Monday, December 7, 2009

Addiction Professional Magazine features Odyssey House Utah!

The innovative Fathers with Children program received great honor last week when Brad, a successful client-turned-case manager was featured within the respected publication. You may click here to read about Odyssey House Utah and the issue in its entirety. The article is on the back-inside cover.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Profile of Change: Meet Sarah

This week's story features Sarah, a client of the Adolescent Residential Program. It is always heartwarming to see an adolescent successfully turn their life around and learn to live a healthy life. Her story prior to entering treatment is like so many others...*

Meet Sarah...
Before coming to Odyssey, my life was complete chaos. I spent all of my time chasing after my next high, whether it was sex, drugs/selling drugs, or stealing. My coping skills to manage my emotions were cutting myself, getting high and/or drunk, having sex with someone, or engaging in other high-risk behaviors. I was failing at school. I was constantly fighting with my family and running away from home. I would lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, or perform to get what I wanted. In treatment I have learned that I am worthwhile, I can have a successful future, and there is more to life than the streets. After fourteen months of doing the hard work, my future consists of sobriety, safety, education, success, and being a part of my family.

--Sarah, 17
Salt Lake City, Utah
Odyssey House Client

*Some elements of story were changed to promote client confidentiality

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Profile of Change: Meet Jarad....

This week's story features Jarad, a client of the Adult Residential Program. His inspirational story is a true testament to his hard work, dedication, and willingness to surrender. It is clients like these that make our program work, as they pass along their knowledge and strength to others...

Meet Jarad...
My life was complete chaos and it was heading nowhere due to my severe drug addiction. My life was completely unmanageable. I had burned all my bridges and used and manipulated everyone that I came in contact with, unfortunately the people that I hurt the most were the people that I loved and cared for the most.

I had been using cocaine and opiates it started off innocent in the beginning and it progressed into every day use and it was too late to just stop. It fueled the way that I felt about myself. I had no self worth or inner strength, I thought to myself everyday that this is all I know and I wasn't worth anything better and I was never going to accomplish anything. After a few arrests, a year in jail and countless probation violations the community had enough with me and the judge gave me one last chance in lieu of spending up to ten years prison and that was to complete the inpatient program at Odyssey House.

I arrived at Odyssey House on May 31st 2007. I was scared and didn't know what to expect. I had a really hard time at first and didn't want to be here, I really wanted to give up on myself.

I knew when I got here that this was going to be one of the hardest things that I will ever do mostly because I felt that I wasn't ready to change, I didn't think that I could follow all the strict rules and hold myself and other people accountable for there actions. When I finally decided that I was going to follow the rules and do the work to change I realized that this is what I needed. I needed to do a lot of work towards my self esteem through talking about why I feel the way I do in therapy group. I gained a lot from all the people that I became friends with knowing that they care about me for who I am not what I have or can get.

I gained a lot from the vocational training program because I would look back at what I accomplished and know that I have a lot of talent and do amazing things if I want it bad enough. Vocational training taught me how to get up and be responsible and go to work everyday, it gave me the opportunity to work with the community and develop some people skills. It also taught me how to communicate effectively, and gave me skills I can use to make a living when I leave Odyssey.

I love what this place has given me. It has made my life so much better I am a positive person in society and have a new outlook on life and all the things that I can accomplish with all my new friends by my side, I have met so many people here that I know will keep me sober and be honest with me when I?m showing signs of relapse. My family has a huge part to play in my sobriety and I can finally be the son and the brother that I want to be."

--Jarad, 24
Salt Lake City, Utah
Odyssey House Client

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Journey of Healing....

The story for this week is an adult who graduated the program and has completely turned their life around. They now live a live drug free and are very grateful to Odyssey House. We are, as always, grateful for their willingness to share...

