97: So, You Want to Work in Treatment (Sort Of)

Many persons in recovery have a strong pull to help others find recovery. It’s a very human experience to want to lead others to the same freedom you have found. However, we have watched many people struggle in this environment. Not to say that it isn’t a good idea, but maybe there are some ways to do it that are better than others. We have on Basile to help us talk about what it’s like to get into the treatment field. What are some of the drawbacks? Do people really think that their job is also their service? Do we need to keep our professional lives separate from our recovery, or is there a good way to unite them? How do we keep our egos in check once we think we have this all figured out? How can we deal with our recovery life bleeding into our work and vice versa? Do we need to go further away to meetings if we work in our area? How do we deal with people in a complete abstinence program who judge us for supporting other types of recovery at our job? We delve into all these questions and also learn about Elevate Recovery. Listen in and then reach out with your tips for how to navigate working in addiction treatment while also being in recovery. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com,  or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or find us on our website at www.recoverysortof.com.

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

all right welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason i’m a guy who does not actually work in the treatment field and i’m billy i’m a person in long-term recovery and today we’re here with basil hey basil what’s up hey how’s it going it’s going good man uh so we brought basil on because we want to talk about the idea of getting involved in the work of treatment centers while also being in recovery and how difficult that can be and what challenges it presents and i think more and more people in recovery are finding their way into this field and like we want to kind of have a guide of like hey what’s some things from an experienced person that can help with that um when i came into recovery i remember i had i got i probably had like two months i don’t know maybe i had 10 days who knows but i remember telling my sponsor i was like man i want to be an addictions counselor right i want to help people and he he kind of laughed at me and pooh-poohed on my dreams he was like yeah everybody wants to do that in their first six months like get over it do something else don’t fall into that trap and then as i stayed around longer there was very much this idea that i got and it’s not a and 12 step idea but this idea from the people in the program that if you go to work in addictions counseling or in treatment centers or anything like that what you’re gonna do is confuse your recovery and your work and your work is gonna become what you think your recovery is and you’re gonna stop doing your recovery practices and you’re going to use and i guess there had been instances of this and maybe many instances of this at some point um and granted this was quite a while ago but i think now there’s a [ __ ] ton of 12-step people in recovery like i don’t think there’s a shortage of us i think you know we do make good helpers and the peer movement has involved us even more and made it more accessible for people to get into uh so i think that thinking has changed and yet i still do think uh from what i’ve seen at least it does create some unique challenges and so uh basil’s here because he’s gonna be our resident expert today and i’m gonna let basil take over and tell us a little bit about his story that has him qualified to talk about this today thanks for having me uh so i don’t know if i’m an expert by by any means but i um you know got into this industry um first off i’m somebody in long-term recovery i got clean back in 2008 uh so i’m coming up on 13 years so you know i’ve always been involved in 12-step fellowship uh you know i’ve always had a sponsor went to meetings you know did uh you know all those things that you know i’ve always followed like that path of recovery um so you know i’m somebody who’s you know gotten connected throughout the great state of maryland you know like all over just like 12 stepping like all over the state so you know that’s where i originally started with you know this entire like kind of uh i would call it space um and then i was a construction worker for nine years uh i did construction i worked in a a union out of dc and you know i had a great life you know like i went through an apprenticeship i you know um i did well for myself you know i bought a house i did all the things that we look to do um to become like productive members of society um you know when i first got into recovery i didn’t have anything you know so it was like a total transformation of my life uh in that time and then somebody approached me that i was actually playing softball with it’s funny enough uh like i i once wanted to be a counselor uh but when i was working in the union you know we made good money they were like hey uh you know i was like man maybe i want to become a counselor and i saw all the student loan that i was going to accrue um i saw that i would actually start off maybe making like half of what i was making uh working in the shimada union i had already you know um established a life for myself for like i needed to make a certain amount of money to provide and you know continue to have the things that i wanted so somebody approached me at a softball game that i played i’ve been playing softball since i got clean you know you can have fun in recovery but um you know so he was like hey have you ever thought about working in treatment and i was like i did actually think about working intriguing but i need to make more money then i can make you know being a a therapist and uh the the position was actually for business development uh some people call it community outreach they call it treatment advocates essentially it’s marketing for a treatment center you know so um in the 12-step fellowships sometimes this can be like it’s a very like uh it’s like it’s like a lot it’s like a certain like uh area of the industry where like if you’re not very careful and you don’t understand like you know recover recovery and treatment of two totally separate things it can really it can damage people you know so um i got into that into the industry i started doing marketing and essentially my job was to get people into treatment you know so i um started you know just marketing and going out and really marketing is more of like a sales term and it’s like it’s like i felt like i wasn’t really like selling people on coming to treatment i was more so would wake up every morning and think i need to try to put as many people in treatment as possible and like that’s my job you know so like that’s how i approach the job um and of course like it’s it’s a production like area of the industry you know so if you’re going out there and you’re not producing you know uh what they call clients right uh you know you’re not doing a good job you know and like that’s the way that you know those are the terms that would be made like like in a business setting but like i just think like if i’m not getting more people help then i’m not doing a good job on my job you know so it was like when i got into the industry it was more so like it was a business but it was a business of helping people but when i first got clean there was a guy that worked at the uh halfway house that i lived at and you know some people just have misinformation that like you know their job can be uh service work or like you know some type of like