Dylan was born in San Diego, CA, where he spent the majority of his first 30 years; moving to the NEPA region in 2018. A person in long-term recovery, and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Dylan understands the importance of social connectedness and community.
Initially getting sober in 2011, Dylan had difficulty finding work and took a volunteer position at Being Alive San Diego where he helped those affected by HIV/AIDS gain access to life-sustaining medications and other community support services as a Peer Advocate.
Through this experience, the fire to help others was ignited and Dylan was encouraged by his family and friends to go back to school. In 2013, Dylan obtained his GED; it took another 2 years for him to build up the courage to register for classes. In 2015 with the support of his peers in 12-step recovery programs, he started his journey in higher education at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Community Colleges in San Diego, where he eventually made the Dean’s List every semester before graduating in May of 2018 with two Associate’s Degree in Social Work and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Dylan applied to, and was accepted, to Penn State Wilkes-Barre, after following his now-husband back to his home in Pennsylvania. In 2020, Dylan graduated from Penn State with his Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and earning the Luzerne County Council on Adult Higher Education’s Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year Award. Dylan is currently a graduate student at Marywood University’s School of Social Work.
Since arriving in Pennsylvania, Dylan has worked in a variety of positions in the drug and alcohol treatment industry, and for the last three-in-a-half years has been at Brookdale Premier Addiction Recovery in Scotrun, PA working as a Family Counselor. In addition to his work as a Family Counselor, Dylan serves as the Founder and Executive Director of NEPA Pride Coalition, a new non-profit dedicated to enhancing the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals and families in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Dylan is lucky enough to use his passion for helping others by giving back to his community. He also understands that LGBTQIA+ individuals experience substance use and other mental health conditions at disproportionately higher rates than the general public and looks forward to the years of services ahead serving his community through education, awareness, and facilita
Please stop by ApplePodcast and give us a Rating and Review!
Leaders Of Long Term Recovery in Pennsylvania
We combine proven recovery principles with new, innovative techniques to provide one of the most effective programs for young men in the country.
Discussions on addiction and recovery. We interview clinicians/researchers, legislators, and individuals that include a variety of means to recovery. Joe Van Wie is a father, husband, filmmaker, and reformed media consultant in recovery.Fellowship House
Stop by our Apple Podcast and drop a Review!
Joe Van Wie 0:01
Hello, and thanks again for listening to another episode of all better. I'm your host, Joe van week. Today's guest is Dylan Fred recei. Elon was born in San Diego, California, and spent the majority of his first 30 years moving to an EPA Region in 2018. Person, long term recovery and a member of the LGBTQ IA and community delen understands the importance of social connectedness and community. Initially getting sober 2011 Dylan had difficulty finding work and took a volunteer position at being alive San Diego, where we help those affected with HIV AIDS, gain access to life sustaining medications and other community support services as a pure advocate. Through this experience, the fire to help others is ignited and Dylan was encouraged by his family and friends. To go back to school. 2013 Dylan obtained his GED took another two years for him to build up the courage to register for classes in 2015, with the support of his peers 12 step recovery program. He started his journey in higher education Grossmont community colleges and San Diego where he eventually made the Dean's list every semester before graduating in May of 2018. With two associate's degrees in social work, and social and behavioral sciences, Dylan applied to and was accepted to Penn State Wilkes Barre, after falling his now husband back to his home in Pennsylvania. In 2020, Dylan graduated from Penn State with his bachelor's degree in rehabilitation and human services while maintaining 4.0 GPA and earning the Luzerne County Council on Higher Education of standing adult learner of the Year award. Dylan is currently a graduate student at Marywood University in the School of Social Work. Since arriving in Pennsylvania, Dylan has worked in a variety of positions, drug and alcohol field. And for the last three and a half years, he's been at Brookdale premier addiction recovery in Scott Ron Pennsylvania, working as a family counselor. In addition to his work as a family counselor, Dylan serves as the founder and executive director of NTPA pride Coalition, a new nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the lives of the LG BT Qi and individuals and families in the Scranton Wilkes Barre area. Dylan is lucky enough to use his passion for helping others by giving back to his community. He also understands that the LGBTQ IA and individuals experience substance use and other mental health conditions at a disproportionate rate and the general public and looks forward to the years of services ahead of serving his community through education, awareness, facilitating access to affirming and supportive services. Dylan lives now in Lawrenceville, his husband, George is really happy to have Dylan on. And the work that he's does is very noticeable, especially in our region, and Mental Health Services. Today, we get to discuss a number of topics. Dylan's background, methamphetamine use the gay population, and what that means muted dopamine, and a lot of effects and what that does for behavior, cognition, how he founded this nonprofit, and the work he began with, and is continuing to do and what the next year looks like, for any VA by coalition. So let's meet Dylan.
All right, Dylan. Welcome.
Dylan Fredricey 4:18
Thank you. Yeah, thanks.
Joe Van Wie 4:20
Yeah, I've been interested and excited to have you on because of all the interesting things you've been doing in a short period of time here. So I guess we can start off with let's let's take the slow roll of how you got to 2018 and ended.
Dylan Fredricey 4:38
I like the slow roll. Yeah, let's do that.
Joe Van Wie 4:41
Because well, I would say you arrived here in 2018. Yeah. And that's got to be a culture shock to this. Yeah. Yeah. I was more interested maybe to start was it Scranton or the Poconos? Did you feel you're moving to this? Was there a distinction?
