Suit Up and Show Up

austin recovery During the 2015 Fourth of July weekend, thousands of sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous headed to Atlanta to participate in the 65th Annual International Convention. I wasn’t there. I wanted to be, of course. In fact I had made hotel and flight arrangements way in advance for this momentous occasion! Tons of friends from all over the world would be in attendance.

And then a couple of months beforehand, looking at my calendar I realized I had an issue…my youngest son has attended Laity Lodge Youth Camp since he was old enough to go! As did his father and aunt before him, it’s a family tradition. It just so happened that the pickup weekend, following two weeks of camp was – you guessed it- the weekend of International.

The Big Book tells us that “a much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.” (Pg. 19)

I wanted to go to the AA Conference. But more importantly, I want to LIVE the principles and the program of recovery. I want to show up for my family, as a mom to my children. So, I cancelled my flight and hotel, and let some friends know I would be absent. Then early on Saturday morning July 4th, I cheerfully hopped in the Jeep Rubicon with my husband and traveled to the Hill Country to pick up our boy.

We had a blast and can’t WAIT for next year! Camp that is…What a gift! #TYG

austin recovery centerMarsha Stone, CEO
Benchmark Recovery Center

Operations Supervisor Shane Renshaw

I’m Shane Renshaw. I’m the Operations Supervisor here at Benchmark. Basically my job is to take care of everything around here. This is all the property, all the buildings, all the cars, all the grounds. I coordinate the work ethic with the guys and the girls and just kind of lead by example. A lot of guys in here have never done any kind of work before and it’s pretty rewarding just to watch them come in not knowing what they’re doing to when the leave they’re wanting to come out here and work you know and be a part of this thing. It’s just amazing. And I see these guys come in and out of the corner of my eye I watch transformations take place. I see them heal. I watch them heal, guys and girls both.

I struggled with addiction for over 25 years you know since I was a young guy. I find it pretty rewarding to be able to you know live a responsible life you know and live by spiritual principles – something I never dreamed possible you know. It was really challenging at first you know, just a lot of fear. But after stepping through that fear and actually doing the right thing, it allowed me to have an experience with God. It went from having a belief in God to having an experience with God. You know I’ve seen where all things are possible with Him. You know I never was a responsible guy and today I take care of business. It’s really a cool thing. I finally feel a part of something. I never felt that way before. I never was a part of anything. I was always apart from and it’s really a blessing to be a part of something like this.

This is the best job I’ve ever had you know. I’ve never had a job to where every single employee here, actually a close personal friend of mine, you know what I mean? This place here, Benchmark saved my life. It actually gave me a life that I never knew I could have. You know Benchmark is a beautiful place. I found God out here. I believe this is sacred ground and I’m here for the long haul.

addiction treatment center texas

10 Reasons BRC Is The Best Alcohol Rehab In Austin

drug rehab center austinBenchmark Recovery Center is making a name for itself in Austin and beyond as being one of the best recovery centers in the area, with the testimonials speaking for themselves.

So what are the 10 reasons Benchmark Recovery is the best alcohol rehab in Austin? Let’s take a look.

#1 – We offer intervention services.

Intervention has been popularized by hit television series and people now think this is something they can do themselves. This is not true, however, as it must be strategically planned and executed by a Certified Drug and Alcohol Interventionist. Interventions can be highly successful but require full cooperation of everyone involved. Benchmark Recovery works with Austin interventionists and professional alcohol and drug interventionists all over the Country to help concerned family members who have a loved one abusing or chemically dependent on alcohol and/or drugs.

#2 – We offer detox coordination services.

No treatment can truly start until the patient has been fully detoxed. This is particularly important with alcohol abuse, as detoxing cold turkey without support can be incredibly dangerous.

#3 – We offer 90-day programs.

We do not believe someone can be healed in just 30 days of treatment, as other centers claim. Instead, we offer 90-day Residential programs and aftercare beyond this. This helps us to ensure that everybody can truly live a life in recovery.

#4 – We have gender-specific programs.

