Destination Change: Episode 8 — Dan Manson

Episode 8: Dan Manson
  • Episode: 8
  • Guest: Dan Manson
  • Date Recorded: September 29, 2023
  • Date Released: October 16, 2023
  • Length: 34 minutes, 59 seconds
  • Questions/Concerns: Contact Us

Dan Manson has been working in the substance abuse treatment industry for over 27 years. His passion is helping addicts not only address their addictions, but dive deep into themselves and their own vision for the future. This includes really discovering who they are inside (often for the first time), who they want to have in their lives and what drives them to want to live a better life.

Dan is the co-Founder, President and Chairman of Elevate Addiction Services. He has appeared on television, radio and in the news. Most recently, he has written a book called Redefining Addiction, Reinventing Recovery: A common-sense guide to America’s biggest problem which addresses the challenges faced not only by individuals in treatment and their loved ones, but by the treatment programs themselves, including their challenges with insurance companies, documenting outcomes and delivering excellent care to its population..

Show Notes

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Podcast Transcript (click to open for the transcript of the episode) -
Angie Fiedler Sutton
Welcome to Destination Change, a podcast where we talk recovery, treatment, and more. I'm your host, Angie Fiedler Sutton, with the National Behavioral Health Association of Providers.

Our guest today is Dan Manson. Dan has been working in the substance abuse treatment industry for over 27 years. His passion is helping addicts not only address their addictions, but dive deep into themselves and their own vision for the future. This includes really discovering who they are inside, often for the first time, who they want to have in their lives, and what drives them to want to live a better life.

Dan is the co-founder, president, and chairman of Elevate Addiction Services. He's appeared on television, radio, and the news. Most recently, he's written a book called "Redefining addiction, reinventing recovery, a common sense guide to America's biggest problem", which addresses the challenges faced not only by individuals in treatment, and their loved ones, but by the treatment programs themselves, including their challenges with insurance companies, documenting outcomes, and delivering excellent care to his populations. Welcome to the podcast, Dan.

Dan Manson
Thank you happy to be here.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
So anybody who's a regular listener knows that I like to start with kind of your personal connection to the recovery industry. You've been working in the industry for over 27 years, how did you get into it kind of your your origin story of what made you decide to do that versus of any of the other possibilities that are out there?

Dan Manson
Well, I was in college at 21 years old, and decided that the way I saw things going was not really the way I wanted my future to be. I had dabbled in drugs and alcohol, I wouldn't consider myself having been addicted, I was just sort of doing the thing that a lot of people in Santa Cruz do when they were in college was was sort of explore some things. And I quickly saw that that wasn't what I wanted my future to be.

I started to hang around sober people. I started to I went to a couple of meetings, and I was involved with the nonprofit, and just decided that sobriety was a good choice for my future and that I enjoyed how people who had struggled were really working to try to better their lives. And I immediately saw that I wanted to help in this endeavor. And I ended up working for a nonprofit for a long time, and eventually got into the rehab space, and was doing administrative work like building websites and things like that. And also then wanted to work with people directly. I got certified as a counselor to counseling, became a case manager, and essentially worked my way up the ranks to then train others and became a administrator of rehabs. And I'm working really in the business end of it for the last 20 years.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
So what about it draws you. Again, why that versus, you know, accounting,

Dan Manson
Yeah, that's a great question. I think it's the human element. You know, I think we all like stories, we all want to root for the underdog, we all want to see the person who has been struggling when in the end. And with addiction treatment and recovery, it's so inspiring to see somebody who feels like they have lost everything, and they've failed, they have all this despair they're going through, then pick themselves up and dust themselves off with the help of counselors or treatment professionals, and, and have hope again, and wants to live a better life and have purpose and passion and want to do it and they may stumble and fall, but they want to keep going forward, they know that their life is worth living.

And to me, it's just really inspiring. It's a heart-led passion, where it's raw, you're not sitting behind a computer screen, even though when you're doing business, you may be doing a lot of that work. But at the end of the day, the heart of what you do, is helping treat people and help them live a better life. And I just, you know, I could go into business and sell things on Amazon or whatever. And that could make a living, but being able to change lives, either directly or indirectly through managing staff who are doing it is just so inspiring to me.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
With your bio, you talked about how you help people dive deep into themselves and your own vision for the future. How do you go about doing that? How do you help someone find who they are inside?

