What Happened to Emma Semler?

BlueCrest Recovery Center CEO Richard Hession talks with special guest Anastasio Botsaris about the Emma Semler story.


The point of this particular podcast is what happened to Emma Semler. Right, so, Emma is, you know, why don’t you set the, why don’t you explain to everybody what happened to Emma Semler. By the way, just so everybody’s aware, so we’re going to be having this conversation. This has now become a much bigger topic of conversation. This is, what I was saying to Stas before was how the average person looks at addiction and families and this and that and stigmatism. But then, this carries over to how the government views it. This carries over to how prosecutors … we’re battling it. We’re in a national state of emergency. Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency. It’s no joke. 50, 60,000 people are going to die this year in the United States alone from overdose because of opioids, right? Heroin is a scourge. They’re trying to combat it, and I get it. They don’t know what to do.
They’re trying to use all sorts of measures and, in fairness, the government, on one side, does try to put into play treatment options. They make it available to everyone. They’re battling for the funds and they’re trying to do all that stuff, which is great, but then, on the other side of it, they also … there’s the law. Addicts get in all sorts of different kinds of trouble and we’re going to discuss that as well, and what’s appropriate versus what’s not appropriate, right?
First, let’s understand the case itself. Now keeping in mind, and we should, again, when we do this kind of stuff and we’re talking to people about it, we have to be completely transparent, right? There is a bias, of course, from you because this is your girl and you love her and you know who she is as a person and you understand the nature of what happened and what occurred with that filter. That you saw what happened, you were there for the before, the during, and now the aftermath and what that looks like. It’s scary stuff, but there’s a bigger conversation that comes from this which is they’ve now put laws in place that are going to have a massive effect on the addiction community and there’s a lot of unintended consequences when they do this stuff.
Why don’t you explain the case and tell, and just talk about what happened and how it all came about.
Right. Emma Semler, young, 23 year old girl, now she’s 24 now. In active addiction. Her, a girlfriend, and her sister all cop drugs together. This is in a nutshell, I’m going to kind of, and we’re going to go into it a little bit and dissect it a little bit further. These are three addicts who have addict language, who spoke about getting drugs together. One had no money, the other one had the vehicle. They got heroin. They did heroin. And Jenny Werstler passed away.
Emma and the other individual left the scene. Okay? They didn’t call 9-1-1. Few years later, got picked up on a federal case and they charged Emma-
Not a few years later.
It was … it was close to almost 18 months later.
Oh, is that right?
Yeah, it was in that ballpark. It wasn’t immediately, charges weren’t immediately given or whatnot. The city didn’t pick up the case, nor did the county pick up the case. The state didn’t even pick up the case. This became a federal crime. The charges were federal.
She was charged with distribution, aiding and abetting in a school zone, resulting in a death. These are two girls that shot dope together, met in rehab, and, again, these are two girls that battled with addiction. Listen, it’s the idea of these girls were some sort of in cahoots with drug dealing or whatnot, this is not the conversation. This is not their issue. If you look into Jenny, if you look into Emma, they have a history of treatment. They have a history of battling with obsession and compulsion. They grew up in treatment. That’s where these two individuals met. They met in rehab.
Jenny Werstler had to be flown back to Philadelphia to face charges because the judge told her, “No, you can’t stay in treatment. You need to come back here and face these charges-“
Which, by the way, and this is what I meant by this conversation is going to take all sorts of different side roads because that’s one of the topics that we’ll hit on in a little bit is the fact of how judges have to make these kinds of judgment calls where this girl gets picked up on a charge in Pennsylvania, she gets flown to rehab to go somewhere else, was actually, according to what the family had said, was actually doing pretty well.
She was doing good and the family begged and pleaded with the judge not to take her out.
Don’t make her come back now. Either let her do it remotely, which they’ll do sometimes on-
Absolutely, we’ve seen it before.
-FaceTime or Skype or whatever for a case. Or, at least just put it off. She’s actually sober right now, she’s doing okay in treatment-
Let’s not interrupt her.
Can we just leave it alone for a little while and then, when she’s stronger and the mom had said to the judge, “Look, do me a favor, please don’t, if she comes back home and she goes back into her neighborhood, back with her friends, she’s not ready for that yet. It’s going to be a disaster.” The judge said no.
Look, I’m not, do I blame the judge for what occurred? Absolutely not. These are hard calls that these judges have to make, and some of them become very turned off with it. When you see enough of us addicts [crosstalk 00:05:12] in our addiction, oh, dude, how could you not? It’s so frustrating for a judge and I get it and they have to make the judgment calls. In the judge’s estimation, you know, some of them are very no nonsense. They’re like, “Look, I hear you, I don’t care. Get her on a plane and get her back here. She’s got to answer [crosstalk 00:05:26] to the charge that took place in Pennsylvania.”
I get it. But, again, is that the right call to make? I wouldn’t put what happened afterwards on that judge, of course. He made the call that he made, but it is one of the aspects of the judicial system. There’s so many different aspects of how we’re treating the addiction problem. How we’re the scourge, national state of emergency. I don’t know that you can make one uniform way that judges have to act. I don’t know that that’s even possible because of the nature of being a judge. But, to have a certain understanding of what we’re talking about and, so, anyway.
The family pleaded with the judge, the court system, saying, “Please don’t interrupt treatment. She’s doing great.” Et cetera. Judge said, “No, get her back over here.” Their fears came true. “We don’t want her back.” It’s a classic thing that you hear all the time. People, places, and things. Come back, get interrupted, immediately when she landed, she reached out to Emma. She reached out to Emma.
And so now, that’s, this talk speaks directly to the case, right? This is with the first and the main part of the what we’re going to be talking about and why. So, she reaches out to Emma on social media.
Social media.
She goes on, what, Facebook Messenger?
Yeah, Facebook Messenger.
She hits her up on Facebook Messenger and she’s like, “Yo, I’m here. You want to get high?”
“I’m here. Do you know a place?”
“Do you know a place?”
Again, so we go right into addict language immediately. “Yo, do you got a place?” Emma responded, “I do. It’s close by. I don’t have a car.” Jenny responds, “I have a car, but I don’t have any money.”
Okay, so now, this is what I mean by we read a lot of articles that have come out. You know what’s going on because of what you saw, but there’s been a lot of media on this. A lot of media coverage and they get down to brass tacks. They get down to the facts, right? If you look at the different, and I have a bunch of them here. If you look at all the different, this has now gone national, right? So, it started off, you got Morning Call Pennsylvania an article on what happened. You’ve got Delco Times Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Inquirer. You’ve got stuff, I printed one of them out that was a New Zealand online publication.
It’s getting-
This is going, this is a global epidemic.
Now this is bigger than what’s going, than Emma Semler.
