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

Top 5 Things To Consider When Looking For Alcohol Rehab


alcohol rehab center Austin,TXAdmitting that you need to go to an alcohol rehab center is a huge decision. This is a moment in your life that you are likely to remember forever, the moment that you admitted you needed help, your Step One Experience: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable,” Big Book page 59. Benchmark Recovery Center understands how important taking this first step in your journey to recovery is and how crucial finding the right alcohol rehab program for your greatest chance of obtaining permanent sobriety is now. With our experience and knowledge of the Addiction Recovery Industry, we have created a list of the top 5 things to consider when choosing the best treatment center for you.


1. What Is the Facility and Environment Like?

The first thing you need to make sure of is that the facility is clean, has the right type of tools and is somewhere where you can feel comfortable. For instance, if you are woman who is leaving a violent relationship, you may feel more comfortable in a women only facility. Finding a place that offers the right environment is perhaps the most important factor of all. The setting chosen for recovery is equally important as the treatment that is received.

2. How Long Is The Treatment Period?

The next factor you need to look at is how long your treatment will last. The SMAHSA reports, “The median length of stay for patients discharged from regular outpatient treatment was 87 days, but it was only 4 days for detoxification.” However, more and more specialists are now advocating, and quite rightly so, that 30 days is not enough to make a positive difference. If the facility you are interested in recommends you stay longer and they are able to explain why, you should seriously take that into consideration. The last thing you want to do is set yourself up for failure.

3. How Much Does It Cost?

Cost is a very important factor for most of us when choosing a rehab facility, but it should not be a driving factor. The State of Texas is committed to lowering the numbers of alcohol-related problems and has invested heavily in rehab facilities. Additionally, with the Affordable Care Act, quite a substantial part of your treatment may be covered. Many facilities also have payment plans in place, as their goal is to help you on your road to sobriety.

4. Which Programs Do They Offer?

A treatment center that offers just a single type of program should be avoided. Each patient is an individual with an individual problem, which needs an individual, personalized, treatment plan. You must look into the various options and how you think they will affect you. For example, if you are devout Catholic, taking part in a program that does not address the spiritual component will not fulfill your needs.

5. Do Have Special Needs?

One final important issue to take into consideration is whether or not you have any special needs. Those who have disabilities, or those who choose to eat a vegetarian diet need to be able to have their needs met. Special needs are not trivial and you have to ascertain that you are able to live comfortably at the facility for the duration of your stay.


Benchmark Recovery’s Admissions Department is always available to answer any questions you may have about our program, or what program we think would best fit your needs. We have outstanding reciprocal referral relationships with many amazing rehab programs throughout the country. We want to help you make the best choice for you. Contact us today at 866-905-4550.


Texas Alcohol RehabThere is hope, recovery is possible.

BRC Recovery – Jesse McCraw Participates in the Shatterproof Challenge

“Shatterproof to me is an opportunity to bring awareness to addiction, and it has given me an opportunity to proclaim my recovery. Just standing on top of the building and looking around at the city that I grew up in, in a different aspect and a different angle just proves that today, my life is more than I could have ever imagined, the opportunities that I’ve been given through the work that I’ve done in recovery.”  Jesse McCraw, BRC Recovery Manager Men’s Program.

BRC Recovery

Jesse McCraw, BRC Recovery Manager Men’s Program


Step 2 – Michael Kerr

Mike Kerr, Recovery Coach

Segue Program

Benchmark Recovery Center

Hello, everyone, my name is Mike Kerr.  I’m a recovery coach at the Segue program at Benchmark Recovery Center.  A little over three years ago, I walked into the doors of Benchmark, and I was in a place where I was willing to hear an answer.  I didn’t know what that answer was.  I didn’t know what the answer looked like, but I needed an answer. What happened while I was there was incredible, considering that I walked in very humbled, humiliated and willing to hear something different, do something different, wanted to think differently, wanted everything about my life to change.