"A Journey of Healing"
B.M. Salt Lake City, Utah

I feared growing up and responsibility. I never saw myself being able to achieve a life of meaning. I had so much pain from my older brother telling me that I wouldn't amount to much, and drugs made me believe that. I had to develop a new image of myself and new self-confidence. This began with me being able to look people in the eyes. I hurt a lot of people and had no idea how my actions had impacted them. I can honestly say today, that I have the ability to live life on life's terms. In my past, I was never able to do that. That was a major reason for my drug use. I still have struggles today, but I know that as long as I stay sober, they will pass. I know many people that are willing to support me and that I can rely on them.

Today I am a role model. Integrity and sobriety are high on my priority list. I am also able to work through my desire to always get things when I want them - I know that I need to work for them and it is sometimes a slow process and that I need to be patient. I am so grateful that I can live this new life. Some people never get this lucky. I learned so much at Odyssey House.

22, F
Salt Lake City, Utah

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Odyssey House has been a great help in my life!"

This week's story is from a graduate of the Adult Program that has gone on to live a successful, productive life. He continues to "give back" by helping our organization secure grants. We are proud of him and acknowledge him for all of his hard work! Here is the story in his words....*

Odyssey House has been a great help in my life. In August of 2003 I was in jail for the first time in my life, for drug abuse. I was only there for a day, but it started to get my wheels turning about what I was going to do with my life, for the first time in years. In September of 2003 I checked myself into Odyssey House of Utah to try and get my life back on track. Odyssey is a drug rehab, serving 3 distinct centers, the Women & Children’s, Adult, and Adolescent center. All I wanted to do was quit using drugs, but in their program, I was given more than I could have ever hoped for. I was given all the tools I needed to stay clean, but above and beyond that, I learned to live a functional, positive life, hold a job, gain a sense of self-esteem and the ability to rebuild that which I thought was destroyed – my relationship with my family. Without writing 150 pages, I can’t tell you everything that Odyssey House gave me, but I can say that now 5 years has passed, and I am graduating from the University of Phoenix this year with my BS in Human Service, I have bought my first home, and I am getting married in September. This is my life now. I can assure you it would not have been my life without them.

Odyssey teaches many of the same rules for life, that my employer tries to instill in it’s members. We all have the ability to be good people. Everyone deserves respect. Everyone has the right to be treated fairly. We all have the ability to be honest, productive members of society. An open, honest, environment will help people get well, and truly bring out the best in people.

Tomorrow, I will have been working at my job for 4 years. This is the longest I had ever held a job before. I love my work, and know I will be working here for a long time. Without Odyssey House, I know that I would not only have never gotten a job where I have one today. I know that I would not have been able to keep it even if I had, but more importantly, I wouldn’t have been alive to ever apply. I know that the way life was going, I was lucky enough to live long enough to get into treatment.

-JE, Salt Lake City, UT

*Some elements of story were changed to promote client confidentiality

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"From the hospital to healing..." The scary reality of overdose

This weeks story is a story very common among adolescents who elect to abuse heroin once painkillers become unattainable....

I woke up in the hospital and was told that I had overdosed on heroin; my friends had left me in the bathroom of a shopping mall where I easily could have died if I had not been found. My home life was good and my parents were supportive but I chose to look to my friends for advice and thought thatmy friends were all I had and they let me down. I started using drugs at age 12 and by age 15 I would go to any extreme to get my drugs even if it meant stealing. After the overdose I was referred to Odyssey House for treatment and am very close to graduation. I had not been to school since the ninth grade, but now I have a 3.8 grade point average, will graduate from Odyssey Academy with a high school diploma and start college in the fall. No other treatment program seemed to work for me. Odyssey House has given me a new hope for the future. I have changed my life.

CF, Holladay, Utah

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Story... Stay Tuned!

Hi all,

This weeks story will be shared with you tomorrow, on Tuesday! If you would like to hear of a story from any individual in the future based on their age or sex, please let me know. We feel that it is important to hear stories from users from various backgrounds and ages.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Since I came to Odyssey" - A Profile of Change

Hi all,

Another Monday and, as promised, another Profile of Change. This week's contributor is someone who has nearly completed all of the residential levels of our program and is right on the brink of moving into transitional living. She has made great strides and is very proud of her success. Here is her story...