No doubt. Washington Post, it was a very interesting article and it was very comprehensive from what you read. The one from the Philadelphia Inquirer that I read which was, this will be the vein of what we’re talking about right now, is it was an opinion piece written by Jennifer Williams who was the Assistant District Attorney for the state of Pennsylvania. She’s saying that her sentence was justice, in her opinion.
At the core of this, you told the basic story of what happened. I’ll just start off by saying the fact that those two girls, after she overdosed on the bathroom, cleaned up all the stuff, and left without calling 9-1-1 and saying, “Hey,” anonymously, “Someone’s overdosing in the bathroom. Send an ambulance,” and then leave, is outrageous. I’m not okay with that at all. It’s not cool. But, I get it. I’m not going to pretend why, because I understand the nature of addiction.
This is not, to try and apply rational thinking to irrational circumstances is very difficult. This is the nature of addiction itself. When you’re in the addiction and you’re in the mind and you’re in the throes, you’re high. You’re not, especially heroin, but you’re not thinking clearly at all. You’re scared to death and, listen, I don’t make excuses for it. I’ve told you this before.
We’ve had a very-
I’m sorry, I think she should get in trouble for what happened to a degree. She is culpable because, even though she was incapable of making rational decisions at the time, you got to call 9-1-1. Every addict has to have it in their mind, especially heroin addicts, you’re going to eventually, if you do it long enough and you’re in the game, somebody’s going to overdose-
ODs are as common-
It happens a lot.
It’s as common as [inaudible 00:09:26].
You can’t just leave somebody there. You understand what I mean.
I agree. That opinion, believe it or not, Emma shares that. Emma shares that. This is something-
Her deeper [inaudible 00:09:39].
That’s something morally that she’s going to have to deal with for the rest of her life. That’s what she, obviously, suffers with, but has, and we’ll talk about her getting into recovery afterwards. The fact that the charge, that’s not what she’s being charged with, though. That’s not the charges.
Which is-
The charges are drug dealing.
Listen, granted, and that’s the point. I’m mentioning that because it was the one thing and the one aspect that I said that’s something that she should be held accountable for, even though I totally get. She was in a panic and fear and they cleaned up the shit and they got out of there because they didn’t want to get in trouble. They all were looking at court cases at the time. It is what it is. It was all involved and they just freaked out and they got out of there. Granted. That’s not what she went to jail for.
No, that is not.
That’s the scary part of this and that’s why I mention this opinion piece by the US District Attorney, the Assistant District Attorney of Pennsylvania is saying that the sentence was justice. Well, go ahead, you can speak to what she did go to jail for.
Exactly, she went to jail for distribution, aiding and abetting in a school zone resulting in a death. That law, and that mandatory minimum of 21 years is in place for drug dealers, not drug addicts. Now, again, there’s quotes in there that you’ll find from Emma of what she said. “Why am I still here and Jenny’s not? I live with this everyday. If I could go back,” and so on and so forth. The remorse that she deals with, that I’ve dealt with late night during this trial period with Emma. Tears, sponsorships, et cetera. Everything that she goes over this everyday. She’s never going to live this one down for that.
I want to read this for a second. I just want to read some of what she said in her opinion piece. I mean, the truth is it’s not very long and I can probably read the whole thing, but just for the sake of what we’re doing.
“This case has attracted a significant amount of public attention, in part because it reveals the tragic story of two young people whose lives have been destroyed by opioids — the defendant’s by supplying heroin.” This is at the core of what they’re suggesting is that she supplied heroin, “and the victim by overdosing on it and dying. So too, has there been commentary about the federal prosecution. Some are of the view that charging and convicting Semler with distribution of heroin resulting in death was an inappropriately extreme response to the conduct of two addicts who used heroin together. As a result, the Semler case has sparked broader debate about the opioid crisis and the role of the Department of Justice therein.”
Which is important. It should spark debate because we really need to, as a society-
A thousand percent. Talk about this on a mega level.
What is this going to look at. And so she goes on to say and they just kind of give some bullet points. They say, “Two friends shared heroin in a Kentucky Fried Chicken bathroom. One died, one went to prison. Their families are picking up the pieces. Monco woman, 24, sentenced to 21 years in prison for a friend’s heroin death overdose, overdose death, and treating overdoses death like murder will only deter 9-1-1 calls for help,” is one of the arguments that Sarah’s side had made. And she says, so this lady, the Assistant District Attorney, these are the people that are making up and applying the federal rules-
The mandate.
Now, when they came up with this law about distribution resulting in death, it was, my understanding of it was, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe I am. The design for it was intended to apply towards drug dealers.
So people who are out there on the corner, selling, making that money, buying the BMWs, doing what they do as drug dealers.
You’re stigma drug dealers. Absolutely. They’re drug dealers whether they’re block boys on the corner, or they’re supplying other dealers and so forth and so forth. The story goes on.
I think they call them “corner boys.” [crosstalk 00:13:22] Is they call that in Philadelphia? It’s a block boy? Okay.
“So, first, and I cannot emphasize this enough, Semler was not prosecuted with distribution of heroin resulting in death because she used drugs with her friends who died, nor was she prosecuted because she was a drug addict. She was prosecuted because she supplied heroin to Werstler and then willfully left her to die in the bathroom floor of a busy restaurant,” which is weird because that’s not actually what the charge, my understanding is it had nothing to do with her not calling 9-1-1, it was straight. It’s almost like they’re saying, “We kind of applied this because we also were upset that she never called 9-1-1,” which I get, but it was an odd statement if that’s not what-
They were charging her morally as well.
Which is what that speaks to, if that wasn’t actually on the charge.
That’s what a lot of this controversy is. If you go on, you’ll see that, and every article Emma’s remorse. Emma walked in-
Of course, but let’s not go there yet because this is at the core of what we’re talking about which is, “Emma Semler was as much of a drug distributor as her suppliers. She had a long history of buying drugs and supplying them to other people. In fact, Semler received a discount from her dealer and routinely collected money from individuals who were afraid to travel to Philadelphia to purchase drugs for themselves. She would fill orders as well as have others buy her drugs as payment for her personal drug connection. She operated like a drug dealer because, in fact, she was one.”
So, let’s talk about that for a second because, to me, this is at the core. So, when I read this lady’s opinion, it pissed me off. The reason it pissed me off is you have to, if you’re going to be applying justice and punishment to people, you have to understand the nature of addiction itself. You have to because we’re in a national state of emergency and, when they go on later to say, “Well, we’re in a fight against the opioid epidemic and we have to do things and make these decisions,” they’re now putting themselves into the fight. They’re not just saying, “Well, look, the law’s the law and this is what’s in and this is what we did.” They’re literally making themselves a part of the solution to the things that we have to apply to do to fight this scourge, this opioid epidemic.
My premise is that, if you’re an Assistant District Attorney or anybody within the federal government that’s going to be making up rules and applying these laws, you better understand the nature of addiction itself, at least to a degree. Now, when you tell me that this girl is as much of a drug dealer as her drug dealer, it’s ridiculous.