Dan Manson
Yeah, what I believe in what many of my staff believe is that it's not just about not using substances, it's about what led them down that road in the first place. What caused them to feel like they needed to turn over control of their life or their power or that they couldn't deal with life and turn to a substance. And I think that when you really dive deep into not only how to manage these types of issues, but who you really want to become, then their life starts to align. You see the light, shine in their eyes again, where they remember who they were when they were a child and they wanted to become somebody and things like that. When when you re energize that passion and that purpose, they gain much more motivation to stay in recovery because they have real goals that they want to achieve.

You know, I think just asking someone to just not use. And maybe that's the only thing that they can accomplish in the first few days. But over time, they need to have bigger goals to strive for, they need to have a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to live. And when you start to rekindle those things, those deeply ingrained passions and goals, recovery becomes easier because they have something to live for.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Great. What do you feel it means to go through treatment and recovery? And what kind of the barriers are people coming across that you've seen?

Dan Manson
Well, what it means to us at Elevate may be different than other programs. We are a little bit of a different approach, where we don't really believe that addiction is a disease that you can't ever escape from some people sort of slap that label on and they say, Okay, you're an addict. And so now you have that label on you, and you're gonna carry that with you forever. I believe it is something that people need to be aware of. And absolutely, there can be genetic factors or other things, and people's behaviors have to be managed. And if you were out of control with alcohol, you should absolutely avoid it.

But really, I believe it's a deeper problem where these people are broken, for whatever reason. They've come to a point in their life where they became very overwhelmed. And this could have been from anything, it could have been from a relationship that went badly, it could have been from, you know, a childhood that was rough, it could have been from financial ruin, it could have been from one of the any factors. And essentially, they just became broken, and they needed help.

And so when people come into the program, we try to just look at them as a whole person and figure out Yeah, of course, you're here, because you're you, you're abusing drugs or alcohol, but you have a story, what happened in your life, things were going well, at some point, and then something happened. What happened? And then you use drugs and alcohol to try to cope, and maybe numb the pain or whatever. But really, let's peel everything back to where your life went wrong. Let's try to paint the picture of what happened.

So a lot of times, they're people who come into the program, especially if they've been in other treatment, they're used to sort of sitting around and discussing what's happening now with them, hey, I'm here, I'm craving. I'm having difficulty I'm trying to get through one more day. And that's fine that they're verbalizing and vocalizing that and being true, authentic about their feelings. But when they can really dig deeper into where things went wrong, and what happened to them without any judgment, you know, we all have stories, we've all made mistakes in life that nobody is perfect. And when we create a bubble, for lack of a better word, of a place where they can feel safe, where they can reveal who they are, and maybe some of the things that they did in their lives that were that they were ashamed of. And that caused them to want to turn to drugs and alcohol to numb that pain, that we're really getting somewhere with the person.

So to answer your question, I would say that people are coming in confused and broken and lost, and they don't see anything in front of them. We try to get them healthy through detox. And we try to we try to peel back the layers of what happened in their life, so that they can see for themselves what happens and rekindle that passion I was talking about earlier.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Great. Let's talk a little bit about your work with Elevate Addiction Services, you are co-founder. Tell me a little bit about like, what made you decide to start a new organization rather than work within an already existing one?

Dan Manson
Yeah, I found and then the people that I was created to Elevate program with, we found that the sort of traditional model of treatment, what work has worked for a lot of people and has been successful. And there's obviously no disputing that sort of 12 step methods and AA approach and everything has helped, you know, untold numbers of people.

However, we were finding that younger people, the younger generation who were coming in, were having a very difficult time was sort of like the idea of being powerless. And you turn that over to God or a higher power to essentially decide that they have to give up that power and admit that they were powerless, essentially, to drugs or alcohol. And they weren't resonating with that. And we were we were finding trying to find out what they were resonating with.

And techniques that we use it Elevate are things like mindfulness, and meditation. And we use CBT and DBT, which other rehab programs are implementing more as well. And we found that rather than going from a powerless, an approach of powerless and surrendering, that it was more of like, we wanted them to feel empowered, and feel like they were in control of their lives, should they choose to make different decisions in their life, and we're trying to give them their power back. And when we say things in those ways, they would light up. And they would want to align with us and resonate, and they would look at the treatment professionals not as sort of like that teacher who's who they're not trying to get detention or something like that. But they were looking at the treatment team as their coaches who were trying to get them across the finish line.

