Recovery Boys (2018) Script

I came home one day, and my wife was using heroin.

I fell in love with it pretty quick.

One bag of dope turned into a gram of dope.

One gram turned into two grams.

The more you do, the more you had to do to get that same high.

I never expected to live to be 25.

I can't not use.

If I don't use, I'm going to be sick.

I'm 19 years old, I was up to five Percocets a day.

I didn't have a job.

I was homeless.

I felt like the world didn't need me.

I probably was in high school the first time I smoked crack.

Did heroin not too long after that.

I'd never really wanted to be in rehab.

Too many of my friends failed over and over again and family members.

I thought drugs and alcohol...

That's what I grew up around, yeah?

I thought that was just the way everybody lived.

I didn't know people lived life sober.

Hey, Chad.

-How are you? -I'm Jeff.

-Meet Jeff. -Jeff. Chad Bishop.

Nice to meet you.

-Excited? -Yeah, I'm really excited.

That's good, that's great.

Fired up, man. Number one!

Number one!

How's it going?

You guys got anything to carry in?

No, he's got everything he's got right there in his hands.

All right. All right. Nice place.

We were still working on it when we opened up.

-Wow. Nice. -Same bathroom, same way.

This is yours.

-This is mine. -Which bed do you want?

-This one. -All right.

You should see the mat I was sleeping on.

I know the feeling.

It's like sleeping on a towel.

Yeah, these are comfortable beds. Try it out.

Yeah, man, this is awesome.

He had his court hearing yesterday for his girls, and because he was coming up here, they extended his period, so they didn't take his girls away from him yet, so...

-That's good. -How old are they now? One and three?

-Two and three. -Okay.

-How long have you been married? -Since I was 20.

Really? You're 25?

-In June, I turn 26. -Twenty-six?

-No gang affiliations, anything like that? -No.

Very good.

Tomorrow basically, we'll wake you up, get you fed, and then we're going to go over to the farm and feed the animals, do a little bit of work over there.

Evening time, around six, seven o'clock, that would be some of your time for educational classes.

You've been here about 45 minutes. You're officially our senior resident.

It's a lot of responsibility. Yeah!

Here I am, that's me. You're it.

I mean, if that doesn't give you a new perspective, I don't know what will.

The guys won't have a lot of outside world contact, unless it's supervised.

You really want to kind of keep the guys from isolating, because that's kind of where their life's been.

It's been them and their drug.

Farming life is a series of advances and a couple of setbacks, and they'll be able to experience that kind of stuff sober.

Life's not always going to be perfect, it's not always going to be good, and you have to learn to live with pain and setbacks, without having drugs to dampen it for you.

Morning, guys.

-Morning, Mark. -How are you doing?


You ever worked with animals before? Have you?

-Yeah, my papa had a little farm. -A farm? Okay.

These are the ones that are gonna go out on pasture.

You can just stick it in front of him.

He should at least for a while.

Tip it up. There you go.

You look like you've done it. Yeah.


This is my brother Benny.

He's on heroin and meth real bad right now.

That's Aaron, my mom's boyfriend John, the one she's married to now.

That's his son that ODed.

He's passed away, and that's my brother AJ.

Which is locked up in prison for robbing Hardee's in Sabraton, Morgantown, to get drugs and stuff.

That's my sister, my mom and her two kids, but she don't have nothing to do with them.

She's on the run from the law right now.

And my mom has both kids.

These are cute.

That's my kid.

That's her when she just started walking.

Got a lot of amends to make to a lot of these people, but I don't know who they are.

I've broken into a lot of these houses.

I've gone through... in my addiction.

There's some amends you just can't make. There are some.

Some of them, maybe you could write a letter, put it in their mailbox.

'Cause it would be risky knocking on the door, some of them, telling them what you did, they may not take too kindly to it.

Especially in these parts, people tend to carry guns with them.

Yeah, they'll shoot you around here.

See that church way over on that hill?

Yeah. That's where my real dad's buried.

Really? Yeah.

-Did you ever know him? -No, I was three when he passed away.

-That's when my mom left. -What happened?

A tree got cut down on Papa.

-Really? -Yeah.

-Wow. -At a logging yard.

Then a year later, my mom left, went to a bar and never came home.

-So she left when you were three? -Three years old, yeah.

And didn't come back until I was 15 or 16.

Jeez! Where'd she go?

I don't know.

I like to sit here sometimes quietly.

Like, when you're, like, high and stuff, you don't really think about what...

You know what I mean? You ain't got...

I wake up, my first thing is, I gotta find my needle and go find me some dope.

You know what I mean?

But now that you're not high, you come out here in the morning, you listen to all the birds.

When you're high, you don't focus on shit like that.

I hear a bird over here right now. You know what I mean?

And you can hear some over here.

When they go together, it's like... You know what I mean?

You appreciate the little things in life.

Yeah, you do, but when you're high, you really don't focus on no shit like that.

-You see through it. -Yeah, I agree.


Let's go. Let's go!

And instead of posting, see if it wedges.

If it wedges, don't take it all the way out.

-Minimalistic. -Yes.

Long story short, I've been a drug addict since I was 16, and in and out of programs. This is my tenth program.

And I came to Jacob's Ladder. I was at a wilderness program before this.

And my mom found it for me, and you know, I've never been on a recovery place like this where it's on a farm.

I know what people want to hear, so it's really easy for me to skate through a program undetected.

You know, they say, "This kid is really doing good."

Really, I was bullshitting my way, waiting to get out, on the outside, to use.

Deep down I really wanna be sober. I don't wanna die.

Nobody really wants to die. Even a normal human doesn't wanna die.

I don't know, I'm just...

I'm really excited to actually give it 100%, 'cause I've never done that before.

I've never given it my all.

-Craig, addict. -Hi, Craig.

So what I wanna do next is we're gonna go around, we're gonna check in, how your week's going, what's the struggle, what's going well for you.

-I'm Adam, and I'm an addict. -Hey, Adam.

