›› Where Addiction Takes You and Where Sobriety Leads You

        by Charles (Chuck) McClain, CADCA

July 18, 1981 I was given a gift that I didn't know was a gift...The chance to get clean and sober via a Treatment Program in a hospital in Great Falls, Montana. 6 months later I have a desire and need to give back what was so freely given to me. I became a Counselor working with Juvenile Sex Offenders and a Volunteer working Rape Crisis which the majority of the time I was involved with Domestic Violence cases and Suicide Crisis calls.

My career has evolved over the years to where I have been employed by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Dept as an A&D Counselor for a treatment program we have in the jail called Sheriff's Treatment Program (STP) since 1999.

I get the privilege of witnessing hope and willingness on a daily basis via the inmates that I get to work with. It doesn't make any difference whether they are getting Life sentences (12 in the past 2 years) or getting released to another program on the outside.

The changes that the inmates go through are very dramatic and heart felt. To work with someone that has spent all of the past 25 years except for 2 years (not all at once) locked up as a result of the crimes he committed around addiction to alcohol and drugs, get released to society and start living a life of sobriety and give back to the community at large is an amazing experience.

We have had over 4500 inmates (male and female) go through our program since 1999, our recidivism rate is 35% compared to 75% for inmates coming through the jail without participating in STP.

When your heart and soul stay full and you get to watch and experience the range of feelings from complete despair and devastation to the belly laughs and absolute joy in being able to live today...Why wouldn't you want to come to work??



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