We understand that many people do not feel comfortable living closely together and sharing personal information with people of the opposite sex. This is particularly true with women, who may have turned to substances such as alcohol due to the problem of domestic violence. Hence, we offer gender-specific programs to reduce stress as much as possible.

#5 – We own 2 gender-specific sober living facilities.

For those residents who do not feel ready to return to the “normal” world straight after the 90-day treatment program, we offer sober living apartments. This allows them to slowly get back in control of their own life in a way that is independent yet supported. The success of these apartments is unparalleled.

#6 – Our care continues beyond 90-days.

We understand how important it is to have a strong community and alumni program after treatment in order to maintain sobriety. BRC Alumni are an extension of our family, and are encouraged to attend our weekly on property Alumni meetings, our Annual Alumni Reunion, and our other exciting Alumni events throughout the year.

#7 – Our approach has been proven by our success rate.

We are one of the few treatment facilities in the state that are open about success rates. This is because we believe in our program, which has been proven to work. Additionally, we believe that this proof will encourage others to seek the help they so desperately need.

#8 – We are specifically designed for the treatment resistant/chronically relapsing population.

We do not judge our residents for past mistakes. Someone who is a chronic relapser can come to us and receive full treatment. The residents who complete our Residential Program and our Transition Program and adhere to our recommendations following discharge are successful in their sobriety as well as quality of life.

#9 – We offer holistic care.

Our residents do not just spend their days detoxing and going through counseling. We focus on the whole human being. This includes nutrition, fitness, personal finance and more.

#10 – We welcome families.

The families of our residents are fully involved in every aspect of their loved ones recovery program. Some of our biggest advocates are parents who once thought there was no hope for their child and are grateful to see that not only has their child successfully completed the program but the quality of life their child now has is better than they could’ve imagined – even several years after completing the BRC program.


Texas Alcohol Rehab

God Shows Up With Skin On

christian drug rehab AustinLast night I was having dinner with a friend in long term recovery. We were discussing, among other things, the ups and downs of life, and more specifically a life in recovery. She remarked that she felt that while her honesty and transparency served her well in recovery, that perhaps it handicapped her somewhat in the business world.

I understood her point, but let her know that I, and my experience, disagree. Perhaps in the short term I replied, but never in the long run. Notwithstanding a certain amount of posturing and strategy, most of the time, what you see is what you get with people- be the relationship personal or professional.

As Maya Angelou famously said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Recently I celebrated a recovery birthday. On that day, I called the woman I have been blessed to call my sponsor since the beginning of my journey. I thanked her for her guidance and honesty and told her that in my life God has shown up with skin on. I have made tons of mistakes in sobriety, but one thing I have done consistently is to remain in a rigorously honest relationship with one woman, and to be willing to take her suggestions. I have given her spiritual consent to help me see myself when I cannot.

It is imperative for me to remain honest, open-minded and willing, and to practice principles in all of my affairs. Having a fellowship around me that knows me, warts and all, is a part of the overall process that ensures honesty and principles remain at the forefront of my relationships and affairs.

I haven’t come across any burning bushes lately, but I come across people daily in my path that are examples of recovery and have attributes of a living God. I am experiencing immense gratitude for the wise teachers and spiritual warriors that have been placed in my path. Connectivity is vital, and I am blessed to be connected. TYG

christian drug rehab centers AustinMarsha Stone, CEO
Benchmark Recovery Center

3 Stages of Recovery with Marsha Stone

The Benchmark Recovery program is designed as a three stage process. The first stage of that process is the Residential Program. It’s a 90-day minimum stay. Every resident is assigned a recovery manager that works with them and works with their family the entire length of their stay here. From the time they wake up in the morning, to the time they go to bed at night, the program is mindfully designed to institute the principles of recovery in the day to day activities of the resident.

They assimilate those ideas into their physical practices during the day. It’s a highly accountable program, highly disciplined program. Every resident is going to participate in a community. They’re going to work out with a personal trainer every single day and also participate in Bikram yoga. They’re going to eat a mostly organic diet. We’ve designed our program to holistically address the disease of addiction and alcoholism… mind, body and spirit.

