for Police Chaplains
Observations & Reflections from remote corners of the world wide web.
Edited by Robert Kenneth Jones
This is my first newsletter journal entry for ChaplainUSA. I have been wandering around the internet on a mission to find sites, thoughts, ideas, connections and media that might be helpful and uplifting for our readers. Boy-Oh-Boy! There sure is a lot of stuff out there.
Many of us are overwhelmed by the amount of information…and disturbed by the flood of negativity. It is up to all of us to turn the tide. When we do something as simple as joining together as a community of friends and helpers in places like our Coffee Shop, the possibility of change increases dramatically. My intention is to check in weekly with you through this journal. Here are some ramblings from my latest mind-meld.
About four decades ago my focus in life turned from counseling adolescents to helping kids, adults and families who were struggling with addictions. This was not just a career shift by the way. I had my own serious problems with drinking/substance abuse/addiction and received help.
My life had been falling apart. It was a simpler time in the field which was referred to in professional circles as the Treatment of Alcoholism and other Drug Abuse. Most of the centers offering services were hospital based inpatient or free standing residential 28 day programs. Almost all of them were abstinence based alcoholism and 12 Step driven.
Drug abuse treatment was really in it’s infancy with no special differentiation to alcohol except in the number of days required to complete treatment (drug abuse required 42 inpatient days to complete). Okay…Okay…TMI? Let’s beam forward to the 21st Century. Things have changed in substance use disorders and in addiction treatment like we could have never predicted.
As for me, like so many others, the first round of 28 day inpatient treatment was only a Band-Aid. I went to AA meetings and got a job as the adolescent coordinator at an outpatient counseling service in Champaign, Illinois. The fatal flaw was that I never really dealt with any underlying issues that triggered my problems.
I relapsed into abusive drinking patterns within about seven months. By then, everything and everyone I cared about seemed to have disappeared into thin air. My depression and desperation drove me to a geographic change. It was in the mountains of North Carolina that my healing really began. I soon became the Program Coordinator for Bridgeway in Brevard.
Back in the mid 1990’s, relapse prevention and individualized treatment had been coming into vogue. By the turn of the century, a plethora of treatment options had emerged. No longer did one-size-fit-all, abstinence based model dominate the field. And it was a good thing too, because according to research, only about 1/3 of all those treated were able to really recover.
Drug addiction crises were beginning to explode around the country. Crack cocaine, Meth and Ice started their march into our collective conscience.
Now comes the deadly Opioid Addiction Epidemic. Brain science, medication intervention, medication assisted treatment, specialty centers and recovery community organizations, and traditional outpatient/inpatient centers are battling together along-side police departments, Chaplains, EMT’s and others to meet the challenges of this health emergency. Hope is shining on the horizon. We can beat this thing. I am living proof.
For the past 18 years (thanks to all the folks at Talbott Recovery Campus in Atlanta), I have been free of addiction. I have been blessed to serve countless others as a counselor, therapist, spiritual advisor, writer, speaker and program administrator in the field of addiction. Six recovery centers exist due to my startup efforts.
I became a relapse prevention specialist in association with Dr. Corinne Gerwe. A life that seemed to be deadlocked was freed. My family and friends have walked with me, tolerated me and supported me for all of these years.
I awakened to the truth that I was loved despite all of my excesses, shortcomings and frailties. In the final analysis, this is the key to all healing.
About the Author
In a career spanning over four decades, Robert Kenneth Jones has been an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.
Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin
Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast