Gruler Nation Podcast

Episode #72: Heavily Meditated with Estil Wallace

November 15, 2019 Robert F. Gruler Jr., Esq.
Gruler Nation Podcast
Episode #72: Heavily Meditated with Estil Wallace
Chapters
Gruler Nation Podcast
Episode #72: Heavily Meditated with Estil Wallace
Nov 15, 2019
Robert F. Gruler Jr., Esq.

Episode #72 of the Gruler Nation Podcast features Estil Wallace. Estil is the founder of Scottsdale  Cornerstone, a recovery and treatment center. Cornerstone Healing Center is a level 3 outpatient substance abuse treatment facility. Their programs include the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) which is completely immersive, the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) which is an evening program broken up in 3 hour sessions, as well as the Standard Outpatient Program which includes a variety of different types of therapies to help individuals with addiction, anxiety, depression, trauma, and life skills.         

 

Estil is a recovered alcoholic and drug addict, a self- employed husband, and has owned and operated his own businesses for the last 10 years. His skill set centers around team assemblage, plan development and execution. Estil is a natural entrepreneur and has a passion for helping others reclaim their lives. Estil and his team at Cornerstone are dedicated to helping others find peace and lasting recovery.  

 

Interested in Cornerstone and even a Free T- shirt? Follow the link here to learn more: https://www.scottsdalecornerstone.com/t-shirts/ Check them out on Facebook as well at @scottsdalecornerstone  

 

Please Like, Subscribe, and Comment below! 

  

#recovery #cornerstonehealing #healing #treatment #soberAF #heavilmeditated #scottsdalecornerstone #addiction #drugs #alcohol #trauma #arizona #success #podcast #InspirationwithGrulerNation #inspire #gruler #inspiration #GrulerNation #GrulerNationPodcast #gnp #arizonapodcast #scottsdale #yesphx #phx  

 

The Gruler Nation Podcast is a show that focuses on conversations with interesting "Level 10" people passionate about changing the world with their work, relationships and ideas. The show is hosted by Robert Gruler, an attorney and founding partner of the R&R Law Group, a criminal defense law firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona focused on helping good people charged with crimes move forward with their lives.   

 

Interested in being on the show or have a guest recommendation? Email Robert directly at robert@rrlawaz.com or visit www.robgruler.com for more information.  

Show Notes Transcript

Episode #72 of the Gruler Nation Podcast features Estil Wallace. Estil is the founder of Scottsdale  Cornerstone, a recovery and treatment center. Cornerstone Healing Center is a level 3 outpatient substance abuse treatment facility. Their programs include the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) which is completely immersive, the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) which is an evening program broken up in 3 hour sessions, as well as the Standard Outpatient Program which includes a variety of different types of therapies to help individuals with addiction, anxiety, depression, trauma, and life skills.         

 

Estil is a recovered alcoholic and drug addict, a self- employed husband, and has owned and operated his own businesses for the last 10 years. His skill set centers around team assemblage, plan development and execution. Estil is a natural entrepreneur and has a passion for helping others reclaim their lives. Estil and his team at Cornerstone are dedicated to helping others find peace and lasting recovery.  

 

Interested in Cornerstone and even a Free T- shirt? Follow the link here to learn more: https://www.scottsdalecornerstone.com/t-shirts/ Check them out on Facebook as well at @scottsdalecornerstone  

 

Please Like, Subscribe, and Comment below! 

  

#recovery #cornerstonehealing #healing #treatment #soberAF #heavilmeditated #scottsdalecornerstone #addiction #drugs #alcohol #trauma #arizona #success #podcast #InspirationwithGrulerNation #inspire #gruler #inspiration #GrulerNation #GrulerNationPodcast #gnp #arizonapodcast #scottsdale #yesphx #phx  

 

The Gruler Nation Podcast is a show that focuses on conversations with interesting "Level 10" people passionate about changing the world with their work, relationships and ideas. The show is hosted by Robert Gruler, an attorney and founding partner of the R&R Law Group, a criminal defense law firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona focused on helping good people charged with crimes move forward with their lives.   

 

Interested in being on the show or have a guest recommendation? Email Robert directly at robert@rrlawaz.com or visit www.robgruler.com for more information.  

Support the show (https://www.ericshouse.org/donate/)

Speaker 1:

This is episode 72 of the griller nation podcast. My name is Robert ruler, joined today by Estelle Wallace of Scottsdale, cornerstone, founder of a recovery and treatment center here in Scottsdale, Arizona. We're gonna dive into a lot of that stuff from one guy in recovery to another. But first of all, I want to say I still thanks for being here today, honor and a pleasure. Thank you for having me. Yeah. So, so that our audience can [inaudible]

Speaker 2:

kind of get to know a little bit about you tell, tell me about Scottsdale cornerstone. So first of all, let's talk about the different, you know, what, what are you doing there, what's happening at your facility? And then we can talk about how it all came about.

Speaker 3:

Cornerstone healing center is a level three outpatient substance abuse treatment facility. So we do several levels of care from what's called partial hospitalization, which is fairly immersive, a transformative experience, most, if not all at any given time of our partial hospitalization. Clients live in a sober living house about a mile away. And then they're with us in the clinic from 8:00 AM to approximately 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. So that's a, that's an immersive experience. It takes a couple of months to get through that, give or take. Everyone's a little different. We also do an IOP intensive outpatient, which is an evening program, a few hours a night, a few times a week. Um, we also do a plethora of other outpatient services, individual therapy, uh, EMDR, longterm trauma therapy. We do occupational therapy. We're one of only two places in the country that, uh, treat substance use disorder and trauma with what's called sensory processing therapy. He's got lights and sensory stimulations. Really cool trippy.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. Yeah. So what, what, what types, so it's a healing center. What types of people are coming to, to heal? It's, it's Momo, mostly addict.

Speaker 3:

This, yeah. Substance use disorders as our primary focus. Uh, trauma would be a secondary. Any much beyond that, you start getting too far into mental health. Ah, we usually refer out.

Speaker 2:

Okay. So alcohol, drugs, um, basically kind of anything that's falling in that category.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Anything with substance use disorders right up our tree. And we're really, we really like to work with particularly broken individuals, not broken people, but I mean people that have been broken down, people that have tried to get sober, people that have been to treatment, people that have tried AA, people that have checked themselves into here or there and not been able to stay sober. That's, that's really our guy at the hopeless, the hopeless guy is our, is our favorite candidate.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. There's a lot of that. I mean, I spent some time at an IOP program, not with you, but at a different place locally here. Yeah. And there were some people who had been in and out of treatment like eight to 10 times, you know, it's kind of shocking. I was 20, 20 times a couple of them. Yeah. And so the goal is, you know, with, with your facilities, kind of break that cycle. Yes. Yes. Permanently. Yeah. And walk me through how this all came about because it's, you're fairly new, right? I mean it's relative to some of the other ones. Yeah, we're just roundabout about

Speaker 3:

around two years. Yeah. It's super exciting. Yeah. Um, so I'm in recovery myself. I've been in recovery for over 15 years, so I'm a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. I don't know, I must've been five or six years ago, uh, I was meeting with a sponsee, a guy. I was taken through the steps, uh, you know, the AA steps, the 12 steps, um, at a, at a fancy treatment center. It was super bougie, is really nice. And I was just looking around, I was like, you live here? He's like, yeah, with like, you know, 10 other patients. And I was, and I talked to whoever was the staff member, the behavioral health tech or whoever it was, and just asked a few questions and I was like, this is cool. Yeah. I can get down with a business like this. And I've, I've, I've been entrepreneur for quite a few years and I thought to myself and [inaudible] even said to my wife, just romantically like one of these days, we should, we should start a treatment center.

Speaker 3:

I'll be the crotchety old 12 step guy pointing my finger and yelling people and we, we sort of brushed it off but summer of 2017 it brought up, it was brought up again in a very happenstance type of manner. I was doing some work with a marketing agency and their only market is treatment centers and the more we dug in and started talking about that space, I eventually parted ways with them to go and start a treatment center. And here we are. Once I got in what uh, one of the first things I realized is there are a lot of treatment centers while they have there, there are people within any organization that are very passionate about their work, especially about this type of work. By in large, from an organizational standpoint, there are a lot of treatment centers that don't really push on doing the heavy lifting of finding inner alignment inside of someone.