Yeah, you know, this week's been up and down.

I got, you know, the first letter from my grandma.

She... She's, like, the center of my addiction.

You know, that was, like, where I got all my money.

You know, if I needed something, I ran there, and either she gave it to me, or most of the time, I just conned her out of it one way or another, to put it blatantly.

She sent me this letter and she said, "I forgive you. I couldn't be mad at you.

I love you," and all this, and I was just thinking, like, "I took a significant amount of money from this woman."

I mean, I ruined her life in my eyes.

I mean, she's 86, and she's working at the Goodwill, so that she is not homeless right now.

Myself, I couldn't just forgive someone like that.

I don't care who they are.

I don't deserve the forgiveness that I got, that quickly and out of nowhere.

I just don't know what to do.

That make sense to you guys?

Yeah, dude.

Don't run, you guys.

I almost ran.

Thank you.

You saved my life many a time.

You have no idea how true that is.

Fourteen times I've overdosed, guys.

Fourteen times.

Dude, I busted my shin on that rope.


Chad told me we were going for a hayride.

This ain't what I had in mind.

Yeah, I know.

These are peppers here.

You can tell in the leaves.


I feel like if we're flexible... and we're compassionate, then, I mean, that to me is the best combination of trying to help people.

I mean, if you lose either one of those two qualities, I think you're really hamstrung.

No matter what you're doing, if you're giving these guys a place to be surrounded by good people, I mean, they're way ahead of the game already.

Jake and Jerrica, his older sister, in the Bahamas, we went conch diving.

Jake was probably withdrawing in this picture.

-I was, yeah. -I didn't know at the time, but he was...

-I thought you knew. You said... -Did I know then, in this one?

-You had a hunch. -Yeah.

I can't remember, but look how skinny he is.

Pretty skinny.

-I got worse than that, though. -Yeah.

'Cause I was more interested in pills.

I think I, like, snuck one Oxy with me.

-Did you? -Uh-huh.

Looking pretty... pretty strung out.

-That's 'cause I was, yeah. -Yeah.

Everything's hurting.

Arm and legs a little bit higher.

How did your court date go last week?

Oh, man.

Not good?

The court date went good, but I got some bad news about my daughter.

Put me in a bad mood all week.

My daughter went to a foster home.

While she was in there, they molested her.

And I just found out about it, so we're in the middle of that.

It's being investigated right now and stuff.

You know what I mean? It's been a bad week.

Jeff, you got quiet, brother. What are you thinking?

What do you mean?

You're not quiet usually, so what's going on?

-I'm just kicking it, dude. -Huh?

Just kicking it, listening.

What went on for you when I brought up stuff in your life right now, then?

I don't know. I keep telling myself all day today, if I wouldn't have picked up and used, you know what I mean, if I wouldn't have got caught, they would never have got taken, she would never have got molested.

Do you know what I mean?

I feel like my actions led to that shit, man.

-I just want to kill the dude. -I get it, man.

One thing's on my shoulder saying I'm doing the right thing, stay here, and it'll all work out.

Let the cops, let the law take care of it and stuff, and another part of my shoulder's like, "Man, step the fuck up. Kill this motherfucker."

You know what I mean?

Protect your daughter.

I'm just lost. I don't know what to do, man.

I just don't wanna go there.

A part of me wants to stay, too, so I'm just... I'm lost.

I just... I don't know what to do.

I don't fucking know, man.

I don't know.

Well, what...

You're doing it right now though, right? You're talking, coming out with it.

'Cause it's obvious that all this stuff is sitting in you, in your head.

You're the one that thinks you get away with it with all the jokey shit, but it's obvious you can't have something like that pop into your life, and then it just evaporates.

It ain't gonna go away.

So here we got your brothers here in recovery, and this is to you guys, right?

You know this is your guy, he's struggling, so are we just talking shit every day?

Are we just having fun?

But he's struggling, right? Now you see on his face.

So what are we doing to support Jeff?

We've all seen it.

It sucks because I've been there too, and I've gone out over it... and I came back, like, I've had a lot of survivor's guilt, and you know, I've seen a lot of my friends die.

You've seen your daughter go through some tough things.

I've got my daughter taken away from me because of heroin.

I mean, it's gonna sound really harsh, but you need to be selfish, because what do you have to offer to your daughter versus the world right now? Absolutely nothing.

Until you get right with yourself.

I failed big time, you know?

She's three years old, man.

And already got fucked with.

I'm supposed to stop that.

I can't do this no more.

Get him up there.

I'm curious to ask how you guys are feeling right now.

I've been in that exact situation. Not exactly, like, I've...

I got to the point where I wanted to leave, but I wanted to stay and I ended up leaving.

I ended up relapsing, ODed another four times, you know?

Yeah, but was it because of that reason?

-Not exactly. -That your child was molested?

-No, but I've been raped. -That takes a toll on someone.

I was raped when I was six years old, so I feel the situation.

We should not compare war stories, brother.

It's not a war story, it's an experience.

It's not who goes through the more horrible thing.

We all go through life on life's terms.

-Right? -Yeah.

I just feel, like, a sense of relief almost that he's got it off his chest, it's out in the open.

Now he can deal with it. He's feeling the emotion. It's out.

Who's the new guy? Which one's the new guy?

I would probably say the guy with the hair and the beard.

Grateful Dead shirt, most likely, probably.

Old hippie dude.

He's the first guy that we've had that's come right off the street, presumably used within hours of getting here, so I think he's going to be a challenge, 'cause every other guy we've seen has had some sober time.

This was a wily one, man.

Pick her up. Yeah.

Pick her up temporarily. There you go.

He's definitely detoxing hard and stuff, and it brings a whole new atmosphere, so...

I feel his pain, man.

-Hmm? Yeah, we've all been through it. -Definitely feel his pain.

Most of us have been through it.

Shakes, withdrawals, throwing up, diarrhea...

Shitting itself.

-The hot to cold sweats. -Yeah.

