Zach Long is a Business Development representative for Atlanta Center for Mental Health and Atlanta Detox Center. Originally from Augusta, Georgia, Long smoked marijuana for the first time when he was in sixth grade. But it wasn’t until high school, and especially college, when things began to spiral out of control.
“I went to Clemson University, and that’s where it got really bad,” Long said. “I got into some legal trouble in 2012. They basically said ‘You can go to prison or go get help.’ I jumped on getting help without knowing what I was getting into.”
Long entered the program at Willingway Hospital in Statesboro, GA.Upon completion, he moved into an intensive two-year sober living program for men at Louis’s House. There he made connections with Matt Newcome, the future Amatus Health COO of the SouthEast Region, and Thompson Grove, a future Business Development Representative Colleague.
Doing the Next Right Thing
After completing the Louis’ House program, Long and his then-girlfriend had their first child, Brooklyn, who is now five years old. Long’s daughter has been a staple motivation for him to stay sober and do the next right thing.
In those days, the next right thing was to continue his education. He studied for a degree in Construction Science, and took a job as a Business Representative for an orthopedics company in Georgia.
“It was a good job, but it was just missing something for me,” Long said. “Matt Newcome called and said ‘I think you’d be really good at this. You’d be able to help people.’”
As part of his job, Long reaches out to potential clients and their families in order to help them find treatment. He believes that what makes ACMH and ADC stand out among other behavioral health facilities is the caring, compassionate and committed staff.
“Detoxes are detoxes,” said Long, “but the difference at ADC is the people. They are the ones who make the program what it is. People ask ‘Would you send your family members there?’ and I definitely would.”
The Power of Giving Back
The opportunity to help other people with Substance Use Disorder find treatment helps Long in his own recovery.
“At the end of the day, we’re helping people get into treatment,” he said. “The biggest part of sobriety is helping a newcomer. Getting out of yourself and thinking about someone else. I’m lucky that for work I get to help people.”
Long says that talking with the parents of potential clients, and giving them hope, is the most rewarding part of his job. He thinks of his own mother, who had a very hard time while he was using drugs.
“My mom still talks to the guy who got me into treatment,” he said. “That’s my favorite part of this job. Trying to give families peace of mind and say, ‘Hopefully you can have a break from worry for a little bit.’”