Bob Forrest lived a drug-fueled life in the L.A. indie rock scene of the ’80s and ’90s as the frontman for Thelonious Monster. He was known as one of the worst junkies in Hollywood at the time. But after 24 stints in rehab, he finally got sober in 1996. Since then he has dedicated his life to become a drug counselor who specializes in reaching the unreachable. He’s helped addicts from all walks of life, often employing methods that are very much at odds with the traditional rehab approach.
Bob and his partner live a peaceful almost off-the-grid life in the tranquil hills above Claremont, California. They have a daughter, Sydney, 1. Bob also has two sons, Elvis, 7, and Elijah, 30. Recently the entire family recorded a song at their studio entitled, “I don’t like school.” Bob tries to live by the age old saying nothing’s perfect. But we can strive and aspire to it.
My philosophy of how you help addicts turn their lives around seems like a novelty in the world of psychobabble and co-dependency that dominates our society. It’s called “Back to the Basics.” I believe that the number one responsibility of people in the addicts’ life is to have good boundaries. That’s the clinical terminology. I’m NOT talking about tough love. If anything I just call it love. Love is based in openness and honesty. Tell them the truth.
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘You’re a fucking drag. No. I’m not giving you money…'” quote=”‘You’re a fucking drag. No. I’m not giving you money. If you don’t care about yourself, how am I supposed to be able to help you?'”]
Leave them in jail. They committed a crime. Let them sit a while and think about it.
We seem to have a lot of simple ideas that were a part of the fabric of our society when I was growing up. Things like decorum and dignity. Everything from the casual way we dress to the way we treat our elders, we are just slipping away from dignity. How we got in the mess we are in as a society is part of the reason so many young people have a problem with addiction.. Factor in lack of opportunity for young people, narcissism, big pharma, pot is good for everyone… We’ve got a real mess!
We probably can’t stop drug addicts from taking drugs. But we can show love. We can treat everyone — addicts and ourselves — with dignity. And we can be honest.
“I want to treat addicts with dignity and love and compassion. I’m going to be honest with them. I’m not going to be mad at them if they don’t like what I’m trying to help them accomplish. If they fail or stumble or are defiant, I’m not going to get into arguments with them. I just want to love and help and encourage and nurture and steer people in a more positive direction of life.
I like it when an addict says, ‘well, what’s the point of getting sober?’ And if you give them some bu#%&t line at that moment of truth, it’s going to affect their belief of what’s possible, or what life is really about.”