Life Lessons Learned in Rehab
Kelowna, B.C., Canada - Saturday, December 08th 2007 - I have spent the past 28 days in rehab for alcoholism at A Home Away here in Kelowna.
I am a 32-year-old mother of three kids struggling with addiction to alcohol. Never did I imagine myself having to enter rehab for addiction until I just about lost my life to this disease, after what seems like forever hiding my abuse. The tough-love approach combined with sincere caring have given me my life back.
Alcoholism and other addictions affect all sectors of this society. My friends from A Home Away represent every profession and class imaginable.
I have learned many things from my month here apart from the fact that my kids deserve their mama back (sober), that aloneness does not equal loneliness, that there is a fundamental truth that people are good and kind and generous, and that there is a decency in the human race. Not bad for 28 days.
Guest at A Home Away,
The Daily Courier
Kelowna, British Columbia
Turning Back From Addiction
Kelowna, B.C., Canada - Saturday, April 07th 2007 - Addicts are able to recover, but the road back is a tough one. John Derry, having struggled with addiction has turned his life of recovery into a lifelong dream to help others.
The Ontario native found his piece of Kelowna paradise on the Westside some three years ago. He has transformed two side-by-side private Lakeview properties into A Home Away, a welcoming haven offering other addicts hope and a way out of their personal maze.
"Addiction, whether it's alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating disorders or sexual compulsion, is a disease," he said. "These are sick people who are trying to get healthy. These aren't 'bad' people, just sick.
"Addicts hold on to the behaviour and use it to change the way they feel despite the negative consequences it has on their life," he explained. "They suffer increasingly as they continue to use, and rationalize their behaviour." What may begin as a social behaviour, as in having a few drinks as part of a social, relaxing enjoyable time, can turn into an addiction for about 12-15 percent of the population.
The other 85 percent have what Derry calls a shut-off valve that comes into play when the body/mind, after three or four drinks, recognizes enough is enough. "The addict is a person who has lost that shut-off," he explained. "Instead, the signal is more-more-more. More to make me feel better. Addiction is a disease of feelings."
At the private facility, Derry deals mostly with alcohol dependency, but unlike other treatment centres, all his guests are self-referred and stop their drinking or using prior to attending. Some require attending a detox facility. They arrive clean and sober and are ready to explore the next step to rebalance and recovery.
At his private centre, Derry and a team of recovery professionals offer counselling, self-exploration and finding ways to enjoy life to its fullest without resorting to or depending on external influences like drugs or alcohol. Usually, it takes addicts years, sometimes decades of abuse before they hit their final 'rock bottom', have one-too-many blackouts, destroy relationships, lose jobs, homes, friends or face financial ruin.
The steps to recovery are classic. "Addiction is a disease of loss of control. And it's the only disease that has, as its primary symptom, the belief that you don't have it," he noted. "No one can make an addict want to change until they themselves reach the point of "I can't do this anymore," or reach the point where they are literally "sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Taking those essential steps to recovery and being given tools to help the addict maintain recovery is what Derry's A Home Away is all about. Through one-to-one counselling, the retreat centre focuses on finding the reasons for addiction, and helping addicts reconnect with their feelings, life and loved ones.
The centre offers balanced and advanced therapeutic approaches that reflect the latest addiction recovery research, all incorporated into the core 28-day program. "Addiction is a disease of mind, body and spirit," Derry said. "Every aspect of life is affected. To recover, we introduce discipline and routine, recreation, coaching, journaling, incorporate the AA 12-step method and help them find a balance in life."
In the non-traditional environment, Derry and his team provide a safe place, a home, for addicts to re-establish contact with the world, and find ways to interrelate again with themselves, others, family and the universe.
"Most of our guests have a 'break-through' moment where things begin to become very clear," he said. "They learn to love themselves and to share and trust again. We're a recovery retreat experience."
His program is so unique that an American TV crew recently documented the centre and is airing the half-hour show this spring.
Having successfully opened 2 ½ years ago, his approach has welcomed 115 people into the centre and continues to grow. "We see lives transformed: turned around from angry and meaningless to fulfilling and focused, reconnected within and without," Derry said. "I am grateful for my own recovery that has given me the hope and inspiration to establish this place of healing and to do this very fulfilling work."
Kelowna Daily Courier, E Vent feature article
By Jude Campbell
Counselling & Addiction Service is Growing
Economist & Sun, Markham, Ontario - Sunday, November 23rd 2003 - In the fast-paced world we live in, many of us find we lack coping skills. Many people are having problems with stress; feelings of restlessness and discontentment; relationships; alcohol or other drugs; grief or loss; careers; or simply stuck in an unhappy place.
John Derry & Associates is the first and only clinic in Markham to offer specialized expert treatment for the complex disease of addiction and other compulsive behaviours, and provides the highest quality individual and group counselling and addiction services.
"I am excited to have established services in my community. As a long-time resident, I recognize the need for addiction services in our area and feel passionate about doing what I can to help," explained John." I have seen addiction in my professional and personal life and understand its impact and the scarcity of resources to deal with it."