It’s scary.
The reason it’s ridiculous is I don’t know any addicts, or at least not many, that at one point or another didn’t middleman.
Let’s talk about what does that mean to middleman, right? All of us, when you’re an addict, and you don’t have the money to supply this, unless you’re independently wealthy and you have an endless supply of dope-
Very few.
Very few. Most of us are out there and we’re breaking into cars, we’re panhandling, we’re borrowing money from family-
We’re doing whatever we can do to get another.
Absolutely. Sometimes it’s work, sometimes it’s borrow, sometimes it’s steal. But, other times it’s middle manning. And so I’ve done it a thousand times. When I was out there using, this is typical addiction behavior. Everyone who’s out there who uses knows this. “Yo, dude, dude, I got money but do you know anybody who’s holding? Do you know anybody who’s got?” “All right, look, give me the dough, I’ll come back and I’ll meet you. It will take me about 45 minutes. He doesn’t like to meet other people, so it’s going to have to go by myself.” That’s what we say because we don’t want them there to see the count.
I go, I meet with the guy, I leave his house, I pull over on the side of the road, I hit the bag up a little bit and put a package in my pocket for myself for later. I go back, I tell him, “Aw, man, look little bit of a beat count, but it’s good quality.” Same nonsense we tell everybody. Then they share with you and then you do a little bit together. I’ve done that 8,000 times. “Oh, what, you don’t know where to get Valium? Yeah, I can get some for you.”
Dude, anybody, these are all pals. I’m not out there, listen, and that’s another thing. I’ll make a caveat. If I found out that Emma was doing this for some kid in high school who never got high before and she charged him $20 to go get, you’re basically a drug dealer at that point. These are people who get high with her. We do it together all the time. You got the car, I got the money, let’s go. I’ll go get it. You got me. I don’t have any place to do it, you can use my apartment.
We do this. Addicts, when you’re out there and you’re using, this is common. If you’re going to prosecute like this, in the heroin, well, dude, there’s going to, there’s different results. But, resulting in death, if there’s 50,000 overdose deaths, 50 or 60,000 overdose deaths this year, how many of those overdose deaths, if you went back and looked on social media or text messaging, how many of them were two friends or three friends who got together and boom, boom. Now, whether you call 9-1-1 or not, based on the way they applied the law, and this is what scares me. Even if she had called 9-1-1, which she should have, and I think she should, I’ll keep repeating it over and over again, I’m sorry, but she should get in trouble for not calling 9-1-1.
I’ll address that part, too, because she-
And we will, and I know she agrees with it as well, which is totally appropriate. But, even if she had not done that, had she called 9-1-1, this law would still have applied to her.
Correct. The law, even the Good Samaritan Act, does not, you’re still going to get charged. You’re still going to get charged.
So, if the Good Samaritan Act is not going to stop and they go back and they see that they did what addicts do every single day, all over the country, this is typical addict behavior where you got, I got, I’ll pick up for you, you pick up for me. We’re changing. I give it to you next time. You give it to me. It’s a lottery. Out of the 60,000 deaths, let’s say this happened where, if you went back on social media, you could probably find that they got it from somebody or they did it together where you can make a case to apply this law 10,000 times out of the … so what, you’re going to send 10,000 kids to jail for 20 years because they did what addicts do? They middleman, they get for each other. This is very typical addict behavior. This happens every day, all over the country.
This is one of the biggest things is where they refuse to recognize any of this. Even just the language when they, even the cleanup that they mentioned, that she supplied water. They were in a bathroom.
Water wasn’t supplied, it was by the faucet. It just goes on, and they drill it as … to paint the picture of Emma. She’s been using drugs since she was 15 years old along with Jenny. Jenny, maybe 16.
So, again, but let’s, to that thought, if you read the next paragraph from this opinion piece from the District Attorney. “Even though Werstler considered Semler a friend, Semler showed a shocking disregard for Werstler’s well-being. On the day of Werstler’s death, it was Semler who supplied Werstler with everything she needed to get high, including the heroin.” Well, we know that already. Hey, I don’t have a car. I got the car, you get the money, can you get, let’s get high. I mean, she supplied her with the heroin. I mean, they talked on social media, made a plan, let’s go get fucked up. That’s what they did.
But she supplied her with the heroin, and then, what else does it say she did? “The needle, and the money to make the purchases. After the first hit, it was Semler who chose to give Werstler a second packet of heroin.” Again, my understanding of what went down that day was it was her birthday [crosstalk 00:20:30] and they were celebrating. And she, because it’s my birthday, can I get a second hit?
Now, I’ll tell you, again, this is very, this is addiction. This is the addiction community. When you’re in your cops, you know, on my birthday every year, I was a big cocaine guy. Every year on my birthday, my drug dealer, every time-
Would give you a bag.
No, what he would do is he would always sell his, he would keep it in a big, big mountain of cocaine in a cellophane bag like he would hold an ounce at a time on him. He would pour it into dollar bills and that’s how he would sell it to you. How much money do you worth? He would eyeball it. He knows a gram. Just by, give me two grams and he would put it into a bill and fold it and give it to you. But on my birthday, he would always hold open the bag and give me a straw and he would put it in and tell me, “You can, one hit, but you can do as much as you want.”
I would literally go, I would fall on the bathroom floor. Every year on my birthday, he got a kick out of it because he knew I would do a ridiculous amount and it would literally collapse me on the bathroom floor. The hit that I would take from directly from his bag. I probably did like a gram and a half in one shot every year on my birthday. Now, that could easily give you a heart attack, whatever. Now, he’s a drug dealer. I don’t mean to make that case that he was, but my point is that this kind of stuff of well it’s my birthday and I get a little extra or you get a little bit more. The way this lady’s made, she basically tried to pose this in a way where she supplied her with the needle. She supplied her with the heroin. She supplied her with the, yeah, they were getting high together.
If she happened to be the one that brought the needle with her, it’s irrelevant. They both had an intention to meet up, hook up, and get wasted. That’s what we do every day.
Addict language, again, you got works? You got works?
Exactly. Who’s got it? All right, I got it. Okay.
That is the … even in the text messages back and forth, Emma stated, “Are you sure you want to do this again? I don’t want to happen what happened last time.” This wasn’t Jenny’s first rodeo.
No. I hear you.
At all. Again-
Neither one of them.
-this poor girl is no longer with us. I want to say that because I’m obviously with Emma. But this girl is never coming back.
You know how we refer to that, right? We lost another one. We, as a community, lost another one.
As a recovery community, we lost a soldier.
I never met Jenny Werstler, and I’ll tell you right now, since this all happened that I read these stories, I’ve thought of her a lot because I vision what happened. She was yet another. I’ve been to so many funerals, I know so many people personally. I deal with the families after the overdose death. It’s crushing what these people go through and, especially as a parent, there’s nothing worse than you see this train wreck coming from a mile down the road and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can try, and their family did. I know. [crosstalk 00:23:18] Treatment facility, this, that, constant support.
