Amy Dresner is a journalist, author and former comedian as well as a recovering addict and alcoholic. She was a regular columnist for the addiction/recovery magazine The Fix.com for 7 years. Her first book, “My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean,” was published by Hachette in 2017 to rave reviews from critics and readers alike. Elle magazine compared Dresner’s darkly comic memoir to Carrie Fisher’s “Postcards from the Edge” and Mary Karr’s “Lit,” calling Dresner’s book “one for the ages.” Dresner has appeared on the television show The Doctors and on numerous radio shows and podcasts, including Dr. Drew, Dopey and Rich Roll. She does regular speaking engagements around the U.S. She is the co-host to Joe Schrank of the Rehab Confidential Podcast. Her book is currently in development for a TV series.
Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice? and when did you stop using? A. Drug of choice was crystal meth and coke but I drank a lot as well. I’ve been sober since Jan 2, 2013.
Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, disease, a choice or a wicked twist of fate? A. I think for some it is a result of medicating mental illness, for others it is a way to deal with trauma, and for still others it is a genetic biochemical issue. For most, I’d say it a combination of all of these.
Q. Do you log on to ZOOM 12-step meetings? How often? Do you share? A. Yes, a few times a week. Yes, I share and I speak a lot.
Q. Have you added anything to your Tool-kit to help keep you sober during the pandemic? A. I quit vaping. I started leading a large alternative recovering meeting on Fridays as part of The Luckiest Club. I began attending a Traditions meeting. It was important for me to stay busy and connected.
Q. Where did you grow up? A. Hollywood, California
Q. From what school or teacher did you learn the most? A. I learned to type quickly without looking at the keys while attending a very strict Catholic school (even though I’m Jewish) in junior high. It has served me very well as a writer.
Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to? A. Something to help homeless people with mental illness and addiction get housing and medical care.
Q. Do you have any children? A. No.
Q. Have you started any new projects because of the quarantine? A. Yes. I started writing my second book and I started a podcast with Joe Schrank called Rehab Confidential where we interview experts, celebrities, politicians and scientists and talk about addiction, drug policy, recovery, etc.
Q. If you ever retire would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, mountaintop or penthouse? A. Penthouse
Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve? A. I’m a spelling snob.
Q. Who has had the biggest influence on you throughout your life? A. My father.
Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, living or dead, who would they be? (choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.) A. Elizabeth Wurtzel, David Foster Wallace, Augusten Burroughs
Q. What books are you reading now? A. Books I need to blurb which are coming out like David Poses “The Weight of Air” and “Easy Crafts for the Insane” by Kelly Williams Brown
Q. What book(s) have you read more than once? A. My own because I had to for editing, recording the audio book and for readings.
Q. Are you bingeing on any TV series? If so which ones? A. Vis A Vis on Netflix. It’s a Spanish prison show. AMAZING.
Q. Which film have you watched the most? A. Goodfellas
Q. Who is your FAVORITE Director? A. Martin Scorcese
Q. Who is your favorite sober celebrity? A. Elton John
Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given? A.”Discipline creates stability. Stability doesn’t create discipline”. —my papa
Q. What is the best piece of advice YOU’VE given? A. Don’t give up.
Q. What is the greatest risk you have ever taken? A. Having my book published. It had an enormous amount of intimate stories that didn’t necessarily portray me in the best light.
Q. What is your biggest regret? A. Not getting and staying sober sooner.
Q. Have you ever been arrested and if so, for what? A. Yes. Felony domestic violence with a deadly weapon.
Q. What is the proudest moment in your life? A. My first book reading at Book Soup, with my father in the audience.
Q. Do you believe in God or a Higher Power? A. Yes
Q. What is your FAVORITE weekly news bulletin? A. Well, yours obviously!