selflessness you know what i mean it’s like he told me that anything that you make a dollar for takes the spirit of uh service out of what you’re doing um and you know i didn’t really understand that until i was working at that same halfway house and i was making i was a weekend manager making a hundred dollars a weekend right and i didn’t and i wasn’t doing it for the money you know like i was doing it because i wanted to like give back to the place that like helped you know save my life but there came a time where i uh was like i wish i was making 125 a weekend you know i was like this isn’t enough money for my time you know like all the selflessness and you know wanting to give back for for some reason just like kind of like was like going out the window so you know it’s been a it’s been a crazy ride since i’ve been working in treatment i’ve only been working in treatment for three years my previous employer actually you know aspired to want to open up my own treatment center so i did that back july of last year so we’ve been open now for a little bit over a year uh you know and we’re doing well but now i don’t really have a whole lot of client interaction i more so help bring the people in that are going to help the clients that are in our center you know so i’m more so of like a i guess you would call it um a delegate or a navigator you know of sorts like just making sure that we’re bringing good people in um that you know are in the industry for the right reason they do say if you’re in the industry and you and you don’t want to help people anymore you probably should get out of that you know so um that’s my qualification and i probably ranted a little bit but nah that’s great that’s great all i could think when you were talking about uh what you termed marketing was that somebody had put me on to some movie in florida or the movies not in florida but a movie about guys in florida who were like chasing down bodies for the treatment centers and like they got bonuses or something apparently i i didn’t know much about it but i didn’t watch the movie either obviously i didn’t take that recommendation but was it like that like do you do you really like chase down people to kind of get them in treatment no i mean so in florida from what i’m told i mean the only time i’ve ever been to florida is for vacation you know so i’ve never like worked there or you know anything like that from what i’m told i mean i like i said i have not never had any dealings of like with that like space of like patient brokering or anything like that but patient brokering is also a very broad term you know like there’s different like variations of patient brokering you know that take place in the industry but what was happening on that movie i believe i heard about the movie but they were like paying for clients you know so you know if i brought a client into a treatment center they would give me x amount of dollars for bringing that client in you know which is essentially you’re like selling people i guess that would kind of like be the way that it is but you know just from what i’m told like they had like young kids down there that were 18 19 20 years old and they were doing this and they were all making a bunch of money it was just like crazy like what was going on down there but i’ve never had any i’ve never gotten paid nothing but a salary you know so that’s that’s the only thing that i’ve ever um experienced like in this industry but i have heard about it so it’s definitely like the dark side of treatment well and it’s tricky to think about because like on one hand okay maybe this does seem like a shady practice right and on the other hand it’s like is this the incentive we need to try to get more like if you get somebody into treatment and you got paid 2 000 i don’t i’m making all this up right but if you did and that person ended up like with a better life and and not addicted to drugs and not homeless like was there a downside to that right if that’s what incentive like i don’t know like i could see how it could be shady but still be positive yeah the downside would be uh bending corners to do that you know so like they supposedly were like giving people drugs uh you know people that didn’t really have drug problems they were sending to these places you know so once you start attaching money to like a person that’s when you know ethics and you know morals and values come into play where it’s like you know people people aren’t like genuinely like getting everybody at the treatment that needs to get into treatment you know or they’re cutting corners in order to get that two thousand dollars you know so it’s like you know it can really just it can take take people to a dark place especially when you’re most people that are doing marketing are like people that are in recovery you know so when you start like putting people like in recovery and situations like that i just think that it’s just like bad all the way around i think if somebody if somebody gets a salary you know you get a you know um a reasonable salary that you know you can provide for your family and you know if you do better you can get you know of course raises to that salary like over time but you know i don’t think we’re not selling cars you know so it’s like it’s you know it’s it’s just a very it’s a very delicate area of of the industry um and i’ve heard in other states they still give like bonuses and things like that but in the state of maryland i’m as far as i know you’re not allowed to give any type of like bonuses or you know incentives to like get people into treatment well and and if you know you have a thousand dollar bonus to give because somebody came into treatment why not pay their way through their recovery house after they finish your program right like why not use that money to further their course well it’s funny because it’s it’s such a like i’ve learned over time like working in business development and owning a treatment center now it’s a business you know so it’s like you cannot ever be mad at people for approaching it like a business but the best businesses that are in treatment are ones where people get help you know so if somebody is not getting help your business model is you know it’s no good you know and the certain treatment centers are different like at my treatment center if somebody comes in and you know they for whatever reason uh they don’t have any insurance they can’t get state insurance maybe they’re out of state resident you know and then they’re unable to apply for like maryland medicaid or something like that we’ll scholarship those clients you know so we’ll just do like free treatment and that’s not isn’t for everybody you know i’m not saying that i’m like out here like you know uh like the second coming of christ or anything like that you know but you know we try to help when we can you know and there’s other businesses where if you don’t have insurance you can’t pay you can’t stay you know which is okay you know like i can’t sit here and be like these are bad people you know because they’re approaching the business in a different manner you know so it’s it’s really taking the recovery out of the business is what people have it’s that people have problems with you know so if you have a therapist and they think that their job is their service work or they’re like giving back sure like their job is to help people but from a recovery standpoint they’re that they would be in a very bad place in my mind that’s interesting i’d actually argue that with you but maybe we’ll get to that later uh okay so when you were finding people that needed treatment right which seems like it could be an idealistic thing from your standpoint