Kari is a residential and transitional living program graduate from New Roads Treatment Center. Kari came to New Roads after a long bout with her heroin addiction that followed her father’s suicide. Upon her arrival Kari knew she had a long road ahead of her with a lot of hard work but was willing to tackle the task head on.
During her almost one year stay at New Roads Kari worked with her primary therapist, Dr. Don Beck, and the entire New Roads team to build a healthy future. She was able to celebrate her father’s life on the anniversary of his suicide sober for the first time with the support of the New Roads’ community. She mended important family relationships and was fortunate to gain her independent identity free from substances.
Kari now has a career with the United States Postal Service, a home of her very own and healthy, sober relationships. We are so proud of Kari and pleased to see how wonderfully she is succeeding in her sober life!
One of the more key aspects to long term recovery for addiction is education. At New Roads we make sure our clients are not only aware of their own afflictions, but of an overview of addiction and mental health. This ranges from national statistics on substance abuse to the very warning signs of early abuse.
What would you tell an addict about addiction, or getting help?
That is such a hard question because everybody is so different. I would just tell them that there is a better way to live. Whatever they are using to lose themselves is not the answer, whatever pain they have can be resolved. I know they are just surviving no matter what their level of addiction, if they are functioning with it they are still just surviving, not living. I would tell them to take a chance and trust someone.
What is your definition of addiction?
I don’t know that I have ever had one. I have seen people completely lost in their addiction and they only use once a week. I have seen perfectly functioning people that use everyday that aren’t addicts. To me addiction is a diagnosable condition when the individual has only one priority for the day or week – to remove themselves from whatever reality they are living in.
What are some very telling signs a person is in trouble?
People can hide addiction fairly well for long periods of time. However, in the end whatever substance they are using will take over their life. It really depends on the substance to see physical signs of abuse, however no matter what they are using there are usually some behavioral, emotional, or mental symptoms. I would look for any changes in lifestyle or odd behaviors, look for significant amounts of time the person can’t be accountable for, look for drop in work production or wanting to be social.
What would you tell the loved ones trying to get help?
I would tell them to be strong and to remain hopeful. I would remind them that the addict has to understand there is a problem, all enabling has to be removed. To get help for someone all of their loved ones have to have a unified front. And I would tell them it may not just take one time at a drug treatment center, it can be a long process and just keep supporting.
What is your view on effective and ineffective treatment?
I strongly believe that the treatment has to be individualized. What works for one person may not work for another. A dedicated and invested staff is essential to effective treatment. From the graveyard shift support staff all the way to the CEO of the program, every employee must take an engaged role in each and every client trying to better themselves and their life. There can be no chinks in the armor.
What questions would you ask or what would you look for in a program?
I would want to know the credentials of both the program and the staff. I would want to know if they stay connected with their graduates and if they are active in the addiction community. I would ask if they have made any significant changes in treatment approaches and what the morale of the current community is. I would want to talk to some past graduates and get a clients perspective on the program.
What makes a program different, special?
The employees are the heart and soul of any program. As long as you find a treatment approach that best fits your needs the staff is what will really set it apart. It is important to be able to form strong and trusting bonds with your treatment professionals. Of course extravagant food, activities, and scenery are always nice tooJ
What are your personal views on length of stay?
I understand that most people want to be in and out of treatment in 3 or 4 weeks and be done with addiction forever. That is unrealistic, understand that you are changing how you live, who you associate with, your entire lifestyle. This takes real world tools to make this happen. It is something that is extremely difficult to essentially teach yourself in a short period of time. The longer time you have for this the better chance for long term sobriety.
One of the most difficult aspects to measure a drug treatment center by is successful outcomes. Although every program has a good idea of how many of their clients complete their program or graduate versus how many don't. This can be a good indicator of a caring staff at a program, but not so much for long term positive outcomes. We understand how important this idea of successful long term sobriety is to families seeking help for a loved one. We encourage all of our graduates to keep and touch and let us know how they are doing so we can get an idea how are program is affecting clients in the long term and if changes need to be made.
Meet Ray Russo, he came to New Roads Residential Treatment Center from Rhode Island after multiple failed attempts at treatment and a very serious heroin overdose. Resulting of his most recent overdose Ray suffered extreme memory loss and was desperate for change. He knew he wanted to better himself and that he did.
