With upwards of 15,000 substance abuse treatment facilities in the U.S., it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you or a loved one. One of the best ways to choose the right treatment program is to consider the facilities certifications. A seal of approval from the Joint Commission (JCAHO) is considered the highest award available


As addicts, drugs and alcohol take over our actions, as well as our thoughts. The “great obsession” of using liquefies any desire to pursue interests that we either used to love or might find enriching to our lives. Refreshed and renewed, many of us feel the overwhelming need to replenish our desires with healthy actions. And this is where the concept of a new #drugofchoice is formulated.

November 23, 2015 Marissa ObrienRecovery

Home for the holidays

Going home for the holidays can be stressful enough without the pressure of also being in recovery. You are re-introduced to people you have known for years, or your whole life, who likely have the ability to get under your skin even without the subject of addiction in the equation.

There are a lot of situations that may elicit a spiral of emotions, especially if you are from a family of drinkers, or if you expect to be confronted with those who maybe don’t understand your journey, or maybe even people who harbor resentments against you from your drinking or using days. Even just the environment of being home with your family and friends can trigger emotions of your past.

So this year, if you’re headed home for your first sober holiday, or have spent years in recovery, cultivate new traditions and a feeling of serenity by remembering some of these helpful tips.

Create New Traditions

The sensations of being home – the smells, the décor, the people – can activate a flood of emotions, both good and bad, for anyone. It’s normal to feel stressed. If you experience this, or expect to, try and start a new holiday tradition that will empower your life change. Invite other members of your recovery circle to a special pre-holiday gathering, or do the same with a group of friends who you can reminisce around without drinking or using. Beginning new traditions that make you feel comfortable and happy will help to create new memories to look forward to for future holidays.

Be of Love & Service

Nothing will take away your spiritual growth quicker than acting out on your expectations of other’s or their negativity. If you’ve lived away for some time, they may not know what to expect. Prove them all wrong and leave the holiday feeling empowered and with a great sense of gratitude by being of love and service. Offer to help when help is needed. Answer questions they may have or share in the joys of your sobriety. Time and open communication has the remarkable power of helping to change relationships and perceptions. If you’re working an honest program and living in the principles of the 12 steps, your loved ones will gradually let go of negative perceptions and see the authentic, and improved you.

Empathize With Your Family

Relatives can be more difficult than anything to deal with when you’re in recovery, as long-term familial relationships often have naturally born tensions, plus your family members are more likely to have known your behaviors, or have felt the consequences of your actions when you were using. Remember it will take your family longer to recognize and accept your growth. It’s important to empathize with how they’re feeling too, and give them the time and space necessary to see your growth.

Addressing Your Recovery

Many of us have experienced stinging memories of holidays gone by, when we were less than cheerful to be around, or perhaps missed the holidays altogether because of our lifestyle. So deciding to get sober may not be something you readily want to talk about, especially with family and close friends who have known you only during your addiction. Remember that you don’t have to be on the defensive, shut down, or explain your whole story either. Simply saying that you don’t drink any longer is enough to relieve yourself from the built up tension that may have accumulated. Often it is better to be upfront, and authentic about where you are at than to try and talk around the issue.

Don’t feel obligated to explain your journey. Compassionate friends and family members will accept your explanation, whatever it may be as long as it comes from a place of sincerity. Those who do not understand your journey are not entitled to an explanation – you are not required to deliver that. Remember, in this circumstance, now being sober and working a program of recovery, you have your own set of choices. If certain people, situations or conversations are making you feel anxious, then it’s an indicator to find a little quiet space. Go for a walk, maybe with a family member you can talk to. This will help to dissolve the stress of the situation.

Making Amends

This may also be a time you see those who were on your 4th step. If you never made a proper amends, there is no greater feeling than to take a moment and simply say, “If there is anything I have done in the past to hurt you, or to make you feel uncomfortable, I want to take this moment to apologize.” Believe it or not, this simple statement has the power to absolve you of the guilt or resentment both you and the other harbor for one another. They will see, if you are working a solid program of recovery, that your change in character and growth is real.

Dealing with Drinkers

It’s more than likely that there will be drinking at holiday gatherings. Even if the great obsession of drinking has lifted, these occasions may still rattle you. If you recognize that you’re feeling anxious around drinking, reel your emotions back in by leaving the conversation, taking a walk or hanging out with others who are not drinking.

 Remember Your Tools

It’s easy when we are around family members and those we have known most of our lives to be easily coerced into arguing or acting out. These are temperaments you have more than likely worked on suppressing in your sobriety. Don’t let old behaviors, and personalities drag you to a point of acting in a way that does not coexist with your program. Instead, utilize the tools you’ve embraced in recovery to help get you back to a comfortable place.

Plan to visit at least 1 meeting while you’re away. If you’re feeling anxious about visiting a meeting too close to home, perhaps consider one a few towns away. Finding local support is an incredible confidence booster for the occasion, and will help for future holidays. Also, always keep your sponsor in close proximity with a quick phone call once a day. Even leaving a message is empowering enough to start the day confidently. Plan your stay with a few occasions, like visiting friends for coffee or going on a shopping or to a movie. These non-threatening activities are the perfect kinds of gatherings and offer time to catch up.. Also, if you’re active, take the time to exercise: go on a run, visit the gym or take a yoga class. This is not just a time to increase your endorphins, it will help give you head space to meditate and also fill your schedule so you eliminate idle time while away.

Think of your homecoming for the holidays as an opportunity, not an obligation. Letting the fear take over your serenity will limit the growth potential of this moment. Envision leaving the holiday weekend with a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that you used your program to squash the stress of the occasion. This is one of the joys of recovery, when we can arrive to the occasion being our best selves, and affect the outcome. You cannot control the actions, thoughts or emotions of others, but you can direct their perceptions in order to build a new bridge connecting your loved ones to your new self.

GLOUCESTER — Chief Leonard Campanello and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken are pleased to announce that The Hope Center For Rehabilitation in Florida is joining the Gloucester Police Department’s ANGEL Initiative.

As of Tuesday morning, 137 people have been placed into treatment programs by The Gloucester Initiative since June 1, when the program began. 

The Gloucester ANGEL program allows people who suffer from addiction to turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest. Those in need of help are put into treatment programs as opposed to jail cells. The policy went into effect last month in an effort to address a growing opioid epidemic and to reduce the number of overdoses in Massachusetts. Click here to view the official police policy document.

“It’s an honor to be joining The Gloucester Initiative to help make a positive difference in people’s lives,” said James Durkin, CEO of The Hope Center For Rehabilitation. “We are committed to guiding our guests along their path to recovery, and in turn, allowing them to make a complete 360-degree turn into a new, healthy lifestyle.”

Chief Campanello and businessman John Rosenthal have launched The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) — a new nonprofit organization created in response to Gloucester’s revolutionary drug addiction program and the immediate positive feedback from local, state and national organizations.

Both Chief Campanello and Mayor Romeo Theken are pleased to be expanding The Gloucester Initiative’s dedicated team of partner treatment centers by adding The Hope Center to the program.

About The Hope Center For Rehabilitation

Based on Boynton Beach, Fla., The Hope Center For Rehabilitation, provides a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment. This includes professional interventions, medically assisted detox, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive outpatient rehabilitation and outpatient services.

The Hope Center also offers group activities, including kayaking, zip lining, beach trips, movie nights, paddle boarding, gym membership, snorkeling and wakeboarding. Transitional housing units are provided for both men and women, known as Magnolia Place. Each gender-specific home offers state-of-the-art amenities for clients looking to continue living in a safe, 12-step supported environment with like-minded individuals for up to nine months after treatment. Staff offers part-time supervision to help guests transition as they embark on their post-treatment plan.

Reinvigorating Your Spiritual Foundation in Recovery

When I was early in sobriety, I once heard a man share at a meeting that he “would give up his 30 years for anyone’s 3 months.” At the time I can’t say I really understood what he meant because I so envied his achievement. But today, that message was loud, clear and on point.

