Start Your AdventureThe National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates the cost of substance abuse to exceed $700 Billion per year.

Established programs for addictive behavior range in cost from ~$4,700.00 annually for methadone treatment, ~$24,000.00 per year for imprisonment, to more than $50,000.00 for treatment in a private clinic.

For every dollar invested in addiction treatment programs, US society experiences a reduction in criminal justice and public health care costs ranging from ~$4.00 to more than ~$12.00.

 

The overall ecoCost of Substance abusenomic loss resulting from addictive behavior on the labor force is more than ~$193 Billion annually, with an accompanying double-digit effect on unemployment.

 

 

 

Economic Costs

The economic cost of drug abuse in the United States was estimated at $193 billion in  2007.   The last estimated value includes:

  • $120 billion in lost productivity, mainly due to labor participation costs, participation in drug abuse treatment, incarceration, and premature death
  • $11 billion in healthcare costs – for drug treatment and drug related medical consequences; and
  • $161 billion in criminal justice costs, primarily due to criminal investigation, prosecution and incarceration.

Labor Force

  • in 2009, the majority (67%) of current drug users aged 18 or older were employed, either full-time (48%) or part-time (19%), with unemployed accounting for 13% and the remaining 21% not in the labor force.
  • Among the full-time workers aged 18 or older, nearly one in 12 (8%) reported  past-month (current) use of an illicit drug in 2009.  Unemployed workers were twice and likely – one in six (17%) – to report current drug use in 2009.

Turnover and Absenteeism

  • From 2002 to 2004, full-time workers aged 18-64 who reported current illicit drug use were more than twice as likely as those reporting no current illicit drug use to report they had worked for three or more employers in the past year (12.3% vs. 5.1%).
  • In the same period, full-time workers who were current drug users were more likely to report missing two or more workdays in the past month due to illness or injury, when compared with workers who were not current users (16.4% vs. 11.0%).
  • Full-time workers who were current drug users also were about twice as likely as non-users to skip one or more days of work in the past month (16.3% vs. 8.2%).

School Performance

  • Students who are not current Marijuana users are more than twice as likely to report an average grade of “A” than those who are current users of Marijuana (30.5% vs. 12.5%).
  • College students that use prescription stimulant medications for non-medical purposes typically have lower grade point averages and are more likely to be heavy drinkers and users of other illicit drugs.  They also are more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for dependence on alcohol and marijuana, skip class more frequently, and spend less time studying.

There are many programs already funded that work to provide all levels of professional social work and psychological or psychiatric counseling to addicts of all types. However, none of these organizations are specifically mandated to provide long-term coaching and mentoring of addicts who have begun their recovery process and need coaching and peer-to-peer guidance with areas of their lives that can help them remain on their path to recovery. Dinnda’s Journey to Recovery (http://www.dinndasjourneytorecovery) is specifically designed to help addicts identify work and hobby areas of their lives in which they have an interest and mentor them to use and improve what related skills they have to sustain those activities and enrich their life experiences to keep them on their road to recovery.

Dinnda’s Journey to Recovery is dedicated to helping those dealing with addictions to find a path to recovery that is both personally satisfying and enriching.

 

Primary Objectives

In order to bring awareness to Dinnda’s Journey to Recovery, DJR, the organization will promote its mission and goals through its “Two Tears” branded products, specifically its books, jewelry and art. By wearing the jewelry, people affected by addiction will be able to recognize one another publicly and celebrate their choice to pursue recovery. “Two Tears – Symbol of Addiction to Recovery” products will also foster understanding and recognition of the pervasiveness of the various different types of addiction. The Two Tears brand is meant to instill hope and foster societal consciousness for the need to engage in prevention by those who have suffered as a result of addiction and who have started their journey to recovery. By displaying the Two Tears Symbol of Addiction to Recovery, we are inviting our children and circle of friends and loved ones to engage in a dialogue about addiction and promote the message for others to be careful in their life choices and think twice before engaging in any type of addictive behavior.

It is our hope that DJR programs will reduce the number of people experiencing the destructive outcome irresponsible and addictive behavior, whatever the form or activity, substance abuse, gambling, pornography. Ultimately public policy in the form of early education, treatment and associated laws, in combination with various forms of advocacy, will have a positive impact on the plight to our fellow citizens and the wellbeing of our nation.

Another objective of this endeavor is aimed at low and moderate income individuals seeking to establish stability and continue their path forward in their Journey to Recovery. Our goal is to provide assistance to these people for their qualified work and hobby projects, those that will foster their continuing recovery. In order to achieve that objective we are establishing a network of “Coaching Centers”, staffed with volunteer coaches and mentors who are interested in providing their knowledge, talent, effort and time to help those seeking to establish and grow their plans for recovery.

