"Brookdale" with John Knowles

March 23, 2022 JoeVanWie / John Knowles Season 1 Episode 19
"Brookdale" with John Knowles
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

John Knowles  is currently serving in the role of Executive Director/Sr Business Development Director Brookdale Premier Addiction Recovery Center, an inpatient addiction treatment center that provides intensive in-patient, detox and mental wellness strategies. with client-first experiences and customized solutions to an array of addiction and behavioral conditions. A seasoned clinician and administrator in the addiction and mental health field for over 30 years, John has been involved in leading start up and management of highly successful inpatient treatment programs in Pennsylvania, New York and New Hampshire. John is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in Pennsylvania and is trained in the Johnson Institute Model for interventions since 1990. He received his B.S. in Business, Marketing and Economics with a specialization in Addiction Treatment Administration and a MA in Social Policy from SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga, New York. John has completed both the Rutgers University School of Addiction Studies and also the Rutgers University Advanced School of Addiction Studies. He has had additional education and training in organizational management and leadership through the Levinson Institute and additional clinical training and study has occurred at institutions including Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Villanova, Georgetown, and Syracuse Universities. John served for six years on the Executive Steering Committee for the New York State Education Department’s, Professional Assistance Program (PAP) and has extensive experience working with impaired professionals, young adults and adolescents. A person in long term recovery, you can read John's story here:

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Joe Van Wie  0:03  
Hello and welcome to another episode of all better. I am your host, Joe van wie leaf. Today's guest is John Knowles. John is a seasoned professional as a clinician interventionist, and administrator. In the addiction treatment industry, John Knowles has given his life to those in need for over 30 years. Growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, John is a lifelong native to an EPA Region, where he and wife Stacy still reside today. John attended SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga, New York, where he received a bachelor's in business, marketing and economics with a specialization in addiction treatment administration, as well as a Master's in Social Policy. He's also a certified alcohol and drug counselor in Pennsylvania. He has completed the Rutgers University advanced School of addiction studies, and is trained in the Johnson Institute model for interventions. John began his career in 1987 as an adolescent therapist at Mar worth treatment center. Soon after, he moved to totally New York, where he was appointed Director of Clinical Services for telehealth, a position he held for 10 years. In 2007, he and his wife moved to New Hampshire, where he converted the historic Daniel Webster estate into Webster place Recovery Center, a treatment campus which offered detox residential services, and the drop in center with housing. Shortly thereafter, John accepted a position as chief administrator for Clearbrook lodge in 2010, and move to senior marketing representative and 2014. Alongside his clinical and administrative expertise, John has served as a supervisor and on various advisory boards, as extensive public speaking experience and as a recognized expert on clinical.

We're here now with John Knowles. Well, disclaimer, I've known John since by my adolescence who my dad and worked with them at Syracuse. I thought today, John is a prolific career in drug and alcohol treatment from all aspects. As a master clinician, outreach messaging, licensed interventionist. I wanted to talk about that because it spans over three decades. But first and foremost, I want people to get a context of who you are, John, and if we could start what what kind of world in Scranton are we looking at that you were born into?

John Knowles  3:05  
So, Joe, thanks so much for having me. I am the youngest of six kids in a good Irish Catholic family. And we were colorful, at best. I have three brothers, two sisters. And it was I grew up in straight out in North Scranton, and then moved to The Hill Section of Scranton, where I went to school, and I think colorful is a great way to describe us. I was you know, we were very involved. And my dad was a successful guy. Well, you know, was a flight instructor on World War Two and in a navy and my uncle had a business together, and we're pretty busy and my brother, brothers and I had a little bit of age difference. But my one brother and my brother Kevin and I were quite a duo. And we're always seem to find trouble quite often. And we started using quite early, maybe about 12 or 13, we used to follow the Stegmaier truck around the hill section, when it would make the drop offs and we were careful only to take two or three bottles out of each case off back porches so that they didn't notice that they were gone and but we could usually get a case of beer, you know, just on clay Avenue. And that was good. You know, that was set us up for the weekend. And we from there from there. I got involved in some other stuff and you know, did a lot of drugs. And I can remember the first time I got drunk it was like you know, I felt like I was in the James Bond movie or something. You know, I was just watching the world go by and all the action and for some I got high wasn't that far different than I swore I'd never do coke till I did it and so I'd never take pills and toward never do opiates and sword or do anything till I did them and I realized, wow, this is why people do these things. This is this is a good high as a big guy was good athlete. And it was it was fun in the beginning, and then it got done. It got really bad. Yeah, and when it got bad it got exposed to a lot of violence exposed to a lot of craziness. Bad people bad things. And what decade is this? Was? This is the 70s 73 Yeah, this is late 70s early 80s I didn't make it long. I ended up getting sober. 24 I got confronted the first time to 16 Somebody said You know, John, you don't drink like other people. And and I hung around with some pretty heavy hitters. Yeah. And and then at 19 I had my first intervention. And I didn't, didn't take it was

Joe Van Wie  5:55  
in that wasn't common. Back then. Like intervention. It was kind of just family. It was there was a yeah,

John Knowles  6:01  
this was my friends. It was actually it's it's actually a comical story. Now, it was sad then. Yeah, that was where my life had come but it was folks I was working with in the carnival actually pulled me aside a bunch of the sideshow freaks and headed up by this skeleton girl. You know, they sat down and said, You know, John, we're concerned about your drinking. And at that time, I had gotten thrown out of Bloomsburg University after one semester, and rather than go home and face the music, I ended up in a bar and got a job in the carnival as a clown on stilts. Yeah. And so that took me all around. It's awesome. It's it's, it's interesting, you know, it's, it's I met my wife, which is a whole nother story, but it's always best to have her tell it because it's more believable. They think I'm just lying. Yeah, I ended up being a clown. Yeah. Harnois Stillson I looked pretty good there. Yeah, you know, I function pretty good in that world. And but one day in la feria de San Juan and Roberto Clemente stadium. Bunch of them pulled me aside and said, You know, John, you don't drink like everybody else. You You're such a nice boy. And they were lovely people. Thank you. Thank you. They were they were they were lovely people and they but they were you know, Princess auntie, the world's smallest woman and the bearded lady and the skeleton girl. Her father was the fire eater and the sword swallower and you know, those were my friends. Yeah, yeah. And

Joe Van Wie  7:30  
I think two movies. I think of the jerk. And then did you ever see big fish? Yeah, I have. Yeah, that's a beautiful at the end all his friends like and there's one section of the carnies coming up.

