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.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Success Rate?

A while back someone asked about our success rate. I said I didn't know.

I guess I could've said something like 50%. Or 75%. Or 90% for those who spend X amount of months in the program. But the reality is that I don't know. I believe, though, that it’s as good as the next program’s success rate.

Our computer database shows right at 350,000 people in TLC over the past 21+ years. But the idea of tracking what they’re all doing now would be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. I know other programs advertise a certain success rate. And I don't agree or disagree with their claims.

They may have spent a lot of money at one point to find out where people were at exactly that moment. Or they may have some kind of follow-up program where people check in once in a while.

I'm not sure how they it, but I know tracking people is costly. And I'd rather spend our limited and precious resources on paying bills and helping the addicts who are standing in front of us.

So anything I tell you would be anecdotal. And I do have stories of those who succeeded.

We have many graduates who showed up with only the clothes on their back,

A few years later they'll have a good life. Maybe reunited with the family, off parole, and a job as a supervisor for a construction company. Perhaps own a small maintenance company. Or else back to school and get a degree.

We have many graduates who stay in touch and report success. And that’s enough for me.