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Posted on September 25th, 2012 by by Bob

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Pine Ridge, SD – Where We Were Needed

Posted on September 21st, 2012 by by Bob

Jaywalker Solutions Program Director


“Why are you here?” a Lakota elder asked us one evening as we sat listening to his story. A simple and yet profound question that left us wondering. Perhaps it was to challenge our comfort zone and to rely on one another to ease our uneasiness in this strained and battered place. Perhaps it was to hear the wisdom of a people who remain steadfast in their resolve to embrace their differences and remain proud of who they are despite persecution. Perhaps it was to bring a smile to a childs heart bruised in life by residing in a filthy and dilapidated home ravaged by alcoholism.

We saw firsthand why the suicide rate amongst the young here is epidemic and wondered if there truly was a way out. “It will be a great day when we don’t need you to come here anymore” said that same elder as he continued to share. Unfortunately that day is such a distant horizon that it remains shrouded in darkness. We were there because we needed to be. For ourselves, for the people of Pine Ridge, for the sake of living recovery in the raw. That is why we are all here.

Mitakuye Oyasin,

New Leadership at NAATP

Posted on July 12th, 2012 by by Bob

Congratulations to Michael Walsh, who today was named the new CEO at the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.

Unofficially, Mike is known for his passion and commitment to recovery – he’s got a reputation as a guy who answers his phone before it rings twice, and who is always there to lend a helping hand to the addict in crisis. On a more official basis, Mike is currently the Director of Development for the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, a CARON Treatment Center. He has a Master of Substance Abuse Counseling Degree, and is a long standing member of our industry’s leading organizations including NAATP, NAADAC, and the Association of Intervention Specialists.


I believe NAATP’s selection of Mike is great news for all of us, because Mike is the kind of guy who will bring passion, energy and experience to the job. And it’s a big job, in my opinion. Ours is an industry that is being shaped right now by several important trends nationally — including health care reform, insurance parity legislation, and a variety of medication-assisted treatment protocols.

As chief executive, Mike will be responsible for overseeing our industry’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill; and he will have an important voice in battling the stigma associated with the disease of addiction. What’s more, as NAATP’s membership continues to grow each year, our new CEO will need to get creative in order to foster cooperation amongst a widely diverse and outspoken group of member organizations.

So, on behalf of Jaywalker Lodge and the Colorado treatment community, a warm welcome to the new guy! The stakes are high, but the upside is enormous as well. By setting aside our philosophical differences, uniting behind our leadership, and working together as an industry… the addiction treatment field will be able to extend its reach to those individuals and families in desperate need of our services.

Vote NO on 64

Posted on July 10th, 2012 by by Bob

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m 64?

I find it interesting that Paul McCartney wrote the music for this when he was about 15, and used to play it when The Beatles were still known as The Quarrymen. He put lyrics to it later in honor of his father’s 64th birthday.

Numbers are funny that way… My son, Harry is 15 years old right now. Same age as Paul McCartney when he wrote that song. Same age I started smoking pot for years on a daily, recreational, “non-addicted” basis.

And as for the number 64, today those digits have come to be known as code for Colorado’s proposed ammendment that would legalize marijuana in ways my stoner buddies and I could only have dreamed about…

Amendment 64 would:

* Make Colorado the first state to try to profit from the legalization of marijuana at the expense of its children.
* Make Colorado the only state where it is legal to grow, transport and sell marijuana for recreational use. NOTHING MEDICAL ABOUT IT.
* Make it legal for anyone twenty-one years or older to possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana (the equivalent of 60 joints or eight pans of pot brownies).
* Permit opening marijuana retail stores, growing facilities, manufacturing facilities and testing facilities in your community.

Problem is that we know too much these days as a society – and that takes all the fun out of Amendment 64. For instance, we know that it’s unsafe for infants to ride in an automobile without an infant seat, even though there was no such device when Paul McCartney or I were 15 years old…

We have outlawed secondhand smoke in airplanes and office buildings because today we know it’s bad for people to inhale it – especially children who have no choice in the matter. Kids today wear seat belts in cars, and helmets to ski and bike and skateboard. Today, we live in a world where we make common sense health and safety decisions based on information we didn’t have a generation or two ago.