John Knowles  7:41  
And they're like, Yeah, and I. And when I realized by the end of the day, I figured my problem is I'm hanging around with people like this. But sad thing was they weren't. They were just lovely people who cared about me. And I didn't catch that. And I had lost several relationships. In high school leavers earliest High School, and I remember one girl telling me that. I don't know that I can date a guy like you. And I was a lot of fun. Yeah, I mean, I was, you know, I always had a lot of money. I was always involved in, you know, shady, nefarious things. And so it was, I was an exciting guy to be around, but I certainly was not the guy he took home to meet your parents. Yeah. And so, you know, I just kind of continued on I met my wife I got married at 41 years ago. 20 years ago today, and then the anniversaries what's today? Today is my February 20 1981, it was just a and it was the best thing that ever happened to me by far. Yeah, she's just a lovely woman who God bless her. She was a nurse who thought she could save me and she didn't have a clue what she was getting into.

Joe Van Wie  8:49  
Did you want her to save?

John Knowles  8:50  
I was not aware that I was drowning. So yeah, I didn't think I needed a lifeline. I thought I was doing pretty good. And I thought my life you know, that life I was living was fairly interesting and eclectic and all that and the reality was I was on the fast track to you know, crashing and and soon did and then crashed several times. And you know, did all the things you have to do to get to where you're at, you know, I get arrested I get put in jail I get you know, all this stuff was happening and I and I think well how does a guy like me end up in spots like this you know, and I I had a wonderful I was crazy was my world was I had great values. You know, it was work hard, play hard. Take care of the people you love. I got sent to a private school. I had all the right stuff that if I just suited up and showed up, I would have been okay, I went to college, I was gonna be an athlete. I thought all this other stuff. The last one semester I got thrown out. Ironically, 40 years later, a talk about redemption. I got a phone call one day and they said Mr. Knowles, sponsor a university. We're opening up the School of Social Work. We'd like you to be on our advisory board. And I started to laugh and I said, you should know that in 1978, I was asked to leave. Those are never to return. And she started laughing. She said, Well, I think those guys have gotten out. But I'll check. And you want attrition. Last Last? Yeah, so I had those types of things that I was able to. I've had a moment where those things happened to me and recovery. But yeah, it was very painful to you. And I was suicidal. My last drunk I was in my basement hanging myself. Yeah. And my wife walked in. Yeah, it was terrible stack, right. And she handles it much better than I do. Yeah, she's, she really has a better handle on it. And but here's this angel, my little babies are upstairs sleeping. And that's what it comes to. And of course, that was the end for her the unacceptable became unacceptable. And she made a couple of phone calls. And next thing you know, my father's at the house, their mother's calling me and I worked with my father in law and everybody pretty much said the same thing. You know, John, it's, it's over. And my father showed up with my ad for my dad to come to my house on the mouse was unheard of. It probably scary. It was very scary. I thought something had had I thought my mind died or something. That would be the only reason he would come to visit me on announced and, and he came in, he said his chin start to quiver. And he said, This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And I thought, wow, something, something bad's happened here. It says about your drinking. It said it's killing you. Look at you. He said more said it's killing us to watch it. Yeah. And he said something to me very profound at that time. He said, You know, some life doesn't have to be this way. And I didn't know that. You know, my dad drank a fifth of yo for lunch. My brother's we're all pretty heavy hitters. Everybody I know. You know, alcohol and drugs was a big part of their lives. Because that's all it was. I had other people in my life who were wonderful, lovely people didn't have a whole lot to do with me, you know? Yeah. Some cousins across the street here. They were lovely people. But you know, my head, I want to stay away from John for a little bit. But it was a very profound, he said, I have a friend and a, I'd like you to talk to him and what my dad had done, God bless him and his. You know, I'm so blessed I look at now I'm so blessed that he had to love me in such a way that he was able to, to sort through his own craziness of his own drinking and everything and went to a friend of his who had been sober for about 20 years. And in the 80s. Now, this isn't, yeah, 1984, November of 1984. And he went to his friend Jack and said, Jack, I don't know what's going on. I think he's drinking too much. And Bob, and Jack said, Well, you, here's what you need to do. And, and he laid out a script for him. And I'll do this, this, this, this and this. And my father followed it to a tee. And when I went to argue and say, you know, well, I'm not and you know, I had enough respect for my dad that I would not even in my craziness. It's not like, sometimes I see people, they sit in my office and they curse at their parents yell and scream. And I went, Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  13:21  
your dad's a world war two vet. You admired him? Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's different.

John Knowles  13:26  
Yeah, they had a different way of keeping you in line then. So it was a fight choke you up a bit, too. Yeah. Well, he clocked me and then my other my brothers would clock me for wipers and dad off, you know, it's, it's a matter what, and then my mother would go, you know, You disappointed me, which is even worse. I take the beat. And that's crushing my mom saying, you know, I'm disappointed and your son. And but that was it. And but he did, you know, it just shows you that. How crazy this thing is and how it affects everybody. And my father, God bless him. Blend himself. You know, there's your his fault that this was alcoholism. And so he stopped drinking. He never He didn't drink again till he till he died. He was a heavy hitter. And, you know, he was and we had a while. And I didn't have much of a relationship with him. I mean, he was there and he was he was good to me. But after that, we really became very, very close. And I was very blessed. Yeah, I was very blessed with that. And, and when he died, I was I was holding his hand and I I always like to think I was fortunate. I got to hold his hand when he met God, you know, that we had that kind of relationship. And so that was a nice that it was the one I had with him. You know, and each of us my wife often talks about same house different home and where

Joe Van Wie  14:46  
are you what your siblings like? Where are you in league with all the Kevin's younger?

John Knowles  14:51  
I'm the youngest. I'm the youngest. Yeah, I'm the baby. I have a sister. My sister Mary Kay is much older. she'll get mad if I tell you for sure. And my brother Jimmy, and we lost my sister Nancy a few years ago. And so it was, she really was my rock. And I often think about my mom and my sisters and my, and my wife that, you know, I come from a very Irish family and very Catholic family. And women hold a very special place there. And my job my whole life has been take care of the girls. My father's last words to me, were Jesus, please take care of the girls. And then he

Joe Van Wie  15:27  
died. He was going to Jesus. Yeah, he was.

John Knowles  15:31  
But that was his, you know that. I mean, that's how the world was sure. He took care of the girls. And, and, you know, so we're very parental to this day, I still get a little, you know, even with their husbands and nieces. And

Joe Van Wie  15:46  
it's your mindset, I might say, I've always felt from caring that that's the last to have a generation that held that, dear, I really believe that.