-Basically like you got the flu. -Joints aching, like someone's stabbing you with a knife in all your joints every time you move.

I don't want to be on top.

Then I'll go. I'll go downstairs.

Harvest hour.

Get yourself some room.

Take them off, right here.

-One week clean. -Damn.

Good job, man.

Good job, buddy.

One week down, five months and three weeks left.

Ain't that the truth?

Yep... and then a whole lifetime.

Where do you see him in a month from now?

Big old biceps.

I might turn out like Bruce Lee or something, I'll still be strong.

All right...

-You put 'em over your pants? -Yeah.

You haven't met Ryan yet, have you?

-No. Ryan, glad to meet you. -Nice to meet you.

Are they all girls or what?

-Yeah. -Can you tell them apart?

I'm sure all the girls got nipples, right?

Get the dirty one! Come here, hog.

Get him! Catch him!

There came point, I was like, "Holy fuck, I have no clue how to live my life.

I'm a ball of fear and self-centered misery, anxiety attacks," but then it was like, "If these are the things I've done that have led me to misery, despair, hurt everyone I love, I've accomplished nothing, what if I do the opposite of what I used to do, how would I feel then?"

You just wanna roll him over. I'll hold him.

It's only gonna hurt for a second.

Start pulling his nuts up through...

Feel. Make sure you got both.

-Yep. -Two nuts.

There you go, buddy.

Won't hurt him.

A cow. I've never picked up a cow in my life.

Come on. Don't kick me. Sucker's a little heavy.

I just like to think of us as human beings, no matter what.

We're born human beings.

We're going to die human beings, we're not perfect, and we're not defective.

Defective products get thrown in the trash. You know what I mean?

They get discontinued.

I read this one book that said the word "stigma" comes from Greek, and they used to brand people in the face for being a certain caste that was looked down upon by society.

And when you're a drug addict, I mean, like, you dress a certain way, you look a certain way.

I mean, the tattoos, everything like that, and people take one look at you and judge you.

So I can see why people would want to change that perception.

Might be something I want to work on in the future.

Right now I do want to just focus on the inside stuff, you know?

Maybe the outside stuff will come later on. I don't know.

It's pretty funny. Look at these pictures. They're hilarious.

Like, this is where all STDs come from, is a movie theater.


Make sure you get to know your partner over chips and a glass of water.

Keep your cool, stay in control of your decisions.

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.


This is for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, hepatitis A, B and C and HIV, and AIDS we'll be touching later.

So yeah, it's kinda strenuous, kinda scared.

I remember very distinctly, I went to my buddy's house, also a dealer, and I was sitting there.

It was, like, the first time I ever went over to shoot up with him, and he was like, "By the way, me and my wife have hep C," and I was like, "Cool."

I didn't even care. Like, it was...

70% of all IV users have hep C.

So... and, like, I don't know...

That's, like, seven people out of ten.

We have five IV users here, so it's, like, at least...

I think it's 70% of five, so, like, three and a half of us will have hep C.

-I've just seen this board, man. -You like that?

I do. It's awesome.

-How many will you put in there? -What do you think, bro?

He's 22, but I don't think we got 22.

Three strikes, you're out.


Happy birthday.

What's up?

Nothing, been waiting for your call.

I called my dad, bad decision.

He started the conversation with, "I'm not giving you a job."

That's, like, the first thing that came out of his mouth.

Not "How are you doing? I'm really proud of you."

Oh, no.

I mean, you have to ask that? I mean, come on now.

At least he said he'd...

Yeah, I don't know where it came from.

He was like, "I think about you sometimes."

I was like, "Wow."


Holy shit.

But that...

So that was about the gist of that.

I'm sorry. That just stinks.

But anyway, it's my birthday, so fuck that.

Yeah, exactly.

I haven't really seen you for a long, long, long time.


It's been a while.

I can't believe how big your arms are.

Me and a couple other guys work out, like, every day.

That's great.

-We climb on the rope. -That's high up there.

I love the ceilings in here.

You have a cigarette on you?

I do, but I don't know if I wanna give you one, 'cause you said you were doing really good not smoking.

-I have. -So I don't wanna...

I smoke three cigarettes a day sometimes.

I don't want to... encourage that.

So, so happy. So happy.

He hasn't looked this good since he's probably been 14 years old, health-wise.

You know what I mean? Just looks absolutely fantastic.

Yeah, I've been eating them.

Tell me if this ain't a bear cave and a half.

That's the best bear den I've ever seen.

Can't duct it, fuck it.

West Virginia chrome right there.

Got that right.

Is that a big one?

Yeah, we're golden.

Taj Mahal, baby.

All right, do what you gotta do.

-Do what you gotta do... -Hey, the rings on this...

I called my mom, and her dog just died, and she's having some problems with the house, and she really stressed that she didn't like looking at me with unkempt hair, and so...

Where's that mustard at?

Hey, how are you doing?

Daddy, I got you a present.

A monkey?

Oh, yeah.

We got a new baby.

We got baby sheep.

Stay here with me. I'll lift you down one by one.


You hear it? Yeah, it's in there?

In here. Come look.

Look in there.

Aww. Hi, baby.

That's so cute. Yeah.

Aww! That's so cute!

Give me a kiss. Give me a kiss.

Daddy, I wish you'd...

Daddy can't. Why do you have to stay here?

Just a little while longer, okay?

And then Daddy come back and get you, okay?

You promise? I promise.

But why do you got your tears?

They're happy tears.

Happy tears? Yeah, happy tears.

But you're upset.

Happy tears, baby. I love you.

It's rough when they go. You know what I mean?

Tough waiting five months. Five months is a long time, man.

Too long.

But, Jeff, this is the work it takes so that they have a dad who's sober and happy and free, you know?

They'll lose you if, you know...

There's nothing certain about your recovery if you don't do the work, right?

So then they'll have nobody, you know what I mean?

That's why doing what you're doing is so important.

Today, it's sad, but it's also, like, really happy that they have you.

