It’s Okay Not to Be Okay with Scott Silverman

October 22, 2020

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Thirty-six years ago, Scott Silverman found himself at an open, 44th-story window, on the brink of suicide. Two decades of escalating substance abuse, blackouts and depression had brought him to this moment. Scott Silverman started Second Chance to help people in shelters, the homeless and inmates leaving prison. Just then, a colleague entered the room and asked him what he was doing. Silverman entered rehab the next day and has been sober ever since.

Fast forward to 2008. Silverman has turned not only his own life around but also the lives of thousands of others. Rehab and volunteering brought him close to a community of others in need: people in shelters, those who were homeless, others who had come out of jail. They all shared one problem, Silverman saw: They were unable to find and keep a job. The vehicle for that assistance is his Second Chance program in San Diego, California. It provides job readiness training, housing for sober living, and mental health and employment support services for what Silverman calls a “difficult-to-serve” population. Started in 1993, Second Chance has provided services to more than 24,000 individuals. It helps graduates with job placement and follows up with them for two years.

John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact Podcast is brought to you by Engage. Engage is a digital booking engine revolutionising the talent booking industry. With hundreds of athletes, entrepreneurs, speakers, and business leaders, Engage is the go-to spot for booking talent, for your next event. For more information, please visit,

John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact Podcast, I am John Shegerian. I am so honored to have with us today, my long time friend and great human being, Scott Silverman. Welcome to the Impact, Scott.

Scott Silverman: John, thanks so much, and any time somebody calls me a great human being I feel like next time we physically connect, I got to buy you a cup of coffee.

John: Well, either that or we are going to least give each other big hug, was hopefully it is after we get through this Covid crisis and be just nice to hug people again.

Scott: Well, if you want to hug me, you got to keep your mask on brother.

John: No problem. No problem at all. That is no problem at all. I want to get into all the important work you are doing as a crisis coach, or family navigator, the owner, and entrepreneur of, before we do that though Scott. I want you to share a little bit about your back story in your own words. I know your back story is fascinating, it is important for our listeners to hear, from your own voice.

Scott: Thanks, John. I will be brief about that because I want to– I really want to bring it forward to what is going on today and I am happy to do that because I know people who do not know me and easy way to get to know me is, my name is Scott H. Silverman, just Google me and you will find out everything you want to know and I am one of those kind of guys. I am going to give my phone number out right now, John, if you do not mind.

John: No, go ahead.

Scott: It is 619-993-2738, 619-993-2738 and I dare people to call me. I am one of those people if I get is unusual unknown name in my phone, I pick it up because it is a way for me to try to help a family, get one of their loved ones into treatment. So let us go back. So you and I met by the way when I was running a non-profit working, well, people coming out of jail and prison. You are in the recycling business and I was in the upcycling business with people and we had a great conversation around that and it is been something I will never forget, so thanks to for today in the opportunity. Growing up traditional family, I was in a retail clothing business, one for kids and parents who worked all the time and I was just one of those kids that got in trouble periodically and then I got involved with mood altering substances and self-medicating and then it grew to substance abuse and alcohol and crashed and burned and eventually decided I was tired of living and tried to end my own life and luckily I had there was divine intervention there and luckily I got into treatment, I had my wife who, we only been married 2 years, so she saw the worst of it and she was willing to stand by my side and help me get through what I needed to, went to treatment that was back in, gosh, 1984 in November.