Speaker 3:

They instead treat, they treat symptoms, which is actually kind of surprising to me. Honestly. The way I got sober was a pretty pretty nuts and bolts meat and potatoes very seemed to me very clear cut, difficult to do but, but worked, you know it worked and I've seen it work for a lot of people and I assumed you know how those go. Yeah, I assumed that a lot of treatment centers where that plus, and I've discovered that a lot of them are not quite that. So the idea of once we got into the space was to really create an atmosphere where a healing experience strong enough, sufficient enough to overcome alcoholism or addiction could happen relatively in a relatively short time. When I say short time, I don't mean like when you get you sober today, but like if you fail, if you figure you've been tearing up your life and your family's life for 15 years, we could probably turn you around inside of four to six months. Yeah. And to me that's pretty fast. It's extremely fast. Yeah. Cause you've got a lot of damage to undo a lot of wreckage of your past that you have to sort through and, and work on. What was

Speaker 2:

the experience like? I mean, going from an idea of a treatment center to building it. I mean that, that's a, it's a daunting task. I mean, you need a lot of different things. Sure. I imagine it's like building a law firm. Yeah. I'm sure it's, yeah,

Speaker 3:

from an organizational standpoint. Um, but it's a great question and it's a type of question I haven't been asked very often. Um, so it starts with questions. For me, it started with questions cause the idea I already had a good paying job and the idea was really to investigate. I like the idea romantically. I like the idea of working in a treatment center that I own and being able to interface with clients and, and I'm an entrepreneur, so I like building. Yeah. But I don't know if that pencils right. I don't know if that actually makes sense financially. So it began with a lot of questions. Um, the more questions I had answered, they led to more and more granular questions and turned into a turn into a word document, which, you know, went from a note on my phone to a word document on Google drive between my wife and I, which eventually turned into a business plan. Yeah. Which turned into a proforma. And around the time we started getting the proforma vetted by other treatment center owners, we kind of came to the conclusion if we can get the money, we're going to do this. And then a first investor, I showed it to you wanting to put all the money in. So that was that. And then we, then we got to work and we started building

Speaker 2:

building mode. Yup. Yeah. And that, you know, it's interesting because a lot of people are like, I kind of feel, and it's just a feeling, I don't have any data, but there's a lot of people that I think think that there's a ton of money to be made in treatment centers, treatment facilities. And there was kind of this gold rush that was happening I think, where everybody was trying to dive into this space. I don't know when that time was or when it wasn't, but there's a, there's a lot who, and there's some that I've worked with actually I've met with a lot of them that are no longer in business. Yes. Anymore because they didn't do what you did, I think. I think they just kind of dove into it.

Speaker 3:

Sure. Uh, and again, being a member of the recovery community here in, in Phoenix and Scottsdale, I've been on the board of directors for a large nonprofit where we house feed and clothe, newly sober drug addicts 175 daily. Wow. We've been doing that for 12 years and so I've been pretty close to the space. It's not like I was like, Oh, a treatment center. Yeah, let's check that out. I've been pretty close to the space and it's close to my heart and I have seen a lot of them come and go. And I think you're touching on probably the root of the problem is there's a, there are a lot of people that get into business for a lot of reasons that aren't necessarily passionate about the work. Right. And that can go from as benign as well. Uh, I'm in it for the money and I don't really want to be present to as malignant as we're going to do every fraudulent thing you could possibly think of with and hoping never get caught and then everything in between.

Speaker 3:

So, and I've seen quite a bit of all of that. Yeah. Most of it's, most of it's dying off. That's good. Yeah. And I think, I think you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think, I mean, wasn't at one point insurance and all of that was covering everything and now they're kind of clamping down on that a bit. Yeah, that's interesting. So thanks to a bill that George [inaudible] w wrote, or his team wrote and then Obama signed into law. Uh, it's a federal law now that insurance companies are required to pay for mental health and substance abuse. Just treatment just like they would for surgery or anything else that shows medical necessity. So if there's medical necessity, they gotta pay for it. So that kind of changed the landscape and that's probably when said gold rush started. Yeah. Um, now that, that the dust from that, uh, chaos is sort of settled.

Speaker 3:

The insurance companies have gotten, uh, have really clamped down on reimbursement rates. So if, if you're going to, they're gonna if we're gonna force them to pay, they've now over time found their sea legs and come up with instrumentation to really mitigate how much they pay in for what and uh, for how long. So there's a little bit of a finer microscope on what's actually happening. Absolutely. Centers. So from one, from one stand point, you could say, I got into the business at a bad time where the reimbursement rates are low and there's heavy, much heavier regulation where you can't get away with doing a bunch of shitty things. On the other side of the coin, I really am encouraged by the fact that we were able to cut our teeth and find our sea legs while everybody else is not every, well, a lot of other companies are going out of business because we're not a village business built around artificial or inflated, uh, factors.

Speaker 3:

Right. Yeah. And, and it's, it was crazy to me to see sort of that flow of people because you're not, you're not selling tee shirts or you know, lemonade. I mean you're, we make t-shirts but we don't see you do, and I want to talk about those. Uh, you've got one on right now. Heavily meditated. I know those have been a huge hit, but the, the idea that you can just set up a shot, you know, set up shop and start just kind of funneling bodies through your treatment center and just, you know, milk, the insurance reimbursement rates is kind of describing. It's actually disgusting. It is. It's absolutely deplorable. And if you were to do that right now in late 2019, you'd be broken six months. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It doesn't even work that way. Yeah. So I mean there, there was kind of a UN until this is all gotten sorted out, like a little bit.

Speaker 3:

You like you said your sea legs, there was, you know, body brokering and all this stuff. Can you show us what that is? Um, I O can only tell, tell you what I've heard. Yeah, I'm not familiar with it firsthand from any side of the spectrum. Um, what I w way I've come to understand it is there were, this is also prefaced, uh, by being in a time when reimbursement rates were much higher across the board. So you could count on a much higher average lifetime customer value. So if you could expect to make, um, I don't know, let's call it $100,000 off of a policy over the course of, uh, you know, six months or nine months or however long you can keep servicing that client. The idea is even if the, regardless of the dollar amount, if you could keep someone in treatment or some kind of structure for six, nine, 12 months, keep them tethered.

Speaker 3:

Even if it's a once a month visit with a therapist, their chances of recovery are higher, right? So it sounds really good on the outside, but if you, if you were to really move people through and you figure they could make a $100,000, then they would gladly pay anywhere between five and $7,000 to get somebody into treatment. So I think again, there's a big sliding scale between relatively benign and much more terrifying. Uh, on the benign side, you would have maybe an interventionist who for a living sits down with families, uh, of addicted or effected loved ones and they come with a game plan and then where they refer to a certain treatment center, that treatment center might, might kick them back 1500 bucks or three grand or five grand. And if that's, if that's the case in most industries that would be considered normal.

Speaker 3:

That would be considered ethical. The trouble is in healthcare, if someone, if someone needs a referral for any kind of healthcare, behavioral, medical, whatever they need to go, where's most appropriate that they can afford, not who will pay you the most? For the lead. Right. That's where the line really gets crossed. So I've heard horror stories of people driving around in orange County and Portia is picking up drug addicts with and they've gotten needles and they're letting them get high and then they're spinning them around to one treatment center and then to another, you know, letting them have an misstate 10 20 days and then going take them, getting them high and take them to another one. I've heard stories like that. I don't know anybody who's done that or has had that done to them. I have met clients over the last couple of years that say they have participated in that to some degree or other. Wow. Yeah. They say that they were, they were paid to enter treatment at this place or that place. Wow. Just pretty heartbreaking.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And then there's probably all these backroom deals going on between the, the centers kicking back to the interventionists and all that stuff.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And, and I, I don't even know where else they would, they would talk to you, but I mean, I suppose that anybody that can make a financial arrangement with, yeah. Well there.

