Podcast Series: Denver Recovery Center

Gina: Hey, Jason. Nice to have you here.

Jason: Hi, Gina. Thanks for having me.

 It’s good to have you a part of the Harmony Foundation podcast series today and for taking the time to come up and visit us here in Estes Park. You’re with Denver Recovery Center, you’re the Executive Director.

Jason: That’s right.

Gina: But you actually live in Arizona and you commute back and forth, that’s quite a long commute but it sounds like you don’t have a problem with that.

Jason: That’s right, yeah. I live in Arizona most of the time and I live in Colorado part of the time. I’m here a couple times a month, so probably 30% of the time in Colorado and about 70% of the time in Scottsdale, where I grew up.

Gina: We were talking offline, you have a bit of a love affair with Colorado, as I do. So it was a good call for you to move out this way and open up Denver Recovery Center.

Jason: Yes. Yeah, I spent about half my life in northern Arizona so when I came up to Colorado for the first time it reminded me so much of northern Arizona that I just fell in love with it and decided-

Gina: Yeah, it’s hard not to.

Jason: Yeah. Yes, absolutely.

Gina: That’s great. Well, we’re going to talk a little bit about your program, which isn’t been open but maybe, what, a year? A little over a year, here in Colorado?

Jason: Denver Recovery Center, we opened the beginning of 2018.

Gina: So, very young.

Jason: Yes, yes.

Gina: Okay, yep. So great. Well, we’re excited to have you guys here.

Jason: Thank you.

Gina: And before we talk specifically about the services that you all offer, I want to learn a little bit about your background so that people can get to know you a little bit better.

Jason: Okay.

Gina: Tell us what got you into the field of addiction treatment.

Jason: Well, I’m a person in longterm recovery. So I’ve been sober for 16 years, and I’m passionate about recovery. Along with addiction recovery, I’m also passionate about yoga, healthy eating, outdoor experiences, and it was really my dream and passion to be able to bring all of this together into one program so I can share with others my journey of recovery and all of the other splendors of life that I’ve been able to enjoy. So that was really my idea when creating Denver Recovery Center, is to-

Gina: That’s great.

Jason: Yeah, thank you.

Gina: Paying it forward and sharing the strength, hope, and experience that we all need to do, right?

Jason: Yes.

Gina: So that’s great.

Jason: Exactly.

Gina: So you opened at the beginning of 2018 and you all are in Arvada? Or in Broomfield?

Jason: We’re in Broomfield.

Gina: Broomfield.

Jason: On Interlocken Boulevard in Broomfield.

Gina: Great. Which is fairly close, for people who are listening. It’s almost in between Denver and Boulder.

Jason: It is, yeah. We’re about 25 minutes outside of Denver and about 20 minutes outside of Boulder. So located right in between the two and-

Gina: Two very different communities.

Jason: Absolutely.

Gina:Two very different communities.

Jason:I’ve learned that, yeah. They’re almost like two different worlds.

Gina: They really are.

Jason: But it’s great because we can offer services to people that are living in both communities.

Gina: Let’s go into that, let’s talk a little bit about the services that you all offer.

Jason: Sure, so we’re an extended care program for people that are looking for more of a longterm program, where they can get integrated into the larger recovery community in the area, while also working with licensed Master’s-level clinicians to resolve some of the past traumas, look at some of the underlying issues that are going on, work on family issues, professional issues, really do some personal development work, and then also learn some life skills issues, that many people leave behind in their addictions. Basic things like waking up, making your bed, learning how to cook, learning how to live in a community. And overall, really boosting people’s self-esteem and allowing our clients to thrive while they’re at Denver Recovery Center, but also building the habits of recovery so they can thrive and really succeed in life when they leave our program.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s interesting because so many of the people that I’ve spoken with who are in early recovery say that it’s not just the area, people, places, and things that can trip you up in early recovery, but in fact the basic things that we all take for granted, like just learning how to grocery shop and the stress that can be involved with grocery shopping for the first time in recovery or paying your bills and learning how to balance a checkbook. That some of those stressors, the things that you’re talking about that you all teach, can be the foundation of what successful recovery can look like.

Jason: That’s right. Yes, yes. We want to allow our clients to have some, I want to say, real life experiences, while they’re with us. So they can learn how to walk through some of these situations, like going out to a restaurant, or going for a hike, or going to a museum while they’re with us so they know that they can successfully manage these aspects of life when they leave our program and get integrated back in with their families and their work life.

Gina: Which is again another necessary part of how people stay sober.

Jason: Yes.

