IT TOOK THE DEATH OF JIMMY CHAIDEZS WIFE TO A DRUG OVERDOSE TO CONVINCE HIM TO SEEK HELP TO OVERCOME HIS OWN DRUG ADDICTION. NOW HES HELPING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME
In the past year, Chaidez has helped persuade more than 50 men and women from nine states to seek professional treatment for their addictions
MURRIETA, Calif., Feb. 15, 2008 ? For most of his adult life, Jimmy Chaidez was out of control.
He abused everything alcohol, prescription drugs and just about every illegal drug, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and LSD. He couldnt keep a job. And even when he was employed, he spent so much of his money on drugs that he sometimes had to steal to support his addictions.
But when his wife, Nancy, died of a drug overdose in 2002, Chaidez finally realized that he needed help.
I had been ordered into rehab twice before. But my heart wasnt in it, Chaidez, 55, recalled. But when Nancy died, I realized that I needed to dedicate myself to becoming clean. I just couldnt go on living my life like I was.
And after completing two 28-day drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, followed by a 13-month live in program for recovering addicts, Chaidez got a fresh start. He has been clean since 2003 and has found work with A Better Tomorrow, a Murrieta-based drug and alcohol treatment center.
Chaidez was initially hired to help manage the seven-bedroom facility where A Better Tomorrow houses patients who are completing 28-day residential treatment programs. He soon discovered that he had a talent for communicating with addicts. I realized that I could help them because Ive been where they were, he said.
Chaidez subsequently obtained training to become an interventionist, someone who specializes in convincing drug or alcohol addicts to seek professional treatment for their addictions. He is now A Better Tomorrows primary interventionist, and responds to emergency calls from families in Riverside and San Bernardino counties and across the country.
Ive finally found my calling, Chaidez said, adding that in the past year alone he has helped persuade more than 50 men and women from nine states to seek professional treatment for their addictions.
This is the most satisfying work Ive ever done in my life, Chaidez said, adding, I wish somebody would have intervened with me and my wife because if they had, shed be here today.
Based in Murrieta, Calif., A Better Tomorrow has the highest level of accreditation that can be obtained by a drug or alcohol treatment center. The clinic is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), placing it in the top 5 percent of drug and alcohol treatment clinics in California. For more information about A Better Tomorrow, please contact Charles Anderson at (800) 757-9867. Additional information is available on the clinics website at http://www.abttc.com/.