Dylan Fredricey 4:58
Well, I'm actually I live in Clarksville. So it was this town called Clarksville. It's called. When I met my husband and San Diego and he said he was from Clarksville, I was like, wow, that's kind of a weird name for a town. So, but yeah, you know, it's like sometimes you just gotta take a leap of faith and do what feels right. And you know, I did that. So
Joe Van Wie 5:25
we'll get to that because our area has benefited you in that. And I know that from my peers and my friends. And this is the first time I met you, but your work precedes you, if anyone's in drug and alcohol, the value and the service you brought to multiple facilities and levels of care in understanding a population that's been decades, marginalize with biases, prejudice, discrimination. You have taken a full bore to a whole nother level here. And people need to congratulate you for that. Thanks, man. I appreciate that. So where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Dylan Fredricey 6:03
Born and raised in San Diego, California. Yeah. So I was born in Poway, California, which is like North San Diego County. You know, I was born into the disease of alcoholism and addiction, you know, I mean, since the time I was an infant, I've been living with the consequences of this disease. You know, so,
Joe Van Wie 6:28
what do you mean by that?
Dylan Fredricey 6:30
Yeah, so both of my parents suffered from alcoholism and addiction, you know, those negative consequences that you think of, you know, domestic disturbances, police being called, like, all of those types of things. You know, I started experiencing at a very young age, you know, some of my earliest childhood memories are of those consequences of this disease. So, you know, my parents ended up separating, you know, when I was like five or six years old, and, you know, my mom got involved with some people, this was in the early 90s. You know, meth was really popular, you know, among bikers, like, the type of people my Mom hung out with, you know, and eventually, you know, 95, I think, you know, our house was raided by the DEA and the FBI, and my mom was hauled off to federal prison for conspiracy, distribute, manufacture crystal methamphetamine. And when that happened, it was like, my world was turned upside down. You know, I never, you know, there was never any child protective services that got involved, because I wasn't actually like at the house when it was raided. But my father was also deep in his addiction at the time. So when my mom went to prison, my brother and I went to live with my dad, we ended up living out of a 1976 Dodge van with my father and his girlfriend. We usually we were staying at Camp land by the Bay, which is like, you know, when you were like, eight years old, and you're like, camping out of the van, like, you know, at the campers or like, on the bay in San Diego, you know, it's like, okay, this is cool. I guess, you know, it's like, riding your bike to school around the bay.
Joe Van Wie 8:37
Outdoor Life. Yeah. Now, just to pause there for a second. It's California at Sandy. Yeah. There's other families that there's kind of a community that lives in parks. Yeah, sure. That wouldn't, you know, be the traditional people, you would point say that that person's homeless? Yeah. Did you ever kind of look at the value of staying with your dad in those scenarios, rather than being in the children youth services? One could have been?
Dylan Fredricey 9:07
Oh, look like? Yeah, I mean, my experience, I mean, it's, of course, since the time I was a child has built up and, you know, made me the person that I am today. It's given me the lens that I use the, you know, the worldview that I have, and really contributes to the work that I get to do, not only for the coalition and for my, in my professional life, but also in my personal life, you know, because of those things I get to give back to the community. Yeah. You know, and so, when I say, you know, obviously, there's regrets, right, and people say no regrets, like, there's things that you regret, but in the big picture of things, you know, there's, you know, I went through everything that I needed to go through to get to where I'm at today. So I couldn't be a vessel of hope and recovery. refer other people.
Joe Van Wie 10:01
Yeah, I guess I was asking too, because it's top of mind to me, I just might have been a video or training I experienced in the last two years of those populations of same being in transit between addresses, but it's seems more distinct in California, that you could live in a van. And in in a park. Did you know there was a separation like, at that time, and that age that would make you feel, say less than if you were at a school school for the day or not? Was that going on?
Dylan Fredricey 10:36
It never really hit me. Like as far as like, wow, we don't have a home. Right? It was never like that. It was just kind of like, okay, yeah, we're camping and like, you know, we're riding our bike around the bay, like, oh, like, whatever. And people are doing though that now these days, you know, they're like, laying on the beach. expensive. Expensive, like tiny home things, you know? Yeah. So
Joe Van Wie 11:02
industry now. I got lost in a rabbit hole. YouTube's vans. Van life. Yeah. Well, well, that's, that sounds really interesting. Because I'm from the Northeast, and there's a liberation or a real 60s quality to know. And California happened the van Barchetta part? Just I don't know. It's romantic, some some ideas of that. So there was, you know, was there a period between the DEA coming to your house that, like, maybe I guess I'm curious to the first time you felt because I, I always point to it myself, where shame kind of rises up? Sure. And was that happening early? like something you would need relief from before? Say, you got your first buzz was? Sure. Yeah. For
Dylan Fredricey 11:55
me. It circled around my sexuality, okay. Like, I knew I've known since that time, I knew, like, what sexuality was that I was gay that I was attracted to men, or boys or whatever, you know, and there was lots of shame attached to that, from the start from the start. Yeah, I mean, from the grip, you know, I, you know, I always, I would rather hang out with the girls and play with a Barbies. You know, my brother was like, off with the boys playing, you know, sports and all those things. And, you know, you people say things you get picked on, or you just kind of learn from, like, this heterosexism society that we grow up in that, you know, what's acceptable, what's not acceptable. You know, I never from my own family, I never felt those things. You know, my mom, my mom's bisexual. So it was kind of like, you know, a liberal ish.
Joe Van Wie 12:55
And you understood that? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Dylan Fredricey 12:58
I mean, when my mom when my parents first separated, the first relationship that my mother had after that was with a woman. And, you know, we lived together, me and my brother with her and her partner, Annie was her name for a couple years.
Joe Van Wie 13:17
It's just it's so fascinating in the sense of shame, and culture, culture, the shame that comes from culture, you don't fit into the majority of what you would perceive as culture outside of your own house. And it could still attach shame to share. Absolutely. That's powerful. Yeah. And it's over sexuality. I grew up in the northeast, Catholicism had a huge infrastructure here, especially in school and went to Catholic school.
Dylan Fredricey 13:48
My husband also went to Catholic school. Yeah. And yeah, so
Joe Van Wie 13:51
that's distinct, because here you aren't in a house that would seem liberal and open to the idea of sexuality. But somewhere even outside, you're feeling a sense of shame of what you are and what you should be. That doesn't, it's naturally rising who a person is, at your age, your own sexuality. Wow, that's, it's almost it was what I wanted to talk to you about to a little bit because of gay men that I know and women, addiction being a refuge to the culture that muted their own sexuality.
