Episode 28

Interview with the Interventionist

April 29th, 2022

Kira Arrillaga: Welcome to Addiction and the Family, “Episode 28: Interview with the Interventionist.”

Casey Arrillaga: How has addiction affected your family?

Female Speaker: It robbed me of my father.

Female Speaker: Addiction's affected my family in absolutely every way.

Male Speaker: It has caused a lot of turmoil.

Female Speaker: It goes back to what I understand is at least three generations.

Female Speaker: It robbed my daughter of her mother. It robbed my mother of her daughter.

Female Speaker: Addiction has made our family quite challenging.

Male Speaker: Addiction has affected my family tremendously.

Male Speaker: It's affected my relationship with my sister where I wouldn't – I'd go for months without talking to her. It's a very difficult thing for everybody involved. It doesn't just affect the one individual. It's a disease that affects the whole family.

Male Speaker: Addiction is spread not only genetically through some of my relatives and I assume ancestors.

Female Speaker: It's generational.

Female Speaker: I think of him every day.

Casey Arrillaga: Welcome to Addiction and the Family, a podcast by and for family members of anyone with an addiction. My name is Casey Arrillaga, and I'm a clinical social worker and addiction counselor at both Windmill Wellness Ranch and InMindOut Emotional Wellness Centers, and I'm the author of Realistic Hope, The Family Survival Guide for Facing Alcoholism and Other Addictions.

Kira Arrillaga: And I'm Kira Arrillaga, addiction counselor intern and recovery coach at Windmill. Casey and I were in our addictions together together for over a ten years and now have been in recovery together for almost twice that long.

Casey Arrillaga: I've led hundreds of family workshops but just as important is that Kira and I have lived the experience of being family to addiction as both children and adults.

Kira Arrillaga: Join us as we offer experience, strength, and realistic hope about how you and your family can find recovery together.
In this episode, we hear from Dustin Williams who owns and runs DABC's Recovery Service, which provides intervention, recovery coaching, sober companion, case management, and sober transport services. Dustin talks about his own story of recovery as well as things families should know about interventions, having a loved one in treatment, and what happens afterward. All this and more after a word from one of our sponsors.

Kira Arrillaga: Welcome back. Let's hear that interview with Dustin.

Casey Arrillaga: Welcome to Addiction and the Family. Both glad to have you on the show and if you would, why don't you take just a moment and introduce yourself to our audience, let them know who you are, a little bit about what you do, and we'll go from there.

Dustin Williams: So my name is Dustin Williams. I'm the CEO and owner of DABC's Recovery Service. We do interventions, case management, sober companion, sober transport, treatment and referrals, a little bit of everything, work with the families, coaching them during the interventions, and then after while the client's in treatment. I also offer a case management for the family side of it, too.

Casey Arrillaga: Fantastic. Tell us a little bit about what has you on the show called Addiction and the Family.

Dustin Williams: With the interventions that I do, a lot of the times the families don't grasp the fact that they're in the midst of this disease with them and they have their own struggles. I really – I love the part of helping the families, so any time I get a chance to be a part of the family side of it, I jump in, whether it be through just coaching them or just whatever I can do to help.

Casey Arrillaga: On a personal side, do you connect with this? A lot of people do this kind of work because they have some personal connection to recovery and the family and that sort of thing.

Dustin Williams: Yes, so I struggled with addiction for, I don't know, 20-plus years. I was in and out of treatment and my family never participated, was never a part of. It was always I would get better, go back to the family, to the chaotic environment, and always ended up relapsing. It wasn't until my family pretty much cut me off completely and I was already divorced. My brother was tired of my stuff, so he moved to Arizona to get away from me. I was left with what am I going to do now type of thing. A couple stints in jail prior to that, and then I got out in 2016. Thought I'll just go on another run because I'm going to go back to jail anyways, and ended up in a treatment center once again thinking how'd I get here? I got out, but I grasped all of the 12 steps and went about it. I knew that there was a lot missing in between a loved one reaching out and the family. I bring in a lot of Al Anon people and just also some of my colleagues, people I've worked for in the past and a little bit from Casey while I worked with him. I grew – as the business grew and through more interventions I did, I seen that the family suffered in silence a lot of the time. Once the addicts or alcoholics get better, they were still suffering. I made it a point to start working more with the families before the intervention goes down to educate them and get them and get them up to speed in a very short period of time. Any time I can find something that would help me improve that piece – I would listen to the podcasts and it's helped out a lot. I actually referred a family to hear the podcast.

