BIO: Ken Montrose has worked for Greenbriar since 1999. Prior to establishing Greenbriar’s training and publication division, he was the Director of Clinical Services for two years. For eight years he worked as an addiction specialist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, establishing recovery programs for patients suffering from severe mental illnesses. A Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, he also holds a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology. He has been in recovery from his own addiction since October 2, 1988.
Questions & Answers
Q: What motivated you to enter the drug and alcohol field?
A: Working in a community mental health center opened my eyes to how much substance abuse contributed to mental illness and vice versa. I’ve been focused on treating co-occurring disorders ever since.
Q: Do you have a preferred treatment modality? If so, please explain what it is and tell us why it is your preferred method.
A: I like a mix of cognitive-behavioral therapy and 12 Step wisdom/principles. I believe looking at how people think about their substance use is a logical place to start treatment. 12 Step slogans, in particular, seem to help people recognize and change cognitive distortions.
Q: What do you think is the biggest issues we’re currently facing in the treatment/recovery field?
A: Cheap synthetic opioids and a lack of understanding that treatment is a process, not a brief intervention.
Q: What is the best part of the work you do?
A: Interacting with treatment professionals, and seeing how much they want to help people.
Q: What is the most difficult part about the work you do?
A: Keeping track of the paperwork. We are accredited by a number of states and national boards. Meeting all their documentation requirements can be daunting.
Q: What is something you wish more people knew about addiction, treatment, and/or recovery?
A: Addiction is progressive, but often remains hidden until the bottom falls out. Put another way, people see the wrecks, recognizing addiction only when someone’s life crashes. They often fail to see the rust, someone’s life slowly corroding.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is struggling with a substance use d/o?
A: Arrange your life to rely as little as possible on willpower. Remove as much temptation as you can. Change people, places, and things.