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066 - Joe Curran

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Joe Curran joins us from Rockland Recovery Center. They are helping individuals become truer versions of themselves. He talks about feeling whole through addiction and replacing that feeling in recovery. He talks about connection and the opposite of addiction, dislocation theory, and Bruce Alexander’s well known work with rats and addiction. Enjoy.

The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates ( They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.

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joe curran joins us from the rockland recovery center they are helping individuals become truer versions of themselves he talks about feeling whole through addiction and replacing that feeling in recovery he talks about connection and the opposite of addiction dislocation theory and bruce alexander's well-known work with rats and addiction enjoy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond the self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt neider i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps the illuminate recovery podcast is brought to you by illuminate billing advocates make billing and collections simple with leader in substance abuse and mental health billing services verification and analysis of benefits pre-authorizations utilization management accurate claim submission and management denial and appeal management and industry-leading reporting improve your practice's cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates kurt and i are super excited today we have joe curran here with us from rocklin recovery treatment centers he's a partner there and joe has been an advocate for recovery for many years and he has a recovery story of his own that he'll share at rocklin recovery the most fulfilling part of working there is working with men and to see them to men and women and see them to become better fathers sons brothers uncles and employers than they were able to do in their addiction and from our you know from the newest clients to the executive director each is working towards being a truer version of themselves i thought those were some words of wisdom that really spoke to me joe i appreciate you being on on with us today yeah thank you guys thanks for having me on both philly and kurt um so joe you know you work in recovery which we've determined that most people never grow up desiring to work in recovery or even thinking about recovery as a as a career path um and so and and because you have your own recovery story it might be interesting to start there and give us a little history and background of you know where you come from and and what that looked like yeah yeah absolutely it's funny to say that uh you know we don't grow up wishing to work in the field i i remember the first time i went to treatment i actually told my counselor at the treatment center i said i never want to be like you ever [Laughter] you know here here i am like whatever that was 15 years 14 years later working as you know being the owner of one of the treatment centers but um i'm you know i'm originally from uh massachusetts and i think i probably you know i i started drinking when um i think i was like 11 years old when i started drinking um and it was right from like the get-go right from the very first time i drank you know um something you know it you know we talked about this a lot but it filled a void for me it made me feel full and made me feel complete and you know i knew that i wanted to continue to feel that way and um you know i knew that drinking made me uh you know sort of filled that wood for me or made me feel full so i just always wanted to sort of be around drinking or try drinking and um you know i did i had a progression into harder drugs you know i know like a lot of people they go from drinking to smoking weed and then especially around my age especially up in the northeast although i think you know it's down and poor and everything but people got into pills and oxycodone and things like that it was really big up here and i mean don't get me wrong i certainly used other drugs but my progression was i really liked um i drank drank drink during drank all throughout high school don't get me wrong like i said i of course i i did smoke weed and did cocaine and things like that but i was really booze for me and i drank drink drank and then one of um a friend of mine um you know he said why don't you uh why don't you try this and it was heroin and just like flipping on a light switch i stopped drinking almost on a dime and i started doing heroin and actually if i'm being honest it was really it went drinking and then i tried suboxone twice which gave me the opiate-like effect and then it was heroin and then i started doing heroin like every single day and um you know and so i went right sort of from drinking doing opiates and then uh you know there was even lines in the sand i would drop for myself and within heroin addiction where i said well i'll never use a needle and then of course i started using a needle and um my life really just started to spiral out of control at that point and um i was probably about 20 21 when i went into treatment for the very first time and um over the course of that next year i think i went to something like 25 different treatment centers uh i was someone who was constantly ill and not a treatment uh i mean you could probably do the math like treatment you know people say 28 days and treatment like well if i went to 25 of them in a year like obviously i wasn't completing any of them i was either leaving early or getting thrown out of them but i just couldn't stay sober and you know it was interesting it's like i didn't even realize how quickly the like how how often