Dylan Fredricey 14:30
Sure, or liberated it. Wow.
Joe Van Wie 14:33
Explain that. Yeah, that's,
Dylan Fredricey 14:35
well, you know, my story involves is one of liberation. You know, is like 1819 years old, coming out of the closet kind of coming into myself. I was introduced to this very vibrant LGBT community that was accepting and I was able to, you know, kind of start to accept myself but also like have that like sexual liberation period of like, okay, this is okay to do these things rather than that like voice that says, you know, hide? Correct. But for me, what was attached to those events was drugs and alcohol, specifically, in my case, crystal meth, you know, and so for me, it was a progression of my own disease, but also connected with this, like, sexual liberation, this idea that I'm coming into accepting myself then, and who I am, you know, as a gay man. And so, when I, you know, fast forward when I ended up getting sober, yeah, that was a huge component for me in my recovery, that was that I had to find that same type of community, I had to have that level of acceptance with my peers, you know, walking into a, or to, you know, a room full of people. For me, it was very important that I had peers in the LGBT community, or I had people that at least understood kind of what I had been through, and what the consequences of my addiction looked like, right, and could relate to me with me at that level. Yeah, I was very lucky. You know, when I got first time I went to treatment, I went to a place called Stepping Stone of San Diego. Stepping Stone is actually the longest running LGBTQ specific treatment center in the country and
Joe Van Wie 16:43
Dylan Fredricey 16:44
operational, still operational.
Joe Van Wie 16:45
When did it start?
Dylan Fredricey 16:47
1973 or 76, or something like that in the 70s? Yeah, that's great. Yeah. And, you know, it was based started as like a social model kind of program, but within the LGBT community. So first, first time I went to treatment, I was 21 years old. It was 2009. I was forced into treatment, like I had legal stuff going on. I had like a choice. It was either prison or treatment.
Joe Van Wie 17:20
So they threw a bag over your head and pulled up recovery.
Dylan Fredricey 17:23
Yes, something like that. I chose what I thought would be at the time, that easier softer way, you know, but it was not, you know, stepping stone was at the time, it was a six month program.
Joe Van Wie 17:37
Did you know these places existed in recovery that can have their own lane, for
Dylan Fredricey 17:44
listen. What I knew of like recovery at that time was like rehab is like where people go when they're sick or whatever. I had
Joe Van Wie 17:56
no working definitely no concrete. Addiction would be right now. Not
Dylan Fredricey 18:01
really. You know, I had been to first time I ever walked into like a 12 step meeting. I was actually like, 15 years old. I got caught doing cocaine. So I was. So I went to I walked into a cocaine Anonymous meeting in Denver, Colorado.
Joe Van Wie 18:22
Ended Yeah, in the 80s. Yes. Recovery banks.
Dylan Fredricey 18:25
Recovery bank has one. Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 18:27
Like EDC, Miami, I thought it went out with Miami Vice, they stopped cocaine anonymous. But so just to clarify, it's, I like clarifying. The idea that crystal meth was was doing something positive in this regard. The effect of that drug in how it's used in a community helped you be who you are, which seems maybe unaccessible without without this call to medication and amphetamine that can make you feel confident, I'm going to be myself. But then, you know, addiction rises out of this. But I think people tend to forget what a drug does, it meets a really powerful need that maybe you can't meet by yourself. Yeah.
Dylan Fredricey 19:20
Yeah. So you know, at first, you know, math was a tool for me to come into really accepting myself. You know, it was like a vessel. You know, and that's why if you look at the LGBT communities, I mean, there's major disparities, right? When you talk about substance use disorders among the LGBT community, compared to like cisgender heterosexual community. But the most disparity is when you start looking at substances, you know, stimulants and feta means federal me producing, but also in Hey Elance two. So when you look at, you know, a lot of times,
Joe Van Wie 20:03
like, when you see in hoppers popper ship
Dylan Fredricey 20:06
poppers, you know, it's like 1012 times
Joe Van Wie 20:11
in a popper. You know, it's like a 70s kind of show is that that's an amphetamine.
Dylan Fredricey 20:18
So a popper poppers are older men like this shops they're like as like tape cleaners. Yeah, people use them during sexual activity to kind of like loosen things things up. But yeah,
Joe Van Wie 20:32
it's a total rush of dopamine correct. If I could just look at that for a second dopamine things that can be attributed to say low dopamine that are natural outside of addiction, depression, ADHD, something that commute if you had a severe trauma might mute production of dopamine. rumination we call it resentment like this, this train of thought that trauma could produce or gets used to an addiction seems to if you could point to this chemical story, it's dopamine. So some people I find myself in this this league, I didn't feel like myself without things that gave me dopamine cocaine made me feel like there was an order in my head and I felt sincere present beyond the sexual, you know, enhancing of an amphetamine I always point to that there's there's something happening there. That's very profound that lets a person feel like themselves, irregardless of the consequences of the addiction. That's what started Yeah, that's powerful. That's hard to give up even when it's taken away so much.
Dylan Fredricey 21:43
Yeah. And before you know it, your whole life revolves around you know, that stuff's trapped. Yeah, that's it.
Joe Van Wie 21:52
Yeah, so that's that's distinct amphetamines, meth poppers into gay culture you even see in film.
Dylan Fredricey 22:00
Sure, another party drugs too. You know, G, HB and ecstasy and all those things.
Joe Van Wie 22:06
discriminate do not this this will not let discrimination of drugs on the show Dylan. Yeah. Yeah, that's, that is a distinct line. I just always curious about dopamine, what precedes it? Do I need dopamine? The Can I live without it? Even if it's muted in early recovery, which can be really uncomfortable to find out there is an exit, you'll be fine. That's a tough window.