Casey Arrillaga: Oh, nice, thank you, appreciate that.

Dustin Williams: Yeah.

Casey Arrillaga: Now, something you said also jumped out to me, though. You said you go to treatment, you get to where you're doing better. You said you'd go back to something like the chaotic environment in the family. Do you mind my asking what you're referring to there?

Dustin Williams: Funny story. My brother's a federal agent, so he has that I don't have a problem, you have the problem. I think as someone who struggles with addiction, if family was more – my kids were more involved in it once they got older, my family in general, I think it would've helped. Maybe I wouldn't have went to eight treatment centers and TDC. Who knows? Maybe I would've, but I think if my family would've had those healthy boundaries sooner, might've sparked something in them.

Casey Arrillaga: When you were talking about the chaos, it was more around they didn't know how to set healthy boundaries?

Dustin Williams: Yeah, they had zero boundaries. Their idea is you have to stop, put it down, duh-duh-duh. I can put it down. Why can't you? When I'd slip up and make mistakes, my brother was my hero. He's swoop in and save the day. Then he'd be like, “Oh, look at me. I'm so great. I saved Dustin once again.” I got healthy and he was like ooh, I don't know what I'm supposed to do, so he took the drug away from him. That's what I try to educate around is the family getting their help while the victim was getting help.

Casey Arrillaga: For sure, and that touches on a theory that gets thrown around around family roles. One person is the hero; another person's called the scapegoat. The person wears kind of a lightening rod and many people in recovery, myself included, can identify with that lightening rod scapegoat role. I think something you said there is really telling. It happens in a lot of families; one person gets healthy and the other people aren't quite sure where they are anymore. Who am I if you're not the sick one? You mentioned that dynamic with your brother. How's that going now within your family?

Dustin Williams: Man, me and him have an amazing relationship. He invited me to go do a ride with him and his group of cops, the law enforcement people. He's a part of the – I call it a motorcycle gang; it's not, but it's a club. Some of them are like, what are you doing here? It was pretty cool. I mean, I think he sees me as an equal instead of less than like he always did.

Casey Arrillaga: That's really good to hear, first of all, just for your personal family relationship but also for our listeners to understand that the family may struggle initially if one person changes. Everyone will get used to it, right? Everyone will realign the family system. It gives people a chance to step out of the family role. Maybe I don't have to be the hero all the time, or I don't have to be the scapegoat all the time, or I don't have to be the quiet one all the time, stuff like that. It's really good to hear that in action in your own family.

Dustin Williams: Yeah, and even my kids – my little daughter just graduated college. She moved from Corpus Christi up to San Antonio. I don't want to say to be around me but she's 10 minutes from my house, her and her fiancee. It's pretty cool to have them in town where I actually have blood family.

Casey Arrillaga: That's really nice, man. Congratulations. Congratulations on her graduating from college and for you being able to really solidify those family relationships. If I can ask, how long would you say that process took for you, to go from like, hey look, I'm sober again, to, hey I feel like we're equals. I'm getting invited to these really cool events. I'm the guy doing interventions now.

Dustin Williams: My brother just invited me, so that almost five years. I guess I was about six, eight months sober, and I went out to Arizona to have Thanksgiving with them. My daughter, it took a little bit, probably about two years, maybe even three. They just have been through enough. They were just protecting themselves. Her fiancée, he comes with his dad, and he's like, look, your dad's making an effort. You're going to make an effort. We had dinner. Now we hang out. We talk probably more now than we did when she was a kid, whenever I was married to her mom.

Casey Arrillaga: That's really beautiful to hear. I'm reminded of a saying that I've heard in recovery. You can't walk 20 miles into the forest and expect to walk 1 mile back out.