i was intriguing or how many different treatment centers i was in as i was going through it it wasn't until i hit above like the 16 and a 6 month span that i realized like that i had been through 16 of them and i was like oh my god like this may never stop for me and i actually went over to my my counselor at that treatment center and it was a treatment center i've been to on a couple different occasions and um i said to him i said i said if i have to continue to go in and out of treatment like this for the rest of my life i said i'm probably just going to kill myself and i'll never forget what he said he said he said joe and the three times you've been here i feel like that's the first honest thing you've ever said to me what should tell you something about that person second time i was there by time number three i finally said something that was honest and um you know i'd like to be able to say that you know it was like that moment where i realized like i have to change my life and do something but i went in to treat them roughly 10 more times that year and uh you know i tried everything i could possibly think of to to get better you know i did tabox and methadone inpatient outpatient anger management pbt dbt uh i've been to aama right at one point i was like you know what i'm gonna do i'm gonna get baptized and i'll join the church and i found myself shooting heroin in the basement of the church i got baptized in uh you know i tried everything i could possibly think of to to get better and finally you know it's interesting it's like i finally resigned myself to the fact that i was never going to um i was never going to get better and my thought was actually this i figured i'm not ever going to stop shooting heroin or cocaine but um i don't want to ever go through withdrawal so i'll probably put myself i'll find a suboxone doctor who will prescribe me suboxone so at least on the days i can't get heroin um you know i'll have that sort of to fall back on so i can sleep at night i don't have to take a habit um you know and it wasn't precisely that that moment where um you know a friend of mine got in touch with me and he's like uh he said how you doing i said good and he said he was sober and he said joe how are you really doing and i said not good and he did come over and he visited me and i was living in uh uh in theory it was a sober house but i can tell you nobody was sober there and um you know and he came and visited me and i was in a pretty bad spot um physically and he said um he said well what are you gonna do and i told him my plan i told him how i was gonna get onto the box and then just continue to shoot heroin he said for a guy like you that's probably not a bad idea and um he's like but do me a favor he's like i got myself and he said i can't turn around and leave you and that's where i'm knowing what you're you're doing and he said um we go back to detox for me and i said sure and um you know i got into detox and um i call i called him and i said there and he's like i got good news and bad news so i said guys what's the bad news and he said he said i told everyone where you were living what you were doing in the state of your room in the bid of you and guess what they don't want you back and then i said well what's the good news he's like i got a buddy up in may so we'll find you a place to go if you want to go up there and i was like uh and he's like joe before you say anything he's like know that it's february and you say no you have no place to go and i was like all right so i'm good i'll go and um i found myself going up to maine which is when i really sort of um got heavily involved with working the 12-step program and in the 12 steps and um you know i i went through all the steps and wrote a four-step and started making events and so he intentionally got you kicked out of your house yeah yeah and intentionally found you a center that was regionally distant from where you are like you have no network in maine well i've been up to maine before um you know i had i had been to maine before but i the first time i went to man i was only there for like two weeks uh so i didn't really like i didn't know many people up there but like you know you'd have to know something about the area a little bit and um you know like i i know a lot of people up in the main recovery community and a lot of people the mass recovery community i know a lot of people in new hampshire like it's time to portland to boston's only two hours away like it's not that far and um you know so like i did have a reputation and i tried to actually i actually tried to call four different treatment centers i had been to previously to go back to and they all told me i wasn't welcome back i wasn't welcomed back so he found me a place where no one really knew me and that's that's really what led to that it sounds like a smart friend yeah yeah yeah yeah he had we had tried to get silver together years before that and um he got so he's still so good as you said he got over and i just i didn't so um yeah he had my back and all that so i i assume after going through 25 centers in a year that him just tricking you to get into the facility wasn't enough to be the difference what was the difference this time in that facility um well it was first of all it was an oxford house it was just a regular oxford house and uh you know i get asked that question a lot i'm also somebody who uh also somebody who's been through the 12 steps more than once and i've relapsed in the stuff process quite a bit so i get asked that question quite a bit like joe what was it at this time and um you know i used to give i used to give people um different answers to that question just based off of where i was at my recovery at that time and like you know there were times where i was in the 12 steps or i was in sobriety um and uh like