He was referring to the “Pink Cloud” stage that many people reach in sobriety. Its’ a multifaceted state of mind when the drugs and alcohol have left you for long enough that you can feel again and are beginning to really connect with other sober supports. At this phase, the Big Book starts to really make sense and more than likely your relationship with yourself and your loved ones is improving after years, or maybe even decades of neglect.

It’s similar to the felling you get when you’re first in love or have reached a lifelong goal. You have a sense of peace, accomplishment, security and blind faith in this beginning phase of real recovery. But like love, the feelings fade over time and moments of enlightenment become less frequent. Perhaps you’ve noticed yourself pulling away from regular meetings you used to attend, or are calling your sponsor less or maybe you’re just feeling more disconnected from your program.

I can tell you almost everyone at some point “loses the magic”, if you ever achieved it at all. If you’re left looking back longingly on the days when your spiritual connection was thriving, here are some ways to reignite the passion for your program.

1. Go To A Meet You’ve Never Been To Before
Typically our regular meetings, like all routines, start to feel redundant. But with thousands of meeting going on every day throughout the country, there is always a new group to introduce yourself to and to be inspired by. One of my favorite things to do when I’m in a new city is to make it to at least 1 meeting while I’m there. Each new meeting is an opportunity to network and hear an inspirational message. It’s also a great way to expand on your support network. And today, finding a meeting close by has never been easier. Download the Meeting Finder app onto your phone to locate a meeting anywhere in the world based on your location. Intergroup will also provide you with the latest meeting information. Visit for information to contact your local intergroup office.

2. Raise Your Hand To Be A Sponsor
The whole sponsor relationship thing is a little daunting, for both sponsors and sponsees. Overcoming your fear to ask someone to sponsor you takes motivation and courage. To raise your hand and offer your help to someone newly sober also takes guts. But the reward is profound. Do you remember what it felt like in early sobriety to have someone answer your daily phone call, meet with you to go over your steps and give you support and advice when you just didn’t know what to do? The spiritual reward of helping someone else early in sobriety will open so many doors back into your own journey early on, and allow you to freely share the gift you’ve been given. It’s our fellowships way of paying it forward. Sponsoring other men or women will help you grow further in your program, helping elevate you to a new “Pink Cloud” of your own.

3. Read Through Your 4th Step Again
You spent weeks or months writing a 4th step. This list of character defects, resentments and people you may have harmed is like your very own golden diary. In your 5th step you were able to release all of these fears that were holding you back from transcending to the next level of acceptance and change. Over time, we’re taught to quell these defects by practicing steps 10 and 11 on a daily basis. But if you’ve noticed that some of your defects begin popping up now and then, don’t be frustrated. We’re naturally apt to revert back to our instinctual nature. Take an evening to read through your 4th step. Remember, these moments or traits were part of a larger pattern. Take the lessons you discovered in your 5th step and try and make those adjustments on a daily basis. This will undoubtedly help bring you back to a more enlightened stage as you live vicariously through your step-work, connecting the feelings you had then with the growth you have now.

4. Go To A National Convention
When you attend a national convention of any sort, whether it’s work or hobby related, you’re making an investment in your understanding and growth in that area. When you attend a 12-step fellowship gathering, you’re making an investment also in your spiritual bank account. Thousands of people join together for a few days of saturated learning where guests have the unique experience of hearing inspirational stories, attending specifically designed workshops in addition to enjoying fun networking events. It is almost guaranteed you will leave reinvigorated. There are a number of conferences held around the country, and around the world every year. Start by checking out the events calendar at (the International Journal of AA). If you’re young and in recovery, The International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (ICYPAA) is an excellent event for you, bringing young AA members together from around the country. The conference will be holding it’s 57th gathering this September in Miami. Visit for more details. For more events, Young People in Recovery has chapters throughout the country (who meet weekly) and host regional conferences. Find out about your local chapter and upcoming events at

5. Commit to a 90 in 90
When I first got sober (for good) I made a commitment to attend 90 meetings in 90 days because that’s what I was told helped countless people get started on their journey in sobriety. What happened was I made a powerful foundation for my own program. When you make a commitment to attend a meeting a day, you get to experience a variety of different meeting formats in different areas, each of which are made up of different people. The gift in this commitment is that you just have to show up, and the miracle is given to you. On any occasion, you are present to hear an enriching story, or connection with a new member. Over time, you create accountability with people and build on your sober support network. If you’ve been in recovery for a while, it’s an excellent way to get back to your foundational roots especially because at each meeting, there is a new message or be heard or a re triggering of one you’ve long since forgotten about.

