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Accountability is a powerful predictor of substance abuse recovery

Updated: Oct 8, 2019


*NOTE: Since the date of this publication RecoveryTrek changed the name of it's Continuing Care program from "CareTrek" to "MyRecoveryTrek". References to this program may be found in the final section of this article entitled "For the rest of us, what’s available?"


You and the Law: Accountability a powerful predictor of recovery

By H. Dennis Beaver

February 2, 2018

Have you ever wondered what the odds are of remaining drug-free and sober—not relapsing—after going through a substance abuse treatment program?

Today’s story will be of special interest to anyone who, once again, has friends or family in treatment, and want to know why nothing seems to work beyond a few weeks or months of sobriety — if they can even go a few days.

San Luis Obispo readers “Joel” and “Samantha” wanted to know, writing:

“Our son will soon be released from his third stay as an inpatient in a drug abuse clinic. Each time when he comes home, he’s a different person, happy, radiating confidence for the future, and then his old behaviors re-surface. He hangs around with the same group of ‘friends’ and it all starts again.

“Mr. Beaver, is there anything better out there than just being discharged and told to attend a 12 Step program? We fear the worst and would appreciate any direction you can provide.”

‘Your occupation impacts the chances for success’

So, is there a way to know with a high degree of confidence who will stay sober and drug free after being discharged? Just ask Kirk Cizerle, CEO of Norfolk, Virginia-based Recovery Trek, because he can tell you — with an almost mathematical certainty — who has an 80 percent chance of remaining drug-free and sober five years after leaving rehab.

His company works with people going through recovery, and you may even know one or two. More on that in a moment.

“When you look at the millions of people who leave rehab facilities yearly,” Cizerle observes, “very few will remain drug free and it isn’t because they want to relapse.

“In large part, what leads to failure is directly connected to the kind of jobs they don’t have. Those with different occupations — our clients — receive the tools which are proven to lead to success after discharge.”

We asked Cizerle, “So, what explains this 80 percent success rate when experience shows that the average person who goes through rehab has an enormous chance of failure?”

As you will see, his explanation makes a great deal of sense, starting with a look at what happens when the average person is discharged from treatment.

Lack of accountability invites failure

“Once leaving rehab’s shelter, most people are left to navigate the rest of their lives on their own. Yes, they received treatment, and many will have friends and family who want to provide support, but they lack training and don’t know what to do when that person is getting in trouble. They had no idea that Johnny was falling off the wagon, because no system was in place to alert anyone that real trouble was brewing.

“What’s lacking from typical drug treatment is accountability, giving people tools so that family, friends, children, employer, attorney, their AA sponsor, in real time, can look at the results of alcohol and drug testing, or seeing if meetings were attended. These things, combined with an assigned Recovery Coach and Care Manager yields a potential for successful recovery which can exceed 80 percent.”

And the people who get these very services, most remaining drug free? Who are they?

“It could be your family doctor, a nurse who treated you at an ER, your dentist, optometrist, pharmacist. State licensing boards — medical, nursing, pharmacy, dental and state bar — have monitoring programs for licensed professionals who have been identified as having a drug or alcohol problem and need treatment and continuing care as a condition of retaining or regaining their license.”

Recovery Trek provides continuing care — and incorporates monitoring which is made up of several different components, and to list just a few, include:

1. Regular check in with the individual by phone, email text message, video conferencing or in person to maintain a continuing, high visibility of all the folks who are part of their ‘Trek Circle.’

2. Incorporating random and regular drug and alcohol testing, tailored to this person, which can establish tangible proof they are not using and have not relapsed.

3. Real time communication of test results to those people with a need to know with definite steps taken should any problem surface.

For the rest of us, what’s available?

Can non-professionals attain the same 80 percent success rate as state licensed individuals whose feet are held to the fire? Cizerle believes so and in October of 2017, “After five years of beta testing, we launched CareTrek*, which is designed to offer continuing supportive care for the general public.” is their website with links to CareTrek*, and we recommend spending time learning about the help that is available after being released from rehab. There are other companies which provides similar services, and as always, we recommend thorough research before entering into a contract.

Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and welcomes comments and questions from readers, which may be faxed to 661-323-7993, or emailed to Also, visit


*NOTE: Since the date of this publication RecoveryTrek changed the name of it's Continuing Care program from "CareTrek" to "MyRecoveryTrek". References to this program may be found in the final section of this article entitled "For the rest of us, what’s available?"


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