Substance abuse is a huge problem everywhere In the world. It can especially be an issue in the restaurant industry.
Steve Palmer lived with a drinking and cocaine problem and turned his life around. He is now a restaurateur and the author of Say Grace: How the Restaurant Business Saved My Life.
Nearly two decades ago, Palmer’s addiction to alcohol and cocaine became so consuming that the owner of the restaurant where he worked sat him down and gave him a stark choice: Go into rehab or clean out your office.
Palmer turned his life around. Now he’s trying to help others do the same, helping found a support group called Ben’s Friends, named after his friend who died by suicide.
“I owe my life to sobriety and my sobriety to the people who stepped forward to intervene and offer care,” he says. “If you are struggling, know that you can be sober and that you can be happy.
“But first you have to be honest with yourself. Addiction is the only disease that convinces people they are perfectly healthy. Cancer patients aren’t walking around saying they don’t have cancer. Admit your problem to yourself. Then tell someone who can help.”
“I know that everything good in my life will disappear if I start to drink again,” he says. “I have seen people sober for decades go back to drink and lose everything—their home, spouse, career, kids, everything. You can put the disease in remission by not taking that drink, by not popping that pill, but it never goes away.”
Steve Palmer is currently the managing partner and founder of the Indigo Road Hospitality Group.