Category Archives: addiction

12 Years Clean

January 27, 2012 at the age of 34 was the first full day at my second Rehab. Since high school I always enjoyed getting high, alcohol and weed at first but then also the occasional dabbling in harder drugs as I entered university. It seemed the norm at that age but I usually did everything to the extreme and my competitive nature contributed to me using harder and doing dumb stuff to injure myself while high or drunk. 

After many years of enjoying getting high I thought I hit the jackpot when my doctor prescribed me OxyContin to deal with migraine headaches and back pain. I say jackpot since it took away the pain and got me high, I thought this was perfect. It was great until my tolerance kept increasing, and then after 4 years of not abusing the opiates I fell and separated some ribs and the OxyContin abuse started. I used up a month’s prescription in days and started buying them off the street. (NOT my doctors fault as for 3 years he tried most alternative therapy and non narcotic meds, but nothing worked.)

Even though I was taking so many pills daily my mind was telling me that it’s ok cause I’m taking meds that are prescribed and my doctor should really just increase my dosage so I’m not in pain or buying them illegally. In hindsight I see how ridiculous that is but at the time that was my logic. After a few years of abusing the OxyContin family noticed and I was confronted, I tried to deny and talk my way out but deep down I knew I needed help. I decided to go to rehab to get my family off my back and to learn how to “use properly” I never intended to fully quit. I was warned to abstain from all mind altering substances but I of course needed to test that theory because I thought I was smarter than all these “addicts and alcoholics”

My controlled using lasted 2 weeks and started the day I left my first rehab. 6 months later I found another rehab that offered the shortest length of stay (3 weeks) and the reason I went to that rehab was I was dying physically and mentally and needed to quit for my sanity and health. I also had learned from the previous rehab and my “controlled using” that I had to fully abstain or I would die and lose my wife and 2 boys. 

So today as I sit having coffee by the pool in the Dominican Republic I’m grateful to have my health and my family still in my life. Recovery is possible.  Call me at 1-829-932-0123 for more info or assistance.

Rehab, 12 Step Meetings, Religion, or Other?

Embarking on the journey to recovery from substance abuse is a deeply personal and unique experience. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and individuals often find success through various avenues. I will explore the different pathways to recovery, including rehab programs, religious approaches, and peer support groups such as 12 step programs. The key to success often lies in a personalized combination of these resources, coupled with a strong social support system. 

Personally I went to rehab twice to get the assistance I needed. First time was to get family off my back and second time because I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”. The second time I was also more accountable by attending weekly 12 step meetings. Grateful for my past as I near another yearly milestone and thought I’d reflect on different options for successful recovery. 

Call or message me at 1-829-932-0123 for more info.

1. Rehabilitation Programs:

Rehab programs, whether inpatient or outpatient, play a crucial role in helping individuals break free from the cycle of addiction. These programs often offer a structured environment where individuals can receive professional guidance, counseling, and medical support. Inpatient rehab provides intensive, around-the-clock care, while outpatient programs allow individuals to receive treatment while maintaining their daily routines. The immersive nature of inpatient rehab helps many people kick start their recovery journey and was instrumental in helping me recover. 

2. Religious Approaches:

For some individuals, religion serves as a powerful anchor in their recovery process. Religious communities often offer support and a sense of belonging, providing individuals with a framework for moral and spiritual guidance. Religious practices, such as prayer and meditation, can be integral components of a holistic recovery plan. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of religious approaches varies from person to person based on individual beliefs and preferences. 

3. Peer Support Groups:

Peer support groups, such as 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), provide individuals with a community of like-minded individuals who understand the challenges of addiction. These groups follow a structured approach that includes steps toward recovery, accountability, and sponsorship. The power of shared experiences and mutual support within these groups can be a driving force in sustaining recovery over the long term. I still get a lot of support by attending 12 step meetings when I can. 

Call or message me at 1-829-932-0123 for more info.

Regardless of the chosen path, maintaining a social connection with supportive family and friends is crucial. A strong support system provides encouragement, understanding, and a sense of accountability. Whether it’s attending family therapy sessions, involving loved ones in the recovery process, or going to 12 step meetings, the power of social connections cannot be overstated.

In the realm of addiction recovery, diversity is strength. There is no universal answer to the question of which pathway is the “right” one, as each individual’s journey is unique. By embracing a combination of rehabilitation, religious practices, outpatient support, and peer engagement, coupled with the unwavering support of friends and family, individuals can pave their way to a successful and sustainable recovery. The key lies in recognizing that recovery is a dynamic process, and the chosen pathway should be tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of the individual seeking a new, healthier chapter in life.

Holidays: Recovery and Relapse

December is often the season of joy and celebration, yet for those on the path of recovery from addiction, the holiday season can pose unique challenges. As we approach Christmas, a time traditionally associated with parties and alcohol, the journey of recovery can be a slippery slope. Let us dig into the complexities of navigating recovery and the potential pitfalls of relapse during this festive time.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for assistance.

**The Challenge of Temptations:**

The Yuletide season brings with it a myriad of temptations – from spirited gatherings to the presence of alcohol at every turn. For those in recovery, maintaining sobriety amidst the festive cheer can be similar to traversing a minefield. Old habits may resurface, testing one’s resilience.

**Navigating Social Pressures:**

The holiday season is often marked by social obligations, where the pressure to partake can be overwhelming. Friends and family, unaware of the delicate nature of the recovery process, may inadvertently contribute to the struggle. It becomes crucial to communicate boundaries and seek support during these challenging moments.

**Embracing Support Systems:**

Recovery is not a solitary journey but a collective effort. The holiday season emphasizes the importance of leaning on support networks – be it through 12-step programs, therapy, or the understanding embrace of loved ones. Acknowledging vulnerability and seeking help can be a powerful deterrent against the chance of relapse.

**Mindful Celebrations:**

As one treads the path of recovery, approaching celebrations with mindfulness becomes paramount. Opting for sober gatherings, engaging in activities that bring genuine joy, and steering clear of environments that may trigger relapse are strategic choices during the festive season.

**Coping Strategies for Resilience:**

Developing coping strategies is an essential aspect of maintaining recovery. Whether through meditation, journaling, or engaging in fulfilling activities, individuals can fortify themselves against the allure of substances. The holidays, though challenging, can also be an opportunity for self-discovery and growth.

**Reflection and Renewal:**

The Christmas season, with its emphasis on reflection and renewal, provides a fitting backdrop for those in recovery. It’s a time to assess progress, acknowledge victories, and chart a course for the future. While relapse may be a stumbling block, it need not define the entirety of one’s journey.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for info about rehab or recovery.

In conclusion, the holiday season, which may contain potential pitfalls, also offers a chance for profound transformation. Navigating recovery during Christmas requires resilience, self-awareness, and a commitment to embracing the true spirit of the season. Together, let us walk this path, supporting each other through the trials and triumphs, as we strive for lasting recovery during the festive season and beyond.

The Magic of Always Hope

A testimonial from a previous guest:

“Roger Palsma and his family’s Always Hope center is special in too many ways to mention. Besides being in a lovely, comfortable location with a private bedroom and bath, you are made to feel ‘at home.’”

This is not what you would expect. I envisioned sterile walls, militaristic rules and pounded with the lengthy doctrines of AA.  Instead the process is laid back and loving—while keeping it very real why you are there.

Very customized and personalized; you can work as hard as you want or not at all. It’s up to you.

But the magic I think, is Roger’s unique brand of dry humor and empathy. Having clearly been a former abuser of most every recreational drug, he speaks from first-hand experience. You never feel ashamed to speak up about anything.

For those of you turned off by the dogma of AA or NA, this center has a unique way of filtering through that stuff and focusing on the useful messages within.

In short. They demystify the process of getting sober into digestible pieces.

Nothing short of brilliant.”

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 to contact Roger with Always Hope

Rebirth at Always Hope

Today, I celebrate six months without a drop of alcohol—a milestone I once thought was beyond my reach. For over 30 years, alcohol shadowed my every step, accompanying me in every celebration and every hardship. Despite my successes in business and finance, there was an ever-looming shadow: my reliance on alcohol. It reached a point where I felt I had hit rock bottom, prompting me to seek help.

While I reached out to several places, many didn’t offer the genuine support and understanding I was yearning for. Everything changed when I spoke to Roger. In him, I found someone who truly listened, understood my concerns, and most importantly, didn’t offer empty promises. I decided to embark on this journey to recovery, and upon arriving at this home, I felt embraced, as if I had found a family. It wasn’t a traditional setting but a home where you’ll feel at ease, have space, and above all, find peace.

Throughout my stay, each day marked a step towards healing, with unwavering support from the team, Kendal the consulerand earnest conversations with Roger. I’m learning to enjoy more time in the present, cherishing moments with my kids, and having better control over myself. Every day, I wake up without the regret of the day before. Is it easy? Not always. I miss the times of “fun” and parties. However, now I can attend a party, enjoy it, and not be burdened with conflicting thoughts the next day.

If you’re struggling with this, I recommend taking action, seeking help, making a decision, and just taking that step forward. My only regret is not taking action sooner. If you’re willing to make a change, reach out to Always Hope and give yourself a chance to live again.

Thanks, Roger and your family! You always have a friend here! 

Call or Message 1-829-932-0123 today for assistance.

Addict in Denial, A Testimonial

Addict in denial is a long testimonial. I never change any words and post exactly what was given to me. Due to the length, and to protect anonymity I have deleted some words, sentences and paragraphs.

Call 1-829-932-0123 for more info

I never imagined I’d end up in any type of rehab program. Being a musician for more than half of my life, I’ve always been surrounded and tempted by every drug imaginable and endless free drinks. What I was not aware of was all of the childhood trauma and PTSD , that was also part of who I was. I came to the Dominican Republic for the first time with my fiancé on April 20th for our engagement trip, and she left me there because I had gotten a middle ear infection from swimming in the ocean and the doctors told me I could not fly for 5 to 7 days. After she flew home, things in my life went horribly south.


Not only was there previous problems in my relationship with my fiancé and family back in the states, but a lifetime of fighting my own demons internally. So after a couple days of severe, “fear and loathing” in the Dominican all by myself. My fiancé decided that she needed to find a rehab program that I would actually participate in. Which brings me to Always Hope.


I had already agreed to her and my family that maybe I needed to get some help or therapy and come to terms with my addiction which I was in complete denial of. So she said she found this place and that it was completely paid for if I go for the entire month. After getting into a bar fight at the dance club I got in a cab and 7 1/2 hours later, I arrived in Sosúa. Knowing nothing about Always Hope or who these people were much less the therapist that I was going to be assigned to… I went.

I arrived on May 1 in the middle of a rainstorm, about seven or 8 o’clock in the evening. Not only was the staff, polite and welcoming. I merely felt the sense of being in someone’s home, not in any type of medical facility.
After an arduous, seven hour grueling ride through the mountains and winding roads, I was so exhausted that I made some food and went directly to my own private room, turn on the air-conditioning and lay down for the night.

The next morning I woke to Roger smoking cigarette, drinking coffee on the back patio by the pool. He handed me a binder with some paper and a pen, and that started my journey. Just like any addict in denial I thought there was no way I was gonna make it a week much less a month here and I immediately contacted my fiancé to tell her she needed to get me a plane ticket and get me the hell out of here. Not because Roger, his wife or son we’re in anyway mean or rude. It was because I just felt so out of place.


How could I be here? 45 years old just got engaged and here I am checking into a rehab program for a month. Roger handed me the AA 12 step book as well as the NA book. And I remember him saying you’ll get out of this what you put into it. And he gave me his backstory of 11 years of sobriety from much harsher drugs and much worse scenarios that I had ever imagined. I think that was the catalyst that changed my mind and heart about this program.

Over the course of the next few days upon meeting my therapist, Kendall and really immersing myself 110% with all of the literature, worksheets, and both AA and NA meetings, I began to feel the healing and the legitimacy of this program of recovery. And even though I was at most times, very stubborn and apprehensive to do any of the worksheets, I always told Roger my answer is “YES”.

What I got from going to three AA meetings and one NA meeting a week was beyond what I could ever have hoped for. The “community” as they call it of people from all over the world and backgrounds became my new group of friends and family almost immediately. Their stories of trials and tribulations and battles of their own addiction of all kinds, truly inspired and motivated me to stay the course.

I was not supposed to leave the premises unless with Roger to go to the beach, grocery store, dinner or meetings. At times, I felt trapped because I would continuously ask after my one hour therapy session every morning from 9 to 10, to go to the beach or see the town. Roger would say let’s talk about it tomorrow. What I didn’t realize until my third week was that he had done this program with so many different clients over the years, and he had learned from his mistakes and the mistakes of those that did not abide by the program and the 12 steps. So I always knew he had my best intentions at heart, and he was only difficult because he actually cared about me.