Following the 90-day residential program, Benchmark has purchased two beautiful gender-specific apartment complexes located in central Austin and only available to Benchmark alumni. Those apartments really foster a sober living community that has proven time and time again to be critical to the transition process. They’re also staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with Benchmark alumni that are also certified as Peer Recovery Support Specialists (PRS) to really hold the residents accountable during the transition process.

The third part of the Benchmark program is our Segue program which is our monitoring program designed and staffed by Peer Recovery Support Specialists to work on-on-one with the residents and their families that critical first year of post discharge from the 90- day program. Most people agree that staying sober while in treatment or while in a recovery program is usually attainable. It’s when a resident leaves, it’s when they begin the transition process, it’s when they begin to incorporate the recovery in their day to day life that we’ve been shown that they need extra assistance, so we’ve designed our monitoring program to fit that need.

3 Stages of Recovery Video

Understanding Austin Recovery Centers for Alcoholism

SEO-Blog_Men's-Recovery-ResidenceThough there are many Austin recovery centers which aim to help alcoholism, finding one which has a high success rate, which is reasonably affordable, and takes a holistic approach to helping their residents can be an arduous process. Frequently, alcoholics or their loved ones don’t really understand that alcoholism is a serious and potentially fatal disease, and they don’t know exactly what they are looking for when they are finally ready to address the problem.

Alcoholism represents an addiction that can quickly lead to financial ruin, a torn-apart family, and premature death on the part of the alcoholic. Someone suffering from alcoholism needs to find help immediately. Therefore, it’s important to understand what goes into recovery for alcoholism so you can choose the right recovery center for you or your loved one.

A structured recovery program at a rehabilitation center is usually the best option for someone looking for help with their addiction. These come in two types: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient or residential centers work with residents who stay on the premises of the recovery center for the duration of the program. Outpatient programs, on the other hand, work with residents who attend weekly sessions and return home or go back to work.

The basic structure of most rehab programs is similar. When a new resident arrives, they undergo what is generally a multi-step process: an initial assessment, a psychological evaluation if deemed necessary, a medical evaluation, supervised medical detox if the assessment indicates one is necessary, a residential or outpatient addiction recovery program, and finally a program of extended care. The resident’s personal information, details about their addiction and other challenges are always kept strictly confidential.

Initial Evaluation

Residents arriving at an Austin recovery center go through an initial evaluation to help the staff understand the exact issues the person is facing. The key information they learn during this step is what determines the programs they recommend to help the person recover.

In some cases, if a psychological evaluation is done, it will reveal other issues which are keeping the person from “kicking the habit”. If this is the case, they will make recommendations on how to address the additional issues in the overall recovery plan, and if necessary, sometimes refer the person to another rehab facility.

Depending on the degree of addiction, residents may also require a formal medical evaluation. If so, they are referred to the Medical Director who can determine whether the person needs a medical detox and to what degree the person is suffering from physical problems as result of their addiction.

Medical Detox

Some alcoholics need to undergo medically supervised detox for multiple days. If this is the case, they’re referred to an Austin detox facility which specializes in helping people cope with withdrawal symptoms before they go into the full recovery program.

Residential Recovery Program

Once the resident is stable, they go through a 12 Step immersion program, with a practical implementation of the recovery process which has been shown to be extremely effective even for the chronic relapser. The residential recovery program uses a holistic approach, resulting in healing on all levels of the mind, body, and spirit. Residents are taught many aspects of functional healthy living…life skills to help them be more effective with daily living, financial responsibility, nutrition and fitness to rebuild their physical health and strength, and spiritual principles critical to 12 Step recovery and long-term sobriety.

Extended Care

After 90 days or longer in the residential program, residents at Benchmark Recovery Center transition into one of two gender-specific Benchmark-owned sober living residences, conveniently located in central Austin. While the resident is in sober living, they may also participate in Benchmark’s 12-month aftercare monitoring program for additional support as they transition back into society and resume daily living as healthy happy sober citizens.

