From Guest blogger Lena Butler

Addiction Treatment Tools: the Addiction Severity Index

You’ve heard that nothing is a black & white issue, right? Everything is made up of shades of gray and drug addiction is no different.

In fact, just because someone is using drugs doesn’t necessarily mean they are addicted. Just last year Dr. Wesley Boyd, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, authored Almost Addicted: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Drug Use a Problem? where he explored the many facets of drug addiction and how users may not be suffering from a full-blown addiction, especially if they are irregular drug users.

So this brings up the interesting question of how you can tell exactly how addicted someone is?

Understanding Addiction

First off, we need to clarify exactly what we’re talking about here. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) classifies drug addiction as a disease rather than a choice. While the first few times a person uses a drug may be by choice, once the drug has its hooks in, so to speak, the body itself becomes physically dependent on the drug. It changes the body’s nervous system, making the person no longer capable of choosing NOT to use it. At this stage, the body sees the drug as necessary for its survival.

In that circumstance, of course, we’re talking about a full-blown addict. But, as mentioned before, not everybody gets to that point.

And that’s where the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) comes into play.

What is the ASI?

The ASI evaluates individuals who are seeking addiction treatment through a series of questions and establishes the extent of the addiction they are suffering from. Clinicians and treatment professionals use the ASI to get a clearer overall picture of the person submitting him or herself for treatment.

What makes the ASI such a useful tool is that it does not limit the evaluation of a person’s addiction to the person’s substance abuse alone. It doesn’t just take into account how often a person uses or how much drug a person uses, it takes into account other facets of a person’s life. The ASI looks at a person’s medical history; employment profile; family background; legal, social and psychiatric status, which are all important factors when developing individual substance abuse treatment plans.

All these factors come into play when clinicians develop individual substance abuse treatment plans. For example, if a treatment professional, using the ASI, finds out that an addict has family members who are also addicts, than it would make no sense to draft an addiction treatment plan that would bring the patient into contact with those family members who are also addicts. Having as much detail as possible about an addict’s life becomes an effective tool for recovery. This, in essence, is what the ASI is all about.

Since its development by A. Thomas McLellan in 1980, the ASI has spread across the world and is now widely used in the fields of research, policy-making and treatment practices.

Treatment Planning

In most states in the US, an addiction assessment process is a required step in licensed drug and alcohol treatment programs. And from this addiction assessment, the addiction treatment plan must be developed according to specific standards set by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.

And although the ASI is an excellent starting point towards complying with these standards, it is not considered to be a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment and is therefore used by many treatment programs only as the basis for developing preliminary treatment plans.

As helpful and thorough as the ASI is in creating an addiction treatment plan is, we all know the first step is for an addict to acknowledge their problem. Only then can the long road to rehabilitation begin. But cooperating with treatment professionals in completing the ASI is another important milestone that addicts can mark on their road to recovery.

 

 

 

About Lena Butler

Lena Butler is a health blogger and customer service representative for TestCountry, a San Diego based point of service diagnostic test service provider that offers a wide range of laboratory and instant drug and general health testing kits.

Stress and Anxiety

There are many factors that can cause stress and anxiety. However, not all stress and anxiety are bad. Feeling minor stress can push you to do some important things, or make changes in your life. This type of stress and anxiety are healthy and necessary. Unfortunately, experiencing too much stress can also be alarming and dangerous.

 

Stress can come from a lot of factors, such as work, family, and personal problems. At times, you may feel that there is nothing you can do about it. However, you have to realize that you have control over your life, your feelings, and your situation. In fact, realizing that you are in control of your life is the main point of stress management. Stress management is about taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, and the way to deal with your life problems. To start managing your stress, you have to first identify the sources of stress in your life. To identify the stress triggers, you must look into your habits, attitudes, and your excuses. You also have to look into the ways you try to manage your stress. Are they healthy? For instance, you smoke, drink, or use pills in order to deal with your stress and anxiety. These are unhealthy ways to cope with stress, and it can even lead to more problems in the long run.

 

If you want to successfully manage your stress, you have to let go of the unhealthy ways of coping with it, and focus on the healthy methods of stress management. For one, you have to avoid unnecessary stress. Not all stress can be avoided, unfortunately, but there are certain stress factors that are unnecessary. For instance, when it comes to work responsibilities, you have to know your limits and stick to it. Taking on more than you can handle will only lead to unnecessary anxiety and stress. You can also avoid people who stress you out, and take control of your environment.

 

If the news makes you anxious, then turn the TV off. If you find going to the market unpleasant, then do the shopping online. You can also create a to-do list in order to list down your schedules and tasks, and prioritize them according to their importance. You can also look for a psychiatric doctor who offers mental health services.

 

These are just some of the simple tips that can help you manage your stress. Healthy stress management is necessary in order to maintain control in your life. If you are successful in managing your stress, you will definitely live a happier and more peaceful life.