What I got from that was a lifetime of tools that I could apply for not only myself, but any individual I come across for the rest of my life who is suffering from an addiction. I am truly grateful for those that got me here for the friends that supported me through it and for the entire community here in Sosua, especially Roger, Shauna, and Pierce for welcoming me into their home and trusting me.

I’ve never left a review of any type on any social media or Internet platform until now. And I only did this, because I believe if there’s someone out there or someone that you know that could benefit from reading this testimonial, and it could inspire them to even go to an AA meeting or seek help, then I believe it was worth every single moment, and word I wrote. If I was able to give Always Hope six stars, I would do that because Roger and his team down here and community truly know how to help individuals just like themselves overcome even the deepest, darkest demons.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for info or assistance

Ego and Pride (Testimonial)

I ask all guests if they would submit a review or testimonial to help others have a better understanding of what it’s like at Always Hope. I enjoy when they give me it before leaving but I love it more when it comes months or years after they have left. I find it means they are still doing good and that we are still in weekly contact. Below is a testimonial I just received from a guest that was with us within the last year. I copy and paste and don’t change or fix grammar or spelling

“I would like to add a testimonial, to help those of you who are looking for help restoring balance to your life.

As an older professional, I felt trapped by discreetness. My pride or ego could not handle other people potentially knowing. I kept trying to deal with my addictions by myself, and I kept failing. My wife helped me find this program which is different from an institutional program. I was ready for a change. I didn’t know what to expect, but this program was perfect for me. I realized that the journey to be able to reflect on my disease or behaviour is personal. The opportunity that is created by Always Hope was safe caring and supportive of all the challenges that I faced. It truly can only come from people that have faced the same challenges.

For those of you that know the institutional road is not for you. Please consider this opportunity. Saying that you must be ready to change. Only you can make that decision, this program is too help give you the tools and resources for success.”

If you or a loved one is looking for a place to heal and recover from your addiction call or message Always Hope anytime. Don’t let your pride or ego stand in the way of getting the help you want or need.

1-829-932-0123

Lessons Learned From Past Guests

I have learned so much from all the past guests that have stayed at Always Hope. As I was reflecting on the lessons and tips they taught me I thought I’d take the time to write a “thank you” blog. I’m sure after I post this and reread it I’ll remember more but for now I will just reflect on some of the things I learned or was inspired to do. 

First, reading books and novels. I used to read a lot growing up but when I started farming my reading became limited to informational magazines and newspapers. We had a guest a few years ago that read a novel every 1-2 days on top off all the recovery literature. This inspired me to start reading novels and some non-fiction books again. Although I can’t read at the pace this guest could, I learned that I could read 2-4 books a month and have continued that for the past 5 years. 

Second, different exercises.  I dislike “working out” or running but love playing sports like hockey and basketball. I like to be in shape but the occasional sports isn’t quite enough to keep me as fit as I’d like. A recent guest inspired me to try running again after I saw them religiously run in the mornings. Not sure if I enjoy it much yet but I do love the feeling of sweating and working my body hard first thing in the mornings. Hopefully I continue but regardless I learned I can do it and it’s worth the feeling of accomplishment when I finish. 

Third, healthier food and cooking different recipes. Having guests that come from all corners of North America, the Caribbean and other parts of the world has taught me different foods I would never have encountered. The different heritages and backgrounds of our guests has shown me many healthy recipes and food choices that I never would have tried. I have learned to be more open to taste and try different fruits, vegetables and dishes that I never would have experienced if I never met these people. 

Fourth, is geography and culture. Every guest is unique and grew up in a location I likely haven’t travelled to. During the course of their stay I’m blessed to have them share personal experiences and info on their lives. I have learned so much about small towns, big cities, and also the countries they live in and have travelled to. Much of this info I couldn’t obtain through travel shows or guides and it has taught me a lot about the world. 

Lastly, I have learned that each guest is super intelligent and often “too smart for their own good”. This may have contributed to them ending up in rehab to deal with their addiction issues, but it also will help them succeed in recovering. Past guests have shown me how to be more emphatic, vulnerable, caring and how to set boundaries. I have learned tech advice and business tips. I have gained some friends for life and am so grateful to have met all that have come to Always Hope. 

A huge thanks to all that have taught me so much. And if you or a loved on is struggling with an addiction call anytime. Even every phone call teaches and helps me, it reminds me that the struggle is real. And I never want to put myself or my loved ones through the agony of dealing with my addiction issues again. 

Call 1-829-932-0123 today if you want assistance. 

3 Signs You Have An Addiction Issue

When I was using there were many signs of to myself and loved ones that I was out of control and life was becoming unmanageable. For the most part I thought I was using my “meds” cause I needed them to survive, although I loved the high it gave me and helped manage my pain. Until I got sick and tired of being a slave to my OxyContin I assumed I would just be on them for the rest of my life. I didn’t believe I could go without them even though I knew that taking 5-10 times the dose my doctor prescribed was a red flag. I’m glad my family and doctor finally noticed and were brave enough to confront me about my addiction. I was of course pissed off initially at then and everything but deep down I needed help and glad they noticed the signs.

Below are just 3 common signs of addiction.

Using is Causing Work or Relationship Problems

While I was using I was so preoccupied with figuring out how when to get more and how to hide my problem. This made me emotionally, mentally and physically unavailable for family and friends. It also was starting to impact the quality of my work. Although the bills were always paid, the work was completed and I was physically around for my family I wasn’t 100% there.

I have met many highly successful and “functional” addicts and alcoholics. Everyone has a different bottom or turning point where they decide enough is enough. Not every person needs to lose their job, house and family before they decide that they have a substance abuse problem. It’s progressive and sometimes slowly gets worse unless actions are taken. Therapy, 12 step meetings, rehab are all options to help before ending up in jails, institutions or death. Help is available in many forms.

We can help by either chatting on the phone or pointing you in the right direction to receive the assistance that you want or like.

Call or message me at 1-829-932-0123 to talk with me today.

Trying to “Control or Manage” Consumption

It isn’t always about how much or how often you drink or use but more likely that you find you can’t live without it. Binge drinkers or weekend warriors often assume because they don’t consume on a daily basis that it’s not a problem. But if they had to picture going without their substance of choice for a month or more they would be resistant.

Many like myself felt we could control or limit or using. For an addict or alcoholic this is just an excuse or we are fooling ourselves. Many people have mentioned (and me also) that many days, weeks and months went by where every night I thought that tomorrow I won’t use. That rarely or never happened once the craving and obsession entered the mind.

Until I came to the conclusion that one is too many and a thousand is never enough I didn’t and couldn’t recover. For me and many abstinence was the only way.

Health is Affected

Lastly I personally could tell my health was being adversely affected and I know family noticed it as well. I was extremely under weight and ill often, also every scrape or cut seemed to get infected as my immune system was compromised by my using.

Many people I’ve met through Always Hope and my stints in rehab felt their health was failing. Some noticed the signs on their own and others were made aware by their doctors. Some of the health issues like failing liver or memory loss were so extreme that hospitalization was likely the next step.

Thankfully the body can often heal the damage before it’s permanent by abstaining from the abused substances. I just hope anyone suffering through the grips of active addiction seek help before it’s too late.

Relapse Stages

There are often a number of warning signs that precede a relapse. If a person is aware of these 3 common relapse stages they have a better chance of reversing their thinking and can prevent and actual relapse. 

Usually emotional relapse occurs first, this is identified when habits and actions are happening that aren’t healthy. Usually at this point a person isn’t thinking about using or drinking but they are behaving in a way that can threaten their sobriety. Examples are: isolation, unhealthy eating, lack of sleep, easily angered, and bottling up emotions. These are warning signs but they can be addressed easily; connect socially with friends, family or people that have your best interest in mind, eat better and drink lots of water, make an effort to get enough sleep and exercise and be kind to yourself. 

Mental relapse is usually the next stage. One starts romanticizing past use while forgetting the chaos and pain it caused. You may start hanging out with old “friends” and in places that are triggers. Considering and bargaining with oneself that “one more drink or drug won’t hurt me”. This is also the stage and time when one is usually visualizing where and when they will get high or drunk again. It’s at this relapse stage that reaching out to someone for help is crucial. A friend, family member, or a professional that understands addiction is extremely beneficial. 

Call me at 1-829-932-0123 at anytime if you need to talk. 

The last of the relapse stages is physical relapse. It occurs when one is actively planning and seeking out drugs or alcohol. If you are calling your dealer, driving to a liquor store, lying to loved ones so you can be alone you are usually within minutes or seconds of full relapse. Unless a great coincidence happens and the right person calls you or interrupts your thoughts during this small window in time a relapse is almost certain. Hopefully you or a loved one can recognize what’s going on and help you get back on the path of healthy recovery. 

I and many others have said often that we all have a relapse available to us but recovery isn’t guaranteed. The next relapse could unfortunately lead to jails, institutions or death. Please reach out to me or anyone you trust if you are struggling with active addiction or if you are on the verge of relapse. 

Rehab Cost and Benefits

Rehab cost is often one of the first questions asked when someone is inquiring about addiction help. I realize that $ is an important factor but there is much more to consider when deciding where to go for help such as location, individual attention, the program offered and availability.

First in reference to the cost of rehab I’ll try and put it into perspective. For example a 2 week all inclusive resort can likely cost $3000-$5000 or more so it’s a similar price but rehab will include professional counseling instead of “all you can drink”. Rehab is also a step in the right direction for recovery by helping the individual deal with underlying issues vs hoping that a 2 week break from reality might be the cure.

It is also noticeable as the years pass that an investment in your health is cheaper than most funerals. Even though I’m only mid 40’s it seems that a handful of classmates and acquaintances are dying from overdoses and suicides every year now. The financial cost of death is small in comparison to the emotional cost to friends and families.

Location, individual attention and the type of program offered can differ greatly between all rehabs. During this past month I was blessed to visit a rehab that held open meetings. It was unfortunate to see that the facility was almost full capacity (25-30 people) but it was also great to see that those individuals were seeking help. It was sad to see that some of them weren’t getting the 1-1 counseling they deserved, but it was nice to see the social connections they were making which would help keep  them from isolation in the future.

There is no “one size fits all” rehab and so Always Hope was designed to be a different option. We offer 1-1 counseling for an hour 5 days a week, the program is tailored to the individual and the cost is similar or less than most private rehabs. We allow you to determine the length of stay, any timeframe over 2 weeks is feasible. If you or a loved one is looking for a different option for addiction help we may be able to help.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 and we will help you start on your road to recovery.

Paradise found: a rehab like no other (testimonial)

Paradise found: I came to Always Hope at a low point in my life.  Five days into my two week stay at my house in Cabarete, having escaped the northeast winter as I do every year, I was still living a life which revolved around anticipating, using and recovering from a daily intake of alcohol, much as I had done for the past 25 years or so in the states.  I was in the throes of my addiction,  my life closing in around alcohol, and wanting to stop all the time.  I thought about going to AA, going into rehab, etc., but I did not, could not take the first step.  It was the stage 4 cancer diagnosis I received at the end of 2021 which was my “rock bottom” in which I realized I may very well die, but I will definitely die, sooner rather than later, if I don’t stop NOW!  But here I was in the DR, still doing the same old thing.

 Finally,  one late night I googled “rehab in Cabarete” and came upon “Always Hope”.  I immediately called the next day and was answered by a human ,  Roger, the owner.   He answered my questions about his program, in a measured , soft spoken manner, and did not say too much, though I noted a calm voice, which I found reassuring.  I detected a heart.  Though there was no hard sell here, almost a benign indifference.  “Take it or leave it” he seemed to say.   He told me about local AA meetings which he offered to meet me at.  But I knew I probably wouldn’t get there on my own, and I needed help to get away from the alcohol. So without any real hesitation or investigation, and with no real options (there was no Dr. Bob to lock me in a room), I requested that he take me in.  He came the next day to pick me up.


The location is a well appointed, modest sized villa with a large terraced pool in a luxury gated community between Sosua and Cabarete.  I was immediately greeted by his friendly wife  Shauna and their son,  then shown to my private  room and bath in a separate area overlooking the pool terrace.  I quickly felt at home.  I soon realized I was the only “visitor”, something which at first made me a little nervous, but which I soon came to relish.    It was my first day of sobriety in 25 years and had no idea how it would go.  But I was in a low-key, quiet, relaxing place away from alcohol.  Even there are no locks on the door, I knew I was safe.  And off to my first meeting later that day.  Once I made that first break, I never looked back.

