Sobriety with Complete Life Transformation

Sobriety and Life Transformation Pretty much everyone knows what ‘alcohol treatment’ or ‘drug rehab’ addiction treatment means, and what the process is all about. Briefly: a person finally breaks through their denial, realizes that their life is out of control, seeks and accepts help, and goes through change in thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Addiction treatment is a life changing proposition. If the alcoholic or addict is prepared to go to any length to get and stay sober, the results are nothing less than miraculous. Not only freedom from the chains of addiction – BUT – a whole new life of infinite possibilities and an understanding of what peace of mind really means. The change is much deeper than just stopping drinking or using drugs. It’s truly about life transformation. Unlike traditional institutional rehabs, we work passionately and intensely with each individual…

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Why Won’t My Spouse Go To Al-Anon?

why won't my spouse go to Al-Anon

I’m Sober Now, But My Spouse….   It’s classic. The focus is always on the ‘alcoholic‘ in the family. But when the alcoholic sobers up, often the spouse does not know where else to put the focus. We hear the question over and over from people new in sobriety: Why Won’t My Spouse Go To Al-Anon? We received an email from a recent graduate of the SV program. He was very concerned that his wife was not going to Al-Anon. Our former guest felt that his wife’s focus was still on him, even though he was sober; he felt smothered. One of the tools in recovery this alumnus learned is to reach out and ask for help. Below is the actual email response from John Derry, the Director of Serenity Vista, to the former guest’s question: Why won’t my spouse go…

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Post Rehab Aftercare Suggestions


A Response From Serenity Vista With Post Rehab Aftercare Suggestions When we spend 45 – 90 days with a guest we come to care very deeply for them. We know the challenges are very great when a person returns home. Immediate post-rehab is a very slippery place. Our guests put a lot of effort into their Design For Living which is implemented immediately, beginning with stepping off the plane. The following is a response to an email received from a former guest. This former guest was wondering about an abrupt decision they had just made and wrote us for some feedback. We share these post rehab aftercare suggestions here for any other newcomers. Dear Former Guest, Hi! It is so good to hear from you. Thanks for writing. How do you know if your decision was the ‘right thing to…

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How Distorted Thinking Traps You in Drug Addiction  

Sour Grapes

Addiction Makes Sour Grapes One of the most troubling aspects of alcohol or drug addiction is it can mean your own thoughts are working against you. This distorted thinking can make the unacceptable appear acceptable and the illogical appear logical. Recovery is all about identifying and eliminating these unhelpful patterns of thought. The addicted brain is a battleground between pro-addiction thoughts (thoughts that push you towards drinking and using) and pro-recovery thoughts (thoughts that help you stay sober) ~Harold Urschel (Healing and the Addicted Brain) Examples of Distorted Thinking I need to smoke a joint after work to relax I’ll give up alcohol when and  if things get bad enough I can’t be an alcoholic because I don’t drink as much as X I’m no fun if I don’t take some amphetamine before going to a club Life would be…

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Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem Recovery

Seize The Day?   The popular Latin phrase Carpe Diem is usually translated as ‘seize the day’. Not that I am a Latin scholar, but I did find out that the translation of ‘Carpe’ is more literally ‘pluck’, mostly as in picking fruit. Carpe Diem then, is more accurately translated as ‘Enjoy the day, pluck the day when it is ripe’. What a difference! To seize is defined as ‘to take hold of suddenly or forcibly; grasp’. Sound familiar? This is how most people in active addiction live their lives, perpetually grappling with the Universe, then complaining about the goods. So, instead of Carpe Diem literally meaning ‘seizing the day’, we suggest that you try the new and improved “recovery” translation, living life on life’s terms, waiting for all things to come in their proper season, when they are best enjoyed.…

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International Private Rehab in Panama – Taoist Teaching Story

Taoist Teaching Story

Alcoholism: Good Luck or Bad Luck?     A story often told at Serenity Vista international private rehab: There was an old farmer who worked hard on his little farm. There was never any money left over, but the farmer did have one sturdy, fine horse that helped the man and his young adult son with the farm labour.   One morning the farmer woke to find that the horse had broken out of the pen, and ran away. The neighbours came over, shaking their heads. They told the farmer that he had very bad luck. The farmer replied, “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”   The next morning when the farmer woke, he found that his sturdy, fine horse had returned, bringing with him a small herd of wild horses. The neighbors came over, nodding their heads. They told…

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Smoking in Drug Rehab

Stop Smoking Now

Active Addiction Allowed in Rehab?   I picked up tobacco again while I was in drug treatment   Email From Person Seeking Nicotine Addiction Treatment Smoking in drug rehab. I quit smoking tobacco 8 years ago. When I discovered I was pregnant, I found the willingness to stop using nicotine. Having a clean air environment for my son to grow and thrive in was important to me, and I stayed stopped. For 8 long years. Although I was able to put down the cancer sticks, I wasn’t able to put down my nightly glass of wine. Over the years, this glass turned into 2, then 3, then the full bottle, and then one bottle more. One morning my son was asking me why I was sleeping on the floor. I knew I needed help. I found a good treatment center,…

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Canine Therapy in Addiction Rehab Panama

Ceiba Love Therapy

Chocolate Labrador Retriever Teaches Life Skills in Recovery   What is Canine Therapy? Canine Therapy is a new name for an old bond. We believe that an addiction recovery retreat is not complete without a great dog as part of the program. We feel that a dog is an integral part of the holistic healing complement of modalities that a person needs to recover from the battle zone of active addiction. Meet Ceiba at Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Retreat in Panama. On the First Nation or Native American Medicine Wheel, Dog represents Loyalty. You may remember a special dog from your childhood that offered unconditional love and companionship. Dog never cares how you look, what job you have, or what your status is in the community. What dog wants is to connect. Many people in recovery relate how their dog’s…

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What is Substance Abuse?

Recovery is Possible

Body, Mind and Spirit Affected Substance abuse isn’t just about the physical symptoms. It’s also about the underlying issue. As defined by Encarta, substance abuse is “the excessive consumption or misuse of any substance for the sake of its non-therapeutic effects on the mind or body, especially drugs or alcohol.” However, that’s not the whole answer. If it were, treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction would be much simpler. If it were as simple as drying someone out after over consumption, there would be little that a 12-step recovery program could teach. Only A Symptom If it was only about the drug or the alcohol, or their “non-therapeutic effects” on the mind, there would be little that would help about probing character defects, self-examination, or even admitting that there is a powerlessness over alcohol, the very first step needed to…

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