Dec. 4, 2018
The Executive Corner is a new weekly feature of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. We send our participants forty questions and ask them to choose twenty they would like to answer. It includes a short profile and a link to their website. We hope you enjoy it.
Morgan Gliedman is the Vice President of Education and Engagement at the Addiction Policy Forum. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Vox, and The Fix. A lifelong New Yorker, she received her Bachelor of Arts from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.
Learn more about Morgan at
Q. If you are in recovery, what was your DOC and when did you discontinue its use?
A. My drug of choice was heroin; I’ve been in remission from opioid use disorder for six years.
Q. Do you believe leaders are made or born?
A. I think leaders are made. Addiction Policy Forum’s Founder, Jessica Hulsey Nickel, whose parents’ opioid use disorder led her to experience homelessness and foster care as a child, talks about turning the pain of our losses into fire in our bellies. Whenever I’m having a rough day I think of that phrase, translate pain into the drive to help families and communities impacted by addiction.
Q. Which film have you watched the most?
A. These days, Frozen and Moana.
Q. If you ever retire, would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, or mountaintop, or penthouse?
A. Earthship, in the mountains.
Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort?
A. The Holiday Inn! Someone very close to me has been incarcerated for several years, has been transferred to several facilities over the years. When we visit, no matter what town we’re visiting him in, we always stay at a Holiday Inn.
Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?
A. Addiction Policy Forum, Opioid Crisis Response Fund, and Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.
Q. What is your current hobby?
A. We’re getting into board games—my husband and daughter always kick my butt at chess, but it turns out I’m something of a Connect Four aficionado.
Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, living or dead, who would they be? (you can choose four if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.)
A. Living and dead: Jennifer DuBois (A Partial History of Lost Causes), Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle), and Denis Johnson (Jesus’ Son). Potluck.
Q. What is your FAVORITE Radio show, news show?
A. NPR every morning during the breakfast/lunchbox/shoes grind out the door.
Q. Who is your FAVORITE Psychologist or what school of thought as related to psychology?
A. The most effective substance use disorder treatment I ever received was with a therapist in New York, Dr. January Massin, who helped me to understand that my “worst” qualities could also be my “best” qualities, that recovery isn’t about squashing the messy or difficult parts of myself but embracing them, using them. Being addicted to heroin, waking up every day sick and needing to get well and survive through some really difficult situations, took strength and tenacity, creativity. Those are the same characteristics that I relied on to get through a very tumultuous early recovery (my motto was “go after not doing heroin with the same fervor with which you went after doing heroin”), and I now bring those traits and experiences to my work.
Q. What is your FAVORITE Cuisine?
A. Does coffee count?
Q. . What is your FAVORITE Restaurant?
A. The Little Bear, a delicious Chinese restaurant in Woodstock, NY.
Q. What is your FAVORITE City?
A. I studied in Prague for a few months in college and would love to go back.
Q. Have you ever been arrested and, if so, what for?
A. Yes; it would be quicker to list what I haven’t been arrested for than what I have. The legal system was ultimately an effective lever to get me to initiate and stick with substance use disorder treatment.
Q. Do you have any children?
A. She’s six years old and amazing. My past and future bucked right up against each other; my daughter’s birth was the catalyst for turning my life around.
Q. What books are you reading now?
A. My annual spin with Amy Hempel’s Collected Stories
Q. Do you take work home with you?
A. Unabashedly, yes. I love my job.
Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, a disease, a choice, or a wicked twist of fate?
A. Science has shown us that addiction is a disease, and I think more people knowing that would go a long way toward building compassion for the people suffering from it.
Q. What are five things you always carry with you?
A. Keys, pens, extra contact lenses, phone, debit card (so boring).
Q. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
A. I think giving up drugs, starting the process of recovering from an addiction, can feel pretty risky. People with addictions aren’t dumb; people use substances because substances work, fill a need, but then the brain gets rewired and it feels like you need that substance to survive.