Dustin Williams: Very true.

Casey Arrillaga: A lot of us find when we're getting going on a recovery, and maybe it does take a couple years, maybe it does take three years. I've talked to a few people recently where three years was some invisible line to get across, where like, hey, my wife seems like she's forgiven me, or the kids are coming back around or something like that. Yet I know a lot of people in early recovery, and a lot of family members also, can look around and say, hey, can we get those results right away? I'm like, I'm sober now. Why isn't everyone building a statue and throwing a parade, man?

Dustin Williams: I used to do that all the time when I would get sober. I was like, oh look at me, I'm sober today. Yeah, but you wasn't for the last five years. I always wanted that instant thing. This time I just let them organically happen versus trying to force my way back in.

Casey Arrillaga: If somebody's listening to this that's maybe newly sober, or a family member's listening to it and they have a loved one who's newly sober, what would you want to say to them about that?

Dustin Williams: The saying that my sponsor tells me are the time, "Are you willing to trust God?" That's what I did. I prayed for it, for these relationships. I didn't obsess over them. I didn't be selfish. I made a first attempt, and they weren't having it.
With my daughter, she only reached out to me because she needed help with her financial aid. She knew I got financial aid. Her mom hadn't filed her taxes or whatever. We slowly started talking. I would say, "I love you, bye-bye," click, nothing. She wouldn't say nothing. Next time I'd say, "I love you, goodbye," click, nothing. Eventually, she said, "Goodbye." Eventually she said, "I love you." Then she said it first. It built its way up to that. Then after that, we had sushi, and everything was good. You can repair a lot over sushi.

Casey Arrillaga: Sushi is pretty cool that way. It's funny, I had a very similar journey with my mom when we reunited. My adoptive mom had cut me out for a number of years. There was issues on both sides. When we did start to rekindle the relationship, I had a similar thing. I would say, "All right, mom, I love you," and, "Uh-huh." It took a while for her to come around and say like, "You too, hon." I was super excited that she said that. I'm like, she said you too, oh cool. Eventually, she got to the point where she could say, "I love you." Then one day she was able to say it first. I'm going to say that whole process was months, if not a year or more.
We didn't involve any sushi, although we have been out to Japanese since. Maybe there's something magic in it. Anybody listening out there, put a little plug out there for the Japanese food – might be the secret sauce.
If you would talk a little bit more now, how did you get from that spot of just starting to get sober – you're just getting your life together. You're just starting to at least try to rebuild relationships. How do get from there to being a guy who's now helping other family members out, to understand their journey, where they needed recovery?

Dustin Williams: I started this company as a side business and thought, okay, I'll just do an intervention here and there, maybe a couple transports, and it'll supplement my income. I got certified and dove into it. Actually, one of the first clients I had, working with a family behind the scenes as she struggled time and time and time again to get sober, and through the process just learning.
I went to work for a treatment center as business development, because I was fearful of doing the business full-time. Then I left there because of COVID, started doing full-time sober transports. The last two years have been pretty solid. I've traveled all over the United States, done interventions in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Florida, you name it. I've been blessed with the – and then the first client I had, she is finally celebrating one year.

Casey Arrillaga: Right on.

Dustin Williams: It's super cool. I've had my struggles over the last five years. I've had a lot of medical issues. The one thing that stayed solid is, am I willing to trust God? The back of my shirt, I won't tell you what it says, because it's not PG-13, but it says, we just want to blanking help. That's the truth. I've been blessed where I can do some pro bono stuff. That's really rewarding. I've been blessed just to be able to help a few people here and there. I don't know how I get there.

Casey Arrillaga: You mentioned a couple times the idea, trust God. 12-step recovery always has a spiritual aspect to it, which sometimes is misunderstood for religion, not that there's anything wrong with that part. Could you talk a little bit about the role that spirituality plays in your recovery and in your life today?

