Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A new drug known as "Spice" or "K-2" has come to TLC. It is legal, a synthetic cannabinoid that gives users a high similar to marijuana. It is sold in head shops and other stores as an incense blend.

One of our Las Vegas managers first brought the substance to our attention. He had caught a client smoking it on the property. Even though the drug is legal, the client was discharged for being under the influence.

So what's the big deal? And why did we discharge the client? After all, it's a legal substance.

So is alcohol. However, we don't allow clients to use it. We have a zero tolerance for drug use in our program whether legal or illegal. The exception is doctor's prescriptions. And even those are allowed for only limited periods. It interests me that people want to enroll in a recovery program yet still get high. Is this a matter of half measures? Or do clients really think they're not getting high if something is legal?

In any event, our staff searched several rooms at our Roosevelt facility in Phoenix. We discharged five clients for providing or using the substance. Hopefully the message will get around to the other clients and they won't fall prey to this new drug.