Texas Alcohol Rehab


Austin Recovery from a friend a few weeks ago, “My SpirMal went shopping today!” That caught my attention…SpirMal? What is that? I was quickly educated…

SpirMal, as in, short for Spiritual Malady.

Got it. I might not have known the term but I sure know something about spiritual malady. Restless, irritable, discontented. Not quite sure where I want to be but certain it isn’t where I currently am, and moreover, just generally annoyed. An old friend of mine described the untreated alcoholic personality as ‘slightly unhappy all the time.’

Kind of describes me the last few days…

Seriously, has anyone else ever pondered why in the world Starbucks doesn’t have a separate Frappuccino line?? Why should we ‘black coffee with room’ loyalists need be tortured with those selfish, entitled frozen drink orderers? Does this look like Dairy Queen?!

If you can relate to the above, or some variation, you just might know SpirMal too! Welcome! And congrats!

I learned through the recovery process that I drink essentially for the effect produced. Well the truth is I have done a lot for the effect produced, in order to change the way I feel, to treat my SpirMal. Shopping is certainly on the list. Ever heard of a little retail therapy? But there’s also binging on Netflix, eating sugar, sugar and more sugar… The list goes on and on.

Yesterday I received a text from an old friend, connecting me with a young woman struggling with her sobriety. He apologized for “bothering me” stating, “I know you’re busy.” Bothering me?? Not a chance! I thanked him and called the newcomer immediately. In truth, I had been praying for someone to help.

Lately, it has seemed that life is coming at me full blast! When that is my perception of reality, I know it’s time to get busy. For I am clear that my SpirMal is alive and well, and that my very life, as a woman in recovery, depends upon helping others by carrying the lifesaving message to them that was, once upon a time, carried so freely to me.

Does my SpirMal scream and yell and demand its’ way and my attention? Sure, sometimes it does. But I am beyond grateful of the awareness of not only the common problem but the common solution.

Not a week later I found myself in a parking lot outside a coffee shop, this time not complaining about what other people were ordering, but holding hands with that newcomer, guiding her through making a decision that would forever alter the course of her life.

Thank you SpirMal for pushing me back into the solution. I am perfectly broken and uniquely qualified. TYG!

womens sober living austin Stone, CEO
Benchmark Recovery Center

Barton Springs Clean Up Service Work

BRC-Women-Working - www.benchmarkcenter.comOn June 4th, the residents of the Women’s Program joined other volunteers to clean the Barton Springs Pool. Since recent flooding caused the pool to be closed, the women helped with weeding flowerbeds, aerating around trees, replacing washed away mulch, and relocating flood debris.

BRC-Women-on-Ledge - www.benchmarkcenter.comFrom experience, I knew that the women would start the day unsure about what to expect, but by the end of the day would feel grateful to have been of service in such a tangible way. At Benchmark Recovery Center, being of service to others is a large part of our culture as well as the culmination of working the twelve steps. Through service projects such as this, the women begin to see that the spirit of service extends to areas outside of the recovery fellowship, to the broader community. And they gain real experience in the benefit of “getting out of oneself,” as a remedy to the selfishness and self-centeredness that fuel our disease.

The staff and volunteer coordinators of Barton Springs Pool always appreciate having BRC participate in these “1st Thursday” pool cleanings. They explain that having large group show up allows them to complete a considerable amount of work and they invariably comment on how our residents are hardworking and diligent. These comments reflect the kind of character and habits that we strive to develop throughout our program.

It is an honor to be a part of the Women’s Program and to play a small role in helping other women recover. I love participating in service projects such as the Barton Springs Pool cleaning and watching our residents demonstrate that recovery from addiction and alcoholism is possible and of benefit to the community.

Laura-E-and-Laura-B - www.benchmarkcenter.comLaura Edwards
BRC Women’s Program Coordinator
Benchmark Recovery Center