The Coleman Institute's executive director, Amanda Pitts, and National Medical Director, Peter Coleman, join Cindy Stumpo on her podcast "Tough as Nails" on iHeart Radio to discuss addiction, treatment, and long-term recovery.

After hearing about a patient's detox experience at the Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine in Wellesley, MA, Stumpo and team reached out to him to learn more. This patient realized that people might not know that an outpatient detox treatment program is available to them. This podcast episode share’s the patient’s drive to ensure those suffering from Substance Use Disorder or Alcohol Use Disorder have the information they need to make an informed decision about what treatment program is best for them so that they can live a life free from addiction.


 

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Tough As Nails Podcast: Dealing With Addiction On The Job Part 1

Announcer:

Cindy Stumpo's a general contractor. Look. Whatever happens between the roof and the foundation. For 25 years and counting, Stumpo's been building houses and shattering stereotypes. Building a home and building a life. This is my show and this is where we're going. Cindy Stumpo is Tough as Nails.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. Welcome up to Cindy Stumpo, Tough as Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. And I'm in the studio tonight with my daughter Samantha and a very old friend of mine. And his name is...

Rob Zaverucha:

Rob Zaverucha.

Cindy Stumpo:

Rob, you've known Samantha since she's been in, I think, last year of high school going into her first year of college.

Rob Zaverucha:

Actually, I think a little earlier than that, but it's nice to see her again.

Cindy Stumpo:

All right, so let's start. You have to have a big personality when you're on the radio. So what I want you to do is pretend you're on one of your job sites right now, and you're literally flipping out on a couple of guys, because I know I've been there for many years watching that go down and that was not pretty.

Rob Zaverucha:

Well, it's not pretty. Sometimes it's a bad memory. But when you're working with construction workers, as you well know, sometimes these guys are working in the heat of the day in the middle of the summer, and cold is zero degrees in winter, and the elements are tough and they're like junkyard dogs.

Cindy Stumpo:

Junkyard dogs.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yep.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay.

Rob Zaverucha:

You know how that goes.

Cindy Stumpo:

So tonight's topic, what we're dealing with, is we're dealing with addiction on the job, right, Rob?

Rob Zaverucha:

That's correct.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. So you have run some of the... From now owning your own company, you partnered up with me for a phase. You came out of a company, coming out of restoration masonry, union guy. You were running how many guys at one point for your old boss when we first met?

Rob Zaverucha:

Well, it was about 450 where we maxed out at any hour. And that was over three states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, Rhode Island, primarily.

Cindy Stumpo:

Are you nervous?

Rob Zaverucha:

No.

Cindy Stumpo:

You sure?

Rob Zaverucha:

No, I'm not nervous.

Cindy Stumpo:

I just want to make sure. All right. So he was 450 guys out there and it wasn't easy. Okay? You had all walks of life out there working, right?

Rob Zaverucha:

That's correct.

Cindy Stumpo:

Rob, here, let me make something very clear. Everybody thinks what we do out here is so glamor, especially me like she's the builder. And will you please explain to people, that we work 24/7, and what's the stress factor like out here for us? And how much of it do we take home?

Rob Zaverucha:

We take a lot. We take everything home. And when you take this business seriously, there's no other way to take... Take it home. You sleep with it. You eat it. You wake up in the morning, sometimes you feel like spitting blood.

Cindy Stumpo:

Oh, you do spit blood. But go ahead.

Rob Zaverucha:

You do, you do. And it's on your mind 24/7. You have guys calling in, you have-

Cindy Stumpo:

Guys calling out.

Rob Zaverucha:

Calling out. Excuses after excuses.

Cindy Stumpo:

Stories after stories, lies after lies, and problems after problems.

Rob Zaverucha:

And that's when Rob hits the wall because he sees right through it like a sheet of glass. But you have to be compassionate to it and you have to understand it because if you continue to bark and scream, then they bite back, and then it's not productive.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. So tell me something, Rob. And again, Rob and I have known each other, obviously, since Sammy's 18, 19 years old. We also collaborated for many years working together. My question to Rob, we had the hardest time in our relationship. It's kind of funny. I used to say to Rob, "Rob, we got to go easy on some of these guys. They got problems." And Rob would not tolerate drug addiction or alcohol. He didn't want to hear it. You came to work, you had a problem, he had no... And I'd always say to Rob, "Stop, because you never know. You never want to spit in the water you might have to drink." And he'd say, "You're too soft, Cindy. Okay? These guys, blah, blah, blah, we're paying them blah, blah blah an hour." Every three steps-

Samantha:

Might be the only person that's ever called her soft.

Cindy Stumpo:

Yeah. I know. The only one that's ever called me soft is Rob. And he'd say, "They take three steps backward. This is what it's costing us." And he would be really hardcore with me out there, really hardcore. And I'd be like, "All right, Rob, but there's still..." "Nope. You can't think residential. We're commercial. We're union. You can't be like this, blah, blah, blah." Okay. "So Rob, what do you want me to do?" I was going after guys, back in the day, they would be the stewards. What are they called? Labor stewards, whatever stewards.