They got a clean dad.

-That's what I call it, happy tears. -Yeah.

I wanted to tell them. I said I was just happy.

Sad to see them go, but happy that they came.


Happy tears.

It's a new one.


If you want to get free Naloxone to help save a life, please go down and sign up, and we'll do the training after this event.

Everybody will walk away then with a $3,600 auto injector kit for free.

Today, here we are, hosting the very first West Virginia Overdose Awareness Day tribute.

We do not want them to be forgotten. one moment.

Our God, we come to you now, asking that you be with us as we struggle to find solutions.

Be with us as we get the strength to fight the battle.

Andrew Placo, 25.

Rose Alero, 51.

Cruz Shepherd, 23.

Patrick, 38.

James Brandon Burdet, 29.


I like how two guys came up with their shades down.

You could tell they were high, but at least they came.

-Yeah. -It says something.


It's about raising overdose awareness, so...

Who cares if they're high? At least they're here, man.

They're trying.

Thomas Surelle.

Matt Brown.

Travis Cougar, age 38.

Can't believe that one kid's name they read was 16.

Shelia Bayes, 27.

How you doing? Good.

-We brought goods. -You won't even recognize him.

That's exciting. How's he doing?

-He's doing great. Absolutely great. -Good.


Look at you, man.

Good to see you.

Come here. Let's get a group hug going.

-What's up, bro? -Not much.

You look like Willie Nelson, man.

-Sounds good. -Let me see you.

-You got some sun. -Yeah.

-Got some muscles. -A little bit.

-Yeah. -Some tone back.

Here's a trick. Hold out your hand.


This guy...

That was actually pretty good. It was this year.

Really? Yeah.

Look at you. Gorgeous place.

Stop it. Yep...

All right, I'll stop it. We're here to hang out. Not just smile.

I had a really fucked-up perception of what love was.

I just treated people like shit.

You're like, "Fuck love." I don't really care about it.

It's not that important to me. I thought maybe it's just a construct.

You know, like a human construct. Like, it doesn't exist.

People just say they love you so they can use you or whatever.

And now it just seems like this thing that exists, like air, water, whatever.

Like, it's like an element.

I guess you gotta be living in the real world to feel it.

I haven't been in the real world for a long time, so kinda weird, but it is a good thing.

Right? That's all I got.

Thank you, Ryan.


That's what we're doing?

Andrew came to me today, let me know that the barn dance, they're gonna have alcohol, which to me, creates a conflict.

I'm concerned about it.

On one hand, I know you guys have worked hard, I know you guys are excited about going to the dance, and on the other hand, there's going to be alcohol there, and a lot of you guys, all you guys are pretty new, and some guys are really new.

To be able to go in a real life situation somewhat, I think it could be good.

I don't personally want to go.

This is the Aurora Barn Dance.

We're gonna be there with a bunch of people that probably don't like us, and it's just gonna be awkward.

I'm sorry, Adam, but there could be 20 people there in recovery.

Like, we don't know who's gonna be down there and who's not.

I can't just pigeonhole everyone and say they're all a bunch of assholes that don't like us. Like, that's not true.

I'm here to have fun, too.

Drugs and alcohol to me are the opposite of fun.

It may sound like bullshit to a lot of people, but I had gotten to a point in my life where it wasn't fun.

It was a fucking chore.

But I think it's just important we don't walk into this dance or anywhere else, saying, "I'm powerful, I got some days, therefore, I'm not going to get high."

It's bullshit. Any of us are one thought away.

-Let's go. -Go to the front.

-No. -Go to the front.

-Leave me be. -Come on, I'll go with you.


I'll go up there. I need someone to make me dance.

-Feel out of place, don't you? -Yeah, I do.

Yeah, but you gotta challenge it 'cause you're not out of place, dude.

We need people on the floor.

This is a very simple, simple dance.

Just pick a partner.

-Come on, dude. Go. -Go ahead, Ryan.

-There you go. -I'm Ryan.

Nice to meet you.

-I'm Rush. -I'm Debbie.

-Nice to meet you, Debbie. -You, too.

Son, just go pick a partner.

This is it, you guys. Come on up!

There are some ladies here that need someone. Come on.

Now join your hands and circle out.

Now back to the right.

Swing your honey once around.

And promenade.

Okay, all four.

Well, whatever!

Couple number one, out to the right.

Go right on.

Jeff, you're causing major confusion.

This is the most fun I've had in a long time.

I want to thank you guys for dancing. You can go and sit down.

When do you want this place ready by?

Couple weeks.


Honestly though, even if it was a sober house, and we were still working on it while we lived here, it wouldn't be...

Jorge is getting the kitchen done...

Everyone wants to stay in this area when they finish Jacob's Ladder, and so we purchased a property, we're finishing it up, so that it can be a sober living setting for these guys.

If they can get jobs in the community and they want to stay here, that keeps them connected to what they're doing already.

-Are you tired? -Yes.

-You've been scraping? -A lot.

I worry every day about these guys leaving here and going back home, getting back to the playground and to the friends and all the things that they used to get into.

When they're here, there's a little vacation from all the chaos of their lives that they got themselves into, and they're gonna go back to the real world.

We're trying to get them ready for it.

It's a great start here, that's what it is.

I mean, nothing's promised when a guy leaves our program.

I'm an addict named Jeff. Jeff.

I'm a father of two girls, and my addiction took over a good person and turned me into a monster, I can say.

And I didn't care who I hurt, man.

I didn't care what I had to do.

Tearing families apart, ruining lives, man.

I want that new way of life. I remember every day when I wake up.

Just don't use today, no matter what. Don't pick up.

But that's all I grew up around, you know? That's all I know.

It's all my family does, it's all my friends do.

Basically, my whole town does it, you know?

And that's...

I don't know a sober person back home.

It kind of scares me, you know?

Yeah, that's all.

Thanks, Jeff. Thanks. I really appreciate that.

Come on, man. Teamwork makes the dream work.

There we go.