Dustin Williams: It's absolutely the top priority. I'm not a religious dude. I'm a little rough around the edges, so to speak, I guess. There's absolutely no way I would be where I'm at today without God or a higher power or whatever it is. Spirituality is the number one. The moment I put anything, even if it's recovery, before God, I'm going to lose it. I may not be the biggest meeting-maker or sponsor a lot of dudes now, but I keep the spiritual aspect in the [17:00]. I start my day with, God, what do you want me to do and who do you want me to help? It never fails. He always provides something. I would say it's the top priority.

Casey Arrillaga: That's very cool. Now, talk about your work with families, stuff like that. Would you mind giving a little detail on what are the kind of things that you see that families struggle most with or where you're able to provide them the most help, whether it's before the intervention's able to happen, while it's happening, afterwards? Talk about that a little bit.

Dustin Williams: All of my work happens before the intervention. I was a car salesman for 16 years. I could convince anybody of anything. I was very successful in the car business. Unfortunately, my disease took that from me, or I gave it to it.
The work with the family starts just trying to find out where everybody is, what their understanding of the situation is, because I just did one with 12 family members, and man, I'll tell you, that one was wild. A dad just sitting there, arms crossed, and no personality – and just like I would an addict, I'll call them on it. I am very honest with them.
My goal when I do an intervention is to get that person help. What that help looks like, I don't know all the time. Maybe it is treatment. Maybe it's mental health. Maybe it's both. Maybe he don't need to go to treatment. Maybe he just needs to go to sober living. I also teach them those boundaries. That's the hardest. Healthy boundaries [18:39] are you willing to tell your son that he can no longer live here. They think that that's turning their back on them, when actually it's no longer enabling the addiction. It's supporting their recovery.

Casey Arrillaga: You mentioned one kind of boundary there. What kind of boundaries or things like that do you see that families struggle most with?

Dustin Williams: I use what they call the HELPS model. HELPS is health, environmental, legal, personal, and spiritual. That's what I got for the healthy boundaries. I think what they struggle the most with is when they have to come to those hard boundaries, because nobody wants to say, you can no longer live with us. None of the families want to say, we're no longer going to give you money to eat. The enabling part, they don't see it as enabling. They see it as helping. It actually is destructive enabling. There's two different types of enabling. There's enabling and then there's destructive. Getting them to see that – just changing their mindset.

Casey Arrillaga: Absolutely. I appreciate you making that distinction. You can help someone in a healthy way or you can enable the addiction. Being able to separate those things out can be really difficult for people. In fact, I'll put a plug in, just because our January episode was on enabling versus helping and that idea of being able to separate those ideas out. That can be revolutionary for a family, to start to recognize that sort of thing. I appreciate that you're saying also that you do a lot of the work with the family before the intervention itself. You mentioned one issue, for instance, just a prototype here, dad might be closed off, mom might have trouble letting go. What are some of the other family roles or dynamics that you see typically come up in an intervention?

Dustin Williams: You can have – it's a lost child, really. They just fall back in the corner. They don't want to be out there in the spotlight. They hope you don't call on them to read a letter. Then you get the hero, who's trying to be overbearing and run everything, the domineering son. He's the little brother, or the older brother even. He's got to listen – getting him to realize that when we present the intervention to the identified patient, they have a choice. They do not have to go, because they're free to make their own choice. Getting him to see that, they're like, oh, you can't give him that option. He has to go. No. The lost child will sit back and not say anything, and really she's probably got the most to say.

Casey Arrillaga: I appreciate that recognition in being able to educate the family that you can't make somebody go into recovery, but then the flip's also true. You can't screw up the recovery really. Somebody's determined to get sober, they're going to get sober, with or without you.
I think it's vital sometimes for family members to recognize both sides of that, that they can't actually screw up someone else's sobriety, because I see a lot of family members are like, my loved one's coming out of treatment. I don't want to make the wrong moves. Short of pouring alcohol in their mouth while they're asleep, there's really not a wrong move you can make. Don't do anything incredibly drastic there. The reality is people are going to get sober if they really decide they want to get sober.

Dustin Williams: What they teach you in Al-Anon, they'd say the three C's. You didn't cause it. You can't cure it. You can't control it. That's something I push with the families, just to let them understand.