 

DJR is not intended as a substitute for either self-help or treatment programs. We are instead, seeking to work in collaboration with those endeavors. DJR will assist our clientele in developing their competencies with work and life skills related to their journey. In addition, DJR will help establish additional social support networks for our clientele, promoting their activities in many interest areas, including: hobbies, recreational activities, and vocational skills. Our hope is that this will significantly enhance the probability of a more stable and satisfying recovery process.   There is no substitute for people who can say, “Yes I am in recovery but “, “I sail”, “I quilt”, “I paint”, “I repair antique cars or motorcycles”, or,……… any of the myriad of activities that our mentors and coaches will seek to find a match for the client. Which one of us does not need support and direct assistance when we are taking a new direction with our lives’? A coach, encouraging us in our chosen journey, one who is not restricted by the walls of a therapy office can act as a bridge, and mentor us in whatever that path may be. A dedicated coach who is embedded in the community and knows the people well is most apt to make this happen, even with only a modicum of funding.   The additional perspective of developing life skill sets through longer term interactions with the coach and appropriate members of the community represents our hope for jointly developing the program within the community and the client’s sense of competency and pride of accomplishment. The participation and experience of the coach and community will improve the client’s longer term performance in their work and vocational pursuits.

One of our longer term objectives, in terms of a client’s time to a prolonged recovery, is to engage in the use of contracted “psycho-drama” to address the traumas associated with addictions. The use of this group technique, when properly engaged, will allow for trauma to be processed in the form of a critical incident debriefing. This will provide victims of addiction with one additional tool to enhance their recovery. The nurturing group process is most difficult to replicate with individual therapy.   Our plan would be to initiate this process later in 2017, once our earlier programs are well entrenched.

 

 

Marketing of the Endeavor

Our Marketing program will focus on the development and use of our Web site, its Blog and Social Networking links. The Marketing program will have several primary activities designed to create brand awareness, demand for our products, and, social awareness:

  1. Grant Requests for various forms of Addiction
  2. Publication of the “Two Tears” Trilogy
  3. The donation and gift program for “Two Tears” jewelry
  4. Direct sales of products including “Two Tears” jewelry and products or services from our client base
  5. The DJR Blog
  6. The DJR Community Education Program

 

In addition, we hope to gain local community and political recognition so that prominent members of the community will wear “Two Tears” products to help promote our work.

DJR has already commenced an extensive written grant request program with the help of outside     consultants who specialize in this area. A minimum of 16 grant requests will be submitted in the initial phase of development of our marketing program.

The books of the “Two Tears” trilogy will be published in sequence. They incorporate a story line related to addiction and are designed to act as an educational guide for addicts and their significant others as they address the plight of addiction. These books offer an interesting vehicle for dealing with setting boundaries and limits for the addict and their circle of friends, relatives and caregivers.   There is a synergy between the books and the growing popularity of the, “ Two Tears Symbol” that we trust will enhance the brand awareness and increase our donations and funding.

The “Two Tiers” jewelry will be offered on our Web site as a gift to our donors who will receive a tax deduction for their monetary donations. In addition, these items will also be presented in a Web Store format for those who would simply want to purchase them.

In addition, the Web Store will be used to promote and sell those items produced by our clients. This will encourage the efforts of our clients to continue with their work, thus improving their chances for recovery. The Web Store and our brand will gain greater prominence with the realization that our clients with addictions have contributed their own products. A competitive commission, less the store expenses for handling and shipping and DJR’s share, would be paid directly to the client who produced the product sold. Anticipate this to be approximately 30%.

When we have established our Web presence and our products with a firmer financial base we will procure an advertising firm to lend us consultation and support. We will endeavor to follow the philosophy of using voluntary staff as much as possible to promote our venture so as to provide ever increasing services to our clientele.

We will incorporate and host an interactive Blog on the Web site that will deal with issues that emerge when families have concerns and questions associated with living with persons who are experiencing addictions. The Blog will also host a Resource List allowing for referrals to be made to professional community health programs that meet competitive standards of care while providing cost effective and efficient treatment.

DJR will provide an umbrella Education Program. We will host guest speakers from our coaching staff that will be available to engage in appropriate presentations for civic groups, health, religious and educational organizations. In some case an honorarium may be procured. In addition, DJR will provide a community organization social work intern who will be dedicated for a full year to present our program to local organizations.