I have been clean and sober now for a little over 35 years, so I really appreciate every day that I have, that I do whatever I can to help others. Once I got sober, my whole world changed. Went to changed, there was no looking back and I have been lucky and I have been fortunate and now I spend every waking moment I have, working with others and once I left the family business it was recommended. I started over, I was on state voc rehab and disability for a couple of years, trying to figure out what to do, the housing business then started a non-profit, and worked with people who had barriers and non-traditional working past just like me. I did that for decades and left that business about 10 years ago. Seven years ago, I do not know why, it is just a calling, I guess. With a guy, we just started this outpatient substance abuse treatment programs called Confidential Recovery, wanted to work with First Responders and we did. That is kind of how confidential got started. Then I grew my crisis coaching business simply because the, oh, so much of what happens with treatment is a family member calls and says, “I have a loved one, I have a significant other, I have a son and a daughter, or uncle, or neighbor, or co-worker, or colleague.” What I did was, I used my own personal experience with the non-profit and working with people who have defined as the community throwaways. Running a homeless agency, I got a lot of experience doing with all kinds of different levels of people of with needs. I tried to do things in a way that was out of the box thinking. Because traditionally in the social service world, they want to keep their job if you will, by keeping the people in front of them in and some sort of a framework of need which is interesting because that is kind of why I started my non-profit. That with social service providers and they said, “Well, Scott, if you are successful when you get our clients jobs, what will we do?” My answer was, will get a job. I have always kind of thought the system and I am still doing it that way. Now, working in a credential facility, we take insurance, but the crisis coaching piece is what I am really passionate about. You have a friend that wants to call me and we talked and then, if they want to hire me, great, if they do not, I give people free, 20, 30 minute coaching and then we figure out what is best. The cool thing about today was Zoom and working off the internet, I can coach people anywhere. With Skype, Zoom, and phone itself, so that is what I am talking about more and more today, that is how I created my own podcast. It is actually called Scott is talking with happy hour. Well, John, we are going to get you on that before the end of the year [inaudible].

John: No problem.

Scott: I called that happy hour because that was one of my favorite time was, when I was drinking was that the end of the day. When I was finished with my cocaine and methamphetamine, so I can kind of mellow out and go home and smoke a joint, and go to sleep. That was kind of how my life was, a hundred hours a week working, and 80 hours a week under the influence until I turned 30 and 66 now so clearly, I like to believe what I am doing is working and I want to try to give us much of it away as it possibly can and help others.

John: Your work is so important. Scott, your work is so important. Your recovery OG and that is why it was really important when I relaunch my podcast to have you on because this is still not being covered. As you know, I am also in recovery, not an OG like you are but OG enough that, again, I see the stigma. Talk a little bit about the stigma. You know, the shame of asking for help and raising your hand. Now, that so many celebrities have come out with issues way around drug addiction and all sorts of other types of addiction issues, is the stigma still there or is it started to come off, or are we still living under that huge cloud try to find– trying to get people to raise their hand and reach out to great people like you?

Scott: Well, let me– I am going to answer that question a different way. First of all, because as an SME and I just, you know, there is so much data out there and I pretty much like the old, you know, the Hoover syndrome I sucked it all up. So right now, the way the science goes, fifteen percent of our country has an active addiction issue that will erupt in the next 12 months. Fifteen percent.

John: Oh, boy.

Scott: It is even more staggering to me is of the fifteen percent, I was one of them. Each day that they are either under the influence are coming off of a night of being under the influence, they negatively impact seven people. So if you add up to seven people plus the fifteen percent that means eighty-five percent of our country right now is going to be negatively impacted, either by the person who is under the influence or if you are coming in contact with them. I am talking a family member, a co-worker, someone on the road is impaired, or someone who is running your business, or working with you, or they are responsible for something, or teacher, or lawyer, or doctor, under the influence. They are going to have a negative impact at seven people if they are in once under the influence.

So to answer your direct question about stigma. It is probably improved to some degree, but let me back up, I am sorry. The percentage figure I want to use and throw at you and the reason for that is, right now is forty billion dollar industry, forty billion that people are spending, insurance companies are spending to provide treatment for individuals. The outcome of that treatment, the average person will spend 28 days and it is substance abuse treatment program or substance use of abuse program. All they do is the 28 day program, I am sure where it is and how much it costs. If that is all they do according to science, ninety-five percent of those will relapse within 90 days to 6 months, ninety-five percent. So can you imagine a business that has a ninety-five percent value array? I mean it is like, so when you think about it, there is a lot of discourage families out there. Number one, that contributes to the stigma. Secondly, it is a shame based oriented unfortunately a disease, but when you look at the disease of addiction and I call it a disease and you liken it to something like, the worrying that I really want is diabetes. Diabetes is a disease. Once you get diagnosed and you get a form of treatment and you are checking your blood sugar level every day and you are putting insulin your body, those are tools in your recovery plan. You can live a very long time, and the same thing with substance abuse issues, but for some reason people are ashamed when they have the issue. If they raise their hand and talk about, “Hey, I need help.” What happens is people feel, they feel like they either be judged or they are not judge because people think it is immoral failing. Meaning, if you do not pick up that drink, John, you will not have a drinking problem. Well, that does not work for a guy like me. If I pick up the drink and I take the drink, I am going to want another one and I m going to want another one and that is part of the disease. My brain is just wired that way. So yes, it is helped a lot that you see some of these movie stars come out, or was Eminem just recently publicly stated. You have got 12 years and Robert Downey Jr., his got one of the best phrases. He said, “Every time I did cocaine I broke out in handcuffs.” They are talking about in a way they never have before, but on the other hand, the level of that celebrity it also is expiring in many ways at a much higher rate, the morbidity rate right now for people at first of all the much younger. Second of all, they have all these great things happening for them. You know, it is interesting. The science says that the disease of addiction, success is as much about a bigger barrier than failure, because failure is like an old sweater. I do not think we have done much– we have not done enough, they put it that way with stigma.

