Podcast Series: The Redpoint Center

Gina: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us for the Harmony Podcast Series and I’m pleased today to be joined with Cody Gardner and Jay Fullam with Redpoint Center in Longmont, Colorado. Welcome.

Cody: Thank you. Super glad to be here.

Jay: Thanks.

Gina: Good to have you here.

Gina: We’re gonna get into talking a little bit more about both of you individually, but before we do that, let’s talk a little bit about Redpoint. It’s an outpatient substance abuse program. Can you describe, Cody, for me what the program is about and what a person can expect when they come into your program?

Cody: Yeah. Thanks, Gina. I started looking at Longmont, Colorado a couple of years ago thinking that there are a lot of people statistically that would need substance abuse treatment services and the lack of resources there drove me to believe that an outpatient treatment center would be very well received by the community. So, what we have built is a clinically-driven outpatient center. We have both day programming, as well as evening programming, which means that people can come in after work, they can come in for the full day if they need more care and they would receive a minimum of 12 weeks of service.

Cody: Our curriculum is really, really really structured towards creating a safe place for people. We want people to come in, feel comfortable and be able to feel like they’re in a safe place where they can actually start to do the work to heal from addiction.

Cody: We also have a number of adjunctive services that we think foster long term recovery, so we have a medical doctor, we have case management, we have drug testing, we also have individual therapy and group therapy and our hope is that people can come from the community, access services that they can find a path for recovery that fits them. Our number one philosophy at the Redpoint Center is that we’re gonna take every single thing we do, we’re gonna look at it on a case by case basis and we’re gonna get somebody the help that they need. If at any time, we don’t believe that we can help somebody, we’re going to get them to the right person and if we do believe we can help them, we are gonna do exactly that.

Cody: So, we are flexible, we are working with people, we don’t have a set idea of what recovery has to look like, we just wanna help people access the services they need. And Longmont has been desperate for that for a long time, so we’re super grateful to be there.

Gina: That’s great. And you guys are fairly new.

Cody: We are. We started working on this in October. I’d been thinking about it for a couple of years, but we started working on it in October and we opened about three weeks ago. We have had a wonderful response from the community. That’s our first and foremost goal is to be a community resource, so we’ve been working with the hospitals and with the Longmont Angels initiative, which is an organization with the Police Department where people can access the resources for treatment to provide that town the resources they need. So yeah, we have many clients, all of our services are open and running and we’re super, super grateful for that.

Gina: That’s great. Just a couple more things. So, you guys take both men and women 18 and over?

Cody: That’s correct. We are 18 and over. We will be offering by mid-summer a adolescent IOP program, Intensive Outpatient, nine hours a week. We currently have adult men and women. Again, both day treatment as well as evening treatment. They can come in for a maximum of about 25 hours of services and our minimum is about nine.

Gina: OK. That’s great.

Gina: Well, it sounds very thorough and it’s great that you guys are opening up in the Longmont area. I’m sure your program will be open to more than just those that are living in Longmont, so if folks wanted to come in it around that area, they could do that.

Cody: Absolutely. And to finalize that, yeah we do intend to have some housing opportunities for people that do need the housing, so if they’re coming from outside the area, or if they’re willing to drive from the Denver/Boulder area somewhere, that would be accessible to them.

Gina: Wonderful. Well so, let’s talk a little bit about your respective backgrounds. And so, Jay, tell us a little bit about what got you into the field of addiction treatment.

Jay: Yeah. So, I think a lot of us, I was that kid who your friend’s parents warned you about. As a kid, I made a bunch of mistakes and I was wounded from a young age and didn’t really have any other ways to deal with pain and suffering and trauma other than what was most successful to me at the time, which was drugs and alcohol.

Jay: After blowing out of a bunch of schools and getting picked up by the police and put in the drunk tank numerous times at 19, I went to treatment and really had no idea that there was a life different than what I was doing, you know? And so, I was had access to really great treatment and ultimately, like any great treatment center, great people, and so I had some really great mentors and people who showed me another way to live my life.

Jay: We all have those people who we think back to and try to emulate and take strides in their shadow and my guy was guy named Andy Pace and there’s a place in northeastern Pennsylvania called Little Creek Lodge that was modeled pretty closely after Jaywalker. The scheme wasn’t as good, but other than that, it was really 12-step focused, mental health concentration and I really got to kinda identify some different outlets of spirituality and didn’t have to think for a little while and just took some suggestions.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jay: That’s what they said. Like, what’s the best kept secret in AA? It’s just do what you’re told, right?