 

 

Establishing the Structure

A, ”Coaching Center” had been started as a pilot program at the present location in Quincy, MA. By the end of the 2015 calendar year we expect the coaching center to be in full operation. . All administrative tasks for each of the Coaching Clinics that are established will be performed initially by members of the Board of Directors who will staff during the piloting an initial growth of the, “ Coaching Centers”. The first of the Coaching Centers will be located in Massachusetts and then expanding in accordance with funding. Each center, when fully operational, will have a lead coach who will provide functional and administrative leadership for the line staff of 12 coaches. The coaches will be available to provide services in a ratio of one coach working with up to 12 clients. The coaches will orient the client with regard to expectation both of the client and our program. All policies and procedures will be explicated and a signed contract to that effect. The principle duty of the coach is to provide support through motivational interactions assessing the client’s strengths and weakness and examining past efforts to engage in activities and vocational pursuits. A plan will be developed after meeting several times to explore the best fit between the client and coach in pursuit of mastering an activity or vocational objective. A coach will work with as many mentors as they are able to find whom the client feels most comfortable working with. These mentors provide services as volunteers sharing their knowledge and skills. Unlike the coach, their commitment of time is far less limited. They may have a passion for specific areas of interest they are willing to share along with the accompanying social support network, such that long term friendships may develop for the client. The mentors will contract through a verbal agreement with the client to provide various amounts of time to each project in which they are involved. It will be clear the mentor can end the contract without cause and remain in their capacity if they feel the relationship is not a good match.  They are considered part of the organizational structure of volunteers within DJR and will be known as,” Friends of DJR”. They are considered good Samaritans and are not reimbursed for their services. While trained and oriented by DJR they are not supervised in any manner by DJR.   They will be celebrated by persons in recovery for providing the opportunity to enhance their competency be it learning to play an instrument, learn quilting, painting to mention three of possibly hundreds of interest areas. They are free to develop whatever relationship they may have with the client independent of any expectation of DJR.

It is hoped they may develop a personal relationship with the recovering persons for whom they have agreed to provide services. It is further expected that in a great many cases the client will come to be integrated in the same social support network of the mentor.

The coaching center to be fully successful will be expected to provide services to a full complement of 144 clients and have a turnover rate of 100% per year. This allows each clinic to serve approximately 200 clients a year. It is expected that each episode of financial support for an interest area will be compensated at a maximum amount of $450.00. The sum provided will be dependent upon the budget of each Center. The Center will provide prorated funding while itself maintaining no less than half the funding available for each active client activity only. No additional clients will be accepted to start any funded activity if there is not enough money to complete the project and its funding. However, unfunded activities with coaches and mentors may be undertaken with the consent of the lead coach.

Each DJR Centers will be expected to service a geographically sensible ring of approximately 12 towns in the initial development of the units. This concentration will be reviewed dependent upon the combination of receptivity, financial support, demand, and utilization. The focus will be to establish a new DJR Centers for each of the adjacent cities.   There will be five DJR Centers under each lead coach. They will divide their time among five of the regional offices. Having said this, we would also like to support this concept with our being collaborative with religious organizations since it is possible they would also have an interest in establishing their own Coaching Centers with oversight by our Lead Coach such that they would adhere under our auspices in accord with policy and procedures and reporting directly to DJR. The total number of Coaching Centers in a state will report back under the auspices of the State Coordinator for DJR.   Each state office will centralize all functions and provide all administrative services for payroll, benefits, contracting, reporting for grant compliance, HR. etc. The State Coordinator will be a full- time employee and will be the only person who will be a licensed clinician. They will provide leadership for all administrative services, have weekly meetings with each of the lead coaches, prepare weekly reports of activities and assume responsibility for any problematic issues and work in conjunction with Board of Directors or a committee appointed by the Board for this purpose.

The State and Local Lead Coach Office space will be provided by a combination of working out of one’s residence or finding low cost space expected to be provided by other nonprofits, and, might, for example, include various churches, health or other religious organizations. The space required for coaches to see clients will be sourced at the Coaching Center where clients are initially seen. It is understood there will not be any contractual agreements for space other than a working relationship between the host agency and DJR.   Given the fact this is not a clinical endeavor, clients and their coaches will be expected to see each other in public places.

An active more formalized Department of Development is planned with the expectation to staff a full-time position in the fall of 2015. This position is to start on a voluntary basis and lead to a salary position paid at an hourly rate, hopefully starting at the beginning of 2016.

