Bargain For Your Life

Not so much anymore, but from time to time I get a request to work with a client who is dealing with addiction. And I while I am a firm believer that everyone should be afforded treatment regardless of their financial means, if they have the resources, they should have skin in the game.

For years I worked with a very high-end company dealing with people coming from a place of privilege. Extremely well off, they would try and negotiate the fee for service. After multiple attempts, their insurance would no longer pay for addiction services, or they would pay for a 10 day inpatient facility. Just enough time to medically stabilize them, but zero time to really begin the recovery process. For that reason, we would be contacted for a high level hands on service. From professional athletes, CEO’s to celebrities, many just didn’t want to come out of pocket. What I found interesting is that those who were willing, often enjoyed greater results. That having skin in the game placed a value on their effort.

This really became apparent when I would work with young adults and the family was covering the bill. In many of these cases, there was little respect for the process. Yet, when I would go into the prison system and work as a chaplain, I would routinely meet men and women being discharged who were willing to do anything to get help. I would get them plugged into a meeting or home group and they would make the coffee, set up chairs, work the hotline or give someone a ride to and from. That was the only currency they had. They gladly paid and I would gladly help them. Those who did not bargain for their life and had skin in the game, almost always did better in their recovery.

I once was working with a business owner with multiple relapses. They were very well off {7 figures a year well off.} They could have very easily afforded any treatment facility in the world. They opted for minimal services, and a decade later are still in active addiction. The conversation every time we would re-engage was about money. In reality it’s not about money at all. But respect for the process and commitment.

I have had clients who have had a drinking problem with a 20.00 dollar a day bar tab. When the question of money came up, they quickly realized that by not drinking, they suddenly had 600.00 a month to apply towards treatment. The person who didn’t hesitate often excelled. Likewise, the same for the person who made every meeting without being court ordered.

Money should not be an excuse when to comes to treatment. Why bargain with your life? Those who have skin in the game {monetarily or not}, almost always achieve better results. You have to give something to get something. I have heard many of my clients say “If it didn’t hurt, I didn’t respect it.” When it comes to treatment. I hope it hurts. Hurts your pockets or hurts your pride. It just needs to hurt. We have to fight through the worst days to get to our best. And it is next to impossible to do that if you don’t have skin in the game, and you do not respect the process.

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