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MARCH 2014
Family Mailbag


"Dylan is doing well. He has a sponsor and attends meetings 

and continued therapy. He is working at a local veterinary clinic and starting school in May for Veterinary Technician. Doubt if 

he would have been able to accomplish this without the Turning Point staff & therapists."

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In This Issue

Recreation & Lifestyle Headline 
(Cover Story)
On Friday, January 24, many of Turning Point's Phase I residents, and a few from Phase II and III, took a drive up to Boston for a showdown between the Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although the home team lost the game, 101-83, the residents enjoyed the trip and had a blast.

"We had a great time," Eric H. said. "It was good to get out of the house, and have some sober fun. The game was good. [OKC] kinda blew [Boston] out. It was good for me to watch the game, I'm a sports guy, and the halftime show was pretty cool." The recreational activities that Turning Point organizes are both fun and helpful to recovery, Eric said. "It's good to learn to do things sober; good to know that you can have fun."

In addition to simply having fun in sobriety, the residents work to shape new memories with friends without the need for drugs or alcohol, and the recreational activities at Turning Point help to foster new interests and hobbies. Many of the residents try something new for the first time while at Turning Point, ranging from deep sea fishing to snowboarding. That's the case for Dom M. "It was my first time going to an NBA game," Dom said. "It was awesome. We had good seats, and it was a good game. The half-time show was good like Eric said, and it was good to get out of the house and have some sober fun."

"They all had a great time," Rec Coordinator Casey Olayos said. "They had their own private level where they were sitting. It was a good bonding experience for all of them." For their next activity, several of Turning Point's residents are going indoor go-carting, and with warm weather on the way trips like paintball and canoeing are just around the corner.

Mack G.
James T.
Jim B.
Nick A.
Jack R.
Aaron G.

2 Years
Joseph M.

James T.
Grant L.
Jim B.

Warren P.


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

Alex K.
Gavin B.

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

Josh F.
Olin K.
Nate S.
Dylan C.
Matt M.
Brian M.
Michael R.
Ethan E.

Zach K.
Scott F.
Brandon T.

Shane F.
Tyler E.
Mark S.
Alex C.
Joe P.
Rolf K.
Lucas S.
Brian B.


Chris H.
Alec P.
Connor L.
Ryan D.
Demetri A.
Jesse S.
Demetri A.
Quin F.
Cameron B.
Mick M.
Chris P.
Johnny Y.
Ryan B.

Russel L.
Sam R.
Nick J.
Peter Z.
Bill D.
Dimitri H.

Andrew A.
Micah P.
Baxter D.
Parker S.
Max V.
Cory U.
Clinics Corner Header
Clinician's Corner Headline
Motivation is a tricky thing.
Recovery doesn't happen without some level of motivation. Even with motivation, sustaining recovery is a challenge. Motivation is not static. Think about your own experience. How many times have you made a determination to stop engaging in a behavior and didn't? How many times have you felt ready to stop, and didn't? What impacts motivation? Why does it go, and come? How can you hold on to motivation long enough to get traction in recovery? Most importantly, how does treatment help your motivation? Let's take a look at these questions about motivation...

  First of all, it is totally normal to both want to stop using and not want to stop using, at the same time. In fact, most people start off that way in recovery. Most people find the motivation to take steps and get help when the destruction of addiction becomes too much. However, as is human nature, as the destruction fades in to the rear view mirror and we move out of crisis, that motivation starts to dwindle. Maybe losing sight of the crisis is a form of self-protection, maybe it is the power of the initial experience that draws people back to the euphoric recall, and maybe it is our unwillingness to accept that there is something beyond our control. Maybe it is all of this, but for whatever reason, crisis doesnot equal sustained motivation. Getting to the point that letting go of substances is less scary than staying on them is no small thing. Yet, is in our nature to forget.