Casey Arrillaga: Do you find that's hard to get across sometimes?

Dustin Williams: Yes. A lot of the times, a mom's like, oh my god, I didn't give him enough attention, or, I yelled at him when he was potty training. Look, you didn't cause this. One of the hard things is they say, oh, he suffered some trauma. That didn't cause his addiction either. That may have excelled it, but it didn't cause it. He suffers from a disease. That's hard to get across to the loved ones.

Casey Arrillaga: What do you find helps people most understand some of these ideas?

Dustin Williams: Personal experience. I share a lot of my personal experience in recovery, and the fact my brother didn't cause me my addiction – the fact that my daddy didn't love me the way I think he should, or my dad beat me with a belt too many times, none of that. My family was actually pretty cool. He goes out to be a federal agent. There's nothing in my family history that – immediate family that says you're going to be an addict and you're going to suffer from a disease. It was hard for me to grasp that, for 20-something years.
Getting the family to see that is hard. That's probably where the most education comes from, because you have the mom, I'll do anything. Then you're like, okay, cool, tell him he can't live with you. Then the dad's like, I don't believe in none of this. Getting to see that, the walls fall down.
We talk about getting to see the light come on in someone's eyes. To take a family that is absolutely hopeless and see them have hope is probably the best – I don't want to say best high, but best high I've ever got, because I get jazzed about it. Then they're like, oh, he's never going to go. Then he's convinced that he needs help and this is an option for help. That's super cool. Then the family say, oh, you're the greatest. No, I'm not. It's just great to see all that come back together and to be a part of it.

Casey Arrillaga: Let's say the intervention goes to everyone's best wishes, client goes into treatment. What do you say or recommend for the family then, now their loved one's in treatment?

Dustin Williams: I recommend to find a very quick Al-Anon meeting right around them. I also offer myself. Part of my intervention services – it isn't just an intervention. I work with the families after the intervention, during treatment. I try to stay close to my client while they're in treatment, get updates on a weekly basis, and be part of the discharge planning, and just tell the family that I'm the one you come to. Don't go to him or her with it. Come to me if you have a concern, because we don't want to stress them out.
I tell the client even, I say, look, how about you talk to me if you need something. Talk to your family too. I just want them to start rekindling that relationship and not put the stressors on it that come with someone who's in treatment. They're like, they're not feeding me right, which I know to be false most of the time, because they feed them probably too much.

Kira Arrillaga: Let's take a break to hear from one of our sponsors, and then we'll hear the rest of Casey's interview with Dustin Williams.
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Welcome back. Here's the rest of Dustin's interview.

Casey Arrillaga: What are some of the issues and pitfalls you see for family members while their loved one is still in treatment?

Dustin Williams: I tell them the intervention is a success or a failure, unless you don't hold true to what bottom lines we came with. We call them bottom lines, but they're really healthy boundaries for the family. If they start to get sick again, the chances of the identified patient relapsing are greater.
If they don't get treatment themself, whether it's go to counseling – I recommend counseling to every one of them. I believe in counseling. I recommend some type of support group, because they're going to need that support, because just like they don't know what the addict's going through, because if you never ate a banana, how can you tell me what it tastes like or how to eat one?
If the roles were reversed, the addict don't know what the family's gone through, because they're not the one suffering from that. A lot of them may say, oh, I know, I put my family through a lot. Do you really know, unless you go sit in an Al-Anon meeting and shut up and just listen what they have to say? Go to three of them. You're going to be very surprised. I was.

Casey Arrillaga: With you 100%, advocating for the family getting their support, like you said, counseling, recovery fellowships like the Al-Anon, SMART Recovery Family and Friends, wherever you find it where you really connect and hear a good recovery message from family members.
Now a family member's got their loved one coming out of treatment. This is a time of great nervousness and trepidation, in my experience. The person with the addiction always leaves treatment with a written discharge plan, here's where you're supposed to go next, here's what you're supposed to do. Unfortunately, a lot of times the family member isn't sure what they're supposed to do when their loved one gets out of treatment. What do you tell them about that?