Rob Zaverucha:

Labor steward, [crosstalk 00:05:13] steward. They just, yeah.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. So we had a job going on in Brookline, Cleveland Circle area, and-

Rob Zaverucha:

Waterworks.

Cindy Stumpo:

Yeah, near the Waterworks. And the labor steward said to me... I literally went to the job, Rob wasn't going to do it. I went, I said, "Listen, I hear you're selling my guys drugs over here. Not all of them, but quite a few." I said, "You do that again, you and I are going to have big problems." He goes "Really? Well, let me tell you something, Miss Stumpo. You see those guys over there?" And he points his finger, "I supply them with this, this, this. You see those guys over there? I supply them with this, this. Can't help it that your guys like the opioids, the other guys like Coke. The other guy..."

Cindy Stumpo:

I'm like, "You come to work and you're so proud to prey off the weak because that's what you're doing. You're taking their paychecks and you're preying off the weak and you're a labor steward?" And literally, he didn't know what was coming after him. And he went back, and he lived in the area of Johnny, and says, "Who's this crazy lady that came out? And you'd better straighten her out." No, no, you are going to get straightened out before I get straightened out. But what makes this very ironic is that I come to find out years later, go ahead, Rob, tell your story.

Rob Zaverucha:

Well, as years passed, I became-

Cindy Stumpo:

And look at me.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. You're having a conversation with me. Talk to me. Go ahead.

Rob Zaverucha:

I had a problem and I hid it well. My problem is alcoholism. I never drank during the day or on the job or anything like that. But to answer your question and get right to the point, yes, you take it home with you. And when you grow up in this business from a young, young age, and the only thing you know is construction, you don't do anything else with your life, and you're responsible for so many lives and safety and everything like that, by the time you get home at night, at whatever time it is; 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 at night, it was a relief.

Rob Zaverucha:

And then that became a bigger problem for me because it became more bad days than good days. And part of the problem is you try to keep your obligation and your performance up and you don't want your men to see the weakness that you have. And that became a problem. And I cleaned it up for a while, and then after a while, you resort-

Cindy Stumpo:

So the listeners can understand, let me do a setup scene. Rob gets out of a big F-350. He's a good size guy. He's a good-looking guy. He comes out and he ran that business with the steel bigger than what our buildings were made of. Right?

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. Steel.

Cindy Stumpo:

And I'd say, "Why do you have to be such a jerk at times?" He'd say to me, "Cindy, this is the way it's got to be." So yes, Rob had a big, big job out there. Prior to coming with me, he was huge at NER and he's running 450 guys. So I'm trying to give the setup scene. You have 450 union guys. If he is not behaving a certain way and acting a certain way, it's kind of like if you're watching Yellowstone, he was Rip out there. Was that his name? There's a character, Rip. That was Rob. Rob was Rip out there. He added like little league, just you know-

Samantha:

He had to keep everybody in line.

Cindy Stumpo:

Had to keep everybody in line, because it's a circus out here. So now I've set the scene up so people understand.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. It's funny you say that because people since Yellowstone have nicknamed me Rip.

Cindy Stumpo:

And I'm Beth.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah.

Cindy Stumpo:

And I'm like, "Why am I, Beth? I don't drink like that." "It's the one-liners, Cindy, it's the one-liners."

Samantha:

It's just personalities.

Cindy Stumpo:

Personality. The first episode I watched, I'm like, why do people think I'm like that? She sleeps with every guy she meets.

Samantha:

No, it's how she sizes up every person she meets.

Cindy Stumpo:

She sizes up everybody. Yeah, I do that.

Rob Zaverucha:

Quickly.

Cindy Stumpo:

And quickly. Yes. So that's a setup scene. So now Rob, you're going home and now you're... What seems to be a fun time, party time, right?

Rob Zaverucha:

Well, not really party time. You're alone and that's the bad part of addiction, is when you-

Cindy Stumpo:

But you were married. You had Val in your life at that point. I was there.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. And that's absolutely true.

Cindy Stumpo:

But you can be in a relationship and be alone.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah.

Cindy Stumpo:

In your own thoughts.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. There you go.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay.

Rob Zaverucha:

But my ex-wife also worked crazy hours because she was in mortgage financing. And then a lot of times you delay going home because you didn't want anybody to see you with that problem. And to go back to your question-

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. Wait, hold that thought, we got to go to break. I'm Cindy Stumpo and you're listening to Tough as Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. Be right back.

Cindy Stumpo:

And welcome back to Tough as Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and I'm Cindy Stumpo. And I'm here with Samantha, here with Rob Zaverucha. Okay, Rob, pick up where you left off. Do you remember? Because I'm in menopause now so you might have to help me out here.

