Billy is a man who has been clean for 14 months and is helping other people to do the same. In this episode, he shares his story and his history of abuse. He was in a downward spiral until a man he met in jail told him about Fern House recovery center. Billy took it step by step and just followed the directions. He now not only is in recovery, but he is helping others do the same.
This show is going to focus on the differences between a private treatment center and a state-run treatment center. People whose resources have been used up often end up in a state run center or a non-profit like Fern House. These centers are much more bare bones, and you really have to want it to recover with minimum help. We also talk about how people who are fortunate enough to go to a private treatment center have an opportunity of a lifetime. Listen in as Ben and I talk with Billy about treatment and recovery.
- [02:16] Billy has been in South Florida for about 23 years.
- [02:27] He is from Pomona, California. He is 45 years old and has been clean for 14 months.
- [03:40] Billy was in a motorcycle accident about 10 years ago when he was trying to outrun the police.
- [03:48] He was put on medication and it eventually got a hold of him. He would go to a dual diagnosis hospital and get his meds for the month so that he would not be sick.
- [04:23] He had a pain medication doctor who would legally subscribe his medication. He was abusing the medication, so he would run out before the month was up.
- [05:14] Billy already had a history of addiction. He started with pot when he was just a kid and gradually worked up the chain of drugs. He even did something that he said he would never do and put a needle in his arm when he was 36.
- [07:19] After his motorcycle accident, Billy lost his new house and his business and had to move back in with his parents.
- [08:26] He had limited insurance, but he would use it to fuel his drug habit. When he ran out of medication, he would get admitted to a dual diagnosis hospital to be given pain medication during treatment.
- [09:21] A dual diagnosis Hospital treats mental illness and substance abuse. The Baker Act means if someone is a harm to themselves or others, they can be put into a hospital for up to 72 hours.
- [10:03] At the dual diagnosis hospital they do provide treatment groups, but you don’t have to attend. You basically just eat and sleep and go out for cigarette breaks while being high on the drugs that they give you.
- [11:16] Things continued to spiral downward for Billy. He got arrested and met a guy in jail who told him about Fern House residential rehabilitation.
- [11:20] He went there and stayed there for six months. People in jail or prison get referred here often.
- [13:10] In state-funded facilities the clinicians aren’t paid very well, and it’s more of a bare bones treatment plan. Private centers have more resources.
- [18:41] At the Fern House, Billy learned to go to meetings, and he kept following the directions. He did what people told him and followed the process.
- [20:55] Ben and Billy met at the Fern House and Ben shared his 12-step experience with Billy.
- [21:32] Today, Billy sponsors guys at the Fern House and passes it on.
- [22:38] Billy shares a story of how lying is not the best idea. Honesty is part of the process.
- [25:28] Sending kids to a treatment facility is not sending them on vacation.
- [26:16] Private facilities provide more in client care such as quality well-paid therapists. You can also have fun, because getting sober isn’t easy. At Rock they do fun activities like boating and fishing.
- [28:07] It can be a struggle to learn how to live again at a state lock-down type facility.
- [31:21] Ben would look at Fern House as more of a boot camp style facility.
- [32:01] People need to be ready for treatment, but having insurance can be an excuse to not try because they can keep going into treatment.
- [33:19] Going in and out of detoxing can cause people to overdose.
- [34:32] Alcoholics recover when they have two options either die or recover.
- [35:31] Billy helps people recover in the right way.
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