Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 31st 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, May 24, 2021


Since TLC first opened its doors January 9, 1992 it's had at least 500,000 people come through its doors.

Now I'm not writing this to tell you that all of those 500,000 people got sober.  I think we'd be lucky if we could say even a quarter of them got sober.  And that may be optimistic.

But I will say that 100% of those who are living by the guidelines we taught them - they're all sober.  In fact we guarantee that if an an addict or alcoholic practices the principles we try to instill in them they will remain sober for the rest of their lives.  And not many programs can say that with confidence - but we do.

Even on the prison yards people about to be released will be told by others that wherever they go, don't go to TLC.  Then they add to only go there if  they want to get sober.

One of the reasons we have a bad reputation among many addicts and alcoholics who have failed at our program is that we expect them to be responsible.  We expect them to work a regular job.  To go to 12-step meetings.  To remain drug and alcohol free.  To make their beds.  To keep their living area clean. To help others.  And give us clean drug tests.  To tell us if others are using.  To respect others. 

The addicts who can't do those things end up leaving.  And do they have anything good to say about us after they leave.   Of course not.  They're not ready to change their lives or behavior.

One of the negatives about our program is that we don't have fancy new facilities.  We have a lot of donated furniture and food.  When people come to our places they're might be expecting fancy luxury facilities.  But they're disappointed if they do.  We have clean and well-maintained facilities.  But they're nothing fancy.

But they do provide the basics for getting sober and changing their lives.  And living a clean life is what satisfaction and happiness is all about.

While we may have a tough reputation, we're more concerned about the lives we save than what others think of us..

Click here to email John

1 comment:

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