Our People Make Phoenix Programs A Special Place… Meet Greg Carbins.
I was born in Memphis, TN and raised in Gary, IN. I was destined to have a passion for music, right? Throughout my youth, music was always around.
My senior year in high school I enlisted in the United States Army where, upon graduation, I proudly served 8 years. I was stationed everywhere from Columbia, SC to Pyeongtaek, South Korea to Madigan Army Medical Center in Lakewood, Washington.
After an Honorable Discharge from the military I enrolled in Purdue University Northwest, using the G.I. Bill of course. Go Boilermakers! I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I was hired soon after as a Psych Tech at a local hospital.
While working as a Psych Tech I was introduced to AA through a friend from college who had (at this time) been sober for 16 years already. He said to me, “How would you like to DJ an AA dance?” Still unsure exactly what AA was I jumped at the chance to DJ professionally.
The hugs and unconditional love I received from being a part of this fellowship was contagious. It sparked my interest to learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous, so I read the book. I became driven by the spiritual concepts of the program. I went on to DJ NA dances, as well as an Al-Ateen convention in Terre Haute, IN.
By all appearances, my life seemed to be progressing quite well. That is until my depression reared its ugly head and I took off on a quest to “find myself”. This quest lead me to become homeless and cutoff communication with all family for 2 years. During this time I bounced around from Indiana to Iowa to Delaware to Florida and back to Indiana. Living in shelters and my truck. My DJ friend from college let me crash on his couch until I figured out what I was going to do with my life. The internet was in its infancy and I was able to connect with other friends from college where I discovered a friend had moved to a place called Columbia, Missouri. “There are hospitals and colleges here, I’m sure you will be able to find work here man!”
I left my friends couch and drove to Travelodge in Columbia, MO on Vandiver Drive where I lived for the first few weeks of my new life in Missouri. I was hired at Dillard’s in Columbia Mall. It was there that a coworker, whom I came to learn was in recovery after hearing my story, directed me to the “Phoenix House” on 5th Street. I dropped off my resume and the rest, as they say, is history. March 5, 2001 I was hired to work at Phoenix Programs, Inc. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I felt at home. It was like the first time I stepped in that AA meeting in Indiana. It was as if a prayer had been answered. I immediately got to work on becoming State Certified.
Once I became a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor or CSAC as it was named then I got involved with Family Day. This was an all day event held on the 1st Saturdays of the month. It was an opportunity for clients to learn about addiction, recovery, and relapse prevention with their loved ones sitting right there beside them. They even ate lunch together.
The impact that I was able to witness was profound. Clients were hearing, many of them for the first time, how their substance abuse affected their loved ones. Loved ones were having the opportunity, many of them for the first time, to understand addiction and the baffling behaviors they had been experiencing.
In addition to Family Day, I began to facilitate the Monday night Family & Friends Group Counseling. It was during these group sessions I would notice an appearance of consolation on the faces of family members. Sometimes there would be a literal sigh of relief. I knew then there needed to be more in regard to support for family members.
Once a month Family Day became once a week Family Empowerment! I facilitate Group Education for family and friends of a loved one with substance abuse issues. I also meet individually with families for counseling in areas relating directly to substance abuse.
In June of 2013 I became a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist through Mayo Clinic. Having been a smoker and losing a loved one to cancer due to smoking, I felt compelled in this direction.
In almost 18 years of counseling and serving families at Phoenix Programs, Inc, I have seen joy restored in the lives of so many clients and their families. My goal is to always advocate for clients as well as validate the concerns of their families. A little compassion goes a long way
Phoenix Programs NEW Initiative Involving Justice Reinvestment
The Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) pilot program expands upon existing services by providing more intense individualized services over a longer period of time for high-risk offenders. This intervention is designed to eliminate a four-six week waiting list for treatment; a time when high risk offenders are most vulnerable to recidivism, and address the specific criminogenic needs of high risk offenders by creating a seamless transition from under the supervision of corrections to the community. The intent of the JRI Pilot is to establish and successfully implement individualized, comprehensive, community-based services for individuals under the supervision of the Boone County Probation and Parole who have a substance use disorder (SUD) and/or co-occurring disorder (COD) and are at high-risk for re-offending.
The goal of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative is to reduce the health and social costs of substance use and dependence to the public while increasing the safety of local citizens by reducing substance use related crime and violence. Phoenix Programs provides an individualized, evidence-based, best practice continuum of services that includes social setting detoxification, primary recovery, relapse prevention, peer support, court assistance programs, family education, women’s treatment services, day-treatment, residential services, outpatient treatment and opioid-specific treatment, including Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT).
CLICK HERE to find out more about these current openings.