John Knowles  15:55  
Yeah, that was a tough, am I so what was nice is that my mom, my sister and my three women, I was close to my sister, Nancy, my mother. My wife loved me unconditionally, and have never, and till they died. My mother and my sister never brought up the past, my wife has never brought up the past, the nurse said you were such a slow go, you did this, you did that. They just, you know, said what do we got to do to make this better? How do we get better here. And, and I have so so lucky to have had that. Because, you know, my most of my friends and everything were still in their own craziness, or they were still in that, you know, the maturity mode, you know, trying to grow up and, and it was still fun to go out and carrot carrier and be crazy. And so, you know, finding somebody to be supportive was not easy. Yeah. And so they were, and I was such a, I was good copy. You know, if you're out with me, you could sit back and watch the show for us all this for a buck and I was good. And I saw I think it was good. It was good to be over. And I I regret many, many things that I did and said and, and for many years, and some of which I was able to make good on and some of which I had never, ever will be. But this is

Joe Van Wie  17:21  
the early 80s. And, you know, my dad got sober in the early 80s. Just the fact that you two know each other means you had a bad addiction. And it was a rough town.

John Knowles  17:32  
I was at us 3030 day anniversary. Yeah. Wow. Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  17:36  
I think we were we got packed in the car when my mom saw cake. She was why are they given each other trophies.

John Knowles  17:43  
Like he got his chip.

Joe Van Wie  17:46  
Recovery wasn't known. Like because just my own personal experience of thinking of say, like a regional history of recovery. The 80s was exponential for people to enter recovery. Like,

John Knowles  17:59  
yeah, I think there was, you know, 1982 morewith opened. And prior to morewith, we had the detox done at the state hospital. And one of the things that happened was we had a couple of fairly well to do individuals who got sober, and we're sober at the time. And we're fairly prominent business people and fairly prominent in social circles and, and made no bones about the fact that they were sober. Now, like me, I often joke too long before I came to Alcoholics Anonymous, I was a member of alcoholics conspicuous. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that something was wrong. But these guys didn't, didn't hide that fact. And with the entry of morewith into the picture, it was around the same time as Betty Ford, all that stuff was happening. So it wasn't, it wasn't a bad thing, per se to go to treatment. But some people have made it to treatment, who, you know that up until that time, very difficult to get insurance to pay for it. And, you know, several people, several prominent people on boards of different insurance companies and hospitals ended up in treatment and suddenly it became okay to pay for it. It's

Joe Van Wie  19:16  
pretty much the story them right? Pretty much yeah, that's,

John Knowles  19:19  
I mean, I worked for Weis markets when I got sober and, and they had tons of those waste food service as a bar supply salesman. And I was the first guy in the company to ever that they knew was in recovery. I'm sure we had a lot of others. But I was 24 years old and the the guy who was the round, pulled me aside, he said, Is there anything that we did to contribute to this?

Joe Van Wie  19:42  
And wow, that's pretty comprehensive. Yeah. Wow.

John Knowles  19:45  
He said, You know, because we were having, you know, we'd have sales meetings at 10 o'clock, the morning.

Joe Van Wie  19:50  
Paper will be crushed into a little little bourbon.

John Knowles  19:53  
So I don't think

Joe Van Wie  19:54  
food was served in the 80s for lunch and

John Knowles  19:57  
there weren't Yeah, there were no kitchen sink. at large. And so it was it was that mentality and a lot of people who just you know, there were some good people good decent people who became aware. And and literally, there was an explosion. Yeah. And part of that came from the cocaine. Yeah, I think what's really kind of drove a lot. But certainly the fact that

Joe Van Wie  20:24  
stigma was starting to be attacked, maybe at a national level drug thing,

John Knowles  20:28  
I think we did a better job locally, that we're actually we had, you know, a number of prominent people in political and judicial and all sorts of different worlds who became very conscious either of their own problems or their family problems with it. And that made a huge difference, because you couldn't argue it now with these guys, because these were the guys that ran the world. Yeah. And, and they were very easy to go into. And I, you know, I've been in the treatment business now since 1986. And yeah, and I, so I've had occasion to go when, you know, to meet with these people, and each of those generations since then, and really have had nothing but support most people, you know, you find most people are very supportive. Yeah. When, you know, because I was a good kid, essentially, from a pretty good family, you know, very respectable. The joke now is I have a cousin Bobby, who's autumn here, he's a decent guy, great guy. And people always say to me, how do you and Bobby Nalls have the same DNA? Because he's such a good guy. And he's, and he's a straight arrow, and, and they look at us, and I said, Well, you know, we're both good guys. And they, they laugh about it, but, but my dad was a good, you know, and he was very involved in the community, and he was president quanis and all that stuff. And, you know, we were

Joe Van Wie  21:52  
in now there's alcohol that like to say the word alcoholic around there just doesn't seem like it would. Yeah. Especially from that generation. Alcoholics were people who had no one,

John Knowles  22:01  
right. And my father bought into it and made no bones about the fact my son is a recovering alcoholic, if you need some help. So and he got himself into trouble a couple times, where like, his friends, kids would like get arrested or something, and he's interjecting you. Yeah, he will call up and say, Listen, I, you know, went through this with my boy, if there's anything I can do to help you, they'd be like, Hey, where are you? What are you saying the guy? And of course,

Joe Van Wie  22:24  
he said, it was time.

John Knowles  22:25  
Three years later. Yeah. Well, he was he was, he loved his children. Yeah. He loves His children more than he loved his pride. Yeah, you know, and that's a powerful thing. And, you know, my brother got sober shortly thereafter. And, and he never, you never hid the fact from anybody. Yeah. You know. I mean, it was hard to we were pretty well, I don't think there's we're fairly visible guy. So it was.

