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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Synthetic Drugs

A halfway house client seems high so he's asked for a urine sample. And, to everyone's surprise he comes up clean.

However, because he continues acting high he's discharged from the program. A modified e-cigarette in his possession contains an unknown substance.

This happens more often these days. We'll test clients but they are clean. Even though they appear drunk or high.

Much of this is due to new generations of spice and other synthetics. There are no tests for some of the newer ones.

When we discharge clients for using these chemicals they protest. The say they're legal. Or that we can't prove they're using.

But we don't care if a drug is legal. Alcohol is legal. So are prescription drugs.

Sometimes family members question our policies. Non-addicts wonder what the harm is in using something legal. But it's not about legal or illegal. It's about changing our addictive behavior and getting clean so we can have a good life.

If clients are smoking anything other than regular tobacco they're out. And, of course, alcohol or opiates puts them out also.

We have no issues with those who want to drink or use drugs.

They just can't do it at TLC.

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