When you think about the opioid crisis that we have had over the last 12 or 15 years really accelerate the last 5 or 6. So many people, we are getting– gotten to the point where they have gotten on prescription medication now. You know opioids little bit more for pain, but how many people are taking medication right now. In this country, we are a pill-oriented consumer and what five percent the population we have eighty-five percent of the medication for dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, and just coping skills. I think it is something like fifteen percent or twenty percent of our children, young kids on, some form– something like Adderall or something near to it. We are a pillar in society so that contributes to it as well and I think what happens is, families are concerned but the addict themselves, do not they have a problem. I mean, look at these kids right now in their twenties that are going to these, they call them Skittle Parties. They go to these parties, everybody brings their favorite self-medicating pill, and they put it into a bowl, a certain time of the night or morning it was stops, goes to the bowl and grab something. There is counterfeit medication that is going in these things. There is Xanex going, there’s Percocet. Valium, Oxycontin, and a lot of it right now is whacked with heroin and or Fentanyl, so we are seeing kids overdose. You know, mid to late teens and early twenties, we have never seen before so in some of that obviously is accidental but there are a lot of kids that are self-medicating because I just cannot process. Now, with marijuana were California, so as you know, marijuana became legal two years ago now and the potency content of that is 28 times greater when I was smoking it back in the seventies.

So when you think about that and of course that keeps the brain from developing. When you are 15 to 25, if you are putting that kind of self-medication in your body, your brain does not build and your maturation rate does not develop. Families have to make a decision. We are going to let Johnny smoke dope, and live at home, or we are going to have to kick them out, and make them homeless, so they get to that impending doom and they are not sure what to do. That is where my crisis coaching and family navigating. It is really been an opportunity because I am not a therapist. I am not a clinician. I am not a doctor. I am not a lawyer. I am not a cop. I am just a guy with a lot of experience, so I kind of come at this in a different way, but what is funny when I sit in a room, like I am on the prescription drug abuse task force. I am on the methamphetamine task force and I am one of the few people in the room, who I used to call myself an unlicensed pharmacist dealer. I am retired now. My daughter says, “You have to say you are retired,” unlicensed pharmacist. So when I come to the room and attend to these meetings, I bring a level of efficacy that is a little different than some of them and not the end there is a county people, but these are meetings would criminal justice, the DEA, the US attorney, the medical examiner. I mean, these are the people I hang out with them because they are the ones who are dealing with the spillage right now and the overdose and it is going on. We just had, I was on a Zoom meeting yesterday and I heard there was three more young people had died in our community over the weekend at one of these events.

They go to these parties and people are making counterfeit medication, making it look like Xanax, Percocet, or Valiums, or even Oxy but what they are getting is at cut with Fentanyl and Fentanyl is so deadly. It is really killing so many people but I do not even know if that answers your stigma question, but I do know this that if we as a country, we are losing about a hundred and seventy people a day right now. Overdose, last year, I think it was north and the claim was 2019, 72,000 plus which is more people actually than died in Vietnam. Right now, obviously with this Covid situation, many people are home and alcohol consumption or sales are up sixty percent. Fentanyl overdoses are way up, methamphetamine distributions wider than ever the dark web. You can buy anything on the dark web and have it shipped to you through the post office. So access to medications, agree with receivable.