  
 The program at “Always Hope” is deceptively simple, almost minimalist in style.  The structure being daily 1 hour counseling sessions, two or three weekly AA meetings “off-campus, and study guides and literature provided by Roger to take yourself through a kind of self-guided 12 step program.   At first I felt like I needed more help and structure.  Being the only patron (the max is 3), I didn’t have any people to share experiences with and I worried a wouldn’t benefit from the interaction with other addicts in and out of various groups, as you would in a typical rehab.  But I soon realized the peace and introspection that came without having to deal with other people’s baggage, and the ability to really focus on my recovery, in such a pleasant, peaceful space.     ( I also soon realized that I would get plenty of feedback, sharing, and meeting other “people like me” in the AA meetings.).

Roger and his wife are always there, but almost in the background, present and available to talk to when needed, but otherwise pleasantly and “quietly” going about their lives.  Roger is quick to point out that he is not a counselor, but he was a good sounding board and shared his own experiences with addiction and recovery when appropriate.  I soon realized that Roger’s function for me was like that of a host, or tour guide;  helping me navigate through the process of my own new found sobriety in a congenial, unobtrusive, and relaxed  manner.  Going to my first AA  meetings with him was major a life changing experience.  Having avoided and been afraid to go for so many years, I needed that personal escort.  Once there, I quickly embraced and became emerged the AA program.  A life long skeptic and atheist, I  soon realized that AA would be essential to my long-term sobriety.    

Daily  runs and casual chats with Shauna, and movie night, focused on addiction movies, were some recreational highlights.   The unrestricted use of my phone and IPad was also much appreciated, as I did not want to place my life on hold.  In fact, for me, one of the chief therapeutic aspects of the program was the ability  to experience elements of my life and some of the daily stressors sober, within the confines of a safe place.  A kind of “exposure” therapy.    Shopping trips with the host, which entailed walking past the liquor aisles, also served in this regard, as well preparing my own meals, which I had normally done drunk.   Though food is provided and there is easy access to the kitchen, Shauna is happy to prepare meals upon request. This is not the place for 4 star resort service, however, and you are expected to basically clean up after yourself, do your own laundry, etc., which is all part of the process.   

Though most of my time was spent at the Villa, customized outings were arranged.    I was able to visit my house several times and tend to my chores, chickens and dog, without alcohol being part of the picture.  That was hugely therapeutic.  The most important thing was to be able to stop drinking, and begin my AA experience, and I could not have done it without  “Always Hope “.  I will forever be grateful.

5 Foods to help during recovery from addiction

Every substance that gets abused has its own set of specific effects on health. Many drugs or alchohol have similar impacts on a person’s ability to get all the nutrients necessary for health in recovery. Those who abuse any drug or alcohol are likely to experience vitamin and nutrient deficiency. 

Water is most important. While the body can withstand lack of food or malnutrition for weeks, if not longer. Dehydration quickly becomes a matter of life or death. Water makes up the majority of the human body and plays vital roles in nearly every function. Examples include helping brain function, improving mood, flushing out toxins and transferring nutrients through the body. 

Bananas contain a lot of tryptophan, this is an amino acid that’s not absorbed easily when using drugs and alcohol. Tryptophan is essential in the formation of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which promotes relaxation and proper sleep.

Yogurt is full of probiotics. Alcohol and opiates will disrupt your gastrointestinal system, which is why constipation and diarrhea are so common. Probiotics will help normalize the digestive tract.

Vegetables in general, contain a range of essential vitamins. During active addiction, improper nutrition absorption, along with a poor diet, causes malnutrition, but a vegetable-rich diet helps to restore proper nutrition levels. Vegetables will also help to improve skin and hair health, which commonly deteriorates during active addiction. Foods like papayas, bell peppers, strawberries, pineapple and oranges are all high in vitamin C and many other vitamins. Load up!

Garlic tastes good on almost everything. You can put it on pastas, in bread, on meats, on vegetables, and more. Not only does it taste great, but it is also good for your body. Garlic is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It will help to clean your liver, and it will help to restore some of the damage in your body. Plus, it supports your immune system, improves bone health, and helps to regulate your blood pressure. Garlic is like a wonder drug disguised as food.

These are just examples of some of common foods (and water) that are readily available and can help speed up the recovery process. At Always Hope the food on this list is usually organically grown, and fresher than you could find in most rehab locations. Most are available year round in tropical Dominican Republic. 

Reflection as I age

As I turned 44 years old I did some reflection and there was a time when I was concerned about if I would make it to 40 or even 35 years of age.  


Many blessings and adventures have come my way since giving up drugs and alcohol. The list is endless but some of the bigger achievements I have witnessed and at 1 point never thought possible are…


Family is still by my side. (Anyone that knows me realizes how great and supportive my family is)

Saw my oldest son graduate high school and my youngest graduate from middle school. (I used to hope I’d witness this)

Live in a new country. (Many dream of this but few are brave enough to try)


I never know what the future holds but at least I have many things to look forward to. Life may have thrown me a few lemons (obstacles) to test me but I’m not special in that regard as all of us have issues to face daily. 

Everyone has a past and challenges that they need to overcome and it is worth the effort to try and make another day of memories. I try now to take it one day at a time cause the best present  is being “present” in the moment. 

Addiction is a Pandemic

Addiction doesn’t take a break just because of a worldwide pandemic. The issues and consequences of active addiction haven’t decreased during this time but have unfortunately actually increased. Physical abuse to self and others, crime etc have been rising during this pandemic. This is because alcohol and drugs “seem” like a viable solution or alternative to dealing with this new reality (Coronavirus) but in an unhealthy way.

Always Hope has remained open and taken the necessary steps and precautions to help those wishing to deal with their addictions. Our unique rehab which only takes a maximum of 3 quests at a time helps maintain social distancing. This also gives you the opportunity heal in a safe environment. Plus decreased exposure to those possibly infected.

Air travel has also resumed to the Dominican Republic and measures are in place at airports to perform rapid tests upon arriving. We at Always Hope are and will continue to be available to help those struggling with addiction. Don’t suffer alone, there is no better time to begin your road to recovery.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 today for more info. 

Free Rehab

UPDATED JULY 1,2020 *THIS OFFER IS UNFORTUNATELY NOT AVAILABLE ANYMORE DUE TO THE FACT THAT FLIGHTS ARE COMING INTO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AGAIN. THE OFFER WAS TO HELP DURING THE COVID-19 AND THE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS*

I’ll try and make this short and to the point; free rehab online was available to anyone interested. Due to social distancing and the need for all to self isolate so the spread of this pandemic ends. We at Always Hope wanted to still help those still suffering in active addiction, or anyone who wants to learn more about what someone may learn at rehab. 

We were willing to email out all our literature and program info to anyone that contacted me through Facebook, text, phone call or email.  There are 33 different assignments or reading info

1-829-932-0123

contact@always-hope.ca

I realize this didn’t give you the 1-1 counselling but I personally am also always available for any questions, calls or videochats. 
This wasn’t ideal or a cure all but I wanted to do my part to help while we all struggled through these trying times. I hope this helped those that took advantage of this offer when it was still available.

Take care

Roger Palsma owner of Always Hope

Honesty and addiction

Many of us began our addictions out of curiosity. But if we truly look at it with honesty we can find a way to recover. Some of us became involved because of a justifiable need for a prescription drug (such as my story) or as an act of deliberate rebellion. Many began this path when barely older than children. Whatever our motive for starting and our circumstances, we soon discovered that the addiction relieved more than just physical pain. Our drug of choice provided stimulation or numbed painful feelings or moods. It helped us avoid the problems we faced— or so we thought.

For a while, we felt free of fear, worry, loneliness, discouragement, regret, or boredom. But because life is full of the conditions that prompt these kinds of feelings, we resorted to our addictions more and more often. Still, most of us failed to recognize or admit that we had lost the ability to resist and abstain on our own. 

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for assistance

Rarely do people caught in addictive behaviours admit to being addicted, this is the very nature of the disease of addiction. It tells us we can handle it. To deny the seriousness of our condition and to avoid detection and the consequences of our choices, we tried to minimize or hide our behaviours. We did not realize that by deceiving others and ourselves, we slipped deeper into our addictions. As our powerlessness over addiction increased, many of us found fault with family, friends,  and even God. We plunge into greater and greater isolation, separating ourselves from others, especially from our loved ones.

When we, as addicts, resorted to lies and secrecy, hoping to excuse ourselves or blame others, we probably became isolated physically and emotionally from those who could not understand us. With each act of dishonesty, we fell deeper into the depths of our addiction, using more to hide our feelings. Then a time came when we were brought face to face with reality. We could no longer hide our addictions by telling one more lie or by saying, “It’s not that bad!”. We call this our bottom and it is a place where we feel totally alone, helpless, hopeless and useless.  A loved one, a close friend, a doctor, a judge, or someone else we trust may have told us the truth we could no longer deny. That addiction was destroying our lives.

Honesty with ourselves first

When we honestly looked at the past, we admitted that nothing we had tried on our own had worked. We acknowledged that the addiction had only gotten worse. We realized how much our addictions had damaged relationships and robbed us of any sense of self-worth. At this point, we took the first step toward freedom and recovery by finding courage to admit that we were not just dealing with a problem or a bad habit. We finally admitted the truth that our lives had become unmanageable and that we needed help to overcome our addictions. We found the courage to ask for help.  The amazing thing about this honest realization of defeat was that recovery finally began.

Honesty with ourselves is possibly the hardest thing. It may be because we can and do get away with lying to everyone else. But we always know our truths. 

Am I completely ready to be honest with myself to the very best of my ability!

Forgiveness and recovery

ALWAYS HOPE – FORGIVENESS

Forgiving is difficult, but perhaps we make it more difficult to forgive ourselves or others because we don’t understand the task. It is not necessarily to bring ourselves to the point that we can agree with the person whom we feel injured by, or to say that what we experienced was really alright, or that the other person did not make a mistake, or injure us in one way or another.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for assistance

Forgiveness is really freeing ourselves of bitterness and resentment, and thus allowing ourselves to cultivate our best impulses as well as the best impulses in others.

Forgiveness is a “letting go”. It feels like a relief, a new serenity, and a sense of spiritual power that assists us to deal with emotions that poison our own personalities and relationships.

To “let go” doesn’t mean to stop caring but to realize what we are responsible for and what we are not responsible for. I am responsible for my own thoughts, actions, attitudes and feelings. I am not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts, actions, attitudes and feelings. It is only when I realize this truth that I am able to respond to others in a truthful and responsible manner.

I cannot learn for another, or control another and it doesn’t help me to blame another, or try to force another to change. My attempts to fix another’s problems will end in failure and it doesn’t help me to sit in judgment upon another, or to deny another’s reality. Destructive criticism, nagging, scolding or arguing never serves to heal my own or others’ hurts.

Letting Go

Letting go often means allowing others, as well as myself to learn from the natural consequences of actions. If I can accept reality, recognizing that being human means being imperfect, I may find that I can be supportive and encouraging to another person, even if I am unable to understand their actions. If I can see my own weakness and strength then Ican be more tolerant of others shortcomings and more appreciative of their strengths.

There is evil in this world. It is not possible to be aware of myself without recognizing the things that are destructive to human society, and that often affect me or someone I care about in a personal way. If I hold bitterness and resentment I contribute to this destructiveness, and have less, if any, positive influence on my world.

If I can let go of my past disappointments and hurts, and begin to live for my present moment I can, by invitation, have some influence, however small, on the future of the human race.

Forgiving is hard work and it requires us to search ourselves, honestly, but gently. It takes some time, but needn’t take a whole life time. It begins with a decision to make the effort, and it requires that we forgive ourselves first. Guilt-ridden people are not able to be very flexible or receptive to new ideas. Human growth requires an open mind, a flexible attitude and a belief in the ultimate possibility of goodness. This, in essence, is what love stands for. Love does not eliminate sadness from our lives, but neither does sadness interfere with joy. These two emotions can abide within us side by side, and still allow us to experience the fulfillment that comes with a purposeful life.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for assistance

Forgiving is not forgetting, it is letting go of the hurt!

There is a line in “The Prayer of St. Francis” that goes like this “In order to be forgiven we must forgive”

Willingness and Hitting Rock Bottom

Importance of Willingness in Recovery Determination to Stay Sober:

If people do not have a strong desire for sobriety, it will be hard for them to maintain it. It is possible for the individual to get sober to please other people, but such recoveries tend to be short-lived. This is because staying away from alcohol and drugs is hard if people are not fully willing to do all that it takes. In order to build a successful life away from alcohol and drugs, the individual needs to be prepared to put in a great deal of effort. Those who lack willingness will not be able to summon the necessary determination. My personal experience is that willingness was key.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for more info or help

Willingness Defined:

Willingness can be defined as being eagerly compliant. It means doing something out of choice and not because of coercion. When people become willing to do something, it means their minds become more open and receptive. They may consider doing things that in the past may have appeared objectionable. Willingness means embracing change rather than fighting it.

