Monthly Archives: February 2014

Rosecrance Berry Campus Parent Cafe this Thursday

Rosecrance is hosting a free event provided to all members of the community. Rosecrance Berry Campus Parent Cafe is an opportunity for parents who may have general questions about their child’s wellbeing to come together in a friendly and welcoming environment. A combination of education and discussion are provided to help assist and empower parents to make informed choices about their children’s welfare. Participants do not need to be clients of the Rosecrance Berry Campus, and refreshments will be served. For more details about this event, click here.

Plan for recovering addicts puts discharge at forefront of treatment

While the timeline and process for overcoming an addiction at a treatment facility may differ from person to person, one thing is constant: the hope and plan for an eventual discharge.

Those plans actually start at the beginning of the process, says Glenda Burns, transition specialist at the Rosecrance Adolescent Treatment Center.

“Once the client has entered treatment and assigned a primary counselor, he or she will do an initial staffing which will include anyone who will play a role in the client’s return back to the community,” says Burns. “Throughout the client’s treatment, we continue to keep in contact with these sources to update them on the client’s recovery success or lack of progress in treatment.”

That information is also sent to a specific transition specialist. Burns gets involved at that point as well by looking for post-treatment resources available in the client’s area. These adolescent service resources can consist of IOP programs, a therapist, an AODA counselor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist and various support groups.

Burns says that during the discharge meeting, the client shares what he or she has accomplished during the treatment stay as well as his or her plans for the return home. Parents and other participants then share any concerns they may have. For Burns, this pre-release meeting is just part of a discharge process that began as soon as the client entered the facility.

“It really does start as soon as the client walks through the door,” she says. “We have to work together as a team to ensure the best quality for the client as he or she enters treatment and their return home.”

Assistance continues after treatment

At times, Rosecrance patients are afraid to leave the facility for a number of reasons. “They build a bond with the staff and other peers during their stay and they know that Rosecrance has been a safety net for them,” Burns says. “Unfortunately some clients do not have the opportunity to go to a substance abuse recovery home or relocate. They know that returning to the same environment can be a trigger. They may return to a household that’s dysfunctional and they may have a lack of support.”

Burns says the idea of leaving behind the very system that helped them overcome their addiction to reenter the environment where that addiction might have been formed can be challenging. “Leaving a safety zone for some clients can be frightening not because they do not know what to expect but rather they know who and what is waiting when they return,” she says

That’s why Burns and other Rosecrance officials stress the importance of aftercare plans in the client’s future and former environments in the form of support groups and concerned individuals. “In the case of a student, a plan is put in place so that the client will have someone to talk to at his or her school,” says Burns. “We also encourage the clients to seek new friends who are not using drugs or alcohol.”

That post-treatment care also extends to families, who are offered various support services.

Preventing a relapse

Burns says a person can be prone to a relapse at any time, which is why Rosecrance staff members encourage their clients to be aware of the people, places and things that surround them. “It’s important for clients to evaluate who they are hanging with, where they are hanging and what they are doing,” Burns says. “Most clients who return to treatment share that they did not let go of friends who are still using or went to the same locations they went to before being treated.”

Burns says that associating with substance-using friends is one of the main reasons clients return to using. “It’s been proven over and over again that if a client continues to hang around the same place, with the same people, doing the same thing it is only a matter of time before he or she is pressured to use, especially if there is not a strong support system in place,” Burns says. “Being in recovery means that you have to change your old ways and start doing something different.”



Former NBA Star Chris Herren returns to DuPage County to encourage area youth



Rosecrance is proud to help sponsor a return visit of former NBA professional Chris Herren to DuPage County. Herren will speak at Naperville North High School Feb. 18 and Glenbard North High School Feb. 19. He spoke at Downers Grove North High School last year.

Herren inspires parents and students sharing his journey from NBA Stardom to heroin addiction to recovery. He wrote about his recovery in his book ‘Basketball Junkie’ and ESPN produced a documentary ‘Unguarded,’ based on his basketball career and drug related issues. The events are open to the public.

NNHS Field House
February 18, 7-9 p.m.

990 Kuhn Rd., Carol Stream
February 19, 7 p.m.

Besides Rosecrance, sponsors for the Naperville North event include the Naperville Police Department, the NNHS Huskie Boosters’ Club, Linden Oaks, Alexian Brothers, Cadence, NNHS Home & School, several NNHS student organizations, and private donors.

