Grandy Services owner learned drug and alcohol treatment from the inside out

Kevin Grandy believes there are two ways to become an alcoholic.

One is genetically – the other is practicing until you get it.

For Grandy, 50, his 1987 drunk-driving conviction was a result of the former.

“I think I’m in the category of the genetically predisposed,” he said, explaining that his first drink was five beers of a six-pack. “I was an alcoholic.”

Was, being the operative word.

Grandy went through the King County court system and got a deferred prosecution. By 1990, he had decided to become a counselor, and enrolled in Seattle University’s addiction-studies program. Five years later, he parlayed his counseling experience into a job with Kitsap County probation.

And now, he is the administrator and owner of Grandy Services, a treatment agency on Bay Street serving those with drug and alcohol problems, as well as domestic-violence problems. The agency received state certification on Feb. 25.

“I always wanted to start my own agency,” said Grandy, who worked in probation for 13 years. “I just waited for the right time to do that. I wanted to gain enough experience to be a successful service provider.”

At least 90 percent of the agency’s clientele comes from court referrals – a judge ordering someone to get a drug and alcohol evaluation.

“Our society is so geared right now toward DUIs, criminal offenses, domestic violence and getting into the court system,” he said. “That’s a great intervention. It’s too bad it takes that extent to get somebody help.”

Grandy said employers can end up serving as an “intervention point,” as well.

“When you’re at work, and you have alcohol on your breath; if you’re coming in late ... if there are certain patterns, your employer inquires.”

In addition, he said, concerned family members often look for help from a third party, so his agency provides interventionists who have the ability to coordinate an effort of trying to get a person into treatment.

Grandy said he is starting small with a staff of three part-time, on-call counselors, and responding to the community’s need before adding a full-time position.

Evaluations are $120; the group rate is $45 an hour. Once an evaluation is completed, an individualized treatment plan is drafted, and intensive outpatient treatment begins, most often in three-hour groups, three evenings a week, for a total of 72 hours of treatment over 12 weeks.

Plans are in the works to add a relapse-prevention group that focuses on triggers and what can be done to prevent a relapse, as well as a family group.

“We’re not just going to treat the alcohol involvement,” he said of his rehabilitation philosophy. “That might be the precipitating factor; that might be the thing that got them face to face with me, (but) you really need to start with the whole person and see the alcohol and drugs as just a portion of that whole person.

“That whole person might have issues from their past, they might have other things going on with their life, there might be mental-health issues.”

Grandy, who grew up on Bainbridge Island, said he believes his own problems with alcohol stemmed from being isolated in a computer-based profession, and then going out to drink after work.

Now, he is hoping to give back to the community. Chief among Grandy’s plans are finding ways to serve Port Orchard’s adolescent population and launching a domestic-violence parenting class on Saturdays. He is also interning to become a domestic-violence counselor.

Calling chemical dependency, domestic violence and mental “the three pillars,” he said his goal is to “really firm up those three legs of the stool and be able to provide those services well to the community.

“I have a passion for helping people.”

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