-Teamwork makes the dream work? -It did.

I picked Jeff up six months ago down at the regional jail.

He came running around the corner with all his worldly possessions in his hands, and he looked at me. He'd never met me before, and he said, "Let's get out of here before they change their mind."

Man, I call Jeff "old dad."

Yeah, he's younger than me, but he's got the wisdom...

...that I needed.

I'm glad he's sticking around 'cause I love this guy, I really do.

Yeah. It's hard not to get emotional.

I'm really gonna miss this place. I wanna say thanks to you, Dr. B.

You heard me out, listened to my story and you took me in and gave me a chance.

-Thanks, man. -I love you, buddy.

I love you. Me too.

I wanna thank everybody for coming out, helping us celebrate Adam's graduation.

I'm Leslie. I'm Adam's mom.

It's been a long few years for us.

I am so proud of you, and all the hard work that you put into yourself is really paying off, and I could not be more proud.

I just love you to death.

I'm really not good with speeches, guys, but...

It's been a long road, man.

It's been a long road.

I've learned what a friend is, you know?

'Cause I didn't know, and now I have more than I can count on both of my hands.

Jeff, wake up.

Come on, it's time to drive.

I'm ready.

Not allowed to play rap once you get to the coal mine.

But we don't give a fuck.

I had some depression the last two days.

Just, I don't know. I don't know what it was.

Just was down.

"Woe is me."

Obviously it's still under construction.

You know, it's not like we have the most fun here.

I hung out with that girl last night. She's fucking weird.

You know, tight.

-Never again. -Never again.

It's boring up here.

Really boring.

I get up at four o'clock every morning, take Adam to work.

Pick him up at four o'clock in the evening.

Go on a couple of dates here and there, eat out a lot, that's all I do.

I work for that guy, Scott, and he fucking was smoking weed in front of me.

It didn't bother me that he was smoking weed.

Weed ain't my thing anyways. Drinking ain't my thing.

But if there was a gram of dope, it probably would have been...

If he was sitting there banging some dope, I'd probably be like...

You know what I mean?

My thing is when I get in the truck or the car, and I put on some music...

You know what I mean? Just driving down the road.

I feel like I need to smoke a fat blunt.

'Cause that's just what I do.

Thanks, everybody, for coming out.

It's a special day, and this is a special resident that we're graduating today.

If every program has to have a heart, that's Ryan.

Ryan's the heart of this program.

Ryan, if there's anything you'd like to say to the folks...

I turn everything into the topic of gratitude.


Every day of my life, I'm going to continue to show you gratitude, Jacob's Ladder gratitude.

I just love everyone that has anything to do with helping people that everybody else in society looks down on.

And just... it's amazing.

It's really incredible, and there is not a lot of places like this on the planet.

This is a special fucking place.

Everyone that comes here has an opportunity that a lot of people don't get.

Someone out there is dying right now.

You know?

It's horrible.

It's gonna keep happening, but we don't have to be part of the problem anymore.

You know? We don't.

Like, this is it. This is life today.

And that's all we got.

My keys right there, you hear that?

Ooh, sounds nice.

I think it's this door right here.

I think the counter space is nice, man.

You got a washer and dryer, too. It's got a laundry chute.

Yeah, we're good.

We're good. No one left a bottle of Vicodin in here, dude.

We'll be all right.

You got the place, you get the bigger room.

For now.

Me and Joey had a talk one night about my aftercare plan, and he said he thought he was somewhat confident that I could live on my own and probably be better off, not having to be in a structured environment, as long as I had a good support group, so...

There's a really good community of recovery here.

I think that you'll fit right in, too.

This is it, man. It's gonna be nice.

Yeah, it's already nice.

Oh, God.

You look like a totally different person. You look great.

All right, acceptable, responsible and productive.

I don't wanna get out of bed.

I gotta go pee in a cup.

Story of my life.

You piss in cups all day.

I have to pee in a cup.

I've heard rumors. It was about Jeff drinking.

Chad told me that he had been out one night, and he had given him a breathalyzer, and it had come back a little bit positive kind of.

He wasn't sure, but Jeff claimed he definitely didn't drink.

Chad called me and said, "Everybody's worried about your recovery," and I said, "Why?"

He said, "You're hanging back out with your family a lot."

And I'm like, "I ain't gonna stop.

Why would I stop 'cause you told me to stop?"

I've been drug tested 18 fucking times since I've been up there, not even up there two months.

Probably breathalyzed ten times. It's like...

And no one else in that whole place up there gets that shit.

It's just me for some odd reason.

They think 'cause I'm hanging out with my sister, I'm gonna use. You know?

Man, if I want to use, I will go use.

If I want to drink, I'll go drink.

I choose not to, so...

I got more important things to worry about.

I freaking worry about my kids. I work, you know?

It's like, I'm doing everything right, leave me the fuck be.

But they just don't.

What's going on, Jeff?

I have no clue what's going on.

I don't know what's gonna happen, man.

This place is turning into a fucking shit show.

Everybody fucked up, covering for each other, drinking in the house.

Doing dumb shit, man.

I've been drinking. Got caught.

So I don't know what's happening, but the word on the street is that they're shutting this place down.


to figure it out. I'm not sure.

-Craig, you're just in time, man. -Yeah? For what?

We're trying to hammer this thing out.

So what Jeff told Chad and I was that he was at a girl's house.

He was coming home in the wee hours of the morning, ran off the road, hit this person's house and then backed up, left the scene.

Unambiguously, he has relapsed.

And other people confirming that this has been daily.

I think we could bring him back in here and help him.

What do you think?

I don't think you can bring all of them in this residence, now that they've created a triad of use and...


I think Jeff needs a higher level of care. the kids.

He's at a legal point, where if he doesn't get them in the next 30 days, he doesn't get another shot at 'em. He loses them permanently.

That's my biggest fear is if we sit down with Jeff and say, "Here's your only course of action," he knows what that means, and he knows, "I'll never get my girls back," and I think at that moment, we just say goodbye to Jeff.