Lack of Willingness and Recovery:

It is not possible for people to find success in recovery unless they are willing to put in the necessary effort. This is because such personal change will not occur unless the individual gives their permission for it to happen. Addiction is driven by a strong urge to escape reality and hide in chemical numbness. In order for recovery to take hold, there needs to be a powerful driving force supporting it. This power is provided by the willingness to change.

Reasons for Lack of Willingness in Recovery:

There are a number of reasons for why the individual may lack the willingness to stay sober:

Some people will enter recovery because they feel coerced in some way. They may have decided to accept help because of pressure from family and friends and not because they really want to be sober. This usually means that this individual will be using recovery as a way to buy time. As soon as they feel that it is safe for them to return to their addiction they will do so.

Many addicts suffer from ambivalence.  This means that they have feelings, thoughts and attitudes that are contradictory. They may have a strong desire to enter recovery and escape the pain of addiction while at the same time having a strong desire to continue with the alcohol or drug abuse. Until this ambivalence towards substance abuse is resolved, it will be difficult for the individual to summon enough resolve to finally quit their addiction.

Some individuals have un-realistically high expectations of their recovery, and they become disappointed when things do not happen as expected. This disappointment may mean that their willingness to stay sober begins to wane. It takes time to rebuild a life away from alcohol and drugs, and if people have expectations that are too high, they will be let down.

The individual can become stuck in their recovery, and this is a drain on their willingness. The usual reason for why people become stuck is that they are faced with a problem that they do not want to deal with. Until they face this challenge, there can be no further progress. Instead the individual either relapses or becomes a dry drunk.

Sometimes, people in recovery will start off with a great deal of determination, but then run out of steam. This can occur if they develop the “pink cloud syndrome”. What happens is that people can become so joyful at escaping their addiction that they lost touch with reality. Staying sober begins to feel effortless, so the individual begins to take it for granted. When the pink cloud ends, and people are once again faced with reality, they can find it hard to summon up the willingness to get back on track. If the individual has expectations of recovery that are too low, they may be willing to settle for very little. This is a real shame because sobriety offers some wonderful opportunities for those people who have enough willingness and determination.

Memory can be a treacherous thing sometimes. People can forget how miserable things were at the end of their addiction. They can start to think back to those days when it felt like alcohol or drugs brought them pleasure. This is known as romancing the drinking or drugging, and it can sap the willingness to stay sober if it is allowed to continue unchecked.

Some individuals will have other mental health problems as well as their addiction. If people have untreated depression or another dual diagnosis, they will find it difficult to maintain their willingness to stay sober. This is because this other condition will make recovery unsatisfying and prevent progress.

Willingness and Hitting Rock Bottom

Rock bottom is sometimes described as reaching a point where the individual is, sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. There is no reason for why people need to lose everything in order to hit their rock bottom. They just need to reach a point where they have had enough. Some individuals will hit their rock bottom without losing very much at all. It is like going down in an elevator. It is up to the passenger to decide where they want to get off. There is absolutely no benefit from staying in the lift all the way to the bottom, because this means death.

Once the individual has fully decided that they have had enough of addiction they will have be willing to do what it takes to escape. This willingness is a force that provides them with the energy to take the correct steps to end the addiction. It means that they will be ready to make use of available resources such as rehab, therapists or addiction fellowships.

Willingness and the 12 Steps

In 12 Step groups such as A.A., N.A., or C.A, they emphasize that the member needs to be willing to go to any lengths to stay clean and/or sober. It is not possible for the individual to complete the 12 steps unless they have a high degree of willingness. This is because it involves taking action that the addicted mind would rebel against. The member never graduates from these 12 Step programs, so this willingness will need to be something they are able to maintain indefinitely.

Willingness and HOW, HOW is an acronym for what is needed to find success when using a self-help group. The acronym stands for:

  • Honesty
  • Open-mindedness
  • Willingness

Here, willingness is viewed as being ready to change and take risks in order to find happiness.

The Key to Willingness in Recovery

Willingness can insure success in recovery from addiction. These are its major components:

If the individual is truly willing to escape their addiction they will do whatever it takes. It involves having an open mind about any potential resource that can help them. Those who are truly willing do not have a long list of recovery options that they are not even prepared to consider.

Willingness involves a degree of humility. The individual no longer believes that they have all the answers. They are prepared to listen and learn from the experiences of other people.

If the individual is willing to stay sober, they will make this their number-one priority in life. This is because they realize that making a life away from addiction requires a great deal of effort. It will not be achieved overnight. The willing individual will be prepared to devote however long it takes to rebuilding their life.

Those who are willing to escape addiction will want to make the best use of all the available resources that can help them. They will take responsibility for their own recovery and see addiction specialists as partners there to help them. The willing individual does not passively wait for other people to fix them. They take action to make this happen.

Willingness does not mean becoming passive. The individual still needs to question things and make decisions. It does usually mean being a bit more open-minded about possible solutions.

Denial and Addiction

ALWAYS HOPE DENIAL

One of the most frustrating factors in dealing with alcoholism and/or addiction, as a relative, friend or professional, is it is almost always accompanied by a phenomenon known as “denial”.  In the long path the addict/alcoholic takes toward mental, physical and moral decline, usually the first thing to go is honesty. He or she simply lies about his drinking. These may be little lies at first, but they grow fast. How many times have you said something like  “I only had two … I haven’t drank (or drugged) in a week… I don’t drink as much as others do…” these are our ways to keep using, it give us permission!

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 today for assistance.

As we, the addicts or alcoholics begin to use more drugs and drink more alcohol, and maybe more often, we begin to hide this fact from those around us. Depending upon our circumstances we may drink or use openly, but usually we will conceal the amount we use or drink, or not using or drinking around those who are close to us and lie when or if we are asked about it.

If someone tries to discuss his drinking with us, we simply refuse to talk about it, or dismiss it as not a real problem.  After all, we are adults now and we can drink or use if we want to, it’s nobody else’s business, what I do, it’s not hurting anyone but me and it’s not as bad as everyone thinks it is.

Clues to a Problem

But these simple acts of denial, lying about our drinking/using or refusing to discuss it, are clues to us that deep down inside we know that we have a problem.

If it’s not a problem, why do we lie about it to anyone? Are we protecting the ones we love, or work for, or associate with?  But as true addict/alcoholics, we know there is something wrong, we may not know it is a disease, but we feel that there is something different about us.  We cover up and deny our using or drinking out of our own feelings that there is something different or “wrong” about it or maybe there is something wrong with us. Somewhere inside we realize that our drinking or using means more to us than we are willing to admit.

Even though our sprees have gotten us into some real trouble, we still deny that it has anything to do with us.  Some say this is purely a defense mechanism. How is this possible? Usually by the time the disease has gotten to the crisis point, we have developed a support system of family and friends who unwittingly enable us to continue in our denial.

Because they love us, they act to protect us by covering for us, doing the work that we don’t get done, paying our bills that we don’t pay, rescuing us from scrapes with the law, and generally taking up the responsibilities that we have abandoned.

Protecting the Addict/Alcoholic

Have your loved ones ever lied for you such as “__________ can’t come in to work today, They have a virus” or “We’ve got to get him/her out of jail, he’ll lose his/her job! Then what will we do” or even “It was my fault, officer, I said some things I should not have said”

By doing these things, our loved ones are protecting the addict/alcoholic from the consequences of their own actions. We never have to feel the real pain caused by using and drinking. They rush in to put “pillows” under us so we doesn’t hurt ourselves in the fall. Consequently, we alcoholics and addicts never find out how much it hurts or feels to fall, and thereby never feel empowered to make it right either.

Although our drugging and/or drinking has placed us in a helpless and dependent position, we can continue to believe we are still independent because we have been rescued from our troubles by our well-meaning family, friends, co-workers, employers and sometimes clergymen and counsellors.

The roles these enablers play to “help” the alcoholic can be just as hurtful and harmful as the addicts/alcoholics behaviour, but that is a story for another day.

With these enabling devices in place, we addicts/alcoholics are free to continue in the progression of our disease, with our denial intact, until we perhaps reach the point of hitting our bottom, at which point even the most dedicated drug user or drinker must finally admit there is a problem. But there is no way for us to ever hit bottom when it’s always covered with pillows.

Are you willing to admit that that you are struggling and willing to receive help so you can stop hurting yourself and those around you? parents, children, friends, co-workers and anyone else who is affected by your destructive behaviours? If the answer is yes we at Always Hope can help. Call or message 1-829-932-0123 today.



King baby syndrome

The King (or Queen) Baby Syndrome is explained as a condition that relates to emotional development delays usually stemming from abuse, trauma or early drug use.  Fear of loss of control is the hallmark of this condition.  This syndrome is common with addicts and alcoholics and can create attitudes and actions that can become ingrained patterns over time.  King Baby Syndrome is characterized by:

  • You believe that your needs come first and foremost without or with little concerns of others.
  • Having blinders on when it come to the perspectives of others.
  • “My way or the highway” attitudes.
  • Extreme arrogance.
  • Dependency, but wanting to appear fiercely independent.
  • Acquisition of money or possessions to prove their worth to others (outside looks good).
  • The need for continual validation, from loved ones, friends or even strangers.
  • Castastophizing events, no matter how small (making a big deal out of small things).
  • Feelings of being misjudged and underappreciated (want credit for doing even little things).
  • Expression of superiority that masks their true insecurities (comparing yourself to others).
  • Jumping to conclusions.
  • Egotistical pride.
  • Lack of trust in yourself or others.
  • Entitlement.
  • Expecting to be treated with unearned respect and others to treat you special.
  • Thinking you can read the minds or behaviour of others (usually negatively).

This sense of entitlement impacts every relationship, as those who are close to people who exhibit these attitudes and behaviours will attest.  At home it may appear as if this person is tyrannical, ruling with a heavy hand that has family members quivering in fear.  In the workplace, it could show up as a controlling boss who leaves no room for employees to think for themselves or act independently and takes credit for their work, or an employee that is always sabotaging others good work any chance they get thereby looking better then they really are.  In friendship, it may look like gathering loyal followers and favouring those who model themselves after him or her, while rejecting those who don’t.

Healing begins with Awareness and Willingness

In order to treat King Baby Syndrome, it benefits those who see some of these characteristics in themselves.  A person with this syndrome will have to learn that all their needs will not be met immediately without some work put in to the process by them.  Since the desire for immediate gratification is a big part of the addiction cycle, this can be particularly challenging.  An addict can ask themselves “What is it that I fear most if I cannot get what I want when I want it?”  This question could help the addict look for alternatives to the drug using, such as some physical or mental activity to take the place of getting high.  For some they may feel that they are a helpless child, crying in the crib, waiting for their caregiver, who may arrive to meet all their needs, or perhaps not show up at all, or may come but be abusive or pain giving rather than relief.  For others, it may be fear of emotional or physical obliteration (destruction) or abandonment.

In treatment these issues can be addressed successfully if there is a willingness to be honest about it and move beyond it.  Learning self-acceptance, as well as seeing oneself as whole and complete with the excessive need for outside validation and doing an inventory that addresses the ways in which these attitudes and behaviours both serve and sabotage their lives, are among the keys to the castle that may help them to leave safely without falling into the moat of addiction.

As frightening as it may seem to take off the crown and hand over the sceptre, it allows us to all recognize that the emperor does have no clothes and beneath it all, we all have our wounds that call out for healing and relief.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for assistance today.

Change the Way You Look at Things

Change is possible, and even though this guests first language isn’t English I didn’t change what he wrote and only fixed some spelling to make it more readable. So happy to have had a guest so willing to accept the process and embrace recovery, this is his testimony or testimonial.

“I found Always Hope when I was searching on the internet for a rehab nearby in the Caribbean because I needed to change and really needed a break to get out of everything because the liquor had taken complete control of me. I really didn’t have it under control anymore, and finally gave in to myself that I had a problem and I was an alcoholic. After hearing it from loved ones a couple of times that I drink too much and too often. It also got to me that I couldn’t lie anymore to the people that i loved and i couldn’t do that any more, because it was hurting me, brought me shame and made me very sad. But I also realized I was hurting my loved ones a lot, and I knew that if I continued drinking like that I would lose their trust in me, and making it difficult for them to love me and support me. If I continued and didn’t change like I was sure I was going to lose them and that I would end up in the gutter. 