Dustin Williams: If they played a part in the discharge planning, whether it's just updates from the identified patient or what, I prepare them. A family I'm working with right now, I'm like, okay, the game plan is this, because at that point they have trust in me. I'm giving them their discharge planning also. This is what you're going to do. This is where you're going to go. Stop worrying about what he's going to go do and where he's going.
I tell them to support milestones. 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, be there and support. That means a lot to an addict, and vice versa. Whenever you get your chips at Al-Anon or make up an accomplishment in SMART, whatever it is, those are big milestones.
I stay pretty active with them even after they discharge. I give them case management for two months, then offer a pretty intense case management for 12 months. I just help the addict get to where they need to be going, as far as directions and suggestions, but also do that with the family. There are some that are involved in the intervention but don't partake in the rest. They got to suffer long enough to feel that, just like we did as addicts. We had to get beat down, so unfortunately, the family does too.

Casey Arrillaga: I don't think that gets acknowledged enough that everyone says, the addict has to hit bottom so that they can change, but I constantly see family members also needing to hit some kind of a bottom before they're ready to change. Luckily, bottom doesn't mean you got to go to jail, live on the streets, something like that. You just have to get to a place where the emotional discomfort is so great that you tell yourself, I don't want to keep going like this anymore, whether it's giving somebody money or putting all your hopes on them doing well.
It's one thing I have to do sometimes is get a crowbar out to separate out the family doing well from the person with the addiction doing well, because it turns into like, hey, how's your family doing? Oh man, we're doing great because Junior's sober. Then that's a setup, man, because what are you going to do when Junior's not sober or if Junior's struggling or – this happens for a lot of family members – you're not sure? We think maybe he's drinking again, but we're not sure. We can't prove anything. All your serenity and happiness of your family just drained out, because you are staking your happiness on whether or not they stay sober and how they're doing. Getting the family to separate that out and say, how am I doing that isn't based on my loved one, sometimes that is a bit of a journey if they haven't hit some kind of a bottom.
You talked about case management type stuff with families and with people who are directly into addiction recovery. Can you talk a little bit about what you see people needing during that phase, now that they're out of treatment and they're going to that vital first year of sobriety?

Dustin Williams: The reason I geared up on my case management was I was reading it, trying to figure out what's the point of biggest relapse. The first two months out of treatment, you have the highest relapse rate, because they go to treatment for 30, 60, 90 days, and they're like, okay, cool, now go out and live life. They're like, oh, okay, how do you do that?
The life skill part of it – how do I go and do healthy shopping? How do I go and eat healthy and cook for myself? How do I wash laundry? How am I supposed to do certain things? If they're part of any type of recovery path, whatever it may be, 12 steps or not, they teach them how to live life. They don't teach how to support life. I don't know if I'm saying that correctly.
They get out, and they're like, okay, go to meetings. They're like, okay, cool. When? Where? They find that they don't know where the right grocery store is. They don't know how to budget. They don't know how to stay on a schedule, because they're in treatment and they're told where to be and when to be there, and they get out, nobody's telling them, hey, you need to be here at this time and this time, wake up at a decent time, all that healthy living part, and still look at the three parts of the disease, the mental, the spiritual, the physical, and how to treat all those.
I'll tell you, there's many times where if I didn't have good, solid men around me that talked to me whenever I was acting a fool – because I don't realize the life skills behind actually life. I think that's where I help out the most. That goes on the flip side of the family too. How do they live this wild and crazy life that they're going to experience and the freedoms that they are going to experience? Most families are scared to go on vacation, because what if I don't take him? He's going to come tear up the house. You shouldn't have to live like that.

