If Only I Had Stopped…
by John B. Butler, CEO-Scottsdale Treatment, LISAC, NCAC II
I have been treating alcohol and drug addiction since 1980, and have heard these words countless times. Despite my significant experience, I am still unable to comprehend or prevent tragedies from occurring to family, friends and our patients. Following is content of a letter from an individual, whom I have never met, nor have I had any contact with him, yet he is reaching out for help. His letter illustrates the tragedy that was caused to him, to his family members and to the friends and family of another person who was killed as a result of his lack of judgement while he was still in his addiction.
Scottsdale Treatment continues to search for answers to these problems by putting the pieces of the puzzle together to help others change their life before tragedies like the one shown in this letter occur. Every treatment center or self-help group that I know has been on this quest for as long as I can remember. It is so unfortunate that tragedy must strike before one is willing to change their behavior and seek help with their addiction.
It does not have to happen this way. If you can relate to this letter and story, please seek help and make a change before tragedy changes your life and those around you. Here is the letter:
Dear Scottsdale Treatment Institute,
I am currently serving a 3 to 10 year prison sentence for vehicular manslaughter, charges stemming from a fatal boating accident. In advance of a parole board hearing scheduled for March of this year, I am trying to develop a solid post release plan.
When the accident happened, I was living in Arizona and attending college there, but visiting family back east during the summer. If I am granted release, I intend to parole directly back to Arizona, where my father and brother live, and where hopefully, I can start to build a life again. As an inmate here I was able to participate in an intensive six month program for alcohol related offenses. I learned a lot and know that continuing treatment will be fundamental to my post release health and success.
If you could, please send along some information about the services you offer, and if possible, an indication as to whether you expect to have space available in August, which is when I’ll be released if I make the board. I’ll be seeking outpatient counseling for alcohol abuse at your facility.
Thank you very much,
(Name Redacted for Privacy)
I cannot thank you all enough for everything you have done for me! You saved my life, and I'm truly blessed and grateful for the wonderful people there.—K.
As I live in California, I want to thank you for offering this DUI course online and the ease of connecting with you for counseling. Your counselors treated everyone with courtesy and respect, asked the right questions and make it comfortable and easy to listen and learn. I did come away from these sessions with more knowledge and helpful advice for my future of sobriety.—GT
Thanks for letting me attend the men’s group meeting yesterday. I was really up against a drink and needed to be around fellow alcoholics. You do a lot of people a big service as you are real with them and call them on their lies. It’s a tough disease and you can’t lie yourself through it. I needed a real meeting and so glad I was able to attend. Thank you… I feel so much better today!—R.