Relocation, exactly.
That family was in it with her for sure.
What Emma says and what we say, we can only assume, we can only assume that Jenny was going to be afforded a lifestyle just like Emma was. Turn into a freaking rock star, in recovery, get a job, change their life around, but she’s not afforded that. Because she battled with something-
And she could have had she not-
She could have, had she not. Right. Of course.
Again, we won’t get into this, but that speaks to some of the other down the pipeline problems of the fentanyl problem and the shit that they’re selling out there on the streets and the actual drug dealers that are out there manufacturing this shit and putting it out for fucking sale and it’s coming to these kids and they’re lacing it with fentanyl and they’re overdosing in record numbers. What are they doing? They’re still putting it out. I mean, and by the way, and again this just speaks to the mind of addiction. Regular people don’t understand this. The US District Attorney doesn’t understand the mindset. As sick as it is, and unfortunately I do, and when you tell me that in a particular neighborhood like in P-town, right down the street, if somebody overdoses and you find out that two bodies or three bodies dropped in a particular area, most of the drug addicts around here, they go right there to get that package. Oh, what brand did they have? What was the stamp? Because that’s what they want. They don’t want to die, but that’s not going to happen to them.
It’s notorious.
They know it’s going to be strong and I can withstand it and that person was probably a novice. That’s how they think.
Of course.
That’s what they flog to. Now, that’s insane. Any normal person hears that and is like, “Why? What?”
And, again, brings me to the next point. The same dope that killed Jenny, the next day, Emma shot up again. She’s an addict.
There it is.
It didn’t matter that this killed her friend, the drug. Are we, that’s a suicide with a plan. This is what addicts live with every day.
But she wasn’t thinking suicide. She just didn’t believe it would happen to her.
At the end of the day.
And to numb any sort of pain, anguish, didn’t matter. I need to get high. It’s always about the next one.
And you know what the reality of this is too? Again, this is conjecture so this isn’t based on any kind of fact. But it is based on vast experience from all of this. Any addicts know this and listen to us and they’re like, “Yep, what they’re saying, that’s right, that’s right.” I’ll tell you right now that if Emma had been the one that overdosed in that bathroom, there is an, I’m making up a number, there is an 85% chance that both her sister and Jenny would have cleaned everything up and gotten the hell out of there and ran. There’s a good chance even her own sister, that’s the nature of addiction.
That’s a very, very, very good chance. 100%.
They can’t, they got to get out. They’re not thinking rationally. They got to get out, they got to get out, and they just go.
Later when the mind clears, “Why did I? I should have, I should have have, I should have, I should have.” But you have no ability. They all just got high.
And the question that’s probably on everyone’s mind is where the fuck are the drug dealers? Where are they? When you reach out to someone, when you call me to go cop and I’m like, “I don’t have it, we have to go together. Do you have a car?” We’re abetting each other. This is what we’re doing.
No, listen, it’s a fair point and, again, for me, for my money as a parent, as somebody in recovery, as a business owner, as a now a productive member of society, my question to the District Attorney and the federal government is so, they got high together, you pin the entire thing as if she was the drug dealer because she supplied it to her, which is, again, outside the reality of what the reality for addiction and addicts getting high together is, but whatever. You apply that. Where are the drug dealers? Did you not think, well let’s find, let’s take this down the chain because I haven’t heard of any of those people having been arrested for any of this or gotten in any trouble. They just took the 22 year old, 23 year old girl who was her pal that got high together and they decided to craft this story, this narrative. They created a narrative is what they did.
They created a narrative that speaks outside of the reality of what addicts deal with every day and they’re doing it in the vein of battling the opioid. That’s the problem. They’re doing it in the vein of battling the opioid epidemic. You cannot battle an opioid epidemic and be successful without understanding the addict themselves, the reality of these situations and interactions and dynamics that take place. If you’re going to ignore that, and you’re going to apply your own outside logic putting aside the reality of what these people deal with everyday, you’re not going to get justice. What you’re going to get is a warped sense of right and wrong that doesn’t apply appropriately in this case.
Not to mention, now, being in recovery, being an addict, learning how to beat the system in active addiction. This is going to defer 9-1-1 calls. Me and you use and the cameraman ODs, and after we read this stuff, what do you, we’re taking his phone now. We don’t want to get, we don’t want any link to him.
Let’s hold off on that one second because she makes an inference to that and I want to cover it when she makes inference to it.
I’ll read on to the next one. So it says, “It was Semler who chose to give the second packet of heroin because her birthday. Further, Semler knew exactly what was happening as Werstler showed symptoms of overdosing but, instead of calling 9-1-1 or calling out for help, Semler decided to clean up the bathroom, hide any evidence of drug use, call her mother for a ride home, and leave Werstler sprawled on the floor to die,” which, again, we’ve already addressed. Not a good decision, not the right decision, absolutely horrendous.
“The jury’s unanimous verdict returned after less than two hours of deliberation speaks volumes about its assessment of Semler’s culpability.” I mean, listen, I don’t pretend that a jury’s going to understand the nature of addiction, but I know that what a jury understands is you’ve created a rule, you’ve applied this and created this narrative to fit it, I don’t know that they could have come up with any other verdict other than this is how you’re saying the law applies. Obviously, it does apply that way based on how you’re crafting it. I don’t know that the jury could have said anything else.
My problem is not with the jury. My problem is with the rules and the law and the way they’re applying it in the first place, right? I mean, do you think, is that fair?
It’s extremely fair. That was one of our issues, again, going to trial, going to court, speaking with them and having them try to get an understanding of what the actual, the scenario is as opposed to creating a narrative.
Now, keep in mind, this justification opinion article, this is a justification article for the prosecutors in Pennsylvania. It’s what it is. You can see it throughout the whole thing. Here’s an example. “Even the judge who presided over the case assessed Semler’s culpability, commented on Semler’s apparent lack of concern throughout this tragedy for anyone but herself and imposed the sentence above the 20 year mandatory minimum.”
Again, if you read all these other articles, and a lot of them talk about it, she literally was sitting in the courtroom sobbing hysterically. One of her things is that she felt she should be dead as well and she doesn’t know why she’s here and not Jenny.
Now, I don’t know what kind of Academy Award thing they thought she should do in order to show that she was, but, again, you know better than anybody else, you know her mind. I know of her through you, and we’ve had these conversations of how she, after this happened, she sponsors a gazillion women-
Gazillion women.
-She’s gone full board into sobriety, helping others, she’s literally helped a lot of girls from the gutter to become women of dignity and respect over the last couple few years as this whole thing’s been ongoing.
Completely changed. I mean, she is in Philadelphia. She is a go-to woman, a leader, in helping women. She has, I mean, sponsorship is just obviously one of our five main things, but the way she sponsors women. The whole time during trial, Emma’s posture was head down, shame, and guilt.