Rob Zaverucha:

No, but just going back to-

Cindy Stumpo:

Having menopause.

Rob Zaverucha:

... having to hold a tough edge and having to keep yourself up there and get the respect from the men. If I were to ever let the men know that I had a problem, I would not have been able to control 450 guys. Absolutely no way.

Cindy Stumpo:

So you're telling me when we were in business together you had this problem.

Rob Zaverucha:

No. It was previous, but when I was with you, it was one of those periods where I was cleaned up. Actually, you got to remember, Cin, I left that big company. And when I left NER and we worked together, it was like a breath of fresh air. So the pressure was off in many aspects. I look back at that and I think that I went from literally never going home, sleeping in my truck, downtown Boston, to actually, there were nights you'd kick me out of the office and say, go home, if you remember.

Cindy Stumpo:

Yeah, because you still had another hour-ride home. I only had to go five minutes to be home.

Rob Zaverucha:

So I took a break at that particular point. It came back in periods and I'd clean it up again. I did it on my own. I got back into cycling, my health became better. And then once you're an alcoholic, if you don't stay sober, and I'll keep telling you, it's not... People say it's 24 hours, it's not. It's minute by minute because everything can change in a minute. So [inaudible 00:11:57] these good periods, and then I'd fall into one of those bad periods where it'd be, uh-oh, that one drink. And even some of the people in AA will tell me that what's the worst thing that can happen to an alcoholic in a day? And the worst thing that can happen is you pick up. Because you pick up, it's not one, it's two, it's three, it's four until you've decided enough's enough.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. So when we go back on our relationship we talked about, when I said to you, "Rob, don't behave that way, because you never know if you're going to have to drink that water, you might spit. Don't spit in the water you might have to drink." Do you remember me saying that to you?

Rob Zaverucha:

Many, many, too many times.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. And you'd be just stern about this. For you to come forward now after all these years and say, "I'm an alcoholic," I got to tell you, I'm so proud of you. Number one, because I don't care who it is, and anybody that's listening to this show. I don't care. Everybody has some problem out here. The difference between people that have problems and the people that don't, that do, we admit that we have problems. I've been laughed at forever. "Oh, Cindy Stumpo's got panic attacks. She's a weak person." You know. How bad of my panic attacks, right?

Rob Zaverucha:

Terrible.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. They'd knock out [Eddie Vedder 00:13:08]. I'm still the same Cindy that's stuck, "Rob, I can't drive. Take me into Boston." Remember all that?

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah, absolutely.

Cindy Stumpo:

Nothing's changed at all. And now you have shown your weakness. But there are more people that have a drug addiction, mental, a lot of the faults... It's all under the same umbrella, don't forget that. Drug addiction, alcoholism, mental, bipolar, depression, panic, anxiety. Now we've just seen through COVID how many people have become... Have a ton of anxiety, a ton of panic, drinking more than ever. The liquor store looked like New Year's Eve every day for two years. Now, how many people are sitting back right now, listening to this going, "I'm an alcoholic, but what do I do about it?" Do you know what I mean? So the hardest part is always admitting your faults, and what the problem is here.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. Admitting your faults, and that's the first part of it. But getting help is the main part.

Cindy Stumpo:

But don't you have to admit you got a problem to go get the help?

Rob Zaverucha:

Absolutely. And you have to be able to talk about it, communicate about it. And that's what I ran into the people at Coleman's.

Cindy Stumpo:

Well, first tell me. Before you met Coleman's, what was your rock bottom? What finally brought you to your knees to finally say the big Rob is an alcoholic. The guy that's running. Go ahead.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. No [crosstalk 00:14:25] The Rip, all right? So look, it just was a compilation of... I never was a blackout drinker. I'd get up in the morning and not feel well. And I finally got sick of it. And my current wife, Mary, stood right by me and when I told her I've got a problem, she said, "I know you do."

Cindy Stumpo:

Give me the scene. You hit your knees, how?

Rob Zaverucha:

Just getting up in the morning and having to get to the bathroom and vomiting.

Cindy Stumpo:

You had to have a day where you just went, "I'm done." Like you finally caved. There had to be that aha moment.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yes, it was when I finally admitted to my wife that I had a problem. Then it was like having a weight pulled off of my shoulders. And at that point, we came up with a plan and I said let's just do it. And the first time I went in, the rehab was out in California. I went there for seven weeks and was able to maintain the business while I was out there. I have good people. But at that point I didn't care, I just wanted to get sober. So that's when I hit rock bottom. And I'm still battling the disease every single day.

Cindy Stumpo:

Everybody is who has a disease.