Rosecrance is co-sponsoring the Glenbard North event with the Cebrin Goodman Center, Cooperative Association for Special Education, Trust Company of Illinois, DuPage Medical Group, and Sodexo.


Hear Rosecrance's Dr. Wright speak about social alcoholism on RadioMD

Thomas WrightDr. Thomas Wright, Rosecrance Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs, explains the differences between a social drinker and an alcoholic on the show “Staying Well” hosted by Melanie Cole. He speaks about signs to look for that may indicate alcoholism, such as tolerance changing, symptoms of withdrawal or loss of control.

The 10-minute broadcast is available on Click on this link, then click “Listen Now” to hear the broadcast.

12 Steps offer recovering addicts structure and stability

For those who have never had an addiction, the 12 Steps are often the stuff of movies and novels, a plot device when a character is battling addictive demons. But for the many recovering addicts across the world, the 12 Steps are tangible ideas that require thought and action. For those individuals, the 12 Steps are indeed a pathway to a better life.

In the same way, to the uninitiated, the term “sponsor” may be interchangeable with “coach,” “mentor” or even “friend.” But for people looking to overcome an addiction, a sponsor can be all of those and more. In theory, a sponsor is someone who will guide a newcomer through the 12 Steps, answer questions and share their experiences and hopes.

“When someone enters recovery it’s like moving into a new community. Just adjusting to life without drugs and alcohol is a major challenge,” says Melissa Garrison, alumni coordinator for Rosecrance Health Network.

Sponsors are a key part of the 12-step program, a set of principles that outline an addiction-recovery plan. Although originally created by Alcoholics Anonymous as part of its recovery program, the steps have been adapted by other organizations and individuals as well. Sponsors help participants follow the steps and are often essential to the success of the program. In return, the sponsored recovering addicts often play an important role in keeping the sponsors out in front of their addictive tendencies. “Learning what the program is about, the language, the process and meeting new people in recovery are some of what sponsorship is about,” says Garrison. “Having someone available to answer your questions and being available when you’re struggling not only helps the newcomer, but keeps the sponsor clean and sober as well.”

The 12 Steps

To understand the importance of a sponsor and the recovery process, it’s helpful to take a look at the 12 Steps themselves:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

According to Garrison, the 12-step program “works if you work it,” but isn’t without pitfalls. That’s why sponsors are vital to helping recovering addicts get through the rough spots. “Basically, just attending meetings will not keep anyone clean and sober,” Garrison says. “There has to be action. That’s where finding a sponsor, working the steps and helping others come in.”

Rosecrance alumni are a great resource for people currently in the program. “It’s all about support,” Garrison says. “The Alumni Program is a great way to practice Step 12. It’s very clear to someone who is working a 12-step program that you can’t keep your recovery unless you give it away by sharing your experience with others, and that’s what alumni members do.”

Alumni offer assistance, information and support those recovering addicts going through the 12 Steps. At times, the necessary support comes in the form of a phone call or visit from a sponsor. Other times, it can come from reference material or different forms of media. In a contemporary twist on the original, it can arrive in the form of 140-character Tweets, which Rosecrance, as @rosecrance12twe, often sends out as “wisdom for recovery and life.” A recent example focuses on owning up to one’s mistakes: “I am flawed. So, I work to further my emotional and spiritual health. When I am wrong, I admit it and try to fix it.”

Battling addiction and beyond

Garrison says that many people continue to use the 12 Steps even after they learn to overcome their addiction. It becomes part of their day-to-day life and an important toolbox when dealing with others. “When you’re standing in line at the grocery store, someone cuts you off in traffic, your daughter shrinks your favorite sweater in the dryer – these are all situations where one is powerless and can cause emotions to flare,” says Garrison. Applying the first three steps can help you handle the situation without a total meltdown. Looking at your part in these events can help you see you have a choice in how you react. If you do overreact you can choose to make amends and grow from the experience.”

Garrison says continued use of the 12 Steps is also a way to strengthen relationships with others throughout a lifetime. “When we find something that helps us feel better, our natural instinct is to share this wonderful plan,” Garrison says. “The more you practice the 12 Steps, the less stress you experience and the closer you become to others in your life.”