An Albuquerque man is using his experience with addiction to help others on their journey to recovery.
Marc Schmallen has been sober for three years. He’s developed a way to remain organized, and now he’s working on a new project he hopes will help improve the recidivism rate in New Mexico.
“For the first time in my life I’ve found purpose, I found my own self-worth,” said Schmallen, the CEO of Choice Recovery Path, said.
He began using drugs at just 9-years-old and continued getting high for 35 years.
“I made a choice to get high instead of dealing with what was going on inside me,” said Schmallen.
After living on the streets of Albuquerque for three years, Marc started his journey to a sober life.
“You’ve tried and tried over and over again, to just continue to fail over and over again. So you get very defeated, very desperate and alone, total despair,” said Schmallen.
That desperation is what inspired him to create his progress board.
The board started as a way for Schmallen to visualize what he needs to accomplish change, but quickly gained traction and before he knew it he was mass producing them. The success of the board fueled Marc to start his latest project.
Using the same concept, he created an app making organization easy.
“It’s going to help people build the skills they need to be more successful,” said Schmallen.
The app includes a calendar to keep appointments in order, a ‘selfie check-in’ and a relapse tracker, making it easier for clients and agencies like probation officers, to keep track of requirements.
“That’s where the chasm is in between where they’re at and the success they’re being asked to achieve,” said Schmallen.
He hopes the app will help clients stay clean, and build a bridge to success.
“I think we can stem the tide of this, people coming out and coming back in the back door,” said Schmallen.
He says they’re in the final stages of developing the app and Schmallen’s hoping to have a soft launch later this summer.
Schmallen also says the program is already being picked up by court systems statewide and across the country.