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.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Terrible Place

TLC is a good place to be if the goal is recovery.  And it's a terrible place to be if it's not.

This came up for me this week when I got feedback about former clients who had left.

One had left a TLC halfway house because he couldn't use painkillers. But he was able to find a house where prescription drugs weren't a problem.

Soon though he wanted to return. It seems everyone at his new place was using something, either alcohol or drugs. Management was absent. Police showed up once in a while. People threatened him.

Another report came from a program where several former clients had gone after relapsing at TLC.

At that program pretty much anything goes. As long as they don't create problems and pay their rent residents do what they want. Drink. Use drugs. Whatever.

Over the past 24 years I've seen this scenario over and over. Someone starts a halfway house thinking it's an easy way to earn a living.

Then reality sets in: do I want to help addicts get clean? Or do I just want to turn a quick buck?

Those who choose the quick profit option don't last. Because before long word gets around. And the only people who go there are those wanting to drink or drug. And they're a pretty unreliable bunch when it comes to paying their bills. Soon the place folds.

Eventually, those who are serious come back to TLC because they know if they follow our guidelines they'll stay clean.

It's just kind of sad to see them take these detours.