And so by using a blend of Western and Eastern philosophies, where we you know, we get them to really look inside themselves and it's it's tough for somebody who has been addicted to sit and sit and do mindfulness for even five minutes. But as they do that more and more, they're starting to gain more control over their body, their thoughts. And when they have a negative thought, because we all have negative self talk, then rather than have an instant reaction to Well, I have to go use or I have to leave this place or whatever, by sitting and breathing for five minutes, it's a really effective tool they can take anywhere where they can actually be more in control over themselves. And they are resonating with that. So that was really the motivation behind creating an elevate curriculum that was a different approach.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Great. Speaking of challenges, let's talk a little bit about your book. It addresses the challenges faced not only by individuals, but by the treatment programs themselves. What kind of made you decide to write a book, what caused you to say that this was a topic worth writing about? A little bit about that?

Dan Manson
Sure. Yeah. I tell everybody, I say I wrote the book out of frustration, they kind of give me they kind of give me a funny look. So it goes into a little bit about the history of treatment and how things were when I first came into the industry. And just to give you a little bit of an idea, let's say 27, 28 years ago, nobody was really taking medications. But they were you know, they were coming in for alcohol or cocaine or heroin or math or something like that. They weren't getting medications really in treatment for the most part, and then maybe for detox, they would get some things for detox. And even the culture, even in the 12 step community, for the most part was like, Hey, you don't really need that stuff, you really just need to do what you need to do to stay sober.

And, you know, fast forward to today. And what we're seeing is most most programs are heavily medicating people. So they'll go through detox, and then they'll medicate them more, they'll give them something for their craving something for their anxiety, something to help them sleep. And we're finding that a lot of people are getting over medicated. And while we feel there is an appropriate place for medications, when warranted, we think it's being used too much as a crutch. So we see that that can be a challenge. And then when people come into our program, they are actually a little bit scared at first. But then ultimately, it's refreshing, that they're really peeling back all these medications, they're detoxing off off a lot of these substances, and giving their body a chance to reset and rebalance and get healthy.

So I would say that people are coming in with a strange idea of what treatment really is. And I think that what we're doing is what treatment used to be, like 30 years ago. I also go into a bit about the challenges that parents face. Because we'll often have parents come in and almost try to run the program through us to their children. And they really have to put up boundaries with their parents.

And we'll even get parents who will call and say, hey, my kid is really upset, you better fix this, you know, because we paid you to treat them and you better fix these things. And we know what's happening is the kid is probably craving, he's telling his parents of these things at the rehab aren't going well. And he wants them to bail them out. Right. And so we have to tell them that Listen, your kid is manipulating you, or whatever, like we are regulated by the government, they come in and inspect. We have healthy food here, you know, we don't have problems that he may be talking about. But please understand that two weeks ago, you were begging for your kid who was screaming at you breaking things, stealing things from you, you're begging us to take them. And then two weeks later, you're calling us screaming at us that we better fix this. Well, recognize that behavior is what's causing this, that is what caused them to lash out about that you have to put up boundaries, we want to help you do that.

So sort of breaking that cycle of this codependent relationship. You know what, when the parents that it goes back to when I hate to say it, but you know, maybe when the kid was eight years old, and they were throwing a fit, and they were screaming at their parents, and you just give them what they wanted to be quiet because you had to get to work and things like that, they start to learn that that's how they get what they want. And then you see 40 year old people in treatment throwing a fit like they're a child, and then their poor parents at 65 years old, they don't know what to do. And so we have to educate the families as much as we educate the addicted people. And that can be challenging too, because at first they just want us to fix them. And it's just not something that can be fixed like that. It's we have to heal these relationships, and it goes very deep.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Well, what about some of the challenges the treatment programs and you talk a little about challenges with insurance companies, documenting outcomes, that get us stuff?

