Giving second chances

Tim (whose real name has been withheld at his request) has been clean and sober for just more than one year.

“I managed to get a good grip on sobriety and keep it and a big part of that is thanks to Second Chance,” he said.

Tim did the 28-day Supportive Recovery program at the Second Chance Recovery House for men in Campbell River. Before that, he spent many years of his life controlled by his addiction to alcohol.

He would often wake up having slept outdoors the night before and he had no money and no food.

“It was too much work to keep going on like that day after day,” he said.

“I was hungry, I lost so much weight, as much as possible without being dead, the next step was death.”

In fact, when he finally made it to the hospital for help, the doctor told his family to make funeral arrangements for him.

But Tim pulled through and attended a detox program in another Island community.

When it came time to look at options for longer term treatment, he wanted a smaller program.

Campbell River’s Second Chance Recovery House fit the criteria as there are only 10 beds – four for Crisis Stabilization and six for Supportive Recovery.

“I didn’t want to be in with 60 people and I wanted accountability,” he said.

“This place was perfect for me. The feel of the place was great; there was more one on one time with staff.”

Second Chance Executive Director Tessera Brooks said many of the clients often comment on how surprised they are to find such a home-like environment when they come to the facility. Like many families, the residents at Second Chance have daily chores to complete, including washing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors. One client will help a staff member with the weekly grocery shopping.

“It’s all part of the recovery process, to help them develop life skills,” said Brooks.

The men also attend twice daily support groups Monday to Friday and one group Saturday morning. This is in addition to the five out of house AA or NA meetings they are required to attend each week. During the groups the men will learn about the 12-step recovery process, boundaries, co-dependency, communication skills, mindfulness, self-esteem, different kinds of relapse triggers, and anger management while identifying trauma and behaviours that led to their addictions.

The clients also complete an after care plan so they will know where they are going to live, who their sponsor is and what AA or NA meetings they will regularly attend.

It also includes appointments with other components of their support network, including Mental Health and Addictions Services, Psychiatrists, Doctors, therapists and Diabetes or Liver Clinics.

The men also include a back to work/school plan, budgets and family visitations/therapy sessions.

If you would like to help Second Chance, cash donations are welcome or they are currently in need of new or gently used single bed comforters and winter coats.

With the holidays approaching, they will need gifts for the men who will spend Christmas there.

Call 250-830-1103.

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