  Long term motivation, the kind that is needed to sustain recovery, is more dependent on the reinforcement that comes with sobriety. Not losing what you have in recovery is what keeps people sober. Not going back to where addiction brought you... that is tougher to keep front and center. Thus treatment is there to hold you through the time period between resolving the crisis and building the rewards. Early rewards such as feeling physically well, improved self-worth, improved relationships with family, etc. are nurtured in recovery. As a person stays sober, as they get through cravings and urges, or weathering a storm in their lives without using, they build what is known as self-efficacy. They begin to believe that they can do this. That belief builds motivation. Give someone the tools; show them the way; establish success, and they take that increased self-efficacy with them. Trying and failing to recover on your own, over and over, again builds what is known as learned helplessness. The opposite of self-efficacy. Motivation is depleted in the face of learned helplessness.

  As you can see, Turning point is designed to slowly move residents into increasing levels of independence. In parallel, one develops a greater sense of self efficacy and increasing levels of motivation for recovery. Complete a class, get a job, keep a job, become more independent in general and you are building general self-efficacy in recovery. Develop a support system and successfully utilize that support system when in distress, now you are developing self-efficacy specifically around recovery and absence. Turning Point gives you the time and the tools to do both.
Marc Bono, Psy. D.
Marc Bono, Psy. D.
Primary Therapist, Turning Point

Dr. Bono is licensed Clinical Psychologist and was awarded a Doctorate in Psychology with an emphasis in Addictions Counseling from United States International University in San Diego, CA. He has been specializing in addiction treatment for over 15 years and has a broad base of experience with the dually diagnosed population.

Formerly with The Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, he has also worked as a Clinical Psychologist and a Drug and Alcohol Program Director for The Federal Bureau of Prisons. Dr. Bono was the Coordinator of The Dual Diagnosis Demonstration Project for Contra Costa County, CA. where he also served as the County's Coordinator for Co-Occurring Disorders system wide.

Dr. Bono is the founder and director of The Office for Dual Recovery, a private practice and training organization specializing in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. In this capacity, he served s as the Lead Trainer and Consultant on a state wide IDDT Implementation Project for California. He has been an Associate Professor at two community colleges and served as the Director of Mental Health Services for Rushford Inc. in Meriden, CT. He is a frequent lecturer and trainer on co-occurring disorders.
Resident Profile Lucas S.
Lucas S. - Phase III Resident

According to Lucas, he began drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at an early age. Addiction runs in his family, and his substance abuse quickly progressed to various prescription medications and heroin in his later years of high school. "In my junior year, I just got really bad," Lucas said. All my grades started to slip. I just wasn't going to class. I was an absent son to my parents, and I was not a trustworthy person."

Following the death of his older brother, Lucas's drug use "took off," leading to a string of arrests that eventually led to his first attempt at recovery. Lucas entered a wilderness program in Utah, followed by an 11-month residency in a therapeutic boarding school. After these programs, Lucas moved off to college at the University of Colorado in Boulder. "Right when I got to school I started drinking and using pills again," Lucas said. "That was the worst of my drinking then; every morning, day, and night. I was a mess. If I wasn't drunk, I was shaky and delusional-going crazy. I got to the point where I would leave my dorm room so anxious that I literally felt that if I had a confrontation with anyone I'd have a heart attack. I was depressed, and hated my life."
Resident Profile Quote 
Resident Profile Lucas S.
Since embracing recovery, Lucas's personality and perspective has changed dramatically. "I think a lot of it just boils down to feeling like a better person," Lucas said. "A better son, friend, and brother. Now I keep myself busy with school, work, and volunteering. At the 
end of the day when I go to sleep, I feel like I'm at least in some way helping the ground that I stand on, not destroying everything in my path."
Resident Profile Lucas S. 
According to Lucas, the relationships he has with his family and friends are on the mend and improving every day. "It's gotten a lot better," Lucas said. "I think my parents know that this time I actually am taking [sobriety] seriously. It does take a lot longer to build that trust back than it does to destroy it. Now I'm around friends that care about me. I'm actually happy to see people and to talk to them." In Turning Point, Lucas has found a solid and supportive sober network. He is a part of a community now, filled with guys in recovery who all help each other through the daily struggles.
  Kyle Hejnar
  Kyle Hejnar
   Support Staff
  Kyle Hejnar is Turning Point's Unsung Hero for March 2014. Kyle serves as a Support Staff Manager for Phase I, a position that allows him to get to know many of the residents on an individual level, and he works to assist them in their recovery in any way possible.

