Greg talks with Ted St. John, the Director of Operations at First Step Recovery. First Step Recovery is substance addiction detox center located in Warren, Ohio. Ted himself is a recovering addict who has struggled with opioid and alcohol addiction.
Ted has faced several addictions in his life thus far, one of those being alcoholism. “I was in alcohol rehab previously at 18 years old while serving in the military in South Korea. I had three alcohol related incidents in the first three months of being there. I was like a functional shell. I would lose consciousness of self and still function,” says Ted. “That’s where drug use began. I was tired of being constantly confronted about alcohol use. I began to supplement the effects of alcohol use with drug use. It was less detectable and I had less consequences.”
Ted goes onto discuss his trip to detox, for the first and only time thus far. “When I was honorably discharged from the military, the reason I left was because I wanted to do drugs,” says Ted. “What I can say, is what is what like for me to fix and manage this addiction. What it was like for me in my teens, it coming for me in my twenties and the lack of controlling it in my thirties. This disease is progressive, incurable and fatale.”
He talks about how his faith changed his perspective of opioids and ultimately helped him recover. “What I learned in the detox program is that I had a spiritual problem. On day four of detox, I prayed for the first time in fifteen years, because I was easily done doing that,” says Ted. “I prayed for God to help me not use. Spirituality has been the glue to my recovery.”
Greg asks Ted about what he is doing today and how his struggle to overcome addiction has helped his career. “Having gone through that period it gave me a good blend of business, clinical and recovery skills in order to really be well rounded,” says Ted. “It is pretty diverse, what an Operations Director does. I couldn’t be more grateful, because it gives me the ability to take what I have a passion for and create an atmosphere of recovery.”
Ted talks about the shame of those who relapse and how they can learn from the hardship of relapsing. “When I see that look on their face, I cut right to the chase. Dude, let that go. This becomes part of your story. You had to prove some stuff to yourself,” says Ted. “Whatever you weren’t willing to do last time, do it. Get with your counselor or your sponsor and make the adjustment. That is part of this process. We all get here differently, man. We have to stop looking at it as better or worse. It’s different. That’s it.”
First Step Recovery is an Ohio Detox and Treatment center. You can learn more about their services as well as a Glossary of recovery terms on their site: FirstStepRecovery