 

No one likes to deal with anxiety. However, it is never an easy thing to reduce the underlying cause of the stress and anxiety. For example, if you are concerned about a recent job loss it would be difficult to reduce the worry one would face in such a situation. After all, the situation is most definitely a serious one since it affects the ability to support oneself.

 

But, does worry truly help the situation? No, worrying about the situation is not something that will improve any serious problem. It can drain your energy resources and this is certainly not advisable to engage in. This does raise questions regarding how you can work on decreasing the anxiety you are dealing with.

 

First and foremost, it is definitely not a good idea to reach for prescription anti-anxiety medications. Yes, there are scores of prescriptions written everyday and many of these prescriptions are really not even necessary. There are common natural strategies that can eliminate anxiety in a relatively easy manner. One of the more unique methods of dealing with anxiety centers on devising a worry period with the purpose of dealing with the problem of stress.

 

The way a worry period works involves setting aside a specific amount of time per week solely for the purpose of worrying. This specified time period will be exclusively used for worrying. The rest of the week will be devoid of all worry. When done successfully, this can reduce stress and worry to a significant degree. Excess worry does not come with any helpful benefits. By isolating it into a single portion of the week, you no longer have to deal with such anxiety for the bulk of your time.

 

However, it is very important to have realistic expectations regarding making a worry period work. Do not assume that the first week you employ a worry period you will see noticeable results. It will take a bit of time for the mind to discipline itself in order for something along the line of a worry period to properly develop. Those looking for immediate results will be sorely disappointed. Things just do not work that way when it comes to disciplining the mind. The psyche will try to resist what you are trying because ingrained stress and anxiety will seem overwhelming at first. Again, it will take time and deliberate patience in order for the worry period to deliver results. Those that try to stick with it will discover the desired results are possible.

 

While there may be a lot of effort involved with making a worry period work, it will be quite rewarding and it does not come with the risks associated with anti-anxiety medication. That alone makes it worth trying.

 

St Jude non 12 step rehab…sharing the article

When dealing with a difficult problem such as alcohol or drug use, it is important to keep your self-image in check. Once you figure out how you view yourself and how you want others to view you, you can create a new, more positive self image that does not include drugs or alcohol. You can be anyone you want to be in the future and you can successfully move towards a happier life without substances. By improving your self-image, maturing, taking responsibility for your past, present and future, you will ultimately build self-confidence to tackle difficult situations in life without turning to a substance.

Below are some examples of a new self-image you may want or may have thought of:

  • I want to have a stable life with no more drama.
  • I need to update my appearance to be reminded of my new goals.
  • I want others to see me differently.
  • I absolutely do not want to be seen as an alcoholic or drug addict. I want to be a non-substance user.
  • I want to be a person who is productive and looks the part, someone an employer would be proud to hire.
  • I want to be a patient and kind parent, spouse or friend.
  • I want to be honest.
  • I want to be happy, joyful and content.
  • I want to be approachable, loving and much more tolerant of circumstances I cannot control.

Overcoming substance usage through the power of positive thinking is possible. Dr. Schaler, author of Addiction Is A Choice quotes, “The more people believe in their ability to moderate or stop their consumption of drugs and alcohol, the more likely they will be to moderate or stop altogether. The converse is also true: the more people believe in their failure to moderate or stop their consumption of drugs and alcohol, the more likely they will not moderate or stop altogether.” (Schaler 37).

If you truly desire to overcome alcohol or drugs, you can! By believing in yourself and your own free will, you can create an empowering new way to look at substance use. It’s important to remember that the body can only do what the mind tells it to do. You are in control of your actions at all times. The difference between people who use substances all the time and those who can successfully quit, is that initial thought before an action.

If your pattern of drinking or drugging after a hard day or after work has been repeated day in and day out for years, you have created a habit of drinking while stressed. Even though this reaction may seem automatic, it is always a choice you have made and a behavior that you can still change. Imagine creating a new habit that replaces the feeling of being drunk or high.   In the end, you can learn how to deal with stressful work days or hardships without drinking or drugging. By having a better outlook on your life and an improved self-image, you can create the confidence you need to change. The Saint Jude Program will help you to restructure your life, even after years of heavy substance use, and live a long happy life free of substance usage.

St Jude non 12 step rehab…sharing the article

When dealing with a difficult problem such as alcohol or drug use, it is important to keep your self-image in check. Once you figure out how you view yourself and how you want others to view you, you can create a new, more positive self image that does not include drugs or alcohol. You can be anyone you want to be in the future and you can successfully move towards a happier life without substances. By improving your self-image, maturing, taking responsibility for your past, present and future, you will ultimately build self-confidence to tackle difficult situations in life without turning to a substance.

Below are some examples of a new self-image you may want or may have thought of:

  • I want to have a stable life with no more drama.
  • I need to update my appearance to be reminded of my new goals.
  • I want others to see me differently.
  • I absolutely do not want to be seen as an alcoholic or drug addict. I want to be a non-substance user.
  • I want to be a person who is productive and looks the part, someone an employer would be proud to hire.
  • I want to be a patient and kind parent, spouse or friend.
  • I want to be honest.
  • I want to be happy, joyful and content.
  • I want to be approachable, loving and much more tolerant of circumstances I cannot control.