So then I took my first step towards recovery, I gave in to the fact that I had a bad drinking problem and that I needed to change my life. I called Always Hope 1-829-932-0123 and they had a bed available. So I packed my suitcase and jumped on an airplane to the Dominican Republic and Always Hope. When I finally arrived there I received a warm welcome. In the beginning I still felt a bit emotional but being together with a happy family made me feel a lot better and the help from everyone around me was really good. Also the beautiful green nature around the property made me feel really good.

change is possible
Change and growth is possible

Very quickly after my arrival I didn’t miss the alcohol anymore, and every day I felt a better, bit by bit. Also the AA meetings which Roger took me helped me greatly, I felt and saw that there was people like me with the same troubles and struggles in their lives. At these meetings I could empty my heart without feeling ashamed of myself, because they understood. The counselor at Always Hope was also really great, in the beginning it was hard and emotional but the further I got in the program the better it got and the tears changed to smiles and joy.

At this moment the month at Always Hope has passed and I am ready to go back to my normal world, back to my loved ones and to my work. I have received a lot more knowledge than when I left home and with a very positive and happy future in front of me without the alcohol. I really recommend every alcoholic or addict to go to Always Hope so they can also find, just like me, the happiness and positive feeling in life. And always remember that you are never alone and that there is always hope

Recovery, My Loved Ones Perspective

In  the past seven plus years since Roger has been in recovery from his addiction to pain medication, I (his wife) have noticed such a positive change in his overall character and personality. This is my testimony or testimonial into how life has changed and this program works.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 today to speak with Roger or I.

First of all, especially in the five years and since we have moved to the Dominican, he portrays a scene of calmness about him. Very laid back and so easy to talk too. Even participants who spend their time with us, will sit and talk with him about anything and since he can relate they seem to be comfortable around him.

He has a certain peace about himself, a quiet content spirit that is very welcoming. Almost like he has reorganized on the inside.

Another big change in our family life is that Roger is more available as a husband and a Father. Emotionally and physically he gives more of himself. Emotionally his patience has returned, willing to listen and communicate with us.

Physically he works out with our son and I, also playing basketball and street hockey with local friends as well as our boys. And doesn’t hesitate to help around the house a lot more to make my job easier. Our lifestyle change as well as his recovery has played a big part in that. 

recovery
recovery

The ambition I see in him is unbelievable, My husband got his spark back, everyday we grow closer as a couple as well as a family. Our relationship is the strongest it has ever been. The trust between us took years to replenish but I now I give him a huge amount of respect for what he has given us as a family, after coming back from the ultimate rock bottom.

They say the strongest men come from the darkest places and I believe to be true, that if you can turn your life around and rise, after being at the bottom you can conquer anything.

Sober Vacation in Paradise

Always Hope is pleased to announce that we have added “sober vacation” or “recovery vacation”. This is an opportunity to bridge the gap for those completing their stay at rehab or for those looking for a safe and sober place to relax, unwind and get grounded in their recovery.

This sober vacation option allows individuals to share their experience, strength and hope with those that may be currently going through the treatment program with us. It is designed to allow you to put into action what you have learned and decompress while helping others see that recovery is possible.

Private rooms, pool onsite, cool outings to the beach or hiking as well as the availability of 12 step meetings if desired. Stay for a week or choose to extend your stay if you desire. With a maximum of 3 guests at one time it will be a great experience to be sober in paradise.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 today.

1 week stay is US$2,000

Take Advantage Before it’s Too Late

Take Advantage Before it’s Too Late

Why? TAKE ADVANTAGE! Before it’s to late. Hopefully you read to the end and share this with family and friends.

Today is different as I have been seeing a trend based on the communication I have with loved ones or the actual person struggling. And it reminds me of when I first decided it was time to get help.

Why?

Sometimes gentle persuasion or small incentives work to convince someone to act or do the right thing before it’s too late.

What I’m talking about is “every” guest that has come to Always Hope wished they had come sooner than they did. They wish loved ones pushed them harder and didn’t enable them to continue their act of slowly dying. They wished that the first time they contacted me that they would have booked their flights and their room with us.

So call 1-829-932-0123 today.

I’m tired of hearing the bad news of another death and hoping some persuasion or incentives will help people make the decision to save their lives. For many, and myself included it was more comfortable to procrastinate and continue getting high or drunk because it wasn’t “too bad yet”.

Other than 2 guests that came within 48 hours and the handful (that I know off) that ended up dying because of their alcoholism or ODing, most people email or call again between 2-3 months later or 2-3 years later and decide that finally it’s time.

During that time family has quite often stopped enabling and had enough or health has deteriorated to the point that a hospital, jail or death is the only other option.

Why wait so long?

I wish I had gotten help when it first became evident that I had a problem and I wish there was a better incentive to get help immediately. I wish I didn’t feel their was a loved one that I could manipulate to continue my using, I wish their was a cash incentive to go get help immediately.

So rather than waiting to end up in a hospital (likely psych ward) or waiting to end up in jail (doesn’t sound appealing) or waiting for death.

Call 1-829-932-0123 now while we have beds available and we at Always Hope will help you start on your journey to recovery.

Recovery Boys: Video Review about Opiate Addiction

Recovery Boys: Video Review about Opiate Addiction

 
Recovery Boys on Netflix just came out on video and follows the journey of a few opiate addicts as they progress from active addiction to rehab and then life after. From my own personal experience with an addiction to opiates this movie provides a realistic view of the struggles to maintain sobriety and become a productive member of society.
They start by entering a non-traditional farm rehab in West Virginia called Jacobs Ladder. It takes some of the similar approaches such as counselling, 12 steps that many rehabs employ, but it’s facilities allows the Recovery Boys to engage in more real-world activities during their stay. I personally feel the non-institutional environment is advantageous to help transition people from active addiction into society and is the basis of our program at Always Hope. 

Call 1-829-932-0123 today to speak with Always Hope

Too many addiction related movies or documentaries imply that rehabs have to be hospital like and this is a scary proposition for people. I like that Recovery Boys shows raw emotion and struggles, it shows that not all rehabs have to feel like a jail or hospital and it portrays realistic outcomes. Unfortunately not everyone succeeds and recovers but whether it takes 1 attempt or 10+ attempts at rehab or recovery, I believe people make mistakes and need to be given a chance to change.

I’m grateful for the chances I was given to change and hope more people will take the help available to recover. If you or a loved one is interested in our program at Always Hope we can help.

 

Insight into Requesting Addiction Help

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:

Call or Text 1-829-932-0123 today for more info

  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

Society Craves 1000mg “NUMB ME NOW!” Pills

1000mg “NUMB ME NOW!” Pills

Wether it’s just an acute (not chronic) case of insomnia, sadness, grief, depression or pain; the answer seems to be to get some form of 100mg “NUMB ME NOW” pills. I know! That was me in the past and I had dappled in anything that would stop me from feeling. If it was prescribed by my doctor or something I bought off the street was of no concern to me, I just wanted something to numb me. It doesn’t specifically matter what the symptoms are and the substance of choice is irrelevant. It just seems socially acceptable now a days to either get drunk or pop some pills to try and get some reprieve from the stresses of life.

Call 1-829-932-0123 today for help.

NUMB ME NOWSociety is moving towards an attitude of instant gratification and “a pill for all ills”. It is becoming far more important for all to become educated on “what and why” we are putting into our bodies and what the long and short term consequences will be. It is inconsequential what the substance is; it could be alcohol, street drugs or whatever 1000mg “NUMB ME NOW” pills your doctor prescribed. Any of the above can lead you astray and down a slippery slope that may eventually lead you to become dependent and addicted.

I’m not trying to say that prescription meds aren’t effective, but more often than not there is a healthier way to deal with life’s ups and downs and also pain, depression, anxiety etc. There is no “one size fits all” remedy for dealing with these obstacles and challenges but there are many options. The multitude of self-help books and websites on the internet should provide some insight into possible healthy solutions. These can range from natural homeopathic treatments, exercise, meditation etc.

These healthy alternatives may not give immediate relief and will take time to get the desired results, but the long term effects won’t be detrimental to your mind and body. Please think twice before running to a doctor to get some 1000mg “NUMB ME NOW” pills.

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

“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, and this is my testimony or testimonial.

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.

Call Always Hope 1-829-932-0123 for more info

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.

Codependency and Family Program

Codependency and Family Program

Due to the increase in calls and requests in regards to codependency issues and a family program we have adjusted our addiction program to address this. It is very common that family members develop codependency issues as a result of the unhealthy relationship created by the addict or alcoholic. We have also developed a family program that can help them understand the 12 step process and to give them the tools and insight necessary to help their loved ones recover.

The codependency program can be completed in 3 weeks. It will include daily 1-1 counselling and will include much of the same material that is covered in the 4 week addiction treatment program, but the focus will be on how the unhealthy relationship is making life unmanageable. The program will provide you with the tools necessary to start healing and help yourself recover.

At Always Hope we also feel that it is important to help the family understand what the alcoholic or addict has gone through. Our 2 week family program is designed for loved ones that want to gain a better understanding of what the addict or alcoholic has gone through in the past, the 12 steps, the process of rehab and the steps necessary to prevent a relapse. We believe that by having the knowledge to aid in your loved ones recovery you will be more likely to help them heal instead of enabling them to continue in their destructive behavior.

For more information on the details of the programs

please call 1-829-932-0123 today.

Price of the program is similar to what an all-inclusive vacation would cost but includes the benefit of learning life skills that will help you enjoy a better quality of life in the future. Private rooms, beach trips and cool outings are also included.

codependency

Exercise or Sports 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.

Rat Park: Social Connections and Addiction

Social Connections and Addiction:

Rat Park

There has been a lot of insight into the advantages of social connections as it relates to the prevention and recovery of an addiction. Family, friends and a sense of belonging to a group of people has been beneficial to humans since the dawn of time. In the beginning it was a matter of survival that drove us to pool our resources; humans could collect more food, keep each other safe from dangers, and share knowledge. But in the last few decades as technology has allowed us to remain in contact with others through our phones and apps, we also as a society have slowly drifted towards more isolation and a lack of meaningful face-to-face social connections.

Continue reading Rat Park: Social Connections and Addiction

Addiction Ruined My Life

Addiction Ruined my Life

Knowing these facts did not stop Miranda, a 35-year-old executive, who was born and raised in Toronto and knew all of the statistics related to the drug and alcohol substance addiction problems. She was under the impression that a little partying with samplings of drugs, or a few drinks a day would not lead to addiction. Her sentiments were that addiction only happened to weak individuals, and she was not weak! “I can stop whenever I want,” said Miranda, however this did not occur! The feeling that addiction will not happen to you is a myth. It can take over a person’s life quickly, without warning or notice. An addiction problem does not discriminate.  It is one reason why it is so threatening since it can consume one’s life before he/she is even aware of its importance. Once this occurs, either the individual must seek help or suffer the consequences. Miranda knew this. However, she was in denial exhibiting the emotions and unrealistic behavior that many addicts so possess.

Continue reading Addiction Ruined My Life

Temptation and Addiction

Temptation and Addiction

temptation and addictionTemptations in recovery are a common occurrence. Many people leave rehab riding a pink cloud and hope/believe that everything in their lives will just return to normal.  Just because you have learnt the tools and coping skills in rehab to deal with these temptations doesn’t mean it will be easy. It won’t be a matter of IF temptation arises, it will be WHEN, and what’s most important is how we deal or cope with them.

  1. Know the triggers.
  2. Avoid certain situations if you can.
  3. Have a plan.
  4. Remain vigilant.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 today we at Always Hope can help

Continue reading Temptation and Addiction

Addiction Rehab Celebrates 3 Years

Addiction Rehab Celebrates 3 Years

Always Hope addiction rehab opened their doors September 15, 2014. In celebration we are offering to discount the full 4 week program by 10% for those coming before the end of September, 2017. We are so grateful to all those that have supported us, and trusted us.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 today for details. 

Take advantage of this offer. We offer private rooms, with private bathrooms, daily 1-1 counselling and many cool outings. We would love to help you or your loved one.

My Addiction: No Judgement

No Judgement

As someone who was 110% against the idea of rehab I cannot say enough good things about Always Hope! From the moment I met Roger and Shauna at the airport they made me feel like part of the family and no judgement was made.

Working through the 12 steps with Jim’s guidance not only taught me some valuable lessons and helped me heal, but was also done in a way that was “kinda fun”

My stay at Always Hope really was like a mini-vacation with therapy. It was nice to be surrounded by people who been where I have and in an environment where judgement doesn’t exist. This is my testimonial or testimony to the success of Always Hope.

Always Hope has changed my life and I’m lucky to also now be able to call Roger, Shauna and Jim my friends.

Call 1-829-932-0123 today to talk with Always Hope

Was My Addiction a Blessing or a Curse?

Was My Addiction a Blessing or a Curse?

I am a cocaine addict.
In fact, I am proud when I say that now. (in this new life of recovery).
Thanks to @Always-Hope.ca, I am slowly finding new ways of living life in sobriety, thanks to the tools I have now been given to handle situations that truly used to baffle me.
And the best part is – I am loving each and every moment of it!