So, what do we really know today about Amendment 64 and its impact on our kids?

Marijuana is an addictive drug. Sorry… As a drug addict and the owner of a rehab, I get to know this for a fact.  For teens and young adults, smoking marijuana permanently affects brain development, impairs learning ability and contributes to depression.  Adolescents are more likely than adults to develop problems with marijuana abuse and addiction.  Marijuana abuse accounts for 67 percent of the adolescents in substance-abuse treatment programs in the United States.

Legalizing weed promotes smoking weed.  The more available a drug is, the more likely young people are to use the drug.  Marijuana use among students already is on the rise. Suspensions for drug violations at Colorado’s public schools increased 45 percent over the past four years, expulsions for drug violations increased 35 percent, and referrals to police increased 17 percent. Among the most vulnerable group, ages 12 to 25, it is projected that the number of regular marijuana users will double.

And finally, there’s this: The “harder drugs” argument. Say what you will about pot being a gateway to harder stuff… The pro-pot lobby loves to debate this one – but I don’t have the time or nearly enough Doritos to get into it with those guys. What I can tell you is this about the link between marijuana and crack and heroin and all that nasty stuff: Not everyone who smokes pot at a young age will wind up at a place like Jaywalker Lodge. But everyone at Jaywalker Lodge for damn sure smoked them some pot at a young age… Okay?

But there is an answer. Learn the facts. Use the same common sense that has our kids strapped to infant seats and has outlawed secondhand smoke. Vote no on Amendment 64.

And when you receive that phone call from the well-monied pro marijuana lobby (doesn’t THAT strike you as an odd notion?) just tell those guys what we tell them here at Jaywalker Lodge:

“Dave’s not here, man…”

Jobs in Carbondale – Steve Jobs!

Posted on July 9th, 2012 by by Bob

Once you know how to spot them, you will find there is no shortage of “magical moments” in recovery. This holds especially true for those of us in recovery right here in Carbondale, CO. Sometimes referred to as “moments of clarity,” or an “ah-ha moment,” these are the times when the truth hits us in a pleasant way. We realize that something we have been seeking in our lives is right there in front of us. And… It’s been there all along! Hiding in plain sight, my counselor used to say.

I had a moment like that a few days ago when a friend invited me to a talk he was hosting this coming Saturday night. “I’m very excited,” said Jim Calaway, a local leading citizen of Carbondale, and founder and co-chair of the Roaring Fork Cultural Council. “My friend Walter Isaacson is coming this week – I’ll be interviewing him on his book.” Jim paused for a moment, and added, “He wrote the Steve Jobs biography, you know?”

Walter Isaacson

Oh yeah, I know. Who among us isn’t familiar with Isaacson’s bestselling biography on Steven Jobs? Of course, what I did NOT realize is that, thanks to the effort and influence of the Roaring Fork Cultural Council, Walter Issacson is coming to the Thunder River Theatre right here in Carbondale. He’s one of a lineup of ridiculously big time speakers who have or will be making their way to that same small stage, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, author Tom Friedman, Colorado Governor Richard Lamm, and the list goes on… It’s a parade of thought-provoking authors and world leaders, hiding, as it were, in plain sight!

The beauty is that for all of us here in this small mountain town, including the clients, alumni and staff of Jaywalker Lodge, we will get to experience yet another magical moment as Walter Isaacson discusses Steve Jobs and his quirky take on “The Art of Leadership.” Will the speaker’s focus be on addiction treatment, sobriety and life in recovery? Probably not… But it will no doubt be loaded with something equally as rich for our clients – that is, providing insights and a glimpse into the life of a man whose legacy has touched all our lives. And in the end, these are the moments that make sobriety relevant… After all, recovery is so much more than abstaining from drugs and alcohol another day. For sobriety to be lasting and engaging, we need to find something more than abstinence alone. We need to find a sense of joy, abundance and meaning in everyday life. And thanks to the local citizens of Carbondale, we at Jaywalker can find magic in the moments that make up a typical week here in town. It’s hiding in plain sight, if we know where to look for it!