Good afternoon, everyone. For my fellow members of the tribe, Shanah Tovah, a Happy New Year. I hope this will be a happy, healthy and prosperous year for all of us, even those who don’t celebrate.
I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you a question that was asked of me a couple of nights ago when I was at an event with the South Palm Beach County Bar Association and the Florida Association of Women Lawyers. It was asked by a good friend of mine who I see frequently at networking events. To be honest, it struck a chord with me.
He asked what percentage of our clients that we send into treatment are successful in staying clean. I don’t keep statistics of successes and cases where we don’t get such a successful outcome. It gave me food for thought. I wanted to give you the perspective of a lawyer who deals with this on a daily basis.
Here’s what I see. We have a lot of great treatment centers here in South Florida. Sometimes we have to make our clients go using the Marchman Act. The clients that go, whether involuntarily or voluntarily, for the most part, when they go through treatment for 30, 60 or 90 days, when they come out the other end, they’re clean.
I believe that there’s a big difference between being clean and being in recovery. Someone who goes through treatment is more than likely going to come out clean, especially if they’ve gone to one of the treatment centers that I’m comfortable sending clients and family members to. If you want to get a really successful outcome, it’s not about being clean. It’s about getting the client or loved one into recovery.
Recovery means being clean on a daily basis. It’s someone who is no longer using drugs or alcohol and is staying away from using the types of drugs that we see on a daily basis. For that to happen, it requires a lifestyle change. You don’t just go through treatment, and then you’re done.
The clients who get the best results are the ones who get into recovery after going through treatment, and then work at it every single day. Perhaps they go to outpatient. Perhaps they go to AA. Perhaps they get a sponsor. Perhaps they do all of those things. From what I see, I believe that going into recovery and staying in recovery is a daily challenge and fight that people who are dealing with this disease have to overcome.
I told my friend, “It’s not a matter of going to treatment for 30, 60 or 90 days and then going back to your old lifestyle.” It doesn’t work that way. It’s a lifestyle change. It’s something that you have to work at on a daily basis.
If I said to you, “I want you to run a marathon in three months,” and you worked out, trained every day for three months, ran the marathon, and then never exercised again, then you’re going to be out of shape again three months after the marathon. Being in recovery, getting into recovery and staying in recovery is a daily challenge for people.
To the families and individuals watching our videos, going to treatment is just a small part of it. It’s not a magic pill. While there are many great professionals here in South Florida, at the end of the day, it requires a lifestyle change. It requires support, whether that’s from a sponsor or family. It is an everyday struggle for the people that I see who are in recovery.
It was a great question that was asked of me. Sometimes you don’t always see the forest for the trees. I’d never really thought about it. When I did think about it, I wanted to share my answer with you.
If you know anyone who needs or wants help, I make myself available. I don’t charge for a consultation. I have access to lots of great, free resources. I look forward to chatting and connecting with all of you soon.