Founder’s Story

Founders, John & Jane Derry sail to Panama to develop Serenity Vista rehab

Founding Director’s Story Background John Derry, B.Sc.Phm., M.A., is Founding Director of Serenity Vista. He has an impressive track record of success throughout an extensive professional career spanning pharmacy, addiction, and management leadership.  John is a licensed Canadian pharmacist and holds a Master of Arts degree in Addiction Counseling from the world-leading Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Read more about John’s professional background here. Driven by Passion John’s passion in life is to help others experience joy in living their fullest potential. John is a devoted father and husband, and role models what he teaches through his own life. John’s life is a manifestation of his values and ongoing journey of spiritual exploration and development. The establishment of Serenity Vista is a reflection of this passion and life journey. John is originally from Canada where he developed a successful career…

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Spending Christmas In Rehab? Yes!

Christmas-in-rehab - Serenity Vista private international holistic rehab

It May Be Your Best Idea Yet to Spend Christmas in Rehab! We wish you a Merry Christmas. Bah Humbug! That’s a sentiment expressed by many people at this time of year. The pressures can be unbearable for such a joyous time, even more so for addicts and alcoholics, even if they are sober in recovery. But Why? Old Wounds Cut Deep Let’s forget about the stresses of buying gifts and how much to spend and cooking and baking and finding the time to do it all. Instead, look deeper into the issues of why Christmas is such a difficult time for the active addict or alcoholic, or the clean and sober addict in recovery. Often addiction has its roots in the family. Whether your family is ‘picture perfect’, or there is some past abuse, trauma, or conflict, Christmas means…

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Thanksgiving Sobriety & Your Family

Thanksgiving Sobriety

Your Thanksgiving Sobriety & Your Family First, from John & Jane at Serenity Vista, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Another opportunity to be reminded to be grateful for all we have. Sobriety, first, followed by the promises coming true manifest in various forms of community, family, relationships, activity, and life itself. For many, especially our American friends where Thanksgiving marks the begining of the holiday season, Thanksgiving is the start of perhaps the most stressful time of year for recovering addicts and those in active addiction alike. Why? It’s about our families. Many in active addiction have core issues that stem from the family past. Don’t take your Thanksgiving sobriety lightly! Awareness is key to taking care of yourself. There are steps you can take to look after your sobriety through the holidays. The Stresses Of The Holidays…

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Ethical Drug Rehab: What to Look for (and What to Avoid) in an Addiction Treatment Center

ethical drug rehab

Ethical Drug Rehab If you or your loved one are struggling with addiction, you’re no stranger to how completely unmanageable it can make your life feel. Sooner or later, most of us who struggle with addiction reach a breaking point – a point at which we realize that the rationalizations, attempts at moderation and failed promises aren’t working, and it’s time to get professional help. But once you make the all-important decision to seek addiction treatment, another weighty one presents itself: Which center to choose? With most of the US rehab industry being private and underregulated, and virtually no objective information easily available online (most third-party referral sites are in fact managed and paid for by rehabs themselves), learning what to look for in a center is crucial to your treatment success. Here’s what you should look for – and…

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Relapse Again. Now What?

Addiction Problems Grow and are Complex. Serenity Vista offers solutions, alcoholism, drug rehab centers

Relapse Again Now What? You’ve had a relapse again. Now what? The word relapse is perhaps the most ominous word in the addiction recovery vocabulary. Why? Because regardless if you have been sober one month or 20 years, relapse again is a possibility every addict or alcoholic faces. Does a relapse mean that it was all for nothing, that you’re a failure? Absolutely not! But what’s next? The Emotional Turmoil A relapse is possibly the most devastating blow to a person’s recovery. The emotional stress can seem unbearable. You’re feeling shame and guilt. You’re embarrassed. An overwhelming, gut-wrenching, all-consuming sense of failure fills you to the core. Your body aches with misery. You want to hide away from the public shaming and ridicule you are positive will follow if anyone found out. What you’re feeling is normal. It’s what you…

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Sober Through Halloween Shenanigens

Sober Through Halloween

Staying Sober through Halloween Hauntings If this is your first year sober at Halloween – Congratulations! If this is your 2nd, 3rd or more Halloweens sober – Congratulations! If you aren’t sober yet, but hoping to be really soon – Congratulations! I guess this covers everybody except the non-alcoholics and the alcoholics who still consider their shenanigans fun. There, now everybody is covered. Some of you may be wondering how to get through this Haunting Holiday without the ‘trick or not-treat’ of picking up a drink or a drug. It can be a daunting haunting! (sorry, that was bad) But seriously what about staying sober through Halloween? Halloween in the Early Days Kids learn really early to love this holiday, especially the ‘addicts in waiting’. What could be more fun than dressing up in creepy clothes, or being an angel…

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Joining My Son in Rehab

son in rehab letting go

Inquiry from Father: Can I come to support my son in rehab? Dear Serenity Vista, My 35-year-old son was just fired from his prestigious job because of his drinking. He has been struggling with alcohol for years. Now he has lost his job and his wife at the same time as a consequence of his alcoholism. He needs help! I’ve been searching online worldwide for the best international addiction treatment center because I am willing to help my son in rehab anywhere. Your program is impressive and I am recommending he come to Panama and attend Serenity Vista. He says he is willing to come. It sounds strange, but I am grateful and relieved that I will have my son in rehab. To help him feel comfortable with this change, I plan to rent an apartment in Boquete for the duration…

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Rehab – It May be Now or Never

Drug Rehab Panama for english speaking addiction treatment for expats

When Is The Best Time to Go to Rehab? If you are asking this question, the time is NOW.   The Disease of Denial Alcoholism and other forms of addiction is the only disease that tells you that you don’t have a disease. The hallmark symptom of alcoholism is denial. Did you ever hear yourself trying to convince someone that you are NOT an alcoholic or other form of addict? Guess what? People that are not alcoholic, never try to convince anybody that they are not alcoholic. The point is, when the moment of clarity comes for the addict, it won’t last long. This little window of opportunity, when the alcoholic realizes there is a problem is ready for help, is a very little window. Alcoholism is a subtle foe. When the disease of addiction experiences the threat of exposure,…

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The GOD Bag

G.O.D. Bag Kit of spiritual tools

A Spiritual Tool for Recovery The GOD BAG I’ve heard the term ‘God Bag’ or ‘God Box’. What does it mean? How can this tool help me in recovery? 12 Step recovery programs offer many promises. A particularly great one is the promise of receiving a ‘kit of spiritual tools’. These tools help keep us sober, one day at a time. AA literature actually tells us this simple kit will be ‘laid at our feet’ (p. 25 BB). The toolbox is not thrust into our face or hands but rather offered as a gift. Significantly, that means we can use them if we want to, but we never have to. First, let’s be clear about the word GOD. In 12 Step Recovery, and most treatment centers, it is explicit that GOD is as ‘you understand Him’. And, we expand ‘Him’…

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