Header Image
Turning Point Main Photo
Family Mailbag


"A little more than a year ago, we would never have been able to imagine where we're at today. We couldn't visualize the 'old' Mike dedicating himself to anything, but he's completed the challenges of living sober, becoming independent, finishing his EMT course and passing the State EMT certification exam. Wow! Thank you all for giving us our son back and God bless."

Like us on Facebook

View our profile on LinkedIn
Search for Turning Point Extended Care

In This Issue
January 2014 Calendar
Recreation and Lifestyle    On Tuesday, December 3, Turning Point's Phase I residents and a member of the support staff hopped in a van and took the three hour drive up to Vermont's Bromley Mountain for a day on the slopes. Ski trips are one of the yearly favorites for the Turning Point residents, and Recreation Coordinator Casey Olayos put together an exceptional trip.

At Turning Point, recreational activities play an important role in the recovery process. They bring residents and staff together to gain new experiences and forge greater bonds. These events help show the residents that it is possible to live a fun and exciting life in recovery. "It was really good," Chris W. said. "Skiing has been my favorite so far. The [rec events] are nice because they bring us to outside activities instead of us being in one place all of the time."

Recreation and Lifestyle

   Aside from the activities themselves, the simple act of leaving the house and driving to an event can facilitate sense camaraderie within the group. "I really enjoyed it," John V. said. "The conditions were good, and we had a good group of guys. It may sound ridiculous, but I liked more the conversations that I had with Chris M. (support staff) on the drive. He's really motivating."

The activities, although outside of a clinical setting, can still serve to spread awareness of the recovery process, and, as always, Turning Point shows young men that sobriety can be fun.
Tim W.
Ken W.
Steven H.

Warren P.
Andrew M.
Dan W.

Joseph M.

Mark W.


Altay P.
James T.
Nick M.
Grant L.
Jim B.

Jack R.
Mack G.
Jim L.

Vinny C.
Phil S.
Dave O.
Nick A.
Johnny M.

David E.
Alex K.
Gavin B.
Joe F.

Jon D.
Eli O.
Kevin S.
Ryan C.
Chris C.

Josh F.
Daniel M.
Olin K.
Nate S.
Dylan C.
Matt M.
Justin W.
Brian M.
Michael R.
Ethan E.
Zach B.

Mark E.
Zach K.
Scott F.
Brandon T.
Shane F.
Tyler E.
Mark S.
Michael L.
Alex C.
Chris F.
Joe P.
Rolf K.
John N.
Lucas S.
Brian B.

Chris H.
Alec P.
Mark S.
Connor L.
Ryan D.
Jeremy C.

Jesse S.
Demetri A.
Clinician's Corner
Many clients come into treatment with their own agenda and contrary to the popular belief that the "doctor knows best", meeting the client "where they are at" is where the real therapeutic work begins. Even though a therapist may know best, it is important for the therapist to guide the client to make the decision to change on their own.

    Allowing clients the ability to explore sobriety in a non-judgmental and supportive environment helps the client take ownership over their decision to become a sober man. According to Psychologist Erik Erikson's Stages of Development (1959), adolescents are exploring their identities and roles in life. If these young men are or were using drugs during this developmental time they may find themselves identifying as active addicts, but are contemplative about living a sober life. Others may find themselves engaged in sobriety, but in need of therapeutic and peer intervention to process urges, triggers, or thoughts of substance use.

    Creating a supportive environment to explore their identity and challenge their current role can be cathartic. Alex Gitterman and Carel B. Germain (1987) introduced the Ecological Perspective of therapeutic practice, expanding work with clients beyond internal changes and family dynamics to a client's physical environment, social atmosphere, and culture. The theory emphasized the reciprocal relationship between the person and environment and the influence each has on the other.

   The Ecological Perspective is an important concept when working with specific populations therapeutically due to the importance of understanding that population and meeting their needs. Living a sober life is about changing the unhealthy people in one's lives, triggering places, and creating an environment of recovery. Turning Point addresses these aspects holistically by introducing our clients to a community of sober young men, a community in w hich they fit. Peer support, staff in recovery, compassionate therapists, safe group dynamics, AA meetings, and education and support in creating a new sober life contribute to the changes we see in our clients and the changes they can find in themselves.