like man i’m trying to help people get into treatment and also could you know for maybe somebody else that’s not that’s looking at it more like just a job and they’re saying oh man i need to find people so i can get paid to get them into treatment like i’m not trying to put you on the spot right no judgment here but like you’re fine were you coming across people that were coming to meetings that were still using that you were like man you know i know a place that can help or like how do you navigate that without uh i guess messing up the way you feel about how you’re practicing principles around your 12-step program right are you like just not forceful about it like hey this is an option if you’re interested or what ways did you keep that separate and okay for yourself so i never when i share in a meeting or if i like am i sharing at a meeting or uh if i’m at a meeting i’ll never share what i do for a living so i’ll never say like i’m a marketer for a treatment center so like if you know anybody that needs to get into treatment get my number after the meeting you know so really like i don’t i do that for myself because like if i don’t have separation between like my job my recovery like i’m in a bad place you know if i’m if i’m praying on meetings to like find people to get into treatment that’s when like ethically and like you know uh just morally it just becomes like it becomes like a very sticky situation but most people just knew what i did for a living just because like you know we’re facebook friends we’re friends they know that you know i’m a marketer i help you know i’m a treatment advocate i help get people into treatment you know so if one of their loved ones or you know one of their friends or themselves for instance wanted to get into treatment more likely they would reach out to me on social media they would call my phone you know and they’ll be like hey you know basil i’m looking to get into treatment can you help me and like i would say yeah i can help you but like where the where the thing comes in where people don’t really understand this is that just because somebody calls your phone to get into treatment not everybody can go to the treatment center that you work for right so what happens is is when the when your morals and your ethics and all that comes into play is when you don’t help the people that call your phone right so i’ve helped more people that have called my phone get into other treatment centers than the one that i work for than the one that i work for you know so like if you’re if you’re gonna be able to like go home at night and feel okay about yourself like you need to help everybody that calls your phone whether they can go to the treatment center that you work for or not and that’s just the way that i’ve always approached them i i spent some time working with a place that helps people find treatment centers or whatever kind of recovery version they’re looking for and i think one of the challenges for me in it i don’t know i didn’t struggle with it a lot but i could see where some people would and maybe i didn’t struggle with it because i don’t know a ton about these particular treatment centers that i was helping them get into i feel like working for one specifically you would definitely know a lot about what went on there i feel like that could be a struggle if you i don’t know knew the success rate was low or they had some practices that maybe didn’t line up with 12-step because a lot of treatment center practices aren’t necessarily exactly what we talk about in our recovery program right like that can get interesting knowing you’re sending somebody in or feeling like you’re sending somebody into maybe not the best information did you ever encounter any of that i tried i’ve said i would say 95 of the places that i refer people i’ve personally been and i could say i’ve vetted the programs i want to try to i would like by all means like you know have i done that every single time no i haven’t you know because sometimes like the window of opportunity for people to want to go into treatment is very small so for me to be like i’ve actually never been to these treatment centers that i can get you into right now and like i’m not gonna send you there because you know i i would feel wrong not getting them in there and then getting a call the next day that like they overdosed and died then you know just getting them in there and just you know doing doing my best essentially right but like i want to send people to places that i would send my family members like that’s the way that you have to when you’re in marketing like if you’re sending people places where you wouldn’t feel comfortable sending one of your loved ones that’s when it can start weighing on you a little bit and you’re like ah you know i’m sending people places that i wouldn’t even send you know somebody i don’t like right it’s not all training centers not all treatment centers are the same and you know not to i think there’s more good treatment centers than bad treatment centers i would like to believe that you know but there’s some places and we’re not even going to say bad treatment centers i would say not good for that individual right so like if you’ve been doing this long enough you should be able to have a conversation with somebody figure out what their needs are figure out what they’re struggling with and then make a decision on where to send them not just say like hey like because it’s not like a one size fits all it’s just not you know so there might be somebody who is totally against 12 steps they don’t want 12 steps at all right am i not going to help them because they don’t want to go to you they don’t want to participate in 12 steps like now it’s like now be now you have to like separate yourself out of a 12-step fellowship where we’re we’re taught like you know uh like this is what works for me i know 100 i need 12 steps i need the fellowship like that’s the suit that i found that fits me right but from a treatment standpoint somebody might be wanting to do more so like you know one-on-one therapy you know or they might you know find uh music more therapeutic like i i don’t you know i need to like figure out like what what approach is this person trying to do because like i some i believe you have to meet people at the place where they’re at you know i can’t try to like force feed something down somebody’s throat i need to put them in a place where they’re hopefully going to succeed and give them the best opportunity to like you know get recovery yeah and i think there is a belief sometimes at least in our area like the the sort of what i’ll call the high dollar hoity-toity you know treatment center is the best option and i don’t know that that’s always the case as we’ve seen with individuals and i think that’s where the client brokering gets dangerous it’s like if you’re getting incentivized to send someone to a place just because they’re paying bonuses that’s different than trying to match someone up with the best treatment center available i know around here there’s a couple different treatment centers that offer different like you said different versions of not versions of recovery but different pathways of recovery some deal more with mental health issues some are better for that stuff and being able when someone comes in to send them to the best possible treatment center is more important than the one that’s offering the most benefits correct i i i believe that to be true as well you know but not everybody that works in this space is in recovery you know so their their standpoint and their view like you’re somebody in long-term recovery so is jason you know like the we we tend to view things