The pastor and self-published author appeared on a syndicated radio talk show to talk about his book, as well as raise awareness about addiction.

What better way to raise awareness about addiction than to guest on a syndicated radio program? The author Rev. Kal W. Rissman did just that, when he appeared on People of Distinction, hosted by Al Cole from CBS Radio.

Rev. Rissman is the author of the book Knowledge to Power: Understanding & Overcoming Addiction (Outskirts Press; 2018). The book is about understanding addiction (of any kind) as a disease. The author has worked with addictions for almost 40 years and helped countless patients, offering them hope and concrete solutions to overcome their addictions.

The author’s ministry carries over to the publication of his book Knowledge to Power. This book gives a clear understanding of addiction as a disease. Rev. Rissman tackles the complex issues of addiction and explains what needs to be done. Knowledge to Power offers not only a non-judgmental understanding of addiction but also insight and practical advice to combat addictions.

Not content with just publishing Knowledge to Power and attending the Miami Book Fair Street Fair (held last November 22-24, 2019), Rev. Rissman appeared on the syndicated radio talk show People of Distinction, hosted by Al Cole from CBS Radio.

People of Distinction with Al Coleman featuring Kal Rissman.

Rev. Rissman told Al Cole he wrote Knowledge to Power because he has worked with addiction his entire career. “I am passionate about recovery for people who have addictions of all kinds that might be drug, alcohol, tobacco, eating, gambling, shopping, sex . . . I’m just really passionate about helping people with addictions. I have spent my whole career doing it.”

He also acknowledged his interns for the idea for writing the book. “My interns I supervised said, ‘You know, you’ve got all this knowledge that you’re dropping on us when we do these therapy groups. Why don’t you write these stuff down?’ I said, ‘Alright I will.’”

Rev. Rissman went at length to explain why addiction is a disease. “In my book, I make sure people understand addiction is a disease. It’s not just a lack of moral fiber or lack of brains. It’s a disease. It has symptoms. It’s progressive, chronic, fatal. It’s a type of brain disease.

“The issue there is a lack of power or a loss of control. That’s where the spirituality angle comes in. You have to have a higher power than you to help you do what you can’t do. If you could do it yourself, you would have done it.”

Rev. Rissman provided a brief profile of addicts and the correlation between emotional intelligence and addiction. “There’s a lot of people who look down their nose at folks who have addictions because they think they’re just bad people or they’re sloppy or stupid. That’s not true because addicts on average, according to research, have a higher IQ than the national average.

“Their EQ, the emotional quotient, is lower. That means how we handle feelings and problems. That’s where alcohol and drugs come in. You can change the way you feel in a hurry and that’s why people get into drugs, alcohol, and stuff. Because it’s a shortcut way of changing the way you feel.

Rev. Rissman also insisted that addictions also have to do with culture. “If we are anything as a culture, it is a shortcut culture of taking care of problems and issues quickly and easily . . . where people invented microwave ovens, automatic dishwashers, supersonic jets, instant breakfast, instant credit, and instant everything.

“That’s where drugs, alcohol, and other addictive agents are all about. It’s to take care of that, to change the way we feel in a hurry.”

At this point, Rev. Rissman explained why young people tend to struggle with addictions. “The younger you are, the faster you become dependent on something because you haven’t gained the emotional strength yet by working through a lot of emotional issues, and you have a sense of invincibility when you’re young.

“That’s why the military wants people at 18-20 years; they don’t think they’d be killed and yet they can. So, it really works in a hurry with younger people.”

For more information about Rev. Kal W. Rissman’s Knowledge to Power: Understanding & Overcoming Addiction, you can visit his website