Speaker 2:

There's a lot of that throughout a lot of different industries, right? I mean, yeah, we have that. We see that in criminal law and not criminal law. We do see it in criminal law because we see people who come to us at rock bottom and there are other lawyers who will take advantage of them just like is happening in your industry. Sure. How I want to talk a little bit about the culture of cornerstone because it's unique. It's something that you've developed and I think it's a beautiful thing. I've, like I said, I've been to a lot of these different facilities. I do my recovery center talks. I go around and speak at different places. You have kind of a unique culture in your facility that you've helped cultivate over these past two years, which is awesome. Can you tell us kind of about how, how you created that or how this all all came to be in terms of how you actually structured that? Because you can have a, you can have a business plan and you can have this idea for where you know who's going to be your medical director and you know how many case managers you're going to have and all that stuff. But you still gotta come up with a cohesive culture to unify everybody.

Speaker 3:

Right. That's a fantastic question. Well, so it starts for me, I started with management style and for me I really don't like working and I think this comes just out of experience I never liked working for and now that I've been an employer for more than a decade, I don't like working with people who need to be managed. Yeah. I enjoy working with people that, that want, that want to be led, that requires support but don't need to be managed. The here's my beef with, with over managing or micromanaging whatever you want to call it. And there are plenty of people that do it, that don't recognize it, won't acknowledge it and would not, it would be offended if you said that they micromanage, but many people do it in my beef with it is this, you have a person who has been hired to perform a task, whatever that might be.

Speaker 3:

Let's say they're not proficient yet. Keep a growth mindset. Like they could get this if they're given enough time in practice, they're working on something, their direct superior leans over them, watches, critiques. You're not very good at this. They take over their instructing, but they're half doing it for them. And here's my beef. Now you have two people doing one job and the G and the lesser paid person has been hired to do it. Right? So I really believe in a, I believe in a, in a, in a corporate culture, uh, one that's, that's led, uh, not managed. And that being said, that's kind of been the taproot of everyone that we hire. Uh, so we really try to hire people that are good self-starters, people that take initiative, people that while look, there's a lot of people that you will hire that are gonna need support.

Speaker 3:

They're going to need training. They're going to need to improve as time goes on, like anybody, but that's what we want to be there to do as a, as trained as managers is we want to help train and support. We don't want to manage so much what their efforts are. It's just, it's too self-defeating. It's inefficient. Yeah. And it creates a, it creates a negative feeling. Also, when you walk into an office, you can tell when the boss walks in, everybody looks down. It's like, come on, man, that sucks. I don't want to work at a place like that. I wouldn't want to be the boss in a place like that. Right. I would in, besides the fact you'll make less money in a place like that because people are afraid, which means people don't think outside of the box. They sneak in extra stuff on the time clock.

Speaker 3:

There's all kinds of ways that goes wrong. Whereas if you empower a person who works for you, who works with you, I like to say to do their job and have some element of creative license with it. They do amazing things. They don't need to be managed. Like if you're coming to me and asking if you can leave for lunch, you're not going to stand. Stay very long with us. Yeah. Not here to figure out your lunchtime, man. Right. You need to deliver to me your KPIs. I want to know how you're doing on your goals currently. Yeah, that's what I'm concerned with. How well are you doing at your job and how do you plan to improve? I don't care what time you go to lunch. I'll care what time you show up. I don't care what time you leave.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Do you think that that culture translates to your, your members or your patients?

Speaker 3:

100% 100% because now we have practitioners, we have people in direct client care that are empowered, that love Mondays. They love coming to work that really are able to come into work and take real ownership of their craft. So what they've gone to school for, they're credentialed, right. They're intelligent and highly skilled individual professionals. So they, I want them to feel that I want them to come in and think this is my space. I'm going to own it right now. Yeah. And yeah, the clients definitely feel that there's laughter in our office constantly and there's tears. Yeah. Because shit gets real. Right. And that's what it's about. It's, I mean, our, our organization operates very much like a family, but not like a family from the 50s a family from like the mid sixties where the parents are hippies, wherever everybody talks about everything. And that's what we do. We talk about stuff, man. And we, and we disagree and we cry and we laugh and we work things out and we find a solution, whatever, whatever the issue is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And it's something, you know, I've been to your office twice now and I, I did, I did a talk actually on Tuesday of this week and uh, heard it was great. It was good. Yeah. It was a great, a great group. The guys there were super interactive and we were able to, I think deliver some value. I think they got some, some uh, some good out of it. But it's, you know, it's funny, I've been over there a couple of times and I don't think we've ever spoken cause you're like you said, you're, you're doing your thing and you're delegating it to everybody else and they do a great job. You know, I come in, it's a big warm welcome. They're ready to go and it's, it's nicely run.

Speaker 3:

Good. Well I appreciate that. I take that as a huge compliment. Thank you very much. Yeah. Yet with the clients, we want them to come in and understand number one that we have been where they are. You know, and I think that's one of the most critical components to our culture, specifically in this space, in the treatment space. Um, we're, we are 13 full time employees and uh, another half dozen contractors, all, all but once a 12 of the 13 full time employees, we're all in 12 step recovery ourselves. Yeah, that's great. With a lot, with a fair, fairly high level of accountability. So that permeates through our culture that that it's hard. It's very difficult when alcoholics drug addicts first get sober. There's a lot of, there's a lot of inhibitions. There's a lot of, they're very guarded. They don't trust, and I think more than anything, they don't trust.

Speaker 3:

I'm speaking for myself and a lot of people I've met over the years, they don't trust that anyone else really truly gets it. Yeah. The pain that they're in, the struggle that they're having, and not only that, not only over the things that they're, that they've done, but their inability to stop doing them. Right. It's a lot of shame, a lot of guilt, a lot of remorse. You start adding on trauma, childhood trauma. I mean, it just, the rabbit hole goes as far deep as they're willing to talk about it and if they don't fucking trust you not talking about anything.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's, it's true. There is an authenticity that comes with two addicts kind of co communicating that, Hey man, I've been in your shoes before. When I do those talks, I'll go into a room and everybody who's sitting in a, in a group will look at me sort of like, who is this lawyer coming in my office? Huge arms in his cool shirts. Yeah, right, exactly. My shmedium shirts, they'll, you know, and they, they kind of, their body language is saying, almost you're not welcome here. Then I can get started into my talk and I have this introduction where I say, can I share my story? And they say, sure. And I, and I give them a good five minutes on what I've been through. And I said, Hey, you know, I've sat in rooms just like this. I've been in your seat. And suddenly the demeanor of the room changes instantly. They just, they get it. They go, Oh, all right, he's on my level and now we can communicate openly.

Speaker 3:

And that's always PR. It seems to be always present in those types of situations. Um, fun story myself, and I won't name anybody, but about a half dozen other guys from the 12 step community. We're invited as part of the 25 and 10, uh, initiative here in Arizona to really reduce recidivism by 25% and 10 years. We were, we were invited down to one of the prison yards in Tucson to give like aF , like a full day workshop on all things recovery. Uh, which we did. And it was, it was a lot of fun. I got sunburned. I should've wore a hat. It's just a solar panel up here. And, um, but the, the first pitch was pretty good. The guy's rock solid. He gave a good pitch, but you could tell they weren't bought in. Yeah. Second guy that comes up tells a story. First of all, rattles off his prison number.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, everybody's a little bit, all these guys are a little bit more comfortable now. And then he tells a story, I'm going to not do it justice because it's really funny. He, he's sharing a cell with a guy who promises him, you know, uh, a shot of heroin every morning if he'll hide his phone for him every night and how he struggled to get it up there and couldn't any. And the, the, and the story, the telling of this, this story is very graphic and I gotta tell ya, it's like me, five other super sober, normal like professionals from the community and 120 inmates wear an orange and we are in fucking stitches, man. We were all on the ground laughing so hard. And after that they believed anything we said, yeah, we could have said, all you gotta do to stay sober is, you know, fill in the blank.

