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Ian Rabb

MP Joyce Bateman presenting Ian Rabb with Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award

Ian Rabb Recognized For His Community Work Fighting Battle Addictions -Receives Queen’s Diamond Jubilee- Sits on Task Force of JCFS Against Addictions

by Rhonda Spivak, Feb 22, 2013

[Editor's note: On a personal note I want to tell readers that after interviewing Ian for a lengthy amount of time, I found him to be a real wealth of information on the topic of fighting addictions, and he certainly added to my own knowledge base. This article only touches on some of the many things we spoke about. Suffice it to say, that I can easily see why he is receiving the ongoing calls from people in the general and Jewish community who need help in this area. Our community is indeed fortunate to have his leadership in this is regard. May he go from strength to strength in his battle to help those fighting to overcome addictions]
Ian Rabb is a community leader who has successfully recovered from his own addiction problems and for the last decade has devoted much of his life to helping others who are battling addictions. He says that he gets "between 6-20 calls a month just from the Jewish community alone" about people who need help and treatment.
"Often people call me about their spouses, not only their kids. Others are elderly, like the 86 year old man who called me recently... I think that there's a lot of addictions out there in the Jewish community that we aren't aware of," he says.
In December 2012, Rabb, who works as the general manager of Winpark Dorchester Properties, was presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his dedication of service to helping those in the Manitoba community battling with addictions.

As Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, who presented Rabb with the award said,” Dr. Ian Rabb has made a significant impact in our community over the years through his support of those struggling with addiction and his commitment to help them make positive choices.”
“Ian cares about helping others make a difference in their lives and this is evident in his work with Two Ten Recovery Inc.”
Seven years ago, Rabb founded Two Ten Recovery, which provides safe, structured drug and alcohol-free housing for those in recovering from addictions. His guidance, which has helped hundreds of people, continues to make a difference in the lives of recovering addicts and offers hope to those looking to work towards their goals. To learn more about Two Ten Recovery, click here:
The fourty seven year old Rabb, told the Winnipeg Jewish Review, he believes that addictions are the result of several causes. “I think there is something familial, that there is a genetic component. I had an relative that was an alcoholic who was an addict. I also think that addicts have had a traumatic experience in their childhood or life, which is a trigger.”
Rabb notes that “as a baby I was very ill” and by kindergarten and grade school, even though he had friends and outwardly seemed fine, “I always felt my skin didn’t fit, I always thought that I was outside looking in.”
This feeling of “constant separation,” of “not fitting in” continued to exist for Rabb even though as a teen he had friends and was active in Chai, USY, and BBYO, and on many sports teams.
He refers to addictions as “the cancer of the soul,” saying that they are the result of a deep lack of self-esteem on the inside, even though on the outside a person may appear to be alright. On the outside, this scan often be masked as a large ego or somewhat narcissistic or attention seeking.
Rabb left Winnipeg and became an optometrist, living in Chicago. But he says that being far away made it “easy to lie to my family” and others about his addiction. “I would hide it a lot” while it spun more and more out of control. Rabb’s drug addiction led him to contact with organized crime, and “I was arrested seven times related to crime and drugs.”
According to Rabb, people with addictions become “pathological liars” in order to keep covering up their addictions from their loved ones.
Rabb recalls how he ended up moving to live with his sister in Denver, and once this happened it was she who began to report to his family on the full extent of his addiction problems.
“She threw me out on the street,” says Rabb and then his father flew down to Denver and told him he had to come home and get into a treatment program or be on the streets.
Rabb says, looking back it is clear that his father saved him. “I’d either be in jail or dead, if he hadn’t intervened.”
At the time, however, Rabb says he still was thinking that he would go back to Winnipeg for a little while and “calm everyone down” and then he’ d be able to leave Winnipeg and return to his addictions.
Then Rabb did the 12-step recovery program, and “I’m now just
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.