Overcoming substance usage through the power of positive thinking is possible. Dr. Schaler, author of Addiction Is A Choice quotes, “The more people believe in their ability to moderate or stop their consumption of drugs and alcohol, the more likely they will be to moderate or stop altogether. The converse is also true: the more people believe in their failure to moderate or stop their consumption of drugs and alcohol, the more likely they will not moderate or stop altogether.” (Schaler 37).

If you truly desire to overcome alcohol or drugs, you can! By believing in yourself and your own free will, you can create an empowering new way to look at substance use. It’s important to remember that the body can only do what the mind tells it to do. You are in control of your actions at all times. The difference between people who use substances all the time and those who can successfully quit, is that initial thought before an action.

If your pattern of drinking or drugging after a hard day or after work has been repeated day in and day out for years, you have created a habit of drinking while stressed. Even though this reaction may seem automatic, it is always a choice you have made and a behavior that you can still change. Imagine creating a new habit that replaces the feeling of being drunk or high.   In the end, you can learn how to deal with stressful work days or hardships without drinking or drugging. By having a better outlook on your life and an improved self-image, you can create the confidence you need to change. The Saint Jude Program will help you to restructure your life, even after years of heavy substance use, and live a long happy life free of substance usage.

Cali Estes at the Cleveland House

The Addictions Coach expands services into Cleveland House

Miami, Florida March 26, 2013

The Addictions Coach Company announced that they are offering mobile rehab services to residents of the prestigious Cleveland House. The Addictions Coach Company is bringing the rehab to the clients that are residing in a sober living setting, right on the beach. Long gone are the days of a client trekking to an IOP program in hopes of getting sober.  At Cleveland House, the sober coach comes to them.

For clients leaving a drug treatment facility, the choices of where to live and what therapist to see are daunting, especially when they do not know the area and make a blind choice based on the recommendation of a therapist that has never seen the living arrangements or met the aftercare therapist. Now the choices of where to go and whom to see to remain sober have gotten more accessible and easier.

“I chose to work directly with Alan Rubin at Cleveland House because of the way he handles sobriety and all of the amenities that he offers the clients getting sober,” Cali Estes, owner of The Addictions Coach said. “He is located directly on the boardwalk in Hollywood Beach; he has a pool and offers a gym membership to all the guys. It is a caring place that offers more than just a bed.”

Cali’s multidimensional approach focuses on the underlying cause of the addiction and she approaches each client in a unique manner. By being mobile and coming directly to the client, she is able to work more intensely with the client directly and get to the root cause of the addiction much quicker than group sessions or long weeks of IOP. Cali combines talk therapy, life coaching, nutrition, fitness and other modalities that are more intense than additional therapies. Having access to the healing properties of the ocean, Cali can assist clients in reaching their goals faster.

The Cleveland House is the first halfway house to offer on-site sober coaching and the services of a mobile therapist.  The Cleveland House offers daily meetings, 12 step philosophy and random drug screening to all of its residents. It is located 100 steps from the beautiful beach in Hollywood, Florida and offers restaurants, exercise opportunities and it is close to bus routes and work opportunities.

“Our mission is to help those reaching out to save themselves, “Alan Rubin said. “Stories of families divided, jobs lost, financial devastation and legal calamity are often accompanied by depression and anxiety.  At this point, and in most cases, all seems hopeless and the one addicted may also become abandoned by every person, place and thing in their life.”

The Cleveland House offers many amenities that traditional sober living houses lack. Barbeques, bike riding, roller blading, heated pool, gym memberships, daily meetings, life coaching groups.  Residents have access to the beach, Hollywood Boardwalk, and other fun water sports and land sports that are keys in assisting someone in recovery. The physical location is in a very safe, secure environment that is astatically pleasing and serene.

“Our residents come from all over the world to stay with us,” Alan said. “The Cleveland House functions and adheres to the principles of the 12 Steps of Recovery and based solely on the concept of one whom has suffered and overcome successfully, reaching out to assist one who is suffering and willing for help now, we are here.”

The Addictions Coach and Cleveland House have teamed up  to offer a sober living environment and mobile therapy sober coaching to all residents that are looking for the ideal way to recover from drug and alcohol addictions.

Cali has consulted in 2 countries and frequently flies between South Florida, New York and Los Angeles to work with her clients. She has clients in the music industry, acting/film, modeling, CEO’s and frequent high stress jobs clients. She is available on an individual basis for clients, more intensive or for speaking engagements. She has accompanied clients to high risk situations like weddings, worked ‘on set’ of movie and film productions, worked directly with pro athletes, sat in on business meetings, been ‘on tour’ with musicians and even will work directly in the home of the client for a more intensive ‘rehab’ setting.