"Since I came to Odyssey"
CW, 17, Salt Lake City, Utah

Since I have came to Odyssey House I have opened up and talked about things that I swore to myself I never would. I have learned that helping people means holding them accountable and standing my ground even if they do get mad at me. I have also learned that it is ok for me to say no and stand up for myself, that I am worth it.

When I look back to before I came to Odyssey House I couldn’t even look myself in the eyes. I always tried to cover up what was really going on with me and who I really was. Now when I look in the mirror I say positive things about myself and more often then not I believe them.

I have learned so much about myself and why I do the things that I do. I have always tried to hide the abuse that happened in my past. I told myself that it wasn’t a problem and if I gave myself time then I would get over it. When I was using I wouldn’t let myself feel all the pain that I kept inside. If I started to feel it I would use more and more, because I felt like it would take all my pain away. Now I know that in order for me to move on and let go of the past, I have to let myself feel the pain and work through it. I also know that it will never hurt as much as it did when it was happening.

I have also learned how to be assertive and stand up for myself. Before I came here I never felt like I was good enough or worth enough to stand up to others. Now I know that I am worth it and I care about myself to much to let others hurt me.

I have also learned how to reality test things and how to hold others accountable for what they have done, instead of trying to take responsibility for them. I have also learned that I can not change my family. I have to do what I need to for me, so that I can have a healthy life.

I am beginning to build a healthy relationship with my dad, and I am learning how to set appropriate boundaries with my mom. I have graduated high school and right now I am attending a local college in Utah. Which are two things that I never thought possible before now.

I am proud of the changes that I am making and the changes that I have made in my life and I am finally doing it for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Story of My New Life" - A Profile of Change...

Odyssey House Profile of Change - RC, 16 years old

As promised, each Monday we will provide to you a real story* as told by either a program graduate or current client. This week's resident is a 16 year old male that has now achieved honor roll status with his grades for three consecutive semesters and has just advanced to a new level. He provided the following story that depicts his change and growth....

*Some elements of the story may have been changed in order to ensure client confidentiality.

"Story of My New Life"

I stood in the doorway at Odyssey. I stood there thinking for a minute. Then I walked on through the Odyssey doorway ready to change my life around.The first day it was scary for me because I did not know what to do. At first I was not willing to do the work. I was not following the rules, and being disrespectful to staff. Then after the first month, I was doing better.

I remember walkting through those doors and thinking about running, but now I don't think about running anymore. Now I am a sophomore (4th level out of 6 in the program), and I am doing better with the things like negative peer groups, respect, lying and lots more. I want to be there for my son when he talks and walks. I also want to stay sober and be with my family and have a great life with them.

As I start my new life I walk and think every day of my life, and say to myself what is it going to take for me to start doing things right? I think what kind of life do I want for myself and for my son and family? As I sit and think I finally know what I want in life. I want to be somebody that is always happy for what I do best at. I want to be able to help people out when they need it. I want to be there for my brother and be a positive role model for all of them, so that they don't end up in prison or dead. Now I know that there are a lot of different things to do in life and in Utah instead of using or being around bad influences. We all can do something different like go fishing, camping, or being with your family.

Now I can look at myself and be happy for who I am and for what I do. Now I can tell my family how good and great I am doing here, and tell people that I am doing a ngreat job in school. As I am looking at how great I am doing in school, reading, math, and in this program, I know I am going to do great in the real world. If I work my butt off this year I can be done with school in the 11th grade. I can tell people that I finished with school in the 11th grade. Before I got here I wasn't doing well in school. Now I know how to read, and write.

When I walked in the doorway I did not know who I was. Now, look at myself, it's like I am a new man and a whole new person. When I finish Odyssey House I will leave here with a lot more tools, and skills. I can be a lot happier and a lot more respectful, and be happy for all the changes I have made since walking through those doors on that cold winter day in Utah. Now I know what I want to do with my life and how to use the tools that I learned from Odyssey House. I walked through the doorway with my old bad life. I am walking out of here with a new lifestyle.


-RC, 16 years old, 3-time honor roll since admission
Salt Lake City, Utah

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hello Monday!