it was clear that i wasn't really in recovery like i was sober but i was you know whatever cheating on my girlfriend or something and um you know so like i wasn't really living by any sort of principles in my life so like when i would look back at those set experiences and i would see that i would relapse i would go yeah well that makes sense look at how you were living but then there were times where i was um you know like i really thought that i was in recovery i felt like i was doing the right things that i would relapse and those times were a lot scarier because there wasn't really anything i could look back on in my life and pinpoint and say oh was this and that i would really go i don't i don't know why i left you know so if i could really be you know it was like this time and if i could really be honest with myself you know i have to say like to a certain extent i really don't know what was much different this time i mean and and and like the same thing like i don't know why i realized so many times and it sounds like a couple answer maybe it is to certain percent but i will say at the very least it gives you know for one it gives sort of this like i don't know what you want to say about like this credit to the illness of addiction which is like it is that deceiving right like you can you can you can be thinking you're doing the right thing and and still relapse and that's that's that's scary and then it's the same thing which is this which is with my recovery and i really believe this with my recovery in my 12-step program and the programs that i work today right i really do have to give the credit to my higher power and i i can't take credit for a lot of it and i may never really figure out what it is and i'm kind of all right with that to a certain extent um the other thing i would say is this is because there were times where i would look back at my my life right or my past experiences in recovery and um you know not be able to pinpoint why i relapsed um i realized something i sort of used to sort of use logic in some sort of way where i would go well if i can't figure out what it is that causes me to relapse i'm not going to be able to change it but if i change everything about my life by virtue of changing everything in my life then that thing that continuously causes me to relapse will have to be changed and so i really did that and i took that to an extreme and i'm not saying that everyone has to do this and i'm not saying that there's one cookie better answer for everybody and everybody's recovery patterns differently but like i changed like the music i would listen to the way i dress the people i would hang out with right the way i would praise the books i was reading right like i really took that during a thing like that i'm just gonna change everything about myself uh and because there was nothing in my life at that point in time that was like so meaningful to me that i needed to like i couldn't give up i just was so defeated and so broken that i said you know what screw it i'm just gonna change everything about me and hopefully this works and uh i don't know i've been sober ever since something worked well it's an incredible story and and it's it's i think kudos to your friend who didn't write you off because 25 treatment episodes and not being able to stay sober um you know i don't know that that's a record but you know there's a lot of people that get sober way before 25 treatment episodes and and like these other facilities they didn't give you much credit either to think that you could get sober but that friend certainly must have believed that you had the capacity to get sober and that you just had to keep trying and understood that how how much this the illness of addiction really affects people yeah absolutely i mean i even had this one you know and that's something you know i'm glad you brought that up because it's something i certainly took to heart because we were part of them specifically but we were part of a recovery community and um you know and again like i i feel like i'm in some way like badmouthing and there's nothing like that it's just the truth of how everything is left but like the other people in that recovery community kind of shunned me like they wouldn't answer my calls or anything like that and uh i can remember how that felt and but he did he didn't and um you know i sort of i made my own decision at that time like you know if i ever get to this spot where i can help others i'm not gonna regardless of how hopeful someone's situation seems i'm not gonna like not answer their phone call or try and help them which is a big deal because it's so easy to kind of give up hope on people that just don't seem to be able to change without really giving the credit where the credit is due and that's that illness of addiction sure yeah yeah i mean unfortunately i mean you see it a lot and i mean it happened to me like i said i called i called uh numerous different treatment centers and um they were like they're like nobody can't take you back basically basically you know it's a hard thing to hear especially when you you know you're trying to reach out and trying to do the right thing yeah hard thing to hear and then at the same time you also have to empathize with it a little bit and that there's that balance of how do you answer the call every time how do you be available and be a resource but at the same time when you're bringing somebody in who's not really trying or you know potentially has that attitude of like well yeah everybody's in these facilities but they're really it's just really just you know three hots and a cot but we're all still just gonna get high you know at some point you have to say like okay is this individual gonna put everybody else in my facility at risk you know and how do you balance that right like how do you