Interview Contributed By: Dirk Eldredge, CADC-I BRI-I CIP and Co-Founder of Alchemy Intervention
What drew me to the field of addiction treatment? Why?
Like so many others I was drawn to this field through my own recovery. Immediately after leaving 90 days of treatment I resigned from my own company and went back to college at LMU and began studying addictionology and drug and alcohol counseling.
For me it’s never been about “How do I stay sober” it’s been “how do I now live a healthy, well-balanced and enjoyable life in sobriety?” I’m happy to say, it’s been a blast for the most part.
What keeps me in this work day after day?
PASSION for recovery. Sounds simple, but it’s true. Recovery is about “Community” and I believe in being an active member of our most amazing community of people. Yes, compassion fatigue is something we must all have a healthy respect for, but living and working in recovery far outweighs the risk we take each day of falling out of balance.
I’ve been blessed with an amazing bride, Stacy Lee, who is also in recovery and she serves as a great “check and balance” for me. When I start losing balance Stacy Lee is always there to call me out.
Along with her, I’m gifted with amazing friends in this field. This, along with watching countless lives find restoration through surrender, is more than enough to keep the light on and keep me going.
What is my philosophy on addiction treatment?
Wow, that is a loaded question! I suppose I would start by stating that treatment centers are like any other business, they are defined by the people that run and represent them clinically. I’ve been gifted by putting my feet on the ground at countless healing centers.
My philosophy is that “Love & Respect” for the clinical and experiential needs of each individual must be first understood and then treated. It’s important that each treatment center exceeds the expectations of the families that trust their loved ones to our care.
Of course, the identified patient plays a huge role in this equation, but philosophically, we must push ourselves as treatment providers to never stop searching and digging to be our best.
What tools would I like my participants to gain while working with me?
Well, on the front lines of family intervention ideally I would like my identified patients to gain a “Full Surrender” to beginning the process of healing by surrendering to their family and friends through a respectful, well focused, organized & intentional intervention.
From this point, the magic of recovery can begin at one of our world class treatment centers. I suppose the key in answering this question is to focus on the fact that recovery is if nothing else, “A Process, Not an Event.”
What do I visualize the future of addiction treatment to be like?
Well, I would most certainly have to start by stating that “The Disease Model of Addiction” must be fully accepted as a disease by the insurance industry so that our reach can be expanded far beyond the affluent and middle class. I believe the future is bright and I’m hopeful because we care and care deeply as an industry.
The beauty here is that we are learning more and more each year about our neurological function and its relationship to our disease. The “human brain” is the last frontier in medicine. It seems to me that we need to continue to invest in research and development until our rates of relapse decrease to a much more attractive percentage.
Faith is also so important. We must in my opinion focus more on our spiritual condition as it relates to recovery. I don’t want to be afraid of talking about our individual faith walks. Without a clear relationship with something “Greater than Ourselves”
I’m not sure how much long term success we will have? The future is bright for addiction treatment because of the souls engaged in provision. We must continue to push ourselves through a healthy thirst for new knowledge, if we stay humble and hungry only good things will happen.