maybe from a different telescope a little bit um you know where it’s not all just like business business business you know like um you know some people will approach it where there’s tons of good treatment centers right i’m going to refer to the places that i work with that’s how they’re going to approach it you know so they’re going to have this you know a big like uh like group of people that they refer to that are all good treatment centers right but they’re not going to refer outside of that group of people because they don’t work with those other people you know so there is tons of like the the business of treatment is so much different than like recovery and i think that if people aren’t educated on like the industry then they’re gonna be you know they’re gonna more than likely just have like a very uh shallow view on like what we do you know because i’ve felt that before too where people are like oh man you’re just making money off the backs of addicts you know like i’ve heard that numerous times you know that like i’m making money off the backs of addicts and it’s like okay would you rather somebody who’s in recovery be working in the field and doing what we do or would you rather have some somebody who’s not in recovery doing it you know and that’s just like a question that people need to ask themselves it’s like who do you feel more comfortable i just want good people doing it at the end of the day right like we want good ethical providers who are doing the right thing and they’re not cutting corners they’re not taking shortcuts like that’s what we want you know i i want to commend you for being able to do something that you said you were doing which was you know guiding people to the recovery method that seemed like they wanted right or that was appropriate for them in talking with them i i get the idea and this isn’t uh a knock against the program but i do feel like most of the people including myself that i’ve interacted with you know over my time around the 12 steps we even even in ourselves like we get this idea of how it worked for us and we take that to be how it has to work for everybody right even down to the way like well i work the 12 steps out of this book and so if you’re doing it that way that is definitely not going to work for you right and so to be able to take that idea of open-mindedness that there’s a lot of paths to get to the same place right and take that into some things that maybe our program doesn’t really look highly on i think is incredible uh because it’s something i i’m like just starting to get better at at times in my life and i guess along with that uh statement like were you working at a place that provided um medically assisted treatment methods when you were trying to get people in yes i was i was so i worked for you know a company that owned multiple treatment centers throughout the country and yes we they provided uh mat you know they had mat tracks and i when i first started in the industry i felt some type of way about that you know because i initially was working for an abstinent-based program you know where you had to be off of everything in order to come into the treatment center and then that shifted as i had been in the industry for a little while but i mean the way the best way that i can break it down for people is like i mean i’ve been in recovery now for 12 years so i feel like people experience trauma and recovery especially with like the state of addiction and where things are now and i would much rather have my dead friends on suboxone than you know in the cemetery you know so it’s like harm reduction only like people don’t really feel it unless they’ve experienced it you know so it’s like nobody’s going to really understand harm reduction like we do right because like y’all are both in recovery i’m sure you need more than two hands to count all the people that you’ve lost like in this process right so would you rather than be on suboxone or be trying to like shove you know abstinence down their throat you know it’s like i don’t i’m not gonna because this is the thing also if i tell somebody you need to be abstinent and then they go out and they overdose and die like then what right they wanted they wanted to be on suboxone you know who am i to tell somebody what they should be doing with their lives and how they should be approaching like their recovery you know i know it’s worked for me and i always stand by that you know which is abstinence that’s what’s worked for me and like that’s what is going to continue to work for me one day at a time but i can’t force that down somebody else’s throw the the longer you i guess stay around the 12-step world and have this more open mind to the harm reduction methods right let me not say that i’m going about this wrong way the longer i stay around this 12-step world with this open mind to to the harm reduction methods and i don’t even like the terms harm reduction just to these other recovery modalities whatever we want to call it right the more i feel like a lot of the 12-step world and its population are or or just its language is like so shame-based and

pushes people further away from the connection we need to find healing right and it’s a struggle for me honestly at this point in my life to i feel more disconnection from my program because i just feel like so many people are holding to these i want to call them old ideals but other ideals of things that i don’t think are helping necessarily anymore and that’s become trickier for me have you found that in your exploration because of your job like of all this new information and these new statistics and new research and new science have you found anything like that like does it hurt you to go into a place that you feel maybe isn’t helping people as much as we’d like uh i mean i i i don’t know it’s like you know it just depends on who you’re talking to you know it’s like i don’t want to generalize you know these huge fellowships that have millions of people in them off of like you know the the words of like a couple people you know like i don’t think that that’s really fair to do um but yeah i mean it it’s like we hear we hear those things a lot louder than we heard hear the good things you know so it’s like if somebody is running around and saying like y’all are doing suboxone like that’s crazy uh you know you’re basically just like a drug meal you’re feeding them drugs you know you’re not getting them any help uh you’re doing this you’re doing that like we’re gonna hear that a lot louder than hey jason like thank you for helping my loved one like they’re doing well today you know even if they are on suboxone they have a job they’re going to school you know they’re back with their children uh they’re reunited with their family you know things like that that’s that’s going to be a lot less loud than y’all y’all are force-feeding people some boxing and you’re doing this and you’re doing that you know so i’ve kind of had to like block it out a little bit like with my own personal recovery um but then i also you know i i’ll experience experience judgment just by being a treatment center owner you know like at you know just where i’m at like in my life you know like now that i own a treatment center and i think those voices are a lot louder than the good ones too of like you know basil you know you’re doing this you’re doing that and it’s like okay well you know we’re also doing a whole lot of good in the community i believe you know so it’s a very i mean we could probably sit there and talk about this for hours and hours but hopefully our fellowships do get a little bit more open-minded to just like loving people with where they’re at and like not