Dylan Fredricey 22:33
Yeah. Yeah. Not a not a good place to be.
Joe Van Wie 22:38
Let's go back to you know, your entry into this this world of trying to find out what recovery is and how you're going to be comfortable.
Dylan Fredricey 22:47
Holy God. So I showed up to stepping stone. Mind you stepping stone is not a detox. So you're supposed to show up there? At least three days clean. All that? Oh, gee, that's
Joe Van Wie 22:58
the right plate. Yeah.
Dylan Fredricey 23:00
I could not stop using. Yeah. Like if I if I could stop using like, I would just stop using. So I showed up, like hot for everything under the sun. But they didn't know that until like my truck drug test came back like a couple
Joe Van Wie 23:16
of days are changing, withdrawal stay in treatment.
Dylan Fredricey 23:22
That's it. Yeah. No, it was. But I remember that first night in treatment. And I went to lay my head down on the pillow. And I was just, like, overcome with this, like emotion. And I just like started crying because I could not remember. Since I was 17 years old, a time that I had actually laid my head down on a pillow to go to sleep. Like, I mean, I would just go until I would just, like fall out. Like I'm talking, you know, 5678 916 days, right? At a time. longest run I had was 16 days. You know, so it's like, that was it was a very profound moment for me.
Joe Van Wie 24:13
To be that still. Sure. And prior to that, even leading up to that having those kinds of runs. Was this producing enormous anxiety and paranoia was paranoia coming around. Oh,
Dylan Fredricey 24:27
paranoia really wasn't a big deal for me. But definitely anxiety like I definitely thought I had an anxiety problem. Sure. It wasn't anxiety. Really. It was just all the math.
Joe Van Wie 24:39
Where Where does it begin and end?
Dylan Fredricey 24:43
Everybody has a little bit of anxiety.
Joe Van Wie 24:47
less anxiety, math. Yeah. Only small anxieties all like when you said 16 days I my pores open up on my shoulders. I'm like because I'm 34 I think I hit a five day or Yeah, but I'm like, holy Mack. Yeah, crazy, man. So you're still on this pillow. And there's a calmness, that terror. Yeah, it
Dylan Fredricey 25:09
was just kind of like this overwhelming, like sense of, okay. Like, you're, you're opening the door to a whole new opportunity, right? And I had no when I say I had no idea how to live, like, I had no idea how to live. You know, I started messing around with drugs and alcohol when I was, you know, 1213 years old. You know, and I was a daily crack cocaine user, by the time I was a freshman in high school, right. So all those years where, you know, I was supposed to be like, learning how to like, who I am, what I value, you know, what I want to do with my life, like all of those things develop? No, nothing. So at 21 years old, when I'm laying my head down for the first time in years to actually like, go to sleep, it was like, Wow. You know, and I was full of piss and vinegar, I guess you could say, this was a residential setting of 30 people. You know, like, we had to do like, chores and things like that, right? Yeah. And so like, my alarm would go off. And it would just, like, go off, because I had no idea how to like wake up.
Joe Van Wie 26:32
Like, be responsible. This message? Yeah. Binary message from this clock.
Dylan Fredricey 26:37
Yeah. You know, so roommates would like throw things at me and, like, get up? Yeah, gotta go clean the kitchen or whatever it was that I was doing
Joe Van Wie 26:46
with the population where where would you fall in the age group of a population at the time you were in treatment?
Dylan Fredricey 26:51
It was definitely on the younger side. But it was a you know, it was a good mix
Joe Van Wie 26:57
of big brothers out of bed like, yeah, yeah,
Dylan Fredricey 27:01
yeah, pretty much. You know, so there was a stepping stone at the time. I think they've gotten rid of it. Now, but there was a group, it was called strokes and concerns where, you know, you would go around and kind of like, different community members, you would stroke would be like, you know, attaboy type thing. You know, I'm recognized formation. Yeah, positive affirmation. Concerns are things that, you know, you find concerning and bringing things to people's attention. And I was always getting concerns. Yeah. Not many strokes in the beginning, you know,
Joe Van Wie 27:39
you gotta be joined. I mean, such tornado of not having any security. Now you get there. And there's sounds like a loving, kind, stable environment. It's jarring. Like, how does When is this gonna be taken away?
Dylan Fredricey 27:53
Yeah. Yeah. You know, they had every week there was like, basically, like, awards, basically. Like, you know, one of one of the awards was drama queen. Yeah, I want it like seven weeks. And
Joe Van Wie 28:10
I was like, and now for drama queen goes to Dylan again, you know, like to think that's earning so.
Dylan Fredricey 28:19
Yeah. So, but it was, it was at stepping stone that I learned that there was another way to live. And I had never learned that before.
Joe Van Wie 28:28
And did it become inviting then, like, you felt attracted to that? I did. I can do this. I want I want to be living this way. Yeah,
Dylan Fredricey 28:36
I mean, I felt attracted to it. It was enough to keep me there for the six months that was required. And it was enough to give me a taste of like, hey, life is more than just like, crystal meth and sex. And like, all of the people and consequences that come along with that.
Joe Van Wie 28:55
And this is a 21 That's hard. I knew a guy two years ago, I met him in a treatment center, he was trapped, and he didn't know a way out and he was afraid he'd never experienced joy, or pleasure or connection. Without that. That's that's hard to pull apart. And this is happening. That maybe there can be meaningful intimacy and connection with people without crystal meth. Listen, it's hard if that's the marker, yeah. Of of pleasure, or joy is all the way up here. Like is it gonna be worth Wow, does that ever happen to someone again?
Dylan Fredricey 29:35
Yes. Yeah, it does happen. Yeah. You know, and but it is the it is challenging, because the difference is so profound, right? Like, the pleasure sensors like yeah, methods sex combo, you know, your way up here. And it takes a long time. Like, I mean, it takes a long time for the brain to rewire itself and other things to be comfortable. trouble again.