I think he's shooting up tomorrow and dead in a week.

That is a very realistic scenario here.

The other part of that is you put these girls in his hands...

I know. ...they're going to be dead, too.

You're not looking... You gotta...

We're looking at a menu of shitty decisions and options, and not one of them is right.

One of them has to be made, but not one of them is good.

All right, boys. Come out wherever you are.

I apologize to you guys that I wasn't insightful enough to know this wasn't a good idea for you.

I thought that even though this wasn't finished, and it wasn't ready, and we didn't have a manager, I thought that you guys had come so far, that this was going to work out until we got it finished.

So, you guys were at a disadvantage.

Having said that, you guys also fucked up.

So we all share some responsibility in what's going on here.

We've got to figure out how can we make you guys safe in your recovery.

This place is obviously not it.

So that leaves us with, what are we gonna do next?

Adam, I think, has already talked with Craig about going to Minnesota and going to sober living out there, and I think that that would be an appropriate option for him.

Is that a plan you're willing to engage?

-Yeah. -Good.

All right, Rush, we would like to throw this out at you.

The opportunity for you to re-enter Jacob's Ladder and to start at the bottom and work the program again, then start working on yourself over, if you'd like to do that.

Honestly, I feel...

I feel better than I have been in the past couple of weeks

'cause I don't have to lie about it anymore.

I've never, ever stuck with it and sat here through the consequences.

I've always gone.

I had money in my pocket, I still do, and my first instinct was to run.


But I didn't, and I think that was a huge step for me.

Like I told you yesterday, I'm proud of you for that, man.

That leaves us with Jeff.

Yours is tough, man.

Yours is tough because, honestly, the extent of how far off track you went.

I mean, it's the life you led before.

The only difference is you're not injecting yet.

Breaking the law, lying, taking what you want when you want, how you want.

Your situation with your girls.

I've already called Kristen Antolini, and I asked her, "Is there any leeway?"

She has to talk to the judge, but she thinks you could have until mid-to-late January to stretch this out and get yourself some help.

Question is, where are you going to get that help?

What do you want, Jeff?


No help with us?

-No help... -I'm already fucked, dude.

I just want my girls, dude.

Drinking, you know what I mean, fucked it all up.

Now I ain't gonna get 'em.

By the time I go there and get out, I ain't had no time to get on my feet, get 'em home.

It'll be over with, anyways.

So I'm basically fucked all around, because I chose to drink a little bit.

We've seen the best you and the worst, and right now, it's like this "fuck it" Jeff.

I don't say, "Fuck it," if I'm you.

I say, "What do I do?"

Do the next right thing in front of my face and hope to God that somehow that we can continue to work this.

This is it, man.

I mean, if you run away from this right now, you're never getting them back.

You know that.

I'm tired of fucking moving.

I know, Mom, but I'm a big boy.

Sometimes I gotta go through these struggles to get to the other side.

I mean, I'm gonna try to figure it out, Mom.

Hey, man, what's up? How you been, dude?

I know drinking's a big fucking deal, you know what I mean, but it's like...

I don't know. I don't know how to say it the right way.

You shouldn't drink, yeah, you shouldn't, you know?

You shouldn't do stupid shit, when you've been drinking...

It's not like we went out and banged dope, went back to the same old shit.

Yeah, but if your life's become unmanageable because of your drinking, even if it's just scheduling.

Even if it's just not being on time, not being home for curfew.

Even if none of the other shit happened, drinking's making that shit happen, or partying, the lifestyle in general.

I moved back in with my mom for a short period of time, and forgot about the Minneapolis thing.

I called my boss and asked if I can still have my job, if I had transportation and a place to stay out here, and he said, "Yeah, get your ass back to work Monday.

I'll see you then."

My decision was made right then.

Paying the bills and I like it.

Here, cows.

Come on, come here.

-Good girl. -Come here!

Yep, yep!

It's the hardest I've ever worked before.

I don't know what to do.

I'm lost in my own little world.

But I'll figure it out eventually.

God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Just for you today, I've asked a friend to read "The 12 Steps."

I'm Rush and I'm an addict.

Hi, Rush.

One, we admitted we were powerless over our addiction, our lives have become unmanageable.

Two, came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Eight, we made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Nine, we made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Give me that. You don't need it.

I don't care. You don't get no more.

No, you've had enough.

You done spilled it everywhere. You ain't getting no more.

-I'll shut it. -I don't care what you're gonna do.

-Making a train track. -Don't! Quit!

I just want more water!

-No you won't. I'll do it. Go! -No!

I'm nowhere near ready for this. I'm not.

Yuck. Here.

Then don't eat nothing at all.

You don't get to pick what you want.

I was finishing drywall, and my boss shows up and I have a kid here.

He's like, "You going to work?" I said, "I have nobody to watch her."

And he's basically told me he don't need me.

He slammed his door and left.

I need to get out of this town, man.

They're in a good home here.

They got a roof over their head, transportation.

Someone feeds them, loves them.

You know?

I don't got none of that right now.

I got the love, but that's about it.

You know? So...

I thought more about getting high this past day than I have since I've been out of Jacob's Ladder.

This the love shack?

Yeah, let's shut this door.

My heat is so expensive, it's unbelievable.

Ten days from now marks my one year that I was in jail.

I went to jail ten days from today...

Mm-hmm. it's like, my life is completely flipped around.

-Yeah. -I mean, I was homeless, man.

I've been around the addiction world for a while, and...

You know, I did notice that you look skinnier now.

You know what I mean?

I'm pretty fit right now.

You know what I mean? I can run up nine flights of stairs.

I don't know. I just want to live my life.

You know, and I have, like... people showing up at my house asking me to come back to Jacob's Ladder, because, you know, I failed a drug test for weed, and it's like, dude... so I should never have bought that car from Jacob's Ladder.

Did you all make an agreement? On taking piss tests with the vehicle and stuff, since he financed it for you?