Joe Van Wie  22:51  
I knew about us when I was 13. And I didn't even know

John Knowles  22:57  
it lasted. And last night. Yeah. So we, you know, yeah, you have that and but I think it's and when I first came to AAA, there was a meeting a day in Scranton, yeah. And I stayed for two years before I moved to the Poconos to become a counselor I got in the field and and but then there were some times to have to do you know, and,

Joe Van Wie  23:21  
and you get in cars, people would get in cars and go for could drive up to an hour to go to a meeting, they go

John Knowles  23:26  
into a meeting that you left the house at six. So I left right after dinner. And I oftentimes got home and time to watch 11 o'clock notes. Yeah. And

Joe Van Wie  23:35  
it's like, I hope it's what we would call high op to that level of care. And

John Knowles  23:39  
you realize here, I'll tell you this. My favorite part of this was, you knew where you stood by where you sat in the car. So if you're in the middle of the backseat, you're the new guy, you were the new guy, you were pretty fresh, we just call him a freshman. And I can remember riding in a car and these guys talking. And I remember thinking to myself, they don't expect me to tell all that stuff. I mean, they were telling my deep dark secrets and laughing about it. Yeah, like it was nothing. But they were really tight guys. And I was very, very blessed to be surrounded by a really tight group of guys who kind of took me on as a little brother. And then when I moved, I was sent down and I lived in Delaware Water Gap. Shawnee

Joe Van Wie  24:24  
was my brother older brother went through

John Knowles  24:30  
to the whole clan, but the he I hooked up with this fabulous group of guys who were much older even than the guys I was with before these guys were my dad's Asian guy named G took a liking to me, and we would go to these meetings in North Jersey and and Edie had been sober for probably 2530 years by then. And to listen to him. He had tossed up. Yeah, Bill W. But he had an incredibly cold Her full story and he was a fabulous speaker. Yeah. And so he was asked to speak all over and we would drive around with him. And I felt very honored to be in that. And but he, he just was, they had such wisdom. Yeah, these guys have been sober for a long time. They experienced things. They didn't go to school, it didn't have it. They just were, there were regular people who raise families. And I mean, I, I had young children at the time, and they were phenomenal. And how they helped me and I always tell the story when I was six months sober. I was all pissed off. My wife was kissing me every night when I got home. Because she loved me because she was smelling waiting up there. My grandmother would do that when they come home. Yeah, yeah. So I'm sitting around and I'm talking to one of the guys looks at him and says, what time you get home. So I don't love it o'clock. So we go out for coffee and advertise. I second homie said, Well, she thinks the meeting is over at nine. She's wondering what's going on two hours. He said, Why don't you call her and tell her? idea? Yeah, here's a good caller call. You're going for coffee. And I looked at him and I said, you know, my wife, not my mother. Yeah. And I didn't even blink an eye. And he said, You know, John, if you treat it your wife more like your mother, maybe you won't have these problems.

Joe Van Wie  26:20  
It's strange. You know, I don't feel like I want to be inconsiderate to people. But I never like these. I learned a lot of that stuff.

John Knowles  26:28  
What are these guys learn this stuff? That's secret class. And I started doing that. And here I am. 41 years later, I have married man. Yeah. But they, you know, they just like went to them. They was like, just do this, you know that? We're sitting there one time and a guy couldn't find his car. Yeah, or something you don't. He said I can't find my car. And they still will get one of those things that beep like that. Cool. Thanks for that stuff. This was long before that stuff was normal than average of a Yeah, they were just, you know, they understood that you were damaged your damaged goods, and you didn't understand and you couldn't think and, and so they would give you these little, these little.

Joe Van Wie  27:05  
You. You're in a strange place. You're You're an old timer now. And you're a pioneer of the 80s. But when you got came around, you have like Bernie, and all those God, guys do telling you how it was 30 years prior to that, which was new?

John Knowles  27:20  
Yeah. He used to say to me all the time, he said, you know, you're he's unfortunately, I never got a chance to go to meetings with Bill W, because Bill died five years before I got sober. And he said, but you go to meetings with guys who went to meetings with Bill. Yeah. And I remember, I always thought about that. And they gave me this wonderful, you have to come to my office. And I had this great plaque in my office. That traces back my conversation to the guy who had who ran the first intergroup in, in Canada, the conversation that Bill talked to Bob, who talked to George, who talked to Gary, who talked to Jim, who started the first meeting in Canada, who 12 stepped, Jim, who's now talking to John, who's talking to you. And I used to always have it on my office wall. And when patients would complain, I said, Listen, this isn't rocket science. You're only three people removed from hearing this. Yeah, the original message was here. And this is here. And yeah, so I really I try and remember that and I, you know, and I sometimes I think I'll be in a meeting and I want to say anything, I think well, nobody talked about a step here. You know, we're here 45 minutes into this and everybody's problem is their problem. But how does recovery work this back into you have an obligation to say something? Oh, and these guys

Joe Van Wie  28:38  
can you can i I've found a weird mix. I had a hard relapse my 14 years so I feel delegitimize that whatever information is right or wrong, Am I alright? And I wasn't all right yet. So what I go to I feel an urge I could share to help that guy. I'm not doing well. It was a weird mix for me. But I think he changed so much because you know you have our we saw this clash of the guys that were just blue collar in Scranton fellowship. They worked the steps but they weren't booked leaving go through the book. These were these were relationships you found a friend and might have been your first real friend than like a fundamentalist book guy. If I'm too far on each one of them me personally, I lose touch with why I'm in a I'm not being authentic. Like

John Knowles  29:26  
I don't think it's a bounce what to Joe. It's weird. It's changed very little since I start. AAA is really pretty much the same. It's just it's diluted a little bit more diluted. And you know, it's always been you know, there's the there's the fellowship of AAA and there's the program of it. Yeah. And like it or not, you can you can survive on the fellowship for a period of time as some guys forever just because they need a place to go. I mean, AAA is a great place for for people who can't make it anywhere else. You're looking at one lot of crazy people drop in and Because, because the only place where the crazier you are the more popular you are.

Joe Van Wie  30:03  
Will you get more credit? Yes, a great guy. He's gonna help a lot of people once he gets better. Yeah,