Speaker 3:

Right. And they'd be like, cool, where are you? Where do I sign up? And, and there are a lot of, there are a lot of places that have an element of that, but at cornerstone it's, you feel it immediately. And then I think it's important for the clients when they come in to see that we're just like you. Yeah. And yet we are the transformed version of you. Show an instant, instant, uh, example that what you're, where you are isn't who you are. It isn't what you are. There is a, there is a transformative experience that you're embarking upon and it's starting right now. It's literally happening because sometime in the near future, hopefully in the next couple of months you're going to walk through an invisible door and realize that this thing that you thought was impossible or maybe even didn't exist is actually all around you and you just weren't awake to it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And when you go that route, you can show them a model for who they can be. You can say, I was in your shoes, now look at me now. This is how I did it. And they can relate to the story. And then you can sort of set out a template that they can follow and they can look to you and say, Oh wow, that guy looks pretty, pretty damn well put together. And so he must have something valuable to say.

Speaker 3:

Sure. And then, and then it's a matter of getting in and doing the heavy lifting to get them to transform. Right. And that's through action.

Speaker 2:

Right? So the 12 steps, so you're a 12 step guy and the 12 steps as am I. um, how did that, how did that experience go for you getting sober, getting sober, or at least getting familiar with the 12 steps? So another for me, it took a couple of, a couple of tries to get the wheels off the runway.

Speaker 3:

Uh, I had tried to stay sober. Uh, I tried, I attempted re a sobriety on my own for the very first time. It was 19. Yeah, I was a, I was a morning tricker on, in high school. So I was, I started pretty young and I was by 19, I was attempting sobriety, uh, with no real tools. And I had not, I wasn't really aware of AA or CA or any of the 12 step fellowships. I didn't really know what was out there. Gosh, I must have tried on my own in various ways a hundred times. Uh, eventually I went to a, a treatment center that is for poor people. I went to a free treatment center essentially, and I'm sure you're familiar with it. It's called the salvation army during all 50 States. They run, uh, adult rehabilitation centers, wonderful places. And I was only in there for three days before I left against medical advice, walked right at the front door.

Speaker 3:

And gosh, I was arrested eight days later and I was sitting in Durango jail and I started going to 12 step meetings again. And for whatever reason, maybe as my back being up against the wall, maybe it was me getting over the flu with no medication. Maybe it was, maybe it was being sober for three weeks in a row, four weeks in a row, five weeks in a row with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. I heard, I heard the message, I heard the message that the 12 step fellowship brings and promises and that is that you can have a new life if you're willing to do some heavy work. And I heard it and I didn't buy it 100% I wasn't like sweet. I was like, what is it with this thing? And I was curious. And then when I got, I asked the guys that brought the meetings in what I should do and they, they outlined a very simple, very simple plan and that they would help me with this plan.

Speaker 3:

And they uh, they directed me to a halfway house, we call them sober livings now, but it was a 107 bed facility in central Phoenix. It was not pretty. Yeah. And I moved in there with a backpack with one change, dirty clothes, a pair of bolt cutters and a kitchen knife. Bad credit, two terms, felony probation, no family contact. Not doing good. Wow. Not crushing life. No. And yeah, it started there. I did what they said. I got a sponsor, I worked the steps, got a home group service commitment and somewhere around six or seven months of sobriety, it was like a, you ever been in a room where there's a generator or an air conditioner or a compressor or something that's been on and you've been talking over it and not realizing that you're talking over it and then it shuts off. Yeah. And all of a sudden what you thought was quiet is now really quiet.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. It kind of felt like that. It felt like this interference that had been going on and it manifested physically and my stomach is not, I've had this, not like the other shoe is gonna drop, but the house of cards I had built was going to crumble at the thing. The deeds I had done back there were catching up to me. I had that feeling in my stomach ever since I was pretty young and it was like the noise stopped that that knot in my gut just disappeared and I felt okay just being me. No drugs or alcohol in my system, even though my circumstances weren't great, are still broke. I'm living in living in a halfway house wearing donated clothing. Right. You know, I had a job but it wasn't, I moved furniture for minimum wage.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a, that's a, that's a great story and a great analogy actually cause it that it is true. You get this kind of sense that you get this clarity and reading through the big book it, you know, it actually says that by the time like you, you will feel this kind of glow of relief kind of wash over your body. And it's something that we do at our men's group. We ask everybody every time we meet we say, how are your physical cravings? How's your mental obsession? We, those are kind of our two checking questions and it's, it's amazing. We've run a number of guys through the, through the steps and by the time we start going through step forward and you're doing your inventory and all that stuff, they, there is a noticeable change in a person's psyche, you know, and they come back and they say, no, now I actually don't have, I don't, I don't feel cravings. I haven't been obsessing over this thing for the last week.

Speaker 3:

I haven't felt a physical craving or a mental obsession. 15 years. Yeah. And, and it's fascinating watching the change happen in someone else. Also having experienced the change yourself. It's all the proof that you need in order to make, make, participating in that [inaudible] at some level or other a lifelong endeavor. And with cornerstone healing center, we have a unique opportunity to match up the baseball bat, which I call the 12 step program, right? With the scalpels of clinical treatment is, look, the baseball bat of 12 step is amazing. It works most of the time on most of most people's shit. It works by and large on a lot of stuff. It's not really therapy, it's not really clinical, but it is born out of sound mental health protocol and structure. Carl Carl Young was with a heavy influence on the 12th the original 12 step program. So which is also heavy influence for most of mental health today, young in theory.

Speaker 3:

So you've got this, this weapon of this weapon of truth and of insight that works on most people most of the time. And we're in an environment where it's really contained. It's not like you go to a meeting and then you go home and drink, which you can't really do that. I mean you could, you could give us the finger and leave, but you kind of stuck with us for a couple of months. So not only are you going to meetings and working steps with a sponsor, but during the day you're actually, you're doing healthy stuff. You're at guided meditation, so you're spending time in mindfulness, you're doing yoga, you're weight training, you're watching, you're, you're changing your, your nutritional habits are changing your diet. You're sitting in group therapy with other people that are having the same experience you are working with individually with a therapist. You're unpacking childhood trauma.

Speaker 3:

If there's any present, you're fixing broken family systems of which they're present. Most cases, even non-alcoholic people, right. We, you layer all that stuff together and it's kind of like, there's an old movie, there's an old movie from the 90s called the game with Michael Douglas. I remember that movie. Yeah. Where he, his brother Sean Penn pays some company to fuck with his life basically. Yeah. There's a scene in that movie where his TV's talking to him and he, and he's kind of given him the ground rules. He says, listen, you found the first key and you never know where you're going to find them or how you're going to use them. So you gotta keep your eyes open. That's how we, that's how we introduce these guys to this new way of life that you're going to pick up a breadcrumb trail. We're gonna make it as easy as possible.

Speaker 3:

We can't make you sober. We can't make you turn negative self talk into positive affirmation. We can't turn the narrative inside of your head from, this is bullshit. And I'm at the end of my rope too. I can do just about anything within the realm of reasonability, right? But we can guide you to that. We can lead you that. We can prepare an environment where that can happen more seamlessly than if you were to just do it on your own or just go into a few meetings a week and meet with a sponsor once a week. We want you to do that stuff and all of this stuff. And it's an environment where it, it happens more, more frequently and more quickly. Right? And even if,

Speaker 2:

I mean, if the person may come in or look at the 12 steps and say, Hey, I, you know, I don't really buy into this. I'm powerless stuff. Sure. I just, it's, you know, the God things a little bit off for me, both of which are thoughts that I had meant to personally. You know, as long as you can just say, all right, look, I've tried everything else. I'm going to give this a shot. I'm just going to do the work. And whether I believe it or not, I'm just gonna I'm just gonna grind through it. Or I'd just go into a college. I don't want to do the

Speaker 3:

work, but if I do it, I'm going to learn something and we'll see what happens at the end of it. And that simple progression, you, when you get halfway through it, you go, wow, things are, things are brightening up a little bit. That's all it takes. That's why we named it cornerstone. Yeah. In the big book on page 47 they say that upon this simple cornerstone, and they're talking about just enough faith to admit that there could be something more. Yeah. On that simple cornerstone, a wonderfully, a wonderful spiritual structure can be built. And that's, and that's what we're here to do. And we talk about spirituality a lot at cornerstone and it's not, it's not, it's not religious, it's not religious specific at all. Sure. I wouldn't even call this nondenominational. And if I had to describe my own spiritual beliefs in a truncated Wikipedia version, I would say I'm somewhere right in the middle between agnostic and theist.