John has an impressive track record of success and is known for his outstanding interpersonal, communication and leadership skills. He offers a unique depth of expertise based upon his complementary proficiency in both pharmacy and addiction. John holds an Ontario pharmacist's licence and a Master of Arts degree in Addiction Counselling from the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies in Minnesota. The Hazelden Foundation is the world leader in the treatment of chemical dependency and the training of addiction professionals.
John's mission is to help people living with addiction, and those they love. People find help whether their problem involves alcohol or other drug use, gambling, food, internet use, shopping, smoking, work or exercise. Loved ones particularly benefit from the support of counselling. Help is also available for issues related to stress, relationships and families.
Services include a full complement of counselling programs based upon the most recent scientific advances in understanding addiction, including: assessments; individual and group counselling; relapse prevention programs; couple and family sessions; interventions; aftercare; and support groups.
"I am excited to continue to grow our programs and services," said John. "We have developed a professional association with Path Positive therapists who become an important part of the team offering complementary therapeutic expertise to provide positive support along the path to hope and health."
Women's support groups are booking now and are particularly helpful for those with difficulty dealing with feelings, assertiveness, low self-esteem, loneliness, recovery or alcohol/drug concerns within the family.
John is accepting new clients. Confidentiality is strictly respected.
Addicted to Helping
Capital News, Kelowna, British Columbia - - John Derry knows about addiction.
He holds a degree in addiction counseling from the world leading Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction in Minnesota.
As a pharmacist and a counselor in Ontario, Derry was in day to day contact with people struggling with addiction.
But aside from his dealing with addicts, he has first hand knowledge. Derry is a recovering alcoholic.
“I know what it’s like to be on the treadmill of thinking you’re successful and doing everything society expects and appearing to be OK on the outside but feeling an emptiness and hollowness on the inside,” said Derry from his home-based business on Kelowna’s Westside.
“I started re-evaluating my life and it became clear to me that I wanted to spend my life helping people recover from addiction.”
Derry made the decision to change careers from pharmacy to counseling while living in Ontario.
But a chance invite from an old friend brought him to Kelowna in May.
He soon realized the tranquil setting was a perfect fit for a business centered around recovery.
He purchased a home that was operating as a bed and breakfast and moved to Kelowna in August.
“It became so apparent to me that the Okanagan was such a beautiful destination where people were willing to come,” he said from his office and group counseling area overlooking Okanagan Lake.
“I want this to be a place that is not just an institution. Recovery can be fun. Life can be fun.”
Derry’s business, called A Home Away, has room for six to eight people and provides individual and group counseling and aftercare programs for recovering addicts. He calls it a bed and breakfast retreat with counseling.
“We’re not offering detox,” said Derry.
“If someone uses they need to leave. I’m not offering health care, I’m offering a home away, a recovery retreat experience where people can come and restore themselves. I’m looking at people experiencing a renewal of a balanced lifestyle with a balanced attention to mind, body and sprit.”
“Having six to eight people here each month will help me cover my costs and make this financially sustainable,” he said.
Derry will incorporate local experts in fields like anger management, recreation, stress reduction and relationships.
He has hired a chef out of the Okanagan University College’s culinary arts program to provide meals to people staying in the house.
“I’m hopeful this can become a model of recovery that can be and will be emulated and replicated through the country,” said Derry.
“Recovery doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t always require seven or eight health care disciplines. Yes there is a need for that for some people, but a lot of people don’t need that.”
You can find information about A Home Away at the Web site: www.ahomeaway.org.
Kevin Parnell, Capital News Staff Reporter
About A HOME AWAY Retreat :
If you are feeling stuck, lonely, or discontented, we will help you get unstuck, heal relationships, and feel excited about life! A Home Away offers a new-life retreat experience for individuals, couples, or very small groups of up to six concurrent guests.
Codependency Healing. Addiction Recovery. Sober vacations. Spiritual Retreats. Mother-Daughter Retreats. Couples. Families. Wellness. Holistic. Yoga Retreats. Sober Living. Equestrian and Canine Therapy. Fun!
Your retreat is designed to help you to live life fully, powerfully, and with self love and respect. We believe that each individual deserves the hope of a renewed sense of self respect, love and purpose.
You will learn about living life on life’s terms, including having fun again! That’s why we include recreation ranging from hikes, walks, world-class downhill skiing/boarding, sailing, golfing, bowling, and swimming.
Like sailing or like to learn how? In the warmer weather we will invite you to join us on our brand new Beneteau First 36.7 sailboat. Now, that’s worth the trip in itself!
Within the core program, each guest is treated as an individual and with respect. Your recovery retreat allows you to explore your life, success factors, blocks to realizing your dreams, belief systems, personal faith, inter-and intrapersonal relationships, living free of alcohol or other drug dependency or addictions, recovery issues, life and vocational coaching, spirituality (non-religious), fitness, artistic expression, and massage.
Your program is holistic including all aspects of the whole person allowing you to focus on a healthy balance of your mind, body and spirit. We would be honoured to help you to experience living life fully, powerfully, and with self love, respect and trust. CONTACT US TODAY! TestimonialsSubscribe to our Blog! Follow us on Facebook
: Facebook Page