Rob Zaverucha:

And the disease is rampant in the construction industry, as you well know. And I finally got to the point where I think it's important to let people know that it's okay to raise your hand and seek help, and you got to do it.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. So we had to go to the masonry show in Vegas. This goes back, I don't even know, 14 years ago, whatever it was. And it's kind of a fun story. So Rob and I had to do a job for the guy that... We won't use any names. Anyways, he owned one of the hotels in Vegas and we had to do a job for the family. And first I go to meet and then Rob, and next thing you know, this woman's talking to dead people and we're like, "Oh," I'm like, "Who's she talking to? I'm the only one standing here right now. Okay. What's going on here?" And she is going, "I'm not talking to you right now." I'm like, "Okay." "No, no, not you Cindy. That..." Okay. "Rob, you better get here right now, because I don't know what's going on here."

Cindy Stumpo:

Anyways, Rob comes, and he finally pulls up the truck. He's running 20 minutes behind me. She's doing the same thing. And Rob, I said, "She talks to dead people." He goes, "Okay, we'll just deal with this." I said, "Okay, you deal with her. I'm out of here. This is crazy," because I really believe she does. And she was so serious as she did it. And then he figured out they wanted a water fountain and I had to do the six-car garage. You took care of the masonry stuff. In the end, we got to go to Vegas for the masonry show. The guy says, "Cindy, you can have my suite." Right?

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah.

Cindy Stumpo:

So I said, "Well I need a suite for me and I need like four more suites." And it was Ariel that needed one, you needed one so I think we needed two or three. I don't remember. So I'm up in the suite, Michael's with me, and there's like nine doors to the suite. I'm like, why am I up here alone? Long and short, we were supposed to be there. They came, and he and his ex-wife came with a little mini-bag that you take for an overnight trip. I have a massive suitcase, right? Like I'm going to, I don't know, a way for a month. And I go, "Guys, what do you have in that little thing? You look like my grandmother going away for the night. That's what she'd carry." "Oh, we have everything rolled up perfectly." What turned out to be a two-night, turned out to be almost two weeks.

Rob Zaverucha:

Two weeks.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay? Every time we tried to fly home, we were stuck in a snowstorm. There was a snowstorm going here, or there, or somewhere. I wasn't seeing Rob drink. We're out every night together. We're all hanging out together. I don't see this happening. So as he's in here right now, I'm trying to remember. Vegas is party time, fun time, let it out, and let it go. And then at one point, I said, "Can you guys come to stay with me in my room? Because I'm really lonely up here." There are literally nine doors. It was a whole floor pretty much. There were kitchens and living rooms and more bedrooms than I knew to do with. To him, they came up and stayed with me.

Cindy Stumpo:

They had their own daughter there. So I would've seen something and said, oh, okay, there's a problem here. But I didn't see anything. And then finally, the long part of the story is Rob says, "I don't care how you get us home. Just get us somewhere on the East Coast. I can't stay here another night." So I did, I got us to Florida. We landed in Fort Lauderdale, we stayed at St. Regis, went on the beach, and I think we just slept like two days. And then finally got from Florida to Boston. And that was our long stay. But I don't remember Rob ever acting out of control or drinking too much. So as we're sitting here, that would've been the time that I would've been able to see it, but I didn't.

Rob Zaverucha:

No, that was a period in my life where it really wasn't out of control. I was drinking, I was not sober. We talk about fun times. I remember we were always getting a bottle of wine sent to the room, but it was something shared with all of us. But at that particular point, my drinking was not bad. The truth of the matter is my drinking probably got worse after we left, after you and I separated and I-

Cindy Stumpo:

See, you missed me that much that you turned to alcohol. See, that's what happened. You see, you needed me more than you thought you needed me.

Rob Zaverucha:

You would've thought-

Cindy Stumpo:

Hold that thought, wait a minute, hold that thought. We're going to break. I'm Cindy Stumpo, and you're listening to Tough as Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. Be right back.

Cindy Stumpo:

And welcome back to Tough as Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. I'm Cindy. I'm here with Sammy, and Sammy's here with who?

Samantha:

Rob.

Cindy Stumpo:

Thank you very much there, honey. Okay, go ahead, Rob.

Rob Zaverucha:

So yeah, no.

Cindy Stumpo:

Besides missing me. Go ahead.

Rob Zaverucha:

No, you would've thought that would've been the time that I really would've been drinking.

Cindy Stumpo:

Yeah, absolutely.

Rob Zaverucha:

Absolutely. No. So that-

Cindy Stumpo:

Because we had two strong personalities in this company. Too strong.

Rob Zaverucha:

And we butted heads, and looking back, it was all good. But no, it wasn't. It just so happened that that wasn't a time that I was out of control. As I got a little older, it progressed, it got worse and worse. And then the economic times put a little bit of a hurdle on it.

Cindy Stumpo:

Oh, so we hit the '08 market?

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay.

Rob Zaverucha:

And that got tough on me. Everybody will say to me, when did it happen? How did it happen? And when you're in therapy, that's some of the questions that you try to figure out. I do have answers to part of it that I'd rather not say on air.

Cindy Stumpo:

You say whatever you're comfortable saying, Rob.

Rob Zaverucha:

No. Do you know what happened?