Speaker 3:

Okay. I'm not even, I'm not even all the way into theism. Yeah. I might. Somewhere right in the middle there. I've got very specific beliefs around it, but it doesn't go too far down anybody's path, which is, and what's beautiful is that's worked for me and I've watched it work for lots of other people and it, and I wouldn't have bought in under a heavier price. Yeah. Which I find very common. So we started talking about spirituality and I watch people's faces and I'll bring it up. Intention, especially with brand new people. Yeah. How's your spirituality? And I just watch their face. Right. And that's when that's a good opportunity to get in there and loosen them up a little bit and let them know like, this isn't what you think. Yeah. When we talk about spirituality, why don't you, why don't you imagine a mind muscle connection between, between what you want for your life and the bullshit you're actually doing, making those the same, let's call that that work.

Speaker 3:

Let's call that spiritual practice. I want you to be the man you want to be. And they're like, okay, I could do that. Yeah. Yeah. It's framing it a little bit differently because people, it's scary to think about that stuff sometimes about God and my life's ruined. Now you want me to, now you want me to be saved or something. Right, right. Yeah. And now we've got to talk about God. You know, I've already, you know, I have my own issues with God, you know, and, and, uh, this I this idea that sometimes people will say, well, God can, God will only give you what you can handle, right? And that's kind of a really popular saying. Sure. But it's at the same time, you start to think, well, obviously not, what the hell am I doing in this treatment center? I couldn't handle my life.

Speaker 3:

Um, I'm not, you know, I'm about to end up in jail and about to end up in prison. I'm gonna lose my job. I'm gonna lose my family. I need help. And then it connects you with somebody else who now, so now you're pretty pissed off at God. Now you're in a place where somebody wants to talk about God. They also want to talk about the fact that you're powerless. So you're going, wait a minute. And it's kind of this cognitive dissonance that goes on. And I can imagine day in and day out, you're seeing people at rock bottom. They're coming in, they've got nothing else, you know, and they're closed off. They don't want to be there. A lot of them. So now you've got to integrate them into your culture. That's not, that's not an easy thing to do. A, it doesn't say so. It's not easy, but it's simple.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Uh, much the way I would imagine addressing someone's legal concerns when they come to you with something you've seen a thousand times for four to them, it's hyper complicated. And to, and to that argument [inaudible] there may be a level of sophistication to it. Uh, but if you've done it a thousand times, right, you recognize that, you know what the next steps are. You know what works most of the time on this, right. I think a couple of steps ahead. Yeah. Yeah. A guy walks in, there's very little, the only thing a guy can tell me that I can't work with is go fuck yourself. Yeah. Right. Okay, cool. Have a nice life, man. Yeah. Keep my card in case you change your mind on that. Right. That's I that got nothing for that. Right. But if some guy comes in and has an issue with God, fine, I don't care.

Speaker 3:

You have an issue with your parents. Yeah. You have an issue with, doesn't it? Yeah. You have an issue with your wife. You have an issue with your kids. You have an issue with a childhood you should've had, could've had, didn't have. I don't. There's nothing. There's nothing in the normal sense of the word that life could throw at a human being prior to sobriety that we haven't seen before because you're, you're a person and where people, and we're all recovered alcoholics and drug addicts, so we've had, we've had our own nightmares that we have somehow survived and then transformed out of, and we just want to get into the transformation. Are you so fucking special that your pain is so much greater than anybody else's on earth? Right. Sometimes we think that in the moment, but it's not true. Yeah. It's not true at all. You're having an existential dilemma that one that may kill you physically. Right. Believe me, there's a way out of that. Yeah. And

Speaker 2:

the answer for you and for myself was the 12th step. There's a lot 12 steps. There's a lot of people who totally disagree with the 12 steps. Sure. Right. And there's all these other different modalities. You've got smart recovery and you've got the mat stuff, the medically assisted treatments that we were talking about. Why, why did your vision include the 12 steps? Does it expand? Do you work with other people who are anti 12 steps, kind of w w how do you position yourself in this marketplace where there's all these other different modalities? Sure.

Speaker 3:

Great question. So at the end of the day, I th I think I know what I'm trying to do and I, I, I'll go out on a limb and give everyone in the treatment or behavioral health space the benefit of the doubt on the statement. I think slash hope that everyone in this space is trying to return to their family, community, home and country, a relatively healthy, balanced, self-regulating human beings. [inaudible] here you go. This person who has been broken is now returned stronger, ready to ready to show up to full for life, whatever that looks like for them. Now there are a lot of people have a lot of opinions on how that's done and what's popular in the last several years and probably for the next few years, uh, is medication assisted treatment. I don't have a beef with, with medication assisted treatment as modality. I view that just the same way I view, um, you know, adventure therapy or experiential therapy or empty chair or talk therapy or a million, it's a tool.

Speaker 3:

So explain what that is for people who don't know what medication assisted treatments and it's a very broad term and we'll have to kind of unpack that a little bit. So medication assisted treatment is, uh, is a school of thought that believes that you can treat a substance use disorder with medications. They view it as a medical problem. So we have a medical solution that's considered a medical model. So take for those, those of those of your listeners that are, say older than 40, may remember, uh, in the 70s, there was a big push for methadone. There was so much heroin use, a post-World, uh, post, uh, Vietnam war that they, the United States government was like, we don't know what to do. And somehow someone came up with methadone treatment and people would take methadone. Well, the experiment didn't work very well. What they did was they took a bunch of people shooting heroin to got them to swallowing methadone and behavior patterns didn't change a ton over time.

Speaker 3:

Heroin as a, as a cultural thing sort of phased out on its own without a lot of help from the treatment community or anywhere else. Uh, it's made a reemergence opiates have now at thanks to um, thanks to not entirely but many factors but large part, uh, physicians here in this country unfortunately that have overwritten, uh, prescription pain medications with you compound that with a B, especially in the Southwest United States, uh, being, being boarded with Mexico where there's a very fragile rule of law, much less, uh, oversight and regulation, drugs coming over, opiates coming this way. Opiates have risen again from the ashes. So now in the, in the, in the teens we have this opiate crisis. We have something like a 130, 140 people dying every, it's like a, it's like a couple of airplanes full of people crashing and burning alive every single day in the United States.

Speaker 3:

If you're under 50 with both boats, you, both, you and I are the most likely way you and I are going to die us from a drug or alcohol related overdose. Right? That's the most likely way anybody in America under 50 is going to die. It's crazy. It is crazy. When I think of the things I'm afraid of, like how are you gonna die? It's like I get a, I'd have 25 things I could think of off the top of my head before thinking I'm going to die of a drug overdose. Especially for someone who is a professional, maybe in their mid thirties live in their life. All you got to do is sprain your back man. Right. That's all you gotta do. Squat a little too much in the gym one day. Yeah. That's all it takes. And next thing you know, you've got people who wouldn't ever consider themselves criminals or drug addicts and they're wearing, they got bracelets, man, they're wearing orange, they're in penitentiary.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Three felonies and it's done well. It's a lot of our clients. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I love meeting a guy, a newly sober guy, whether in treatment or just in the rooms of a 12 step programs where they're, well, I'm not like these people. What do you mean the what? What are these people? Because it's a mixed bag, right? Totally. And they say, well, you know, I'm not a criminal. You got two pending felonies, homey, right. One more. You're going to wear orange, you're going to be, you're going to be much farther down the scale than I ever went and I was homeless. Yeah. So I don't know who these people are, but you are these people and I think that's part of the stigma. Stigmatization. And we can get back to that. What was your original question? So I was, yeah, that's why I was asking about the mat mat mat and then, and then sort of the differentiation between some of the different modalities and how and how cornerstone found its place amongst all of the different treatment options.