Joe Van Wie 30:01
But you bet there's a natural, I think, maybe might be the wrong word instinctual for survival, that it's worth finding out in this direction, because you're 21. And you're worth, you think it's worth going in this direction. So I don't know how to describe that. What is that? It's just more meaningful connection, a stable connection that life? Sure. Like, I know, this is unsustainable, it's untenable to math and connection this way. But, um, I find that profound that to me, that would be another realm of what we would call recovery, spiritual awakening, that kind of leap that you'll be okay in sobriety and connect with people. That's, that's Herculean for someone to decide.
Dylan Fredricey 30:48
Yeah, I I'm really grateful that I, so I needed long term to be locked
Joe Van Wie 30:58
up for how long? Like is, yeah. Are we describing a year because that should be on average.
Dylan Fredricey 31:05
So for me, I I'd like to tell you that I got sober that time. But I did. I was over about nine months, I experienced the relapse, and I was in and out. But I had a suspended sentence hanging over my head. So when I relapsed it was straight to jail. Right? So no, don't pass go to. And I had a year, year suspended sentence hanging over my head in California. You do half of that. So it was six months. County Jail, kicked me back out to steppingstone. I wasn't ready. I left that same night. You know, in the middle of the night, I just kind of like went AWOL. Yeah, went on a run again. Got caught up again, you know, when I, when I'm using a run, I don't know, I was on probation. So you have to check in with probation officer if you don't like the issue want
Joe Van Wie 31:55
Dylan Fredricey 31:57
So, you know, they issued another warrant, I got arrested again. This time, the DA was like pushing for state prison, like I had avoided state prison, I should have went to prison, the first time I was arrested. I avoided it twice. And at this time, like all of my resources were gone. I hit a public defender. And you know, to this day, I I believe that that public defender that was representing me, either had somebody in her family that, you know, was in recovery or was in recovery herself, just because of the way she advocated for me, you know, in front of the judge kind of explaining that, you know, it doesn't have to be but sometimes, you know, this relapse process as part of the recovery. And, you know, she really did advocate for me, and the judge gave me one more chance after he gave me another county year. So last time, I, you know, went to treatment, I was six months in jail. And then I went straight to a 10 month program. So by the time I got out of treatment, I was like, 16 months sober. Wow, that was 2011. And
Joe Van Wie 32:59
would you describe yourself having a sense of, you know, we we use the word sounds generic all the time, gratitude, but it really is a word that represents a position it's like stoic stoicism, that I'm fine with what didn't happen. And I'm grateful for, like, that started that point of recovery.
Dylan Fredricey 33:19
I needed that experience. Yeah. For me, you know, we talked about like, the bottom right, like, the emotional bottom, the bottom starts really when you put the shovel down. Yeah. Put the shovel down.
Joe Van Wie 33:34
It's gotta be down there somewhere. Bottom
Dylan Fredricey 33:40
Yeah, it's so you know, I, the last time I was in jail was horrific. You know, is California penal system is out of this world. You know, and the criminal justice system really is run by the inmates. You know, the guards are just kind of like there. But once it would come out that I was gay or HIV positive, either of those two things, it was like, you're done. You know, the inmates would tell me like, you can't be here, you have to roll up. So I'd have to go till the guards like you got to move me otherwise they're gonna jump, you know, Slicer
Joe Van Wie 34:16
gay population that protects each other in prison at what year we
Dylan Fredricey 34:21
this is this is 2011. So there is, but at this point in time, I was still caught up in this like, criminal mentality, right. And so I kept getting rolled out of like, general population, and the guards would tell me, okay, well, if you just tell us like, who's running things in there or whatever, like we can move you over into protective custody. Yeah. Now remind you I was raised in kind of like this criminal biker. You don't talk to the police, you know. So at that point in time, I still was like living by that code. And so I made life really hard on myself. For like, Six months because I wouldn't like tell them anything. But it made my life absolutely miserable. The last time, they actually had to move me to the downtown jail, which is basically just a processing center. That way, you know, people weren't there long enough to like, catch on to like who I was, I was basically just hanging out in the processing center for the last month or so. Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 35:23
But lonely. Yeah.
Dylan Fredricey 35:24
Yeah. So yeah, it was,
Joe Van Wie 35:27
because it's that could be its own topic for an hour. I mean,
Dylan Fredricey 35:31
but, but I needed that. Yeah, I needed I needed that experience. After everything that I had been through in my whole entire life, childhood homelessness, car accident, near death experiences, overdoses, all of those things. I learned through that experience that I was still there for a reason. I had purpose. And it wasn't to be locked behind bars, like I had survived everything that I've went through for a reason. And I and I learned that there.
Joe Van Wie 36:06
So you're on a podcast with me talking about this. I just want to, I guess, stated, this is a source of your strength and power of what some people would want to avoid ever thinking about, again, talking about openly. Does your power draw from this these memories? The purpose rises out of that
Dylan Fredricey 36:27
PS? Right. Yes, yeah. That is, again, like I told you earlier, those experiences is what drives me to do the work that I do. Yeah. You know, and that is my purpose. It shows
Joe Van Wie 36:45
because, you know, coming across people and seeing your work and get to talk to you now. Where else would such commitment come from? It has to come from a well, of gratitude that I've lived through horrifying pain. I'm alive. And I'm going to be fine. Yeah, I want to make sure other people don't get stuck in that pain. Sure. Sure. Yeah. Wow. So from there started the road to produce the lie was,
Dylan Fredricey 37:13
that was it. You know, it was the last time I went to treatment, I was 16 months sober. By the time I got out of treatment. You know, I did the work, like the information that I learned the first time that I went to treatment, the information that I learned the seventh time that I had to treat, it did not change, right? It was like the same information. What changed for me was a willingness to do something different, right? It was a willingness to be uncomfortable. If, if in the beginning, I wanted to do something, I stopped and I talked to another alcoholic about it. Yeah. And, you know, pause, reflection, I listened to other people, my best thinking got me on concrete floors locked behind bars. So in the, in the, in the very beginning, I had to let go of all those things that I thought I knew everything. And I had to start listening to the people around me that were doing doing the business, right. And so I did those things. You know, I got a sponsor, I started working the steps. I developed, you know, a support system in the community of people that were like me, and, you know, I ended up meeting not my husband, but someone. And when that happened for me, I kind of stepped away from the program. Were they in the program? They were not, they were like a Normie. I kind of did like the California sober thing. You know, so it's like, yeah, smoking pot every once in a while, or
Joe Van Wie 38:39
I hit that threshold. Yeah, that I don't get relief from it. I've seen some people that seems to be observed. It's flourishing. And so
Dylan Fredricey 38:51
yeah, listen, whatever works for you, man. Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 38:54
Brace anyone not doing Yeah, absolutely.
