153 episodes

If you or a loved one are battling alcoholism or drug addiction, this podcast will give you inspiration and hope that there is a way out. Addiction isn't a life sentence. People recover everyday. It takes time and some hard work, but in the end it is worth it!

Hosted by Tom Conrad, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict himself. Tom shares from his own experiences and the experiences of others to teach you the things that you can do TODAY to start living a sober and free lifestyle!

Real Recovery Talk Tom Conrad: Addiction Recovery Podcaster

    • Self-Improvement
    • 4.6 • 32 Ratings

If you or a loved one are battling alcoholism or drug addiction, this podcast will give you inspiration and hope that there is a way out. Addiction isn't a life sentence. People recover everyday. It takes time and some hard work, but in the end it is worth it!

Hosted by Tom Conrad, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict himself. Tom shares from his own experiences and the experiences of others to teach you the things that you can do TODAY to start living a sober and free lifestyle!

    154 - Vince has been to 10+ treatment centers - What will be different this time?

    154 - Vince has been to 10+ treatment centers - What will be different this time?

    In today's episode, Ben and I talk with Vince, a 25-year-old recovering addict from Philadelphia. He stole a bottle of vodka and drank the entire bottle in sixth grade. In the summer of his freshman year of high school, Vince started smoking pot. Cocaine became a weekend sports celebration during his junior year of high school. Vince became an addict after his team coach gave him a prescription narcotic drug in his second college year.
    Vince was involved in sports as early as he could remember. His family consisted of three sisters, one of the older and two of them younger than him. Both of his parents were supportive of him and good, hard-working people. "Growing up, I was instilled with morals and values." He was brought up to respect elders, women, and to have good social manners.
    "I remember going to this fight in third grade. Everybody started cursing and fighting. Immediately after that, I said my first curse word, then I went home and started watching fighting videos." He isn't sure if this one incident brought him down a negative road, but his life was very different after this experience. The next year in fourth grade, he ended up getting kicked out of school for fighting. "I was fighting and cursing and doing things kids that age shouldn't be doing."
    He felt a purpose playing sports as he was always asked to play with the older kids in the next league up. "Everything on the outside just mattered so much, and I thought that was who I was. I thought that I was based on all external things." However, if anything went wrong, he immediately turned to anger and aggression, which he remembers his father modeling for him at an early age.
    His school discipline record was horrible. However, the school let him slide because of his athletic abilities. Vince remembers not having any consequences for fighting during his high school years. This enabled him to continue this behavior, along with smoking pot with his friends.
    Listen in as Vince tells his story of how he lost his scholarship to Rutgers, what happened when he became addicted to opiate drugs, and his multiple attempts at getting sober.
    At Rock Recovery Center, we take a humanistic approach to recovery, teaching our clients how to live independently in a sober world. We care about the success and safety of each and every one of our clients from the moment they step into our center to the future of their well-being.
    Check out my new website where you can download any episode right from my site along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [03:09] Vince talks about his past experiences growing up in Philadelphia. [07:11] His first experience drinking in sixth grade. [13:33] Social acceptance and drug culture. [15:21] Personal identity associated with career for men. [18:25] Vince had his first experience with opiate drugs his senior year in high school. [19:45] He started stealing from his family to buy more opiate drugs. [25:11] The “Florida Shuffle” moving on from the treatment facility to another facility. [28:40] Ben talks about the incredible recovery culture in Florida. [33:10] Why Vince having his daughter wasn’t enough to keep him sober. [37:01] Sobriety and addiction and how these two can easily interchange.  [40:13] What is different for Vince in this recovery process? [43:42] His biggest fears for the recovery process. [45:27] Vince’s spiritual AA experience. Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat Real Recovery Talk on the Web Real Recovery Talk on YouTube Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes Rock Recovery Center Real Recovery Talk on Facebook Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions

    • 50 min
    153 - Nick's first time in treatment - What happened and what he hopes for in the future

    153 - Nick's first time in treatment - What happened and what he hopes for in the future