Cindy Stumpo:

Whatever you're comfortable with.

Rob Zaverucha:

What happened was that I became friends with one of the people that I counted on in my old company and he ended up going to work for me, and you. And we got along very, very well and we ended up free-time drinking [inaudible 00:21:58] it got out of control. Nobody's fault, we got along well, we were good friends and we ripped it up. And that's when it kind of went from okay, to not so okay, to bad.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. You've been in the construction business, mason business, since the age of 14 years old. Do you remember the first time you picked up a drink?

Rob Zaverucha:

Almost, yes. I can tell you what happened, was that my dad was a scotch drinker and one of my best friends, we couldn't drive, but my parents were gone one night. And the only thing he had in the cabinet was scotch. And nobody would've drank scotch at 16, 17 years old, but there was nothing else to drink. So me and my buddy, Jeff, I sucked down the scotch and wobbled down the street that night.

Cindy Stumpo:

And how sick were you the next day?

Rob Zaverucha:

Actually, I wasn't. We didn't get sick. And to be honest with you, just fortunate as it is, through my whole life I really never got that drunk where I got sick. What happened was from drinking too much over a period of a few days, you go into withdrawals. That's part of the disease that's awful. You go through withdrawals and-

Cindy Stumpo:

What do the withdrawals feel like?

Rob Zaverucha:

You get nauseous and in order to feel okay you need to take a drink. And if you don't, you-

Cindy Stumpo:

So how many days... What's the max before you got clean? What could be the max you would go without drinking? Two days, three days, 24 hours, 12 hours?

Rob Zaverucha:

Oh, no. It was even more than that. Sometimes it would be two weeks.

Cindy Stumpo:

What would happen? Stop right there. You don't have a drink. What's the first day feel like? Even though you're just going for two weeks, for whatever reason.

Rob Zaverucha:

Dry heaves were the worst thing.

Cindy Stumpo:

Really?

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. Dry heaves in the morning. And you never really throw up, but you'd have dry heaves. And just-

Cindy Stumpo:

This is after you stop drinking?

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah.

Cindy Stumpo:

And then, this is all physical now. What's the second feeling you have?

Rob Zaverucha:

You start feeling a little bit better. Your appetite comes back a little bit. When you're drinking, you have no appetite, it's all alcohol. It's all calories.

Cindy Stumpo:

You would think you'd put weight on from the alcohol, then.

Rob Zaverucha:

You do.

Cindy Stumpo:

You do. You get bloated-looking.

Rob Zaverucha:

You get bloated. Yes.

Cindy Stumpo:

So would you notice if you didn't go two, three days without a drink, you get a headache you'd get...

Rob Zaverucha:

Not really.

Cindy Stumpo:

Lethargic or...

Rob Zaverucha:

No, not really. You just get, you don't-

Cindy Stumpo:

Shaky.

Rob Zaverucha:

Shaky, definitely. But you just don't feel good. And it's more nauseous. And then that's the case with alcohol. Every addiction is different. I can't speak of any other type of addiction. I can speak on alcohol.

Cindy Stumpo:

But is alcohol, most people have the same feelings if they don't have a drink in two to three days?

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. Absolutely, yeah. But now there are different people. There are blackout drinkers that they'll drink half a gallon of rum or vodka, whatever, and they'll just drink till they pass out. I was never that type of drinker. My drink of choice was Root Beer Smirnoff Nips and I'd drink enough of them until I just felt like, hey, I've had enough and I don't want any more. [crosstalk 00:25:17]

Cindy Stumpo:

You'd pass out, blackout drunk.

Rob Zaverucha:

Never, ever. I never passed out.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. So when I say to Samantha, she laughs at me. She'll, "Mom, you're a smoker." "I'm not really a smoker, because I don't really smoke, I don't smoke at all during the day." "Yeah, Mom, but you go home at night and you have a couple of cigarettes." I'm like, "Yeah, so I'm a part-time smoker." She goes, "There's no such thing. You're a smoker. That's it. You're a smoker, Mom."

Samantha:

[crosstalk 00:25:37] "I only smoke at night." And I was like, that doesn't mean you're not a smoker.

Cindy Stumpo:

But to me, because I don't smoke all day, like I can go from 11:00 or 10:00 at night, the last time I have a cigarette, till 8:00 the next night. If I was addicted to nicotine, I would need it the minute I woke up, or for lunch.

Samantha:

No, that's not necessarily true. He just basically told you he didn't drink all day.

Cindy Stumpo:

That's true. So I'm a part-time smoker. I'm going to rehab for that one.

Rob Zaverucha:

You know, Cindy, it's very...

Cindy Stumpo:

And you know I've never had a drink, right? So you know that.

Rob Zaverucha:

No, I can swear. At least I know that. But I think for every alcoholic or addict, it's different. And some people, I say it to my therapist right now, is that... And I've had conversations with the people at Coleman that I get up in the morning and the last thing I could think about is drinking. I'll get to a point about 4:00, and I think it's because, in the construction industry, that's when you always seem to get off of work. And that's the first thing that the guys will do. Right to the liquor store and they'll drink from 4:00 to whatever time.