Dylan Fredricey 38:57
For sure. Harm reduction if you got to, you know, but for me, it just, it didn't work. Yeah, it might have worked really for a minute. And then eventually, you know, it winded me up in the in the same way was at the gates of, of, you know, kind of spiraling out of control. That relationship ended and it was just kind of like, Okay, now what? And while I was like, Well, I know what worked. And so it was right back
Joe Van Wie 39:30
to a community. Yep. plug back in.
Dylan Fredricey 39:33
That was March, march 6 2017. That's my current sobriety day.
Joe Van Wie 39:39
Yeah. Yeah. And were you drawn to the field of drug and alcohol treatment recovery was?
Dylan Fredricey 39:48
Yeah, so when I was California, sober when I had started like, so I was a high school dropout. I didn't get my GED till I was 25 years old. You know, I was The ADHD kid, I never applied myself. So I didn't think I could do it. type stuff. And, you know, when I, when I decided when I was 27 when I went back to school, I I knew I wanted to help people I didn't know in what capacity I wanted to help people. I was doing work, I was doing volunteer work at the time, being alive San Diego's like HIV AIDS service organization. So that was like, where the fire to help others was ignited?
Joe Van Wie 40:31
Did you have a mentor that at that organization, or you see something someone that had?
Dylan Fredricey 40:36
Yeah, there was a volunteer coordinator. And, you know, he, he just saw something in me, you know, and said, If you can do this work, like you can go to school, you know, and so that's exciting. Full of fear, though, right? Driven by 100 forms of fear and self delusion. But someone
Joe Van Wie 40:55
telling you no, that's not true. Your fears aren't true.
Dylan Fredricey 40:59
Yeah. And then the people that I had around me at the time in AAA walked me through all that stuff, right? They took my hand, they walked me through the fear. You know, I registered for classes. And wouldn't you know that I was good at it. Like I made the Dean's list every semester. You know, it's so awesome. Yeah, so as far as drug and alcohol, I didn't start working in the field of drug and alcohol, actually, until I moved here.
Joe Van Wie 41:23
Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. Well, it's great. It's good to have fresh eyes get sleepy in the field, and you're not sleeping. Yeah. Do some good work. Yeah. Maybe to jump to the component. You're working in drug and alcohol. Yeah. And then you see a need, especially in our area to be met with advocating and educating. Is that a good description?
Dylan Fredricey 41:48
Yeah, absolutely. So I, what was a big focus for me all throughout my schooling was the health disparities that LGBT people face, not only when they seek treatment for drug and alcohol, but health care, mental health, whatever, you know, when when LGBTQIA plus people seek community resources, they face unique and challenging barriers to receiving those services. So it's always been a passion of mine ever since I started, you know, working with other people. And when I moved here, I was kind of like, blown away. Yeah. There was no LGBT, like Community Resource Center, or like a brick and mortar place where people could like, come and receive services in
Joe Van Wie 42:38
or community center. Yeah. And yeah, I always stress. You know, in the 40s, we did an assessment the United States of what can impact not only social needs Social Services is emerging organization to it. It's always been the same answer every decade centers, community centers, and they're never always finance. You see this need be met. If I can pause for a second. Just for the simplicity of unpacking it for anyone who doesn't Yeah, under understand. Lesbian Gay, let's, what are the letters? Yeah, what are the definitions? Because, you know, people it's hard to ask something. You're just here every day you think you're supposed to know.
Dylan Fredricey 43:21
Yeah, so alphabet soup, LGBTQ i A plus. So L is lesbian, gay. Bisexual. Transgender. Que is like some people say it's queer. Some Yeah. What is questioning? Either one of those is fine. Okay. That's the que quiere is, you know, it was a derogatory word. Then
Joe Van Wie 43:44
you reverse the pejorative now. It's, it's been
Dylan Fredricey 43:47
like reclaimed. And, you know, the LGBT people use it. It's like,
Joe Van Wie 43:53
three times my grandmother used it in the proper sense. That man is quite queer. Yeah. And it wasn't gay. She meant a strain. Yeah. So queer becomes derogatory pejorative of queer and now it's I think it's when I hear gay men say it's it looks powerful. Yeah, it's like a source of pride.
Dylan Fredricey 44:13
It is absolutely for sure.
Joe Van Wie 44:15
So transgender, in there's, what's there's a couple different distinctions. And I think a lot of people I'm friends with that are, you know, racist or filled with hate? Could easily though be filled with confusion? Sure, especially in this topic over the last couple of years. I think it's being flushed out and understood. Through only one means. Education, no to love in education. Sure. Transgender. What is the difference between gender and sex? Do you are you still encountering people that are confused by this that you would say as seemingly educated kind loving people are confused a what a person's claiming? How would you tell them the difference? There's a huge difference between sex and gender.