bring somebody in and say okay we're gonna bring them in but we're gonna quarantine them you know that's not really the program and so it's that's certainly messy right and if somebody's not ready and it's not their not their time how do you force them and that's tricky that's tricky you mentioned earlier you know when you were young um that you described when you drank the first time this feeling of feeling full or whole like what is that what what does that feel like what is what for you was it you know were you relaxed was it was it a social situation type thing what's what does what does feeling full and whole you know what did that mean for you what did that look like yeah so i mean i think that's a great question um you know and i think we hear this um you know a lot in recovery whether it's in like a support group meeting or in a treatment center you'll sort of hear people say things like uh i felt like i was an addict before i was ever an addict or um i always felt off as a little kid or like i never fit in or something like that and they're always sort of like and i don't even know if they know what to call it but they're always sort of like pointing at something or something not being right as they were younger like and you know but the thing about it is like until you feel something different you don't necessarily know that you're off because it's it's normal for you it's everything that you know right so like before i drank for the first time or before i got drunk from the very first time i didn't realize how like disconnected i really was right and then once i drank and i felt this sort of sense of ease and comfort come over my body or like i felt my um you know sort of just feeling like everything melted melted off of me right and i was like comfortable for the first time right and i didn't but i didn't even realize i was in any sort of discomfort until i drank so what that did that for me um you know i was like well god i want to continue to feel like this i remember you know i can remember now it wasn't 11 when i would say this i was a little bit older i was probably like 15 years old but i can remember telling my friends that i wanted to be an alcoholic now when i say that like don't like i was naive at the time like i didn't really comprehend the consequences that came along with being alcoholic what i really meant by that was i know the way alcohol makes me feel which makes me feel comfortable in my own skin right and i know that alcoholics drink every single day so if drinking means that i get to feel comfortable in my skin every single day then why wouldn't i want to feel it and so and they would always kind of like be like it made me feel whole i mean i think it was um i think bill wilson said that when he drank for the very first time it felt like the face of the universe had changed for him which i can totally relate to that which is once i drank for the very first time and it takes away you know my anxiety takes away my depression makes me sort of like i feel comfortable in my own skin and it gives me the sense of comfort that gives me a sense of ease um you know i i really wanted to continue to feel that and i and i chased that for you know well that's over at 22 so 11 years right um but yeah it was really just a feeling of wholeness which is um what i was really really looking for but feeling comfortable in my own skin so looking back on that and knowing that or or seeing that from this perspective how do you replace that feeling now in recovery i mean today i you know it would really be through um well i have a pretty big um you know this is a this is a pretty big part of like the recovery aspect of my story that i didn't really get into at the beginning um you know but i think a big part of it is a pretty big spiritual practice life and you know i sort of have um i've tried all sorts of different spiritual practices from you know so then meditation to contemplative prayer to going into different holotropic breast work or um two-way prayer which is sort of an old oxford group practice or a sweat lodge like i've tried all sorts of different spiritual practices and then service to other people who are trying to help other people but i think those two things in themselves so having some sort of spiritual practice life which is really important to me and then of course um you know trying to help other people and they've been the two things that have sort of kept me grounded throughout my my recovery it's pretty incredible and and i i hear the theme kind of throughout your story is that it's that connection i think that really has you know and they say connection is the opposite of addiction right and and being able to connect with other people yeah yeah so i mean you know and i'm glad you brought that up shelly which is and that's one of our our mantras here it's uh mulatto here which is the opposite of addiction is connection and really we've sort of stolen that from um a guy by the name of bruce alexander doctor bruce alexander i'm not sure are you guys familiar with alexander i don't think i'm familiar with a lot of his work now yeah so he's what he's most well known for you know is uh this thing called the rat park experiment um you know sort of before alexander came along there was the idea that you know and it came from um i'll just be at skinner and he had the skinner box where he would take a rat and put the rat in the cage and then um he would take two water bottles and there was a water water bottle and then there was a water and drug solution water bottle and you know the rat i don't remember the exact statistics but you know nine out of ten times would drink to the point of death right and so that was sort of like that was sort of like the medical model of addiction which is you know you take a you take a person you introduce them to a