Sam has a PhD in biopsychology from the University of Georgia and a National Institute on Drug Abuse Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He also has a 35-year history of heroin and Dilaudid use. For the first 13 years, his use was occasional. For the next 22 years, he experienced opioid addiction. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Broken No More/GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing). He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.