Dylan Fredricey 45:10
Yeah, so sex is organs. Right? So it's genitalia, it's, you know, when your baby's born, there's genitalia on the outside, the doctor says it's a boy. Right? And that's what sex is. It's, it's, it's nothing but genitalia, its anatomy. And so like, sex assigned at birth is like what you hear, you know, people talking about gender, is how you identify. So it's how you feel. So,
Joe Van Wie 45:49
in gender is a construct, I think, do you find the confusion is people think they're the same words? Yes, it's a synonym for sex and gender are? And they're not gender is a social term, it was correct. So someone can easily not their gender is different can be different from their sex. Correct. And then they could try to match them.
Dylan Fredricey 46:14
Yeah, you know, that's what we that's what a transgender is, right? When someone's gender identity, you know, how they identify their gender identity and does not match match their sex assigned at birth. So they're like their genitalia.
Joe Van Wie 46:30
You know, my favorite study was one in New Zealand, where gender didn't exist, when you get into maybe a culture from the Bronze Age that flourished untouched. Through, you know, the Victorian age gets discovered to the late 1800s 1900s, there is no gender, women are warriors leaves these tribes in New Zealand. And that's the first time thoughtful and understanding where gender rises up from is culture and structure and how they're, they're different. And then this hierarchy, and this dominant Western one just rose up, and we just assumed it was always this. It's just not true at all, historically, or currently. So I'm always wondering, and that was what I was really curious about when you got here, what what are what challenges do you see when you're teaching that? Or do you feel that it's easy to teach? If it's one on one or a class? What what is challenging about
Dylan Fredricey 47:29
you know, I think I, we have received such a warm welcome, I would say, you know, in this region, you know, a lot of times, and this is something that is interesting and worth looking at, but when I meet people who are from here, that say, you know, oh, this culture shock that you much must have experienced or, you know, this Northeastern pa like, like, it's almost like, people are like, just because it's NEPA, like people are going to discriminate against you. Yeah, yeah. That has not been my experience. Here. You know, I, it's great to hear, yeah, a warm reception, at least from the people who are interested. Right. And that could be skewed because they're reaching out to us, you know, wanting information. But I haven't had like, you know, this.
Joe Van Wie 48:30
Yeah. Battle. Yeah.
Dylan Fredricey 48:31
But, but the point that you're talking about, as far as you know, what's difficult? I, I think it's, you know, what, people, these worldviews that people have been raised with and have been been brought up with, they're hard
Joe Van Wie 48:54
to step on when you're, you know, you're asking someone to see a bubble they live in without leaving the bubble. It's tough. But education is enlightening. So you're good at it. Sure. I just just found how that could be challenging, say, 40 5060. I guess it depends on age demos. I should pause. I'm already assuming people understand what we're talking about. You're out educating. Yes. So let me rewind. We're talking. I jumped into it. Because I'm just I was, yeah, I'm excited to talk about how you're, you're teaching it. Yeah. And people are responding. What What are you teaching? Why are you teaching? Oops, yeah,
Dylan Fredricey 49:41
there we go. So I saw this need. It's something that is, you know, at my core, and friend, Danelle reached out to me she was working at the recovery bank and said, Hey, why don't you come down and And, you know, starting LGBT cues recovery support group at the recovery bank. And through that experience, I met Frank Bullock, and you know, some other people down there and and it was just kind of like this idea, like, Let's form a coalition. And so that idea turned into the forming of NEPA pride coalition and EPA pride coalition. You know, our mission, our objective is to enhance the lives of LGBTQIA plus individuals and families, you know, in the Scranton Wilkes Barre surrounding areas in northeastern Pennsylvania,
Joe Van Wie 50:39
and families like family support, maybe adolescents or young adults coming out. Yes, kind of
Dylan Fredricey 50:47
all of all of the above. You know, we we just want to make the lives for LGBT people in this region.
Unknown Speaker 50:56
Better you are, yeah.
Dylan Fredricey 50:58
And so we've identified that, right now, the best way for us to do that, given the limited resources that we have, is just to provide education and support to providers that are in the region.
Joe Van Wie 51:12
Right. So providers, you're going to treatment centers, Trump nation treatment centers.
Dylan Fredricey 51:17
We're working with NAMI right now to develop specific trainings for their board of directors and their volunteers
Joe Van Wie 51:27
in Nami. So mental health or
Dylan Fredricey 51:28
National Mental Health Alliance. Yep. And then we also participated in a CIT training for that one was geared for first responders. So police, yep, crisis intervention training
Joe Van Wie 51:42
arises, mental health scenario. It's someone of the population that they have more adequate language. Yeah. Different ideas of how to approach them what a background could be, what trauma could look like. And that can mean all the
Dylan Fredricey 51:58
all of those things. Language. Wow, all that stuff. That was actually that was a really good experience that we got to do. It was police officers, firefighters.
Joe Van Wie 52:11
in Scranton, and this year, yeah, it was.
Dylan Fredricey 52:13
Joe Van Wie 52:16
Wyoming County. Yeah, how'd it go? Like,
Dylan Fredricey 52:18
it was great. You know, there was afterwards, you know, people were coming up there. It was interesting. People weren't really asking questions like in the group with first
Joe Van Wie 52:31
responders will turn gay.
Dylan Fredricey 52:35
But afterwards, like there was quite, you know, quite a bit of them came up to us and wanted more information. You know, it was very received very well.
Joe Van Wie 52:45
What will be your biggest surprise, like, you've already gave a beautiful compliment to where I live, and I can be, you know, going to those jokes. Welcome to the region, culture shock, but people are surprised. There's this area's filled with beautiful, intelligent, smart kind people. And humor. Yeah, that just could save the day. Yeah, anything. What's your biggest surprise in educating providers? Say, crisis responders? Has there been any surprises? Did you expect something else? When you moved here teaching people? Were you surprised?
Dylan Fredricey 53:21
Everyone is hungry for this information? Yeah. Like they want it?
Joe Van Wie 53:26
What do you think is driving that?
