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Next Alumni Day- this Thursday- 26th of January

Next Month: Celebration of Success -Thursday February 23rd

On Thursday February 23rd, 2012 at 12:30 pm, the Orchard invites all Alumni to our second annual Celebration of Success! Come be part of the fun, food and fellowship. There will be lunch, upbeat music, outrageous games and tons of hilarity.

"We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness", is one of the AA promises.

Recovery is freedom. Recovery is fun... and if you are not having fun, you are not doing it right! There is a lot to celebrate when we walk free from addiction. Bring back good, positive and funny memories. Your story is a powerful tool to inspire and engage, as well as a great opportunity to enlighten the lives of others.

Teen Drug Use - Ecstasy - "Molly"

"Molly", short for molecular, is a term used to refer to the purest forms of Ecstasy. The active ingredient in the drug is MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), though it is often mixed with other chemicals as powder within a gel capsule. One pill is usually around $10. MDMA is often taken with other hallucinogens like LSD, mushrooms or ketamine.

Effects of the drug last around 6 hours and include docility, euphoria, increased feelings of intimacy, heightened senses and hyperactivity. After coming down, the user may feel fatigued, anxious, depressed and/or irritable and may experience dizziness, hyperthermia, loss of appetite, insomnia and exhaustion. Negative effects for chronic users include depression, anxiety and memory impairment.

The biggest problem with "Ecstasy" is with its purity. The pills are often not pure MDMA- they have been mixed with chemicals such as ibuprofen or talcum powder and may have cheaper dugs added in that have effects similar to MDMA such as caffeine or crystal (methamphetamine.)

Physical signs of "Molly" (Ecstasy) abuse include dilated pupils, sweating and jaw clenching. Personality changes can include major mood swings and psychotic episodes.

Use of Ecstasy or MDMA is dangerous for teens because they can often be targets for the sale of cheap, impure tablets/capsules filled with other drugs-Being new to drug use, teens often do not know about the quality of what they are being sold. Often seen as a 'safe' drug, the dangers must be communicated. Related articles can be read at:



Relapse is so common in the alcohol and drug recovery process that it is estimated more than 90 percent of those trying to remain abstinent have at least one relapse before they achieve lasting sobriety. But a relapse, sometimes called a "slip," doesn't begin when you pick up a drink or a drug. It is a slow process that begins long before you actually use. Relapse does not always have to involve a substance but using a process dependency as a means of escaping or avoidance of issues that are being suppressed.

The steps to a relapse are actually changes in attitudes, feelings and behaviors that gradually lead to the final step, picking up a drink or a drug.

Attitudes, Feelings and Behaviors

In 1982, researchers Terence T. Gorski and Merlene Miller identified a set of warning signs or steps that typically lead up to a relapse. Over the years, additional research has confirmed that the steps described in the Gorski and Miller study are "reliable and valid" predictors of alcohol and drug relapses.

If you are trying to obtain long-term sobriety and avoid having a relapse along the way, it is important to recognize the following warning signs and take action to keep them from progressing into a full-blown relapse.

11 Steps to a Relapse

Change in Attitude - For some reason you decide that participating in your recovery program is just not as important as it was. You may begin to return to what some call "stinking thinking" or unhealthy or addictive thinking. Basically, you are not working your program as you did previously. You feel something is wrong, but can't identify exactly what it is.

Elevated Stress - An increase in stress in your life can be due to a major change in circumstances or just little things building up. Returning to the "real world" after a stint in residential treatment can present many stressful situations. The danger is if you begin over-reacting to those situations. Be careful if you begin to have mood swings and exaggerated positive or negative feelings.

Reactivation of Denial - This is not denial that you have a drug or alcohol problem, it's denial that the stress is getting to you. You try to convince yourself that everything is OK, but it's not. You may be scared or worried, but you dismiss those feelings and you stop sharing those feelings with others. This is dangerous because this denial is very similar to denial of drug addiction or abuse.

Recurrence of Postacute Withdrawal Symptoms - Anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and memory loss can continue long after you quit drinking or doing drugs. Known as postacute withdrawal symptoms these symptoms can return during times of stress. They are dangerous because you may be tempted to self-medicate them with alcohol or drugs.

Behavior Change - You may begin to change the daily routine that you developed in early sobriety that helped you replace your compulsive behaviors with healthy alternatives. You might begin to practice avoidance or become defensive in situations that call for an honest evaluation of your behavior. You could begin using poor judgment and causing yourself problems due to impulsive behavior without thinking things through.