highly addictive drug such as heroin or whatever right and you combine those together and and from those you get addiction and you know sort of what we've done to believe and all sorts of different thoughts come out of this like you got nancy reagan on your television that said just say no or you get the prohibition if we remove the drug then yeah we may have this vulnerable person but it's not everything that good therapy can't handle uh and it was sort of you know getting removing the drug and everything should be okay uh that was sort of what we the way that we went with treating addiction and then um alexander comes along and he takes a look at the experiment what skinner was doing and he basically says well you've giventhe rat really no option because here's what the rat thinks the rat thinks that uh you know you put it you put a rat in that cage that's no bigger than this body and you give it two options one be tortured being an age no bigger than your body or two check out of life by overdosing right now imagine if i put you in a cage that's no bigger than your body endeavor told you when i was coming back and then i gave you a bunch of heroin and i said you can sit here in a cage no bigger than your body before you can have these drugs here right and the alexander says i'm going to do something different he built this thing called rat park and it was this big giant box and he put everything a rapid one in there he could put you know he put the wheels in there and he put the mazes and other routes that the rep could you know play with each other and have sex with one another and then he would take the two water bottles he would take the drug solution water bottle in the water water bottle and um you know they would go and you know they would they would they said there were some rats that were like the partier rats where they would go and they would hit up hit off the uh the drug solution but they would they wouldn't go back to it and they would go and they'd have fun and then there were the other rest that would totally ignore the water and drug solution anything this other thing that was really interesting which is he took the rat and he put the wrap in the skinner block and he would get them physically addicted to the substance and then he would take that rat thing he would put it in rad park and the rat would go through withdrawal and then go to the water and drugstore and from that he said well once you you know once you sort of give the rat sort of um you know things that make the rat's life worthwhile right it's when you don't see addiction so instead of and he's a medical doctor so instead of looking at addiction from a medical perspective he said i'm going to look at it from the lens of history and anthropology right and he he came to the conclusion that was there were societies native american people but there were cultures and societies that had zero signs of addiction native americans being one of them until the europeans showed up so basically his theory is that once you strip um you know a person of things that make their life worthwhile you sort of see addiction start to uh we'll say um you know so getting the individual connected right um or you know getting them back connected or making their life worthwhile uh values traditions family right is when you start to get them connected again right it's when you start to see um recovery start to take place um you know it's really so it's something that we've adopted at rockville recovery treatment critics which is really getting the individual to be connected to you know to their own body to the earth to their family and getting really trying to get a sense of what making connection back in them so that recovery is possible incredibly powerful i love that you share that too because it really does demonstrate the power of connection and it seems like very much a part of your story i'm curious joe how much how much influence and or part of your recovery was your family and what was that dynamic like yeah i mean they were always um supportive throughout my whole uh you know i guess journey um however i will say that the support looked different at different points in my journey you know like when i first started to um you know when i first started to try to get better my family was like right by myself and they were really involved one of the things that good for me like more or less right out of the gate was i wasn't allowed to look at their house that stopped price almost immediately i think i went into i think when i went into treatment for the very first time after that i never lived at their home ever again like that was over um so in between my treatment days would be spent either like sleeping in a car or sleeping outside or something like that um you know but as my addiction got progressively worse and i went through more treatment centers the same way i became more and more hopeless so they became more and more hopeful as well um my i think it was my mother who drove me up to maine to go live in that oxford house i mean my mother was definitely there but i can't remember if my dad was there or not um but i'll never forget when i was getting out of the car i looked at i looked up at my mom she was sitting in the driver's seat and um i said you know mom maybe this will be uh 25 times and she looked up at me she didn't say a word and then she looked out the driver's side window of her car and she just shrugged her shoulders and that was it and it was kind of like you know she she was you could tell that she was defeated in that moment as well and she was she was pretty hopelessly beaten down um you know they would always answer my phone calls and when they would answer my phone calls they wouldn't really uh talk to me about anything besides treatment or getting better like if i try to steer the conversation