    In today's episode, Ben and I talk with Nick, a client here at Rock Recovery Center. Nick originates from Cleveland, Ohio, and this is his first time in recovery at the age of 27. Listen in to this episode to find out how he became addicted to drugs at 11.
    At a very young age, his first experience was smoking pot at age 11 and had his first drink at 12. Nick is close to his sister, whom he spent many afternoons after school hanging out.
    Nick followed his dad, playing the same sports. His father was "more of a coach than a dad," coaching Nick in the sports he participated in as young as age three. His father always pushed him to be good at what he did in life. He also remembers his father hiding alcohol bottles around the house and drinking for hours by himself in the garage. In addition, Nick's dad would pass out in the hallway, drunk in the hotels, at sporting competitions. His mother is clean and has never been addicted to drugs.
    At 13, Nick was in a fight and had several teeth knocked out. This led him to take narcotic pain medication. He quickly realized that taking a pain killer was a release from the physical pain from playing multiple sports. His parents did not monitor his pain medication and worked full-time. At 16, he had teeth pulled and had narcotics prescribed. Nick's doctor trusted he would take the narcotics as directed and is the reason he is addicted to drugs.
    When he moved out of his house at 17 to play hockey, he moved in with three guys addicted to pain medication from multiple sports injuries. Nick brought the pot, and his friend came with narcotic drugs. Drugs ended up being a commonality between the two for the next four years.
    He was kicked out of college and lost his scholarship. At this point, Nick returned home and went to community college and worked at a car dealership. Daily drinking eventually turned into a "game," where he and his friend would binge drink driving home from work. Nick finally realized that he needed help when his daughter was born, and he couldn't spend time with her because he needed to use drugs.
    At Rock Recovery Center, we take a humanistic approach to recovery, teaching our clients how to live independently in a sober world. We care about the success and safety of each and every one of our clients from the moment they step into our center to the future of their well-being.
    Check out my new website where you can download any episode right from my site along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [04:07] Nick introduces himself and talks about how he became addicted. [08:03] He didn’t like drinking when he was young, but had his first drink at 12. [12:02] The progression of Nick’s addiction from the age of 16. [15:40] Nick’s college experience. [21:39] What led Nick to seek help at Rock Recovery Center.  [27:24] COVID hit and he stopped going to his recovery meetings back home. [31:59] Nick talks about the relapse that moved him into recovery. [35:17] Ben tells how hard he works to stay sober ten years after he stopped using. [36:54] Recovery expectations when Nick came in the center. [41:23] Tom’s challenge to Nick in recovery. Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat Real Recovery Talk on the Web Real Recovery Talk on YouTube Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes Rock Recovery Center Real Recovery Talk on Facebook Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions

    • 45 min
    152 - What we have to look forward to when getting SOBER!

    152 - What we have to look forward to when getting SOBER!

    In today's episode, Ben and I will talk about how addicts can get accustomed to the lifestyle of alcohol and drugs. It's often problematic for addicts to comprehend how to live a "normal" life without the use of illegal substances. Ben and I are both AA graduates, and our experience of sobriety results from working hard to successfully complete the 12 steps of sobriety outlined in AA. This work brought a spiritual foundation into my life, and this is what my sobriety hinges on today.
    There are multiple modalities and programs in which you can find sobriety, the 12 step program being one program. If this program doesn't work for you, please seek out a drug and alcohol program that appeals to you and gives you hope. Whatever way you choose, sobriety is your goal. The fruits of sobriety will give your life the positive change you are looking for to live a better life.
    In section 83 of the AA book, there is a section titled "The Nine-Step Promises." One promise, "We are going to find new freedom and a new happiness." Freedom and happiness are different for each person. Freedom can be relief from feeling the physical trauma to feeling mentally free from the reliance on addiction.
    Serenity and peace are two other aspects we are focusing on today. When you acquire these two feelings, you are OK sitting by yourself, without anxiety, want, or fear. Conflict resolution is a large part of achieving these two qualities for yourself. There are tools we learn to create change within ourselves or our situation, even if we can't change the world around us. These tools lead to achieving peace and serenity inside ourselves.
    The Big Book talks about the fear of uselessness and self-pity. When you feel like you don't amount to anything, self-pity creeps into your life. You may feel like you will never have a family, go to college, or be happy. This is a destructive cycle for addicts, which disappears when you become clean.
    Some grapple with the higher power aspect of AA. If a "higher power" isn't in your life, you can also shoot for a higher purpose. What is your purpose? Find a positive change to make in someone else's life. When you are sober, your outlook on life will change because your mind will clear, and you will see situations differently.
    At Rock Recovery Center, we take a humanistic approach to recovery, teaching our clients how to live independently in a sober world. We care about the success and safety of each and every one of our clients from the moment they step into our center to the future of their well-being.
    Check out my new website where you can download any episode right from my site along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [03:17] Imagining a life without drugs and alcohol is hard to comprehend for addicts. [05:18] No matter what your substance is, what you need to move forward is a design for living.  [06:55] The Nine-Step Promises that AA lists in their book.  [10:07] There is no true freedom when we are tied to another substance. [13:19] Learning conflict resolution to achieve peace and serenity.  [18:00] Fear of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. [22:51] Higher power and higher purpose.  [26:19] The root of our problems is selfishness and self-centeredness. [27:44] Attitude and outlook on life will change when you become sober.  [32:52] Read the big book from AA to find out more aspects of your life that can change when you become sober.  Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat Real Recovery Talk on the Web Real Recovery Talk on YouTube Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes Rock Recovery Center Real Recovery Talk on Facebook Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions

    • 35 min
    151 - We have to be able to make decisions for ourselves!