Social Breakdown - You may begin feeling uncomfortable around others and making excuses not to socialize. You stop hanging around sober friends or you withdraw from family members. You stop going to your support group meetings or you cut way back on the number of meetings you attend. You begin to isolate yourself.

Loss of Structure - You begin to completely abandon the daily routine or schedule that you developed in early sobriety. You may begin sleeping late, or ignoring personal hygiene or skipping meals. You stop making constructive plans and when the plans you do make don't work out, you overreact. You begin focusing on one small part of life to the exclusion of everything else.

Loss of Judgment - You begin to have trouble making decisions or you make unhealthy decisions. You may experience difficulty in managing your feelings and emotions. It may be hard to think clearly and you become confused easily. You may feel overwhelmed for no apparent reason or not being able to relax. You may become annoyed or angry easily.

Loss of Control - You make irrational choices and are unable to interrupt or alter those choices. You begin to actively cut off people who can help you. You begin to think that you can return to social drinking and recreational drug use and you can control it. You may begin to believe there is no hope. You lose confidence in your ability to manage your life.

Loss of Options - You begin to limit your options. You stop attending all meetings with counselors and your support groups and discontinue any pharmacotherapy treatments. You may feel loneliness, frustration, anger, resentment and tension. You might feel helpless and desperate. You come to believe that there are only three ways out: insanity, suicide, or self-medication with alcohol or drugs.

Relapse - You attempt controlled, "social" or short-term alcohol or drug use, but you are disappointed at the results and immediately experience shame and guilt. You quickly lose control and your alcohol and drug use spirals further out of control. This causes you increasing problems with relationships, jobs, money, mental and physical health. You need help getting sober again.

Relapse Is Preventable

Relapse following treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is common and predictable, but it is also preventable. Knowing the warning signs and steps that lead up to a relapse can help you make healthy choices and take alternative action. If a relapse does happen, it is not the end of the world. If it happens, it is important that you get back up, dust yourself off and get back on the path to recovery.

10-day Introduction to Recovery

The Orchard's 10-day Introduction to Recovery provides clients with a glimpse of what living clean and sober looks and feels like. Over the course of 10 days, they are introduced to the 12 Steps and participate in group and individual therapy. At the end of this process, most clients see the benefits of enrolling in a full Primary Care Program.

The program is also designed to offer people in various stages of recovery an opportunity to refresh their experience as it is common to feel that there is something missing or less satisfying in their personal recovery. We provide a safe, supportive environment to explore various issues. Through lectures, small group sessions and various complementary therapies, we will help participants reinvent their recovery experience into something that is dynamic and vibrant.

Traditions for relationship

© David J. Fredrickson
  1. Our common welfare should come first; a healthy relationship depends upon unity.
  2. For our family or relationship purpose, there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our informed family conscience. Each member is God's trusted servant and no one governs.
  3. Two or more persons, when gathered together for mutual benefit, may call themselves a relationship. The only basic requirements for a good marriage or relationship are a mutual desire to be in the relationship, a willingness to make the relationship work and an honest desire to live God's will.
  4. Each partner should be autonomous except in matters affecting the other partner, the family or society as a whole.
  5. Each marriage or relationship has but one primary purpose - to serve as an expression of God's love.
  6. A partner ought not be overly supportive spiritually, emotionally, or physically to the marriage or relationship, lest problems of ego or gratification divert us from the primary purpose.
  7. Each partner ought to strive to be fully self-supporting physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  8. Our marriage or relationship should remain forever a free, giving relationship - one to the other. In a healthy relationship we do not keep score.
  9. A family or a relationship should be pliable in its organization but, our group conscience may appoint certain persons to serve various functions and to be directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. A relationship should avoid heated controversy.
  11. Each partner best conveys his or her beliefs and philosophy by attraction rather than promotion. Anonymity is a valuable asset to the Marriage or relationship.
  12. Anonymity expressed through Selflessness is the spiritual foundation of our way of life as marriage partners or friends; ever reminding us to place principles before personalities and the main principle in a loving relationship is unselfishness. Our greatest expression of Love is to be of help to one another and we can't do that if we are selfish.

