Tag Archives: drug rehab

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.

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. 

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.

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.

 

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?

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 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?

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

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.

Desire to Change is the only Requirement

Desire to Change is the only Requirement

The desire to change usually doesn’t occur until one finally becomes “sick and tired” of being “sick and tired”. At Always Hope we try to make it as easy as possible to acquire the help needed to recover from the grips of active addiction. There are no waiting lists, no tests or forms to fill out, detoxing beforehand is not necessary (we have a doctor who makes house-calls and is available 24/7, and the hospital is only minutes away). We want to make it as easy as possible to get the help needed and so the only requirement is the the desire to quit using/drinking.

Steps needed to come to Always Hope

1. Desire to stop using/drinking

2.Call us 1-829-932-0123

3. Deposit required to save bed

4. Book flights to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

 

 

The Promises are Available to All

The 12 Promises and The 12 Rewards

The Twelve Promises

Page 83 and 84 of the Big Book

1 We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
2 We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
3 We will comprehend the word serenity.
4 We will know peace.
5 No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
6 The feelings of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7 We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8 Self-seeking will slip away.
9 Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.
10 Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
11 We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12 We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

“Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”

From the A. A. Big Book

Continue reading The Promises are Available to All

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