using the shame-based language that we use as far as like you know uh maintenance and like not clean and you know shouldn’t celebrate or you know things like that you know like we we would have to really kind of like tread back and you know look at some things in our literature and you know like the things that um like you know we express from a 12-step fellowship standpoint is like the world is changing you know so it’s like as the world is changing like we have to adapt you know like i i think certain forms of mat there’s more deeper conversations than others you know like they have vivitrol now you know they have um subtext you know they have a lot of different forms of mat now i mean now we have medical marijuana you know that’s like a whole entire other conversation that we have to have but i don’t feel comfortable telling people on what they should and shouldn’t do i don’t i don’t like to do that like i’m not i’m not a professional you know like uh i’m not a medical professional right so i refuse to tell people what they need to do like all i can tell you is what’s worked for me and if that’s not what you want to do that’s okay you know like you got to do what you got to do but like i will not tell people what they need to do awesome awesome i i think that’s a very diplomatic answer but also a good one uh so tell us about your treatment center like what inspired you to open it what’s it like what do you do there what what’s going on so it’s called elevate recovery centers uh it’s located in glen burnie maryland out here in anne arundel county what inspired me to do it um of course like i was working for somebody you know so it was like i mean i think most people in their minds are like they have like some type of like entrepreneurial spirit they’re like hey like one day i could do this or i could do that you know um so you know it just started really weighing on my mind because the area that i live in they don’t really have any treatment centers you know and it’s the biggest city in anne arundel county it has one of the biggest opioid problems so i saw the need for it in the community that i live in which kind of like sparked my interest into pursuing it um and then yeah i mean i who doesn’t i mean if you’re somebody in recovery like you kind of get the opportunity to have the autonomy on how you can build your program so like that also was kind of attractive as well and then just from a you know professional standpoint you know it’s continuing to grow within the industry you know hopefully but um you know our treatment center we do um iop we do php iop and op partial hospitalization program intensive outpatient and we do outpatient and we also have our omhc so we’re doing like true mental health um people who have like intense mental health issues we can help as well uh we have about nine therapists uh we have some social workers on our staff we have um addictions counselors um we have uh case managers uh like basically like if people were gonna start from us from our most intense program down step down to our you know when they’re you know about to step out of our program um we meet people where they’re at um typically you know people start off in our php program um they’re just starting uh we’re trying to incorporate you know uh healthy habits like you know getting them to go to meetings um you know them getting out and getting to the center every day we’re setting them up with um a substance therapist and a mental health therapist so you know they’re starting to get like that you know uh outside of the fellowship help that you know a lot of us need you know like i think that’s become like a new uh wave of things as well it’s like an extra layer on your recovery um to be connected with a therapist and it’s actually what i believe is it’s like a healthy habit you know to like go to your therapist to you know get that third party um perspective you know uh that most of us need you know they say anybody who’s in this industry should have one so that that’s what was told to me is that anybody who works in the industry should have so um and then you know they would step down from our partial hospitalization to our intensive outpatient um and then they would all together it’s about six months um we’re really just trying to like give them some healthy habits uh as far as like you know i mean i’m in a 12-step fellowship right so in a perfect world we would lead them all to 12-step fellowships and they would all get sponsors and go to home group and you know do service work and things like that you know but um really we’re just trying to like the full picture is like to understand that like you can live a life clean and sober you know out here in the world and you know you can be happy you know um without the use of drugs i mean that that’s really like what it boils down to but like we do like uh yoga we have um vocational services where like we help them like resume building things like that um if they need food stamps we’ll help them apply for food stamps um we work with you know housing all over the county so somebody needs like housing you know we’re able to kind of like navigate that for them and see like hey like can we find somewhere that has uh funding you know they can find somewhere that has funding for their housing we’re able to apply for funding hopefully in turn get that funding for them a lot of people that come to us are indigent they have absolutely nothing you know so that’s been pretty cool to watch like people’s uh transformation of coming in with like nothing you know we’ve only been open for a year so we haven’t been open for a super long time but you know we have had the opportunity of watching people come in with nothing you know get their start at our center you know continue on and like now they have their own place they have a job you know like they’re involved in their recovery and they’re doing the right thing um and that’s just pretty cool to watch but yeah i mean that’s kind of like a quick snippet of our program you’re always welcome to come by and check us out too you can meet all of our clinical team and you can kind of see what we do

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how do you handle you had mentioned uh i think before we started recording that you you know you recover in an environment where you run into people who have been in or are in your treatment center or or maybe even more close to home for you since you’re not really working one-on-one with them on a daily basis is running into you know employees uh in the recovery world like how does how tricky is it to navigate that uh it’s a learning process i’m just like learning how to deal with it now but the cool thing about the area that i live in i mean i live probably 15 minutes from baltimore city and then like we’re like 20 minutes from annapolis it’s like you really can i mean you know they say your recovery is your responsibility right so i i can go 30 minutes in like any direction and like be out of the area that i that i live in you know i’m like i’ve always really like prided myself on being of service in the community that you live in like i believe that i i think that like if i was to move to cecil county that’s where you all are at i think right see something i should get a home group in cecil county and i should be in service out there you know like that’s what i’ve always believed and that’s just what’s worked for me um but it has become a little difficult to navigate as far as like feeling kind and like not not that it’s any of anybody’s fault you know like it’s just that’s just the way that it kind of uh is you know like i think that people should feel comfortable in the meetings that