Speaker 3:

It's a really good question. Um, so mat is a big word. It means medication assisted treatment, which has a lot of medications. So there's, it ranges from things, uh, like Vivitrol, which is a short acting version of Naloxone, uh, Naloxone or naltrexone or Vivitrol. These are opiate blockers. They're used primarily in opiate addicts through opiate substance use disorder. And it actually stops the person from getting high. So the pros are they could take this, they can take it. A Vivitrol shot lasts about 30 days. And in that time where they to take opiates, they would get no cerebral effects that get no high from it. There's a, there's a negative side to that. Sue, I have, there've been many people in the last few years who were on Vivitrol that overdosed. Right? Because now they're, they're shooting heroin or they're taking, they're taking a Oxycontin and they're can't get high.

Speaker 3:

They take more, they take more heart stops, right? Never even got, never even got loaded. Right? It's still in your system. They're just not feeling it the way they normally would. Um, so I don't really have a beef, uh, with, with that one. Uh, we've, we've, uh, allowed for a few of our clients over the last couple of years to, to get a Vivitrol shot. Primarily. Why I prefer that over some other forms of medication assisted treatment is because it's not, it's not mood or mind altering. Uh, it goes and it's pretty benign. My only, the only issue with taking a substance like that is psychological and the negative psychological effect that it can have is, well I have a safety net, I can do less work. It's like a, it's like taking a fat burner and thinking I can still eat like crap, right? It's like, well I, I, I get that line of thinking cause I too, I have my have had a past of being lazy and useless.

Speaker 3:

So I understand that line of thinking, but that's a danger, right? To think that, well because I have this, I don't have to do this work. Whereas the flip side is true. Also, we can have a very positive psychological effect. You give someone who's been to treatment 20 times or North of 10 times, you give them Vivitrol shot and say, listen, you got 30 days, you're gonna have no physical cravings or very minimal physical cravings. And if you go get high, guess what? You're not going to get high. You're just going to sit there with your mistake for a minute. That can have a positive psychological effect and think, you know what? I've got a month to get busy and do some work and maybe that's what they need. Maybe that's exactly what they need. And I've seen people have those types of experiences. Um, and it gets all the way into Suboxone. Subutex and methadone, surprisingly to me, has made a, a real strong comeback. There are, there's lots of methadone going around legally in the city right now

Speaker 2:

and the methadone and the Suboxone, those are things. So a person who is addicted to heroin or the opiates, it's this idea that they're going to take an alternative drug that's less harmful. So they're going to stop the heroin and you're going to load them with this other stuff and then slowly taper it down so they don't have those really painful withdrawals. Yeah, it's a, it's a production

Speaker 3:

model, which is, uh, in and of itself a beautiful, beautiful thing. So I'm a big supporter of Suboxone and Subutex and not the methadone as much. Cause methadone, methadone is hard to get a get a human being off of [inaudible] if they don't, let's say look, cause let's, because it sounds good in theory, right? We're gonna put you on, we're gonna put you on this alternative. Uh, maybe, maybe three weeks, maybe six months, maybe a year. If you're a hard case and we're going to taper you down over time, you'll have no withdrawals and uh, you, you match this up with some other therapies and you should be good to go. That sounds like a dream come true. The trouble is life is life is muddy and bloody and messy and it's real life. What happens in real life when a person's prescribed methadone, they take it for 10 years or for three years and, and shoot heroin if getting some, trying to get somebody detoxed off of a high methadone dose is not only very difficult, it's, it's life threatening.

Speaker 3:

It's, it's fatally dangerous and many doctors won't do it. Hospitals, hospitals won't do it. There's a place here in Arizona that does it on, they do it with a procedure they call bridging. So they'll take someone who's on high doses of methadone that wants to get super sober, like no mind altering substance in their body because they want to really change their life. They'll take this individual and know they'll put them on an IV drip of Dilauded hard cord, high concentration opiate until they are flying high. Then they'll taper out the methadone over the course of a couple of days. Now they're on a high dose of opiate, intravenous opiate. And from there they put them onto the Suboxone and then they tape them down. It takes anywhere from, you know, as few, as eight to as many as 20 days to do this bridging. And it's very dangerous.

Speaker 3:

You could die coming off of methadone. You can die just like you can with benzodiazepines or alcohol. So it's very, it's very sketchy. So I'm not a big fan of methadone in and of itself. The Suboxone and in the Subutex have proven to be much safer, uh, substances. The, here's the sticking point in what we do differently at cornerstone is weed. We prescribe three-day tapers, five-day tapers, we wanna we want to bring somebody down off of that plane in, insert this plane, the same one that you and I are on right now. Anybody who is super sober. Yeah. No alcohol or drugs in their system for many days slash months, years, this plane where reality is reality. Things are what they are with good, bad, positive, negative, difficult, simple, et cetera. Because that's life. Yeah. And if we're gonna, if we're gonna help this person reclaim, reclaim their life, not harm, or do not reduce the harm that they could inflict on themselves with the community. And again, I'm not against that talking about what we do at cornerstone. If we're going to help a guy whose life has been broken by, by negative self talk, by, by, by, by trauma, by treating the people in his life horribly by substance use disorder at its core. I can't, I can't get this guy to reclaim his life to find purpose and direction and really learn how to give a shit about himself and other people.

Speaker 2:

Well, if he's still high, right. I just can't, I don't know how to work with that. Yeah. You know, it's funny when I, when I was, uh, when I went into a treatment center, it was locally here. Uh, it was a pretty terrible experience across the board, so I won't name the names, they know who they are, but the people there were as high as anybody I've seen outside of the treatment center. Uh, and really common what they would do, and it was crazy is they would, they basically ring a bell every set off on a, an alarm or an alert throughout the facility. It was a big facility, probably a couple hundred people there. And uh, everybody would line up to get their drugs. They would just line right up and everybody would form a line, they'd get their drugs, people would pop their pills, they'd be slurring their words, they would be, you know, kind of dozing off in and out of our group sessions and things.

Speaker 2:

And I finally, I was, I was an alcohol guy. I didn't use any of the drugs. I didn't need anything as long tapers. After a couple of days, boom is out of my system. I'm, I'm pretty much good to go. Healthy fit younger guy, just bounce right back pretty quickly. Used to that and they would just keep saying, here, take these, take this more out event more out of them wearing it and I don't, look, I don't need it. And it got to the point where I said, uh, I'm not taking it anymore. Like I'm just knocking. I don't, I don't need it. I'm not going to take it anymore. My goal is to be sober. Like you said, I want to be sober. I don't need any more of this medication. And it caused a big problem. Actually, it was a big stir. They said, you're not, you know, this is, you're not compliant, you're not compliant with the doctor's orders, you're going to have to speak to these other people about it.

Speaker 2:

And I ended up AME out of that place also because, because of that, and there were people who were about to positional defiance, I think it's called clinically, is that what it's called? I'm sure they marked it up in my file and then I started throwing up, listen, I'm a lawyer. All right. And now I'm starting throwing my weight around a little bit. But it was, it was a pretty disgusting site to see it because there were people who were, you know, stepping down to go into an IOP program after they've done their time in treatment, who were giving other people advice on how to stay and remain sober, and they were very clearly under the influence of something. Yeah. In a treatment facility.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So again, when we're talking about harm reduction models from a 30,000 foot level, I think, I think the introduction of Suboxone and Subutex are far better than methadone. And I'm, and I'm happy from the bottom of my heart, honestly, in some cases with tears in my eyes that it exists because it's saving lives. It really is at cornerstone healing center. We're not, we're not taking the masses. We're not here to get everybody in Phoenix to stop, to stop committing crimes and stop taking illegal drugs. We are here for the person who has tried everything and is ready to be done forever and make a permanent life altering change in their life. That's us. That's, that's who we're here for. Yeah, it's very specific. Yeah. We don't have a, we don't have the, uh, opiate for the masses, so to speak.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I, what I love about what you do also is you've got all those different areas of life that you address with people. Like you said, weightlifting and mindfulness and all of these different things because that's so important. You people, a lot of the people, by the time they reach you, I imagine they're just completely broken. They don't have the life skills. They don't have a resume. They don't know how to apply for a job. They don't know how to eat right. They don't know how to work out. They don't know how to do any of those things or a lot of those things. And so even the basic life skills, yes, you can get them through the detox. You can get them through the 12 steps, but if they don't know how to, we'll go out and apply for a job or they don't know how to, you know, reintegrate with society. They're going to be right back through your doors. And we get them, we get them in all the sizes,

