Drug Treatment in the Midst of Life

October 24, 2010

I visited the offices of I360 recently and was impressed by several things.  Most obvious was the intelligence and competence of Dr. Kevin Gilliland and his entire staff.  They think outside the box, while embracing the virtues of standard approaches like Alcoholics Anonymous.  They’re very positive about what they do without trash-talking anybody else’s approach.   They’re very unique, but not exclusive.  They dovetail with other treatment specialties around town and across the country.  This is clearly an upscale operation that is not just the same ol’ enchilada.  What do I mean by all this?  Read how staff member, Chris Epstein, describes their services:

Chemical dependency touches every aspect of a person’s life.  Addiction treatment has to help recovering addicts prepare for the multitude of challenges that await them.  I360 is different from other addiction treatment centers in that we help individuals build and apply the skills necessary to live a new life, free from alcohol and drugs. We take treatment outside of the traditional setting to make it personal and customized to your unique needs and situation. The following vignette gives an example of I360 in action:

Steve is a high level executive with XYZ Inc, a father of 3 boys, a husband to a wonderful wife, Pattie, for the past 15 years—and yet has been battling an addiction to alcohol.  He has seen how his addiction has affected multiple facets of his life. If Steve shows up to work drunk one more time he will lose his job.  His boys are embarrassed by dad’s angry outbursts at their Read the rest of this entry »


October 22, 2010

It’s good to see  other folks weigh in on guidelines for offering good apologies.  I wish I had this cartoon in April 2009 when I spoke in chapel at Dallas Theological Seminary and wrote a blog post on the topic.  Remley Gorsuch is the Team Support Coordinator at Peacemaker Ministries and wrote a blog post that offered Ken Sande’s thoughts . . . very much worth you read.  Thanks, Drake, for sending this to me.

Addiction Recovery

October 19, 2010

Sometimes individuals needs to get away from it all to focus all their energies on recovery from their addiction.  A ranch setting north of Dallas provides a pastoral setting to do just that.  I visited “Enterhealth” a few months ago and could not imagine a more attractive facility to work on the issues of drug and alcohol addiction that are quite unattractive.  Whether inside or out, this is a place where you can rest and reflect.  Click here for a more complete photo-tour.   I was impressed by two aspects of their program beyond the sheer beauty of the place: (1) medical attention is available 24-7 and (2) following discharge, online recovery tools 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world.  I asked their marketing director, Deborah Phillips, to highlight some of the aspects of the program that make it unique.  Here’s what she said:

Enterhealth: Personalized Addiction Disease Management

At Enterhealth, we offer a better a way to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.  With a personalized recovery plan that includes best-in-class addiction therapies, advanced anti-addiction medications and online continuing recovery support, we can address each individual’s unique needs.

Enterhealth succeeds where other methods have failed by approaching addiction as a chronic brain disease – utilizing traditional behavioral therapies while also taking into account the physical, psychological, neurological, relational and spiritual aspects of each person.

Enterhealth understands that addiction and the recovery process are different for each person. That’s why our comprehensive alcohol and drug treatment program is customized on an individual basis. We believe that each unique situation calls for an equally one-of-a-kind plan of action to achieve lifelong sobriety.

At Enterhealth, we treat the whole person, through an individualized approach, in every element of our recovery program. We offer a full range of personalized addiction disease management services from withdrawal stabilization (detoxification) to trauma resolution to co-existing conditions/dual diagnosis to after care and online recovery support.   We also have a two addiction psychiatrists on staff.

The Ranch: Renaissance in Recovery

At The Ranch, a premier adult residential treatment facility located just north of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we put all of the Enterhealth program elements into practice. In a comfortable, supportive environment, we blend the most effective science-based clinical tools with innovative psychotherapeutic techniques.  Our amenities, activities and services are combined with comprehensive support sessions hosted by experienced and caring staff.  We offer private rooms, 24-hour nursing supervision and numerous activities to keep you in shape during your stay.

Online Recovery Support Program

To enhance the recovery process, Enterhealth provides the support needed for lifelong recovery success, and helps make the transition from residential treatment back to everyday life just a little easier.  Our online recovery program can be used by clients and clients’ support networks (friends, family, therapists, etc.) long after discharge from residential support. Intended to prevent/predict relapse and supply the needed continuity of care, the e-learning recovery is meant to be used to enhance the effectiveness of any alcohol and drug addiction treatment program. This online resource is intended to prevent/predict relapse and supply the needed continuity of care on an ongoing basis so that should a client relapse, he/she can easily and quickly get the support needed to return to sobriety.

Rescued . . . Saved . . . Delivered

October 14, 2010

It’s more than coincidental that the language surrounding the rescue of 33 miners in Chile resonates with words you would hear at a Salvation Army Rescue Mission:

Saved from certain death . . .

Rescued from a prison . . .

Dependent on outside help.

This is the verbal picture the Bible uses to show us our spiritual state.

“While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”  (Romans 5:6)

“But God, . . . even when we were dead . . . made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with Him.”  (Ephesians 2:4)

Our condition is hopeless unless someone comes down to rescue us.  The essence of Christianity is that God became like us and came to us.  It is He who lifts us.  It is not we who make ourselves closer to Him.

At times like these, few people question their need for God.  Many express the importance of faith in a transcendent Power.  While we rejoice in the wonderful rescue of these 33 men, we ought to rejoice all the more in the wonderful salvation that Jesus offers all humanity.  God wants everyone to be saved.

Tattoos: a Cultural Statement

October 10, 2010


Ancient Marks: The Sacred Origins of Tattoos and Body Marking -- Chris Rainier


I’ve never really understood tattoos.  Where I grew up in New Jersey, I seldom saw a person with tattoos.  When I did, it was usually on a young guy who just came back for a tour of duty in the Army or Navy.  It looked painful to me.  And then, I wondered what you do with a girlfriend’s name after you get a new girlfriend!  So it was easy for me to take solace in the only biblical passage that addresses tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 — “You must not . . . incise a tattoo on yourself.”  But I’ve remained curious about what motivates people to make such permanent marks on their bodies.  The latest issue of Smithsonian (October 2010) is helping me understand this a little more.  It features an article on the photography of Chris Rainier, a protege of Andel Adams. (Don’t miss the video clip in this link.)

It’s about a statement of identity.  In the article he explains that they are saying “This is who I am, and what I have done.”  For the Dyak people of Borneo, “when we have lost our tattoos, we have lost our culture.”   So the motivation seems to be deeply rooted in personal identification with a particular culture.  I see this coming from a need to belong.  With regard to the present-day application of tattoos in America, Rainier believes that these individuals “want to carve out an identity in a chaotic postindustrial age by inscribing shoulders and shins with symbols of love, death and belonging.”

All this encourages me to understand more about the person rather than judging them or simply cringing because it all seems so painful.  When I interview parolees fresh out of prison who have so marked their bodies, I ask, “Tell me about your favorite one and what’s the story behind it.”  Thanks, Chris Rainier and Smithsonian, for lifting the veil for me.