John Knowles  30:07  
look at this guy. He's nuts. Thank God, I'm not as bad as him. But the and then, you know, the program. Some people have different, you know? Yeah, I think it dilutes itself a little bit. I was in New England for a while and, you know, they had the original big book study guys up there and and I had been sober for 25 years. And this guy who was sober for two years who had gone through the program or process, and I was sitting in the same meeting, and I want to talk and he goes, have you been through the book? That's intensity? And I said, Yeah, so yeah. I said, Give me a page. I can quote it to you. Yeah, I probably could. Yeah, sure. And what he said, Well, no, the way this works is, I said, but you're in the so now I, you know, my dad, my old timer had came out it's go time. Yeah, I said, but you're in the, you're in the AAA thing. It doesn't say come only if you've gone through our thing. Yeah, it says Open Meeting. And I said, if you want to I said, you know, I know about the steps. And I know about the traditions. And I said, chances are pretty good. I know about the concepts to what you may not even know there are any, and how that drives what we do in AAA and, and makes it happen. But what was what was different is I think the you know, there was a big book meeting. When I first came to AAA, you talked about what you read. Yeah. And it wasn't. So it wasn't a formalized study guide. I went to the Wednesday night, and it was strongly suggested that you attend one or two big book meetings a week. Yeah. And my sponsor was all about take this topic to the meeting. Yeah. So I'd be reading something in the book. And he, yeah, he would say take this to the meeting, and people would bring it up. So I think it was, it was a little more formalized process in the program. But I think, you know, as time goes on, it gets to you know, you're here. You know, and I get confronted just recently, some guy said, Well, you're gonna get drunk, you're not going to enough meetings. And I said, Well, I thank you. You know, I appreciate that. And I did appreciate that I, you know, I didn't agree with it. But, you know, everybody's, you know, his, he's got his belief system. But yeah, I think what happens is, is it's like, like many things, you know, early on, you 30 days, in the first 30 days, you were here, you read the big book, you went through the steps, you got all your stuff done. You were ready, you are ready to roll. And you had that profound awakening. As a result, it's I made the mistake early on, I didn't read the book, you know. And, you know, I used to have a big book study guy next to my phone. So these guys I sponsored would call me up and I'd say, I guess I gotta pay 17 Click or page for 49 Click, you know, and these guys, I was sponsored, and we're getting remarkably sober reading this stuff. Yeah. And then I went back and to a point now, where today I read something every day, and sometimes a page, a paragraph, whatever, the first thing in the morning, but by the end of the day, something occurs that I can use some, some bit of knowledge. You know, I think it follows a lot of different things that that we do in life. But the more the longer, I'm sober, the more simple my program becomes. And the more I realize that really, nothing's

Joe Van Wie  33:27  
really reading is a part of it. I mean, I kept that that's how I was going to talk to you. It's not a morning intention. The big book or from reading it with someone, it's kind of I want to read I have to read something because I've been so monumentally wrong about things that

John Knowles  33:45  
and we stuck to, you know, you got to faceful if you if you're trying if you read something other than Yeah, privilege. So, like, I remember going through the Kindle ebook. Yeah, you know, and those are, those are great. I liked their product and then living solver you know, simple stuff, like how to go to a party how to do you know, like, they would refer you back to those stories are great. And you know, guys like Bernie and Ed, you know,

Joe Van Wie  34:12  
Saturday night at nativity. 630. You pick a different book every

John Knowles  34:15  
every week you go, right? Yeah, that's it. I remember that meeting. I was probably six months sober. And I'm sitting in the back and owl and Bill, these two guys are sitting there and, and everybody was as old as my parents. Yeah, I mean, I thought this is just my punishment. I'm going to smell like a cigarette and hang out in church basements and, and he looks at me he goes, normalcy. He goes, looking for the answer, right? Yeah. That's it. Yeah. Look, those to look around like he's gonna give me the secret. Like, alright, we're gonna and I think it did because in my world, you know, I was very fortunate. My dad, whenever we had a problem or something my dad always had his talk to his friend. So I was always exposed to older men in my life who were eyes met doors and yeah, so that part of a really clicked for me that I was able to connect and I didn't feel uncomfortable with the generational stuff. Because the guys like the young guys were, I was 24 they were 40 years old. They call them letter said,

Joe Van Wie  35:18  
Well, your competition you found sages. father figure. Yeah, so I

John Knowles  35:23  
got the guys who are 65 years old, 70 years old and they were and and he saw I said, Yeah, and he goes, looks around, he whispers to me if you don't drink, you don't get drunk, and then sits back up like, like he had just given me the answer. Right? Yeah. And it was a great was a great lesson for me that you stood up and show up and you do the everyday stuff and that, you know, being sober is a part of life. It's not, you know, life. It there's not there's not a secret answer. And

Joe Van Wie  35:53  
they had a really clever way that the spiritual awakening is drinking wasn't the problem. It was the first solution to a problem. I couldn't identify.

John Knowles  36:01  
Yeah, I have a nickname. You know, like bicycle, Bob. Dumpster Bruce. Yeah. I remember we had this guy Whitey up in Syracuse. And, and he passed to us in the hospital. So I went to get him. I saw why do you hear? The guy or the girl to dusk is gone. I don't have a clue. And she said, I know who you're looking for only because 30 people have been here looking for him. And she tells me his name. And I said that which I found pretty humorous. Funny first name. I saw I was not aware of that. So I get up there. And I said, What's the Staikos? I'll tell you, I'll tell you the stories that I when I went to AAA. I went to my first AAA meeting, he said and I was I was really coming off to stuff and I was in tough shape. This was like a 9055 or something. He said, John, I was scared. Scared shitless. He said, I get to the door and the door flies open in this little midget of a guy comes running out. And he looks at me and goes oh look for the a meeting. And I went Hama Hama Hama, Hama. And he said, and I went back against the wall. And the guy went, What's your name? And he said, I couldn't I kept calling Hama Hama? Hagos. Why does the gospel call you whitey?

Joe Van Wie  37:13  
Gotta do this last forever,

John Knowles  37:14  
doesn't last forever. So his family said at his funeral, his wife said to me, I said, you know why he was a good friend. And she said, You're a friend of bills. I said yes. And she said, We know him as so. So and but everybody in AAA know him as and and so you talk about anonymous, and and there were 100 of those. Yeah, we had chap right, Pat and we, you know, we had you know, we used to go if you got drunk? You know we would be we had a guy a buddy of ours who worked at a deli. And we each had a day to go in order cheese. Yeah, we would stand there with our little number. And they'd say, Oh, would you like now we're gonna wait for Joey or we're gonna. And then he would come and he's hung over. It is like a dog and you'd be like, an Our job was simply to say you're ready. And he'd go, nah, I don't think I'm ready yet. And, and then every Sunday we go the meeting, and Edie would be there. And we'd report in here. I suggest we call it him say hey, he says he's ready. You know, and like, and finally after about three or four months, I go down. We used to meet at Howard Johnson's and there he is. Sitting in the middle of the backseat. Is this Syracuse? This is done in dollar water.

Joe Van Wie  38:26  
Oh, I always present a hotel with my daddy. That was his breakfast spots everywhere.