Let Go by Louise Hay

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
To "let go" is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.
To "let go" is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To "let go" is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another, it is to make the most of myself.
To "let go" is not to care for, but to care about.
To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To "let go" is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To "let go" is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality.
To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.
To "let go" is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To "let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To "let go" is to fear less and love more

Orchard Employee Spotlight

Launette Marie Rieb, MSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP

Dr. Launette Rieb is a Family Physician certified by The American Board of Addiction Medicine and the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine. She is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where she is the Director of the Addiction Medicine and Inter-collegial Responsibility Program for education of undergraduate medical students and residents. Dr. Rieb also works clinically in chronic pain rehabilitation at OrionHealth - Vancouver Pain Clinic, using her graduate research in pain neurophysiology. She was the Addiction Medicine consultant to the Maternity ward at St. Paul's Hospital for ten years and worked in Addiction Medicine at the Three Bridges Community Health Centre for 14 years, both in Vancouver. In the past she co-chaired a committee that wrote BC provincial guidelines for the treatment of pregnant substance using women. Dr. Rieb is a past Board member of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine. She is past Chair of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario's Inquiry Board for Physician Incapacity. Dr. Rieb is a sought after lecturer on Addiction Medicine at local, national, and international medical conferences and received The UBC Postgraduate Teaching Award for 2010-2011.

The Orchard One Year Club

Congratulations to our latest one year club members! The following alumni have recently achieved one year clean and sober: Daryl K ,Monique I, Ashley W, Kristina C, Steve J, Hana C, Steve D, Hazel T.

Drop by the administration building next alumni day to see your name posted on the one year club board.

Thanks for Letting Us Know

Please contact us at alumni@orchardrecovery.com to let us know if you are celebrating a sobriety milestone.

Friends of the Orchard (FOO) Meetings

"FOO" Meetings are 12-step meetings facilitated by The Orchard and attended by our alumni community. They provide a bridge between the substance abuse treatment facility and the outside community and take place regularly in West Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Seattle. FOO meetings are based on Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and assist clients in maintaining their aftercare plans.

FOO Calgary update

I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the holiday season. Things are really good here in Calgary, and I just wanted to drop you a line to keep in touch. As I was driving to FOO recently, I was thinking to myself that we haven't had any new people join us for a while and that it would be nice if "fresh meat" would appear. "Fresh meat" is what someone called me when I first arrived, and it has become a term of endearment, in case you are wondering!

Enter Graham (March 2008)!! He is from Vancouver, but will be living in Calgary for a while, looked us up, and has attend the past two meetings. A very nice man, and has it together! Our group has formed a very special bond and we all make it a point to be there on Thursdays. There is myself, Daryl K. (who just received his one-year chip !), Kathie M., Donna A., Ray Q., Cameron B., Wendy L., Coleen G., Kareen J. and a few who only attend occasionally. We aren't big in number, but we are very strong in fellowship! I think of you and the others at the Orchard and pray that things are going well. I will pray for those who are there now and for those who will be fortunate enough to go there in the future. The Orchard truly was a blessing for me!

Don and I went to London in October - I had Googled meeting places prior to our departure, so that I would be prepared, in case a meeting was needed. I went to a meeting there and when I arrived, the church doors were locked. I thought to myself "Great, now what - no meeting?" Then I listened for a moment and I heard laughter coming from a small door off to the left. I went in and there were a number of doors and halls to choose from. I paused and waited and then followed the laughter three floors down and through hallways...and it led me to the meeting!! I was welcomed with open arms as "the visitor from Canada". It was like I had known them forever, even though it was only an hour and a half!

Big Book Passage of the Month:

From page 417
Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life-unacceptable to me. And I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in this world by mistake. Unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

12 and 12 Passage of the Month:

Pg 40
All by himself and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willingness. When he acquires willingness, he is the only one who can make the decision to exert himself. Trying to do this is an act of his own will.

As Bill Sees It- To Grow Up

Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for complete approval, utter security, and perfect romance--urges quite appropriate to age seventeen--prove to be an impossible way of life at forty-seven or fifty-seven.

Since A.A. began, I've taken huge wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually.

As we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward instinctual drives need to undergo drastic revisions. Our demands for emotional security and wealth, for personal prestige and power all have to be tempered and redirected.

We learn that the full satisfaction of these demands cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives. We cannot place the cart before the horse, or we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment. But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first--then and only then do we have a real chance to grow in healthy awareness and mature love.

The Spirituality of Imperfection

So long as we cling, we are bound. The alcoholic knows that truth as well as anyone on this earth, for it is the very essence of addiction to cling to some fixed, repetitive, once-meaningful but now self-destructive pattern. Yet the alcoholic-and the rest of us, in one way or another - hang on. "Let go," the voice calls out. "Let go of the bottle (or the pills, the possessions, the power, the pride) and you shall be free." But the insistent whine refuses. "Please, anything but that ..... take anything but that." We crave release, but we refuse to release-and so long as we cling, we are bound.

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