John: Did you mean, I never heard and I follow the recovery industry quite a lot. I never heard the term crisis coach before because that is a term you coined yourself, or something that was already out there, or did you normalize it?

Scott: You know, I would like to think that I have been using it a long time because I, you know, life coach just did not fit for me. That became a really big thing I think about 15 years ago and I like the idea of crisis, but then what happens is when people kind of embrace the term crisis, it is almost like, this disease of addiction is the disease of denial the inability to feel feelings. So was not a great messaging, so I have really shifted over to family navigator. So I call myself crisis coach family navigator because that is really what I am doing. I mean, I run an outpatient program but people need a higher level of care. What I do is, I help them get into detox. I refer them over to residential treatment,. I make sure that they, you know, if all they really needed maybe is to check in with an addiction psychiatrist. I try to make the appropriate referral because outpatients more the back end. The reason I wanted to do outpatient was I believe either treatment or is recovery. Treatment is when you get stabilized, you go to the detox, and recovery to me is what we do the rest of our life. So that is why I like the idea of the outpatient piece and I chose First Responders because I just, I used to work with people coming out of jail and prison as you know, came, and visited.

John: Yes.

Scott: That was the population I wanted to serve now. So I figured now, I am helping the people used to raised my old clients. So it is an interesting, you know 360, but the end of the day, we are working mostly with professionals. We are talking doctors and lawyers, law enforcement, says law enforcement is north of twenty-five percent that is there alcohol and self-medication outcomes. That is their data. When you see four cops standing on a corner, according to science, one of them has a potential problem that will erupt this year. The American Bar Association self disclose that three percent of the lawyers in our country have an alcohol abuse problem. You have been in business a long time, John, you know if someone is disclosing, something like that, it is probably a lot higher. It is funny how it got disclosed, they were here at a conference a couple years ago. There was someone from the media and the room where they were talking about, how we have to take care of her brothers and sisters and the bar association.

Because you cannot walk into a courtroom drunk does not really look too good. It is really hard to perform when you are under the influence and if you are talking about saving somebody’s life, same thing with doctors. They really do not even, that statistic is interesting because I cannot seem to get that one, but of course they have been, you know, the AMA is very, very closed about that and when a doctor gets in trouble, I mean it was a doctor up in Orange County that was over selling Oxycontin. It took the DEA’s office almost three years to process, it is a woman. Prosecutor, three years, and they knew that she was writing dirty scripts all that time and probably a decade before. Criminal justice system, unfortunately, I do not think this is a criminal justice problem. I think this is a holistic issue just like diabetes. We have to help people, we have to let him know there is hope and help, and we have to let him know that treatment works. We have to let them know that it is okay, there are three magic words hardest to say, “I need help.”

John: You know, Scott, for our listener should just join us. I have got Scott Silverman, long time friend, just doing very important work. You need to hear his message today. You could go to his website, One phone number, can they reach on Scott.

Scott: They can call or text me anytime, John, at 619-993-2738. You know, what I hear from people, “Hey, I am in New York. You are in California.” You know what? You touch me, anytime because when I go to bed, I put my phone in another room because a lot of tweakers tend to call me between midnight and five in the morning. They were all old folk colleagues of mine. So call or text me, anytime, 619-993-2738 and I will help you answer some of the questions that you may have. About, you know, I am sitting here in a smaller rural area, so what do I do? There is tons of information online right now that people can get, there Zoom meeting you can go to for recovery. There are crisis hotlines across the country you can call. Suicide hotlines right now. There is people answering phones like them before and part of the reason the good news about the behavioral health mental health support coming up is because of Covid. We are seeing suicide rates, skyrocketing right now in our country and it is just, it is off the charts. You know what? We look at a traditional news week. You are not hearing about it overdose anymore. There are too much other things going on right now, different efforts and the crisis we have going on in general our country. Then of course being an election year what is going on with all that stuff at leadership level and black lives matter and what is happening with all of that, people are overwhelmed right now. Especially if they are at home and they are watching the news and we are going to see watch and mark my words in the next three years, we are going to see a level PTSD that we have never seen before in this country, because people who are bringing this stuff in their head and their heart, do not know how to process it. It is the average person does not know how to do it. I mean, we are just starting just took me a year and a half to get prepare, we are ready, we are now in network, we are going to be serving veterans now. You know veterans and then our community San Diego is the third largest city in the country of a veteran population. I just was told last week, there are 270,000 veterans in San Diego and half of them do not even have the appropriate level of insurance to get help. Most people who suffer from PTSD, most people have a substance abuse issue because the only way they feel better is when they self-medicate.