in some other direction they would just bring it right back to like what i was trying to do to get more life back on track um you know so they would you would see them always wanting to just talk about recovery or treatment or getting getting better and you know with moments of feeling hopeless and um you know it took them i took them specifically my dad although my mom too but it took them quite a while even into my own recovery of uh you know i think their anxiety um of you know what i did and what i caused and then it took them quite a while they could all go back i mean years two three years something like that um you know so it was there was definitely damage from that but today my relationship with them is great it's it's hard that's a time that's a challenge for a lot of people who are in recovery it's like i'm better everyone why can't everybody see that yeah i'm sober for 14 days why aren't they letting me come back to thanksgiving oh yeah you see i see clients like that all the time where they they don't understand why their family is not like you know putting up a parade for them to come home after three yeah i think i think that's a challenge and i and that's that feels like more maybe the five-day ear track of really understanding okay actually i've created a lot of trauma there's long-lasting issues that are going to come from this in those relationships and how do you be patient with somebody else you know that's i think that one's a challenge oh absolutely for sure what do you do you guys do anything to treat you know because i think the next question for me would be what are what are you guys doing different at rocklin or what do you feel like you're doing there that kind of helps and and it's based on those lessons you've learned but but part of that would be you know do you really include any teaching about that you know maybe towards the later end of you know treatment or is is there any assistance given for okay you're working on yourself but you know it's gonna take time for other people to see that and you have to be patient sure yeah we certainly we so first i would say i feel like we do do things that are somewhat different at um you know rockland and one of them being you know so we certainly have um a pretty heavy 12-step influence on our program um you know and i don't think that's that uncommon to treatment i know a lot of different at least i don't you know i was talking specifically about our area um in the new england area like i know quite a few different treatment centers in this area who have a pretty sort of heavy influence or there's an influence of the 12th sets in their treatment center i don't think that that's all that uncommon um we certainly have a clinical component as well um and then by clinical i mean more sort of like a dbt cbt aspect of the program um that being said um i do think that uh we do do some things that are different like some other areas i think that make us a little bit different is that we have a pretty um heavy influence with the dislocation theory so we talk a lot about connection we teach his uh theory here and if anything else i think his theory gives uh some answer as to um where or why people get addicted uh and you know the other thing that's really interesting about you know so first of all you know you've got to remember that america united states is the most addictive society in the world um and he also uses i think his definition of addiction is um any overwhelming involvement with a substance or activity that causes consequences to that individual or like there are immediate surroundings so if we use that definition of addiction substance meaning heroin cocaine vodka or activity or what you mean by activity well that's your shopping your video game your pornography your you know your food right and or your cell phone and we start to look at society around me well what do i see well a lot of addicted people all of a sudden uh which really says this to them because it only talks about stigma a lot but it really says i'm not that much different from the guy who spends 90 hours a week at work the difference is my choice in something uh or choice and addiction i guess you could say or the thing that i'm addicted to right so i start to see a lot more addiction um especially when you start talking about things like social media or cell phone or something like that um well i'm not really that different so i think that really starts to if anything else it starts to diminish sort of this stigma around who i am and somatic um you know so we we have a heavy influence in in this location the other thing that we have a pretty heavy influence here is on um carl young in depth psychology in his future so we do a lot of work with we do a lot of work with um different modalities are called depth psychology modalities so we do like a lot of different things when it comes to shadow work um some of these different um like you know i talked about it a little bit but there's this thing called active imagination that was a big problem young idea um which is sort of like talking you know it's sort of like digging into your psyche or your soul so we do a lot of we have a heavy influence with carl young as well and the other thing is we're kind of going there but we have a pretty good family education like we have a family support group meeting here myself along with one of my one of the employees here we've friends we've been friends for a long time now he's in recovery as well but we've started different family support group meetings all throughout new england a couple up in maine one in massachusetts one in new hampshire that turned into a non-profit organization that helped families financially afford to pay for their loved one to go into treatment uh so we we had a lot of we used to run um like uh 12 separate treats