they’re going to not that i’d feel like uncomfortable but you know i’m still somebody in recovery i still have all of my same like i have a lot of struggles you know like i have things that i need to talk about and that i need to like get in touch with the group about you know but you know you just have to be careful on like what you’re what you’re putting out there in a meeting with you have clients and you have staff and things like that you know so um it’s just it’s yeah i’m still learning we can get back in like a year and i can tell you more about how i’ve navigated it well and i think that’s part of the i don’t know that the world has gone wrong but part of the tricky part about living in 2021 right if you think about the idea of trying to run for president and how you know the media outlets will scrape through or your opponents will scrape through your history or maybe what you’re going through today and present that as like evidence of why you’re not good enough or something like that we live in this environment of like exceptional judgment and you know looking through people’s discreet information for the little holes in their character and like that’s just really not a world that i think is is a healthy way to participate in right if like god i i honestly like i’ve thought i’m like okay what if i run for president oh [ _ ] they’re gonna know that oh yeah i don’t know about that right like i don’t even know if i want them to know that much less how they’re gonna take it but it’s sad because why can’t we live in a world where like basil is my boss and he runs a treatment center and also struggles with you know relationship issues like why can’t that be okay right like why can’t it be okay that oh [ _ ] he fell short and and stepped outside his relationship i mean that sucks and it’s but why do people need to be on these pedestals to be in positions of helpfulness in the world i don’t get it yeah i mean i i it’s that’s where recovery and the industry they they bleed into each other you know so you know if i have which i have had since i’ve opened like personal struggles you know they’re kind of like in uh it’s like public knowledge you know it becomes like public knowledge within the fellowship and then in turn it becomes public knowledge at my place of business you know so it’s like that’s where it just sucks the most where it’s like dang it’s like you know it’s like you get put on like the spotlight where you feel like so much judgment and like you know you could be doing so much good for so many people you know but like these couple little things that you know you struggle with you know you just feel like people are like talking about you and it’s like i’ve always heard like i’m not that important which you know i still believe that i’m really not that important to where everybody’s sitting at home talking about baskin you know but when you want to help people and then like when you know you’re helping people you know and then like you’re still catching like scrutiny of like you know people talking about you whatever like it can just affect you like on a more so like a mental health standpoint you know what i mean to where it’s like i need to really like ring it like reign it in you know and be like okay like my personal issues have been you know put into like a public space to where like that’s not cool you know like regular people don’t have to deal with that you know like i’m in i’m in n a you know so it’s like i know hundreds of people in the fellowship hundreds like uh the tons of people that i know so if like most people that work in the industry are in the fellowship you know so it’s like if there’s something that is like happening like in my personal life that i share or that like whatever happens and then like it bleeds over into my work life like i just feel like that’s not like atypical of like most people’s lives you know so it’s like a different type of like dynamic that only people like us for the most part have to deal with you know like if if i’m a construction i found a construction company you know and i’m not an n a right and i something happens in my personal life nobody hears about it you know like there’s not like a slew of people that are coming you know people that you barely know that are like oh i heard this happen to you in your life you know so it’s just you have to just be very prepared for like what you’re going to be going into like once you go into it it doesn’t feel good i bet i bet uh looking at it from so before i got involved anywhere in the the helping people get into treatment and stuff i think i kind of thought of you know we we take this black and white thinking some of us do i definitely do i’m like it’s black and white right everything’s black and white uh treatment centers are evil they’re all about money they’re not really helping people their success rates are like two percent you know they tell you when you go there that one in 20 of you will make it or whatever they say or they used to say at least and just thinking of that as like almost the enemy and so it would have been easy to look at somebody in a meeting who owned a a treatment center and say oh they’re uh yeah that’s they’re evil right they’re just in it for the money they don’t practice principles it’s nothing you know i think you have a very oh yeah man i think most places are helping people and that’s great right i’m usually like the the pessimistic guy of the crew for sure but is there anything you’ve run into uh operating a treatment center that you’ve been like man this doesn’t feel like it’s as good as i’d like it to be or i do feel like we’re we’re failing here that kind of rocks i don’t i don’t want to say rocks your recovery but sort of you know affects you and it feels like damn i why can’t we have a higher success rate or what are we doing and am i really doing enough good to justify this like does that ever occur to you so i mean i’m always going to feel that way if somebody leaves us successfully and then they come back you know so like soon you know if they come back in a week or a couple days you know like we dealt with people that have successfully completed and then i mean when you talk to them you would have probably bet some money that they would do well you know when they left and then you know you hear that they’ve relapsed and they want to come back because they feel comfortable with us you know and it’s like i want to be able to you know we have a very we have a policy on that to where like we’re not going to like be like the enabling parent you know to be like oh yeah just come back it’s going to all be well and then also from a from an ethical standpoint it’s like are we just going to just keep on coming letting them come back so we can build their insurance like you know that that’s essentially what we’re doing at that point if they’re continuing to go back out like they need to try something different you know like if if our program like we’ll take somebody back like you know once maybe twice but after that like that’s where like and that’s where like sometimes you have to draw the line it’s like look like this isn’t right like we’re accepting somebody who has been with us tons of times right what would be the right thing to do the right thing would be to change something up for them and not let them come back and like send them somewhere else you know that would that that would be the top one for me as far as like things that just don’t feel right gotcha i was just gonna say it sounds like you know treatment is a is a business i mean we’re in a capitalist society we need money to operate businesses need money to do what they do and if i mean i’m glad to hear