Do You Really Want To Get Sober? Choosing Alcohol Rehab In Austin, Texas

alcohol rehab AustinThere is no shame in admitting that you have an alcohol problem, and that you need help. In fact, it is empowering. However, the statistics on this particular problem are pretty bleak. Only about 15% of people who have a problem actually seek help, and out of that number, only 5% are able to achieve a life of sobriety. This means that it is very important that you seek the right help. But how do you choose a facility for alcohol rehab in Austin, TX? Here are a few things to help you get started on the road to recovery.

What Type of Treatment Do They Offer?

The first thing you need to look at is the type of treatment the facility offers. Research tells us that people need to achieve at least four years of sobriety before it is more likely that they will remain sober for the rest of their lives. Hence, a facility that only offers detox or a short period of rehab may not be suitable for you. In fact, the best facilities are those that offer a combination of treatments, culminating in a sober living house.

“Sustained abstinence typically requires a stable, alcohol- and drug-free living environment. Without this type of environment, recovery can become difficult and even the most motivated individuals may become derailed on their way to recovery. Sober living houses (SLHs) are alcohol- and drug-free living environments for individuals who are attempting recovery.”

Is Treatment Personalized?

Another thing that is very important is that you find a facility that personalizes the treatment they offer you. Every person who has this issue is a unique individual. This means that if they follow a “one size fits all” package, it is unlikely that the program will succeed. You need to make sure, therefore, that the center is able to assess your individual needs and that they devise a treatment plan that is just right for you.

“This study is another important step toward personalized treatments for alcohol dependence,” says Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which funded the study. “A personalized approach based on a person’s genetic makeup is increasingly being investigated for delivering optimum treatment to the ‘right’ patient.”

What About the Financial Side?

If money were no object, you would be able to get round the clock, high quality care when and where you require it. Unfortunately, for most people money is actually a very big concern. Luckily, with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, it is likely that your medical insurance will cover at least some of your treatment. Additionally, Texas is making concerted efforts to ensure everybody is able to access treatment if they need it. However, you do have to ask the important financial questions, so you know where you stand. Do remember that finances should not be the driving factor in your decision. Your recovery is the most important thing. Choosing not to enroll in a facility because of expenses involved could cost you a whole lot more.

Get Recommendations

Finally, you should always try to get recommendations for the different treatment facilities that are out there. There are two great places to go. Firstly, your family physician and, secondly, the internet. Online, you will be able to find a range of reviews and testimonials and you can search through these in complete anonymity. If you are not ready to tell the world that you have a problem yet, being able to stay hidden is very important. However, an important part of your recovery process is admitting you have a problem and if you do, it is likely that your friends and members of your family will be more than happy to help you find a rehab center as well.

Choosing Alcohol Rehab In Austin, Texas

Vulnerability is the New Black

Drug Treatment Center Austin Laura Swann, my friend and the Clinical Director of the new BRC Clinical Center, participated recently in the Brene Brown training held in San Antonio. Brene Brown is an American scholar, author, and public speaker. Over the last twelve years she has been involved in research on a range of topics, including vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

I have been thinking about a phrase I heard somewhere recently, “vulnerability is the new black”. I’m not quite sure what it means but it stuck with me. Is it that we should all be more vulnerable? Is this a short season of vulnerability? Or is it simply that we are all waking up to the fact that we all, deep down inside, have the same fears and feelings, and it’s the act of pretending that we don’t, that separates us and causes discord?

Those that are close to me know that this blog was initially a one-time request. It turned into an ongoing assignment, and now has evolved into a labor of love, of sorts, that allows me to talk about the goings on in my life and how they’re connected to my recovery. I’ve often said there’s no distinction between where my job ends and my life begins. I prefer it this way. It is important for me to be the same person to everyone in my life. Transparent, authentic, and yes – vulnerable.

I have heard throughout my recovery that we are spiritual beings struggling with the human experience. This resonates with me. The Big Book reminds me that, “because of my own experiences I can be uniquely useful to other alcoholics.” (Pg. 89)

But how does this actually happen? How can the God in me connect with the God in others? By the purposeful creation of an honest space for this miracle, through the simple act of letting down the walls and allowing, even inviting, vulnerability.

BRC Recovery CenterHaving said that…thanks for allowing me to share my journey through this blog. Be well, and as vulnerable as you possibly can be. #TYG

Marsha Stone, CEO

Alcohol Treatment Centers In Texas: Is 30 Days Enough?

30-Day-Program-QuestionedMany alcohol treatment centers in Texas only provide treatment for 30 days. However, is this really enough? Experts agree that this is insufficient. When we understand the facts that studies have consistently found, that it takes four years of sobriety before someone is likely to achieve long-term recovery, 30 days seems like a drop in the ocean. Let’s take a look at why 30 days of treatment is not sufficient for treating the disease of addiction.