To be eternally grateful for a life I could only imagine in my addiction; has turned out to become one the biggest gifts I have come to experience and this is my testimonial or testimony.

A new life in recovery.
With god.
I call it a miracle, or some may call it a blessing – whatever it is, it is magical. For somebody who never had faith in God, it seems almost surreal that a higher power of some sort could restore (people like myself) from a completely hopeless state of mind, body and soul. Especially when I resented the very thought of such an entity.

In fact, I hated god in the early days of my life.

Continue reading Was My Addiction a Blessing or a Curse?

Tough Love: Enabling Parents of Addicts/Alcoholics

Tough Love: Enabling Parents of Addicts/Alcoholics

From my perspective of once being in the position of trying to manipulate, making excuses or lie to prolong getting the help I knew I needed. To also witnessing this happening when adult children lie, manipulate and make every excuse as to why they are now ”cured” and don’t need any help or counselling. It breaks my heart seeing these “kids” convince their parents to rescue them again or “bail” them out of rehab. Tough love is sometimes neccesary. Many of these parents have spent a lot of emotional and financial effort to give their child a chance at getting professional help and are trying to save their children’s lives.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is your child acting like they are entitled to things or your money, or demanding things?
  2. Do you feel like you are living from crisis to crisis with your child?
  3. Are you sacrificing too much while your child takes no responsibility?

Continue reading Tough Love: Enabling Parents of Addicts/Alcoholics

Relapse Prevention at Always Hope: A Testimony

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”.

Continue reading Relapse Prevention at Always Hope: A Testimony

Choices and Addiction

Choices and Addiction

Always Hope counsellor Jim’s analysis of how addiction affects the choices that are made in our life.

In our lives we face choices everyday, but when there is an addiction present in our lives, our choices are made as the result of an addicted brain. This usually causes our choice to be based on selfishness and self-centeredness. That is to say, the choice is made as a means of hiding our using, getting more to use and using more often, and prioritizing our use of drugs over most everything else. Our choice is then made for us by a diseased brain.

Continue reading Choices and Addiction

Suboxone Withdrawals and Detox made easy

Suboxone Withdrawals and Detox

were Easier than Expected

I am a heroin addict, now addicted to suboxone. I had been taking suboxone for two years when I tried to quit for good. I lasted a week then relapsed. I knew I needed help and could not do this by myself. I searched around for rehabs. I had no Insurance and not a whole lot of money, at least not as much money as rehabs in the states wanted. That is my testimonial or testimony about when I found Always Hope.

I came here excited but scared, excited to see a new country I have never been to but scared I was going to have to kick the suboxone again. I saw the doctor upon arrival and we set up a plan for my inevitable detox. To my surprise it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I got settled in pretty quick I had my own room and started counseling with Jim the next day. Roger took me to play basketball and get some exercise that night followed up with some coconut water, and I felt pretty good. I had to fight through a couple days of not feeling my best but I must say, I felt way better this time then I did alone at my house.

I got into a routine, waking up early, working out, playing basketball, going to the beach, seeing things and places I have never seen in my life. A week had past and I really felt great. This was turing more into a caribbean vacation. I was still doing my counseling during the day but I was seeing beautiful beaches, and amazing waterfalls it was a real treat. These days out really made me forget about everything and just enjoy life. I am very grateful I was able to come here, get clean, and leave with a solid plan for my future. Not to mention a great tan!

Thanks Roger, Shauna and Jim.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 to see how Always Hope can help you.

Skeptical and Hesitant but Eventually Grateful

Skeptical and Hesitant but Eventually Grateful

the-scepticalIf you asked me 3 months ago what my thoughts were on rehab, I would have most likely gone on a diatribe about all the actors and other “famous” folks who check themselves in to a luxury treatment facility like most people check in to a hotel on vacation. No more benefit comes out of this than some fresh press for their careers. This is my testimonial or testimony about Always Hope.

I was however at, what I drunkenly conceived to be, the bottom. As a long-time ex-pat living in the Dominican Republic (originally from New Jersey), my options were substantially limited in terms of help. Until today, I am still not one hundred percent sure about how I came into the care of the team at Always Hope, but I am very grateful that it happened.

I was skeptical and hesitant at first, only because of my more than eleven years’ experience with various clinical facilities in the DR, but Always Hope turned out to be more like a home away from home. The team, led by counselor Jim MacLean, delivers a treatment model founded on friendship, professionalism and dedication to the mission of helping their clients recover. The real-life experiences of the team at Always Hope, their personal drive to help addicts recover and the amazing surroundings all come together to create an atmosphere of success and, as the name implies, hope.

Presently, I am one week from living three months in sobriety and I reflect daily on my time at Always Hope. I consider all of the events that transpired to deliver me to their care as well as my physical, mental and spiritual experiences there. With these elements in mind daily, I am able to go forward leaving behind a horrible addiction that had controlled my life for thirty years.

Thank you Always Hope!

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 now

to see how we can help you or a loved one.

How Addiction took my Life on a Detour

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 and testimonial or testimony from cold and snowy Canada to the Dominican Republic; from dairy farmer to starting an addiction treatment facility in another country.

Recovery from addiction is possible
Recovery is possible

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.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 for more info

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.

Continue reading How Addiction took my Life on a Detour

Small Rehab: Size Does Matter

Small Rehab for Drug and Alcohol Addicition

At Always Hope we feel that limiting our size to only 5 guests at a time comes with great benefits. Having a small rehab allows us to offer a welcoming environment and more relaxed atmosphere. It prevents the institutional feel of the larger clinical rehabs.

small rehab and addiction Our goal by keeping our facility a small rehab is to offer the individual support and attention that all addicts deserve and require. This way we can provide a comfortable learning atmosphere where individuals aren’t overwhelmed by groups of large people. This also allows guests to truly connect with us and to engage in more tailored therapy to their specific needs. In larger groups and rehabs you may be one of 25-40 people listening to a speaker, which tends to make you feel like an audience member rather than being in a small group which usually leads to interactive discussions. With the smaller groups there is more time to express your opinions, thoughts and feelings and to get feedback.

Call 1-829-932-0123 today to find out more about Always Hope

Individualized program – A small rehab can create a program around the input, circumstances and needs of the patient. This means that the traditional one-size-fits-all program approach for each guest goes out the window.

Smaller group sizes – The # of guests enrolled at any given time at Always Hope is much smaller and manageable. This not only makes the setting more intimate, allowing guests to get to know everyone much faster but helps to increase comfort levels. This also means that each guest receives the treatment and focus they need to make a full recovery.

Personalized attention – This offers a safe zone, a place where our guests can unwind without associating with others who actively abuse illicit substances. Each patient receives thorough, personal attention in order to treat his or her individual problems. Also the many hours of daily 1-1 counselling is highly beneficial.

A sense of connection – It is much easier to connect with other clients and staff in a small, private addiction treatment program. Even though this is not necessary, it will ensure that our guests don’t feel alone with his or her problems. Feeling connected and feeling that you have someone to talk to or lean on when it becomes difficult is often beneficial, especially during those stressful early days of sobriety.

No waitlists – Many of the larger public rehab centres have a long waitlist before a patient can enrol. Time is usually of the essence and it is important to move quickly. We at Always Hope have a very small or no waitlist for admission, and very minimal requirements.

Are there Drawbacks? Of course, there is no one particular recovery option that has all benefits with no downsides. There are two minor drawbacks to opting for a private small rehab:

Cost – Private rehabs may be unaffordable for some people. We at Always Hope understand this and try to be as flexible as possible with cost and length of stay. Due to the fact we are located in the Dominican Republic we can keep the cost down because of lower expenses and we pass the savings on to our guests.

Location – This may be a drawback for some and a benefit for others. While some people prefer to go rehab close to home to hopefully have the close support of friends and family, being close to home also allows for an easy escape if commitment issues come up. Going to location further away can be beneficial because of the change in environment, the feeling of a brand new start and also to show their true commitment to sticking it out.

All in all we believe the benefits of attending a small rehab are worth it.
Call us at Always Hope to check availability or to find out more about our program.

1-829-932-0123

Addiction Help and Advice for the Families

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:

Continue reading Addiction Help and Advice for the Families

Decision, Decision: How do I Choose?

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.

Continue reading Decision, Decision: How do I Choose?

Hope for Recovery: Life after Oxy’s

Hope for Recovery: Life after Oxy’s

Recovering from an addiction can be a difficult process. The road isn’t always smooth and you will probably encounter obstacles, challenges, hardships and heartaches. But it’s a journey that everyone hoping to recover from addiction makes. It is the only way to move from a life of destruction to a happy and healthy life. I hope that sharing a bit of my story about my experience, strength and hope I can help you realize you are not alone.

hope

“I never thought I would be where I am today. Today my lovely wife and 2 boys enjoy living in the Dominican Republic. We are blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy a lifestyle I never dreamt possible. Sand and surf is just minutes away, and I am lucky to have much more time available to spend with my family due to the fact that I’m no longer chasing a high, and we have created a business that allows for much more quality family time.

Continue reading Hope for Recovery: Life after Oxy’s

Finding 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.

Continue reading Finding Strength in Recovery

My Experience with Oxy’s

My Experience with Oxy’s

I want to share my story in 3 parts; My experience, Strength and Hope. The experience portion will focus on the time in my life when I was prescribed narcotic painkillers, the strength on the period where I entered recovery and hope will focus on how I maintain recovery and the gifts and blessings I have received in my life since the last time I used.

Continue reading My Experience with Oxy’s

My Experience with Oxy’s: Prescribed Narcotic Painkillers

My Experience with Oxy’s:

Prescribed Narcotic Painkillers

I want to share my story in 3 parts; My experience, Strength and Hope. The experience portion will focus on the time in my life when I was prescribed narcotic painkillers, the strength on the period where I entered recovery and hope will focus on how I maintain recovery and the gifts and blessings I have received in my life since the last time I used.

prescribed

Continue reading My Experience with Oxy’s: Prescribed Narcotic Painkillers

Addiction and Recovery: A 12 Year Old’s View

Addiction and Recovery: A 12 Year Old’s View

The last couple of years my oldest boy Jude has talked about things that happened in the past, and how things have changed for the better now that I accepted help for my addiction to oxys (oxycontin a narcotic pain killer). This is his recollection, testimony or testimonial of the time leading up to me going to rehab and the way things are today. These are his words (with only some grammatical errors corrected). He said it was fine for me to share with you so that people can gain the perspective of what a child experiences when their mom or dad is addicted. Although reading it brings back uncomfortable memories of what I put my family through, it is a true reflection of what Jude experienced. Thank you Jude for sharing and I love you!

addiction and family“My name is Jude I am 12 years old and 4 years ago my dad was hooked on oxys. We lived in Alberta, Canada and we were dairy farmers. I was only 8 or younger when my dad was hooked on oxys so I don’t really remember what it was like but I remember a little. Every other night my dad would go out to a town an hour away and I would go with him. We would always go to subway, sometimes go swimming and usually got home at around 9.

Continue reading Addiction and Recovery: A 12 Year Old’s View

Procrastination and Addiction

Procrastination won’t get you results

Procrastination or putting off till tomorrow what you could tackle today is a recipe for disaster. If addiction is controlling your life, tomorrow may not be an option. Many people procrastinate too long and unfortunately end up going to the bitter ends of jails, institutions or worse death. Today through the help of the twelve steps and/or addiction treatment there are options for you or your loved ones to have a better life. There is no need to continue just existing, why not start really living life and enjoying all the blessings the world has to offer.

Call today for more info 1-829-932-0123

procrastination

As most of us like to procrastinate to a certain extent (homework, cleaning house, etc) we come to accept that putting off until tomorrow is not such a big deal. But, to an addict who is still struggling to quit using it could mean life or death. Excuses become rampant as to why they can’t quit today (a job, family, it’s not so bad yet). Procrastinate getting help long enough and it could become “never“.

Continue reading Procrastination and Addiction

Jim’s Story of Addiction and Recovery

Jim’s Story of Addiction and Recovery

Hi, my name is Jim, I have the disease of addiction, I am a drug addict and alcoholic, I only separate these two because of the perception by society that alcohol is different, this means that whenever I use a mind altering substance of any kind, I cannot easily stop using it, and have no concept of the outcome of my using. After twenty years of drinking and using, my life became hopeless, and I felt helpless and useless. This disease affected me mentally (vengeful and destructive thinking along with blaming), physically (broken bones due to fights and accidents, poor health, and loss of freedom) emotionally (feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and uselessness) and spiritually (disconnected from myself, my beliefs and morals). As well, it affected everyone else around me, much to my surprise how much it did affect others, I only found this fact out after I found recovery. The disease is real, when and where I got it from is inconsequential, only what I can do about it here and now.

