Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is it Genetic?

Periodically clients do dishonest things, like steal from one another. Or lie. Or else leave without paying their service fees.

And I sometimes ask myself if this dishonesty evolves from a lack of ethics? Or does it develop from years of drug use and living on the fringe? Poor upbringing?  Maybe something deeper. Perhaps genetics?

In the last few months I’m leaning toward genetics because we've had more than one parent or relative sign contracts with us saying they would forward insurance payments to TLC – then fail to do so.

When we inquire about our funds, which are forwarded to the policy holder so they can pay us, we get a variety of answers.

Some say that they aren't sure who the checks are for. Others will say TLC is paid “too much.” Still others deny receiving anything.

And, of course, we’re able to follow the paper trail to see who received and cashed them – evidence we ultimately present in court.

But it’s sad to work with a client who’s trying to get sober and realize they’ll have an uphill battle if they return to a home where stealing is part of the environment.

Family members send their loved one to get clean and sober. Then they’re surprised when they return home to a negative environment and start using again.  They don't realize that getting sober is the ultimate exercise in honesty.