Joseph Kertis

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Joseph Kertis is an American healthcare journalist with over a decade of experience in the field of substance use treatment and addiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son. As a former clinician, Joseph brings a unique perspective based on experience and honesty to his writings, which have been featured in many newspapers and across the web. Joseph joined Addicted.org in 2019 and uses his expertise to create a trusted source of information for those seeking help.

Joseph began his career in 2011, working in a detox unit to help patients overcome the agonizing withdrawal process. This firsthand experience in the most crucial phase of the rehabilitation process is where his work in direct care began. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, he monitored the progress and safety of clients and began developing a skillset focused on communication and compassion. Joseph quickly excelled and specialized in challenging cases where clients wanted to leave treatment.

After this, Joseph transitioned to instructing life skills course at a long-term holistic drug and alcohol treatment program. His career blossomed there as he began applying the skills he learned working in a detox setting to helping patients develop relapse prevention plans and participate in therapeutic cognitive exercises. Joseph also worked closely with patients’ families as a liaison throughout the program, coordinating sessions and developing discharge plans.

As Joseph continued his tenure, he eventually took on administrative positions with the treatment center and was trained in screening, assessment, insurance claim submission, intake, and crisis intervention and prevention. Having found success in many facets of the rehabilitation process, Joseph continued to look for ways to make a broader impact on the growing addiction epidemic in America.

His next journey began as an author, where Joseph continues to work and draw upon his experience in the treatment field. As a contributor to Addicted.org, he brings a unique perspective to current addiction trends and treatment methods.

Joseph is experienced in:

  • Acute clinical care- Joseph began his career in substance abuse treatment with a CNA certification he still maintains today.  Despite not working direct care anymore, he’s always prepared should help be needed.  Joseph worked in a detox unit for four years while gaining invaluable experience helping patients get through drug withdrawal from many different substances.  He’s also performed many successful interventions for people who are still drug-free today.  
  • Intake and Assessment- After his time helping people through detox, Joseph wanted to help people make the decision to take that first step.  So, he began answering phones and helping them through the intake and assessment processes.  This allowed him to learn how to help people stay committed to their decision and place them in the right level of care for their needs.
  • Case Management- As the clinical director of a holistic treatment center, Joseph learned the other side of substance abuse treatment.  Here he gained years of experience in addressing the core issues the underly substance abuse.  He also became expert at identifying patients who weren’t progressing or committed to treatment and getting them back on track.   
  • Education- Joseph has been leading seminars and life skills workshops throughout his entire career in the substance abuse field.  This includes authoring blogs and sharing informative stories from his own experience.  

What's next?

Joseph continues to chronicle the nationwide drug epidemic while witnessing firsthand its effects on the community. He’s become involved in local drug coalitions and panels discussing the newest treatment and harm reduction models. With a specialized background in holistic treatment options, Joseph hopes to keep people informed about natural rehabilitation methods amongst a flood of medication-assisted approaches. He recognizes that addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all process and that people who don’t want to be on unnecessary medications should have options. 

Why substance abuse and addiction recovery?

We asked Joseph a few questions about why he helps people overcome the damage of addiction:

What motivates you to help people who struggle with drugs and alcohol?

Like many people who get into this field, I once struggled with addiction. After countless tries at rehabilitation, I finally found my way. After discovering what it took to get myself to the point of genuinely wanting to change, I decided that I might be able to help people like myself finally come to terms and accept help. Not enough people want to help the people that don’t want help yet. They view them as a lost cause. They are not.

What professional experience affected you the most?

While working in the detox unit towards the beginning of my career, I was able to help convince a client who wanted to leave treatment desperately to stick it out a little longer. That decision likely saved their life, and they stayed and completed the program. Afterward, they thanked me and explained that when they wanted to leave detox, they planned to use heroin again immediately. That experience showed me the power one could have in a time of need. It also taught me that even if people reject help, deep down, they want to get better.

If you have any questions for Joseph, you can email him directly at Joseph@addicted.org.

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Publications by Joseph Kertis

Medium Logo
Elephant Journal Logo
The Fix Logo
The Bulletin Logo
The Daily Sentinel Logo
The Times Logo
Times Record Logo
Juneau Empire Logo
Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls Press Logo
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