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.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


A mother, whose son is soon to be paroled from State Prison, sent an email asking us to help him receive treatment.

When I asked if they had insurance she said she didn't. However, she still wanted him to receive treatment.

And this is often a dilemma for family members who want help for their loved ones. Because they’ve never dealt with these issues they don’t seem to understand that providing treatment is an expensive proposition.

TLC Outpatient Clinic has half a dozen professionals, including doctors, who are well-paid for their services. Then there’s a support staff of therapists, behavioral technicians, drivers, cooks, and security staff who help care for the clients. About a dozen people in all.

In an era of entitlement programs and government care sometimes people think treatment might be free. Or at least at minimal cost. But that’s not the case. We have to pay employees. And, of course, we pass those costs on to our patients.

The communication with her ended when I referred her son to our half-way house program – where thousands of addicts and alcoholics have learned to live sober over the past 21 years.