I was confronted with an idea, an idea and concept that I had heard over the years.  I was raised to believe in God and was raised to seek God.  I just didn’t know how to do that, and at Benchmark Recovery Center I really got approached with the idea that I could have a relationship with this Power, that I could decide within myself what that Power looked like.

Over the years, a certain idea of what that power looked like was imposed upon me, and I never really was able to grasp or fully understand it, and while I was there, I really dived into that piece, and that Second Step is still ever-forming today.  That perception always changes, and it changes based on my experience with my struggles, and what this Power does for me by turning to it after I experienced with struggles, and what this Power can do for me in the good times as well.  And over the years, this concept of what God means to me has turned into the role of a teacher for the most part.

I like to think about it in the sense of if I want to learn what this teacher wants me to do, and how this teacher wants me to live my life, I have to first be willing to listen.  I have to be willing to take notes.  I have to be willing to go to class, walk in the doors and take the test and do it all over again the next day.

And this Power’s always there for me.  It’s always there for me to tap into, but at some points in time, I’m not always willing to listen.  It’s that listening piece that is so incredibly important, and while at Benchmark, that’s what I got in touch with is the listening.  I’ve always been the talker.  I’ve always been the guy who has all the answers, and being very connected to that first step, I realized I didn’t have the answers this time, and I was willing to take direction.

And over the years, over the past plus three years, I’ve gotten to a place in my recovery where the listening is very important, and not only listening but putting those intuitive thoughts that I get into action and continuously doing it on a consistent basis.  I found that if I want to be good at this thing, if I want to be good at practicing the principles that I’ve learned over the years, and the principles that are specifically centered around that Second Step, for me I have to be willing to practice them on a day to day basis, and in doing so, my life has become absolutely incredible.

Sometimes I Have to Pinch Myself

Austin Recovery How did I get here? A man like me is not supposed to get the redemption I have been granted.

I rolled into Benchmark Recovery Center in July of 2012 a broken man. I had crashed three cars that year and overdosed twice. I lived in San Antonio within a 10-mile radius of my mom, my sister, my niece and nephew, but none of them wanted anything to do with me. I was surprised I had made it to the age of 45. I thought I had nothing left to offer anyone.

How wrong I was! I learned how to be useful once again while I was at Benchmark. I did the work that was asked of me (begrudgingly many times) and I had a spiritual experience as a direct result of working the steps.

I return to work at Benchmark in April of 2013 as a resident care associate where I got to share my experience with current residents. I got to see them come in broken and defeated, just like I was and I got to see them become whole again if they did what was asked of them. After nearly a year I was asked to become a recovery manager and I got to work one-on-one with a caseload of my own.

In December of last year I was given the opportunity to head up the new Business Development team. At first I was terrified and concerned. I was used to getting to be on the front lines…of getting to see men recover in “real time.” What was I going to do? How was I going to get my “fix?”

God always has my back. It has been brought to my attention that I am still helping others find recovery; it’s just in a different way. I get to spread the word to other recovery centers about what Benchmark does best. I get to help them identify which of their residents may be a good fit for Benchmark.

I have now worked at Benchmark going on 2 years now. Before I got here I could not hold a job for 2 weeks, must less 2 years. I found a way to be the man I always wanted to be…to be the man my parents are proud of…the brother I knew I could be. All this began at Benchmark and I am forever grateful.

Someone pinch me…I’m still amazed at how content I am with how my life is today.

BRC #DreamTeamDavid Hutts
Business Development Manager
BRC Business Development Team

Step 11

Austin RecoveryI woke up this morning feeling rested after a night of good sleep. My routine is to wake early, fix my coffee, curl up on my couch, pray, meditate and bring my God into my day. This is my favorite time of the day. It is my time for me, alone. My time of pure peace!

Everything was going great until I sat down on the couch…panic set in! How is one person going to get everything done that needs to be done? Especially between the hours of 3:30 and 10pm; 3 schools to pick up from, 2 baseball games, 2 cheerleading workouts (tryouts tomorrow), homework, an appointment, dinner, 4 kids and 1 me. There was not one thing that could be eliminated…so I prayed for RAIN!!! What I forgot to do, because I took over, was to pray and meditate. I had not invited the God of my understanding into my day. My old sponsor’s voice quickly was in my head saying, “Do you want to stay in the problem or get in the solution.” I immediately began my prayer and meditation with intention.