 

The Projected Growth of the Coaching centers

Given the variables involved in fund raising, we can only speculate on future revenue but persistent efforts should lead to steady growth. It is understood that this initiative is innovative and without any similar program with which to compare. Therefore, it may require more time to be understood and appreciated by the public, donor communities, governments and other community groups. Once we are able to establish a track record for these initial DJR Clinics, we expect we will be able to secure more funding and attract a greater number of individuals willing to invest themselves in this endeavor. It is possible that growth will be slow in the kickoff phase of the organization. It bears repeating that DJR is a social networking response to the issues of addiction. It is not a clinical endeavor from the stand point of psychiatric interventions. It is a systemic and structural intervention which more often than not when dealing with addiction one according to the work of Sangillini a more proactive and directive approach need to be taken. However, we expect the organization, given its intended ties to the community and its leaders, to be a very valuable adjunct to both clinicians and self-help programs. It has already been given a most positive reception in each of the five public forums it has been presented in.  Growth may develop slowly but will, over time, reach communities all across the country. We however would not be surprised that the synergy created by the smaller piece of jewelry along with the release of the book would start what we would be the hope of a cascade of interest. We have written press released an currently have access on Facebook to a few thousand people. The level of support is most impressive. We have looked to several national organizations to link up with and are hopeful of finding partners that we can collaborate with. We are not adverse to sharing the right of the trade marked piece and for that matter that of the service line so long as we are part of the management team growing this program.

We have received funding of fifty thousand dollars with approximately thirty being an unsecured loan. We are grateful to the benefactor. We similarly have had donations for products on the on-line store of a few thousand dollars. We are most confident that sustainable growth can ramp upwards during the next two to three years.   We however have developed contingencies to manage a growth rate of up to 400% if the funding is received.   This would allow us to establish up to eight Coaching Centers in Mass along with developing one in each state with the State Coordinator and lead coach taking a sliding scale in accord with number of Coaching staff and clients engaged. In order to establish compensation it would be a ratio of projected number of Coaching Center projected to be developed in ratio of what has been developed.

With projected growth to be established via starting the Coaching Center in on of the major cities in each of the population centers and then developing our concentrically the local number of incidents of care developed by each state would give us the factor of need and from that the development of the coaching centers needed.   We would use the SAMHSA statistics to help out by region relative to the determination of need in each geographic district.

 

SUD

Government and the public sector generally understand that valuable capital and human resources have been and continue to be expended with varying success rates throughout the various medical therapy disciplines.   The services of DJR are designed to greatly enhance the success rate of those seeking a fulfilling and sustainable sobriety.   DJR is able to provide its services at such low cost due to the big hearts and generous efforts of those who are the real heroes of this endeavor – the volunteer community. Coaches are successful individuals with regard to their vocations. They are leaders who are willing to use their leadership and vocational experience to influence those in need with empathy while satisfying their own basic primitive needs for pro-generativity.

We will offer our lead coaches an honorarium of $1,200 per month, which they may choose to forego. We will also provide reimbursement for expenses to the coaches, when approved by the Lead Coach and State Coordinator. The expenses will be reviewed regularly and will be budgeted for $450.00 per coach per year.  The mentors are entirely voluntary and will not receive any compensation for working with a client in pursuit of an activity. It is hoped a Mentors will donate no less than 5 hours for each block of time they offer to assist a client. We will be compensating staff as follows: the State Coordinators a salary of approximately $55,000 once there are five lead coaches under his or her auspices this equates to 15 Coaching Centers otherwise the salary is prorated.   The CEO will receive a stipend of $69,000. The development coordinator will receive a stipend of $55,000 as will the Store Administrator. The compensation will be inclusive of any necessary fringe benefits. Administrative Assistants will be compensated at 200% of the state minimum wage.

 

The compensation will not commence until all such wages represent 20% of funding being expended on services to our clients. The exception will be for Administrative Assistants who are required to perform task leading to this goal.

 

Two Projected Scenarios of Growth

Scenario A – Most Likely

Barring a financial champion or initial windfall, it is expected that donation for our products and sales in the Web Store of the jewelry and other items will provide a source of funding while the symbol of addiction to recovery, our brand, is able to gain recognition. Brand recognition is expected improve and grow coincident with the release of the book through the website. We will be asking for a contribution of $14.95 to download the book from the website. We expect that some donations will even exceed the requested amount. We will also consider allowing people to download the book for free and request any donation after they have read the book.   It is hoped one will find a synergy with the philosophy and or theology of the book.

As a charitable organization, our goal is to cover our expenses through donations for the jewelry and the other products and services we will be providing. We hope that inflows of capital from grants, private individuals and charitable foundations will fund our plans; however, in the initial phase of our development, we expect to earn sufficient funds by offering our products at affordable prices which are, at the same time, enough to build the organization. It is however, expected, that as our messaging is delivered and our brand is recognized for its service and benefits to the community. more individual, corporate, grant and foundation funding will eventually come in.

