlindt discusses the dangerous process of manufacturing and distributing the M30 pill, highlighting the deadly risks associated with its inconsistent fentanyl content and the impracticality of expecting addicts to use test strips, due to the urgent nature of their addiction. 
  • [36:22] Flindt Andersen discusses the ongoing opioid crisis, criticizing the lack of effective solutions and emphasizing the need for comprehensive treatment programs that go beyond detoxification to include life skills training and trauma therapy, given the significant impact of opioids on brain development and maturity. 
  • [40:47] Flindt discusses the importance of having influential figures advocating for their cause, criticizes the lack of action from school systems in educating about their issue, and emphasizes the need for regular, impactful discussions with both students and parents. 
  • [44:06] Flindt discusses the challenges and resistance faced in implementing Narcan, a drug to counteract opioid overdoses, in every classroom of California’s school districts due to fears of legal repercussions. 
  • [46:38] Flindt discusses the importance of having the life-saving drug Narcan readily accessible in all parts of a school campus to quickly respond to potential opioid overdoses.
  • [49:10] Flindt shares his personal journey of dealing with a lifelong ailment, his experiences with Valley Children’s Hospital, and how he overcame self-blame and addiction through sobriety. 

For more incredible and inspiring stories of those who have overcome alcoholism and addiction, tune in to the next episodes of The Begin Again Podcast through:


About Gary Menkes

Gary Menkes was born and raised in Port Washington, NY and struggled with alcoholism since his early teens which took him to places he never wants to go again and which took a toll on his health, relationships and professional endeavors. However, Gary completely transformed his life when he was given the gift of sobriety on May 13, 2006. Determined to break free from the cycle of self-destruction, he embarked on a remarkable journey of recovery.

Today, Gary is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York, married to the love of his life and father of two amazing children of which he owes all to his sobriety. Gary is now launching his own podcast, The Begin Again Podcast.