Oasis Residents Fight Together to Beat Drug and Alcohol Addiction With an 85% Success Rate
Leaving for work at 7:00 a.m., Jimmie a 34-year-old electrician’s assistant, looks like many of his neighbors in the Buena Park area. His brisk, purposeful step never reveals even a suggestion of the life he was living just a few years ago.
Beginning at age 14 until he was 30, ,Jimmie’s daily routine included a six-pack of beer, a fifth of wine, four or five joints and a quarter ounce of rock cocaine.
Prison had been his home for many years, a 12-year-old son scarcely knew him and his new marriage was falling apart. “I was tired of running scared being shot at, stealing and living the life of a dope fiend, ” he says. “Oasis Treatment Center helped me turn my life around. ”
Sober for four years now, with a stable family life and a steady job, Jimmie attributes much of his success to “constant support from people who love me. The people and the groups at Oasis have been a constant source of strength,” he says. “I’ve learned work skills, relation ship skills and how to live sober.”
Help … Every Step of the Way
“Getting off drugs and alcohol is only the first step,” says Oasis founder, Jim Antonowitsch, himself a recovered alcoholic. “Many programs stop there, and people end up using (drugs or alcohol) again, because they don’t have enough help getting back on track. Oasis Treatment Center is dedicated to complete recovery and reintegration into society.”
The Primary phase of treatment consists of detoxification and bringing the disease into remission. After that, residents enter the Structure phase. They are taught coping skills and are aided in making decisions. In the last phase, Sustained Sober Living, residents live in on-campus houses, and independence is encouraged. With the constant support of staff and peers, they make plans for the future, look for jobs or enter college.
Even after they return to the outside world, residents are never alone. “We have alumni support groups and activities,” says Center director, Nancy Hamilton. “Some holiday cele brations draw as many as 200 alumni. These times are full of emotion, like family coming home.” Mrs. Hamilton is also a recovered alcoholic, and entered treatment after becoming suicidal eight years ago. A 38-year-old banking trouble-shooter at the time, she was the mother of two teenagers. “But working all day and drinking all night left little time for family,” she says.
Mrs. Hamilton has now been sober for eight years, and was able to repair her 28-year marri age and restore family relationships. In the recovery field for six years, she says one of the reasons for Oasis’s 85% success rate is “restored hope.” “There’s always someone there to say, you can do it,” she says, “and after a while, you start to believe that you can.”
Oasis Treatment Center is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The Center’s multidisciplinary staff includes a psychiatrist, addictionologist, cer tified alcohol and drug counselors and nutritionists. If you or someone you know needs help overcoming alcohol or drug addiction, you may contact Oasis Treatment Center at 222 West Ball Rd., Anaheim, phone 800-550-0467.
* As seen in: TIME • NEWSWEEK • U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT • SPORTS ILLUSTRATED