Posture of humility. Sadness. Something that she can never change. Again, the charges are drug dealing. Not what I did morally. Again, I want to say, Emma will tell you that there should be a repercussion for her fucking behavior.
Of course, of course.
This is the thing. So, come sentencing, where the judge addresses this again, her posture, Emma walks into sentencing. Bursts into tears. Sees the family, bursts into tears. Can’t stop. Sobbing, et cetera. Tissues, the whole nine.
As she’s reading, the judge offered her an opportunity to read her letter that she wrote to the family, to address the court, to address the whole situation and the federal government. Judge Pratter stopped and said, “This whole time you’ve never apologized to the family,” which is not true. We legally were not allowed to reach out to the family. I have stacks of letters from Emma for the family. Not allowed to give them. No contact, no anything. Not social media, we had to automatically block them, even if they tried to reach out to us, we weren’t allowed to. From the federal government and, obviously, from our lawyer’s standpoint.
Which I’m sure that’s just a legal thing. You can’t, you know-
Totally understandable. Totally understand. We have letters for them. Letters, mounds. Again, the judge said, “You’ve not apologized to the family yet. Why don’t you do that right now.”
Emma, again, you could see her shaking there. Stands up, she couldn’t even address them. The minute she opened her mouth, “I don’t know why she’s here and not me.”
The point of this is that the Assistant District Attorney and the government is creating, in her opinion piece that she put out to justify this justice that she got, she’s basically saying in this one thing, “Oh, just look what the judge said to her. She obviously doesn’t care about herself.” I’m like, I get it. Most people, any criminal, any crime that you have, when the people are there and like, “If I could go back and take it back,” most people think the same thing. Yeah, of course you say that now because you’re about to go to jail for fucking 15 or 20 years, so yeah. If you weren’t about to go to jail, I don’t think you’d be sorry about it. That’s usually true. For the most part, criminals all the time are always all of a sudden they get to read an impact, “Oh my god, I wish I could go back in time.” But really, what they’re sad about is the reality is they’re sad because their whole life is now screwed.
The truth is, and I know. I know addicts. I know, again, you and I have talked about her and about us and the way she lives now. I know for a fact that, if she got in no trouble for this, she would be haunted by this for the rest of her life. She’s going to be anyway, whether she got in trouble or not, she is not callous. This is not who it is. But she has to paint this picture for the public to say, “Look, this is justified because this girl didn’t even care.” It’s nothing could be further from the truth. I think it’s interesting that the ADA in Pennsylvania is literally trying to create this narrative to say, and so let’s go on.
It says, “Nonetheless, some critics have claimed that prosecutions like this one will deter other drug users from displaying basic human decency and calling for help if they observe some overdosing. Of all the things that Semler did that day, the one thing she did not do was call for help. To imply that the consequences of her failure to do so will discourage others from seeking help if presented with the same choice, is illogical and inconsistent with the facts of the case, and perhaps more importantly, it simply does not give people enough credit.”
What planet are you from? I don’t get it. You’re applying rational thinking to an insane, out of control, irrational situation that goes on everyday with drug addicts using drugs and getting high together. You obviously don’t understand and when you tell me and I read that paragraph, I remember when I read it. I had to read it three times. I’m like, “Give people credit?” These kids are not, this is not like me walking by and seeing somebody lying and I’m sober and I’m off to the park with the kids and I see someone dying in the gutter and I just look at them and then just walk on. I mean, these are drug addicts that are in the throes.
When you have this kind of a case and Good Samaritan Law now, obviously, won’t apply to these situations, and you have addicts who now look at her, let’s just call the case what it is. This is what the case is. What goes on now, this is mindset stuff. This goes, this reverberates. It’s not just with you people and everybody who’s reading their newspapers and observers of the addiction thing. This gets its, makes its way around the addicts themselves in their little meetings and their coffee clutches and in the dens. All the different places and they love to talk and have these conversations about what’s what and what happens and what the reality is. The reality is that you’re prosecuted this girl, this Good Samaritan Law wouldn’t help her at all, and what happens is now that we have these cases, the kids realize that they’re going to go back and check cell phones. They’re going to go back and check social media. They’re going to interview. They’re going to look at cameras and see who was with them and blah blah blah.
So now, and again this is an aside from the conversation we’re having. But, we both know addicts. My guess would be that the addicts at some point will get wise to this and they’ll even start figuring out other ways to communicate.
We’re going to find a [inaudible 00:36:38]. Like we just said. Like if me and you, if us three used right now, and he starts ODing, we’re going to take his phone. We’re not going to jail for 20 years. That’s what they’re going to do. It’s going to defer. They’re going to, to check our references from Facebook, Instagram, who reached out to who, who supplied it, this and that. I mean, this is the scary intent of this. The logic that the government has to justify this and, again-
Again, but that’s the point, right? It’s just that they are saying in this, or what she is saying is that for us to think that this is going to have a negative deterrent on people from actually making these 9-1-1 calls is frightening.
It’s scary.
There’s no way you can believe that. There’s no way, even if you don’t understand addiction well, if you’ve seen or read anything about what goes on to try and apply this kind of rational logic to this kind of insane, irrational situation known as addiction, it doesn’t work. You are. This will in fact have kids more afraid because they know at least I can roll the dice and maybe they won’t realize that it was me or that I was there or I can deny.
Especially when they’re in active addiction.
Especially in active addiction.
Absolutely. But once I call, I know they’re going to know it’s me, they’re going to look right to the roots, they’re going to trace it back. If what happened here is what happens, they’re going to see that I went and picked it up. I didn’t really buy it for them, but I’m the one that went and got it and shared it with them and, according to the law that they created, you’re now a supplier. They say you’re exactly the same as a drug dealer. That’s the same thing. Me picking up and you and I saying, “Hey, let’s get together.” Remember, we’ll keep reiterating this over and over again. You and I are going to hook up and we’re pals and we’ve been using together for years. You’re like, “Yo, yo, you got any dough?” “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got it. I’ll go pick up and I’ll meet you over at the so-and-so. You pick me up.” “Okay, great. You come pick me up.” Boom, you overdose. I go to prison because I distributed it. I’m a drug dealer according to what the federal government is saying in the state of Pennsylvania.
I vehemently disagree. I don’t agree. It’s not reasonable to suggest that that is a reasonable reaction or the way that we need to go about combating the opioid addiction. It’s just not reasonable. She is justifying and I get what she’s saying. In normal circumstances with normal, “Oh, you don’t give people enough credit.” Dude, you don’t know-
You don’t know what it is.
It’s not a reasonable thing to say. It goes on to say, Stas, “I will be the first to acknowledge that there is no simple solution to the horrific opioid crisis that surrounds us.” And that’s true. “It requires a persistent, multi-faceted approach.” Very true. “The primary role of federal law enforcement is to enforce our nation’s drug laws.” Yeah, well that’s obviously true. “And to that end, one critical aspect of the department of justice’s strategy is to prosecute people who break the law and cause someone’s death by exploiting the person’s addiction.”