John Knowles  38:30  
Everywhere they went and so we get in. We get in the car and he's in the back and they just smile today finally give you Yeah, that's what you would do is you would you know if somebody came I mean, you put the time in I used to do the answering service over at Salt Irving Avenue where there was a little office dance. I'll set it on Sunday nights, which was tough cuz Sunday night was like the fun meeting. Yes, the unpark meeting and that's when like everybody out young people, people, everybody came together 300 people there. But I'm over there answering the phones and and you got one call a night maybe? Yeah, maybe. And but I would answer I used to I used to get the phone calls they people call in and they would give you they give they call you and give you their number or Joe called in. Can you give him a call and I call in all the time and and

Joe Van Wie  39:27  
and they could results sometimes and will be a 12 step call to guys and be ready to go to a house. Yeah,

John Knowles  39:34  
you will go and so the way I remember the first 12 Step call, I went on it was with this guy Ted. And he said, here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna go and I'm gonna tell him a five minute version of our story. He said if you go longer I go. I gotta tell you to stop. He goes, we're going to say, Would you like to hear more? And if he says yes, we're going to keep talking. If he says no, we're gonna shake his hand. We're gonna leave we're gonna tell the boss what he's Ready? So that's how we're just going to keep going until the lease says no. And so we sat there for about an hour and a half and said, Do you mind if we come back tomorrow night? Yeah. To go to a meeting? And he said, Yes. And so, so we call his wife and this guy explains the whole feminist guy had done, like, and I was, I was terribly intrigued by this. I fairly fresh myself, but I was like, wow. And so I couldn't wait till the next night. We get there the next night. And of course, the guy should face so I say that.

Joe Van Wie  40:34  
Yeah. It's a podcast, pirate radio.

John Knowles  40:37  
So the guy is drunk, and the wife is beside herself. But he wants to go. Oh, I'm still going. Yeah, sure. So we took him Yeah. And came back. We came back probably for two weeks. And finally he ended up in the hospital. We went to see him in the hospital. And I remember walking in to the room, right? I was a salesman, I had a suit on the guy who's with that as soon as the wife calls we come into the hospital, and the doctor was in there with him. And the guy was with said, my name is Ted, this my friend, John, we're from AAA. And the doc just, like, closed up everything and walked out the door. You know, he's, he's a great, and he just walked out the door. He's job's done. You guys do your thing. Let me know if you need anything for men. And we sat and talked to the guy and, and then and he's, I believe he he ended up dying sober. He was yeah, it was a great, he was funniest guy. But it was one of those deals and that I you know, one time at Christmas Eve, like, I got a call and I go over this guy's house. And I get there and I could get anybody to go with me. I call my spy. So

Joe Van Wie  41:49  
we'll go there was a rule you need to

John Knowles  41:51  
it's pretty much tool. But I've been sober about two years. At this time, I supposed to go over and see what the story is. And so I go last I knock on the door. The mother goes, Oh, thank God, you're here. And or he says the guy has a story. Because thank god, you're here. And I walk in and the mother comes up and she said, he goes, Mom, it's a guy from a I'll be back in 30 days. Right? Yeah. So his bags

Joe Van Wie  42:18  
are packed. He's ready to Yeah. Oh, God.

John Knowles  42:21  
So I just grabbed his bags and throw them in the trunk. Yeah. And I've taken i and this will you do this? Because this was before cell phone. Yeah. Or there was no rehab lined up, right? Yeah. Oh, so we I went knocked on the door at Mar worth. Yeah. Detox, and they didn't even blink an eye and brought him in. They made a couple of phone calls. And do you miss that? I told I missed that.

Joe Van Wie  42:44  
Yeah, that I think everybody does. Yeah, a lot

John Knowles  42:47  
of fun. It's, it was well, you know what it was? It was incredibly rewarding. Yeah. Because you really felt like he had done something. And it was. But but you know, the other part was rarely, if ever, did you take somebody to detox? They'd have to you went and picked them up again. And watching the transformation in these guys. And, and you'd be very subtle about introducing the program. Yeah. Until they, until you you finally said I'm listening, pal.

Joe Van Wie  43:17  
There's another side, just drying out. Yep. So now

John Knowles  43:19  
that you're clean, and get your book and start reading it, we ought to probably start chatting about this. And yeah, it was. And yeah, there were subtle ways to do it.

Joe Van Wie  43:31  
I got a taste of it. I was 1618. When I first came to Sam, Sammy Kaye. Yeah, we get a call from intergroup. Or with Kevin at s. I was in the car. I was the young kid. But I sat in the living room. I didn't talk. Yeah, we'll point out if you want to say anything. And I went with them. And I learned a lot. But those two experiences you just talked about that was prior to you being in the field, right? Yeah. Yeah. Did that draw you to want to immerse yourself more into a clinical,

John Knowles  44:01  
you know, I, the way I got into the field was I was sober for 25 years. I've been sober for two years and open an adolescent center. And I was very close friends with a lot of people that were involved in running the place. I had no inkling to do it as a successful guy. And I was making good money. My wife was a nurse was very happy. Yes, my life was really starting to kick in and I get a phone call one day, they said, come on down. We want to talk to you. And I stopped and they took me for a tour of the place and they said what do you think? And I said, Yes, it's nice to so we think it'd be a great counselor.

Joe Van Wie  44:38  
Is this Shawnee in Delaware? Yeah, I remember that rehab. My dad worked there. Yeah, what's the same time? Together? Yeah, cousin Timor's t and I shared an office together. I would sit in that hotel. I'd spend weekends there was just getting to spend more time with my father. He was over

John Knowles  44:53  
he and Charlie had the Charlie little apartment up the road. Yeah. Yeah, I was.

Joe Van Wie  44:59  
That was it. Forgot about that. Yeah,

John Knowles  45:01  
my wife and I, they. And so I don't know, I'm thinking, I don't know this. And I, so I went back and went to my dad. And my father said, Listen, you're a great salesman, he said, you'll always be a great salesman. Sure. We, you'll always find a job making money and sales. If you don't do this, you'll regret this the rest of your life. So I think you have a talent for it. So you're gonna have to figure that out yourself. He said, But if you don't give it a shot, yeah. You don't do it. And then by the grace of God, I, they offered my wife a position to and I remember saying to, you know, do you want to do this? And, you know, I'm in a med picking up and moving. Yeah, two young kids and throw our time and we were three babies. And I was we were, you know, I mean, it was a, we didn't think it were stupid. We didn't think anything of it. We just went and moved into an area where it costs three times as much to Yeah, I'm back. From being a salesman, you know, with a company card. I had to buy a used 10 speed and ride it to work every day. Yeah. And a suit. Yeah, you know. And for two years. Wow. Yeah. Then I didn't think, you know, I remember thinking I was pretty smart, because I had a bicycle clip. So it might chain the chain oil doesn't go to the pants, my pants, I thought it was a pretty sharp guy. But I would ride in the rain. And I never thought anything of it. And you know, we had one car. And that was the way it was. And she ran the family program. And it was a great opportunity for the two of us. You know, she