   Turning Point has grown to become a conducive environment for sobriety among a community of young men in recovery. Young men exploring sobriety can obtain substantial therapeutic gains in an environment that mirrors who they are and where they are in their lives. By specializing in treatment for this specific demographic we are able to create a safe environment that promotes growth.
Liz Modugno
Liz Modugno received her Masters in Social Work from The University of Connecticut and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She specializes in addiction and trauma therapies, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.
Resident Profile Warren P
Warren P. is a resident currently in Phase III of Turning Point's extended care program. Like most, Warren's road to recovery has been long and filled with obstacles, but he has held on to a powerful motivator and is currently well on his way to leading a healthy and sober life.
Resident Profile Picture
   Warren began smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol at the age of 14, and in high school he experimented with cocaine and mushrooms. According to Warren, he grew up in an upper class area of St. Louis, and wasn't exposed to any "hard drugs," but that all changed when he went off to school at Ole Miss. "I went to a party school and pledged a fraternity," Warren said. "I was exposed to all of these drugs pretty much right off the bat, and started using anything and everything. It wasn't long before it became an issue."

While away at school, Warren ran into some trouble with the law. His friends back at home staged an intervention, and he made a decision with his parents to seek help. After his initial primary treatment, Warren stayed sober for about six months before suffering a relapse, and spent just under a year continuing to use after the relapse. Warren decided to seek help again, and following his detox, he entered treatment again but soon relapsed. "I was about to go out on my own and try living on the streets," Warren said. "My parents finally said, 'alright, if you want to do it, but this is the last chance.' I had heard that before, but this time they were serious. I would be cut off from everybody and everything."
Resident Profile Picture 
Resident Profile Picture
Warren reconsidered, and decided to accept the help that was being offered to him. He visited home for a few days, and went down to Florida for treatment at The Refuge, where he spent five months. While there, he began working with his sponsor and made significant progress in working the 12 Steps. Following his time there, he entered Turning Point and has re-enrolled in college.

Resident Profile Picture"In the past I really haven't given myself the time to become comfortable and experience a little bit of life sober. [Turning Point] has given me the luxury of time to get comfortable in my own skin as a sober person, and that has been a good thing. I've come to the realization that I can do things sober which I'd never done before."

During his time at Turning Point, Warren lost a good friend to addiction (pictured), and he has carried that with him throughout his residency. "It's been a huge motivator for me to stay sober and stay here, to do this thing for someone else other than myself. Another big reason I'm doing this is so that I can be a role model to my little sister and brother. Things with family couldn't be better, and it's the greatest thing for me, how close I am with them now."
Casey Olayos is Turning Point's Unsung Hero for the Month of January. Casey began working for the program while he was a resident. During his time in Phase III, he became House Manager, and toward the end of his stay he started working as a member of the Support Staff. Casey currently serves as Support Staff Manager, and he has recently taken on the additional responsibilities of Recreation Coordinator.

As a graduate of the Turning Point program, Casey uses his personal experiences in recovery to aid current residents in their own journeys. "I couldn't have done it without John Stewart helping me transition," Casey said. "I had a phenomenal experience with Turning Point. I have the life I have today because of going through Turning Point."

"I don't look at it like a job. I love coming into work every day. Being someone that went through the program, the young guys can relate and they see that I have a good life. I try to be a good role model. I love what I do. It's something that I love, and I plan on making it a career." 
Alumni Life Ben K
Alumni Life Ben K
Ben K. successfully completed the Turning Point program,and graduated on November 1. He came to Turning Point after undergoing primary treatment at Caron. During his time at Caron and Turning Point, Ben was provided the tools needed to lead a productive and sober life, and he is now applying them successfully as a member of the New Haven recovery community.

Ben's issues with substance abuse began during his time at Carnegie Mellon University. As a student, he drank moderately and occasionally experimented with psychedelics and hallucinogens. Ben suffered from anxiety and general depression, and was misdiagnosed with ADHD and prescribed stimulant medication as treatment. He soon began abusing the prescription medication, and eventually found other stimulants to fuel his addiction.

"I was definitely selfish," Ben said. "I didn't really care about the needs of other people. I became a lot more isolated, and I stopped seeing a lot of friends. I stopped doing hobbies. I used to be on my college ski team, and then I didn't ski for like three years."