Casey Arrillaga: Absolutely, no. I just ran into a situation the other day with a family where I had challenged them to say, what does your recovery look like that isn't hitched to your loved one's recovery? They came back the next week and they're like, what we came up with is we had this trip, we were going to leave the country, and we were going to cancel it, because the trip was going to happen right when their loved one got out of treatment. They realized, hold on a second, I should go on that trip regardless. Mom said, I'm afraid, because if I go on this trip, I'm going to be worrying the whole time.
Their loved one who is in treatment said this really beautiful and brilliant thing. They said, look, either I'm going to decide to stay sober and I'm going to stay sober or I'm not. Whether or not you go on a trip, where you are is not going to make any difference. Go on the trip and don't spend a bunch of time worrying, because the worry comes back down to that illusion of control. Just like you were saying, I didn't cause it, can't cure it, can't control it. If I start to think, if I go on the trip, then they're going to relapse, I'm putting myself back in control of their recovery, like, oh, I made the wrong move so they relapsed. I'm like, again, that doesn't exist. You don't have that kind of power – moving out of that illusion of control.

Dustin Williams: Absolutely.

Casey Arrillaga: Over the course of that year, I'm sure, again, you get to see people really blossom, grow, start to live life. Where do you look at the family member and say, okay, it's time for you to just live your lives, let it go, let that person's recovery be their own?

Dustin Williams: You know what? On one I stopped at 11 months, because it was time for them to go. I tell them, even the families, I do not want you dependent upon me, because I cannot keep your loved one sober. All I can do is educate and pull them in the right direction. The same goes for you.
I still have families that call me just to update me, which is cool, like this one here that I'm celebrating with her tomorrow. I talk to the mom. She used to cook dinner for me on Sundays. She would send me home with lasagna or all kinds of stuff. It was super cool to become a part of that family and then see that family get better. I still have them in my thoughts. I periodically check up on everybody I work with. Sometimes it's good to report. Sometimes it's not. Sometimes they have a little slip. Sometimes they're still sober three years later.

Casey Arrillaga: That is pretty cool. A couple last questions – one, if you want to summarize your message for family members who are listening to this, what do you want to say to them?

Dustin Williams: Get your own help, outside of the inflicted one. That could be the best thing you could do to support the recovery. When they see that they're not alienated, I'm the one that's screwed everything up, they see the separation between the family and the addiction. Get your own help, counseling, Al-Anon, SMART Recovery, or wherever it's at.

Casey Arrillaga: Right on. Then of course the other big question is, Dustin, where can people find you and your services? If someone's listening to this and says, man, that sounds good for my family, how do they find you?

Dustin Williams: I have a website. It's theabcsrecoveryservice.com. They can also call me on my cell, 361-244-5411, and find me on Facebook. I hired a social media marketer, so you might see ads popping up on Facebook. A lot of times you can call the local AA or even Al-Anon hotline and get a hold of either myself or a colleague. There's plenty out there that need help.
I don't think I'm the only one [38:28]. I fill a pretty cool little niche, where some of my competitors don't like it, but it is what it is. The money is not what my motivation is. Once money becomes my motivator, then I don't believe God's in it at all. I found a job that I would do for nothing, and I absolutely love it. God's blessed me with the rest of it. Call me for anything. I'm always willing to help point you in the right direction.

Casey Arrillaga: That is really cool. Dustin, it has been wonderful talking with you, catching up a little bit, and hearing how well your business is doing. Man, I wish you all the best in that, because you're out there, like you said, you're doing your higher power's work.

Dustin Williams: Yes, sir.

Casey Arrillaga: Thanks for being on the show. I hope we'll talk soon.

Dustin Williams: Thank you.

Kira Arrillaga: That's the interview.

Casey Arrillaga: Thanks for being with us through another episode of Addiction and the Family. As they say in many recovery meetings, take what you liked and leave the rest. Go out and explore the possibilities for recovery in your life, and give your loved ones the space and dignity to make their own choices. If you liked this podcast, please subscribe. It means a lot to us. If you know anyone else who could use what we have to offer, please tell them about Addiction and the Family. If you have comments about this podcast, have a question you would like answered on the show, or want to contribute your voice, or just want to say hi, you can write to us at addictionandthefamily@gmail.com. We're also happy to be your friend on Facebook, and we can be found tweeting on Twitter.

Kira Arrillaga: Addiction and the Family is produced, written, and engineered by