Eps 278: Addiction Inoculation with Jessica Lahey


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My guest today is Jessica Lahey.

Jessica is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed and The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence

Over twenty years, Jess has taught every grade from sixth to twelfth in both public and private schools, and spent five years teaching in a drug and alcohol rehab for adolescents in Vermont. She writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Washington Post, New York Times, and The Atlantic, is a book critic for Air Mail, and wrote the educational curriculum for Amazon Kids’ award-winning The Stinky and Dirty Show. She co-hosts the #AmWriting podcast with bestselling authors K.J. Dell’Antonia and Sarina Bowen from her house in Vermont, where she lives with her husband, two sons and a lot of dogs.

Takeaways from the show:


  • Secrecy and shame around substance abuse

  • Jessica’s story

  • The process of recovery

  • The normalization of adult drinking

  • Pluralistic ignorance

  • Authoritative parenting

  • Knowledge about raising kids and substances

  • Teaching kids why they shouldn’t be using substances

  • Knowing risk factors of substance abuse can help you protect your kids

  • Understanding the teen brain

  • Scripts to give your kids to get out of situations

  • Relationship matters

Where to find Jessica:

Hot Wings article | Website | Instagram | FaceBook

What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

This whole book I wrote has been a massive exercise of joyful courage to me. This was the book that all of that crap that I’ve been through has led to and I’m so proud and happy. It has also been terrifying to put my story out there into the world knowing that substance use disorder is really encamped so there’s people with really strong feelings around how things are expressed. The whole thing has been sheer happiness that this thing is out there but also I’ve been using a lot of courage because it’s really scary to put your story out into the world but it is also incredibly empowering.

See you next week!! 🙂



I see you mamas working hard to support your kids. I can feel you walking the edge of sticking to boundaries and letting things go. 

It is exhausting. So…. How about you take a little time to yourself? How about you block out 3 hours to explore your needs and nurture your desires? Give yourself the reset you need to move into the summer months feeling really good.

You deserve to be seen mama. Let yourself be seen. Join me and a circle of other amazing women June 27 from 12-3pm PST as we move, ground, and reflect our way to our inner voice, our soul’s song.

Head over to joyfulcourage.com/retreat to get yourself enrolled!!!



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READ THE BOOKJoyful Courage, Calming the Drama and Taking Control of Your Parenting Journey is all about how to show up as a Joyful Courage parent so that you have better access to the tools you need in hot parenting moments – tools that are helpful and maintain connection with your child. Available both in book and audio book form → http://www.joyfulcourage.com/book

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