"You are not an alcoholic or an addict.
You have merely become dependent on substances or addictive behavior to cope with underlying conditions that you are now going to heal, at which time your dependency will cease completely and forever."
Hi, I'm Chris Prentiss.
My son, Pax, was severely addicted to marijuana, alcohol, cocaine and heroin for 10 years. Barely 18 years old, he sat in front of me in tears and said, "Dad, I'm hooked on heroin." I didn't know much about heroin then; how lethal it is, and how powerfully addictive it is. Always wanting to be positive, I said, "Don't worry Pax, we'll fix you right up." Little did I know, I was in a fight to save Pax's life and it would last for many years. Several times I nearly lost him after he overdosed; and once, he was severely beaten by drug dealers to the point of hospitalization.
I tried everything to get Pax sober. I took him to psychiatrists, psychologists, and addiction specialists. All we heard was the same dismal story over and over again, perhaps the same one you've heard: "Addiction is a disease. It's incurable, and your son will be an addict for the rest of his life. The best he can do is learn to manage it. Get him into a 12-Step program and make sure he stays in the program as long as he lives." Every time I heard this, my heart plummeted. It was as if Pax was being sentenced to life-long imprisonment with no hope of parole.
Pax went to treatment centers that used the 12-Step program - 30 day, 60 day, and 90 day programs. Nothing worked. He would relapse almost immediately upon coming home. Determined to stay in the 12-Step program, Pax went to endless meetings, but all he heard was, "Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic" and, "Once an addict, always an addict." That tortured me – I believe slogans like these are destructive – saying them over and over reinforces addiction. They are self-fulfilling prophecies, and not ones that I wanted Pax to learn.
I believed that there was a reason why Pax was chasing drugs. I knew in my heart that if I could find this reason, I would be able to save Pax.
All the years we fought to save Pax's life, we were looking outside of ourselves to others to help us. Although we were told by everyone that healing addiction was impossible, that there was no such thing as recovering from addiction, we still searched everywhere, never giving up hope. After many years of fruitless searching, I finally said to Pax, "The help you need is not out there. Unless we create a different program for you, something brand new, you may never find the help you need."
The holistic, non-12 Step program we created for Pax, the one that is now the Passages program, was primarily based on finding out the "why" behind his addiction. Of course, finding out the "why" is not the end of it. There is more to it than that. But unless the "why" is discovered and healed, relapse is nearly certain. Some people can use drugs or alcohol and they don't become dependent on them. The ones who do always have an underlying condition: a "why". It is that condition that has created and is maintaining your addiction.
Drugs and alcohol are not the problem. They are what you are using to cope with the problem. Other centers treat addiction and alcoholism as if they are the problem. Your use of drugs or alcohol is merely a symptom of an underlying issue - that's the problem.
Pax finally discovered his "why" and we knew that he was free; he would never again use drugs or alcohol. A few weeks later, Pax said, "Look, Dad, we know how to do this. Let's open a treatment center and offer the same program that saved me." That was 15 years ago. Since then, the program we created has set a new industry standard for the treatment of addiction. Our team at Passages has helped thousands of people, just like you, successfully recover from their dependency on drugs and alcohol.
Pax and I co-founded Passages Addiction Treatment Centers to help you move from where you are now, which is dependent on drugs or alcohol, to where you want to be, which is sober with a healthy and happy life. What we offer is unique. Pax and I are natives. We have been through it all...firsthand. We know what works and what doesn't. We will be honored if you allow us to help you put an end to your addiction. When you walk through the doors of Passages, you will know you've arrived at the right place.
That's our story. We'd like to hear yours. Please call Passages today if you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. (888) 991-2219. Insurance is accepted.
Co-Founder & Co-Director, Passages Addiction Treatment Centers
Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins.™