Joe Van Wie  46:39  
was we did you feel fulfilled, we immediately had to buy the work. And I was

John Knowles  46:44  
very threatened. And very frightened. Yeah, in the beginning, because I felt very inadequate. Yeah. So I was I was, I was a young kid. And most of the people I worked with, because I was a full on therapist. Yeah. Once I got thrown out of college after one semester, I mean, that was

Joe Van Wie  47:04  
the 80s. That's how you entered therapy for drug and alcohol. I

John Knowles  47:07  
mean, today's world, I couldn't get a job as a driver. Yeah, with what I brought to the table. But I got assigned to this guy, Joe Harrison. And Joe had worked with Dr. Stuckey, who was the first he was really the first guy in the, in the business back in the 50s and 60s, who gave credibility to recovering people to be counselors. And he did the first clinic at Summit oaks hospital that later became fairoaks. And he he was you know, he's just a locked the door. And he said, Don't let anybody it seems that these doctors and therapists come in, they'll screw it all up, let the drug talk to the drugs and and he really gave credibility to that. And Joe was his clinical director. And Joe's an Episcopalian minister was probably in his mid 60s At that time, was kind of stooped over was one of the funniest men I've ever met had a phenomenally funny story had been the rector at Princeton University and drank himself out of the job and, you know, really had a great story, but he was an incredibly talented psychotherapist, and very, very knowledgeable, and I got to sit at his side for two years. It was like an apprentice. It was better than any college education I ever could have apprenticeships, it's realistically was mentorship and apprenticeship. And he was just a phenomenal I work for guy John Latham, probably the best therapist I've ever been exposed to John had an incredible talent with kids and psychodrama and stuff like that. And so I had phenomenal exposure. And tea came on board. About a year into my, you and I shared and we used to have the office at the end of the hall. And we used to joke that nobody ever bought nobody wants, we're there because we're like, Guys, nobody wanted to talk to you know, I was this tough guy. And he was a beatnik and we got all the difficult guys are real colorful guys and heroin addicts. And we got the first HIV guys. Yeah, you know, and we just went out the end of the hall and those and we never left. We had our little plays, we weren't interested in the politics and the nonsense and, and we're just out there, you know, we're talking to one guy after the other, it was really just an incredibly rewarding process. And we learned a lot from each other. And, and it was, and I worked in a system that was very encouraging of that, you know, it was spent a lot of time processing and talking. And Joe was just very good at you know, the base IT guy Tim Valley was my first clinical director who Tim used to give me assignments to take home every night. And they were a little magazine articles and things to this day. I read something. Yeah, every day, and I recommend it to staff all the time. And but I if there's something that happens even if I know about it, I If I look it up and read and I read a scholarly article not Yeah, you know, WebMD or something, which sometimes isn't bad, but I try and you know, I subscribe to a couple of things so that I stay fresh, fresh. Yeah, it's first I learned you learn a lot of stuff. And

Joe Van Wie  50:15  
I've learned a lot from you, I'll be calling you, you're my weapon.

John Knowles  50:21  
Well, and your fight, you know, what are the meds? What are the different things? What are the side effects? What are, you know, how could this impact?

Joe Van Wie  50:27  
A simple but sometimes better, better, stabilizing approaches get complex, and

John Knowles  50:34  
it's a lot different now with some of the different things that are going on. So. So as a career, I think Tim was just a great, great guy into life. And then from here, I met a guy named Bill Williams was my I asked what Bill was Bill was the real deal. He was crazy. Phil

Joe Van Wie  50:51  
Williams. Did he end up? I think we see the Clinical Director at the end of his tenure at Blue Mountain House. He tried to turn that place around. I was there use use? Yeah, remember that? Holy smokes.

John Knowles  51:06  
Good guy.

Joe Van Wie  51:07  
I stayed there. Six months job. Guess what? I was sober. 14 years after that.

John Knowles  51:12  
Yeah. You got good. Get to good guys, rather than the show for you.

Joe Van Wie  51:16  
You bossing me around yelling at me to get my ears punctured. I was trying to pull some bratty shit. This is when I was up until the hill. You just grab it. You said Cut the shit. Are I going to talk to you be walking back the script?

John Knowles  51:30  
Yeah, I could be a very impressive impressionable guy.

Joe Van Wie  51:34  
Well, you knew I was great. I was trying to see where the line was with it.

John Knowles  51:37  
And we used to have up there. We had all the prison guards. Yeah. And they were fun because you bring them in. And you know, they were tough guys, and I'd bring him in and that you throw a couple of you play a couple things with

Joe Van Wie  51:50  
them. Yeah, there was a mixed bag there. I saw you have to draw the line. But I had a good roommate. It was it was an old moustache, gangster Utica. Yeah. And it was a good place

John Knowles  52:01  
I was we had a good backup plan. Very fortunate. I was very fortunate. My whole career that I've been exposed to just great people, great places. And then when I got I moved from Shawnee to Syracuse, totally New York, here it 90. And this was a little farm town. And there was a an AAA meeting there on Friday nights. Yeah. And my sponsor and Syracuse said, go to that meeting. Look around the table, see who looks like they might be the most sober guy in the room and ask Him to be your temporary sponsor, because he just moved up there. He just was great. He says you don't And don't call me call him and call me in a week. Let me know how it goes. So So I walk in, and there's these four guys sitting there and the one guy is still drunk. The other guy is, you know, just a hard worker farmer. And then this other guy from Ireland who's just as incredibly colorful guy salesman. And the meeting is over and I said, you know, I'm no one told, said we couldn't be my turn. And he ended up being my sponsor for 10 years. I mean, we had phenomenal relate. He was one of the funniest guys ever.

Joe Van Wie  53:05  
How long were you in Syracuse? 10 years.

John Knowles  53:07  
Now we were there. Till 2007 2007 Okay, 17 years, so we're totally heal for 13 years. And then I went to Central New York services, which was Lel chemical chemically dependent

Joe Van Wie  53:20  
in you. The time you left telehealth, you were the clinical director when I was there. And then you left to work for this there was a state New York or was that a private it was a

John Knowles  53:31  
private Call Center in New York services. Yes, it became the Director of Residential Services. Yeah, was fine in between a very short stint at a place called Peace Incorporated, which was a community action agency head start early head start. And it was it was a great job because it was social work and social services which I had not been exposed to and, but I I was the administrator and I didn't have a clue. But

Joe Van Wie  53:57  
was it a big it's a big change DNA to just straight social workers DNA is you can challenge the person's objection.

