Substance abuse makes life unpredictable and perilous, much like a live bomb. Counselor Jerry Paredes understands the correlation more intimately than most, as he served in the United States Army as an explosive ordinance disposal technician before starting his career in 2014 at MFI. Currently the Program Coordinator at the center’s sober living facility in Murrieta, Jerry’s job still involves diffusing volatile situations. He says both career paths require patience and trust in the process.
“Bomb disposal and substance-abuse counseling pack a lot of fire power,” he says. “In every case, you have to tread carefully. And you can’t approach either situation with your own agenda.”
Jerry and his 12-member team work together to help transition clients from inpatient recovery at one of MFI’s facilities to the 10-bed transitional home in Murrieta. He and his staff meet with new arrivals to discuss goals as well as strategies for eliminating and handling triggers they will likely face when they return home.
“Continuum of care is a ‘soft-hand-off’ that has become an important part of relapse prevention,” Jerry explains. “It’s meant to combat the revolving door from addiction to treatment to addiction.”
Growing up, Jerry often witnessed his family members relapse. Thankfully, all have since overcome their addictions. He says he isn’t quite sure how he avoided the addiction gene, despite working in high-pressure situations, not just in the military but earlier, during the six years he spent as a police officer. Something he was not able to avoid, however, was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“After serving two tours in Afghanistan and later training locals in Kuwait, I struggled with PTSD,” he says. “I owe the help I got with my PTSD to the counselors who helped me on my return. Working with them made me fascinated by the field therapy. So, as soon as I could, I went back to school and earned a master’s, so I could become a Marriage & Family Therapist Associate (AMFT).”
Jerry’s future plans include furthering his education by pursuing licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. His favorite part of the job is working with his staff, who he says are committed to client care above all else.
“There is a shocking lack of integrity in the substance abuse field. Unscrupulous rehab workers fudge numbers and fake urinalysis results to qualify for insurance reimbursement. Some of the stuff we hear makes our jaws drop. MFI is different. We care more about people than paychecks.”
Guess that’s what makes MFI the bomb!
About MFI Recovery
Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model for each individual client, creating a personalized treatment program. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-step recovery program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy.
Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment.
Our treatment center provides services to people who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. Located in the shadow of Mt. Rubidoux in the City of Riverside, we provide structured and supportive addiction treatment in semi-private, comfortable apartment-style setting. Monitored by professional addiction specialists 24 hours a day, our modern apartments offer a haven for healing during the rehab process. Living and recovering in our Mt. Rubidoux residential treatment facility means becoming healthy again. Our clients receive intensive treatment and learn new, healthy strategies to sustain recovery. To find out more, call today 866-218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at 951-683-6596.