someone pretty ethical in this space because if not if there’s a need somebody will go out to fill that need um but i think like any business like you hope that you’re dealing with a business that’s practicing morals and ethics and values you know and i heard it actually from a guy that’s a sales car salesman early in recovery he’s you know i said oh how’s that feel you know being a car salesman with the negative sort of stereotype that comes with that and he said look i figured out as a car salesman like taking the principles of the program and applying them in my job actually has what’s made me so successful he’s like i i don’t i’m not dishonest with people i don’t try to [ _ ] them i come in i listen to what their needs are i try to honestly fit them into what works for them and you know and sure i make money at it but i’m doing it with morals ethics and values and he’s been really really successful um and i think that sounds pretty important in the treatment field too it’s like if you have people that are doing this business with morals and ethics and values hopefully that they learned in recovery uh that’s a much better approach than just some big financial investment firm out there doing it for what’s going to make them the most money at the end of the day yeah i mean i agree like we all this business you have to be careful you know i i just that’s the best way i can put it you know like me personally i take my hands out of all like clinical things that are happening in our in our company so like the best way i can explain it is like we have people come in we do assessments on them you know typically like we’ll do a phone assessment and then they’re going to come in and do a real assessment but they have to be accepted into our program you know so you have some businesses where the business side is more involved in the clinical side and saying like they might not really be appropriate for our level of care but we’re going to accept them anyway you know so i’ve given autonomy to my clinical director i said i don’t want to i don’t want anything to do with you know us accepting or not accepting people because first off i’m not a professional right so like i never went to school i don’t know you know clinically what is best and you know over time i’ve learned a lot of like you know things from the people that i work with but me being a business owner eventually like who knows maybe that might happen to me where i’d be like this person really isn’t appropriate for our program but we’ll accept them anyway because like we want to it’s a word business you know so it’s like you have to like put like uh layers of like security for yourself in place to where you don’t find yourself in that position to where it’s like am i accepting this person because like it’s what’s best for them or am i doing it because this is what’s best for our business uh i ran into a guy it’s been a while now but he was pretty high up in in some treatment center in the baltimore area and he he i don’t know i ran into him at a meeting he shared a great message it was nice but then he i don’t know talking to some other people about him apparently you know i mean i guess i don’t really need to have any judgment of him but i ended up with one through some of the stuff i heard they talked about him uh having a pretty big ego and and like he was a little older and got with a really young woman and you know carried himself in a certain kind of way that wasn’t all that attractive you know and over time i started to see that how do you fight that ego kind of stuff because i mean look we can talk all the good [ _ ] we want about spiritual principles but at the end of the day like i have an ego that comes out here and there or feeds off of certain things in my life and like i need to actively be aware that that is a possibility and what kind of things i need to do to keep myself grounded how how much of a struggle has that been for you um so for me and i i understand what you’re saying like i don’t know i i don’t know who you’re talking about um you know but it sounds to me like it’s just one of those things like i i working in the field now and being in the position uh i i don’t know that i would believe that about somebody just by like the perception of like what i saw like at a meeting or you know maybe the way that they talk or the way that they do things you know because um i think sometimes the person doesn’t change the people around them change um and the way that they perceive somebody changes maybe because of what they have or you know what they do so like i that situation i would probably just like uh need to like see a little bit more like head-on but um for myself oh of course like my ego can take hold of me any time of the day like i mean i’m you know by nature like i believe like my true nature is just like egotistical self-righteous um you know uh arrogant like all those things right but being in recovery now for 12 years uh it’s what those are one of the things that have made me the push people away the most you know and it’s like being in this position and being in this industry like the last thing that i want uh is to end up alone and i think that uh that’s like where you end up when you start practicing those characteristics not to say that my arrogance doesn’t come out like at times where it’s like well you don’t know who i am and you know uh all these things but at the end of the day somebody’s position uh or a title or whatever you want to call it like it doesn’t really it doesn’t determine what kind of person they are it also isn’t going to determine their happiness it you know life is it’s it’s funny you know because i mean you have somebody that can make ten dollars an hour that is just make is way happier than a person that’s making five hundred thousand dollars a year you know so it’s it’s a very weird that’s a that’s a weird uh not weird it’s just a i’ve i’ve definitely thought about that a lot like since i’ve been doing what i’m doing now um and yeah like that’s i just don’t want to be that person that like forgot where they came from and you know thinks that they’re better than somebody you know like uh because that’s i feel like that’s easy to happen you know it’s like hey like i own i own a center i have employees i do this i do that and like i’m there’s nothing you can tell me you know and i just i feel like that’s a that would be a very scary place to be in yeah no absolutely i’m curious uh you mentioned you know sometimes maybe having to to get out of your area to be able to share some things and i’m wondering you know when you own a business i think it’s almost natural that some of your friends or or maybe not somewhere between friends and acquaintances people might want to work for you um that can get tricky right like if things come up between that relationship that work relationship leads over into recovery have you ever found yourself uncomfortable at meetings just because of maybe some of the things that have happened or or not wanting to go to meetings because of something like that well like i said i think uh a lot of it is things that i make up in my mind maybe some of them might be true maybe some of them aren’t true but um yeah sometimes i think that people think differently of me because of like what i do now you know which i don’t want that i don’t want that i don’t want people to you know view me differently because of what i do now for for a living and you know what i just what i do you know but uh yeah like i felt like people like treat me different sometimes or you know i don’t know and it’s like it’s the whole pedestal thing you know and you’ve probably dealt with it before too jason you know like just being around for a long time and people put you on this pedestal and it’s like like really like there’s no ah there’s no pedestal you could ever put me on