John Knowles  54:04  
There's not as much drama and regular stuff because the

Joe Van Wie  54:08  
work takes a real nuance of non judgement and and an embracement of harm reduction to things that we weren't encouraged to care about to get sober

John Knowles  54:19  
not so much challenging but assisting and and it was a lot of policy Yeah. And in my role was just like listen, we got this agency that grew to 450 employees and just got this 25 million we know they're robbing us blind we don't know who

Joe Van Wie  54:34  
sees get too big man will do and I you

John Knowles  54:37  
know, I stayed I was on for a year I fired about 150 people and

Joe Van Wie  54:42  
nice guy John.

John Knowles  54:46  
They'd run when they came in but it was you know, I was just change for you're probably right. Yeah, there were no there were good people who were there were people there who worked incredibly hard to make a difference in a very, very difficult world and I was exposed to a guy I was a great CEO was a great guy. And I've been an old political guy and really knew his stuff. And yeah, Irish Catholic school and just,

Joe Van Wie  55:10  
he was very neat a political beast on staff to navigate. He was

John Knowles  55:14  
he used to say he was the guy who said, you know, let's walk the cat back. Yeah. Yeah. That's a good line. Yeah, everybody hates it, because I say it all the time. But so let's walk the cat back and find out what happened here. And totally, it was great. I had a great experience. There was Carl kabza. Yeah, was the guy who founded the Marine Corps program for addictions. Oh, I

Joe Van Wie  55:34  
didn't know that. Yeah, he's the guy who hired Father Martin to do the first chalk talk and 70 will one or seven. Yeah, I can. Yeah, I was just reading about that. I didn't know that was the man. Tony Hill was pretty progressive, too. I think it was more progressive than what we were very mild for him. Yeah. Acupuncture.

John Knowles  55:49  
First time. Yeah. My wife was an attitude. She did the acupuncture program and they did acupuncture for detox. We were lucky Carl was a smart guy. He Father Martin was a very good friend of his used to come up all the time. Yeah, I always joke these guys all. I got to be very close with Mr. Delaney down. And along Lena. She, however liked my wife better. And then when we got to totally Hill Father Mark became a big part of our lives and my wife better. Yeah. That seemed to be the pattern that Stacy one these guys. It's not a bad attribute. It's not and you know, as Mr. Delaney was a great, yeah, to be loved. Yeah. She showed me a lot. And she was she was good. And she was my buddy from the program. Yeah, you know, she wasn't my she knew I was in the field. And I always joke that she made my bones that I was at a Rutgers the school of alcoholism studies. And have a for a week in the summer every year and everybody was anybody got together there was probably 92. And I'm sitting, I had just moved to Syracuse two years before, and I hadn't seen her. And she was gonna be the main speaker. So I got an aisle seat in this huge auditorium packed and up in the front, where all these guys who ran the EAP programs are Johnson Johnson, JP Morgan, all the all the big Ford, New Jersey bell. And these were the guys you want it to be your pals because they, they referred a ton of people and, and she came walking in and she's walking down, I waved to her and she stopped and I stood up and she gave me a hug and she pinch my cheeks. And these 10 guys are like, well, who's this kid? You know, and afterwards, they all came up and introduced themselves. They wanted to be my pal because

Joe Van Wie  57:35  
we Machiavellian get in through Knowles.

John Knowles  57:39  
She was they were terrified. Because they were sure she had been here. She was tough. She was tough. And she, she treated me farewell. And I have a lot of those stories. And so

Joe Van Wie  57:51  
I'll have to come back to tell them because Ron, but I was gonna have tea on to speak about some of the old stories. Yeah, tea still there part time.

John Knowles  58:00  
He still does retire. Yeah, yeah, he's and he. Great, great guy. I just fit here friends with my brother, Jimmy. rich history. We

Joe Van Wie  58:10  
will you come back again. Sure would love to come because I want to pick up from tele Hill, I want to talk about some of the changes you've been. You've experienced firsthand. As in clinical, and the rise of different levels of care and what you think about them. It's changed it and has changed a lot.

John Knowles  58:30  
Yeah, there's a lot of it's much more formalized. Yeah. It's, unfortunately become incredibly competitive. Yeah. And competitive. Interestingly enough, it's not as competitive in the for profit world. Yes, it is in the nonprofit, and the nonprofit world is seeing some of their market share really disappear significantly. Yeah. And you know, there's good

Joe Van Wie  58:53  
and Bad's there's good and bad impact, because you see the damage to some things. But some benefits rise out of something else, like Transitional Living houses that are new and being funded.

John Knowles  59:04  
And now we're part of healthcare and health care is an evolving thing. And there's no evidence and new things coming on. And

Joe Van Wie  59:09  
in competition. I don't know. I mean, in 10 years, you'll really be able to measure was it good? Did it get rid of who was better? I don't know.

John Knowles  59:17  
The big thing now is you can't operate unless you do best practice. So that's kind of behind us. So now the key is, what's your outcome look like? Yeah. So what you'll see more and more of his, from an industry standpoint is the good guys are going to connect with each other. Yeah. And and they're going to, they're going to work hard to do the right thing. And then the guys who decide not to are going to be left holding the belief becomes apparent pretty quickly. Right. Yeah. Because, you know, the reality is, is, you know, we know the most success you're gonna have is if we get you into three or four levels of care. Yeah. And, and those people who do that haven't To the 67 days in terms of percentage of success surance companies know it, we know it everybody knows the longer we can get you into varying levels of care. And, and its probability

Joe Van Wie  1:00:10  
for long term sobriety increases exponentially.

John Knowles  1:00:14  
And so the key is finding those people with the shared values that are going to be able to do it in a way that is productive.

Joe Van Wie  1:00:23  
John, I'm glad you came on. It's complex. There's so much I want to talk to you about we got to unpack three decades of rich Gay History stuff. Yeah, from here to the Poconos to Syracuse. There's a lot more I'd like to talk to you about its current relative as you're you're seeing it. I value that knowledge and I value all the help you've given me over the years and my family. So thanks again for coming on.

John Knowles  1:00:49  
Well, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Joe Van Wie  1:00:56  
I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better. You can find us on all or listen to us on Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google, podcasts, Stitcher, I Heart Radio, and Alexa. Special thanks to our producer John Edwards, an engineering company 570. Drone. Please like or subscribe to us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And if you're not on social media, you're awesome. Looking forward to seeing you again. And remember, just because you're sober doesn't mean you're right.

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