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jay: Cody and I have talked about this on numerous occasions. I was lucky enough to have people and friends and peers and a system set up that I could really thrive within that. And over time, I went to business school, I had other aspirations in media and in tech and when I was six months out of graduating my undergraduate at CU, which was one of the gifts that I got from my sobriety … I never thought I was gonna graduate high school, right? And I was in a job interview at a place called [inaudible 00:06:21] on the Front Range and they asked me what my dream job was. And I was like, “You know, I really would love to work with people in a mental health capacity.”

Gina: And you weren’t interviewing for that?

Jay: I was interviewing on a cold call sales position for a tech company and it more surprising to me, my answer, than what it even was to them.

Gina: Sure. Yeah.

Jay: So, I went home that night and connected with Danny Conroy from AIM House and he really did an awesome job of helping mentor me and giving me an opportunity just based on willingness and just the experience of going through treatment.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jay: So, I’m always in debt to AIM House and that crew. And Northstar, like they’re’ all … and since then, I’ve really continued to emulate people and just finished my Master’s degree from [inaudible 00:07:21] program and graduated in May.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jay: Really, you know, the evolution of thought and what we hold close is always changing, but I think really, as a clinician first and foremost, and a mentor, I try to bridge the gap between 12-step and mental health and trying to see where both cases are right and integrating them is really kind of what I feel my purpose in this is.

Jay: And that’s actually the short version of all that story-

Gina: That’s great.

Jay: I’ll let Cody speak a little bit on it ’cause he’s got a great story, but yeah.

Gina: Thanks for sharing that. That’s wonderful.

Cody: Thanks, Jay. I hadn’t heard some of that, so that was kinda cool.

Cody: So similarly, I found recover in 2006. I don’t know that I was actually looking for it, but some people intervened on me and similar to Jay, I ran into a guy who has stuck in my life as a mentor and somebody that’s very special to me and he took the time to show me there was a different way to live. And I can remember being early in that process and thinking for the first time really in my adult life that I actually wanted to help people, but I didn’t know what that meant, so I started working in group homes for autistic kids, kids with conduct disorder, kids with substance issues and I did that for a couple of years and by the stroke of luck, a friend of mine when I moved back to Colorado, said I ought to go and see the probation supervisor. He had a good friendship with the person that ran the Boulder Drug Court. Went out to lunch with her and Marcy Becker was able to give me an opportunity to work in the probation department.

Cody: They had a job opening sometime later and I applied and I got the job and started as a foot in the door job, $20,000 a year, no responsibility, my sole location was to take people with felony convictions who worked in drug court and 40 hours a week helped them find jobs, which is usually one of the most missing things in treatment, and I ended up becoming a Probation Officer. I was working in Drug Court in Denver for a number of years, I was the Lead Probation Officer there where we got to start real programming for trauma, for veterans, for young adults and I credit that with being a really informative period in forms of training. Recovery is great and it’s a big part of my life, but it is not a professional skill set. It’s a really nice story for me.

Cody: The professional skill set was something I had to train and learn. And Probation was able to give me that training and I spent about five years doing that. Learning motivational interviewing, cognitive behaviorals therapy, and they sent us out to tour treatment centers and understand where we were referring clients. It was just a wonderful experience most days.

Cody: And from there, I got sucked into the private treatment world, where I have been living for the last couple of years. I’ve helped start companies, I’ve done national marketing for what I would believe is one of the top 10 treatment programs in America, I’ve toured over 500 treatment centers since then, I’ve built friendships and relationships with people all over this country and I never don’t answer the phone when somebody calls needing help. So, I get a phone call probably once a month and they say, “I need an adolescent program in rural Montana.” And I say, “Well, I don’t think that exists.” And then, I actually think about it for a minute and I go, “Wait. I might know somebody.”

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Cody: So, I’ve been very fortunate to do a lot of different things. I’ve spent time with the back end of treatment programs learning how to do the administrative side, the human resources side, so I’ve been blessed to make a career out of this and Redpoint is really the fruition of about 10 years of working with and for other people and seeing what I thought worked and what I didn’t think worked and trying to create something that really allows us to help people.

Gina: That’s great. You guys are both taking your strength, [inaudible 00:11:30] and experience and really paying it forward, which is fantastic.