    151 - We have to be able to make decisions for ourselves!

    In today's episode, Ben and I discuss the turning point when a newly sober client can start to make decisions for themselves. In the beginning, the person in recovery will be assigned a sponsor who is there for support and answering questions. Along the process, there's become a point in time that the person who is healing needs to become more independent and start to create change for themselves.
    Working with thousands of people through the recovery process, Ben and I see many different cases. We receive feedback from clients and become a sounding board for those in recovery. A vast majority of the time, we will confirm that the sponsor gives the patient sound advice. However, the individual moving through the healing process needs to take the responsibility of making their own decisions.
    Even though Ben is almost ten years sober, he still utilizes his support circle when he is in a challenging situation or bad day. In the end, Ben makes his own decisions for himself, but having a good, solid support group to assist you in your decision making is very important to stay on your path of sobriety.
    A sponsor's responsibility is no longer just taking someone through the steps. A client is calling with many different issues for advice from their sponsor. There is a progression of questioning where at first, clients are asking for almost anything. However, there should be situations where someone can take an independent step on their own. Growth will enable someone to become an independent decision-maker.
    Developing a GOD Power or the ability to deliver Good Orderly Direction gives you the ability to consciously figuring out problems on your own. By taking inventory of your behaviors, through the practice of working the program, and learning how to make situations right, you develop your skills to become an independent person.
    At Rock Recovery Center, we take a humanistic approach to recovery, teaching our clients how to live independently in a sober world. We care about the success and safety of each and every one of our clients from the moment they step into our center to the future of their well-being.
    Check out my new website where you can download any episode right from my site along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [03:45] Ben’s experiences with clients who want to rely solely on their sponsor for help. [06:55] When you should be making your own decisions and not relying on someone else to make your decisions for you. [08:20] Ben and his sponsor relationship.  [09:40] An example of bouncing ideas off of a sponsor for advice. [13:19] A sponsor’s responsibility to their charge. [14:33] Dating another person who is going through recovery. [15:37] The progression scale of learning how to become an independent decision maker. [17:35] Developing GOD Power - Good Orderly Direction. [18:32] Step ten of the 12 Step Program. [19:57] The importance of having a clear outcome. [21:10] Looking at failure as an opportunity to learn.  [22:04] Giving sober supports too much power in your life.  [25:17] Sponsors need to give their charges the opportunity to have experiences in life. Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat Real Recovery Talk on the Web Real Recovery Talk on YouTube Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes Rock Recovery Center Real Recovery Talk on Facebook Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions

    • 30 min
    150 - Measuring Progress While In Addiction Treatment

    150 - Measuring Progress While In Addiction Treatment

    In today's episode, Ben and I discuss how we measure our client's progress and what to expect in the first one to three months of recovery treatment. We'll talk about where we see our clients make the most common mistakes and where addicts fall short in the treatment process.
    During our team meeting once a week, our staff discusses challenges and celebrations among our patients. "One issue that jumped out at us yesterday is video game addiction." Ben believes that this addiction can significantly sidetrack the recovery process, slowing it down. One negative effect is the disruption in client sleep cycles. In this episode, Ben gives real client examples of the adverse effects of video game addiction.
    We choose not to restrict our members from the outside world because that is unrealistic. This gives us the chance to see negative behaviors in our clients and the opportunity to correct those during their recovery period. "I want to know the truth about people and what their behavior truly looks like. I don't want some version of them that I'm creating, that's not organic by putting parameters on what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do."
    Our team looks at how our clients are utilizing their treatment time outside of scheduled activities. We hold our clients accountable for their treatment homework and follow-up to ensure they have their assignments completed before their scheduled time. Clients need to complete their task, as working through recovery involves learning about yourself. If a client doesn't do their homework, they will not progress through therapy.
    Getting into the habit and responsibility of completing your homework in therapy gives you an understanding of what it takes to continue your work outside of treatment. When you consistently complete assignments, you give yourself the foundation to continue your work when you leave our recovery center. This usually results in clients who are more successful at continuing their recovery for life.
    At Rock Recovery Center, we take a humanistic approach to recovery, teaching our clients how to live independently in a sober world. We care about the success and safety of each and every one of our clients from the moment they step into our center to the future of their well-being.
    Check out my new website where you can download any episode right from my site along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [04:49] The process at Rock Recovery center for information intake. [05:40] Examples of video game addiction. [09:20] Ben talks about the importance of seeing bad behaviors so they can be addressed. [11:34] A good determinate of how our clients are going to do post-treatment is how they are progressing during treatment. [13:45] How a client spends their time during treatment versus after they leave and what they are doing with their friends.  [17:35] When clients don’t do their homework in rehab, they typically don’t follow-up outside of rehab. [19:33] Our team wants to see the effort our clients put in at Rock Recovery Center. [20:11] Those who focus on others instead of themselves is a red flag. [23:42] We are here to be part of the process, however; a client must be willing to learn. [27:57] Behaviors that can lead to relapse. Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat Real Recovery Talk on the Web Real Recovery Talk on YouTube Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes Rock Recovery Center Real Recovery Talk on Facebook Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions

    • 30 min
    149 - What we have seen with Covid-19 up to this point

    149 - What we have seen with Covid-19 up to this point

    In today's episode, Ben and I are discussing the risk versus reward for addicts. We talk about the real risk of dying from a drug overdose as opposed to the more minimal chance of passing away from contracting COVID when traveling to a rehab facility or attending AA meetings.
    Many facilities have removed group gatherings at their location. As a result, many addicts are not able to attend their rehab meetings in person. Some have been able to participate in online, however; it's easier to not go to meetings when it's no in person.
    Some facilities are moving forward with meetings, requiring masks and temperature screenings. Others have locked down entirely and aren't taking anyone who isn't a part of their program, leaving addicts without options for recovery.
    COVID has removed much of the community for many recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. People are afraid to catch the virus and won't go to groups, or they don't have the means to meet online. We need to build and cultivate options for people until groups open back up regularly.
    Person to person meetings have a more personal feel, and Ben has made a choice to attend real-life sessions. There are restrictions in place for safety, such as masks and social distancing. Many others have decided that drug and alcohol relapse is more harmful to their health than the risk of catching COVID.
    Additionally, you can’t blame COVID-19 for all of your problems or as the sole reason for going back to being an addict. COVID is a stressor and it does create anxiety, however; you have to apply the tools you learn in recovery to overcome the challenges in life.
    At Rock Recovery Center, we take a humanistic approach to recovery, teaching our clients how to live independently in a sober world. We care about the success and safety of each and every one of our clients from the moment they step into our center to the future of their well-being.
    Check out my new website where you can download any episode right from my site along with other useful information for those in recovery.
    Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review! Show Notes:
    [04:31] Benjamin discusses his personal experience with recovery. [07:00] Recovery built on the aspect of community for sobriety and recovery. [09:12] Ben talks about the importance of spirituality and community. [12:57] Many parents are scared to send their loved ones to rehab in Florida. [14:22] Being vigilant about health standards has been a key piece for reducing the spread of COVID in addiction groups. [16:45] How a halfway house has more people die of drug overdose but none of their members died of COVID. [18:04] The elements of building a solid foundation of recovery. [22:32] Some clients were caught off-guard when they had to leave recovery. [24:36] Precautions we are taking at Real Rock Recovery Center to protect our clients. [27:29] Ben is glad he is continuing meetings and staying sober and clean. Episode Links and Resources
    Real Recovery Live Chat Real Recovery Talk on the Web Real Recovery Talk on YouTube Leave Real Recovery Talk a review on iTunes Rock Recovery Center Real Recovery Talk on Facebook Ideas for a show? Email us tom@realrecoverytalk.com and ben@realrecoverytalk.com Podcast editing and show notes by Pro Podcast Solutions

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

marutd ,

Just incredible!!

This is the best recovery podcast I've ever listen, and Tom is the best person that I know in 2020!!! I don't know if he knows about the magnitude that he represents for people in recovery and their love ones, Tom gives us hope to continue the journey!!! I can’t thank you enough!!!

ALREADYTOSERVGOD ,

DAVID W

Great conversations... Very informative and insightful...filled with knowledge and diverse perspectives from Tom, Adam, Mark and Guests. Thanks so much for all the insights of Recovery Talk.

Reneejohnson1 ,

Smart Recovery

Wow! Research SMART Recover before you do a podcast comparing it to a 12 step program. You guys were so off base. First and foremost SMART is an acronym for Self Management and Recovery Training! There is very little to compare to AA!

Top Podcasts In Self-Improvement

Listeners Also Subscribed To