Rick Reyes, Jr. was born an overcomer, and he has been defying the odds since birth. Born in 1975, 3 months premature and weighing merely 2lbs, his parent were told that he was not likely to survive. While in the hospital, doctors accidentally fractured his spine which would cause him to forever be confined to a wheelchair, if he were to survive. Despite these difficulties, he did survive and was eventually released from the hospital and taken home to be with his family. 

Rick grew up in a two parent household, with two brothers and one sister. His dad worked as a Dispatcher and his mom was a stay at home mother

Rick quickly adapted to living in a wheelchair because that was all that he had known since birth. On the outside, Rick’s family seemed like the all American family, but his parents had a part job that each of the children knew about and no one discussed.    

Rick’s parents where drug dealers in the Los Angeles, CA, who sold large quantities of marijuana in the early 80’s until they transitioned to crack cocaine and eventually methamphetamines. And while things went well for a while, eventually the family lost their large home and found themselves living in a motel. The family struggled financially and at the age of 12, Rick joined a Hispanic street gang. Within a few months of joining the gang, Rick started selling and doing drugs. Rick was an active participant in the gang until he was arrested for possession of a firearm and strong-armed robbery a few months after his 18th birthday. He spent 7 1/2 months in Los Angeles County Jail, but this experience did not change him.

After being released from jail, he and his family relocated, but Rick returned to life in a gang and continued to use and sell drugs. Once again things started to decline, when rival gang members begin to threaten his family. There were several murder attempts made on his life and that of his family members. The last straw occurred, when the rival gang members performed a drive-by shooting near Rick’s family home in an attempt to intimidate them. At that point, Rick no longer wanted to put his family at risk yet not willing to change his lifestyle and decided to leave home. 

The Turning Point

Rick and his girlfriend at the time, went to Northern, CA to visit some extended family and allow his "name to die down on the streets, and within a few days of arriving ran out of drugs. They both begin to go through withdrawal; this forever changed Rick’s life. It was an unintentional turning point in Rick’s life, because had the drugs been available he would have continued to use them. Rick, who had been addicted to drugs since the age of 12, experienced what it was like to have a clear mind and decided that he no longer wanted to do drugs. He had once again overcome a difficult obstacle with little help. He and his girlfriend decided to begin a new life together without the use of drugs and alcohol.

3 years later, Rick and his girlfriend returned to Southern California, and later on his mother passed away from chronic methamphetamine use at the young age of 45. Rick found himself at another turning point, after the death of his mother in 1999. He wanted to make a positive change in himself and community but was unsure of what he could do. He had a criminal record, no job experience, and although it hadn’t bother him until now, he reflected on the fact that he was confined to a wheel chair which in his mind meant he had limited employment opportunities...but something amazing occurred 

The Road to Destiny

After seeing an ad in a newspaper to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Rick signed up and his been living his destiny ever since. After completing his the alcohol and drug counseling studies program, he was offered a counselor position at the center where he had completed his internship, and he eventually became certified a Certified Substance Use Disorders Counselor and Trained Interventionist. Rick’s first intervention was someone in his wife’s family, and afterwards, Rick was inspired to go into private practice. 

During the tenure of his career, Rick has not only worked in private practice assisting families and supporting others, but he has held a variety of positions such as Clinic Manager, Lead Counselor, Educator, and Clinical Director. 

Present Day

Today Rick serves as the owner of the ADCS Institute Online, where he provides professional training and continuing education credit options for aspiring Substance Use Disorder Counselors in California, continues to maintain his private Intervention | Recovery Coaching Practice. 

...AND FOUNDER OF When Addicts Say Goodbye Podcast 

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Copyright © 2019  |  ADCS Institute  |  All Rights Reserved