You certainly aren’t going to adopt each of these suggestions in 1 day but it’s a great roadmap to begin working on in the year ahead. So break out your 4th step, plan to hit a meeting you’ve never been to before, check out some upcoming conventions and get ready to jump back on that pink cloud!

Music and Recovery

Music can be a powerful tool in recovery, in minutes touching the epicenter of our emotional core. They can elicit feelings of the past, of good and bad days gone by, or give us hope for the future. But ultimately, the right ones take us right were we need to be: eliciting the healing powers of a good beat and solid lyrics. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite songs to listen to for those who are struggling with addiction and those who have embraced a life of recovery.
1. Starting Over, Macklemore

The superstar, who is known for making powerfully written music with messages that hit our pop culture hard, released “Starting Over” to document his own experience with relapse. His lyrics document a truth for many addicts who attempt to get sober: that recovering from relapse is a hard pill to swallow and a tough road to walk down. For anyone struggling with relapse, this is a song rich with hope, as Macklemore famously says, “If I can be an example of getting sober, then I can be an example of starting over.”
2. It’s Been A While, Stained

Released in 2001, this chart topper doesn’t explicitly mention addiction except in 1 line. However, the message in the song most definitely relates to those in early recovery. The songwriter, Aaron Lewis, tells the story of someone reflecting on their past, living in regret and depression for their thoughts, feelings and actions. The song sheds light on many of the difficult feelings and consequences addicts face in early recovery after the absence of drugs and alcohol have made them feel again, a unique standpoint we haven’t seen in many other songs.
3. Breathe Me, Sia

Before Sia became the international pop star that we know her as today, she released the song “Breathe Me” in 2004, which you may have heard. This powerful song relates most with addicts who are in the midst of their disease, feeling lonely, weak and incapable of escaping themselves. So many people who need recovery fall into what seems like an endless circle of addiction, continually starting back at square 1. The lyrics are also relatable to those who suffer from other afflictions like food addiction and self-harming.
4. Everyone’s On It, Lilly Allen

Leave it to Lilly Allen to talk about a controversial issue: the prevalence of drug addiction, and twist it into a catchy euro-pop song. We love it! She gets right to the issue, explaining how drug dependency is affecting everyone both old and young, rich and poor. Allen sings “Why can’t we all just be honest. Admit to ourselves that everyone’s on it, from grown politicians to young adolescents, prescribing themselves anti-depressants”. She uses this song more specifically to exploit the reality that so many people are enabled to use prescription medication. Allen, who has very publicly had her own problems with addiction, makes this in-your-face jingle catchy with lines like “See your daughter’s depressed we’ll get her straight on the Prozac. But little do you know, she already takes crack”.
5. Hate Me, Blue October

This song, released in 2006, is completely unique in its message from the other songs we have on our list. It begins with a recording from the songwriter’s mother at the peak of his addiction, genuinely concerned for his wellbeing and coming from a place of love. His well-written words illustrate the grief we feel for our loved ones who suffer alongside us both during addiction and in recovery.
6. If The Breakman Turns My Way, Bright Eyes

The lead singer of Bright Eyes writes many songs about his struggles with addiction and experiences in recovery. This low key song elusively tells a story of listening to your inner voice and leaving for a place of respite and recovery from your daemons. Also, we think there is a unique correlation to the saving power of going to treatment. Lines like “All this automatic writing I have tried to understand, from a psychedelic angel who was tugging on my hand.

