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RISK MANAGEMENT (#1 of the SUD Chronicles)

Abigail’s brief marriage to a drug dealer at 18 has touched every element of her life since. Now she’s 40 with a son in college, a career counseling people with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), and an aversion to serious relationships. And everything is fine…until she loses her job because of funding cuts to behavioral health services.

To get by, Abigail accepts a medical receptionist position at her dad’s hand clinic, and then she finds a way to keep helping people with SUDs. The many laws regulating behavioral health services make her side gig a potential minefield, and a misstep could lead to disaster.

Abigail has friends she could call for professional advice. There’s Jeff — a compliance specialist with a long-standing crush on her — but after a drunken one-night stand, Abigail feels their friendship has become too tenuous to complicate with legal stuff. And then there’s Richard — a successful business consultant who’s great in bed — but asking him for advice might upset the balance of their casual relationship.

Bottom line? Abigail hates asking for help, and she doesn’t want to learn she can’t help SUD clients. But, she knows the unresolved trauma that spawned her need for independence could become a serious liability. To overcome her challenges, she’ll have to admit that her actions are creating risk, not managing it.