He made me sign a contract that said I had to piss anytime he wants me for the next fucking two years.

Who does that? For a car?

-You're talking about Kevin? -Yeah.

So, he's like, "You failed this drug test. We can't let you keep the jeep."

Bro, you did drugs, you know what I'm saying?

Like, take responsibility for what you did.

No, that's not it.

That's not it, bro.

I don't know what to say, man.

I just want to live my life.

It's all good, man.

I'll tell you what, there is fucking nothing to do up here, though.

Yeah, I've noticed that.

That Xbox probably has, like, a billion hours on it right now.


All right, brother, I'm gonna hit the road.

-All right, man. -Love you, dude.

Love you, too.

I'm always here for you, man. If you ever need anything, -just hit me up. -I got your number.

If you need medicine right now...

Cuckoo pill.

The addict's favorite part of the day. It's medicine time.

Rush, is this all you're taking? Just one?

-Yeah. -"Take half a tablet daily."

Yep. I'm just on half a tablet.

-Are these half tablets? -No, you have to cut it in half.

I started depression medication. Zoloft, I think it's Zoloft.

Something with a Z.

So I got on the antidepressants, 'cause, like, there was no...

It was going up, it was going down. You know, normal fluctuation.

It was just like...

I just couldn't handle it anymore.

I had, like, really bad thoughts, homicidal, suicidal.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was really young, but I never really took medication. I self-medicated instead, so...

Now I'm like, "What do I do?" I can't self-medicate, so...

I was like, "Sign me up for something, see how it works."

I'm just glad I'm not lost, and I'm still found.

No one's heard from Jeff, really, so that scares me.

I heard he missed a pee test.

So I don't know what's gonna happen, what's going on.

Message MO 22. The number you have called is no longer in service.

If you feel you have reached this recording in error, please check the number and dial again.

Message MO 22.


You gotta walk...

-You're on... -Thin ice, yeah, I know.

Yeah, so...

All rise.

You may be seated.

He is in agreement that he made some bad choices, and I think the short of it is that... because he made a few bad choices, he got scared, and instead of reaching out to help from me, instead of reaching out to help from probation, he just stopped having contact with all of us.

So you have something you wish to say?

I just want to apologize to the court for my behavior, the way I acted out. I got scared.

I apologize to my probation officer for not keeping in contact.

I feel like I let everybody down, and I truly am sorry.

I'd like to have one more chance at this probation.

Would you prefer being in prison, or would you prefer probation?

Your Honor, I prefer probation. I don't wanna go to prison.

Well, you have to follow my orders.

I definitely don't wanna go to prison.

-Listen, these are serious charges. -Yes, sir.

Now, if you like hanging out with other prisoners, we can make that arrangement for you.

-Do you understand that? -Yes, Your Honor.

I can go pee today if you like me to.

All right, I'm going to grant probation.

I'm going to sanction you for 30 days.

Yes, sir.

All right. Thank you. You're welcome.

-What about Mad TV? -Did you see that Sean Spicer stuff?

Did I see it? No, Jack, I'm in rehab. I didn't fucking see it.

-I saw it. -I'mma send that to you.

Look, this gray hair on my head, I named it Adam.

-You gonna pull it out? -You know how many gray hairs I have?

I get a call, and it was Adam, and he just opened up and he said he's been doing heroin, and didn't wanna...

Didn't wanna keep going that way.

You know, had a friend that had passed away due to an overdose, and he just didn't know what to do.

So I brought him back.

What's up, man?

How are you doing, bro?

-Been better. -Well, you're here.

-Pretty cold right now. -Welcome home.

Thanks. I appreciate you taking me back, man.

I told you we'd be here for you. We're always here for you.

It doesn't always work first time down the path, man.

No, no.

Ask all these guys, man.

I think I just had the wrong ideas.

Probably should've stuck around here. Not the best idea.

Definitely shouldn't have gone back to Wheeling.

No, shouldn't have gone back to Wheeling.

Shouldn't have took that job, either.

It was just all drugs and bullshit.

You knew that, but sometimes, you gotta learn the hard way.

Yeah, I just had to trial by fire.

Fortunately, the fire didn't burn you all the way.

No, it did not.

It scorched you. Well, we'll get you out.

Sunday I was at the house, and I get a text message saying, "Adam has left Jacob's Ladder."

He was adamant, said his mind was made up.

He did not want to go through detox, and he said, "I appreciate the offer to come back here, but I'm just not ready to quit getting high," and he just packed his bags, walked out.

I was dope sick, and I was there for two nights.

I couldn't sleep at all, and I felt like I didn't give a fuck.

I don't know, heroin, it's just a whole 'nother level.

Unless, and I'm not ever condoning somebody gotta try it, but if you try it, you know... you're gonna like it.

It's heroin.

It's the worst drug on the planet, because it's so good.

You know, people don't get addicted to heroin because it sucks.

You know, my mom, like, hates me being here.

You know, when she found out I was using, it broke her heart.

How do you feel right now?


I watch a lot of TV.

Watch a lot of TV.

Have you guys seen  Fear the Walking Dead?

It's a good TV show.

I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just winging it.

'Cause it's all brand new again.

I feel like it hasn't changed.

I feel like I'm right back where I was a year and a half ago.

Like, what do you do? Do you throw him out on the street?

I did that. It didn't work.

Made me worry even more, thought I was gonna get the phone call, you know, that he was found under the bridge, or... that he was arrested.

I need a tissue.

So I don't think I'm gonna go that route, unless I'm forced to by whatever actions, you know, Adam takes.

That's gonna be kinda the deciding point with that, you know?

I mean, obviously if I come home, and my belongings...

If I have to buy this damn television for a fourth time, I'm gonna be really pissed.

I've already bought my own television three times.

He had it all three weeks ago.

His own house, his own vehicle, good job, making good money.

Maybe it was too much too fast.

What do you think?

I don't know.

I don't know what I want.

As you can see, you know, things are very far from perfect in my life.

But you can't get help until you want it.

