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Finding new hope in 12-Step recovery programs

September is Addiction and Recovery Month
Opioid addiction drugs severely underutilized, study finds
Posted at 6:19 AM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 19:16:12-04

CUSHING, Okla. — "A friend of mine introduced me to cocaine and everything just blew up from there," said Geoff, a recovering addict.

Whether the addiction takes off with illegal drugs like Geoff or prescribed medicine for Tara...

"That helped with the pain but that probably also pushed me over into becoming addicted to the pain medication I was prescribed," Tara said.

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance. Whatever they chose in the past, these former substance abusers now agree on one thing.

"It's a scary dark place to go," Scott, a recovering alcoholic and meth user admitted.

Years of drinking, drugs and broken promises cost Scott his job, his wife, and even his family for a time.

"I hurt them," Scott shared with a grimace of pain. "I took away their peace of mind and their dreams for me."

Their journey to recovery started with one critical step: admitting they were powerless.

"It's embarrassing," Kay, a former alcohol and prescription medication user, shared, "because you're admitting that you have a problem and you need help."

They turned to Valley Hope of Cushing, where the 12-step program is part of the intensive residential and outpatient behavioral therapy programs.

Here, they learned addiction is a disease.

"I think that sometimes people struggle with the disease concept because of the behavioral implications that addiction and alcoholism can have," said Dana Kerney, Senior Vice President, Valley Hope Addiction Treatment Recovery. "However, we know that science points to the disease model and that's the philosophy of our treatment."

"We think that it is one of the most successful recovery programs out there," said Chaplain Brandon Pemberton, a member of the Chaplains team at Valley Hope of Cushing. He says they work to encourage recovering substance users to find their serenity through therapy, 12-step program service, and faith if desired.

In addition, the team of physicians, nurses, psychologists, counselors, and chaplains work together to meet the physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs of each person by offering a full continuum of care:

  • On-site medical detox
  • Medical stabilization
  • Intensive in-and-outpatient programs including more than 40-hours per week of individual counseling, 12-step sessions, and group therapy
  • Weekly continuing care programs
  • Discharge planning and return to work assistance
  • Indoor & outdoor recreational activities
  • Family care
  • Alumni events

"Helping them to realize their worth and value, I think, is one of the things that help upfront," Chaplain Pemberton said. "That no matter what they have done, they are still somebody who is worth recovery and they are accepted and they are loved."

Whatever their faith or beliefs, patients find new friends in the fellow patients they meet onsite during group therapy and activities. Many keep in touch years after their stay at Valley Hope.

"It's pretty tough to go to an AA meeting and not find Valley hope alumni," Geoff said, smiling. "So, I think that's really cool, and the staff really, really cares."

And while the recovery program is based on anonymity, Geoff, Scott, Tara, and Kay wanted to help others by sharing their success.

"Hopefully, someone else will hear my story, hear my experience and go, 'Hey, I can relate to what she is saying," Tara added.

She became addicted to prescription pain medication after a back injury and surgery.

When he met 2 News Anchor Karen Larsen at Valley Hope for this interview, Scott visited the small chapel on campus where he 'hit my knees real quick and thanked God for the opportunity to help someone today."

Following the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program philosophy, they live their recovery "One day at a time."

Watch to see the full story on 2 News Oklahoma TONIGHT at 6 p.m.

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