for non-addicts family members of loved ones who are addicted who wanted to go to the 12th step so we have a pretty dynamic sort of family program as well so i think those things really the the young deaf psychology dislocation family programming that really separates us um you know from everyone else and the reasons why you know one of the big reasons why that is especially when we're talking about the deaf psychology piece of the young piece which is i hear this a lot from people especially people and i am one and i'm not you know so i'm not trying to like pick on anyone here but like i hear a lot of 12 steppers and 12 step people say uh i feel stagnant and again they're always sort of alluding to something you can't really even put their finger i feel stale i feel stagnant or they say things like i'm going through the steps again right and they're all sort of again pointing at the same thing which is like the wells run dry or you know but by doing the same thing you're just you're spinning in place so to speak and you know what we found was that there are other avenues outside of the 12 steps that lead to sort of a deeper place or you know a spiritual understanding or spiritual growth or something like that and there's there's tons of different practices in literature out there that you can you can dig into and just spin your wheels in the same spot again really doesn't seem to make a whole lot of fun you know you brought up a couple of things that that i thought were super interesting and and maybe questions that other people that are out there possibly listening would be interested in especially you know after going through a lot of treatment treatment is not cheap it's it kind of can be very expensive and you know you talked about your non-profit that helps fund some of that how do how is there help for people is there financial help for someone um or are they limited to you know to programs that really don't provide the kind of treatment that that they need or that might not be best practice you know what's out there as far as funding to help somebody get through treatment yeah so just to you know just to be clear um i'm no longer i've sort you know i'm no longer part of that nonprofit um and i'm they're they're they're great they send a lot of people to treatment it's nothing against that it's just because i got so busy with rockland recovery treatment centers and you know my own sort of career path that i sort of got away from them um but there are at least in this area i'm not sure if you guys have anything like this so where you guys are at but um there's a few different like scholarship funds out there where people who do have a harder time um getting into treatment uh there's like a there's a whole process to it though like it's an application process and you have to sort of fill out the application and they ask you things like have you ever been to treatment before are you willing to do anything are you willing to relocate right and they're sort of what they i guess what they're trying to do is like they want to spend their money in wise places so is this person really willing to do whatever it takes in order in order to get better um but they have different funds for people who have um you know they have uh for people who lack funds i guess they're getting to treatment you know and again one of the bigger issues is out here and this is one of the things that rockland recovery treatment centers does is um you know there's this section of boston it's massive on which this massachusetts avenue it goes to boston and it's like um it's pretty bad it's like skid row you know like there's a lot of homeless people who are just they're there all of the time um there's tents down there there's you can drive your car through there i think if you don't do it but there's people injecting each other and then that's almost bad welcome please don't do anything um you know so it's really just it's really bad and um really kind of added especially because you know i personally know people who are out there and a lot of people from this area personally know people who are out there and uh you know one of the things that we we do is we offer um you know we'll scholarship one person a month for math uh to come to our program um you know so there are different treatment centers in the area who will you know try to give scholarships that the best they can um you know to people who need it because it is but because it's an issue and there are a lot of people out there who um struggle to get in the treatment for financial reasons right well i mean because they've lost everything and unless they've got you know family with deep pockets there's you know there's not a lot of options for them sure yeah absolutely yeah yeah and it seems to be coming worse to an extent i mean i think the addiction problem as a whole is becoming less to this yeah well and i seems to like you know you talked about you know in boston this you know where where the homeless are and and it seems like you you correct me because i i'm still learning but um it seems like the homeless population that addiction is is a you know a very huge part of being homeless have you discovered is that does that seem true yeah i mean certainly around here i mean the problem is is really the the homeless drug addiction problem out here is definitely becoming works like that area specifically like that math ab area um it's always like there was always like a methadone clinic down there and there's a homeless shelter down there um so like there's always been drugs around it oh you know i'm talking 10 15 years like there's only but over we'll say maybe the last five years and even within the last couple of years like it it's it's really bad like there's there's like i said there's people injecting each other in the neck there there's