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John: This is tragic. The relieving people…

Scott: I love foreseeing a professional and they are working through it. If half of them do not have insurance, you cannot go to the library and look up how to feel you to look up how to feel better. There are a lot of people in the recovery community who are not able to go to meetings anymore and I see him on the Zoom meetings and I have a colleague who is a psychiatrist and he lost four of his friends. Locally in San Diego in the last six months to suicide because in their business, you know, the hopeless helper business, when you cannot help people anymore, it is like a bad drain. It just clogs up and backs up.

John: So it is incredible the relieving our veterans who have protected all of us in our comforts in this great country that we live in, will leaving them behind that where they should be put almost in front of the line. Just incredible to me that I am going to, I want to actually…

Scott: I did not even know if we are, there just not something they are being ignored. I think the people just assumed that they know what to do and they do not.

John: Right.

Scott: When you are in a level of the pressure anxiety, you are not making smart decisions. When I talked with families, they have kid may go, “Oh, they wanted this, they wanted that.” I said, “Look, your child does not get a vote right now. They can vote about their next steps once we get the anesthesia removed and they are stabilized, but right now, if your kids telling you, they do not need to go to treatment and you tell me you just found 15 pills in their room yesterday and you found 20 the week before, they do not get a vote.” I mean, if they get to be involved with the conversation, I do not mean, it is more metaphorically. Meaning, listen to what they have to say, but let us do not let them dictate to you as a parent, what they are going to do next. Especially, it is like this. If your neighbor’s house is on fire.

John: Yes.

Scott: You would not change the channel. Honey, it is too cold to go out. You are going to make a phone call. You are going to call 911, you are going to throw a rock through their window. You just cannot and you know, this disease of addiction is really similar people are afraid, they do not know what to do. That is where the crisis coaching piece came in. So to answer that question, I just wanted people to know, I am not just the life coach and I have a real specific and I help people with behavioral issues. I helped this really nice lady. She calls me two years ago. She says my neighbor will not stop emailing and she is 87 years old. She saw me in one of the wish time’s articles. She goes, “Can you help me?” I said, “Well, tell me what is going on.” “He emails me. I email him back. He just bothers me, when we walk out to trash once a week. I see him and he will not stop emailing me” I said, “Are you respond to his email?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “You know, you do not have to.” She said, “What?” I said, “Stop responding to his emails.” She calls me in a week and she said, “Oh, my God Scott, it worked.”

Now, we are friends again. There you go. You know, just what I can do that is different than say some people. Well, I am not the family. I am a neutral party. I am like Switzerland. I am the escrow officer. I am the one in the middle. My dog in the race is simply helping the family. It is not many experts that really do that. There is usually a therapist for that one and a therapist for this one or that one goes over here, but I try to get the whole family of coalesce. California what? Fifty-four percent of the families have been– their relationships have ended up in divorce and a lot of them are better. So it is really hard to kind of get parents aligned what to do next with young child.

John: You know, the other morning, I was listening to Howard Stern. I am a native New Yorker, so I love Howard Stern. He is a big proponent of therapies, been in therapy a long time and he had only guy, young guy named Machine Gun Kelly. I am not exposed to his music, but he had a story to tell, a fascinating back story. One, which was full of addiction, losing both of his parents, and raising himself, and he talked about his best friend Pete Davidson, who is another Native New Yorker. I did pick Pete Davidson’s work but Pete Davidson came out and talked about his addiction problem recently, but Machine Gun Kelly went into the story about Pete was literally in a spiral. Literally, as you said out of his mind because when you are in the throes of depression, addiction, and everything else, when it all starts collapsing, you are not making rational decisions. It was Machine Gun Kelly who then got him to a Malibu Treatment Center which helps start turning things around, which leads me to the question, is if smart people who have loads of do, have trouble accessing treatment or knowing what to do. Why is it hard, so hard from rich to poor and everything in between to access treatment in this country when it should not be when this country so democratized when it comes to information and everything else? What seemingly should not be hard, why is it such a nightmare still?