Again, it speaks to the nature of it. If you’re a middleman and that’s, again, something that we do all the time. You can ascribe exploitation to that. You can say it’s exploitation. The reality is every one of us at any given time, if we can be the one to go pick it up and we’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got you, I got you, give me the money, I’ll go get the stuff and blah blah blah.” And you’re going to middleman it, happens everyday. Happens all the time. If you’re going to ascribe that they’re exploiting that addict, exploitation is part and parcel of addiction. I’ll go to your house and I’ll steal money from your mom’s purse. There’s 80 million things that we’ll do-
Rob Peter to pay Paul.
No doubt. There isn’t any way I won’t exploit because exploitation is part of the, it’s just literally a part of the thing.
I’ve done some messed up stuff in active addiction. Messed up stuff. This, me and Emma have spoken about it. She knows the jail time is a penalty. She knows it.
Again, I’ll be honest with you. It should be. As a deterrent, you do have to have some kind of, there should be-
A repercussion for this.
Not for distribution, it’s ridiculous. The last sentence of this thing says, “This is exactly exploiting the person’s addiction. This is exactly who Emma Semler is. She may not be a physically intimidating figure who sold drugs on an urban street corner, but she was a drug distributor nonetheless.” That is ludicrous. That is not what happened here. It’s ridiculous. I get the middleman thing. In this case, she wasn’t even middle manning. In past cases, I’m sure she did. Someone needed some drugs and they were like, “Yo, can you get it for me?” And she got the bag. In this case, it was just-
They were using.
It was just people going out to use and get high together. This is a ludicrous statement, and there’s no way that she was a drug distributor, right? There’s just no, you cannot apply that logic here. It doesn’t make sense.
This is … Emma battled, and so did Jenny. This, that generation, even my generation, I’m older than her, but this is what it is. These kids were shooting dope at 15, 16 years old. Going down to West Philly to the belly of the beast. All it takes is one time, an addict to have the obsession that hard, to drive from Collegeville, PA, go down to West Philly, to a freaking … to the war zone.
All it takes is one time. Then a girlfriend comes, then a girl. And that’s what it is.
Isn’t it interesting that, here we are, you and I, talking about this whole thing and what a terrible, and it really is. Most of the articles do say it. This is a tragic situation with no winners. This is terrible, which sounds a lot like the addiction play. The pandemic itself is a tragic situation with no winners. Burnt relationships, destroyed families, bankrupted families. The horror that this thing creates, absolutely unbelievable.
You and I are sitting here and talking and, again, I’ll say to the ADA. I’ll say to the federal government. Let’s have a further conversation. You got to have rules that make sense. In this case, now I’m not saying in other cases someone might not be considered a drug distributor, but in this case and in the cases exactly like this which again happen thousands of times everyday all over the country. In this case, that’s not true and it’s ridiculous that she would be given prison time for that at all. To me, and what my understanding is, that she didn’t even go to jail for. For me, if you say that she had a moral responsibility to call 9-1-1 when she left that bathroom and you want to ascribe some type of serious, like a punishment to that so other addicts say, “You know what, I better at least call 9-1-1.” Because that’s the point of the whole thing. Don’t do this because this is going to have them say, “Take the phone, hide everything, because I don’t want to go to jail for 20 years.”
But if you say, “You’re not a drug dealer, we’re not going to apply a law that was intended for actual drug dealers to friends and people who are getting high together when someone dies, we’re not going to do that, but we are going to tell you kids is that even in the throes of your addiction, keep it in your mind, if you’re together and one of you overdoses, you call 9-1-1. If you don’t call 9-1-1, you’re going to go to jail.” You want to do that? That will save some lives. That’ll have the kids say, “Well at least I better call 9-1-1.”
Listen, you could run, you could ditch, you know what I mean? We’re not going to-
You got to call.
What you will get in trouble for is not calling. Call 9-1-1. Save that kid’s life. That’s the rule that makes sense, and that’s something that actually will reverberate through the addiction.
It will definitely be more, a hundred times more effective than this. For sure. Will it happen all the time, no. But, like you said, I could call. Let me just run, ditch, whatever. It will be shown leniency, of course. Now, in this, it wasn’t. This sentence, these charges, that’s why she’s not charged with that. That’s a manslaughter. That’s a one to eight year sentence. Not a mandatory minimum of 21 years for a girl that’s turned her life around.
By the way, because of the nature of addiction and it’s killing more people a year now-
Than ever.
-than everything, right. You know, it’s just these are some of the interesting ideas. We talk to so many people about this stuff and the problem and what’s going on. One of the interesting ideas that I had floated out at me was, we all know where a lot of addicts, after they cop they go get high. This was a KFC. KFC, Burger King, Exxon, Mobil, all public-
Gas stations. Restrooms.
-public available restrooms is where they go. They cop, they want a fix, they go right to a public restroom because they can’t wait. They get the car and as soon as they get out of the hood, they go right into the first place that they see and they go and they fix. Now they go and they fix up in the bathroom and somebody dies. And so someone had suggested, “You know what might not be a bad idea,” a lot of the kids are scared to call 9-1-1 because they know it will be on caller ID and they’ll know who called. If they don’t want to be involved but they’re willing to call 9-1-1, somebody had suggested, “You know what they should do, there’s not really a lot of payphones around anymore, but maybe they should have an emergency 9-1-1 phone like they put on the bridges and they should have it-“
Safe line.
-it’s not even, it doesn’t go anywhere other than 9-1-1. You literally have a little red phone outside of every public bathroom in the country. Whatever. Come up with some dough for it, create some kind of a program, maybe the corporations themselves want to be seen to be helping the addiction because, hey, Burger King, Exxon, Mobil, KFC, they’re dying in your bath. Don’t condone it, oh my god, they’re dying in your bathrooms. Maybe they would come up with some type of corporate program where they’ll say, “Fine, we’ll foot the bill.” How expensive could it be to put up a phone that has a direct dial to 9-1-1? Maybe doing that would be a common sense … it’s just an, I’m not suggesting-
Listen, I couldn’t agree. It’s a safe line.
These are the, that’s why I do agree with what the ADA said. I agree with what she said insofar as this conversation needs to continue. We, as a country, as a nation, we have to talk about and, really, as human beings, because this is becoming a global pandemic, but the US is, it’s a blight. We have to come up with some measures and some stuff, I agree. I don’t know that, I know that what they’re doing right here is not going to help. But there are some modifications they can make to this where we’ll probably save a bunch of people’s lives.
I honestly believe that, because of the nature of addiction, this logic that we apply to normal situations doesn’t apply in this case. In this case, she is dealing with active addiction and she had to make decisions that are different and should be looked at in a different mindset than a normal situation that’s out there.
It has to be.
