Executive Corner – Roland Williams

August 27, 2019

The Executive Corner is a new weekly feature of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. We send our participants forty questions and ask them to choose twenty they would like to answer. It includes a short profile and a link to their website. We hope you enjoy it.



Roland Williams is an interventionist, author, trainer, counselor and consultant specializing in addiction related issues. He is one of the first Licensed Advanced Addictions Counselors in the state of California. He is a motivational speaker who conducts seminars, workshops, keynote presentations, as well as staff training, skills building and program development worldwide. Roland is the Founder and President of Free Life Enterprises, Counseling and Consulting Services, He is the Coordinator of Chemical Dependency Studies at Cal State East Bay. He is the Director of the United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC), Recovery Program, He was the Chairman of the Clinical Advisory Board for Lionrock Recovery, and innovative Online Intensive Outpatient program.  He was the Founder and Director of VIP Recovery Coaching, an International Coaching Company providing Recovery Coaching for high profile clients in their environment. He is the former Director of Clinical Operations at DARA Thailand. He is Co-Founder and former Clinical Director of Bayside Marin, in San Rafael California, Alta Mira Recovery Programs in Sausalito, and Free Life Recovery Center in Petaluma, where he developed specific clinical treatment models for each program.  As a Clinical Consultant he helped set up the first abstinence-based addiction treatment center in Amsterdam, Holland, and has worked with addicts and treatment centers, in Japan, Switzerland, Russia,Thailand, Costa Rica, England, Holland, Mexico, France, The Philippines, Dominican Republic, Nepal and Italy.

He is past-Director of Behavioral Health Services at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose California. He teaches Addiction Studies courses and has taught at University of California, University of Texas, University of Utah, San Jose State University, California State University and JFK University. He works as a trainer/consultant for Terence T. Gorski’s CENAPS Corporation. He has written numerous Recovery related articles and developed a culturally specific Relapse Prevention Model for African Americans.

Mr. Williams has three published books; Relapse Prevention Counseling for African Americans, Relapse Warning Signs for African Americans, (both written with Terence T. Gorski) and Relapse Prevention Workbook for African Americans written solely by Mr. Williams. He recently published Recovery is a Verb, a Workbook by Roland Williams. He has had numerous article published related to addiction treatment, and cultural issues.

He developed and facilitated three weekly relapse prevention groups for addicted physicians and attorneys in his San Francisco office for over 25 year.

Mr. Williams sat on the CAADAC, (California Association of Alcohol and Drug Counselors) orals board, is a past member of the NAADAC Trainers Academy providing technical assistance and training nationwide. He is a trainer and program consultant for several treatment facilities worldwide. Mr. Williams through Free Life Enterprises provides EAP, (Employee Assistance Program)  and SAP, (Substance Abuse Professionals) services, which include counseling, crisis intervention, assessment and referrals. Mr. Williams has been the SAP for Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority since 1999. Mr. Williams is an internationally recognized, powerful and inspirational speaker who is considered an expert in the field of addiction treatment, relapse prevention therapy and cross cultural counseling.Mr. Williams is a CCAPP and CADTP. Continuing Education Provider.


Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice and when did you discontinue its use?
A. My drugs of choice were heroin and cocaine, (in that order) my clean date is June, 10, 1986

Q. At which of the schools you attended did you learn the most?
A. The School of Hard Knocks, followed closely by San Jose State University

Q. Do you believe leaders are made or born?
A. I believe life events and experiences can turn a person from a follower to a leader.

Q. Which film have you watched the most?
A. Field of Dreams

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity in recovery?
A. Russell Brand

Q. If you ever retire, would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, or mountaintop, or penthouse?
A. Definitely by the ocean

Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort? 
A. The Royal Hawaiian

Q. Where do you go to “get away”?
A. Southeast Asia

Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve?
A. Rude and inconsiderate people

Q. How do you measure success?
A. Wanting what you have instead of having what you want

Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?
A. Free treatment for indigent addicts/alcoholics

Q. Who was your biggest influence throughout your life?
A.  Richard Lindsey, the program director of the treatment program I went through in 1986

Q. What is your current hobby?
A. Golf, movies and traveling

Q. What prominent fe/male figure would you most like to date?
A. Pam Greer back in the day

Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, Living or dead, who would they be? (choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.)
A. Alex Hailey, Stephen King, and Rumi

Q. What is your FAVORITE Radio show, news show, podcast?
A. 60 Minutes or Vice News

Q.  What is your FAVORITE APP?
A. Amazon Prime

Q. What is your FAVORITE TV/cable/digital series?
A. Queen of the South and Power

Q. Who is your FAVORITE Director?
A. Steven Speilberg

Q. What is your FAVORITE Museum?
A. Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Q. What is your FAVORITE Band/composer/musical artist?
A. Funkadelics

Q. What is your FAVORITE Broadway musical/play?
A. Jersey Boys

Q. Who is your FAVORITE Psychologist or what school of thought as related to psychology?
A. Rogerian Client Centered

Q. What is your FAVORITE Sport to watch? To play?
A.  Basketball and Football to watch and golf to play

Q. What is your FAVORITE Snack?
A. Popcorn

Q. What is your FAVORITE Cuisine?
A. Soul Food

Q. What is your FAVORITE Restaurant?
A. Original Joe’s, San Francisco

Q. What is your FAVORITE City?
A. Koh Chang, Siem Riep, Copenhagen, Amsterdam

Q. Have you ever been arrested and, if so, what for?
A. Multiple drug related arrests in my 20’s

Q. Do you have any children?
A. 2 Amazing adult sons

Q. Do you think the U.S. should adopt the Portuguese Decriminalization Model?
A. No

Q. What books are you reading now?
A. George Clinton memoir

Q. Do you take work home with you?
A. All the time

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve given?
A.  Slow motion beats no motion

Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, a disease, a choice, or a wicked twist of fate?
A. A Disease

Q. What are five things you always carry with you?
A.  My Faith, my friends, my commitment to my Recovery, my IPhone and my Car Keys

Q. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
A.  Quitting a very big job to pursue an uncertain dream

Q. What is your biggest mistake?
A. Not going to see a dear old friend before he died

Q. What is the proudest moment in your life?
A. First becoming a dad

Q. Is there a favorite “Quote” you would like to share?
A. “It is best to remain silent and be thought of as a fool, than to speak out and remove all   doubt”

Q. What is your favorite Weekly News Bulletin?
A. Definitely the Addiction Recovery eBulletin. I look forward to it and read it always. Thanks