Dylan Fredricey 53:28
I think it's a, you know, kind of socially, the movement that we've seen over the last 10 years, right. 1015 years as far as like, acceptance. People, more people are coming out. People are realizing that they're their daughter, their friend, their child's friend, their aunt, their uncle, their cousin, whatever, are LGBT people. And they want to know how they can support them and how they can love
Joe Van Wie 53:53
more. Maybe they feel their own shame. Why am I uncomfortable around them when it's someone I care or love about? Or misunder? Chair? Why? What would cause me to feel this way that doesn't feel natural, it feels unnatural to isolate someone or not love people. So what you're doing is vital, and it'll keep continuing what's the next year look like for the coalition? What's your goals?
Dylan Fredricey 54:19
Look, man, things are you know, we've really, you know, kind of, the organization's really kind of gotten some legs of its own. We're working on a couple different initiatives. We'd really like to host kind of like an LGBTQ il a health conference in the region, bringing all of the providers together, you know, offering continuing education credits and things like that. So we're working with a couple of different sponsors potential sponsors of this event. We'd like to get something off the ground this year to do that.
Joe Van Wie 54:55
local sponsors or regional, regional
Dylan Fredricey 54:59
Joe Van Wie 55:01
It's funny, you said that
Dylan Fredricey 55:03
all as well. Yeah,
Joe Van Wie 55:04
I'm on a service for this podcast. I don't do advertising on the podcast. But you know, I still get these things mailed to me and one of them was in enticing in the future. I'll send it to you. It was a take home STD kits. Yeah. That were private. And it looks like a new company, and they're looking to market. Oh, man, this service.
Dylan Fredricey 55:25
Yeah, it's great. So in addition to, you know, kind of bringing people together, providing education, continuing education credits, you know, we're working on some stuff with Penn State, we are, you know, got got a couple things going in that direction. But really big picture, like, we want a community center, we want an LGBTQIA plus Community Resource Center, a place where people can come to get information to obtain referrals, eventually receive services. You know, I would love to have a medical clinic with HIV specialist. And
Joe Van Wie 56:09
so a community resource. Yeah. Almost slash urgent care that meets that population Education Center. Maybe women work. Yeah. Occupational services, all
Dylan Fredricey 56:21
of that recovery. Yeah. All of that.
Joe Van Wie 56:23
Yeah. Wow. So if someone wanted to be involved, like, or wanted to help, well, go to the website, where do I direct them?
Dylan Fredricey 56:32
Yeah. So um, we have a website that is like, it's up, but it's not done yet.
Joe Van Wie 56:39
So the web.
Dylan Fredricey 56:44
So we have we established a fund at the Scranton area foundation. So you can go to the Scranton area Foundation's website and look up their funds. Okay. It's called the NEPA pry coalition fund to this surface. Yeah, sure. And there's, you know, you can make tax deductible donations right there, through the fund would if I'm
Joe Van Wie 57:06
a new provider in the region, in any of the adjoining counties reach you, and we want to trainings,
Dylan Fredricey 57:14
yeah, no staff, NEPA pride email@example.com. You know, shoot me an inquiry.
Joe Van Wie 57:22
What's a training look like? Is that a full day, a couple hours, whatever, whatever you kind of whatever
Dylan Fredricey 57:27
it is. So we're, we developed a needs assessment. So, you know, someone would reach out to us, we'd send them out a needs assessment, they would fill out, you know, what it is that they're looking for? Do they want an hour training? Do they want a five hour training? Do they want a multiple day training, whatever it is, and we are tailoring training specific to the organization. So, you know, just reach out to us and we can start the ball in that process? Absolutely. So important for across all industry, right. So not only, yes, it's us mental health, but we had an HR director from, you know, a local, pretty large local company, who was at the CIT training, very interested, you know, in in what we had going on, so, you know, business across all industry. Yeah.
Joe Van Wie 58:23
So yeah, so it's not limited to I'm glad you made that. Yeah, that's cool. I didn't even consider that. Any other new developments are going on? You might want to mention Yeah, so going on and Taylor. Yeah, yeah. So
Dylan Fredricey 58:37
I, I'm leaving. We've been talking about this, but I currently am a family counselor at Brookdale. I've been there since we opened. You know, going on for years. Brookdale is amazing. The people up there are fantastic. really grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve people up there. And working with families specifically, you know, given my history with kind of family involvement. But I have recently taken a new position. Ladies, thank you very much. So I'm going to be the Director of Business Development for Gemini recovery. We're going to provide outpatient services in the tailor area, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, you know, those are going to be the target targeted levels of care. Excellent.
Joe Van Wie 59:25
I'll post something if you if you want. Yeah,
Dylan Fredricey 59:29
please. Yeah. So I'm really looking forward to this opportunity coming up. Looking forward to being able to able to, you know, engage more with the community. You know that helping people one on one? Yes, but really, my passion is connecting with organizations connecting people together, bringing, you know, people with similar men shins but but also a diverse sense of belonging together for for the better. So, really looking for the opportunity,
Joe Van Wie 1:00:08
Dylan, is there something I should have asked you that I may have forgot?
Dylan Fredricey 1:00:14
No, you know what I think? I think really we've talked about what's most important and and that is that the LGBTQIA plus community faces unique and challenging barriers when they seek treatment and or recovery in the community. And it is the mission of NEPA pride coalition to help mitigate some of those barriers and, you know, really helped create a more equitable system of community service providers. You know, I think, really, that's what
Joe Van Wie 1:00:44
we want. Yeah, Chill out. Chill out, we could all listen, if anyone wants to get in contact with doing you could check the links below. In his bio for trainings, private, commercial or nonprofit. I think everyone could benefit from this surprise. Boy, you don't know even though you have a loving heart. Yeah. Thanks for coming on. Hey,
Dylan Fredricey 1:01:07
thanks for having me.
Joe Van Wie 1:01:12
I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better to find us on all better.fm 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.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai