Big Island Recovery

I have read through the comments posted and I have to agree with everybody. I was there with a couple of you who made comments. After you read this, you will know who you are. When my friend from New York was there, BIR still had a chance to become a decent rehab facility. In fact, I had two completely opposite experiences with BIR. Everything changed when the medical director removed himself from the facility (with a restraining order in hand against the program director). The medical director was a sane man who was focused on his own recovery and the recovery of the clients. He actually LIVED a lifestyle of recovery. Unfortunately, the “program director” had none of these qualities. He was a greedy narcissist who, I believe, pursued damaging the clients (mentally, spiritually, emotionally) in the interest of job security. In fact, he was actually using illicit drugs himself toward the end of my stay. I do have a couple of nice comments, then I will get to the dirty truth. The facility was gorgeous. There were two houses, each with a swimming pool and an ocean view. The food was pretty darn good. The accommodations ranged from average to very good, depending on which bedroom you were in. There were some fun adventures on Saturdays! None of the “treatment” happened at the house. We were driven to a community AA meetings and to a community counseling facility (at least until the medical director left and then these counseling sessions were too expensive for the program director to pay and we no longer saw a counselor). OK, I guess “here we go.” I initially signed a 30-day contract. On day 28 my family was contacted and told that I wasn’t making satisfactory progress and should stay an additional 30 days. This turned out to be the rule rather than an exception. This strategy was followed with EVERY client. Then, on day 58, my family was contacted again and given the same story. Nobody was kicked out of the program for drinking or using, or bringing drugs or alcohol into the facility. There clearly was no attempt made to provide a safe and secure environment of recovery for the clients. IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. Too much money to be treated without respect and with such neglect. One female client actually came after another with a large kitchen knife. She was transferred to another facility (obviously this happened when the medical director was still there and some reasonable decisions were made). A male client raised a large glass candle over his head and smashed it down on the back patio. Patio tiles were broken and glass had to be fished out of the swimming pool. This action went without consequence. At one point, the program director had a client handing out medications to the other clients, some of these meds were controlled substances. I know this to be true because I was the one handing out the medications, and I was in the facility for abusing prescription medications!!! The biggest scam, to me, perpetrated by BIR was a story that the program director fabricated at my expense. He created a story that I was selling drugs to a high school kid. I was a drug addict, I never shared by stash with anybody! Plus, I was living a lie, pretending to NOT use drugs. Why would I jeopardize my secrecy by exposing myself to a high school kid? I wouldn’t. The “coup de grace” was when the program director was in a meeting with my wife (who was already considering divorce) and a fake phone call came to his office and was supposed to be the mother of the high school kid. After that charade, my now ex-wife didn’t believe a word I said. This didn’t end my marriage, it was already ending, but it certainly made things worse. After being served divorce papers in rehab, I did NOT have an adequate support network in recovery. One good thing that came of my divorce was that it enabled me to pursue a passionate and exciting love affair with a smart, beautiful young lady. We made love with an intensity I had not experienced in years. Yes, she was a fellow client and we had many adventures right there at the facility. So, my time spent at BIR was not a complete waste! I guess my overall final analysis is this…Big Island Relapse made things worse for clients!!! The vast majority of clients left “treatment” in far worse condition than they entered. Don’t even get me started on my good friend and roommate who died shortly after leaving BIR due to an accidental overdose. Once again, the irresponsible behavior of the program director was involved. My friend and his family certainly did NOT benefit any from the greed and neglect of Big Island Recovery. I love you J and B, and I sure miss M. I sincerely hope that if Big Island Recovery still exists, that there is a COMPLETELY new staff and the program has been given structure and accountability. As for me, I did relapse, I then hit my bottom, and I then sought treatment at a SAFE and structured treatment facility, Maynord’s in Sonora, CA. I have over 7 months of recovery and am living a far more peaceful and joyful life.

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