It’s an infinite coincidence but it doesn’t form a plan. So I’m headed for New England or the Paris of the South. Gonna find myself somewhere to level out”, make this one of our favorite unknown songs of recovery.
7. I’m Not Afraid, Eminem

We couldn’t complete our list without listing at least 1 seriously positive song about life in recovery, since after all achieving sobriety is one of the most positively life altering accomplishments one can attain. Also, we couldn’t end without announcing one of our favorite artists in recovery, Eminem. There are quite literally dozens of songs we could have chosen from any of his 8 albums, including his 2010 album titled “Recovery”. But we chose this song because of its positive message about the strength and support of the recovery community as well as a message of relief from the obsession of addiction that is achieved through a program of recovery.

Music is an extremely therapeutic tool for early recovery. In fact, some well-known artists have joined forces to build the movement “Rockers In Recovery”, a group of sober musicians who work together to spread the word of recovery through their music, hosting concerts throughout the country. To learn more about the organization or to catch one of their upcoming concerts, visit them at

For more information about The Hope Center for Recovery, and to learn about the unique therapy we offer including music therapy, call one of our team members 1.866.233.1869.

Cultivating A Lifetime of Success

The widespread use of recreational drugs, alcohol and prescription medication accessibility has had a crippling effect on our nation’s young population. Adolescents are now experimenting and abusing mind and mood altering drugs at an earlier and more rapid frequency than ever before.

Each day, it is estimated that almost 8,000 people experiment with their first drug. That equates to around 2.8 million new users a year. The majority of young people first experiment with marijuana, a gateway drug responsible for initiating the use of other deadly addictions like alcohol, amphetamines, prescription medications, synthetic drugs and heroin. This increase in use of our young population has created the need for more treatment centers catering to specialized adolescent drug recovery programs. In 2013, it was estimated that about 78,000 clients under the age of 18 were being treated for addiction therapy.

College Drug Use

This is not an affliction generalized to impoverished groups as once stigmatized. It is reported that college students represent the largest population experimenting with gateway drugs like marijuana, Adderall and Ritalin. Since 2008, the use of Adderall and Ritalin has doubled in this segment of young Americans, affecting over 10% of enrolled students. The rate of use for marijuana is the highest, around 36% of all students. And for alcohol use, it is estimated that 35% of college students are binge drinking as compared to just 31% of the non-college enrolled population. This high rate of use creates the illusion that drug and alcohol use is normal, when in fact it is creating a foundation of future addicts.

The best inpatient rehab facilities offer specialized programs for adolescents affected with such addictions, allowing them individualized treatment for this unique socio economic segment. Such facilities offer programs to instill life skills like balance, accountability, goal setting and achievement. At such a young age, it is important to instill lifelong teachings to this impressionable group. While in treatment, adolescents are able to continue their schooling by attending classes while discovering the lifelong benefits of following a 12-step program of recovery.

Attaining recovery at a young age and forming a foundation built upon the principles of sobriety is an unparalleled achievement to cultivate a lifetime of success, gratitude and self-discipline. If your child is in need of treatment from drug or alcohol abuse, call one of our team members at 1.866.233.1869 to learn more about our adolescent services.


After several months or years of consistent and solid recovery, you may find that you are becoming somewhat tired of the same old routine, regardless of how well it has served you. Attending the same meetings every week may increase the monotony of a steady job and balanced routine. As addicts and alcoholics, maintaining a steady routine for any extended period of time is likely far from the norm, and it is not uncommon for those used to the chaos of substance dependency to become somewhat restless when adhering strictly to a daily practice. Unfortunately, many who grow agitated or ‘squirrely’ in reference to their program eventually end up neglecting the fellowship altogether, or replacing beneficial daily practices with risky behaviors in order to keep themselves entertained. Rather than stick with the same 5 meetings every week and uphold the same service commitment for 2 years, below are several recommendations geared towards keeping your recovery energized and warding off the “same old, same old” blues.

