Archive for always hope

Insight into Requesting Addiction Help

insight to addiction

Insight into Requesting Addiction Help

As I’m the one who answers the phone and returns emails and texts I’ve gained some insight into what people are requesting in their time of need. I’ve been lucky to speak with hundreds if not thousands of people about addiction and thought it might be of interest to reflect on some of what I’ve learned and heard, so far in no particular order:

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  1. Loved ones often notice the problem long before the individual who’s suffering directly with the addiction.  I believe over half of those that contact me for assistance are family or friends.
  2. Those struggling with substance-use disorders or alcoholism often have very little awareness of what options or support is available.
  3. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step groups attract huge stigma, I used to think the same. In my case it was ignorance to what the program entailed and I didn’t want that label attached to me. Once I learned more about AA I realized it was a blueprint for living life on life’s terms.
  4. People tend to reach out at a point of crisis.  Our phone rings when the consequences of someone’s drinking, using or behavior start to have a drastic impact on their life (loss of job, driving license, relationship breakdown, health issues and so forth).  How can ‘we’ help earlier?  What education is available around addiction? (We go talk to students and allow them to drive the conversation and ask anything in regards to addiction) How do we prevent so many from the slippery slope from socially acceptable drinking to problem drinking to dependency or cross addiction into other drugs?
  5. More employers are reaching out to us, which is really positive, they care about their employees and want the best for them.
  6. Some callers are skeptical that rehab can help, and many believe that it will feel like a jail or hospital. Although many rehabs are like that, we and others provide a different option for rehab. You are treated like a guest on a learning retreat. Plenty of 1-1 counselling and homework but also lots outings and moments spent enjoying the gifts of recovery. (Beach outings, hikes, sports or just sitting reading a good book or watching a movie)
  7. The most serious and determined to get help call my phone 1-829-932-0123 , those that are semi interested might text and those that may be only seeing what options are out there usually email.
  8. Addiction and alcoholism does not discriminate and we hear from all ages, nationalities and demographics.
  9. When I share bits of my struggles with addiction in the past they feel a huge relief. For many, knowing that I’ve lived through a similar hell and found a way to recover gives hope that recovery is possible.
  10.  Many are so thankful that someone would listen, too many help lines go unanswered. Wether it’s the middle of the night or if I’m in a meeting or family commitment I answer the call. Giving someone my time and letting them now there is hope also helps me remember when I was in their shoes and I never want to be in that position again.

These are just a few insights I’ve gathered after years of trying to help people recover from their addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling call now, we can help.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 today

Testimony: “I’m glad I didn’t go anywhere else!”

Always Hope rehab and addiction treatment

“I’m glad I didn’t go anywhere else!”

I came to Always Hope not knowing what to expect. At home some people I knew had worked with Jim (counselor) and knew Roger and Shauna (owners) and had the utmost praise for them. Now, after being here for a month I feel the same way.

Jim is an amazing counselor with the knowledge and experience with alcoholism that I was looking for. I really could relate to him. His approach to working the 12 steps helped me to fully understand and incorporate them into my life. I look forward to our new found friendship an will be a little more at ease in my recovery knowing he is a phone call or text away.

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I can’t say enough about the generosity given by Roger and Shauna. To welcome me in to their lives was truly a blessing. I felt like part of the family and their 2 sons were always guaranteed to make me smile or laugh. Their story also helped me trust where I was because they too know the plight of an addict/alcoholic.

The facility is beautiful and is located in a safe gated community. I had a private room and if I felt I needed to be alone I knew I could. My anxieties about location and safety were quashed the moment I set foot here.

Always Hope made sure I wasn’t cooped up and constantly stuck with my thoughts. We all need an escape on occasion and especially when you are required to look at your horrible drunk self through a magnifying glass. We went to multiple beaches, visited a farm, walked every day and even went to the top of Mt. Isabelle de Torres. The outings were one of the highlights for me and helped me immensely with my recovery. They were a great opportunity for me to sit back and reflect on what was really at work here which was me getting healthy and sane.

The food was fantastic and I even gained some weight (I was very underweight when I arrived). And about once a week we were lucky enough to eat out and enjoy some local cuisine. Make sure you try all the different fresh fruits.

I came here anxious, tired and hopeless. My life had become so unmanageable that my only options were death or sobriety. I made the choice for sobriety because I knew I had so much to live for and wasn’t ready to continue my slow agonizing suicide. I had been drinking every day for at least 10 years or 3600 days and now I feel the best I have in almost a third of my life.