Scott: Well, accessing treatment actually is not that hard. What is really hard, it is the family. There some studies that have been done that says, you know, earlier I talked about how, there is a ninety-five percent relapse rate that takes place. By the way that relapse rate does not matter what program it is, whether it is one of the anonymous programs I go to, or some of the biggest DBT or CBD, whatever initials you want to put on it, does not matter that if someone does not have a follow-up or a continuum of care. It is kind of like diabetes. You do not take insulin anymore and you have been diagnosed and your insulin levels go down. You are going to get sick and die. That is just simply how it goes. So what happens is with families, they believe if they, you know, we can we can love them to wellness. That does not work. According to the study, seventy-five percent of the people who relapse, seventy-five percent it is usually triggered by family. For example. Guy goes through a treatment center. 28 days comes home, parents are like, “Okay, you got to get a job now.” The same noise if you will, I am calling it noise. I do not need it judge anybody but the same noise at that addict was hearing before is now being heard and they just spent 28 days working on trying to get sober and get clean and stay clean. That is their goal. I mean, most people once they go through that withdrawal and the pain, they do not really want to go back. It is not easy a conscious decision. So what happens is the family sometimes can get in the way in a big way. So to your point about, when I have had calls from people in LA and they said, oh, there is so-and-so. Yes, they are making eight million dollars a year now and they have got an agent, they have got this, they have got that. I said, “Let us get everybody on the call.” Because if they are making that kind of money and they are doing that kind of parting and everyone’s just getting out of the way because they do not want to step on their toes. Trust me. They are all going to be going to their funeral. They are going to be to their funeral because you just do not get well on your own. Especially when it comes to self-medication. You know what I mean? Most people do not wake up one day and go, “Hey, John, you know what? I have decided I am going to get as high as I can every day, see if I can end my life by taking something I am not familiar with.” I mean, Whitney Houston. She was on prescription medication. She does street drugs and everything fell apart for her and then and I do not even know all the issues behind her. I am basically coding what I read in the newspaper, but it was Doctor Drew I think. They got on the news for three days and he was so pissed off. He said, “We know too much today to your point earlier about people who had a lot of success at whatever level it might be.” He said, “We should do better.” We said people in the entertainment industry said, he said, “They have been partying for years, but right now people who are on prescribed medication, who are taking street drugs, he goes his own a lot of studies around this yet. You put those two things together, your body does not deal with it well.”

You see some of these stars who, you know, just think of, Bellucci, just all of a sudden they are just gone. Now, we do not get to see the autopsy report and who knows, but according to what he said and what he knows and he lives in that world, the combination of street drugs with prescription medication and who knows what else? It could be at too much Advil or something, but if you mix drugs and this was a few years ago, so today just having a, or is it the type piece of like a pin tip, straight pin tip of Fentanyl can kill you. That is how smaller dose it is and keep in mind, the– I have got some close friends and the DEA where there is a guy that was busted a couple of years ago here in San Diego and they asked him the question. “Why would you sell something that kills your customer? His answer was, he said, “Every time there is an overdose. It makes the news. It goes my business bites so I do not worry about it.”

So that is my competition. That guy, that selling that stuff, making that stuff, importing that stuff, distributing this stuff, I think of him as my competition. I am not afraid of them because I know that if I can cut off his distribution.

John: Yes.

Scott: Yes, I am because that is what I used to do. When I did drug and gang eradication, I would cut off the consumer and the distributor. Maybe come to me one day. You know, Scott we come out a problem. That is sometimes a way to wake people up and go, “Hey, look, there are lots of different ways to make a living, but if you are going to do something that kills others every day, and you do not have a conscience, then maybe we should talk about it. Because eventually what is going to happen, someone is going to take their business which means they are going to take their life and that kind of thing. The survival mode is just, it is horrific. Right now, with the dark web that scares me more than anything because even law enforcement, it is so hard to find people in the dark web because that is where the dark web is about.

John: That is why it is cool dark.

Scott: Yes.