The Addictions Coach is based out of Miami Florida but services clients in all of South Florida, New York City and Los Angeles. Cleveland House is located in Hollywood Beach, Florida.

#####

Cali Estes

786 709 0479

 

 

Recovery coach courses being offered in Miami. Get Certified NOW

The Addictions Coach selected to present certifications across the country.

Miami, Florida March 20, 2013

Cali Estes, owner of The Addictions Coach, which specializes in drug, alcohol and food addictions, has been chosen to present Recovery Coaching Certifications and Intervention Certifications throughout the nation. Estes teamed up with Diversified Intervention Group of California to be the first dual CADAAC and Florida Certification Board approved course providers.

Diversified Intervention Group is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization with a mission to assist others in obtaining the services they desire and need even if they do not have the funds to do so. DIG offers services that include interventions, recovery coaching, sober companions, codependency coaching and now offering first class certifications in both recovery coaching and intervention.

“Since the show Intervention has been on television, people have wanted to learn to do what I have been doing for years,” Estes said. “So I decided that I would offer a course that covers exactly what I do and allows others to learn the trade. I teamed up with Diversified Intervention Group and we are offering the first combination courses of this kind in the nation. It is very cutting edge.”

There are a few local programs for intervention certifications, but this is the only course that offers both Intervention Certification and Recovery Certification and meets the need for Continuing Education Credits. All course participants will be able to use the course as a tax deduction and each participant will be fully certified and able to obtain insurance in the industry.

“There are a lot of people in this industry that are not credentialed or certified and simply just in recovery,” Estes said. “The problem is that without proper training a lot of issues can arise in a situation and someone that is not properly trained can’t handle some of the issues that may arise and the client will suffer. That is why we created a comprehensive course that covers all the details and possible scenarios.”

Cali Estes is known as the premier addictions coach in the industry. Cali has consulted in 2 countries and frequently flies between South Florida, New York and Los Angeles to work with her clients. She has clients in the music industry, acting/film, modeling, CEO’s and frequent high stress jobs clients. She is available on an individual basis for clients, more intensive or for speaking engagements. She has accompanied clients to high risk situations like weddings, worked ‘on set’ of movie and film productions, worked directly with pro athletes, sat in on business meetings, been ‘on tour’ with musicians and even will work directly in the home of the client for a more intensive ‘rehab’ setting.

Cali is more than a ‘sober coach’. She has a background in clinical and personality psychology, addictions and forensics. She can get to the root of the addiction quickly and work with the client in building a safe environment in which to make the changes necessary to live a productive lifestyle. Clients in addiction feel powerless, helpless and hopeless and need answers and ways to change their lives. Sometimes family and friends think that everyone should be able to have ‘just one drink’ at a function, but for some clients that is not what happens. That one drink turns them into an unmanageable individual that their family and friends cannot deal with.

You can locate the courses online at the Diversified Intervention Group’s website or contact Cali Estes, The Addictions Coach directly. ##### Cali Estes 786 709 0479

Lindsay Lohan looks good in mugshots…she needs a good therapist

Lohan. (Splash News)Another one for the collection!

Lindsay Lohan‘s sixth mug shot was released on Tuesday, not long after she was booked at Santa Monica, California’s police headquarters.

[Related: Lindsay Lohan’s Hall of Shame: A Look Back at Her Five Mug Shots]

The “Liz & Dick” star appears to be wearing very little to no makeup and her hair is pulled back in a low ponytail. She’s also donning a pretty unfashionable (for her) black track jacket. She was not held at the station and was allowed to go on her way after posing for the pic.

On Monday, the 26-year-old pleaded no contest to lying to a police officer and reckless driving following a June 2012 car crash. As part of her plea deal, Lohan agreed to 90 days of “lock-down” rehab and the judge sentenced her to 30 days of community labor and 18 months of psychological therapy. He also extended her probation to include 24 more months.

[Related: Lindsay Lohan Headed to ‘Lock Down’ Rehab: What She Can Expect]

What do you think of Lohan’s latest mug shot? Better than her previous ones?

Take a walk down memory lane … or more appropriately, Lohan’s hall of shame:

July 2007 (Splash News)July 24, 2007 Offense: After getting popped for DUI and cocaine possession after crashing her Mercedes in May, Lohan went to rehab for two months. Ten days after her release, she was once again arrested for the exact same thing. In August, she reached a plea deal for both offenses (seven misdemeanor charges in total), which included one day in jail, 10 days of community service, and completion of a drug-treatment program, as well as 36 months on probation. “It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs,” she said in a statement before going back to rehab for another 60 days.

November 2007 (Splash News) November 15, 2007 Offense: Shortly after completing her treatment, it was time for Lohan to serve her jail sentence. She spent a whopping 84 minutes inside the Lynwood Correctional Center (due to overcrowding), during which she posed for this pic. Shockingly, it would be another three years before the actress was back on the other side of a jailhouse’s camera.