If the issues with addiction continue to grow and effect the communities in which we serve, we expect to gain greater awareness of our potential impact to positively effect these issues and our funding should progress exponentially. The unique aspect of the project is that the more volunteer coaching services we can provide, the more visibility we will receive and that will allow us to raise more funds. The more enthusiasm that we can generate around the coaches and mentors, the more financial support and visibility will be won. In a circular fashion, an increase in visibility will lead to more dialogue with respect to the plight of addiction.

A meaningful and positive response to addiction needs an organizational framework whose power gradually evolves from recognition of the issues and a movement across the community, with participation from both the public and private sectors. While this nonprofit organization is not advocating a political stance nor will it be establishing one, it is hoped that we will be able to gain political acceptance and non-partisan support. It is understood that many factors need to contribute to an entrenched solution to additive behavior, including education, professional intervention programs, volunteer-based programs like DJ2R, and, political action designed to remove illegal commerce in drugs, etc. from the landscape. Of course, many of these issues are beyond the scope of this particular endeavor, but we hope to be part of speeding up the entire process.

Initial efforts will focus on the store until January of 2015. The aspect of having the first unit established will be expected. While much of our initial focus will be on building our funding, our goal will be to have a small complement of coaches established in the first quarter of operation and develop the pilot program coincident with building the organization to a full complement of coaches and mentors by mid-year.

DJ2R professional staff will develop and issue a Policy and Procedure Manual. This will be refined during the pilot phase and made available through the website to those who would like to bring this project to their location. We would hope to expand the services to other states during 2016, limiting the number of new locations in accordance with available funding and our ability to find and hire State Coordinators who are motivated by the cause and will be willing to work for a reduced salary.

Growth will be slow but steady and would be dependent on resources. Funding could range from just a few thousand dollars to upwards of $150,000 to $300,000. This level of funding could support growth of up to five coaching centers. Each coaching center consists of the Lead Coach focused on contracting, finances, and ensuring policy and procedures are carried out.   There would be 12 part time volunteer coaches. Additionally it is expected there would be 36 mentors per unit who would contribute their time and talents to this endeavor. Training would be a significant aspect for the success of this project. This would be done by the current members of the Board of Directors along with and some limited contractual assistance or social work interns.

Consistency in increasing our resources would result in second year growth of twice the number of units and expansion to three additional states. This level of growth woud the consequence of an increase in resource levels to $300,000 to $600,000 yearly. If that were the case, we again would expect to double the units and be able to support services in four to six additional states. This level of expansion would allow a full time state coordinator in each state. The state coordinator would be credentialed and licensed in the state in which they operate. They would be familiar with the nuances of their state’s health care laws their recourses. They would similarly be familiar with the needs and resources of the communities in which they operate. Intra-state growth may differ because local contributors may wish to restrict funding to their particular state or to a particular coaching center.

If the growth rate were to continue at this rate we would expect that funding would increase proportionately to support five to eight units in each of 15 states. This would be our overall goal after the first four years. It is expected that our resource level would have to reach two to four million dollars annually to continue to support the program beyond the 15 state ranges. We would anticipate achieving this level during the first 4 to 6 year period. The growth to the other states would follow as the visibility and good works of the organizations would be more publicized.

 

Scenario B – Higher Level of Funding

If we are initially able to raise one to two million dollars, our first year of pilot rollout would remain essentially the same, however, that level of funding would allow for significant changes from the second year forward, and, acceleration of our planned expansion. It would also allow for earlier and additional prospecting for and hiring state coordinators. In addition, a training program would be established modeled after some of the VA peer to peer support models. Both the state coordinators and lead coaches would be trained in all aspects of project development and management. Such a level of funding would allow for the hiring of a national trainer who would, through tele-conferencing, start the process of teaching how to select coaches, train them, and ensure implementation of policy and procedures. This would allow for the establishment of a national office to more effectively and efficiently manage HR, Fiscal, Administrative and Training services, rather than individual state offices performing these functions. Tactical work would remain at the state level since there is no substitute for the talents and skills of the lead coaches and coaches who are providing the key functions needed to drive the success of DJR.

If we can sustain this level of funding and growth we expect that each state would have a state coordinator and, depending upon population, a proportionate number of coaching centers. Having heighted brand recognition with publicity growing and as a greater public awareness of the program increases, the number of coaching centers would increase to perhaps as many as five hundred coaching centers with one hundred coaches and 52 state coordinators.   This program has the prospect of rivaling any of the most cost effective and efficient programs in the country.

If this were are entirely successful in significantly curtailing addictive behaviors together with other public policy and private anti-addiction programs, we would hope to start putting ourselves out of the addiction business in ten to fifteen years.