Step 11 is so powerful. The only way to improve my conscious contact with my God is through prayer and meditation. I have to constantly ask God to direct my thinking, for an intuitive thought or decision, to not be selfish or dishonest. The more I focus on the 11th Step the easier my life and the lives of those around me become. It takes practice, effort and time. For the peace I receive it is well worth it! Today it is His will I wish to live by and not my own. Experience has taught me that my will never works out in my best interest.

My day was great, the stress and worry gone. Everything got done and everyone got were they were supposed to be. Thank you God for making my day just how you wanted it to be!

BRC #DreamTeamJoey Hixson
Business Development Specialist/Midwest Region
BRC Business Development Team

There Are No Mistakes

Caitlin-Stowell Austin RecoveryIn the fall of 2008 I believed in one thing: mistakes. My life was full of them. I was drinking in my closet at eight in the morning, lying to everyone, and eventually I was dropped off at a treatment center where I was convinced I did not belong. I was forced to live in a residence with alcoholics who I believed were nothing like me. There was no “grand plan” for someone like me; only mistakes.

Here I was, 21 years old, dropped off at a treatment center. I was petrified, angry, and unable to imagine a life of sobriety. To me, a life without alcohol was a colossal mistake. Through her own series of mistakes, I met Marsha Stone who just happened to be in the same facility in which I had ended up.

I thought I was different than the rest of these drunks in treatment, but I decided Marsha seemed “normal” enough. I could relate with her, and I slowly began to trust her. One morning I was expressing to Marsha my resistance to the idea of being completely sober. I did not want to let go of my ever-comforting and ever-destructive solution. I will never forget the look on Marsha’s face as she earnestly cautioned me: “Caitlin, You are going to die from this disease”. For the first time I believed her. In that moment, my delusion that I could manage and control my drinking was smashed. The idea that I was different, that everything was just a big misunderstanding, vanished with those few stern words. For the first time, I became willing to start doing things differently. These things seemed small at first, things like saying a prayer in the morning and at night, telling the truth, and meeting with a sponsor to work through the Twelve Steps.

These actions seemed trivial at the time, but looking back I know that they were the beginning of something beautiful. Each time I followed the simple instructions people like Marsha presented for me, I chipped away at the belief that I was a mistake, that my life was a mistake, and that nothing could fix the mess I made. It took guts to follow these simple instructions. It took guts to let go of my own solution, but I continued to do it, one step at a time.

Three years into my recovery I was given a speaker tape. I listened to a powerful message from the man on the tape. “How free do you want to be?” this man asked. The question begged an answer that invigorated me and inspired me to give away the gift of sobriety I had received. I called my old friend Marsha, who was now living in Texas, to share my excitement. I came to find that Marsha was working at Benchmark Recovery Center, the facility founded by the man on the tape, Mark Houston. What a coincidence, I thought to myself. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, right?

Fast forward to spring of last year, six years after what I believed to be the biggest mistake of my life. My friend Marsha called and asked if I would be interested in working for Benchmark Recovery Center. And that is the genius of it all. All of the “mistakes” that led me to a treatment center at twenty-one put me on a path to that phone call. The guts that it took to let go of my old life, to be willing to try something new brought me to that moment. There was something bigger going on the whole time whether I believed it or not.

I have been given the opportunity to work for a program in which I truly and wholeheartedly believe. Benchmark Recovery Center brings in people like me; people who believe only in mistakes, and offers them something better. My job is to spread the message that literally saved my life. Today I am able to share my “mistakes” with other addicts and families as I guide them toward a solution. The Big Book says that my “painful past may be of infinite value to families still struggling (p. 124). I spend each day reminding others and myself what this journey has taught me – there are no mistakes, only guts and genius.

BRC #DreamTeamCaitlin Stowell
Business Development Specialist/Southeast Region
BRC Business Development Team