Cindy Stumpo:

Do you actually think that it's any different in corporate America? Because it's not. It's not just us construction people, by the way. Corporate America ends out, in the financial district, you ever seen what goes on down there at 4:00? All those advisors and lawyers. They're sitting in the bars too, the only difference is you're all in construction clothes. [crosstalk 00:27:03].

Samantha:

We used to joke and call them, we'd call them the blue shirt bars, because everybody would be out there wearing a blue shirt, like a blue button-down.

Cindy Stumpo:

Oh, those were the corporate guys. And they have just as many problems as the construction guys, except, again, there's like... A person once said to me, "You have as many drugs in Newton and Brookline as we do over the side of the bridge, you people just hide it behind your fancy clothes and your fancy cars. So over here, we're drug addicts. Over there, you're just rich people with drug problems." So everybody looks at construction people like... We're in our boots and our jeans and our t-shirts. But the suits are doing it just as much as the construction guys, by the way.

Rob Zaverucha:

No, but I'm only here to talk about the construction people because I'm exposed to it 24/7. So that's my experience and that's where I'm capable of talking about it. And I see it every day. I've seen it every day.

Cindy Stumpo:

Why do you think it's so rampant in our world?

Rob Zaverucha:

I just said it, these guys work, you got to remember-

Cindy Stumpo:

Forget the alcohol. What about the body pains these guys are in?

Rob Zaverucha:

But they go to work every day at 6:00 in the morning. And like I said, it's zero degrees and they work through the pain. And then the first thing they want, and this is not all of them, it's a majority, is right to the liquor store. So part of my job is calling these guys at night to talk about what we need to do the next day. And they can't function. I know they're drinking and I would end up getting into arguments with them because I'm saying, "Can't you drink long enough to tell me what happened on the jobs today?" And that's where it's very frustrating, that I can attest to. And I would get calls at night, even from wives and girlfriends and...

Cindy Stumpo:

With the craziness.

Rob Zaverucha:

About the craziness, is there anything that we can do. And that's why I'm here to speak about it. A lot of people would say they can't believe Rob Zaverucha has a problem because I hid it very well. And at this point in my life, I'm turning 63, I want to help.

Cindy Stumpo:

Yep. You want to give back now.

Rob Zaverucha:

Absolutely.

Cindy Stumpo:

Because he was a tough person out there. He had no heart out there sometimes. I'd be like, "Whoa." And there'd be guys bigger than Rob. But I remember one time I had to get between the guy who was in the hole.

Samantha:

In a sewer?

Cindy Stumpo:

No, he was in a hole, he was building something. He was building the block up. So he was way down. Rob was up top. I was up top with Rob. And Rob's going at him. This guy came out of the hole like a bear. I had to look up, literally. I'm looking at this guy going, holy moly. He's going to take Rob down in three seconds. This guy had to be twice Rob's height, size, everything. And I just stepped right between them, I go, "Buddy, not a good idea. You'll be thrown out of the union."

Cindy Stumpo:

And Rob's going, "Come on, get out of the hole." I'm like, oh my God, here we go. I'm going to get knocked out. It's the craziness. So there'd be a lot of people, if Cindy Stumpo went down, they'd be happy to hear. "Oh, Cindy Stumpo went down." Same thing with Rob. "Oh, good," you know what I mean? Because he's been that badass boss for so long in the union that people would love to hear. He's got what we call tsuris in our life. It's the Yiddish word. Hold that thought, we're going to break. I'm Cindy Stumpo, and you're listening to Tough as Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Cindy Stumpo:

And welcome back to Tough as Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. I'm Cindy.

Samantha:

I'm Sammy.

Rob Zaverucha:

Rob Zaverucha.

Cindy Stumpo:

So where I was going with that, Rob, is that sometimes people want to see people fall, especially when you've held the big position, your name's so well known out there in the union, in your local. And everybody knew who you were and everybody knows who you are. And for you to come out and say, listen, [inaudible 00:31:12] it's okay. You know what? Now it's time to point your finger at me. But it doesn't matter because that's a strong man. It takes a strong man to admit, it takes a strong person to admit [inaudible 00:31:24] help. It takes a stronger man to let people know I've been through this, this, this, and I'm here to pick up the phone if you need me. Because what you've realized now in life is that life is full circle and karma can be a real biatch.

Cindy Stumpo:

And now you want to give back and help people. Well, you were always a great boss, don't get me wrong. But you were tough out there. And you'd explain to me over and over again, "This is not residential. This is union. These guys are getting paid, ba papa, ba papa." Okay. Okay. But for you to come out like this and have this conversation with me, it's awesome and I'm proud of you. And I'm proud to say I've known you for two decades, because yeah, I remember there were nights I'd call you and we'd have fun conversations. And I knew he was a little tipsy, but I wasn't sizing up that he is like, ah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We're just having fun on the phone and whatever. Those were probably our nicest conversations, by the way. Maybe back then he needed to drink to tolerate me and I needed to tolerate him. I don't know.