John: Hey, Scott, if you could change just one thing about society and I am just your great magic wand, what would it be right now?

Scott: That is a great question. I like to ask it as well because I think it is a great question. Thank you for that. I think probably, I want to put education prevention there. I also want to make sure that this conversation is important as the weather reports and not necessarily put out a way, but, we hear about the weather morning noon and night. We hear about things that are important and we hear about restaurant openings and we hear about traffic on the freeways and right now a big thing is our schools opening, not opening, closing. At the end of the day the conversation, to your question about stigma, it is just not a– look, the fact that you and I are talking about this now. It is pretty rare. I mean, I started my own podcast. There is a couple of them out there that talk about recovery, but not quite like this. It is mostly 12 step base anonymous stuff.

John: Yes.

Scott: The thing that is difficult and I am a guy from way back from DEA. I get trouble every time I said that publicly because the principles are, you do not talk about it, but my attitude is you know what. I think we need to stop keeping this a secret. I believe is anonymity in my opinion contributes to some of the stigma.

John: Of course, it does. Hundred percent, you are right. Hey, you know Scott, this point…


Scott: [inaudible].

John: There is no way out. No, that is why I wanted to have you on because I wanted it on varnish. I wanted from you, direct from you. Which leads me to my next question. I know a lot of people, Scott. I have had a blessed life in so many ways and thank God, I got clean myself and I am 57 now. I do not know anyone else like you, who works day and night literally and, again, you gave out your cell phone number, you tell people anywhere in this great country, Seattle, New York, Long Island, for Miami. Well, Hoya and everyone in between. You can call Scott, you could text him. Nobody like you, works day and night to help save lives. I have met tons of people in recovery and people who run recovery centers. Unlike others, I met you because when I first got, well, I read your book, “Tell me no. I dare you,” and talk a little bit about like the success of that book. I know you have another book coming out, talk a little bit about, what your vision is and where you are going in terms of your next book?

Scott: Well, the whole idea of “Tell me no. I dare you,” is how to take a no in turn into yes because people who are behind the eight ball and people who are struggling and people who have been pigeonholed, or people just think that they have low self-esteem, or and I learned all this when I talk to people coming in out of jail and prison and homeless people because, once you cross that line the feeling is I cannot get back. I cannot vote again. I am not part of society anymore. I do not even have a skill and I used to talk to, especially the women they were great. They go. “I do not have any skills. I have three children. I just spent two years in County Jail.” I said, “Are you kidding?” You have a skill of survival that perhaps. The fact that your children are still here and your mother’s been taking care of him, you technically, you still have an intact family. Those are great skills, you are a great advocate, you are good leader, you are supervisor, you are chef, you are homemaker, you are transportation expert, we used to put that on their resumes and they get hired at a heartbeat. It was amazing. For me, and the next book I am really excited about it. I was going to have it was supposed to be coming out this month and I pushed it back just because of what is going on, obviously with the Covid. It is all about the opioid epidemic and that is what it is called. The idea of the book is to try to help families and in that book are probably close to 35 stories of individuals who have had loved ones. Some of them have lost loved ones and it is their stories. So hopefully when the book gets out, and it is probably going to be January. Families will be able to pick it up and go, “Now, I know what to do.” So it is basically it is kind of like a GPS or a navigational tool which follows into my family navigator piece. So it is going to help families, understand the– first of all, we are not alone. Second of all, it is not their fault. Thirdly, it is a disease. Fourthly, there is hope and there is help. Last of all, “I need help” are three of the toughest words, but when you express them, generally, somebody the room will go I had no idea, how can I help. If nobody knows or the stigma if nobody knows you need help, they do not know how to help you.

John: That is awesome. Listen, for our listeners out there, Scott, I am so grateful for your time today and I want you to come back when the new book comes out. For our listeners out there that want to reach Scott in the important and great work and you want him to save a loved one’s life or your life, please go to You could call him or text him, 24/7 at 619-993-2738. Scott Silverman, you are just a unique and special human being, saving lives, making the world a better and safer place. I am so grateful for our friendship. I am so grateful for the work that you do, and I cannot wait to have you back on the Impact Podcast. Thank you, again.

Scott: Thank you, John. I really appreciate it.