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Extended Care Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery

Mark’s Story – Father and Daughter Reunited

Behind every resident that enters an addiction recovery center is a story of lives destroyed, broken promises, hurt, pain, and suffering.  Tens of thousands of individuals enter drug and alcohol treatment centers every year, becoming, to many, just another “statistic.”  It isn’t until we take a snapshot into the individual lives affected by drugs and alcohol abuse that it becomes clear just how much pain is woven into each of those “statistics.”

“It’s a morbid thing. It’s a horrible thing…I was under the influence. I loved her. I loved your mother. I was just trying to stop her. I didn’t know I was killing her at the time. I didn’t know that’s what was happening.”

Mark & Dr. Phil Discuss the ground rules before reuniting with Erica

Mark speaks earnestly to his daughter Erika about the day he murdered her mother
When Erika contacted the Dr. Phil show asking him to help her find her drug addicted father who brutally murdered her mother more than 20 years prior, Dr. Phil’s private investigators tracked him down.  They found him in a miserable state, addicted to cocainemethamphetamines, and heroin and living alone in an apartment.  In order to reunite with his daughter, Mark was told that he would have to successfully complete a drug addiction recovery center program and Mark was willing to take that journey.

“When you called me the day you went to rehab, and you said, ‘Hey, Erika, this is your dad, and I love you.’ You don’t know what that meant to finally hear that.”

Erika talks openly her father who she hasn’t seen in 20 years
The show chose to send Mark to Benchmark Recovery Center in order to sober up and regain control of his life so the he would be in a position to talk with his daughter.  The last time he had seen her she was just 2 years old.  The last time she saw him was the day he tortured and shot her mother as she stood by.

Erica & Mark discuss the murder of Erica's mother with Dr. Phil

Mark’s drug addiction had taken over his life and robbed him of his dignity and integrity.  After serving years in prison for his crime physically free of drugs, he fell back under the control of his addiction upon release.  He had never learned how to stay clean and sober with power in his life while living his life.

This is the very problem that Benchmark Recovery Center exists to solve.  While shorter term clinical treatment centers allow the body to detox and introduce residents to the principals of the twelve-step program and recovery, many people continue to relapse.  There are many reasons why relapse happens again and again to a certain segment of alcoholics and addicts and the Benchmark Recovery Center is addressing some of those reasons.

Erika wanted to have a relationship with her father—she had never known either of her parents.  In order for Mark to have a chance at salvaging any relationship with his daughter, he knew he would have to get sober and remain sober.

“He killed my mother on drugs…How do I know you’re not capable of doing the same to me on drugs? You may get mad at me one day, on drugs, and do the same to me.”

Erika tells Dr. Phil and Mark her fears about rebuilding a relationship with her father
Mark spent a little over two months in Benchmark Recovery’s home-style ranch environment nestled in peaceful Texas hill country.  There he and the 19 other residents in his program were able to work all the steps, learn about daily disciplines designed to help them remain sober and meet life head on, experience  proper nutrition and an exercise routine designed to bring strength back to their physical bodies.

The 90-day recovery program allows men to experience the difficult journey to permanent recovery, not just to understand the cognitive aspects of recovery.  Mark and the other residents discovered and practiced the disciplines of the 10th and 11th steps of recovery and engaged in productive habits such as goal setting, learning financial sanity, and living an authentic life—one where what they feel on the inside is in tune with what they project on the outside.

Mark prepares to reunite with Erica

When Mark had completed the program, he was ready to meet his daughter on the Dr. Phil show.  The reunion became incredibly emotional when Dr. Phil forced him to relive the events of the murder through the eyes of his children.  Though Erika desperately wanted to connect with her father, her sister Rachel who was 4 years old at the time of her mother’s murder was not willing to forgive so easily and made her feelings known.

After a heated discussion where Mark stormed off the stage, the broken family came through the storm and back together to discuss how they could heal their relationship.  Both desperately wanted to know each other again and both agreed that drugs would have to remain completely out of Mark’s life for that to happen.

Click here to read more of Mark’s story and watch clips of Mark and Erica on the Dr. Phil show.

If you have lost control of your life because of drug or alcohol and have relapsed after completing a clinical treatment program, help is available.  Please consider taking the journey to permanent sobriety at Benchmark Recovery Center.  If you are ready to reclaim your life, contact us immediately at 1-866-905-4550.