Mondays always mark the beginning of another week of changing lives... I'm going to try and share a success story with you each Monday starting Monday, March 9th. It is important for the clients of Odyssey House Utah to express themselves and their motivation for remaining clean and sober. Thanks for lending a listening ear... or a reading eye!

For more information, visit our homepage or feel free to Digg our Odyssey House Utah Squidoo Lens!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Looks like people are already Diggin' the Youtube video!

It has been up for only a couple of days, and yet someone has Dugg the video! Check out the Digg on Odyssey House of Utah!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Odyssey House of Utah on YouTube!

Odyssey House Utah now has a presence on your favorite video site. We noticed that many of our Odyssey House colleagues accross the country have begun to use the site, and we wanted to follow suit! We will upload success story videos once they are completed, however, until then you may see many of the lives touched by us in the Odyssey House youtube video.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Odyssey House Utah Now Holding Cocaine Anonymous Meeting!

In an effort to build additional community supports with our outpatient clients, we now host a CA meeting on Fridays from 6 pm to 7 pm at the our Outpatient Program (340 East 100 South, Salt Lake City). As of now, we are holding only the previously mentioned meeting but will hold more if the turnout is strong! It is a very accessible location that is near a very good coffee shop, Nostalgia. Join us for the fight to recovery!
Location: Odyssey House Utah Outpatient Program
Address: 340 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Who: Anyone interested in CA and recovery

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are you a parent with a teenager that is experimenting with drugs?

Discovering that your loved one is experimenting with and/or abusing substances can be very difficult and emotional. At Odyssey House of Utah, we have been working with clients and families for nearly 40 years to overcome substance abuse. The following is a set of tips to help you know what to do if you discover that your loved one has made some poor choices:

Tips for Parents

No addict can be forced to give up the drug

  • If you decide to give an ultimatum, require treatment, not abstinence. People who engage in treatment will be better able to achieve abstinence because they will be given the tools and support they need to maintain abstinence over the long term.

  • The idea of your child wanting treatment in order to be effective is a myth. Most that go to treatment and are successful have been encouraged by external pressure (parents or the court system) to do so.

Start with yourself. Gain knowledge about addiction and find the courage to deal with it

  • Your child may feel alone, isolated, alienated, and cut off from others. That is the definition of addiction – an uncontrollable, compulsive drug craving, seeking and use even in the face of negative health and social consequences.

  • Roughly 21.6 million Americans aged 12 or older (9.1% of the population) were classified as having a substance abuse problem or addiction.

  • Do not give up – you cannot help the other person without helping yourself first.

Do not treat the addiction on your own

  • Attempting to do so is the equivalent of attempting to perform a medical operation without the proper training. There are inherent risks and potentially serious consequences. Specialists have spent years in school and in the field and trusting the care of your child with them immensely increases their chances of long term abstinence.

Accept the reality – no matter how harsh

  • Denial is very common and allows the problem to continue. It delays the inevitable and only works until the truth becomes so obvious and the crises become so dramatic.

  • Understand that facing the truth head on is the best chance you have at beginning the fight against addiction.

Do not let the addiction control your behavior. Do not be ambivalent, at any cost. Do not panic.

  • It is hard to do this when you are dealing with a person who cannot take care of themselves, but if you are not healthy and safe then there is little chance you can be strong and effective at helping others.

Try and understand your child and make him/her feel that you care.

  • Understand that while your child made the choice to try the drug, they did not choose to become addicted. Their brain is now functioning abnormally and their drug use is out of control. They need and deserve the same care and treatment as anyone else with a chronic illness would receive.

Be patient. Do not look for shortcuts. Recovery can take between 4 to 6 months and often times longer.

  • Find a treatment program that treats all of your child’s individual problems together, such as drug addiction, behavioral issues, mental illness and/or life skills.

Do something. To do nothing is the second worst choice you can make.

  • Consider a formal intervention

  • Enlist a professional to help plan the intervention

  • Bring together the people most significant to the user (3 to 6 is best, no children) – the people who are concerned and who have clout with him or her. Only include people who are comfortable with the process.