so i i don’t know it’s definitely been it’s been eye opening it’s been a little difficult at times but um i think i’m getting better with it like every day would you say at this point i i know you’re only a year in but would you say at this point you feel like this is 100 the right path of action for you you’re super glad you did it you you think it’s really a benefit to the community and you’re thrilled to be a part of something even with some of these drawbacks of like maybe the way people view you in recovery and stuff like it’s still at the end of the day you go to bed you think man i really feel like i’m doing something that makes a difference in the life of my community i do i mean i feel like not only for our clients but also for our employees um that’s another thing too like i love helping like the people that come in and our clients and things like that but i also like helping our employees you know like i’m able to like i’m an employer now so um i find a lot of joy out of watching our employees do well as well you know so where you know they’re buying homes or buying a vehicle or you know um getting their kids things for christmas or you know whatever that might be you know so i do feel like as a whole like has been like a huge success like not only for the community but for the people that work for us but the the struggles that i talk about those are the those are the things that those are the only things that um really i struggle with is my personal my personal life as far as the way things have changed there um that’s that’s the biggest struggle like the business itself is is great you know like everything has went really well we’re continuing to grow and we’re you know helping people but my my struggles are with my recovery and how they how my business got you gotta say hey you know there’s no uh there’s no treatment centers in cecil county when are you coming up here to open one we can set up a meeting and i can come out there and we can talk and we can see what we can do i got a feeling the county is gonna have a lot of push back well you know there’s a lot of pushback out here too you know but um you know you just have to people are always gonna push back on this for some reason that’s another whole conversation you know to be had uh you know we’re just kind of uh you know we’re uh stigmatized you know it’s just like a stigma we’re just like bad people sometimes and all this nobody wants it near their home until one of their kids dies from an overdose you know or one of their loved ones that’s how it is yeah i frequently hear the we need these resources but not in my backyard that’s always the way um so i i guess to kind of wrap this up a little bit what what’s the best practice or practices that people can uh either know going in to working in the treatment field or uh can put into place as they evolve in their work and treatment field that can help them either keep their work in recovery separate or find a way to you know nicely tie them in together i i’m guessing like you know continuing to surround yourself with your close network that’s not going to judge you and is going to keep you in a humble place is one of them but like what other stuff have you come across that’s really worked for you to help you stay centered and balanced in your recovery as you you know work in this treatment environment so for me uh it’s been really taking care of myself it’s been the biggest thing it’s just like you have to if you don’t take care of yourself i just feel like you’re it’s it’s never going to work you know because it’s such a the industry is just such a um it can take a toll on you know so like if you’re not taking care of yourself you’re definitely putting yourself in a really bad position to where it’s not going to end good for you um yeah i think that’s that’s crucial and you know we we live in a world that talks about self-care a lot i think it’s gotten a little uh pop cultured where we talk about like bubble baths and lighting candles and stuff and and not to say that that can’t be part of it but i think a lot of my self-care is really work um that i put it on a daily basis to keep me centered right it’s that 24 minutes of meditation that i’m doing every morning it’s it’s knowing uh to sit still and feel if uh going to this you know birthday party is the right thing for me or if i really need to sit home today and miss out on that birthday party because there’s just some other stuff going on inside of me and and it’s more the the tough decision and work like things that i actions i take right the self-reflection that we can do through the steps or the call on somebody when i need to talk about something or calling somebody to check on them it’s the things that seem time consuming and work like but those investments in self-care have really been the best thing to help me stay centered as well so i can’t say enough about you know that continued maintenance on our own self-care yeah i mean i just creative ways to you know do like therapeutic things to yourself is all i mean i’m like restoring antique furniture i’m uh i do crossfit i golf i you know just try to do these things that kind of like can like slow things down a little bit um just get me into a better mental space because it’s it might be the hardest thing ever to do do this job when you’re not in a good mental place you know it’s just it doesn’t contribute to you being in a better mental place you know right right absolutely well basil man i i can’t thank you enough for coming on and sharing your experience uh with working in the treatment field and and man i gonna put your your business if you wanna mention the website and everything i’m gonna put that in the show notes for everybody to check out in case they’re in the area and or maybe if they’re not an area and they want to see how a good treatment center runs uh but yeah tell tell us like how to find the elevate so yeah we’re on facebook uh we’re elevate recovery centers you can look us up uh we’re also yeah like and share and then uh we’re also on um you know we have a website it’s elevate recovery center md.com um you can look us up there uh our website is actually under construction right now but um you know we have job postings on there we you know have descriptive uh you know portions of our program uh our staff is highlighted on there as well and yeah if you’re ever in the area and you want to come check us out and meet the team just call us and set it up and uh yeah we’ll get it set up but you should definitely come out jason and check us out that’s awesome yeah and thank you so much for being a ethical healthy voice in the recovery community we know we need it you know we need ethical recovery centers out there so keep taking care of yourself yeah i’m gonna i’ll do that and thanks for what y’all do too man this is like definitely uh like it was weird when jason uh reached out to me because i was like these are conversations that i have in my mind like all the time and i’m like i don’t know who came up with like this uh topic or whatever but it’s definitely uh it was a very interesting topic to bring up cool man well it’s been great talking to you and i hope you enjoy the rest of your day all right all right you too jason thanks a lot all right man bye thanks

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One response to “97: So, You Want to Work in Treatment (Sort Of)”

  1. This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!!

    Finally I have found something which helped me. Thank you!