Ray spent more than a year completing New Roads’ residential, transitional living and outpatient programs. Through his journey in treatment he built lasting friendships, repaired relationships with his family, resolved legal issues and built a solid foundation for a fulfilling and sober life.
Today, Ray lives in Salt Lake City with his girlfriend. He has a career working for Elevated Billing Solutions, a company that specializes in insurance billing for substance abuse and mental health services. This allows Ray to give back by advocating to obtain funding for individuals in need of the very treatment that he says saved his life. We couldn’t be more proud of Ray for his successes!
The LOA Fund is an amazing organization that will be a valuable resource for our community for years to come.
The event on April 18th honored the late Dr. Keith Hooker and had over 250 guests. A delicious meal was provided by Chef Julia and her staff at Catering for the Cause. Thank you to Julian Trupe, Chris Supor, Brooks Anderson and Adison Connors as well as the wrest of the staff at Catering for the Cause for helping the LOA fund pull off a successful event.
By Chef Julia Simonsen
Spring is finally here. The weather undoubtedly is the best part. However, I get excited with the anticipation of all the fruits and vegetables that come in season. The first on the scene is the artichoke. I am always amazed at how many people have never tried and eaten an actual artichoke before. I am not talking about the cheesy dip with chips you have all learn to love at your local corner chain restaurant, but the whole artichoke. As it stands alone. Eaten as a vegetable. Here are some simple instruction on how to prepare, cook and eat these beautiful green bulbs. Leaf by beautiful leaf! Our residential addiction treatment clients enjoy this recipe and you will too!
1. Take a kitchen scissors and cut of the thorned tips of all of the leaves.
2. Slice about 1 inch off the tip of the artichoke.
3. Remove and any smaller leaves at the base of the stem.
4. Cut excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke.
5. Rinse the artichokes in running cold water.
6. In a large pot, put a couple inches of water and a whole lemon sliced. Insert a steaming basket. Add the artichokes. Cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.
7. Pull off outer petals, one at a time. Artichokes may be eaten cold or hot, but I think they are much better hot. They are served with a dip, either melted butter or mayonnaise. Mayo with a little balsamic vinegar mixed in, is delicious.
8. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulp, yummy portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal. Continue until all the petals are removed.
9. Once you get to the heart…with a spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the "choke") The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and eat.
Everyone loves a good success story, right? Well we at New Roads absolutely love to see our clients graduate the program and go on to lead successful, fulfilling lives. Many of our alumni keep in contact and provide us with updates as to what is going on in their life. Just recently, New Road’s graduate Eli Waldrip contacted his former therapist Anna Marasco, who was more than pleased to hear all about how well he is doing!
Post-graduation Eli moved back to his hometown of Soldotna, Alaska. He loves his new sober life and putting his recovery first. Eli moved back to Soldotna to re-unite with his ex-wife Hannah and their adorable daughter Kali. Eli is even coming up for promotion at his job as an oil field painter. Eli is now nearly 9 months clean and sober and as happy as can be. We at New Roads could not be more proud of this graduate!
We encourage all of our clients at New Roads to keep in contact with us after they graduate. We want to know if they are doing well and what they are doing in life or if they are struggling and need a little extra help. Since August of 2009 New Roads has been building a community of support through graduates and professionals all working to the same goal of long term addiction recovery.
C- comparisons to others the same or less fortunate than oneself; recasting one's situation in a more positive light
Corey Markisich, Outpatient Director at New Roads Treatment Centers was recently interviewed about the recent epidemic of suicide in some smaller Utah county's. He was able to give some insight into the problem and help set up some processes for possible long term solutions.
Markisich has been very helpful in getting the community resources together for a March suicide prevention forum in Helpe, Utah. He was quoted:
"There are so many factors that contribute to depression and suicide, from stress, depression and substance abuse to anxiety an other factors, people need to know that there is help and they don't need to end their lives," he said. "We have to stop the idea that suicide is the only way out."
For the full article and interview visit Carbon County's leading newspaper online at: http://www.sunad.com/index.php?tier=1&article_id=27311