The success of community based substance abuse treatment programs is based, according to Dr. Darryl Inaba, on the fact that they are uniquely able to provide care and support that is sensitive to culture, gender and place. As one of the original founders of San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc., Dr. Inaba has a long history with treatment programs that "come from the street" and so was greatly impressed with what he saw during a recent visit to Los Angeles based Homeboys Industries. "What East Los Angeles has here is an outstanding example of what can happen when people work together to make a positive impact on the people they love" says Inaba.

Homeboys Industries is recognized as one of the most successful gang intervention programs in the nation. It provides drug rehabilitation and mental health services along with job training and employment opportunities for thousands of young people looking for a second chance. Dr. Inaba recently met with a group of Homeboy’s senior treatment counselors to share with them the newest trends in relapse prevention and long term recovery. "These counselors reflect the passion that comes from having previously traveled the same path many of their clients are now on. They share the journey in ways no one else can" commented Inaba.

Dr. Darryl Inaba also had the opportunity to meet with Fabian Debora, an artist who survived gang violence, prison and drug addiction to become instrumental in launching the counseling services at Homeboys. Fabian used his natural gift to express the deeply felt emotions that helped him transcend his addiction. He is able to use his extraordinary talent as a therapeutic tool that supports not only his own recovery but to help others find dignity and meaning in work and sobriety.

"Channeling passion towards a positive end is one of the most effective approaches to sustaining recovery" says Inaba, "and deeply committed communities like Homeboys results in the most effective outcomes. It is all about who they are, it is all about taking care of their own."

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Darryl Inaba is a substance abuse education expert and has worked on numerous books, films and videos on drug addiction education with CNS Publications.