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 https://www.benchmarkcenter.com/Overheard 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 https://www.benchmarkcenter.com/Marsha 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

After The Storm

drug treatment centers in Texas “The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough.” -Big Book, pg. 82

It was the Sunday afternoon after severe weather roared through Austin, TX where the BRC Recovery Residences are located.  The area was a mess, as you could imagine.  I just finished lunch when I heard the sound of a leaf blower.  I looked out the window, and a couple of residents of the BRC apartments were cleaning up the mess in the courtyard.  I was taken a back, and my heart was filled with gratitude.

Feeling pumped, I walked over to our Segue office.  One of our Recovery Managers asked if I had told the residents to clean up.  When I told him no, his response was similar to mine.  Not long ago, these men were like a tornado roaring through the lives of others.  Now, however, that is not the case for these men because of their experience at Benchmark Recovery Center.

The men and women who go through BRC are presented with a solution to their problems, one of those problems being selfishness and self-centeredness. Residents are taught how to work and live the steps, which is an effective remedy for selfishness and self-centeredness.  In fact, the residents start practicing these principles right out of the gate.  It does not take long for the residents to learn the BRC culture.  Part of that culture is being of service to others.  That is carried on to the apartments.

1I asked one of the guys why he helped out.  He looked at me funny and said that the apartments were his home, and he was just doing the next right thing.  Moments like today are the reasons I do what I do.  It is a privilege to watch these men continue to grow and become the men they always wanted to be.

Bob Couch After The Storm_Blog PhotoBob Couch
Men’s Recovery Residence Manager
Benchmark Recovery Center

Wheels Up!

Meditation - Drug rehab center Texas

Here I am, in my seat, headed back to California attempting to accomplish some challenging work tasks. This one seems particularly daunting, but looking back – don’t they all?

I remarked to a friend just the other day that, over the last few years in my role as CEO at Benchmark Recovery Center, I have learned more than I ever could have imagined about things I never even knew I needed to know! From fire sprinklers and code compliance, to anaerobic septic systems to search engine optimization – the lessons have been varied and equal parts overwhelming and sublime.

Many days, sitting in my office talking to the staff, I would think to myself, when this challenge is over, it’s smooth sailing, nothing to worry about. Then all our attention will be directed toward programming and growth. But often it seemed, at the end of resolution came another wave of challenge- or was it opportunity?

On page 61, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “Is he not the victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well?”

My limited concept of events is that they are meant to be wrestled and managed, and that once this is accomplished, happiness and satisfaction surely await. The result I have found is a lot of struggle and very little serenity.

What if I were to take my hands off the wheel? What if I just lifted things up to the Power of the Universe? What if the prayer becomes, first and always, that the highest good of all involved be served? And what does my experience show me? God is. God is in charge. God is omnipresent and omnipotent. God wants happiness, joy and freedom…For all.

Wheels up! There’s nothing left to do to prepare. I think I’ll put my laptop away, put my headphones on and just get quiet and centered on this long flight. One I hope is a long flight to freedom. It sounds like an experience with powerlessness has served me well again. Very well indeed. TYG

Marsha_Stone_Wheels_UpMarsha Stone, CEO
Benchmark Recovery Center

Blessed to be a Part of BRC

drug rehab center Texas“To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder as they move from darkness into light, to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning, to see whole families reassembled, to see the alcoholic outcast received back into his community in full citizenship, and above all to watch these people awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives – these things are the substance of what we receive as we carry A.A.’s message to the next alcoholic.” – 12&12, Step Twelve, page 110

My journey at Benchmark Recovery Center began in June of 2010 when I arrived as a resident at what was then Mark Houston Recovery Center. I am now gratefully employed there. When I arrived back in 2010, I was lost, broken, and a slave to drugs and alcohol. The staff at Benchmark was a part of a culture that believed in helping fellow addicts and alcoholics get connected to a Power that would do for us the things we could never do for ourselves. They were a part of something that saved my life and when I left, I sincerely hoped that someday I would be a part of a place truly committed to helping others.

That’s exactly what happened. Since that time, I have worked as a Resident Care Associate, Recovery Manager, and Apartment Community Manager. I have learned so much from an awesome group of co-workers and have been blessed to share this path with countless men and women who have helped me far more than they will ever know. I continue to work at Benchmark Recovery Center as the Director of Operations and I am blessed to be a part of that very same culture of recovered addicts and alcoholics, dedicated to helping others.

I know this disease does not discriminate. Well, guess what, the solution doesn’t either. It’s available to everyone and I am grateful to be a part of something so awesome here at BRC.


Dale-Ogle-Director-of-OperationsDale Ogle
Director of Operations
Benchmark Recovery Center


BRC Men Give Back


On April 30th I had the pleasure of watching the residents of the Men’s program at Benchmark Recovery Center participate in a community service project. We spent all day at a Habitat for Humanity build-site in Manor, TX.  The men tackled all types of job, from picking up trash and painting cabinets to putting up fences and framing windows.

Before arriving at the build-site, I knew there would be varying degrees of confidence and different skill sets among the residents. However, I was not prepared to witness the evidence of transformation in each of these men’s lives that I don’t get to see as clearly during the day-to-day interaction while going through the BRC program…they grabbed the opportunity to make a difference and to be of full service in a positive and helpful way in the community.

The Site Manager from Habitat shared with me how impressed he was by the hard work and dedication he saw from our residents and how genuinely they shared about the program at BRC.  Giving these men opportunities to put aside their own troubles and to work alongside others for a common goal is the perfect adjunct to what the BRC program teaches. Being of service is a manifestation of working the complete 12 steps during residency at Benchmark Recovery Center. Service work is an opportunity to give back what has been so freely given to us.

I am grateful I was able to participate with our residents in serving our community, and for the new perspective about each of these men I was given through this experience.


Doug Hauck & Gerard BerensDoug Hauck
Recovery Manager
BRC Men’s Program