Gina: So you’ve got a concept, you do a gender-responsive program. So your program is men and women specific, is that correct?

Jason: Yes. Our program, the structure of it is, is that we have a PHP, IOP, OP program, where our clients are in group and individual therapy during the day and then they return to our housing in the evening time. The houses are gender-responsive, so they’re gender specific. And then while they’re in our clinical program during the day most of the groups are integrated together, co-ed, but then we also have separate gender groups as well. I think the importance of that is … There’s a lot of things. There’s many benefits to having co-ed groups, but there’s a lot of benefits to being separated as well. And sometimes males and females feel more comfortable when they’re just separated than together, and there’s issues that they can talk about that they don’t feel comfortable talking about in mixed company.

Gina: Right, right.

Jason: There are some issues that are just gender-specific issues. And there’s also a lot to learn from working together as well.

Gina: Learning how to communicate with the opposite sex.

Jason: That’s right.

Gina:And learning about how to have relationships without having relationships, for those of you that don’t see, I’m talking air quote relationships.

Jason: That’s right, yes.

Gina: Yeah. So there’s definitely that too. Well, that’s good.

Jason: Yes.

Gina: We’re onboard with being gender responsive for that very reason, in that we believe that women may come into treatment for very different reasons than men do and it’s okay for them to be able to address those issues with other women. Like men, who might be dealing with stressors and struggles in a different way.

Jason: Yes.

Gina: So that totally makes sense. Well, we always like to talk a little bit about the individual themselves, so not just your program but the person behind the program. So I’m going to ask you a couple questions that hopefully we’ll get to know you a little bit better.

Jason: Sure.

Gina: How is failure, or apparent failure because some people might not see it that way, set you up for success later in life? And do you have a favorite failure of yours that you’d like to share?

Jason: I was thinking about this question and it’s interesting that you say apparent failure, a play on words. So the one that came to mind right away is my relationship with my parents.

Gina: Ah, interesting.

Jason: I’ve noticed that I can be very judgmental and sometimes condescending to my parents, when they’re just trying to do their best. And they’re doing the best that they can with the tools that they have. And I think that’s been one of my biggest failures, is being kind of that condescending person to my parents sometimes. And more recently I’ve been realizing that it makes me feel better, ti makes the relationship better, and it makes them feel better when I practice more love and tolerance and kindness with them. So that has been a failure that’s led to a success, of me looking at my own actions and saying, okay, I need to change my actions. It’s not my parent’s actions that are annoying me, it’s how I’m being in my life. So I can change myself, I can’t change somebody else.

Gina: Right, that’s a really great, introspective way to look at things.

Jason: Yeah.

Gina: I do, admittedly, have to say I don’t think you’re alone in having that same kind of a parent failure.

Jason: Okay, yes.

Gina: A lot of people feel that way.

Jason: Right.

Gina: Until I guess we all grow up and realize, when we have our own kids, “Oh, now I get it.”

Jason: Right, yeah.

Gina: Now I understand.

Jason: Yeah.

Gina: Playing off the idea of the word harmony, if I were to throw out the word harmony, what does that mean to you?

Jason: The word harmony, to me, means that many different pieces and aspects of life are operating with ease and grace, together, and all flowing together rather than flowing in different directions. It’s everything having a common purpose and everyone … Kind of all ships sailing in the same direction.

Gina: Yeah, I like that.

Jason: Yes.

Gina: I like that a lot. That’s really great.

Jason: I love the word, and i love that you guys named your program Harmony.

Gina: Yep, we feel it.

Jason: Yes.

Gina: I mean, we definitely feel it here on campus and so … Well, if someone were wanting to access services at Denver Recovery Center and wanted to reach out to you after listening today, how could they get in touch with you?

Jason: You can reach Denver Recovery Center by phone at 888-853-5585. You can also go to our website, which is denverrecoverycenter.com. And there’s a lot of information there, a lot of great information about our program but also addition in general. We are a program that we know what we’re good at and we also know when to refer people to other programs. So you can use us as a resource to get a general idea of whether you may need our services or you may need services at another program. And we’re happy to be that type of resource, where we can say, “Yeah, you’d be a great fit for us,” or, “No, we actually feel like you’d be a better fit for this program that we’re familiar with and let’s get you in contact with them.”

Gina: Great.

Jason: So we’re happy to be of service. We love helping people and find it a really big honor to be a part of people’s recovery.

Gina: Wonderful.

Jason: Yeah.

Gina: Well, we’re really glad to have you in Colorado. Thanks so much, welcome. And thanks for coming up to Harmony today.

Jason: Yeah, thank you, Gina. Appreciate it.