Speaker 3:

flavors, and colors. Uh, I get guys in their fifties and sixties that have millions of dollars in the bank. Don't know how to make their fucking bed. Yeah. I had a pro athlete, wouldn't make his bed. It didn't know how to was embarrassed. And I was like, listen man, I get that no one's told you no for the last 20 years, but you need to grow up. Yeah. It's time to grow up. Yeah. That's a hard, hard conversation or for that guy to hear. I'm sure. Yes. But it's necessary, right? Absolutely. Yeah. Somebody to have, somebody had to have that conversation with me. Yeah. And I'm glad my life would be, I shudder to think where I would be had people not been hard on me and I don't know. I mean even being harder to be telling me the truth. Yeah. You know, and just because I don't want to hear the truth doesn't mean it's not what I need.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And that's what's, and that's what's difficult and it's, it's, look, there are a thousand ways people are mistreated and mistreat themselves. You stack, you stack a substance use disorder on top of that. The term substance use disorder is really, I'm not, I'm not happy. Slash satisfied slash O K slash can tolerate another day. Right. My life. But when I get drunk, when I get high, I can, I can stumble through one more day. That's the problem with alcoholism. It's not. And I think anybody who's wondering like am I an alcoholic? Well it's easy. There's, you can go on a million websites including mine and, and take a short 10 or 12 question quiz and they're pretty straightforward questions. And if you start answering to like two, three, four of these questions on any of these types of surveys, like you have a, you probably a real problem.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And they're simple. They're simple coming up with excuses, reasons, rationale, spin, whatever you want to call it. If you can justify three different ways why your drink, the way you drink or use the way you use, just stop. Yeah. Or quit lying. Just say, Hey, I'm a drug addict to do drugs. What do you expect? Like do one of the two. It's like when somebody quits a job and gives everybody the finger. It's like if that guy never comes back here, my hats off to him. Yeah. My hat's not off to you. If you come back here begging for your job back. Yeah. If you're, if you're not an alcoholic, you don't need to declare that to anyone. Not alcoholics don't have anything to prove. I know lots of them. Yeah. They're always fascinated with what we do and how we do it and they usually know someone but, but to hear, to hear alcoholics described their non alcoholism, like that's the sure sign. Right? It's like non alcoholics don't sit around trying to prove their non alcoholic. Right. It's like when you're, it's like a, it's like one of the first things. Like

Speaker 2:

it's the same for him. He's never told you that before. But yeah, it's the same like when you're doing a business deal with somebody and they tell you, I'm honest, I have a lot of integrity. That's the first sign that you should not be doing a deal with that person. Right. It's the same thing. Yeah. No. Yeah. You know, I'm not an alcoholic. I just happened to drink every night until I pass out and I don't want to go what happened this morning. But I control my drinking. I can stop at any time. That's weird. That's a weird thing to say. That's like what my F all right. I have a four year old and two year old. That's like when I can't see them, that there's a, there's a crash, two year olds crying and my four year old says I didn't do anything. It's like, that's strange. Why is she crying? And why did you say that you just added yourself young man. That's funny. Well, speaking to that, so your family, you know, this is something that you've worked a lot with your wife on, right? I'm the CFO. She's CFO of the organization is, uh, is she in the space, uh, in recovery and recovery? No, she's not in recovery. Okay. So you guys have a Pat on the back. Yeah. You guys have a little, uh, a little kind of input from both sides of that aisle.

Speaker 3:

Yes. Yes. Uh, she's had some alcoholism in her, in her family going back, as do I. So when we got together, me being in recovery wasn't completely foreign to her. She didn't know everything about recovery, but she was a lot more open minded to like, I get that you have to do this, otherwise it will be really bad. Yeah. And of course we had talks like that over the first year or so as we started to get more serious in our relationship. But it's been a, it's been a, a real wild ride working with her over the years. And it's been a, it's been a beautiful marriage. To be honest. I couldn't be happier. I never thought I would get married. Yeah. And could not, could not have picked a better partner if he gave me a thousand years. I honestly believe that cause I never thought I would.

Speaker 3:

I honestly never thought I'd be able to commit to a marriage. I never thought I'd tolerate anybody enough. And my wife could tell you exactly how, where that tolerance level is. But I really, I, I didn't think I could find someone enough, someone that I worked well enough with. And that has a lot that speaks I think mostly to, uh, her character, the type of patients that she has with me. Uh, and, and, and to some small degree the measure of tolerance and patients that I've, I've learned over the years and hopefully I continue to get better at that. But it's been a wild ride. She understands alcoholics from an arm's length, uh, having experienced them firsthand for many, many years, most of her life. And so she doesn't have the same compassion that I do yet. There's still a place in her heart for, for sick people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And that's a beautiful thing. I mean, the idea that you can find somebody who's going to make you stronger is kind of everybody's dream, right? I mean, you, you, you have a certain segment of the people who are going to come into your life and they're just going to take, take, take. They're going to deplete your energy and you're going to be consumed by having to cater to that person's needs. And that's kind of, uh, probably most people, right, who come in and out of your life. But then if you were able to find somebody who can make you stronger and help you achieve your goals and teach you those things that maybe you wouldn't otherwise have as a, you know, Hungary go getting type of, you know, man personality, she says no patients. And let's think through that a little bit more. Why don't you don't, don't, don't, don't Ram into their car. Let's think through this, right? Those types of things. That's, that's a gift

Speaker 3:

when she's, and she's organized, so she's a great a business partner as well because I'm a, I'm a, I'm a thinker, I'm a talker. I'm an idea guy. I'm a networker and I'll come home, honey, we got to try this thing. It's going to be this huge thing and it's going to be amazing. And she's like looking up from her, whatever she's doing. And she says, ah, we can afford to do 63% of that. And I'm like, okay, 63%, it's going to be awesome. Rock and roll. Uh, but yeah, she's, she's a great balance to me. Uh, if it were up to me alone, uh, I would have to have someone like that in my life or I would, I would just nosedive one venture after another. Um, cause that's cause that's how I am. I'm excitable. I get ramped up and I wanna I want to go and I want to and I'm willing to take risks, which is I think mitigated over the years. I'm now in my early forties in my appetite for risk is still there. But I'd like to take it just take a little more time in research. I like to really understand and mitigate risks. Calculated risks at this stage. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well I do love that about you and your thoughts guy. You're an ideas guy, you're a systems guy in a lot of ways. We've talked a lot about that kind of offline about, you know, how do you, okay. Yeah. You've got, you know, 12 employees or 15, whatever you said you had. And you know, our business is roughly the same in terms of employees. And we were talking about when we had coffee of the day about okay, what, what, you know, what systems do you have in place in order to, to keep all that going. And we were sharing our notes and everything and it's cool to, it's cool to see other people doing that, especially in an area that I'm passionate about and you're passionate about it. So it's

Speaker 3:

very exciting. But speaking of ideas, so what's kind of the future hold for, for your healing center? Where are you, where are you thinking, uh, things are going to be going? Uh, the idea from a 30,000 foot level is that cornerstone healing center will be the most trusted outpatient substance abuse facility in Arizona. Uh, there's a, there's a, there's a few big battleship residential facilities here in Arizona. You've got, you know, Sierra Tucson, Calvary, uh, Chandler Valley. Hope you've got the Meadows, you know, these are the, we got Cottonwood is, is getting pretty big too. There's some there just a short hand, but that's pretty much all the really big residentials here in Arizona. There's a couple other smaller ones that are, that are out there, but those are the big ones. And even people that don't know treatment may have heard of the Meadows or may have heard of Calvary or Sierra Tucson where we want that.