It has to be. How can you not? If we’re really going to battle this-
That’s the thing.
-then all the intended suffering that comes from the addiction plight-
When parents are going out and copping for their kids because they’re going to be safer in the house, then a poor girl like that going out tricking, I mean, the list can go on and on. Maybe the daughter not returned for weeks, and let’s say she does come home finally, she’s beaten, she’s bruised. She’s mangled. And she’s still in refusal to go somewhere to get help. Same with this mother. The mother said and the father said, “We know the drug dealer. We have his phone number. We know the dope that he’s giving our daughter.”
It’s a family effort now. Now we’re not charging the family now, and, guess what, I subscribe to the same ideology you do.
This is the conversation. And, again, having read, seeing what happened with Emma and having read this whole thing, my question is, who do the people who design these laws who decided to apply this particular law intended for drug dealers on to friends who are going out and getting high together, the ADA, the government, the federal government, who is it that’s applying this stuff and why are you not talking to some people about the realities of addiction and what actually goes on and do something that actually makes sense? There’s a much bigger conversation that needs to go on here.
I’ll tell you now, this is not going to help anything. It’s not going to help battle the opioid addiction. Again, it’s so funny where I’ll tell you that I, listen, I reserve the right to be wrong. I always say that. I know there’s always another side of an argument. I’m sorry, but in this case, there isn’t. This is not appropriate. I don’t care. People will watch the podcast and say, “You’re wrong, I disagree.” I’ll tell you right now, you’re wrong because there’s no way this helps. I know. We’re in it every day. We deal with these folks every day. We are these folks, and now we’ve come through the other side and we have a keen view and an understanding of what goes on and the dynamics involved in all of this. This is not appropriate. Period.
Now, again, if you say that if you don’t call 9-1-1 you’re going to get in trouble, what kind of trouble does that look like? If you don’t call 9-1-1 and, again, I’m not going to pretend I know what’s appropriate but, if you don’t call 9-1-1, if you told me that the federal government came after Emma and the federal government said, “Look, you should have called 9-1-1 and you’re culpable in her death because you didn’t call 9-1-1 and you had a human, basic human decency need to whether you were in the right mind or not, that is a, you should have called 9-1-1 and, for that, we’re going to give you three years in prison.” Okay. That makes sense to me.
If you tell me we’re going to give you five years in prison, I’m still thinking like, oh, god, that’s kind of heavy because she didn’t, she was just freaked and she was in addiction … and let me speak to that, too, as an aside. I have to say, and I’ll say this to the families that are involved, not specifically Jenny’s mom because this situation’s playing itself out everywhere. They’re not the only people that this has ever happened to.
Correct. Yeah, no, yeah, this isn’t a first.
I’m going to read this because this is her summary and then I’ll make the point. “Perhaps the most important takeaway from this case in the community’s interest in it, we must recognize all aspects of these opioid tragedies in order to effectively battle the epidemic.” I agree. I’m not sure you’re doing that, but, “Therefore, despite my disagreement with some of the commentary,” and I imagine she would disagree with the commentary because I read a lot of the commentary of people who do understand.
“I applaud the continued conversation,” as do I. “I ask everyone to keep talking about Emma Semler and Jenny Werstler and their life-destroying consequences of involvement with opioids.” True. “Emma Semler illegally distributed opioids and left another human being to die and, for that, she will be spending 21 years in federal prison.” Again, that’s at the core of what we’re talking about. She illegally distributed. She shared drugs with her friend. Anyway, we’ve covered that. I know what the ADA and the federal government seems to think because, literally, the title of her opinion piece is Her Sentence Was Justice. I got to tell you, I don’t agree at all.
Sending this kid to prison for 21 years of her life is a travesty. It is not justice by any stretch of the imagination. There’s no way that you can tell me that that is a just outcome in a case like this. Again, I recognize there are no winners. It’s the saddest thing in the world, man.
To respond to what you originally said, of having a repercussion to leaving. Emma will, again, she will tell you that she deserves jail time. There’s a repercussion that she’s going to have to serve for the rest of her life in her spirit that she could probably never ever ever fulfill. I don’t think she’s actually looking to fulfill that. I think that her obligation is to freaking consistently help others in a form and a posture that’s loving, especially attractive, in a predominantly young area. She, herself, being young. Getting involved in the treatment industry and keeping church and state separated. Recovery one thing, treatment, she was awry. This is what she does. This is who she is. People like me better because of Emma.
That’s the, she’s the rockstar in the relationship. She’s the one. She’s the shining light. She’s the popular one. Women want to be around her. Men want to be around her. People want to hear her message. She shares about it all the time. Now, you’ll never hear any of this because we’re anonymous. This has already broken every single anonymity, which is fine because it had to be broken somehow. But this, right here, she will tell you, tears over and over, crying, “Stas, what the, what did I do? I can never undo this. Stas, I’m an addict. I shot dope at 15 years old. My whole family is in active addiction.” This is what it is. Same with Emma. Emma somehow, some way, got out of the grips of addiction. Got out of the grips of addiction, changed her whole freaking life, started supporting her family, being a rockstar not only in society, now what’s the level of a rockstar, you can have your own opinion on it.
Emma’s the girl that hugs the girl that looks like she just stepped off the street. Not the girl that just walked out of treatment and has her hair done, no. The broken ones. The extra sick ones. The ones that need the love. This is what Emma’s obligation is to herself and to her higher power. Now, it’s not a religious thing, but she could tell you about it. Emma will be the first one to tell you … we have letters about this. The remorse that she’s shown in her behavior. It’s in her actions. That’s the best way to form of apology, not only to society and whatever it is.
You know, one of my favorite guiding principles has always been the way you live makes so much noise there’s not really much you need to say.
So you could offer apologies up the ying, but when you see somebody actually doing it and walking the walk as a result of what happened and that’s how you carry it. So let’s, we’ll summarize it.
Look, in the end, what’s the, we made our points, I think, very clear. You know, what would I love to see come of this kind of stuff? We have this conversation. This conversation being had around, we’re doing a podcast on it because we should. This conversation needs-
This has shaken the recovery community.
And it should.
And the treatment community.
We need dialogue, and here’s the thing. Dialogue in what form? People see this, I want to hear everyone’s ideas. I want to hear, I came up with the telephone, I’d heard about the telephone thing outside the couple of restrooms.
Safe lines.
Interesting idea. What other ideas you got?
I’ll pose something else, too. The dialogue, I’d love to see the dialogue. This is why I love social media, why I love, because it can also be very negative social media, right? Because it can carry a lot of stuff and have consequences.
Especially with this. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole.
Fair enough. I recognize that people’s opinions are, but in the end, if we could use it in a positive way and we could have people who offer up their suggestions, not opinions not so much because if you agree, disagree, then tell me what you want to do. Fix it. Tell me what you want to do that’s reasonable, that makes sense, that you want to fix it. I’d love to see some of those ideas.
