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.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Secondary Victims


At TLC we regularly encounter primary victims of drugs – clients who’ve been streaming through our doors for 21 years. And while I see the impact on our clients and their families I seldom think of the effect drug use has others in the world.

But today, while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I talked with a housekeeper who’s a secondary victim of drugs – a woman who was forced to leave her hometown of Acapulco with her family because the drug battles there have left the town – in her words – “quebrado.” (broken)

She said that while there have been periods of tranquility in the resort city, the publicity about several gang shootouts over the past few years have scared tourists away. And it has been the death knell for a city that has subsisted for years on tourism. Subsequently, jobs for families like hers have disappeared.

Fortunately, she and her family were able to migrate to this peaceful area of Mexico and find new jobs in the tourist industry.

While there’s not much practical value in this kind of information, it brings an added perspective to the scope of what we’ve been dealing with the past 21 years.