uh human treaties on the sidewalk there's people just sleeping on the sidewalk people are dying down there like it's it's you know and there's no like legal con like people don't get arrested down there there's no like legal consequences to it it's like an open-air market for drug addicts so like you'll see this problem happen where and this happens quite a bit where um you know people come from the suburbs to go to treatment and they'll leave or get thrown out or whatever and then they'll land on that step and then they don't leave that that and they're just stuck there and you've seen other people come from different states who want to go to massachusetts and or for treatment and they get stuck there and uh it's really it's really sad honestly yeah that is sad and i think the homeless population across the nation it seems to be increasing along with you know our addiction issues and and problems as well and so definitely you know we've made a lot of progress along the way but we've got a long ways to go to try it um you know figure out what what's best for those for those people that are struggling there and how to help them the best yeah yeah i mean there are certainly um you know i mean i don't want to get i guess i don't want to get too too heavy with it um you know but i i certainly think like we can look at other countries capitalist countries who have had much better success when treating or you know dealing with addiction and treating addiction than the united states yeah but places like portugal and switzerland and you know there are capitalistic countries who have done really well yeah we definitely have a lot to learn and a lot to do yeah are you familiar with those systems do you know how they're different um i mean well first i mean right away i think they start by decriminalizing all drugs um you know so if we decriminalize i think it's something like i forget the exact statistic but like we make up like we have like five percent of the world's population but 20 percent of the world's like incarcerated population or something ridiculous right uh so some of these these countries they decriminalize all drugs which deals with the legal system and then they give them wraparound services right and it's more of a harm reduction model but they you know so they make heroin legal instead of going to the methadone clinic every single day they go to the heroin guy right or the heroin clinic whatever you want to call it and they get their heroin and then they have safe injection sites and uh so they they do that and then they have um they'll give them uh you know place to stay so it's sort of like it kind of goes a lot in line with what bruce alexander's saying with the dislocation theory which is we need to get these individuals connected again right and just like you know what they've essentially done and they've have done this which is they've put these people on math into like one little area and then it's like a free-for-all in that little area there's they did this and i don't know if you guys ever saw the show but they did the same thing in the wire right which is the david simon show which is all about like drugs and you know the underworld and stuff like that but but they did exactly this in the wire and they've done the same thing but nobody's getting connected them to sort of just block them and like push them out of the way right and then but we really need to give these people we need to get them connected back in they need to give them a sense of purpose and by just pushing them off to the side there's nothing perfect than that right it's just disconnected it's just kind of like that that experiment you talked about where you put them in a small space and ask them to choose and the only choice they can make is a survival choice right it's a it's they're going to choose the drug to try and cope with where they're at yeah exactly right yeah my situation is too painful too dire and you've put tons of heroin in this area and so how do i cope with the pain of my situation well yeah yeah definitely makes sense joe it's been super fun to talk with you today and and you certainly have a ton of wisdom and experience around addiction and recovery so you know i imagine that that those who go through rocklin recovery have um you know the benefit of your experience and and what you bring to it so i love that you've shared that with us today um i suspect that um you know there's going to be people that want to connect with you you know feeling like they can trust you maybe more than they could trust someone else based on their story and their history what's the best way for them to connect um i would say that the best way to probably get in touch with me would be through email which is just j current of the letter j current c u r r a n at rockland very excellent um yeah i have a feeling you're going to get a few calls because uh because there's huge problems and we know there's problems and there's a need for recovery and i think you're addressing a lot of those issues you know we're not we're not saving the world but certainly those who are willing to get into treatment and ask for help you know when there's a will there's a way so i love the work that you do and i appreciate it yeah sure i appreciate it i want to say thank you thank you shelly and thank you for having me on and yeah anybody who wants to reach out even you know even if rocklin's not the best place for them and but i would be more than happy to help out anyone i can you know please uh check us out on uh you know and you can sort of get a better idea of what we're all about and you know i appreciate uh you look us up on facebook too we're on facebook as well so i appreciate it uh having me on today and talking to me this was a lot of fun thanks joe

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