[Related: Lindsay Lohan Plea Deal: ‘It Was Probably Pretty Amusing in Judge’s Chambers’ (Video)]

July 2010 (Getty Images)July 20, 2010 Offense: It all took a downward spiral in May 2010 when Lohan claimed she couldn’t make it to a probation hearing because her passport had been stolen while she was in Cannes, France, and a bench warrant was issued. Although she paid her $100,000 bail, four days later on May 24 she was fitted for a SCRAM alcohol-monitoring anklet (it went off 15 days later during a MTV Movie Awards afterparty). Then on July 6, Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail for failing to attend her court-ordered weekly alcohol education classes, which were part of her probation. She surrendered on July 20, when she took this mug shot, and served only two weeks, once again due to overcrowding.

September 2010 (Splash News)September 24, 2010 Offense: After failing a drug test (cocaine was found in her system), the actress’ probation was once again revoked, yet she only spent one day in jail. Still, four days later, she checked into the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs, California, where she spent another three months. During her time there, an employee of the facility accused Lohan of assault after she caught her and another rehabber – who both reeked of booze – sneaking back onto the property in December. Although charges against Lohan were later dropped, the Betty Ford employee sued her and the matter was later settled out of court.

[Related: Lindsay Lohan’s Most Shocking Moments of 2012 (Photos)]

October 2011 (Getty Images)October 19, 2011 Offense: Although Lohan was arrested and plead not guilty to burglary after swiping a $2,500 necklace from a jewelry store in February 2011 – for which she was sentenced to 120 days in jail, 360 hours of community service, and 120 hours working at the county morgue – there was sadly no mug shot for that incident. But eight short months later, she earned her fifth (!!!) after she failed to do the very simple task of community service and a judge revoked her probation. The following month, she spent just a few hours in jail (although she was sentenced to 30 days) for once again not completing 16 hours of community service.

Although Lohan only has five public mug shots, she has two more from arrests in New York City this past years in September (hit-and-run of a pedestrian) and November (assault on psychic at a nightclub), but lucky for her, NYC law prohibits them from being released. So, we’ll just have to imagine what those two look like.

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EHealth Radio Featured Cali Estes

http://ehealthradio.podbean.com/2013/03/17/the-addictions-coach-cali-estes/
March 17, 2013 @ 10:13 am

The Addictions Coach, Cali Estes

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Cali Estes, The Addictions Coach, is a Psychotherapist, addictions coach, life coach and wellness coach. She specializes in stress, anxiety and lifestyle management and joins eHealth Radio and the Stress Management Channel.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Cali Estes discuss the following:

  • Explain to our listeners what you do and how you help others in the field of health and wellness.
  • I see you specialize in stress and anxiety.  Are people reaching for drugs to cope with those issues or more alternative methods?  How do you approach those topics with your clients?
  • You travel to LA, NYC and Miami for clients. You also skype and work with clients via phone. How is this new way of working with clients beneficial to them and is it growing?
  • Your approach is very different. Please explain how you focus on the ‘underlying cause’ of the problems people face and how you assist them in achieving their goals and moving in a positive direction.
  • What tips can you give our listeners on how to make the most of their day and how to handle issues that arise in their lives?

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With over 18 years’ experience as a Therapist, Life Coach and Wellness Coach, Cali Estes is currently serving as private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. Cali has been featured on NBC Universal News for her work with Addictions and published in several journals and books with her work on ADD and Relationships. Cali’s multidimensional approach focuses on getting to the underlying cause of the problem and working in the present to combat the issues by creating a safe and secure environment for her clients to learn and grow and tackle life challenges. Her unique background blend of psychotherapy, life coaching and wellness coaching allows the client to get to the underlying cause of their issues quicker, safer and produce results faster.

In addition to being a prominent therapist and coach, Cali Estes has presented at National conferences and is currently a CADAAC supported Master Trainer/Teacher. She has presented nationally and internationally and is a sought after Sober Coach and Life Coach to Actors, Musicians, CEO’s, Doctors, Sports Figures and Attorneys that need 100% Confidentiality when dealing with life issues.

Cali Estes is an interactive, solution-focused therapist. Her therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, she works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.

See more info at www.theaddictionscoach.com and www.caliestes.com.

 

Recovery Coaching Certification!!!

Learn How to Become a Professional Recovery Coach

Diversified Intervention Group and Master Therapist Cali Estes, have assembled the most comprehensive Recovery Coaching training available today, bar none.

General Training Information

Our team at Diversified Intervention Group is comprised of the top innovators & therapists in the country and we are pleased to offer the first Recovery Coaching Certification classes taught only by masters level Therapists who have been working in the industry for more than 15 years. Sign up early as space is limited.