Dan Manson
My favorite topic. Yes. You know, the system. You know, I think a lot of people could talk about the system, the healthcare system is broken. You hear you hear this all the time. And that's a very general statement. What I would say is for a treatment center provider, what we're finding is that insurance companies, we're heavily relying upon insurance companies because people want to use their insurance, not everybody can afford, you know, 40 or $50,000 to go into a treatment program. So we go in network with the insurance companies, we sign contracts, we agree to adhere to their regulations and we are able to take insurance. We're proud of that because we want to help as many people as we can.

However, what we're finding is that insurance companies -- their for profit entities and this is America. That's okay. But at the same time, we are trying to treat people and we're trying to save people's lives and when they want to not pay the providers for things that are minor, it really puts an impact into the program's ability to help people. And I'll be very specific with that.

So we have an insurance provider, I won't, I won't name them. But we have an insurance provider that we have a contract with, they flagged one of our facilities as having some administrative paperwork issues. So they stopped paying us actually about seven months ago. And for most places, that would just put you out of business to not be able to receive income from one of your contracts. For seven months. No one died, no one was hurt. This was paperwork, this was sort of like you don't like that your treatment plan and your notes are not really connected together. It's literally administrative stuff. And so, you know, you think about it, and you think, is this insurance company really willing to put a provider out of business over this kind of things?

And I think to myself, probably, they probably would, they probably don't care, they are responsible to their shareholders, and they need to make their profits. And this is some of the ways that they do that. They can withhold money. And they can, they can starve us while that we're jumping through all these hoops to dot the i's where they want them to be dotted and crossed the T's where they want them to be cross. And they will do that under the guise of oh, well, this is what's better for the patients, we're making sure you deliver good patient care. Meanwhile, they're not visiting the facility, they're not checking our outcomes, they're not seeing the results that we're actually getting, they're just very robotically deciding that we are not up to their standards, and they're going to withhold our money.

So we are not the only rehab that happens with. In fact, I was actually just having a conversation recently with Joanna Conte, who runs a VISTA research group who actually tracks outcomes in facilities. We've been working with VISTA for a long time. Now. She's great. She's been measuring our outcomes. And she said Dan, you know, I've talked to maybe four or five people this year, who had the same thing happened to them, and they're not here anymore. Like their businesses, their businesses, have literally gone under. And again, for administrative type stuff, hey, if somebody if there's people be hurt, or if people are dying, or major things are happening, I am not opposed to an insurance company saying, hey, wait a minute, we need to look at you before we are going to pay you any more, we need to make sure you're good.

So that is not the case. This seems to be a financially driven decision. Meanwhile, we've seen other rehab programs who are much more for lack of a better word sloppy, maybe there have been some people who have passed away in their facility and stuff, and they seem to be getting paid. So the frustration by somebody like me is that, you know, we're trying to really do the right thing. We're measuring our outcomes, we're working really hard. People are doing well in our program. And yet you have no problems stroking a pen and strangling our money, because of whatever reason, you want to hold back profits for your shareholders.

So, you know, I know that sounds like a rant, and it is, but it's not unfounded. It's what I'm seeing in the industry, it's what's happening to us directly, could have impacted us could have put us out of business. And those things need to be changed. I mean, imagine if a hospital because they didn't have their paperwork in place, all the sudden just, you know, got strangled by the insurance companies, and they had to shut all their doors. And that's essentially the same, the same thing. So it is a frustration point, I do go into it in the book, and I do talk about how I think it could get better if we work together.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Great. What kind of resources do you yourself use in your work to help better run your organization that you can recommend to others?

Dan Manson
Oh, well, we have several models that we have, we basically built a system in place of training our own staff, we use CCAPP for training all of our counselors. As you know, we're very aligned with CCAPP. And so that's been great for us to train all of our counselors and credentialed staff.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
If someone came to you and said they wanted to start their own treatment facility, what would be some of the tips and tricks that you would give them? What What advice would you give?

Dan Manson
Yeah, okay, well, I would not reinvent the wheel, because I had to learn everything the hard way, coming from the my past. Resources, like your organization have been extremely helpful in terms of setting guidelines and giving advice and procedures for how to do things. Harry Nelson, who you've had on the podcast, one of the founders of NBHAP has done a lot of work in this area where he is basically taking people who want to help and deliver care and maybe counselors, but they don't really know how to run the business end of things. And he's provided what is needed for people to know, in a way that is very structured and easy to comprehend and understand. While we were already had sort of learned a lot of those things the hard way, as people, new people coming into the industry, new counselors coming on staff and things like that. Those resources on tools are very good.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Would you say that the insurance challenge is your biggest challenge that you have running the organization? Are there different challenges as well?

