For many this is the first time they have spoken to someone who fully understands how they feel. Not only does this bring a sense of relief, it is also the first step on the road to recovery. During this call a brief initial evaluation will be carried out and if the counsellor and you agree, an appointment will be made for a full face-to-face or telephone assessment. This initial call can be made by yourself, a concerned family member or a professional.
We like to get to know you and ensure that we are able to fulfil your needs. You will be invited to visit Open Minds to meet the counsellors and to have a look around. You would chat to a counsellor and talk about the help you would need if you decided to come into treatment with us. You would be given an opportunity to talk freely to some of the clients already here and to ask them about their own experiences.
If you are offered a place and wish to accept then once we have confirmation of your funding a place would be held for you. We would send you an admissions pack full of information on what to bring into treatment with you and what needs to be in place beforehand to ensure a worry free time here.
You will be welcomed into the day centre at an appointed time on the day of your admission. You will meet with the staff who will help you to fill in some basic paperwork. You will then be introduced to our specialist doctor who has many years of experience in prescribing detox regimes. He will prescribe a safe and appropriate way to help you to become drug and alcohol free. Following this you will be introduced to a client who will act as your ‘buddy’ by helping you to settle in and answering any questions you have.
At the end of the programme day you will be introduced to the House Manager and taken to the sober house in our minibus. You will be given a tour of the house and shown to your room to unpack and be helped to settle in. The house is staffed at all times so there will always be someone on hand to help with any problems or concerns you may have. You will spend the evening getting to know the other clients and learning about the daily household routine.
The first phase of your treatment is designed to help you to understand that your addiction is an illness. Then we’ll teach you about the programme of recovery that will enable you to deal with your illness so that you can live a happy, productive, drug and alcohol free life when you leave us. There will be a mixture of group therapy sessions, one to one counselling, lectures and workshops, all designed to help you to discover the truth about yourself and your illness. You will be helped to recognise and change your old, addictive ways of thinking and reacting and to replace this with a more positive attitude. We won’t pretend that this process is easy, but we can promise that everyone who is willing to do their best and be as honest as possible will succeed. Throughout this process help is always available from the counselling team and, of course, the other clients who are a little further ahead in the programme than you are.
You will also be introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. This is your opportunity to meet with the recovering people from all walks of life who are willing to share their own experiences with you as you begin your personal journey of recovery. Over time we hope that you will come to understand how helpful these meetings will be for your ongoing support when you leave treatment.
When you aren’t at the day centre you will be involved in all aspects of running the household, working as a team with your peers. You will be taken on shopping trips, visits to the leisure centre and every weekend clients are given a budget to plan a leisure activity of their choice. You will be learning that a life in sobriety can be fun and many clients tell us that since they came to Open Minds they have started to laugh again for the first time in many years.
The extended care programme is designed to allow you to start to put into practical use the new skills you have been learning. You will move into one of our second stage houses, where you will take on more responsibility in a smaller group. You will be given opportunities to participate in voluntary work and further education in preparation for your return to living independently following your graduation. You will also be helped to recognise your personal relapse triggers and develop strategies to deal with them. This is vital work for your long-term recovery.
You won’t believe it on the day you arrive, but time really will fly and before you know it, it will be time for your graduation ceremony. We hope that you will feel a great sense of pride and achievement as you complete your treatment with us. You will leave with our very best wishes for a long and happy sobriety and we will urge you to take up our offer of 18 months free aftercare. We love to see our graduates come to the aftercare meeting each week so that we can catch up with their news and it also offers a lot of help to our new clients to meet others who have successfully completed the programme.