Recovery Is Possible: Marika’s Story

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10-Year Recovery ChipTreatment of and recovery from substance use disorder isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.

It’s hard work.

And although setbacks during treatment or recovery used to be viewed as a failure, ASAC no longer defines recovery as abstinence from substances or other addictions. ASAC agrees with the current definition of recovery held by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

ASAC’s philosophy is that each individual holds the success to their future, and we are here to help them on their path to recovery. Sometimes that path is especially challenging, like it was for Marika.

While in ASAC’s Recovery Center, our residential treatment program for men and women 18 years of age and older, Marika’s continued use of substances during her stay resulted in a decision that ASAC’s residential program was not the right fit for her treatment needs at that time.

“Sometimes patients aren’t ready, and aren’t able to follow the expectations of treatment,” says Kelly Reitzler, Recovery Center Director. “Although we discharged Marika, we made it clear that we believed in her and we encouraged her to continue her efforts in recovery. We let her know that the discharge did not need to determine her prognosis for long-term success.”

Marika took that message to heart. The encouragement, the challenges and lessons she learned at ASAC were just what she needed to take the next step in her recovery journey. “Every year on the date she was asked to leave, she would reach out to our ASAC team, letting us know she was sober and that she was very thankful for what we did for her,” Kelly explains.

This year Marika sent us a picture of her 10-year sobriety chip, a token given to 12-step group members to recognize the amount of time the member has remained sober! ASAC has the opportunity to work with people like Marika every day.

While we do our best to be the right fit for each individual patient’s needs, our ultimate goal is to see each person reach their full potential—whether that is with us each step of the way, or ASAC just being the launching point to their first day of recovery as it was with Marika.