My experience has been fantastic. The 12 steps have really made me open my eyes to understand who I am and what is needed to recover and stay in recovery. I have learned a new level of respect for myself and others and I have learned a most gracious lesson in humility.

My higher power whom I call God is now someone I turn to every day for guidance. I had abandoned Him for so long but I knew he never abandoned me. Spirituality and surrendering to your higher power, whoever are whatever that may be, is in my opinion the foundation of the 12 step program.

I will be forever grateful to Jim, Roger, Shauna and their boys for helping me on my journey of sobriety. My disease is not curable but they have given me hope knowing that the tools supplied to me at Always Hope will make my disease of alcoholism manageable. I love the mantra “One day at a time” and will live my life accordingly.

Thank you Always Hope and anyone seeking a new better sober life please consider Always Hope. It changed my life and I’m glad I didn’t go anywhere else!

Sincerely a recovering alcoholic.

Exercise or Sports and Addiction

exercise and addiction

Exercise or Sports and Addiction

Exercise or sports is an important part of any rehabilitation program, and is a key component in helping someone to recover from their addiction from drugs or alcohol. The endorphins and dopamine produced in the body when someone is engaged in exercise or sports are beneficial in creating a natural high and can decrease the chance of someone reverting back to other stimulants in their search to get “high”. There is only really one downside and it is the possibility of injury and being prescribed pain-pills.

Keeping the body physically healthy can help those struggling to recover from their addiction. The feeling of accomplishment from a run, yoga, a workout or playing sports helps one feel better about themselves and also can keep them connected socially to like-minded individuals. At Always Hope we encourage our guests to take time daily to work on their physical health. We make sure there is time each day to swim, walk, workout or join in on sporting activities such as basketball, volleyball or street hockey etc.

Personally I found that sports were a huge incentive and motivator to keep me on the right path. I had given up all exercise and sports for almost 15 years. Once I removed pain-pills from my life I enjoyed the sports that I used to play in my youth. At first working out and snowboarding were my go-to activities and it was amazing how much I enjoyed them again. Now living in the Caribbean (no more snow) I get to play basketball a few times a week and that was a sport that I hadn’t played since high-school. I used to waste so much time and money self-medicating that I had forgotten how great it felt to exercise and play. I now get to enjoy the natural high that is freely available by treating my body right.

The only downside with exercise or sports these days is the increased risk of a doctor prescribing pain-pills when minor injuries occur. I realize that major injuries may need to be treated with something stronger than an over-the-counter pain reliever but in the past many doctors have been too quick to prescribe something stronger than necessary. There have been many people that end up liking the narcotic pain-pills too much and become addicted after sampling the euphoria these medications provide. We need to be vigilant and fully conscious of the power of these medicines and the after affects.

Call 1-829-932-0123 today and we can help you on your journey to recovery.

Lost!! On the Edge of Relapse

lost in addiction

Lost!! On the Edge of Relapse

I was at the very tip of a very steep dark powerful, cunning & baffling slope, lost, full of fear, some lies, resentments and a relapse. I had know idea what to do, but knew i needed to get away. A handful of opportunities that i have worked hard towards right in front of me and if i didn’t deal with all that was within right away within no time I would have hit the bottom of that slope which could have easily been death.

It was truly a blessing when i was sitting in my vehicle with a very special person who has worked with me and my addiction issues for the last few years, I was crying confessing to my feelings and were I was and how scared I was to quickly loose all. i said I just need to find my self, redo my steps the way they are to be done and not my way lol…. She suggested I call Roger from Always Hope and explain my situation, where I am at and what I would like to accomplish within the program. He said they are able to help please come.

I left within 4 Days for Always Hope to work with Jim Maclean Head Counselor. Long story short it was more that I could have ever expected in all ways it was more than I could have ever hoped for. I found myself again. Ive regained my hope and faith in myself i haven’t truly had that in a very long time. I am sticking to the program and my exit plan, I haven’t been able to do that in 15 years, and it’s not a struggle not to use. For those who are still suffering/struggling with addiction or even just lost or need to get back to the basics please do not hesitate call Roger, talk to Jim and go !!! It could save your life !!! It sure has mine !!

Call 1-829-932-0123 today!