Continue reading Jim’s Story of Addiction and Recovery

Married to an Addict: A Wife’s Perspective

My life married to an addict…….after Rehab: The wife’s perspective.

I was petrified picking up my husband from rehab, it was Fricken scary! I was so angry at him for what he had put me and our two sons through! For what he had done to himself.
For weeks after that initial day I could not trust him, every time he went to town or anywhere, I wondered if he was going to use again? Where was he really going?

My painful past was still so fresh in my mind that it consumed me!
I wanted security and happiness back!

Continue reading Married to an Addict: A Wife’s Perspective

Choosing a Rehab : Stay Nearby or go Far Away?

Choosing a Rehab: Stay Nearby or go Far Away?

There is a new fad called Medical Tourism in which many people look out of country to obtain dental, cosmetic and alternative medical treatment such as addiction treatment. There are many reasons why people choose to do this but the most common are that it can be substantially cheaper to get treatment abroad, and it can also mean better options. Individuals who are dealing with a substance abuse problem are also choosing a rehab out of country because there are many benefits to travel abroad for addiction treatment. The most common reason for this situation is that the individual feels they would do better with some type of private facility, and out of country facilities are much cheaper even after flights.

There are some definite benefits to choosing a rehab abroad:

Continue reading Choosing a Rehab : Stay Nearby or go Far Away?

How Do I Get My Loved One into Rehab?

How Do I Get My Loved One into Rehab?

The person you love isn’t here anymore. Whether your child, spouse or friend is a hollow-eyed shadow of the person you remember from the past, alcohol or drug rehab treatment is one way to try and help save him or her. But can you get your loved one into treatment even if they haven’t been willing to take the step themselves? YES!!

help my loved one

That doesn’t mean it will be easy. It can be difficult but not impossible to convince someone you love that they need addiction treatment. This is about your loved one’s life. Helping them get the treatment they deserve may be the only chance they have to overcome their addiction.

Following are some do’s and don’ts for getting your loved one into drug rehab treatment:

Continue reading How Do I Get My Loved One into Rehab?

Testimonial: Always Hope lived up to its Name

Testimonial: Always Hope lived up to its Name

During my four week stay at Always Hope, just this past month, I found that the facility definitely lived up to it’s name and this is my testimony or testimonial. I did not commit to this program without a good deal of thought. I had met the couple who developed the centre in the Dominican during my stay at a different treatment centre several years ago. Additionally, the excellent counsellor with whom I worked at Always Hope, had been the head counsellor at the afore mentioned centre. All of these folks had garnered my deep respect.

I arrived at a very low point in my battle with alcohol, having “slipped” once again, but I was very hopeful that these people…..these people who had been in my shoes at one time….. could help me. I was right. I was fortunate to have one on one time every day with the very knowledgeable and experienced counsellor. He helped me progress through the Twelve Step programme. I worked very hard at this, and in doing so, I was able to really assess where I’d been, what I tried to deal with on my own, what I needed to do about it and what I hoped for in my future. I came to realize that without the help of something or someone greater than myself, I would not be successful in maintaining sobriety.

With the unconditional support of everyone there, including two delightful kids, I left feeling not only confident and inspired, but rejuvenated.The facility itself is beyond compare. Each participant is made to feel welcome, and essentially becomes a part of the family. The rooms were private, each with an ensuite. Meals were communal, a private swimming pool was right outside my door, meetings could be attended every day, and activities and outings were abundant, though optional. So different from other places I’d been.

I have no reservations in recommending Always Hope to anyone who wants and needs a fresh start. They are there for you and this is my testimonial or testimony.

Call now to find out more 1-829-932-0123

Or contact us through the contact page.

Reasons Addicts Avoid Going to Rehab

Reasons Addicts Avoid Going to Rehab

lies2

When we speak with the loved ones of addicts, they are often frustrated watching the person they love continue to avoid treatment. One of their most common questions is, “Why do addicts avoid rehab?”

It can be frustrating, but there is a way you can help. By understanding the reasons addicts avoid going to an addictio treatment center, you can support and encourage your loved one to seek help:

1. Denial “I don’t have a problem!”

Some addicts are in denial. They do not believe they have a problem with drugs or alcohol, or they believe they can stop whenever they want. If this is the reason your loved one gives for avoiding rehab, lovingly ask why, if they don’t have a problem, they continue to use even though their use has negative consequences on their personal and professional life.

2. “It costs too much!”

The concern about cost is one of the most common reasons why addicts avoid treatment, and it is a valid concern. Rehab can be expensive, but that should not be the reason you or your loved one avoids treatment. At Always Hope we are a low-cost alternative to make treatment available to all financial circumstances.

Call 1-829-932-0123 to get cost options and to see if you qualify for a discount towards flight.

Addiction is also very expensive — maintaining a substance abuse habit is incredibly costly on its own. Additionally, the consequences of a continued addiction, such as medical care, therapy or divorce, can be significantly more expensive than rehab. Depending on your situation, you may also find that rehab is tax deductible.

3. “I don’t have the time!”

For many addicts, they fear they’ll lose their job if they take time off for rehab. The truth is that many are already on the path to lose there job or lost it already.

4. “Rehab doesn’t work!”

In many cases, if an addict has been to a treatment centre and relapsed after treatment, or they have a friend who has relapsed after treatment, they believe rehab doesn’t work. The truth is, many addicts who have been through treatment may relapse one or more times before they are successful in their recovery. This should not be a reason to avoid treatment, since those who complete rehab have a higher chance of recovering without relapse.

Conclusion:

With an understanding of why so many addicts avoid going, you can approach your loved one with resources in hand to help convince them to begin treatment right away. Help them sort through their concerns, work with them to arrange leave from work, straighten out their finances and/or connect them with someone who has completed rehab with great success.

If you or someone you love is avoiding getting help for addiction, now is the time to take action. Contact us at Always Hope for help and any other questions.

 

Caution: Warning Signs

Caution: Warning Signs

CAUTION 4

HALT-B

H – Hungry     A – Angry      L – Lonely     T – Tired      B – Bored

HALT-B is an anagram for the most common reasons for relapse.

Take caution if your hungry, this may sound silly but it has been found that the human brain, once addicted to a substance, will reach for this substance as a cure for any discomfort as it cannot discern between needs. A person will get a craving to drink, even though he/she is really just having hunger pangs and a quick healthy snack can resolve the craving to drink or drug.

SOLUTION – HAVE A BITE TO EAT.

Continue reading Caution: Warning Signs

Not Like a Prison; a Testimonial

Not Like a Prison; a Testimonial

“Always Hope was the perfect recovery centre for my needs and this is my testimonial or testimony that it can work. I had been to 2 other treatment centres in the past 6 months, but I walked in the front door and out the back within a few days due to the prison like atmosphere. As Always Hope only takes a maximum of 5 clients at a time, you are privileged with plenty of 1-1 counselling with a great counsellor who has many years of experience as well as having been in my shoes in the past.

The people helping you at Always Hope have been through the same or similar struggles so they come from a perspective of experience which gave me another level of respect for the centre. There is a caring family/friendship atmosphere and not like a prison. I am a professional in my career and was able to continue to function and help with my business back home while accepting treatment and help with my addiction to alcohol.

I highly recommend Always Hope treatment centre to any individual or anyone struggling with the confinement and constraints of other centres. The tropical atmosphere is amazing, and there are 12 step meetings available 7 days a week with a great small group.”

Call today for more info 1-829-932-0123

Addiction Movies: My Favourites

Addiction Movies: My Favourites

There have been many films made that involve the abuse of drugs and or alcohol, and these are some of my personal favourites. Most of these addiction movies only show the dark side, but some share the strength and hope required to overcome as well as the hellish experiences. One of the videos is more of an educational documentary that helps explain in laymans terms the struggle with the addiction/personal choice argument. Many people affected by addiction, both the addict and the family can learn from this documentary. In no particular order my favourite addiction movies are:

addiction movies3

Pleasure Unwoven

Pleasure Unwoven is a short informational documentary that can be easily found on youtube. I found it explain addiction in an easy to understand the way drugs or alcohol react with the chemicals in the brain. The movie is narrated by Kevin McCauley, who is both a man who struggled with his own addiction and a qualified medical doctor. He focuses on the important question about addiction: “Is it really a “disease?”

28 Days

28 Days stars Sandra Bullock who has a good career, but is forced to enter rehab after she ruins her sister’s wedding; she gets drunk and crashes a car. In the beginning Gwen is against any type of help. She views rehab as being similar to a prison sentence and will not admit that she has a problem with alcohol. Gwen refuses to put any real effort into the rehab program. When she does find herself becoming involved in the lives of the other clients and starts to notices uncomfortable similarities. In the end circumstances force Gwen to take an honest look at her life. She acknowledges that life has become unmanageable, and that alcohol was a part of the problem. 28 Days is a realistic representation of how people can find a new perspective of life when they become willing to face the truth.

Basketball Diaries

Basketball Diaries is a true story based on the life of Jim Carroll and stars a Leonardo DiCaprio. It tells of how a teenager goes from being a successful basketball player to a homeless heroin addict. As his addiction worsens he completely loses any sense of self-respect as he quickly spirals downhill. It is a great depiction of how the sneaky nature of addiction has a way of ruthlessly corrupting the innocence of young high-schoolers on the look out for a good time.

Trainspotting

Trainspotting explores heroin and the devastating grip it takes on lives. The process of getting the drug, the ritual of doing the drug, and how the drug sucks you back in time after time. The movie ends with the quote “I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?” Although this movie may glamorize drug use, it also reveals the deep grip opiates take on a persons life and soul and how many people can’t find a way to break the hellish cycle they seem trapped in.

Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream shows a harsh view of the lives of few young addicts. The movie manages to capture the essence of the insanity of addiction but without glorifying drug use. This movie will at the very least make your skin crawl, and there’s the chance that you’ll be questioning the meaning of life, too. This movie is not for the faint of heart, and doesn’t show the strength and hope required to overcome. But this is a realistic, yet cinematic portrayal of how drugs can rip apart your life.

I realize there are many addiction movies that show the good, and ugly sides of drug and alcohol use and I haven’t seen  them all. But these 5 are a short list of my favourite addiction movies at this time.

1-829-932-0123

Call us at Always Hope for info on how we can help.

Addiction doesn’t take a Holiday

Addiction doesn’t take a Holiday

Addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful, it doesn’t rest just because the holiday season is here. We at Always Hope addiction treatment facility realize this and are available to help before, during and after any holiday.

Many people believe that the holiday season is an improper or inappropriate time to go to treatment. Excuses are made and addicts are enabled to continue their downward spiral during this giving time of year.

“It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without….”

“It’s not so bad we will get through the holidays first.”

Call 24/7 to speak with us 1-829-932-0123

The best gift any family could receive is their loved one taking the first step towards dealing with their addiction and coming back healthy and happy. The alternative is a very stressful holiday and possibly the addicts last. Drugs, alcohol, and suicide may take an addicts life at any time and this unfortunately could be their last Thanksgiving.

Truth is the holidays may be the best time to reclaim their lives from the grip of addiction. It is supposed to be a time of happiness and joy, but can quickly turn to dysfunction, stress, shame and fear. There may be no better place for a struggling addict to be at this time of year than the safe environment of an addiction treatment facility.

Here at Always Hope we will be celebrating the holidays a little different than usual. Sure we will have the usual turkey dinner, but we will also take time to head to the beach which is not normal for us from the Great White North. Why not join us to begin your path to recovery and enjoy the Caribbean paradise that surrounds us? If you or someone you know needs help please contact us. We are here to talk or provide assistance as needed during this grateful time of year.

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Gratitude: Being Thankful can keep you Healthy

Gratitude: Being Thankful can keep you Healthy

What if there was a solution to stress so simple that it involved nothing more than feeling thankful for the good things in your life? In fact, there is and that solution is called gratitude. Studies have shown that people who regularly practice feelings of gratitude have an advantage when it comes to their health. Research has found that those who adopt an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind experience many health benefits.

Gratitude may be more likely to help people:

  • take better care of themselves physically and mentally
  • engage in more proactive health behaviors and maintenance
  • get more regular exercise
  • eat a healthier diet
  • have improved mental alertness
  • cope better with stress and daily challenges
  • feel happier and more optimistic
  • have stronger immune systems
  • maintain a brighter view of the future

With so many benefits, who wouldn’t want to try this? To start giving thanks, consider integrating some of the steps below into your daily life.

Continue reading Gratitude: Being Thankful can keep you Healthy

Fight or Flight

Fight or Flight

We all have the primitive instincts in the face of what we fear, whether positive or negative, which is either to retreat or aggressively react to what threatens us. This is the natural “fight or flight” instinct. But if I limit myself to these choices, I rend myself truly powerless to find the serenity of acceptance, or the courage to change.