Keeping Your Recovery Energized

Depending on where in the country you are living, you may or may not have access to a wide array of meetings from a variety of fellowships – some of the most common being Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Cocaine Anonymous. There are also fellowships for various behavioral addictions, including Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, and Codependents Anonymous. It just so happens to be the case that most alcoholics suffer from some degree of co-occurring disorder. Many addicts and alcoholics are also afflicted with codependency in some realm of their lives – arguably, all alcoholics are codependent upon alcohol and all addicts are codependent upon their drug of choice. Even if you do not completely identify as a codependent, finding an open meeting of Codependents Anonymous to attend may open your eyes to potentials you have never previously even considered. If you are having difficulties in romantic relationships or find yourself engaging in old behaviors relating to promiscuity, you may want to find a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting near you. Even if you are simply curious, an open meeting will not turn you away, and the likelihood that you will take valuable lessons away regardless is exceptionally high.

Switching Up Your Meetings and Getting Involved

Switching up your daily meetings is a great way to reenergize your recovery, but there are many other effective and easy ways as well. It is extremely important to have friends in recovery, seeing as a solid sober support network will come in handy not only when you need help personally, but when you are feeling bored and looking for some safe and fun friends to spend time with. While it is relatively simple to find a great group of people (usually your homegroup members) to go eat with after meetings, it can be somewhat difficult to make fun and enthusiastic friends that like to do more than sit around, drink coffee, and chain smoke. The best way to meet new people that like to have fun is by getting involved! Fellowships are constantly having picnics and bonfires and a slew of other events – sign up to volunteer for as many as you can. You are sure to meet other people who are both involved and fun-loving. No matter how bored you feel, remember that there is always a simple solution. So mix things up, have fun, and reenergize your recovery!

It seems as if the term “codependent” is thrown around quite loosely within the majority of recovery communities. The term has almost gained a somewhat slang definition, referring to someone who spends too much time with someone else or who does a favor for a friend. Very few truly understand the gravity of codependency, an unfortunate and potentially devastating mental state that has a 12-step fellowship all of its own based on the destructive role it has played in the lives of many. What is codependency really, and how do you know if you are personally afflicted?

Codependency Defined

Codependency is defined as “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction”. Under most cases of codependency is a core dependence on other people for approval and identity. The entire notion of codependency stems from the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, when the realization occurred that prolonged active addiction was not solely contributed to the addict him or herself, but also to his or her family members and loved ones. Al-Anon, founded 16 years after Alcoholics Anonymous in 1951, first popularized the concept of codependency in relation to the families of those suffering from substance dependency. The notion was even further popularized in 1986 with Melody Beattie’s novel, “Codependent No More”, which sold 8 million copies. Nowadays, codependency does not just refer to those involved with someone suffering from addiction – though the term is the most prevalent throughout recovery communities.

Codependency is currently referred to as ‘the disease of lost self’. It is characterized by caring feelings and behaviors that are excessive to an unhealthy degree, and a lack of conscious choice in motivation. Codependent relationships can be easily determined by blatant intimacy problems, control, denial, dysfunctional communication, dependency, inability to set boundaries, and a reactivity that tends to be higher than normal. Listed below are several typical symptoms of a codependent individual or relationship.

Symptoms Of A Codependent Individual or Relationship

  • Inability to tolerate being alone
  • Panicked efforts to avoid being alone
  • Unavoidable feelings of emptiness and intense boredom
  • Unstable interpersonal relationships
  • Intensity is all or most relationships
  • Neglecting one’s own needs in order to take care of the needs of others
  • Low sense of self-worth
  • An overwhelming desire for attention and acceptance

If you truly are suffering from codependent tendencies, you will likely notice a significant decrease in the quality of your own life. You will constantly feel uneasy, and only attain a feeling of peace when you are receiving praise and affection from the individual you are in a codependent relationship with. Still, you may never be quite satisfied. If you believe you are in a codependent relationship and need help in order to get out of it, we are here to assist you in any way necessary.

The Hope Center

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation offers a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment, including professional interventions, a luxury, medically assisted detox program, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive out-patient rehabilitation and out-patient services. Each of our clients become a part of our alumni program at the completion of their treatment to help foster a continued community of recovery.

Copyright by The Hope Center 2016. All rights reserved.