Jay Davidson, president of the Healing Place (#324)
The president and CEO of the Healing Place talks about its residential treatment program for those struggling with addiction and how he overcame alcoholism in his own life.
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In the interview, Davidson delves into childhood issues that contributed to his alcoholism, his genetic predisposition to the disease, and the period of his life before he sought help for his addiction. He talks about what motivated him to begin a treatment program: the possibility of losing his successful career in the Army. To avoid it, he went through outpatient counseling and a 12-step program, attending 90 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in 90 days.
After retiring from the Army, Davidson became a licensed clinical social worker and went on to head the Healing Place, a residential treatment center that offers addicts individually paced, voluntary addiction recovery plans. The program includes classes, written assignments, residential duties, and peer mentoring. One of the more unorthodox features of the program is “trudging,” in which residents must walk two miles from the residence to their classes. Davidson explains that the trek not only provides much-needed physical activity, but also helps people build relationships with one another.
Davidson also discusses the Recovery Kentucky program, a state government initiative to open 10 centers across the state that are modeled after the Healing Place. Because addiction is a frequent underlying factor in chronic homelessness, the project involves state agencies concerned with housing and the homeless as well as addiction treatment.
The Healing Place is among the successful addiction treatment projects featured in Program 8 of The CommonHealth of Kentucky.