So I’ve found that before I decide to accept or change my circumstances, I need to settle down enough to see them as they are, not better or worse than they are. I need to find clarity, wisdom, and love in the face of them.

But the amazing thing about working a program of recovery is I have learned that I don’t have to give in to these wild swings of emotion. I can see them come up, feel them in all their intensity, and not let them take me down the wrong path. As long as I do a few simple things in response to the feeling of “fight or flight” life goes alright:

Calm my mind.
Be willing to consider alternative options and points of view.
Be more interested in reaching an understanding than in insisting upon agreement.

Call today for more info 1-829-932-0123

Recovery Caribbean Coast

Recovery Caribbean Coast

Addiction treatment doesn’t need to be your typical “institution” or jail like facility. Always Hope treatment center is located on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic and features a brand new, first-class option for those looking to get away from their current environment. If you or a loved on is looking for recovery caribbean coast we may be your best option.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 today for more info

Are you tired of just existing? Do you truly want to live and experience all that life can offer? If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and wants help to stop, we can provide the support and tools necessary to overcome it.

We provide a full service alcohol and drug addiction treatment center. If you want what we have to offer and are willing to take certain steps, recovery from addiction is possible. Ultimately the decision of how you apply what you have learned is yours.

Addiction never takes a break and neither do we at Always Hope. We are available to talk, email and help 24/7. If you or someone you love is struggling today in the grips of addiction please contact us today as we would love to provide assistance. Remember there is Always Hope.

Conflict Resolution and Recovering

Conflict

“We learn that conflicts are a part of reality, and we learn new ways to resolve them instead of running from them.”

Page 194

conflict

From time to time, we all experience conflicts. It may be that we just can’t get along with that new co-worker. Maybe our friends are driving us crazy. Or perhaps our partner isn’t living up to our expectations. Dealing with any conflict is difficult for recovering addicts.

When tempers rise, it is often a good idea to back away from the situation until cooler minds prevail. We can always return to further discussion when we have calmed down. We can’t avoid troubling situations, but we can use time and distance to find perspective.

Conflict is a part of life. We can’t go through our entire recovery without encountering disagreements and differences of opinion. Sometimes we can back away from these situations, taking time to reflect on them, but there always comes a time when conflict must be resolved. When that time comes, we take a deep breath, say a prayer, and apply the principles our program has given us: honesty, openness, responsibility, forgiveness, trust, and all the rest. We didn’t get clean to keep running from life – and in recovery, we don’t have to run anymore.

Just for Today: The principles my program has given me are sufficient to guide me through any situation. I will strive to confront conflict in a healthy way.

Basic Text, p. 90

Call today if your interested in what Always Hope can do

1-829-932-0123

Rehab Reviews and Addiction Treatment

Rehab Reviews and Addiction Treatment

Choosing a rehab or addiction treatment facility can be difficult. There are many options available based on cost, location or types of treatment available. When choosing which rehab is right for you take the time to check out the website of the addiction treatment facility your interested in, call someone from the facility and check out some reviews. Not all rehabs are listed on these sites but they may give you some insight to costs and possible testimonials. We are a new rehab and aren’t listed yet, and we also don’t feel it’s ethical to pay for a review to promote our rehab(so we may never appear on these sites).

If you wish to know more about what we have to offer contact us by email or phone 1-829-932-0123

http://rehabreviews.com/rehab-reviews/

http://www.rehabs.com/reviews/start/

https://www.addictioncenter.com

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Addiction Treatment with a Caribbean Twist

Addiction Treatment Philosophy

Our philosophy at Always Hope is different then most facilities. We want you to feel at home when you are here. The institutional feel of many places leads the addict/alcoholic to feel as they are less than the staff and counsellors. This may lead to greater struggles as most people who enter an addiction treatment center already have issues being told what to do and how to do it. Actions speak louder than words and we at Always Hope walk the talk. We are all equal, no better and no worse. We have lived through the struggles with addiction and overcame. Theory can only take you so far, but if you work with our highly qualified counsellor who has lived through the grips of active addiction you will learn to regain control of your life.

Call or contact us today to find out more

1-829-932-0123

Continue reading Addiction Treatment with a Caribbean Twist

Relapse Prevention or Refresher Course

Relapse Prevention or Refresher Course

Always Hope is a residential treatment centre located 30 km outside of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. We have developed a 2 week Relapse Prevention and/or a Refresher treatment model for people in recovery that need or want to grow further in their journey of recovery. Or if you aren’t sure the 3 or 4 week program is feasible financially, this shorter program can give you a great start to recovering from your addiction.

Call today to find out more 1-829-932-0123

Continue reading Relapse Prevention or Refresher Course

Secrets and Fears: Always Hope

Secrets and Fears

Are my secrets out in the public? Does everyone know? How will I be judged? When I decided that I was “sick and tired” of being “sick and tired” and finally took the steps to get healthy I figured everyone would know my “secrets” and that I would be judged accordingly. The truth is that most people are so busy with their own lives, and have their own skeletons in the closet that they aren’t consumed or really care about your past or secrets. People usually care more about how you are as a person “today” are you kind, happy, healthy? Yes, they may notice a difference in your appearance or glow, but until you share your story they may not know why.

Call today if you or someone you love is struggling 1-829-932-0123

Continue reading Secrets and Fears: Always Hope

Smile! Take a Holiday while you Recover

Smile! Take a Holiday while you Recover

Learn to smile and laugh again as addiction treatment doesn’t need to be all sweat and tears. Of course there will be plenty of both (especially sweat) when you get to spend your time at a beautiful resort type addiction treatment facility in the caribbean.  Here at Always Hope we  understand it is a huge step to take the chance to go to “rehab” and so we want to make your decision to seek help as easy as possible and make your stay with us as pleasant as possible.

Call 1-829-932-0123 now for more info.

vitamin

Continue reading Smile! Take a Holiday while you Recover

What Addiction Treatment is right for You?

What Addiction Treatment Centre is right for You?

Many questions come up when choosing which addiction treatment facility may be right for you or your loved ones. There are many places and choices of where, when and how long to go for help to overcome your struggles with addiction. To help you decide we would suggest contact people who may have gone through treatment, or phone and talk to someone from whichever facility you are looking into and ask many questions to find out if they can help or refer you to someone who can.

Contact us today with any questions  1-829-932-0123

Questions to ask if you are considering going to an addiction treatment centre: 

Continue reading What Addiction Treatment is right for You?

Fun in Recovery: Just For Today

Fun in Recovery: Just For Today

As we heal our ideas of fun change. In retrospect, many of us realize that when we used, our ideas of fun were rather bizarre. Some of us would get dressed up and head for the local club. We would dance, drink and do other drugs until the sun rises. On more than one occasion, arguments and battles broke out. What we then called fun, we now call insanity.

Today, our notion of fun has changed. Fun to us today is a walk along the ocean, watching the whales or dolphins frolic as the sun sets behind them. Fun is laughing with family and friends. Fun is getting dressed up to go to the banquet and not worrying about any fights breaking out over who did what to whom.

With growth our ideas of fun have changed radically. Today when we are up to see the sun rise, it’s usually because we went to bed early the night before, not because we left a club at six in the morning, eyes blurry from a night of drug use.

Just for today: I will have fun in my recovery!

Contact us at 1-829-932-0123 to find out how you can have fun in recovery.

Continue reading Fun in Recovery: Just For Today

Serenity Now! Always Hope saved me.

Serenity Now!

I thank Always Hope for saving my life

Making the decision to seek help was, undoubtedly, one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. However, after talking to Jim and Roger, I was confident that Always Hope Treatment Centre was the perfect place for me to get the help I desperately needed. It truly was one of the best things I have ever done for myself and this is my testimonial or testimony.

Suffering with a cocaine addiction for the past four years was hell. Not only had I become estranged from my family and friends, but my finances and my career were in serious jeopardy. I had tried everything I could think of to beat my cocaine addiction. Nothing worked. My frustration only grew and my self-esteem and confidence only continued to dwindle. The world seemed to be closing in on me and I had no-where to turn. I really doubted that anyone could help me. It was one of the darkest times of my life.

Continue reading Serenity Now! Always Hope saved me.

5 Lies All Addicts Tell Themselves

5 Lies All Addicts Tell Themselves

For the addict life is a game of survival. Lies help to keep the addict in active addiction. Every day is a struggle to avoid withdrawals and to hide the outward appearance of being addicted. Many substance abusers develop an arsenal of defence mechanisms designed to keep the addiction going and buffer themselves from reality. Whether you consider these lies, excuses or tainted justifications, they are all ways used to rationalize their addiction. The insanity (doing the same thing and expecting a different result) of the addiction brings the addict to the point which the biggest lies are to themselves.

5 lies addicts eventually tell themselves:

Continue reading 5 Lies All Addicts Tell Themselves

Holiday Time: Addiction doesn’t take a holiday

Holiday Time: Addiction doesn’t take a holiday

Addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful, it doesn’t rest just because the holiday season is here. We at Always Hope addiction treatment facility realize this and are available to help before, during and after the holiday festivities.

Many people believe that the holiday season is an improper or inappropriate time to go to treatment. Excuses are made and addicts are enabled to continue their downward spiral during this festive time of year.

“It just wouldn’t be Christmas or New Years without….”

“It’s not so bad we will get through the holidays first.”

Call or message

1-829-932-0123 today.

Continue reading Holiday Time: Addiction doesn’t take a holiday

Step Four and Living Day by Day

Step Four and the freedom and insight it helps bring

The importance of step four though the eyes of our counsellor:

Tomorrow is another day, but I try not to think about it too much, I try to stay in today, because that’s where I am. My Step Four allowed me this insight.

My step four inventory was a growing point in my life, although I did not know it at the time. It was painful to think about my past, but I wanted what was promised to me and for that I was willing to go through it. I look back and I can see a definite difference in my attitude, hopes and self image in my pre and post Step Four. I was two and a half years free from all mind altering substances at the time, but I was not really in recovery.

Continue reading Step Four and Living Day by Day

Fun during recovery, and after treatment

Recovery from addiction is possible

and can lead to an awesome future!

 

Recovery from addiction can be challenging, but it also provides more benefits and rewards than most people can imagine. The process is an enlightening, freeing and physically healing process. Addiction treatment takes a serious look at the past but also teaches how to enjoy and truly appreciate the present.

During treatment an amazing transformation usually occurs. As the recovery process progresses people find that they smile more often. Laughter comes freely and genuinely. People’s general view on the environment around them changes into a more positive light. Fun is not only reserved for after treatment from addiction but can also be enjoyed during.

If you are tired of just existing in the haze of addiction and want to truly experience all of the joys that life can bring, make the best investment for your future. At Always Hope we not only provide top-notch counselling that will help you work through the 12 steps. We also want you to have a vacation from the stresses and/or situations that have caught you in the vicious cycle of addiction.

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Addiction: What do Addicts know?

What do Addicts know?

Addicts learn many life lessons through the unfortunate progression of the disease and also through the steps taken to overcome. Many so-called “normal folk” never truly appreciate the life they are living. This is due to the fact that they never have to battle the difficulties and demons that most addicts do. Addicts come to accept their past, make amends to those they have affected and move forward with an enlightened view on their life and the world around them. The steps taken to recover from addiction can be uncomfortable, but in the end the serenity and peace that comes from conquering their addiction help create a healthier and highly productive member of society.

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Addiction treatment and life after treatment

Treatment for addiction and the life afterwards 

Accepting you have an addiction and reaching out for help is difficult, and only the first step on your way to recovering. Going to an addiction treatment facility will help you gain the tools to abstain from mind altering substances. But if you don’t learn how to use these tools and apply them to your life you may never enjoy all the great things that life has to offer. Life will still have its challenges but with a clear mind and conscience, and the tools learnt in treatment you can deal with any curveball life throws your way. Life is and can be awesome and amazing.

Life is limitless when you aren’t living in the fog of addiction. The big book of AA lists the “promises” that are available to all if they follow the steps and guidance required to a healthy life. These aren’t extravagant promises and they may take time to realize them all in your own life. But they will come true if you take the basic steps to work towards them. Continue reading Addiction treatment and life after treatment

Share your story of addiction

Share your story of addiction

The path you take in life and the decisions you make help shape the person you are today.  Everybody has a story that is made up of experiences, strengths and hopes.  Taking the time to share your story in regards to your struggles with addiction can help you in your healing process, but can also inspire and help others to heal.  Addiction is a selfish and dishonest disease.  If you can be open and honest about how your life was affected and express the steps you took to overcome your addiction you can begin the healing process and also help others. More info on our stories can be found on our about us page.

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