Dan Manson
I would say the two main challenges for not only Elevate but other rehabs that I've spoken to are twofold are getting paid by insurance companies and getting people into the program. It sounds crazy. If you think about it, because there's so many addicted people out there. But it is a very competitive industry. So you need to have people out there talking about your program, you need to have a web presence, you need to run ads and things like that, or you need to have a niche around your area to get people into the program. People go on Google when they need when they need help. And they just get bombarded with 1000s of ads and websites and pick, you know, everything they don't, they don't really know what to do where to go. And, and those who have a lot of money and are clever at getting to the top, you know, sort of tend to dominate, we see more and more bigger companies get rolled up and private equity has come into the space, and they're buying a lot and so on a lot of money at marketing. And so they're taking a lot of the market share there.

And so for somebody who may be a smaller end company, it's difficult to compete with that. So they have to really be diligent in talking to people in their local community, and getting the word out about themselves. But it would be really great if we just had a waiting list a mile long. And every time someone completed a program, another person could come right in. But that's not the case. It really is, whether you're a nonprofit or a for profit, it is a business that you have to run. And you have to be mindful of those expenses while running your facilities.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Well, speaking of getting people in and you talked about it, it's hard for people to know which company to go to. What would you say are some of the other barriers to moving forward and treatment that people come across that you've noticed?

Dan Manson
Well, a lot of times, there's just lack of resources is obvious. And then a lot of times people have been addicted for some time. And they and they just don't have any resources. And you know, unfortunately, the government is not paying for all people, that rehabs I know that there's other countries where there's money that goes towards that and rehab, rehabs are, are funded. I know that there are some that are but for the most part they aren't.

And so I really wish that there was a way to sit down. And actually what I go into in the book, and I'm going to do a little pitch for this fear is that I talk about outcomes, and why they are so important. And I said, Well look, if we would just incentivize the programs that got the best outcomes, either with government funding, or with insurance companies would pay higher rates, then all of a sudden, the industry would start to do whatever things were necessary to get better results. Right now, if you have two rehabs in one county, they're probably get paid the same rates, one could have a 1% success rate, and one could have a 30% success rate and they get paid the same rates. Nothing is based on how successful you are, or a government grant could be given out. And it's given to, you know, a readout based on their zip code. And it doesn't matter how effective you are.

So my main pitch in the book is that I think we should decide to look at success and outcomes as the number one thing to consider. And I say that as a program that works very hard to have high outcomes. But even if another program had better outcomes than I did, and we're getting more money or higher rates, you know, what I would do is find out what they were doing, why is that so successful? How are they getting such high outcomes, and I would try to replicate that. And you know, who wins is the addicted people that the clients. They get better outcomes, everybody wins. And I think rather than looking at this as an issue that, hey, it's addiction, you roll the dice, no one knows if you're really going to make it or not, I think we should recognize that there are certain programs and people who deliver services that are better than others, just like any other business or anything, and we should try to incentivize people to do better. And if we were able to do that, then every government dollar would go for insurance companies dollars would go further, because people would be going back to hospitals less, right, and relapsing less, and all these kinds of things. And I think that the way the system is now it is not that way. And if we were to be an outcome driven approach, and sort of everybody wouldn't embrace that approach, then people would get on board. That's my hope. And that's my goal.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
NBHAP has peer recovery membership level. So I asked this partly for those who are pure recovery people, you'd said that, you know, when people Google, they get all sorts of responses, how would you recommend kind of what kind of questions should they be asking to narrow down that an appropriate treatment center?

Dan Manson
Well, I think they should look at what is important to them. Some people are religious, right, and they may want a program that is a religious based program. So they should search for that. I think that they should look for programs that have credentials, and are you know, essentially sponsored by accrediting agencies. We are Joint Commission accredited, so you should look for a company that has those types of credentials. You know, obviously, if they were certified with the organization such as yours, so that bodes well. Anybody can, I don't want to say anybody, but nearly anybody could open a rehab really, but really, to be successful to get Joint Commission Accreditation to be blessed by organizations. It takes work and it takes trust. And so I think they should be looking for those things when they're when they're looking for rehab. But first, what kind of philosophy are they looking for? And second, can this program be trusted and why? Who is saying that they are accredited or whatever? A good program that they are worthy my dollars in my son's life or whatever?

