Potomac Entrepreneur Strives to Give Neighbors a Second Chance

“Addiction doesn’t discriminate,” according to Dave Sidhu, CEO of Second Chance Addiction Care. “It affects people across every line: racial, religious, gender, class. It’s a mental health issue that’s nothing to be ashamed of—everyone has different challenges to their happiness.”

Dave is seeking to address those challenges in a more personal way at Second Chance by intentionally keeping the patient pool very small. The boutique outpatient addiction facility opened its doors to Montgomery County in August 2018 and has already established itself as a unique alternative to larger facilities less inclined to focus on truly individualized care.

The impetus to open such a place came from Dave’s years as a lawyer when he began to witness trends in criminal sentencing and the correlation between those with underlying addiction issues they are unable to address and the climbing rates of recidivism.

“I wanted to explore: How can we as a society provide more resources for people to get the help they need to break that cycle?” he says. “There was a gaping need being unmet.” 

As he started to research, he was disappointed to find that services in Montgomery County were not as readily available as he’d hoped, especially for individuals on Medicaid. 

“There are waiting lists. That time can mean the difference between life and death for someone who can’t get help when they need it because it provides them with an opportunity to relapse.”

In November 2017, Dave finalized his decision.

“I wanted to start a place in my hometown that is guided by two principles: One, we’re going to be small so that no one falls through the cracks. Two, we’re going to be accessible and take Medicaid. We’re not going to charge veterans, law enforcement or first responders if they can’t pay. We’re going to do right by people who have sacrificed for our society.”

The intensive outpatient program offered at Second Chance generally consists of patients coming in to meet with counselors for three hours per day four to five times a week before gradually tapering off. There is a hard limit of 15 individuals per group therapy session to ensure that every patient gets the same level of treatment and care. 

“Our goal from the outset has been to provide thoughtful care to anyone who needs help,” Dave says. “We believe strongly that we have the right philosophy, but whether or not we’re effective is a completely different question. What’s been very reassuring is when we hear from patients and family members [who] have tried other locations that were not the right fit.”

Knowing that it’s not easy for people to seek help, Dave paid close attention to the smaller details in designing Second Chance, from the cozy furniture to the artwork on the walls.

“If we can mitigate some anxiety to any extent, that’s a victory,” he says. “We wanted to give someone the impression, when they come in for the first time, that they’re in someone’s house.” 

The homey atmosphere comes full circle to Dave’s goal of serving his community. 

“This is where I grew up. This is my home,” he says. “The health and well-being of anyone who comes here matters to me because these are my neighbors.” 

If you or a loved one is seeking help for substance abuse, visit SecondChanceCare.comto learn more.