He's gotta make up his mind.

It's very sad.

Last one.

Rush, you're like my mother times four.

Day one.

Yeah, I only need this much space. Okay.

-All that hanging space. -Books. I have a library.

We have a requirement here. You go to five meetings a week.

That can be AA or NA.

We have two in-house meetings a week.

Everybody in the house participates in a service activity in the community once a month.

We have a curfew here.

I still want that accountability, you know?

I wanna be sure that when I do integrate into society from this next stepping stone, Morgantown Sober Living, that I will have what I need to succeed in life outside of a recovery house or a rehab, and this is where I need to be.

-Thank you. -Yeah, anything else?

-No, I think that's it. -Okay.

Okay, welcome to the Friendship House.

This is the 10:00 a.m. substance abuse group.

The topic for discussion today is chemical dependency, but we can also talk about recovery in any form.

I'm Ryan.

-I'm Pam. -Hey, Pam.

-I'm Sean. -Hey, Sean.

-I'm Heather. -Heather.

-I'm Stephen. -Hey, Stephen.

So if there's problems you want to discuss and overcome, we're here to help you. You're not gonna get judged by me.

You're not gonna get judged by Keith. A lot of us struggle the same way.

Today would have been 47 days. That's great.

But I kinda went back one day.

-You slipped? -I slipped.

I mean, did something happen when you had your slip though, or the next day, you were like, "Oh, I shouldn't have drank, because this happened"?

When my brain starts going a million miles an hour, it just doesn't function right.

Don't be living in that shame and guilt, 'cause today you're here, and you're in group, and you're not drunk, and that's a big deal.

There's a lot of different aspects to recovery.

It's like you wanna pick and choose what you wanna do and not do.

You tell me. Take what you want and leave the rest.

I know that's true.


So we can do wellness plans after group.

Any goal you have that relates to your physical, mental or spiritual well-being, we're willing to help with, so...

Rush, man.

Rush, you look good, buddy. Thanks, man.

-I like your hair. -Thank you.

I just did it up. You look amazing.

Thank you.

-Workin' out? -Nope.

-What's up? -What's up, man?

Oh, my God.

I thought we were early.

-Be careful, man. -It's not gonna be "Kumbaya."

Come on, "Kumbaya."

Are we gonna do campfire funny songs again?

I have to have metatarsal boots tomorrow. Mm-hmm.

If you want to go down with me and help me buy them or something like that...

That's fine. I'd much rather buy your boots than give you money.

-Okay. -I mean...

I'm starting a new job tomorrow. Got another fabricator position.

Starts out 13 bucks an hour.

I'm hopeful.

He's back on the Suboxone. Did good at the clinic.

That's a good thing.

I'd rather him be under supervision with the Suboxone than out doing heroin.

So, you know, it's the lesser of two evils.

Seems to be doing okay on it.

He looks better, doesn't have the big black circles under his eyes, isn't passing out mid-sentence.

-Those kind of things. -I wasn't passing out mid-sentence.

-Maybe I was. -Yeah, you were. You were.

But I think he's doing pretty good.

This week, we're on the right track.

Yeah, this week. We'll see about next week.

That's like I said, I'm hopefully optimistic.

Cautiously optimistic may be a better way to put it.

Yeah, these are it, right here, too.

We don't know where he's living, where he's going.

So technically, only people he has that live here are his sister and ex-wife and her family?

-Yes. -And they're with her parents, the kids?

Her mom.

Poor kids.


It's awful how they just, like, let people be released.

I don't know how people are supposed to get on a good footing and follow rules of probation when they don't have any resources, and they're just released to North Central.

-What's going on, man? -Hey.

-How are you doing? -Good.

-How are you? -Good.

-Hey, man. -What's up?

How are you? What is the plan?

What is your ultimate plan right now? 'Cause we have nothing.

I just want to get out of town, man.

-Not gonna let you. -Then I don't have a plan.

We can't have that.

Well, when you leave here... I can't be in Morgantown.

Morgantown's a bad place for me.

You are going to have to be in Morgantown right now, and when you leave here, you need to go directly to the Bartlett House, make sure you got somewhere to stay tonight, then you gotta hit the ground running, trying to find employment.

I'm a three-time felon. You know how hard it is to get a job, man?

I put in every fast food restaurant, from Sabraton to Star City last time.

No one would take me.

You gotta look at it.

You pretty much fumbled the ball.

-You're in the situation you are. -Mm-hmm.

Your wife is in the situation she's in.

Pretty much your kids are just in limbo.

Right now, neither one of you guys are batting 100, so what is our treatment plan for you gonna be?

-Going to NA meetings? -Yeah, definitely.

Do not consume any intoxicants. No liquor, no synthetic drugs.

No K2, no bath salts.

No prescriptions not of yours.

If you decided you want to get on Subutex or Suboxone, Subutex is no longer allowed...

Setting up for failure, you know what I mean?

I can't be in this town, dude.

I can't do it.

It's your brother Jeff. I just got out today.

I thought I could get out tomorrow, but it's today.

Yeah, I don't know what to do.

They want me to stay at Bartlett House, but I ain't about to do that.

They're nothing but drug addicts there. Homeless drug addicts.

Why do I want to stay there?

Hey, Chad, this is Jeff.

I thought about coming back to Jacob's Ladder.

I need it, dude.

My life's getting out of hand.

I just messed up and did a line of cocaine today.

What's this life for?

Give me a call.

Love you, bro. Goodbye.

Old Dad's back.


What's up, brother? How you doing?

-Doing better. -Yeah?

We're happy you're alive, 'cause Friday night, if it hadn't been for that person, the random person who is unnamed that was driving by, that saw the people that you were using with pouring water on your face, smacking you and shaking you, who knows if they would have called EMS?

But that one person called the EMS.

So your hero's out there, man.

A random person drove by and saw you needed help and made a call.

They didn't have to do that.

You could just be another drug addict dead.

You know, people on Facebook saying, "Let him die."