Relapse Prevention at Always Hope: A Testimony

relapse prevention

Relapse Prevention at Always Hope: A Testimony

relapse preventionMy story of arriving at Always Hope may sound familiar to some of us uniquely thinking we are alone.

Áfter over six years of sobriety, AA meetings that tapered off once the raising and caring for family became a priority. A move from one Alberta town to another, becoming involved in community, meeting topnotch folks the excuses abounded and AA became nonexistent. Denial raised its ugly head and I slowly started “socially drinking”.

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Targeting my Emotions, Not just the 12 Steps

emotions

Targeting my Emotions, Not just the 12 Steps

At first just like many people, I was very scared to commit to recovery so far away from my home in Vancouver to the Dominican Republic. I have not left my home for more then a week in my life, and it was a very tough decision. Being 23, I am used to being around my family and girlfriend. I also have never quit drugs in my 9 years of using, never been to a long term treatment centre, gone to meetings or even seen a councillor.

After a lot of thought, my mind was made up, I decided to jump in to my recovery with both feet. Choosing to be away from home was hard, but the positives outweighed the negatives greatly. Firstly, I would not have access to the narcotics I was used to using. Secondly, I would be able to get away from my usual habitat and all the people and problems that came with it. This allowed me to have a clear mind through out this critical month. Although I have to go back home now, I am confident I have learned the skills to deal with my emotions and the scenarios I will inevitably have to face.

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How Addiction took my Life on a Detour

detour addiction

How Addiction took my Life on a Detour

Growing up on a Central Alberta dairy farm I never imagined that my life would take the detour that it did and that I would end up living on a beautiful Caribbean island. This is my my journey from cold and snowy Canada to the Dominican Republic; from dairy farmer to starting an addiction treatment facility in another country.

I had a normal childhood, Mom and Dad were dairy farmers and always around. My brother and 2 sisters were my closest friends growing up as we didn’t have neighbours close enough to play with. School, sports and anything I set my mind to were easily accomplished, it felt like the sky was the limit. In 2000 at the age of 22 and after a couple years of post-secondary education in the field of business I decided to marry my high school sweet heart and come home to the family dairy farm.

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It was shortly after coming home to farm that some injuries I had back when I was partying during high school flared up and became chronic back pain and headaches. I had fallen in a bar when I was drunk and smashed half of my teeth, I had fallen of a small cliff when some friends and I were hiking in the mountains. What I thought were just normal injuries at that age due to drinking and smoking pot, turned out to become a major pain when I was just starting to be an “adult”. And that is when the beginning of my detour took place although I didn’t know it at the time.

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Addiction Help and Advice for the Families

addiction help

Addiction Help and Advice for the Families

addiction help familyQuite often family and friends are burdened and negatively affected by the actions or behaviours of those struggling with an addiction. Living with someone in active addiction can be burdensome and draining emotionally, physically and also financially. I would like to offer some addiction help to all of you who may be affected. These are based on my own experiences and from lessons I have learned from others.

Remember 3 things to start with

  1. You didn’t cause the addiction. In life sometimes “shit happens”.
  2. You can’t control the addict/alcoholic or their addiction.
  3. You can’t stop drinking or using for someone else.

Addiction help for the addict/alcoholic:

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Decision, Decision: How do I Choose?

decision

Decision: Why do people choose Always Hope Addiction Treatment?

With a multitude of different options available out there, I thought I’d highlight the benefits of Always Hope to help guide you in your decision. A one-size-fits-all mentality isn’t useful and so it is good there are many different facilities and philosophical ideologies to choose from. There are the tax-payer funded government funded programs, to the average priced private facilities and all the way up to the luxurious places for the rich and famous (celebrity rehab). We strive to be in the somewhere between the later 2, we have our cost at the low-end of the private facilities but the attention to detail, our luxurious facilities, our location and our small size allows us to be affordable for most people and also a place where you won’t be treated as just another statistic going through the system.

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Finding Strength in Recovery

strength in recovery

Finding Strength in Recovery

In my previous blog I focused on my experience leading up to recovery. I will now touch on the process of getting help and the strength that was needed. It was shown to me by those who had walked a mile in my shoes in the past, and by family and friends who believed in me even when I was unsure of myself. Admitting I needed help was one of the lowest moments in my life, but now I see it was one of the most important. For the most part everything in life that I challenged myself with (school, sports, work and relationships) I had found a way to excel and achieve what I wanted, and it was very disheartening to feel hopeless in overcoming my dependance on painkillers.

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