Rehab center president: Getting sober is different in Las Vegas

David Marlon, founder of Solutions Recovery, is seen in his office Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

David Marlon, president of Solutions Recovery Inc., has been sober for nearly 10 years. He founded the rehab facility after getting sober, and discovered not only a new balance in his life but also the drive to help others reach their own potential. Marlon, an avid mountain climber and amateur boxer, worked in the health insurance industry for 20 years and serve on the board of directors for HELP of Southern Nevada, a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping people who are seeking self-sufficiency.

What makes Solutions Recovery different from other rehab centers?

Traditional 30-day rehabilitation programs just won’t work in a place like Las Vegas. In life, there are temptations around every corner, but in the City of Sin, there are temptations poking you in the face trying to get your attention. To get clean and stay clean in a Las Vegas, one needs to address root issues and establish a social and environmental network that intertwines recovery and healthy living. This is exactly what Solutions Recovery is.

Solutions Recovery offers comprehensive residential and intensive outpatient services for a variety of issues, including alcohol and drug addictions, as well as mental disorders such as eating disorders, anxiety and problem gambling. Our organization currently offers 24-hour clinical care for recovery addicts, in addition to treatment services such as experiential therapy, medication-assisted detox, pain recovery programs, chiropractic treatment and dual-diagnosis programs.

What are common addictions you see in Southern Nevada and how do you tailor to them?

We see a lot of people who have a prescription pill addiction, particularly involving the use of multiple addictive substances, and haven’t realized the extent of the problem yet. There is a distortion field around them because a doctor prescribed their pills, so they believe it can’t be dangerous. Breaking through that wall and getting people to open up to help is one of our biggest challenges.

What are your future plans for Solutions Recovery?

Last year, we established an electronic health record system and earned accreditation from the Joint Commission. This year, we are growing, measuring outcomes and improving the use of pharmacological interventions and monitoring programs, while addressing trauma, guilt, shame and other emotional underlying causes. We don’t want to just help people get alcohol and/or drug free, we want to help them get their lives back and achieve their true potential.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Almost every day, I’m faced with trying to convince someone that being sober is not a bad thing. I have been sober for nearly 10 years, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I don’t know a single person who ever regretted getting sober. We help people through relapses and recognize that it’s a process.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job?

Getting to see mothers and fathers reconnect with their kids after being in our program is really special, not just because they are getting treatment, but because they have not been this healthy version of themselves for a really long time. Seeing families reconnect like that is a joy.

What are you reading right now?

“David and Goliath,” by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s an enjoyable read and I like how he challenges the reader to think differently. Looking at addiction as a unique problem for each individual is something he stresses.

What do you do after work?

Being a parent is my most important role. Spending time with my 13-year-old son is top priority. I also enjoy many sports. I compete as a Nevada Athletic Commission amateur boxer and have a fight on March 3 at the Brooklyn Bowl. My work is intense, so I like to disconnect periodically, and I am an accomplished Alpine mountaineer. I summit peaks all over the world. I also attend 12-step meetings.

Describe your management style.

No one individual is as smart as a team or group. I like to help staff members see their own strengths and talents, and let them develop over time. This industry is always changing and evolving, so building a strong team around me that understands the recovery world and our core mission is important to me.

Where do you see yourself and your company in 10 years?

My mission, and the heart of this company, is to help as many people as possible regain control of their lives. This may mean we see growth in Las Vegas, maybe even regional growth. I know millions of Americans need help with substance abuse, so I will never run out of people to help.

What is your dream job, outside of your current field?

I have, without question, my dream job. I get to help the coolest people in the world, in the greatest city, get their lives back.

Whom do you admire and why?

The clergy. People who give themselves to help others are why we are here. Helping us get spiritually connected is beautiful and important.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

As a private company, we are very agile and can move quickly to help people and solve problems. One of my biggest pet peeves is dealing with wasteful, ineffective bureaucratic systems that hold back our efforts to improve people’s lives.

What is something that people might not know about you?

I relish meditating. After being sober many years I began to add meditation to my daily life. For me, it adds to my sense of peace, my focus and my strength.

Tags: The Sunday