Speaker 3:

We want, I want the same thing. Yeah. When somebody is, when somebody is ready for outpatient care or wants any kind of, any level of outpatient care that's around substance use disorder or trauma, I want him to think cornerstone. They're stepping down out of residential or they're coming in from out of town. Hey, I really need to talk to somebody. You gotta talk to these guys who were cornerstone. I want that. I want us to be the GoTo. I want us to be the most trusted name in substance abuse treatment for outpatient care. Yeah. And I think you're all on your way. I love what you're doing. Tell me about the shirts. How did those come about? So, so I like tee shirts. Um, I, I made a shirt, uh, with our logo on the back that said sober AAF. Yeah. Just kinda like, I don't know, I just, cause I gotta be funny on a shirt like Silver's fuck.

Speaker 3:

And uh, so I did, I just made one and I put our logo on the back and I wore it to a meeting. I spoke at an alumni group actually at, at CVH and um, and after the meeting, like four people were like, where'd you get that shirt? And I was like, my company makes them. Yeah. And they were like, can we buy one? And I was like, maybe, I don't know. Here's my email address, send me an email, I guess. And every time I would wear the shirt, I would typically just wear it to AA, stuffer, your 12 step stuff. Yeah. And whenever I would, people would ask me about the shirt, where, where'd you get it? Can I get one? And so we made a little round of sober AF shirts and we would just give them out to people periodically. And then we made one that said highly meditated, which was pretty funny.

Speaker 3:

We thought yeah. And I think it was literally the minute somebody w uh, Scott or somebody put one on, I was red and I was like heavily meditated would be so much funnier. Yeah. And uh, cause it's kinda like, you know, you think heavily medicated, heavily meditated and we're such a mindfulness based program. We spent like guys come in thinking like, I don't know, I don't know what they think when they come into treatment, but they think they're going to get brainwashed or whatever. And what they really do is they sit and in silence a lot. They sit in meditation a lot, they do a lot of yoga and they come out and they're like, they're like these little rockstar Zen artists. They come out and they're like, they're really peaceful people that are, that are really good at yoga. That's great. And yeah, they got great balance.

Speaker 3:

They know how they have good form in the gym. You're like, who are you? That's great. You came in here degenerate drunk two months ago and now you're like in good shape. Like the light in your eyes. Anyway, so heavily meditated is kind of our jam. We, uh, started making heavily meditated shirts and I gotta tell you the first little batch of them we made, everyone came back the next day. Like people stop me on the street and wanted to talk about the shirt. So people like the shirts. So this is a regular, I even hired a Pat, a patent attorney to see if there was anything filed on it. There's an old, um, I guess it's a copyright on, on this, on this phrase. Really. It's, yeah, it's old and because there's something like 570 580 different vendors that already sell stuff that say heavily meditated on them, it invalidates it.

Speaker 3:

It voids the, the prior in protecting their car, they didn't protect it. They didn't protect their copyrights. So it's, it's a public domain. Cool. Yeah. So we make, we don't even sell them. We just make the crap out of them. We offer tee shirts to AF for free. Anybody that comes in and towards our facility, we make t-shirts to say sober as fuck. We make tee shirts that say heavily meditated, love yourself, practice kindness. And we make, we make one offs. We have make some that say chop wood, carry water. We make a shirt that says I'm a work in progress. We make a shirt that says meditate, grind, repeat. People seem to like that one. We should make more of those. That's a good one now. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. That's cool. I was at the genius network event and a Tim's and nephew was wearing one of your shirts. Get outta here. Which one would have to say? Uh, I think it was heavily meditated. Yeah. Favorite. It's the one piece. I think he was wearing that one and I and I, and I didn't know who he was and I was like, Hey, where'd you get that shirt? And he's like, I don't know. I think a place called cornerstone. I'm like, I emailed that guy, you know? So it's good. It's great branding. It's great awareness. I mean, people wear it and I don't think that kid has the kids, probably 17 I don't think he's had had anything to do with any substance abuse. But he's wearing your shirts. You know, it's perfect.

Speaker 3:

What we make them, we make them on a, you know, shirts that are comfortable. They've got the athletic cuts, they fit good. They feel good. Yeah. And that's the idea with t-shirts. Uh, yeah. Some, uh, I'll just throw her under the bus on this one. My wife, when we first started making the shirts, we did our first batch of shirts. It was like 400 bucks. And she goes, what's this for? And I'll charge, I'm like, it's t-shirt. She's like, they're too expensive. We have to use a cheaper shirt. She goes, and then she goes, I took the Liberty, I found a website, we've got cheaper shirts. I'm looking at him. I said, we can't do those shirts. And she goes, why not? They're only five bucks. I'm like, those shirts suck. Yeah. And she's like, so what? They're just tee shirts. I'm like, they're not just tee shirts.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. These are, this is a representation of our brand. Totally. And these, if you give somebody a tee shirt that fits good and feels good, they're going to wear the crap out of it. Yeah. And she was like, fine, we'll do the expensive shirts. That's exactly, I was able to turn, I was able to turn the tide on her phone on that one. She actually usually wins those exchanges. Yeah, I would. Luckily I was able to convince her to do the nice shirts, so we do a, yeah, we do nice shirts. People like them. People wear them and it's a, it's a win for us and for them. Yeah. They get to, they get a funny shirt that fits good and we get a little free advertising. Yeah. Nobody wants those. Those garbage t-shirts. No, 100% cotton shaped like a box shrinks three inches vertical. You first time you watch it, you look like a sailboat with the thing, you know, flapping around in the wind. It feels like sandpaper. You're wearing it on your stuff, you know you can get them at the race for the kid, turns into a paint shirt or whatever that means, you know a work shirt. Right. That means it goes right to Goodwill for me. Yup. I don't do those.

Speaker 2:

W w w what would be a good introduction for you? Or what kind of help do you need or, or what, you know, what, what can people do to help you, you know, so let's say for example, people are not in a, you know, they don't need any, any treatment. Is it just about keeping their ears open for somebody who does or how can people, because what you're doing is awesome and you've got this unique vision, this unique culture about cornerstone healing center. You obviously want to do a ton of good in the community. A lot of people need your services. There's a lot of noise out there of really other bad facilities. I have experienced with one of them. I can speak firsthand about it, but what, you know, how can people help you create impact?

Speaker 3:

Uh, you know what, just yeah, just keep your, your, your ears open. You have, you know, somebody that's struggling that wants a different life. Call us. Our, our admissions team is amazing. They're not just sales guys. They're not, they're, they're people who are in recovery who will sit and swap stories and cry with you. So if you've got, if you've got anybody that's struggling, anybody that wants help, that needs help, give us a call. Even if they're not a fit with us, we'll, we'll help you find, we'll help you navigate the landscape and find a place for them. Yeah. And how can people connect with you? So what are the best places? Uh, our website is the simplest you can go to right to our website at Scottsdale, cornerstone.com. Um, we've got a contact form, there's a live chat box on there that goes directly to my admission, guns, admissions, guys, phones, uh, you can call the, there's click to call buttons all over the place. You can just hit any of those buttons and call again, goes to the same two guys that goes right to sod and Scott answer the phone anytime. Yeah. And you're right in a [inaudible]

Speaker 2:

kind of in the heart of it's, it's almost North Scottsdale almost where they're gonna park your in the air park. Yes. A Scottsdale road in Thunderbird. Awesome facility. A really good people there. I've been there a couple times and everybody has just been very warm and welcoming and you've got a good group. You've got some awesome pictures of some very good people on the walls that I appreciate, so I would encourage people to, to check you out. So Scottsdale, cornerstone.com you've got Facebook and Instagram. You've got Scott still just look up. Scott sell cornerstone. You'll pop up.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. All right, my friend. Anything else? No. What a pleasure to, to be on here, man. Thank you. It's truly an honor. I really appreciate your time. I appreciate you coming by and I appreciate everything you're doing. I'm looking forward to staying in touch and, uh, hanging together on the journey. Likewise, thanks to STO,

Speaker 1:

the ruler nation podcast is brought to you by the R and R law group. Arizona's premier criminal defense and personal injury law firm available@wwwdotourourlawaz.com or give us a call, eight zero four

Speaker 4:

zero zero one three five five.