Rob Zaverucha:

No, we'd talk for hours. I remember a few times you kept talking, I'd fall asleep while you were talking. And I think you even told me I snore too loud. But no, I'm happy to be able-

Cindy Stumpo:

I'd be like, "Rob, I'm here to bore you to sleep." [crosstalk 00:32:40]

Samantha:

But she's the best at saying, can you give me the Reader Digest version? But she doesn't know how to do that.

Rob Zaverucha:

No, absolutely not, Sammy. You know.

Cindy Stumpo:

But that comes down to because I'm a one-liner all day long. And then when I finally get on the phone with somebody I want to talk to, I want to do all talking. Because all day long, it just, can you just shush up? Just go back to work. Just get the job done. Just tell me what the problem is. Because you know, in our world, it's only 911 calls. It's never. "Hi, how are you? I love you, Cindy." It's never that. Call me right now. "Who died?"

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah, no. I'm happy to be here to talk about this and it makes me feel better. But as far as people always wanting to take you down, I live that way and that's why when I'd say, "Cindy, you can't give them an inch," because the best definition or description is junkyard dogs. They live to eat meat. And if they don't get the meat, they want blood. And it's just the way it is. It's not because they're bad people, it's just the environment that they work in that causes people to be like that. The construction industry is very, very, very tough.

Cindy Stumpo:

Gee, really?

Samantha:

But everyone thinks it's so easy.

Cindy Stumpo:

Everyone thinks it's so easy.

Rob Zaverucha:

No, but when I started, when I was 18 years old or got into the union, it was a different class of people back then.

Cindy Stumpo:

Actually went to work, showed up for work, were responsible, reliable. That's the Reader's Digest. And they ate their lunch and their breakfast and they came right back to work. We have technical difficulties going on. Okay. And now today, the last 20 years, 15, 16 years, it's been harder and harder to get good guys.

Rob Zaverucha:

Absolutely. They just don't exist. I mean, there are still a lot of outstanding people. I wouldn't be-

Cindy Stumpo:

No, it's for worrying about what's going to happen the next 10 years out here.

Rob Zaverucha:

That's what I worry about. I just don't see the young kids coming up that want to work hard in the trades. It just doesn't exist. I can't tell you the last young person that I've actually seen that wants to learn this trade.

Cindy Stumpo:

And you went, wow, this kid's got what it takes, or this girl get what it takes.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yeah. And it's either in your heart and it's either in your blood. And when I was younger, I didn't leave a job until 4:15, 4:30 even before I was any kind of superintendent. I stayed there. This is a funny story, but the union agent used to catch me working on jobs after hours, which you weren't supposed to do. And it was one of those relationships that I can hear him to this day saying, "Robert, what are you doing?" It would be 4:30 in the afternoon and I would be working, doing work at a point where I wasn't supposed to be, that was one of the union rules. But I was doing it. But the passion is just not there. I wished it was, but it's not.

Cindy Stumpo:

Do you think the same outcome would've been for you being a union contractor or if you became a wealth advisor or a lawyer? Do you think it was in you to be an alcoholic?

Rob Zaverucha:

I think it's either in you or not. It's a disease. I'll let Dr. Coleman talk about it.

Cindy Stumpo:

Yeah. So let me let the listeners know. So we're going to have a two-parter. This was to get you comfortable with getting to know Rob Zaverucha, a guy I've known for a long time that I never knew had this problem. And then the second episode we'll be doing the following weekend will be... Rob, please explain because I don't know who those guests are. Please explain.

Rob Zaverucha:

The Coleman Institute. And Amanda is here to talk about that. And Dr. Coleman, who...

Cindy Stumpo:

Will be here.

Rob Zaverucha:

He'll be on air. And he's the founder. I don't know much about him personally. I do have a relationship with the people at the Coleman's Institute in Wellesley.

Cindy Stumpo:

Now, is this where you went after you came back from LA?

Rob Zaverucha:

Yes.

Cindy Stumpo:

Or California, wherever you went.

Rob Zaverucha:

Yes. I had a terrific experience. And to that point, what I'd like to say is why it's so important, and why I think for construction people. They're located in Wellesley and it's a three-day detox process where you actually go in for one full day. Then the next day you go back in because they want to make sure that you're healthy and you're detoxing properly. But you're actually at home, you come into the facility and then come on the third day. And they're there 24/7. So for guys in construction, it's right around the corner.