Angie Fiedler Sutton
And what is your recommendation if you do have a relative or a friend that is in need of help, but they are not saying they believe that to kind of help them believe that they need to go into rehab.

Dan Manson
Yeah, I would say that oftentimes, you can do an intervention that can be successful you work with a professional intervention is to try to convince the loved one that they need treatment, talking to a professional is always the best way to go. Mothers and fathers and spouses, there's so much history there. And there's so much guilt, and there's so much shame that the addicted person may very well know they need help. But they're so ashamed because they know that if they accept treatment, it's going to cost their parents more money or something like that where it's going to put a hardship on the spouse because they're not going to be there to help raise the kids or whatever, you got to realize that oftentimes these people realize that they need help, but they are ashamed to admit it, because they feel like it's going to make it harder on the loved ones.

And so I think that it's really important to stress that it's okay, we can rally around and we can help pay bills or help with the kids or help do whatever is needed to do so that you can get the help you need. Because we know that deep down, you're a great person, you just you just need help right now. And maybe down the road, I would need help in another situation, you can help me. So I think it's very important to have that type of attitude, rather than a judgmental type of attitude where you know, you're, you're screwing everything up, you need to fix yourself and things like that, because they already know it. They already hate themselves at this point and to try to continue to feed that is sort of kicking a dog when they're down.

So talking to trusted people, almost everybody knows somebody who has been to rehab or is who is in recovery. So I think talking to your own trusted network is a good idea. Yes, you can go to the nearest, Yes, you can call programs. And I will say this, even as someone who owns a program is that, you know, if you call a program, we're going to talk to you, but we're going to hope that you're going to come into our program, right? Of course, we're going to try to sell our program as the best because we actually do honestly genuinely believe it isn't less chance of success. But realize that anytime you speak to someone who works for a program there is that there is that conflict there. But there may be other professionals, counselors, doctor, somebody who you really trust, or someone who's been through it, maybe maybe your best friend's son has been to rehab five times. And then the fifth one, they went somewhere. And that's really the one that resonated with them. You know, they're sober for a long time. Now they're doing fantastic. Talk to somebody like that.

And the good news about addiction being less stigmatized is that more people are talking about it. Celebrities are saying, Hey, I had an addiction issue, and it's making it safer for people to come out. It wasn't that way 30 years ago, people were ashamed of it, because it was one of those things you didn't talk about. And it's it's really great that people are willing to talk about it now. And they're coming clean about it. And I don't want to say it's very common, but it is getting more and more common to a lot of people that you know, adults are saying, Yeah, I struggled when I was younger. And here's what I did. And the more that people are talking about it, the better it is because it doesn't seem like it's something you have to be quite so ashamed of.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
One of the things that we work here at NBHAP is to kind of ease the stigma of addiction treatment and whatnot.

Dan Manson
Very important.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Exactly. Outside of outcomes. We've talked a little bit about this already. But the recovery capital, the ability to basically the resources necessary to achieve or maintain recovery is something that we've talked about before on the podcast, and something that we promote a lot on NPHAP just because it's the theme of our yearly conference, what would you say are some of the recovery capital resources you use?

Dan Manson
Well, I think that it's always gonna come down to the very closest people to the person in recovery. Usually, it's their family, sometimes families had can have a toxic relationship. And so you have to be aware of that. And that's something we manage. When people go through treatment, we manage the relationship between the mother and son, and all these things have sometimes parents are also addicted themselves. So there's all these things you have to watch out for. But the core people that someone hangs out with the sort of the five people that they associate with are probably the biggest determination of if someone is going to, to remain in recovery or is to relapse. If they're surrounding themselves with other people who are in recovery. People like you know, recovery, there's recovery coaches, there's people who are who really want to see other people get better, and can be motivating factors.