And then, the other thing that I would love to be, to just get out there, is, and, again, maybe, god willing, somebody from the ADA or somebody from the federal government that actually comes up with these laws hears or sees this or something like it and can reconsider. I think they need to reconsider two things. I think they need to reconsider the way they’re applying this law and these laws and the way they’re going about this and if it’s really going to, you really need to sit back and think about what you’re doing here and what the actual effects, not the narrative you’ve created, but remove yourself from that and think about, talk to some people in the addiction community. Not even the recovery community, but in the addiction community to understand is this really, if you’re saying and you’re out telling us that this is going to be part of combating the opioid epidemic, I’m telling you that that’s not right.
I’d love to have them sit back and reconsider that and, one step further, the second thing is, I’d love to have them reconsider this case in particular. 21 years is not justice, it’s not appropriate. I know the courts can do reconsiderations. I think that, if they don’t get together and say, “Okay, fair enough, maybe applying this and in this case it was very draconian, perhaps we should make it something a little bit more suitable. Maybe there is some, a much less amount of time-“
A reconsideration.
“-that the person can do.” I’ll tell you right now and, again, it’s about a balancing universal scale and, believe it or not, and it’s true, because I’ve talked to you about this, too. I don’t think Emma would even want to walk out of jail tomorrow. I think she’d want to pay a price. If you told her, “You’re going to do three years,” I think she’d be like, “Yeah, I deserve that. I should do three years.” I think she would actually be-
The ownership that she has for that, if you speak to her. If you got on the phone with Emma right now, and you spoke to her, and you could do this for another podcast, and you could hear literally from the horse’s mouth, “Richie, I screwed up. I could never pay this back. My seat, I’ve earned it in here. Not for what I’m being charged with.”
Which is the point.
That would be her literal, I can tell you because this is what she’s, “Stas, they view me as a criminal, as if I killed someone. I didn’t do it this way.”
Right, absolutely. Again, maybe that would be the answer is, which they’re not going to do. But, why don’t we step back, vacate the charge of distribution and drug dealing because it’s completely inappropriate in a case like this. And then make some other kind of rule where she’ll sign willingly and say, “I should have called 9-1-1 and I put somebody else’s life-“
A law, a Jenny’s Law, should be imposed.
Yeah, there it is.
We should impose a Jenny’s Law, absolutely, to hold us accountable. Listen, and I get the addiction [crosstalk 00:58:19].
Maybe it’s a little more comprehensive than just two yo-yos like us-
Of course, right.
-chatting. Let’s get some people together and think about what Jenny’s Law would look like but, at the core of it, is applying this particular law for drug dealers to this kind of situation-
In spirit of Jenny, so we’ll never die.
-and making sure that kids call 9-1-1 when someone overdoses. You cannot just leave, drag them and leave them and then get out of town. You got to call 9-1-1, and, if you don’t do that, you’re going to get in some modicum of trouble and something a little bit severe so they know, “I better call 9-1-1.” If we can create some understanding like that, that would be [crosstalk 00:58:57].
Especially if we created the safe phone like you said outside of a bathroom. If that was created. You know what I mean? Can you imagine if a kid, two of us go into the bathroom, I OD, you call, and you bail, you say, “Hey, look, I got to, there’s a guy in here ODing, I walked in, I found him.”
That’s it.
Do you know what I mean? In spirit of Jenny’s Law. I … going back to the first thing you said of people being in fear in the treatment industry, because we’re in the treatment industry and we’re very well-known. Luckily for us that we’re very well-liked. Right? Well, I don’t know about me. But, the truth of the matter is that I do. I challenge people in the treatment industry. I challenge them because, to speak up about what’s going on because it’s easy to say, “I don’t want anything to do.” We had this conversation yesterday about the body brokering laws that are coming into place and all that and how we need to become the whistle blowers. That we need-
That podcast’s going to be real interesting and I tell you now, in a couple of episodes of the podcast, we are going to address the shitbags in all these places and these certain people who are in this for the wrong, nefarious reasons who care about money and don’t care about addicts, that literally are insane enough to come to someone like me and propose a preposterous obviously pay to play body brokering scheme. We’ve been approached a couple of times recently. I’m like, “Are you insane?” I’m not going to let what happened in Florida happen here in New Jersey.
As we’re not. We’re not going to.
Don’t approach me because I’m going to report you. We’re going to have a whole podcast on this. [crosstalk 01:00:23] I’m not going to allow that to happen.
I challenge people in the treatment industry to help explain to lawmakers, to the government, and take a stance. You know, the larger facility so to … they have a voice. It’s a challenge for them to do it because it’s easier to be a part of the dilemma than it is the solution. You know? I thank you for bringing me on the podcast.
Thanks, bro. It’s good to see you.
Absolutely. Thank you for shining the light on this.
See you in a couple of weeks.
Thanks, Kevin.
Thank you guys.




Take The First Step Towards A Better Tomorrow

Yes, all information provided is kept confidential and once engaged in treatment; all aspects of treatment are confidential unless otherwise noted by a signed release of information.

We accept most major private insurances. If you do not have insurance, private pay options can be discussed.

At BlueCrest Recovery Center, you will receive a comprehensive multifaceted approach to treatment that includes both group therapy sessions and individual one-on-one therapy sessions based on your unique needs.

Yes, we offer both family support and education groups run by a licensed clinician as well as individual family sessions. Every family and every person is unique, our clinicians will work with you to determine the best approach to healing for yourself and your family.

BlueCrest Recovery Center will conduct an assessment, or level of care evaluation. The goal is to determine the appropriate level of care to meet the client’s individual needs and to provide a recommendation.

Yes, in fact clients with co-occurring illnesses tend to be very successful in our program. Every client that comes to BlueCrest receives a comprehensive psychological evaluation to determine what specific mental health needs they have. From there, a personalized treatment plan that addresses both the substance use and mental health concerns.

BlueCrest Recovery adheres to the highest treatment standards established by its accrediting agencies. BlueCrest is currently accredited by Joint Commission and   The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities also known as CARF. These governing agencies certify that our services are consistently meeting rigorous treatment standards and to ensure the highest quality of care is always being provided.

Group schedules for all treatment days are outlined by a clinical curriculum that integrates a multitude of the treatment modalities we offer. Our therapists will conduct weekly individual sessions with each client. These one-on-one sessions most often occurs during treatment hours in lieu of a group session. BlueCrest’s clinical schedule offers comprehensive and diverse therapeutic approaches including, among many others, process (discussion) group, 12-step education/didactic groups, yoga and meditation sessions and life skills training.

Transitioning from treatment to independent living is a common relapse trigger. BlueCrest’s multiple levels of care are intended to gradually “step-down” clinical structure as clients build independence and grow their 12-step program. Clinicians and our Case Manager will assist in making any necessary aftercare referrals for continued care including but not limited to psychiatrists, doctors and therapists.