Our comprehensive training packages are the first to be approved by CAADAC & CFAAP. Our CEU provider number: 2C-12-176-1214 and we are offering 16 CEUs for the Recovery Coaching course.
Come and join us for Recovery Coaching Training – For more information call today: 800-919-4546

For more information on Recovery Coaching or Intervention Trainings call: 800-919-4546

The Three Levels of Recovery Coaching

Recovery Coach Level 1: Participants will gain an understanding of how to work with a client  in various settings: rehabs, homes, halfway houses. participants will understand all ethical considerations and boundaries of clients that need to be respected and honored in the course of working with them.  Marketing yourself and billing clients will be touched upon in this course. Passive and active listening and confidentiality issues will be addressed. 12 steps and meeting attendance and how to maintain your own sanity and sobriety while dealing with a client.

To pay for the Recovery Coaching training Click Here

Recovery Coach Level 2: Dealing with aggressive clients, out of control clients, clients in the Criminal Justice system and the upper elite/wealthy client. Handling unique and stressful family situations and how to present at functions will be addressed. When to say no to a client and how to terminate the relationships will be addressed. More in depth role play and unique and individual exercises that you can use with your clients to strengthen their sobriety and your work. Must Complete Level 1 first.

To pay for the Recovery Coaching training Click Here

Recovery Coach Level 3: All about marketing. How to network and market to have a full book of clients. Where to go, whom to connect with and how to keep the money coming in.
To pay for the Recovery Coaching training Click Here

Learning is our business

The classroom experience will be electric and alive with learning! Participants will use break-out groups in actual mock Recovery Coaching situations. Participants will get a real feel for what it feels like to attempt to manage a difficult client who is out of control. Participants will be taught how to decipher the important differences between a Case Manager, Recovery Coach and a Sober Companion. We will dispel all of the myths and teach you real life situations in this course.

Students will learn the following skills:

  1. Evaluation of the proper clinical approach
  2. Analysis of correct Case Management Skills
  3. Clinical problem solving in unexpected situations
  4. Much, much more!

For more information call Toll Free: 800-919-4546

Training Dates & Locations

For more training dates & cities Click Here

A maximum of 28 students will be accepted for this course and seating is limited so sign up now. We recommend early registration to get the best seating. First come, first served.

Pricing for Training

Here is the pricing structure:

  • Recovery Coaching Training – 2 eight-hour days, 16+ hours – $999

To pay for the Recovery Coaching training Click Here

Included in the above course fees will be the following:

  • 2013 ISPRC Full course continuum course manual (printed)
  • 2013 California Recovery Resource Full Directory- The official directory of CAADAC (printed)
  • Continental breakfast/lite lunch sponsored by the venue where the trainings are held
  • Discounts offered by each hotel where the trainings are to be located

If you have any questions, please call toll free: 800-919-4546

Pottsgrove friends die of overdose…my hometown!

Pottsgrove grads, best friends overdose seven months apart

(Photo by Kevin Hoffman/The Mercury) Kathy Mackie, left, and Coleen Watchorn, right, sit in front of the praying hands monument at Highland Memorial Park, where their sons Trevor and Stephen are buried.

By Brandie Kessler bkessler@ydr.com

Trevor Mackie and Stephen Watchorn were best friends. Both attended Pottsgrove High School; both came from good homes, with good parents, and had bright futures. Swept up in an epidemic, they died just seven months apart, Trevor, at the age of 24 in January 2012, and Stephen, just 28, in August. Their mothers, Kathy and Coleen, struggling to resolve the grief in their hearts, want to do whatever they can to save others.
But they worry those who need to hear their message the most will turn away. *** Neither woman ever thought her child would die of a heroin overdose. For Trevor and Stephen, it didn’t start out that way, either.

Trevor Mackie as a child.

From the time Trevor Mackie was 2 years old, his parents would say, “This kid marches to the beat of a different drum.” He was so interested in the world around him, especially anything mechanical or computerized. “Trevor built things, and took things apart,” Kathy said. “He built his first computer when he was in eighth or ninth grade, and went on to build many more after that for himself and friends.” Coleen said her son’s heart was “humongous,” and from the time he was a boy, he felt passionately about his interests. “He loved baseball,” Coleen said. “That was a really big time, when baseball season started.” Stephen played ball until his junior year in high school, around the time he found his way to music, which would become his ultimate passion. The women, interviewed sitting across from one another at the dining room table at the Mackie residence, passed a box of tissues back and forth, remembering their boys before drugs took over. How is it they live in this world and their sons don’t? How did this happen? One of the questions each mother has is “when?” When exactly did the drugs take over and steal away the boys they knew? “When Trevor was 16, I overheard a phone conversation” and learned he had smoked marijuana with a friend, Kathy said. She approached Trevor and also talked to the mother of the other kid. “I thought, ‘He’s smart enough, this will stop.’” That’s what most parents think. Eventually, Kathy learned Trevor’s drug use hadn’t stopped and had expanded to include prescription drugs. Oxycodone was his drug of choice, she said. Coleen said she found out Stephen was using marijuana when he was younger. She took him to the doctor and the doctor diagnosed him with depression and gave him a prescription. In time, there were different diagnoses, and each one came with more prescriptions. “Somewhere along the line, Stephen began to abuse the drugs he was prescribed,” she said. Like most parents, she trusted that what the doctors were doing was helping her son. She later learned Stephen had become addicted. His drug of choice was Xanax. By the time both mothers learned their sons had “a problem,” Trevor and Stephen were 18. “Your world changes when your kid turns 18,” Coleen said. “At that point, they need to decide for themselves that they want to go into a rehab. It’s difficult to keep an 18-year-old who has a car and a job accountable to parents.”

