1. In your own life, what was the turning point that led you to seek recovery?
The turning point in my life was when I didn't have control over when I wanted to take drugs or drink. It was my body that decided when to take them as soon as I was going through withdrawal. I came to this realization in my late 30s. I considered taking drugs as something to do on weekends just to take the edge off from the stress of the week. I knew right away that when it got to the point I needed to take drugs every day, there was an issue. It was something I had to do for myself.
2. What do you think of the 12-step programs in obtaining and maintaining sobriety?
I think it might work for some people, but definitely not for all addicts. Take me, for example; I tried to quit a few dozen times but never always needed up going back to using again. This cycle stopped when I was placed in a program, which spoke to me, and I never went back to using again. Everyone is different; therefore, the way they overcome addiction is different as well. At my rehab centers, we offer five different programs our clients can choose from. The success rate is much higher compared to our competitors who only offer one program.
3. In founding your own rehab center, what were some of your "must-haves" for the facility itself?
The must-haves at the facility are staff that are very supportive and help out the patient whenever they think they can't do it any more. Another must-have is, like I mentioned, the choice between many different programs as well as creating new routines and schedules for patients so that when they graduate from the facilities, they stick to the routines they were taught during their recovery. This ensures they will not go back to their old life and their old routines, which may trigger them to use again. After someone graduates from our facilities, they are appointed a counselor to be able to contact if ever they are going through a hard time in their lives.
4. Would you tell us a little more about what the holistic approach at your center involves?
The Holistic track provides the patient with an enhancement of their rehabilitation through our treatment program. These elements can include yoga, guided imagery, relaxation sessions, and the philosophy and spirituality of Martial Arts, and also includes lectures by recovering addicts, alcoholics, and counselors. This is one of our popular programs chosen by patients at our rehab centers.
5. For family members or friends who want to talk to someone dealing with addiction about the possibility of seeking treatment, do you have any advice?
My advice is to seek help as soon as possible. But the addict has to recognize they have a problem and want to do something about it. It is very difficult to convince someone to go to rehab, but they have to see how their actions are hurting themselves and other people around them. This is exactly what I went through on my journey to recovery. It was only when I realized I had hit rock bottom that it was time to make a change in my life.