Cindy Stumpo:

I'm a little confused about something. There's been talk about closing down a lot of rehabs for opioids and certain drugs, that won't take you in for now because you can just lay on the floor and get sick and be fine in 24, 48 hours. But they'll never get rid of detoxes long-term for alcohol, Xanax, Valium, the benzos, the alcohol, because as I'm told, you can die coming off of alcohol, and you can die coming off the benzos. And I remember a guy saying to me in the union, "Hey, you have panic attacks, right?" I go, "Yeah, why?" "Do you have any Xanax on you?" "Yeah. I always have a Xanax on me. Why?

I'm going to have a panic attack." "I need it. I'm going to go into rehab and I got to have Xanax in my blood or they'll throw me right out." I'm like, "What are you talking about?" And that's how I learned that, through the union, if they didn't have other things in their bodies... I'm like, "Well, what's one of my Xanax going to do for you?" "It'll make me show that I have a benzo problem because I don't have a benzo problem, I have an opioid problem." I'd be like, my head would be spinning. But don't alcoholics really have to go into a program, just the detox alone that's more than just one day? Or it's changed now.

Rob Zaverucha:

See, this is why I think Coleman's is so good is that they treat you on... What they do is, I call it, they reboot you. They get you sober, they get you detoxed safely. And it gives you the opportunity... Now, this disease doesn't stop after detox, it continues for the rest of your life. And you have to put very hard work into it. And it's just the beginning after you get out of Coleman's, but what they do is they give you the opportunity to say, okay, I feel really good now. You go home, and after the fifth day, you start feeling, like I said, your appetite comes back. You feel like your head's clean. And for the guys I'm trying to help, why it's good is it's quick, it's right around the corner, where the old school is going away for 30 days. They don't want to leave their families. They don't want to have to-

Cindy Stumpo:

So they don't want to go away for 30 days because?

Rob Zaverucha:

Because it's leaving their families away, and alone, and having to worry about what's going on at home. So if these people know that they can go away for one day and go back home that night and be treated professionally for five days and still be able to live at home, I think it makes a heck of a lot of sense to take advantage of that program.

Cindy Stumpo:

Okay. That's why this needs to be a two-parter, as you understand. We're going to pick this up with... What's the center? I'm so sorry. Help me out here.

Samantha:

The Coleman Institute.

Cindy Stumpo:

All right. Well, if they were in my studio, I'd understand that, but they're not in my studio. So let's go off to break. I'm Cindy Stumpo and you're listening to Tougher than Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. We'll be right back.

Cindy Stumpo:

And welcome back to Tough as Nails on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. I'm Cindy and I'm here with Sammy and I'm here with Rob Zaverucha. Look, Rob, we know you're coming back next weekend. You're coming back with Amanda, you're coming back with Dr. Coleman. And this was an opening to let people know who you were and what was going on. And I don't even know what to say. It's great having you in my studio, buddy. I hate this whole story, but I'm proud of you that you've come in and you're getting yourself healthy and life's going down a good place right now, right?

Rob Zaverucha:

That's correct.

Cindy Stumpo:

And it's day by day.

Rob Zaverucha:

Day by day, minute by minute.

Cindy Stumpo:

Minute by minute.

Rob Zaverucha:

Got it.

Cindy Stumpo:

All right. So I will see you next Saturday night, and you'll be back in, and we'll take it from there. Part two. Right?

Rob Zaverucha:

Very good.

Cindy Stumpo:

All right, everybody. Have a great safe weekend. I'll see you on Breakout. This is Cindy Stumpo on WBZ NewsRadio, Tough as Nails.

Conclusion

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Coleman Institutes appearance on the “Tough As Nails” podcast on the Coleman Institute’s Facebook and Twitter.

 
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About Cindy Stumpo and “Tough as Nails”

On “Tough As Nails” radio, Cindy Stumpo talks about anything that happens between a roof and a foundation. Building a house, and building a life is what our show is about. In sum, we are a lifestyle show. What separates us from other lifestyle shows is Cindy’s raw, unvarnished view of the world, keeping the show, fun, fast, and interesting.

Laughing and learning makes for a broadcast that educates while entertaining. That being said, sometimes we cry and we’re ok with that. Cindy was the only woman in the room when she took and passed the General Contractor’s exam about 30 years ago. She has been building homes and shattering stereotypes ever since. C. Stumpo Development primarily builds luxury homes in Newton and Brookline, MA. www.cstumpodevelopment.com FOLLOW Cindy on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram.

Show Idea or want to call in to the show? Text our producer, Tricia Bradley (339) 222-6955‬ or email tricia@seriousfun.tv “Cindy Stumpo is Tough As Nails” airs on WBZ News Radio, Boston following the 8pm News, and is available on the podcast wall immediately after the show. https://wbznewsradio.iheart.com/featured/cindy-stumpo-is-tough-as-nails/ SOLD OUT SHOW: Our show is currently sold out. Contact Ross Dananberg for future opportunities. 617-787-7169 RossDananberg@iHeartMedia.com FAN ARMY: With a loyal social media following across multiple platforms, Cindy connects with listeners during and long after the show is over.

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