Trevor Mackie

The downward spiral
It was about that time that things started deteriorating for Trevor and for Stephen. They couldn’t keep their jobs. Their personalities were changing. They were selling their belongings, the things they used to love turned into drug tokens. Valuables in the Mackie household were disappearing. Trevor stole from his parents. He likely pawned the valuables or found a way to convert them to cash, which he used to feed his addiction. He hacked into his parent’s accounts and wired money to himself from their credit card. Then, he stole checks from them and cashed them, robbing them of thousands of dollars. “You keep threatening. You just get to a point where you can’t take it anymore,” Kathy said. “You couldn’t leave him alone here. You had to hide everything. It just gets to a point when it’s too much. That $3,000 was it.” Even when Kathy and her husband made the difficult decision to tell Trevor he had to find another place to live, their grief, anger and despair weren’t the only clouds hanging over them. “People were calling, people were showing up at the door, ‘Trevor owes me money,’” Mackie said. “Then stop giving him money!” she would scream inside, helpless. “I was the softy. I kept thinking he was going to get better,” she said. But she had to give up the hope that she was going to make her son get clean because it was only enabling him. “I said, ‘I don’t care where you go, go sit on some rehab center’s steps until they let you in. You can’t stay here.’”

Stephen Watchorn

Coleen said she doesn’t think Stephen ever stole from her. He would, however, take the drugs he was prescribed and sell them or trade them to get what he wanted, Coleen speculated. She noted that while the drugs were lawfully prescribed, she wonders if things would be any different if the various doctors would have communicated with one another and been aware of what they were providing him. She said she and the rest of her family had to come to terms with the fact they would not be able to rescue Stephen; he had to be the one to do it. Coleen said there was a family meeting with some professionals at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center in June, less than three months before her son died. “Until you, his family, stop paying his rent, his groceries … what reason does he have to stop doing what he’s doing?” That’s the reality check Coleen and the rest of Stephen’s family got. As simple as the suggestion was — stop helping him kill himself — knowing the strong pull of the opiates was maddening. “We sat in that family meeting and I realized, my son is going to die, and I can’t save him,” Coleen said.
Blame comes easy
Although it’s easy to blame the addicts, easy to blame them for the trouble they’ve created with their dangerous decisions, the solution to the problem isn’t that simple. As frustrated and angry, sad and desperate as Kathy and Coleen felt, unable to understand why they couldn’t make their sons stop, the moments of raw honesty they witnessed gave them a glimpse of their sons’ private struggles. Kathy remembered once, after Trevor had broken their family’s trust so many times, he broke down. “He said to us, ‘Do you think I like stealing from you? You’re awesome parents,’” she recalled. At that point, the drugs were always fighting for control. She could see her son was fighting back, but tired. Coleen met her son for lunch one day last summer after he’d been through rehab and was doing well. In the news at that time, former Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Andy Reid’s son Garrett Reid had just died, and everyone was speculating he had overdosed. In fact, months later, Reid’s death was confirmed as a heroin overdose. Coleen said she asked Stephen about what goes through someone’s mind when they get high. “I said, ‘Don’t you think about your family when this happens,’” when you’re using? The pain filled her son’s face as he told her “I see your face every day.” She remembered the way she screamed at him to go to rehab in June, inconsolable that she couldn’t fix things. His words, that he thought of his mother and his family every time he got the urge to use, were convincing. “And he was dead a week and a half later,” Coleen said.
‘Drugs are everywhere’

Kathy Mackie

In addition to not wanting to be addicts, Kathy and Coleen said their sons didn’t want to die. They had lost friends to drug overdoses. Coleen said her son told her how badly he wanted to get away. “Stephen told me he needed to get out of Pottstown. ‘There are drugs everywhere,’” Coleen said. “He said, ‘Mom, you wouldn’t have a clue as to who all it is’” doing opiates, and said he could name 15 kids. Eventually, both women came to know the gamut of rehabilitation facilities in the area and how to weave their way through the system, however frustrating. Not only did their sons, being of legal age, need to agree to go to rehab, they — like many addicts seeking help — had to deal with inadequate resources. 
There are a limited number of rehab facilities, especially ones of quality, with short stays. “They go to this rehab, and unless you’re made of money, they get out and they come home, right back into the same surroundings,” Coleen said. Even if they tried to stay clean, it was difficult to trust them. “Drugs make you a very good manipulator,” Coleen said. “One of the things they told us when Trevor was in rehab was ‘How do you know when a drug addict is lying?’” Kathy said. “Their lips are moving.” And regardless of where the boys went, unless they were chained to someone who was going to stop them from using, the urge and a supply was always close by. “I could have dropped Trevor off in the desert and he would have found drugs,” Kathy said.
Recovery offers hope