Gina: Well, let’s talk for a few minutes, Cody, about the MAT program. So, Redpoint’s gonna be offering MAT. Why do you think that’s important today as we work in treatment?

Cody: I think this is a really good question, a really difficult question. Our philosophy internally is … and I’ve already said this, but we are gonna do every single thing we do on a strictly case by case basis. And if we think it is going to help somebody, we’re gonna do it. The second big line that I like to use in our company is the best idea is gonna win. So, if our doctor believes that the best idea for a participant is to be on a medication-assisted therapy regimen, we’re gonna do that. I believe fundamentally in a basic idea of keeping people alive. I believe that medication-assisted therapies can do that. I don’t think it is a black and white issue. I have wishes for the pharmaceutical companies. I wish they would publish certain studies that I could see some more research about.

Cody: But, on a real brass tacks issue, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to people in public policy circles studying this issue and the reality is there is no definitive answer for everybody. If somebody is appropriate for an abstinence-based treatment process, we’re gonna foster that. If somebody is appropriate for a medication-assisted therapy process, we’re gonna foster that.

Cody: The one thing I will say fundamentally is that if anybody goes back, it’s hard to find that because it’s been taken down, but you can still find them on the internet … the initial clinical trials for much of these medications that are on the market today were always done … they were done in Europe in the late 80’s, early 90’s … and they were always done in conjunction with a minimum of nine months of behavioral therapy. So, our goal is to provide that wrap around service. Medications can assist us greatly and I fundamentally believe that. That being said, I still think there’s always gonna be a place for behavioral and emotional therapy.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Gina: Good point. And we support that decision as well. And I think it’s one of those things where you can’t assume that recovery and treatment expectations are gonna be the same for everybody. You know, you have to be, like you said, responsive individually. So, thank you for that feedback. That’s great.

Gina: So, Jay. Playing off the idea of the word harmony. Briefly tell us what you think it means to live a life in harmony.

Jay: Hmm. I play guitar and I was actually thinking do I know the definition of harmony? And I don’t.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jay: But, I think piggy backing off what Cody was talking about, harmony, in my mind I associate it with being right or in sync, right? And I think that’s one idea of how to look at it, but it’s really, as it relates to the treatment industry and what we’re doing, is operating in that kinda gray area in a way that’s ethical and in a case by case basis, how can we best serve the people that come into our lives?

Jay: I think on a personal level, harmony is, from a really basic standpoint, is doing what I say I’m gonna do, you know?

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jay: And being in alignment with my intentions and my actions. If you can, within an organization, and this was certainly my experience of working at Harmony, it’s people of a team in an organization. You can interview a thousand different treatment centers at any given standpoint and I think it’s different when you’re rating them. Week to week, even. Because systems are important, but at a base level, who are the people that you have and what’s the culture that’s set up and how are people in harmony walking forward in a way that’s together and people are able to ask for help and people are able to make mistakes, you know? Harmonies not about just like this perfect fit. It’s like how do we operate in a competent way with what we’re giving?

Gina: Great. Thank you so much for that.

Jay: Do you have any thoughts on that?

Cody: I think that’s wonderful.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Cody: That’s a nice way of thinking of it.

Gina: So, if someone wanted to access services at Redpoint, how could they get in touch with you, Cody?

Cody: Absolutely go and check out our web site. It’s www.theredpointcenter.com. They can find the admissions line or the contact page, they can send us an email through there, they can call us through there, there would be somebody most 24 hours of the day other than I think the dead of the morning that will be answering a call and we would schedule some time to really dive in and talk and find out what that person needs and try and help them.

Gina: Sounds great.

Gina: Well, thank you both for taking the time to come up.

Cody: Can I say one last thing?

Gina: Yes.

Cody: Thank you for having us.

Jay: Yeah, thanks Gina.

Cody: Harmony is a wonderfully transformed … I mean, Harmony has been here for 49 years.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Cody: In the community. Helping Colorado. And today was a lovely, lovely experience. You guys have a highly trained staff. Clearly, clearly one of the top treatment centers in the state and we are deeply, deeply indebted to that.

Gina: Well, thank you and I will share that message with others and we look forward to working with you all and seeing the great things that you’re gonna be doing in the community. So, thanks for your time up in Harmony today.

Jay: Thanks, Gina.

Cody: Thanks, Gina.