  • Have a plan – decide who is going to say what.

  • Make all arrangements for the person to begin treatment immediately following the intervention. Know the details about the treatment facility.

  • Identify the objections you might hear from your child and be prepared to answer each one.

  • Decide what consequences you’re prepared to follow through with if the person refuses to enter treatment. For a teenager, it might be: “We will file a petition with the court to have you placed in treatment.”

  • Be prepared to follow through with these consequences if treatment is refused.

  • Tell your child that you care about them but explain your concerns. Bring a list of examples. Be truthful and clear.

  • Get a commitment from your child that they’re willing to get help and get them there immediately.

Feel free to visit our Odyssey House Utah Squidoo Lens as well as our Odyssey House of Utah Propeller site for more information on our vocational training program.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Salt Lake Tribune Article: TUESDAY, January 27, 2009

Legislators agree on plan to scale back budget cuts

By Robert Gehrke

The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 01/26/2009 07:58:30 PM MST

House and Senate Republicans agreed on a budget framework Monday aimed at easing the pain of this year's cuts by putting off some building and water projects and borrowing about $32 million.

Legislators and the governor have found $175 million that they plan to use to patch half of a projected $350 million budget shortfall in the current year. Those funds would lapse on July 1, meaning deep cuts would still be needed next year.

The money would come from postponing a prison expansion, delaying research buildings and raiding the state disaster-recovery fund and water-development loan fund. The GOP legislators approved $32 million in bonds on top of that.

Some in the House Republican caucus objected to borrowing money through bonding. Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, compared it to putting money on the credit card when there is cash in the state's Rainy Day Fund.

The Senate approved the same plan in a closed caucus.

Legislators and a spokeswoman for the governor said details on what programs will receive the $175 million cushion still need to be worked out.

House Speaker Dave Clark, R-Santa Clara, once again expressed his frustration that the governor refused to convene a special session to address the budget shortfall in December.

"I think the governor has got bad advice," said Clark. "I think the position we're in right now is far more harmful and … the measures we are going to have to take are going to be

deeper and are going to be felt across this state far more than if we were in a special session."

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Note from the Executive Director

Odyssey House provides its services within the context of an intensive and service-enhanced Therapeutic Community (TC), which is proven to foster citizenship, responsibility, recovery from drugs and alcohol, emotional healing, and cognitive reparation. Therapeutic Communities harness the power and effectiveness of constructive peer influence to evoke positive change in clients, creating a depth of nurturing and support that many clients have never previously experienced. In many ways, the ‘therapist’ is the community itself, consisting of peers and staff who model and expect successful personal change. Within the TC, the primary treatment focus is substance abuse addictions, but goes beyond these problems. This approach views substance abuse and other problems as reflections of chronic deficits in social, educational, vocational, familial, economic, and personality development. Thus, the principal aim of the TC is global life-style change, including abstinence from alcohol and other drugs, elimination of antisocial behavior, enhanced education, constructive employment, and development of prosocial attitudes.

Through this comprehensive treatment program clients receive education and practice in life skills. Clients hold each other accountable, which facilitates each individual making the changes that will assist them in becoming productive citizens with positive social and psychological skills.

The TC incorporates comprehensive services into a single setting. The TC, as a milieu, becomes a springboard with which evidence-based practices and modalities can be employed. TC’s are heralded throughout substance abuse research literature as a treatment of choice, which has made them very popular in most parts of the country. Research demonstrates that TC’s are particularly effective in reducing criminal behavior. Further,the TC model aids in reducing substance abuse, crime and violence and increasing employment and family stability.

Using the TC, Odyssey House effectively tackles self-destructive lifestyles, emotional problems, and antisocial behaviors through treatment, education and prevention services. The participation of TC members in the community places them closer to the real-life situations than do the artificial communities of traditional staff-driven institutions, so they are better prepared to embrace a more productive future. The environment is such that clients have an opportunity to practice skills, learn to have positive relationships with other people, and to become contributing members of society with a hopeful future.

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