Short Term Rehab and Relapse

During short term rehab, patients are often rushed through the system. Treatment facilities, for all their best intentions, are simply under pressure to detox someone, give them as much counseling as possible and then send them on their way again, causing many of those who attend short-term rehab end up relapsing soon after. Unfortunately, many people leave rehab and return straight to their past behavior. The relapse rate is said to be between 40% and 90% in the initial month following rehab.

This shows how severe the disease of addiction is. Additionally, you have to look at this from the psychological perspective of the person with a drinking problem. Imagine, someone who has mustered up the courage to ask for help, only to quickly relapse. Approximately 15% of people that complete a 30 day program seek additional treatment after relapsing. However, by offering longer treatment options, the chances of someone relapsing are greatly reduced.

Why Do Short Term Rehab Facilities Exist?

If short-term rehab has proven to be less successful than long-term treatment, then why do so many facilities offer 30-day programs? Believe it or not, the responsibility for that problem lies squarely with the insurance companies. Different insurance companies offer different contract terms for treatment and services.

Insurance companies determine the length of stay for patients to be covered for treatment, often covering only 30 days and refusing payment if any further treatment is requested. Since rehab facilities are generally privately-owned and for-profit organizations, they have no choice but to offer 30 day treatment programs if they want to accept insurance from their clients. At the very least, treatment facilities are able to reach some people with this, rather than none should they refuse to conform to the demands of the insurance companies. However, they know that these services have proven to be ineffective long-term.

The Stages of Rehabilitation

Many people don’t quite understand just how much hard work rehabilitation requires, regardless of the particular substance of abuse. It starts with a five-day period of detoxification minimum, which can actually be longer with those who have drinking problems as they often cannot quit cold turkey without risking their lives. After that has been completed, the patient must be physically and psychologically assessed.

“Over the past 30 years, several studies have shown that alcohol use disorders often co-occur with certain mood and anxiety disorders. In fact, the National Comorbidity Survey found in 1997 that alcoholics were two to three times more likely than non-alcoholics to also have an anxiety disorder.”

Although diagnosing a patient need not take too long, it would be impossible to say that each of these problems could be “fixed” in the remaining 25 days (if someone only had five days of detox). When the diagnosis has been completed, therapy will start. Generally, patients undergo cognitive behavior therapy, group therapy and family therapy. This continues on throughout the program, after which patients should be provided with a 12-step program as well as a sober living accommodation. There is no way this could be done in just 30 days.


Mangoes and God

NelsonIt’s that time again. The family vacay! Suitcases, sunscreen, backpacks, iPads, chargers, boarding passes, passports, etc., all combined with the minor irritations, sibling rivalry, and squabbles that come with the territory. Ohhhh the joys of travel with children…

By the time we arrived in Nosara, Costa Rica, I felt pretty exhausted. The two hour ride from Liberia to Playa Guiones ends with a bumpy dirt road and a landscape dotted with native people, livestock, bicycles and ATVs. The contrast from where I was going and where I landed is extreme. Basically, the hustle and bustle of life comes to a screeching halt. I felt a little fear that ten days in Central America might have been a tad ambitious!

Some friends invited us to their ranch for an afternoon horseback ride. Sounded promising. After about half hour the sky darkened and the thunderclouds rolled in. Our guide motioned us down a path to a small stucco structure that I later learned was the home of a ranch hand and his wife. The sky opened up, and in five minutes we were drenched as we dismounted and walked into the front door.

And then I met Nelson. With his dark brown skin and huge infectious smile he proudly showed my family and me around his home. With its concrete floor and rooms partitioned off with fabric hung from the ceiling. His shower constructed of a water hose attached to the ceiling in the back corner of his kitchen. His outdoor toilet. His kitchen, consisting of a Bunsen burner and an ancient corn grinder. And his bedroom that he shares with his young bride consisting of a mattress lying on the floor.

Suddenly I was still. Suddenly the hustle and bustle of life and pre-vacation chaos melted away. As I began to communicate with Nelson through our guide and ask him questions about his life, I was present to the moment. As he showed me how to grind corn to make tortillas I was awake to life, at last. As he reached up to his shelf that held his two and only two mangoes and proudly took one down and insisted I take it, I was aware of the presence of my Creator.

The Big Book tells us that “deep down within every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God.” (Page 55)

Marsha_Blog_Mangoes-and-GodI’m pretty sure Nelson knows all about this, without ever cracking the book. I’m grateful I got the chance to see it, but more importantly, to feel it. #TYG

Marsha Stone, CEO
Benchmark Recovery Center

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