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Smacked: An Adventure in Healing

February 11, 2020 @ 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

About the Event



Join us for an Adventure in Healing with New York Times business journalist, Eilene Zimmerman, as she shares her brave and suspenseful, and deeply personal, family story. Illuminating urgent and troubling social issues of white collar drug addiction, Eilene’s new book Smacked unveils her shocking discovery and her journey to find out how a man she knew for nearly 30 years became a drug addict.

When this renowned journalist submitted her story for the first time to the New York Times in 2017, she was concerned about the negative feedback she might receive from the business world. Instead, her article became one of the most top-read stories the New York TImes has EVER published, raising awareness and torching off a much-needed discussion about drug dependence today in a moneyed and upwardly mobile world.

Your Adventure in Healing includes light refreshments, author presentation, book signing, and the chance to meet the author and share her personal story. In addition, you will have the opportunity to meet octogenarian Jeanne McAlister, founder of McAlister Institute, one of San Diego County’s largest alcohol and other drug treatment providers (see below for further information).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to large response to this event, the venue has been moved. Event will now be held at Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92106.

*There are still spaces available to hear Eilene’s presentation at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law on February 12 at 6:00 pm, or the San Diego County Bar Association on February 12 at noon.  

About the Author and Book

Eilene Zimmerman has been a journalist for three decades, covering business, technology, and social issues for a wide array of national magazines and newspapers. She was a columnist for The New York Times Sunday Business section for six years, and since 2004, has been a regular contributor to the newspaper. In 2017, she also began her pursuit of a master’s degree in social work.

Her new book, Smacked, is a brilliant and moving memoir of Eilene’s shocking discovery that sets her on a journey to find out how a man she knew for nearly 30 years became a drug addict, hiding it so well that neither she nor anyone else in his life suspected what was happening. Peter was also addicted to work; the last call he ever made was to dial into a conference call.

Eilene is determined to learn all she can about Peter’s hidden life, and also about the drug addiction among ambitious, high-achieving professionals like him. Through extensive research and interviews, she presents a picture of drug dependence today in that moneyed, upwardly mobile world. She also embarks on a journey to recreate her life in the wake of loss, both of the person – and the relationship – that profoundly defined the woman she had become.

About McAlister Institute

McAlister Institute is one of San Diego County’s largest alcohol and other drug treatment providers. Founded by 87 year old Jeanne McAlister, who is now 63 years sober, Jeanne used her personal experience to build an agency that is founded upon empathy and hope and dedicated to serving those who suffer. She has constantly advocated for responsive and needed treatment services and developed programs which have adapted and grown to meet the needs of San Diegans. This remarkable octogenarian is still the first person in the office most mornings and always the last person to leave. She is actively working as the agency’s CEO.

Founded in 1978, McAlister Institute provides a comprehensive range of substance abuse treatment, recovery, and supportive services. Together, McAlister Institute’s 24 programs represent a continuum of care that spans prevention and education, outreach, intervention, outpatient treatment, short-term and long-term residential care, aftercare, and sober living. Last year alone, McAlister Institute provided substance use treatment services to more than 14,600 individuals.

If you are moved by Eilene’s story and want to help those who are battling substance abuse and addiction, we hope you will consider making a donation to McAlister Insitute. Donations will be accepted at the event by Jeanne McAlister, or you can make your donation online. Please denote in the “make a comment” section,  that your donation was inspired by “Smacked.”



February 11, 2020
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
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