Trevor Mackie

Trevor’s final stop was at Sees the Day recovery house in York, a group home for recovering addicts after they have gone through rehab. “Most of the guys there had alcohol problems, and I thought ‘This is good; he can’t be conniving with another heroin addict,’” Kathy said. Trevor worked hard at the recovery house. He was eventually named house president. It was a point of pride, but it came with a dangerous privilege: He was the one doing the drug testing. He got a job as an electrician and continued staying at the house; however, he needed transportation to get to work. Kathy and her husband were proud of Trevor. He had made tremendous progress and they could see what it meant to him to have come that far. They made arrangements to get Trevor a used car so he could go to work. “He picked up the car we bought him, and that night, I told him to call me when he got home” to the recovery house in York, she said. He didn’t call and she couldn’t get a hold of him. The next day, “I got a call from the guy who runs the facility, and he said Trevor was dead,” Kathy said. She later learned that on his way home, Trevor had stopped in Reading and picked up the heroin that would kill him. “He had money in his pocket and a vehicle,” Kathy said. “So on his way to recovery, he relapsed.”

Coleen Watchorn

The last time Coleen saw her son alive, she had spent the day with him. Since he went through rehab in June, he had gone back to being the boy she knew and loved so much. She remembered telling him, “I am your mother and I will worry about you every day.” She said he wasn’t acting himself. He had problems sleeping and told her he hadn’t slept well. When she left his apartment, Stephen said he was going to take a nap and asked her to call him later. When she called, she told him she loved him and that she would talk to him the next day. But she didn’t talk to him the next day. She didn’t hear from him and couldn’t reach him. A day and a half later, “everyone knew something was wrong.” Stephen had died in his apartment from a heroin overdose.
‘God gave us that time …’

Stephen Watchorn

Even though both boys knew their drugs well, they fell victim anyway. Kathy said she believes Trevor, incredibly intelligent and analytical, “was thinking ‘I understand this drug better’” than others who were killed by it. Stephen had medical books, and he understood the way overdoses often happen, Coleen said. A person gets addicted, and as they use a drug consistently, a larger amount of it is necessary to get the desired high. When a person goes through detox, their body loses sensitivity to the drug. When they relapse and take the same amount they did before detox, their body can’t handle it, and they die. “My son knew in his head what causes an overdose, and he’s dead,” Coleen said. Coleen said she is thankful her son was able to get clean before he died. “There’s a part of me that says God let my family have the Stephen we knew for two months,” she said. “We were at a wonderful place with our family.” Stephen was attending family functions and enjoying being around. “God gave us that time so when he passed away… we knew there was nothing else we could have done.” Kathy said the Christmas before Trevor passed away was “one of the best we’d had in many years because Trevor was clean. I thought things were going to go down a better path. “God gave us that time so we wouldn’t be so angry with him when he would falter again,” she said.
Wanting to help others

(Photo by Kevin Hoffman/The Mercury) Kathy Mackie and Coleen Watchorn share a moment together talking about their sons.

Even though Coleen and Kathy know they did all they could, moments of doubt still creep in, and moments of dread thinking about other parents out there who will face the same devastation are frequent. As the women talk, they find moments of laughter through their tears, thinking of the ridiculousness of addiction. They spoke of the “hierarchy” of drug users. “‘Oh, I don’t shoot up,’” Coleen said, quoting some opiate and heroin users who think they’re above those who use a needle. “It’s the same thing” no matter how you do it, Kathy said. “It will kill you.” Coleen said she put the coroner’s phone number in her cell phone after Stephen passed so she wouldn’t miss any calls while awaiting the toxicology results. They didn’t laugh because it was funny, they laughed, thick tears in their eyes, because they don’t know what else to do. They ask questions that are not easy to answer. “Why are we here now?” Kathy said. “Shouldn’t this have a happy ending?” “Here I am, a middle-class mom, with a middle-class family, doing middle-class things,” Coleen said. “Kathy and I say there has got to be a reason this happened because it doesn’t make sense.” After Trevor died, when Stephen was still alive, he would stop in and see the Mackies. “It was kind of like there was a little piece of Trevor alive in Stephen,” Kathy said. Now that both Trevor and Stephen are gone, the women hold fast to each other, and the hope they can tell their sons’ stories so they didn’t die in vain. “Catching people before they start” is key, Kathy said. “Once you start, it’s an uphill battle.” Coleen encouraged parents to “be smart enough to question the doctors. They’re not God.” Both women agreed that families, parents need to be aware that opiates and heroin are here in local communities. The drugs don’t care where you live, what you do for a living, or how badly you want to deny them. “Wake up people, it’s in your back yard,” Coleen said. “It’s in your bedroom.” “It’s in your medicine cabinet,” Kathy said. “If you think your kids might be using drugs, they probably are.”