Ben's parents discovered that he was stealing money, and he was sent to a Caron facility where he decided to stay in recovery and follow through with treatment. "My parents were pretty angry, but at the same time they were supportive. They wanted to see me get better, and they reacted positively when I went to Caron without resisting. I wanted to be there."

"I'm definitely being more honest now," Ben said. "I'm willing to try to change my problems. I'm also seeing that my problems are actually problems. Before I thought addiction was no big deal. I thought I'd be able to take care of it fine on my own. It wasn't until I got to Caron that I started realizing that I couldn't fix all of my problems by myself. I'm feeling pretty good now."
Alumni Life Quote 
During his time at Turning Point, Ben focused on establishing a routine, and he has carried that with him after graduation. As a resident, he worked on furthering his education, and he hopes to transfer to UConn's grad school program where he will continue to study Cognitive Archaeology. In addition to school, Ben also works as a member of Turning Point's Phase I Support Staff, and he is intent on continuing with therapy and working within his sober network.    

From the Family Header
From The Family Picture
Melissa R. is the mother of Rolf K. a resident in the third phase of Turning Point's extended care program. After two previous recovery attempts, Rolf entered Turning Point and has since taken great strides in maintaining a sober and stable life.

According to Melissa, Rolf's decline into addiction was "fast and furious," rapidly altering his behavior and lifestyle. After high school, Rolf moved to California to attend college in Santa Barbara. Rolf was there for a year and a half before showing signs of discontent. He opted to transfer to a community college in Cape Cod close to where Melissa and her family were living at the time. At this point, there were no signs that Rolf was suffering from addiction. He may have partied at school, but according to Melissa, "it didn't seem to be out of control in any way, shape, or form."

From The Family Picture Melissa soon moved back to Greenwich, and Rolf got a local part-time job and began living in her basement. Melissa noticed that Rolf was extremely fatigued and prone to sleeping late, staying in his bed for days at a time. He explained it as being tired, and happy to be sleeping in his own bed again, but Melissa noticed that his eyes "were off, and glassy," and he "wasn't interested in anything."

Rolf expressed his desire to have his own place again, and soon moved into an apartment to live alone. At this point, things rapidly declined, shocking Melissa and her entire family. According to Melissa, Rolf started with prescription pain pills, eventually moving on to heroin. Within two months of living on his own, he had stopped going to school and stopped working. "The addiction was there, waiting for the opportunity to sink its ugly teeth in," Melissa said.

From The Family Picture

From The Family Picture Rolf's first primary treatment was for nine weeks in Minnesota. He completed the program, and was scheduled to enter a sober living facility, but relapsed in the interim, almost dying from sepsis in Melissa's basement. Following this, Rolf exhibited a pattern behavior that showed he wasn't ready to be sober. Over the next couple of months, he attempted another rehab, was kicked out of detox, disappeared for a few days, and was arrested twice. Rolf was turned away from a second detox for not meeting their requirements, and Melissa contacted Turning Point for help.

Since entering the program, Rolf has remained steadfast in his will to live a sober life, and the changes in him are apparent all those who come into contact with him. "He's so happy to be there," Melissa said. "He seems more grown up, and he's doing very well. I can't speak highly enough of the program. Someone has to be ready to be sober, and when they are, [Turning Point] provides an environment conducive to a long-term solution. Turning Point has changed his life, and therefore ours. I have nothing but the highest regard for that program. They are amazing at educating the young men that attend Turning Point, as well as their families. They take these boys and give them an opportunity to clear their heads and learn about themselves. They're setting them up to live on their own soberly and well, and to be productive members of society."

New Year's Resolutions, as written by the staff at Turning Point:

"Be part of the solution"

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Sir Winston Churchill

"Don't do just good. Do better."

"Happiness depends on grateful perspective."

"May you hear my actions rather than my words."

"Each day is an opportunity."

"Re-committing is the key to recovery."

"Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation (P.E.A.C.E.)"

"Want what you need, don't need what you want."

"Today is not yesterday, nor is it tomorrow. Today is now."

"Stay teachable."

"Peace comes from within."

"Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it." - Ray Bradbury

From everyone here at Turning Point, we wish you all a happy

New Year filled with peace, prosperity, and happiness.

David Vieau
President, Turning Point

Footer Image
Footer Image
Footer Image
Footer Image