In 2001, at the age of 23, Garrett Guedea was recognized as the state’s youngest broker by the California Department of Real Estate. That same year he won the Century 21 Rookie of the Year Award and was ranked in the top one percent Nationwide as the top-producing agent. He thereafter earned Century 21’s prestigious Grand Centurion award.
Working for Barratt American, Garrett sold 138 luxury condominiums in the heart of La Jolla’s Bird Rock neighborhood. The average sales price was around $1 million. In his first year there, he received the prestigious Grand Sam Award from the Urban Sales Professionals. He was also named Urban Sales Professional of the spring and fall quarters of 2006.
In 2007 Garrett was recognized as one of San Diego’s most affluent and eligible bachelors at charity events benefitting abused children and athletes for education.
Life Changing Events
In the midst of all this success with mounting achievements, accolades and rewards for hard work, something drastic happened; changing his life forever. It involved the death of two individuals inseparably close to him. Garrett began drinking heavily to mask the pain. In the ensuing tailspin, he was arrested six times, three of which took place in a 90-day period. He lashed out at close friends and family, and drove away many friends and colleagues.
He reached out to one of San Diego’s best criminal defense lawyers upon finding himself barricaded in his La Jolla apartment. The lawyer was able to negotiate a non-violent surrender, leading to his arrest on felony charges. Garrett eventually received a six-month sentence in San Diego County Jail and lost his real estate office and broker’s license.
Since the SWAT arrest in June 2011, Garrett has dedicated his life to helping others, including providing access to necessary resources to those struggling with alcohol and/or substance abuse issues. Presently, his work is to liaison between services providing a wide range of treatment for crisis management, substance abuse, mental health, cognitive behavior, dialectical behavior, solution-focused therapies, solution-focused experimental and milieu therapies, plus psychological testing and sober coaching of life skills.
Garrett is becoming a fixture in Southern California courts and is being recognized by top law firms as the “go-to” guy in the assistance of those arrested for drug, alcohol and mental-health criminal cases. He often times designs specially customized programs for alternative sentencing. Most recently, Garrett has begun working with various agencies to provide unique alternatives for the Military Diversion Program and Veterans programs. He is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association, San Diego Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, Southern California Sober Living Coalition, National Men’s Association for Addiction Treatment and Toast Masters 624. He specializes in working with licensed professionals, attorneys, physicians and judges on behalf of those in need.
Garrett recognizes the nationally-cited statistic of a 95 percent failure rate in the treatment of substance and alcohol abuse. In an effort to change this statistic, he has revolutionized a program that is resulting in an 85 percent success rate. The plan’s curriculum incorporates residential, intensive out patient, PHP programs and daily monitoring/reporting presently used by physicians and pilots in their structured recovery.
He wants to implement a 5-year plan, starting with a written and structured post-treatment plan which will identify behavior modification and developing motivation-versus-consequences in instances of relapse, accountability, family and colleague support, external support and relapse prevention strategies.
Law firms and HR departments as well as employee assistance programs are usually unfamiliar with stages of recovery. Garrett’s relationship with these entities and treatment providers has helped clients successfully maintain abstinence through the treatment/recovery process.
A New Direction
Garrett made the decision to begin efforts to improve the lives of those caught up in the downward spiral of drug addiction. His close association with first responders made him aware that this particular group of professionals has a unique set of needs if they’ve become addicted. His experiences were particularly suited to addressing these needs.
Garrett founded an outpatient substance abuse treatment program designed for first responders and other licensed professionals. Going beyond the limitations of traditional rehab programs, the program is structured around the specific detox and rehab needs of people with high profile occupations requiring treatment in a confidential setting..