If you feel like you're on an island, it's going to be very, very difficult to make it. You need to have a strong support group of people around you. You need to have ideally you would be doing some sort of work on yourself whether you're doing an outpatient program, or you're doing some counseling or you're doing some type of personal work that's going to continue your journey. You're never done when it comes to getting better. So I would say a strong recovery network continual self betterment, using resources that are aligned to help you stay in recovery, as well as associate with with individuals and organizations that have that same mission. If you kind of dive into that world, and a lot of people you know, in the 12 step, meaning that they would say you wanting to keep going to meetings keep going to meetings, keep associating. That's great. As a proponent, more proponent of that if people don't go to meetings, they have to have some other sort of support. They have to be they cannot do this thing on their own. They have to use all the resources they possibly can have the best chance of success.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Now, your bio talked about how you've been on television, radio, and in the news, what would you say is your favorite topic recovery related that you like to talk about?

Dan Manson
I really talk I really what I enjoy talking about, I don't enjoy talking about insurance companies and things like that, believe it or not, I enjoy talking about purpose. To me, purpose is one of the strongest things that you can do with somebody is to reignite their purpose or help them find a new purpose. So many people go through life and a lot of these people who are on drugs, they've given up on their dreams. And that's really sad. And they think that their dreams are unattainable, because they're using. And I would like to say if you could reengage in those dreams you may not want to use anymore. And I think that people don't realize how powerful igniting someone's passion in someone's purpose is in life, when someone is living their their purpose and living their dream, they're almost unstoppable. And a lot of times, they don't believe that when they come into treatment, they think that there's no way I'll ever have a relationship with my mom, again, there's no way I'll ever get that job back. I'll never, you know, run my own company, again, like I was doing before I've lost it all I've given up, it's too late for me. And when we can change that mindset in them, and get them excited again and realign with their purpose. To me, that's the thing that's that makes me so emotional.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
beautiful. Now, before we go into where people can find you, was there something that you wanted to talk about that we haven't already or something that you thought I was going to ask, but I haven't.

Dan Manson
I think it's important for people to realize that there are a lot of different options when choosing a rehab. I think a lot of people think that 12 step is the only thing out there. And that is obviously the most popular, but more holistic programs and alternative programs are coming around. And I think that what's important is if you have someone who is struggling, a loved one who's maybe tried rehab before, and they're still struggling to maybe they didn't make it or whatever, it doesn't mean necessarily that all rehab failed, it could be that that particular philosophy didn't quite align with them. And it's sometimes it may take a couple of tries. That is true. I mean, everybody who's done recovery for a while knows this. And not everybody gets it the first time.

But if it's a program that they really, really resonated with, and they thought was extremely helpful, they may want to go back to that program, if it's a program that maybe they didn't feel like it really addressed the issues they needed to address, there are other types of treatment. it doesn't mean that they went the other program failed, it means that maybe it wasn't the right fit. So just like you know, you can get fit by doing CrossFit or hiking a mountain or doing Jazzercise or doing yoga. Like there's a million ways to get fit, the thing you want to do is get healthy, right. So there may be many paths to reach that goal. And with treatment, I see that as the same thing. And I say that as a program that's running something that's different than the norm. So I would just say that, that if that if rehab didn't resonate with your loved one, it may be that it wasn't the right the right method.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
Well, that's exactly where the destination change concept comes from is the idea that like I said, recovery is a journey, it which means that there are inevitable fallbacks as well, as you know, you can go very different several different ways to get to your end result. So that is exactly what I was hoping for. If people want to hear more about you or get a hold of you, how would they do that?

Dan Manson
Sure, the easiest way is just go to the website, www dot elevate You can type Either one, elevate or .org to both go there. And you'll see about our program, you'll see my bio, how to reach out to us how to contact us. You can get a free copy of my book if you want. We're just getting them away because we just want people to get the information. And yeah, that's the easiest way to reach out to me. I just want to say thanks for having me on. Thanks for allowing me to have this platform to speak and thank you for all the work that you all do. It's very appreciated.

Angie Fiedler Sutton
You've been listening to Destination Change. Our guest today was Dan Manson. Thanks for being here. Our theme song was "Sun Nation" by keetsa and used via Creative Commons licensed by the Free Music Archive. Please consider rating and reviewing the podcast on Apple podcasts so we can get more listeners. In the meantime, you can always see more about the podcast including show notes and where else to listen on our website If you have any questions for the podcast, please email us at info Thanks for listening.


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