  According to Kyle, he manages any needs of the residents, including transportation for meetings and handing out medication. "Overall, I'm always keeping an eye on their safety," Kyle said. "Days here are different from one day to the next." Although daily tasks may change throughout the week, Kyle strives to lead by example, and to embody the recovery side of life.

  "I changed careers, and it has utterly added so much to my self-worth and my happiness, being able to give back what was freely given to me. It's an awesome place to work. I'm pretty much excited when I go to work every day. It's not really a job for me. True happiness is just being a good person and helping others."

Alumni Life Headline Dan W.
Dan W. Dan W. graduated from the Turning Point program on Thursday, January 2.He spent years in and out of several different treatment centers across the country, but gradually made the decision to embrace recovery and has committed himself to sobriety.

Like most of Turning Point's residents, Dan began smoking marijuana in his early teenage years and started drinking while in high school. Before long, he got into various types of prescription pills and things escalated eventually to heroin. After high school, Dan attended college at New England Tech in Rhode Island, but didn't complete the program. His battles with addiction caused problems in all aspects of his life, and after "ruining" a family reunion trip in California it was suggested that he seek help.

At that point, Dan entered his first treatment experience, a wilderness program in Utah. After that initial program, he spent the next years in and out of detox and treatment centers. "It's just been like a nonstop thing since I was 20-years-old," Dan said. "I've been getting high, getting into some sort of detox, and then going back out. I couldn't control my use. I've been through the ringer."

In regards to his most recent recovery attempt, Dan said "there was definitely a gradual change." Since entering the Turning Point program he has worked hard to maintain his sobriety, despite the struggles that every addict faces. "It definitely took a lot of in-and-outs, and trial and error," Dan said. "I guess the biggest thing is I always thought I could do it my way, that I could do it myself. Things got to the point where I realized that I couldn't, that I needed help. I'm exhausted from [using]. I just stopped trying to run back to get high."

Alumni life Quote

At Turning Point, Dan worked hard to keep up with the program and maintain his sobriety. "[Turning Point] was good," Dan said. "Everything seemed to go pretty good. I did what I was supposed to do, and continued to work the program. I made a lot of good friends there, and that's huge for me."

As a resident, Dan served as House Manager, and in his final weeks at Turning Point he was hired as a support staff technician. He plans to continue working on his education, seeking a degree in either social work or business management.
From the Family Header
From The Family Jane C.
Jane C. is the mother of Gordon D., a successful graduate of the Turning Point program. During Gordon's battle with addiction, his life and the lives of loved ones were affected, but Gordon has embraced recovery and continues to serve as a positive example to other young men in recovery.

From The FamilyAccording to Jane, Gordon began smoking marijuana at the age of 12, setting off a chain of events that would later culminate in a fierce battle with heroin addiction. Jane was initially unaware of Gordon's use, but around the age of 14 he was fired from his first job after he was caught smoking marijuana. "I don't think he ever stopped after that," Jane said. "At one point I thought this was a psychiatric issue. He had panic
attacks at school, and was high strung, always up and down. When he was happy, he was ecstatic. When he was sad, the world was ending. He just felt things deeply."

Over time Gordon's drug use gradually progressed to include prescription painkillers and later heroin. "I knew when he was sitting at the kitchen table, just drooping," Jane said. "I knew that we had a very serious problem. Then I wasn't sure, but I know now that was when he was into heroin; he progressed all the way through." Gordon eventually came to terms with his addiction, and made a phone call to Jane that no mother wants to receive. "He said that he had a drug addiction and couldn't kick it, and he asked for me help. I knew that he was struggling with something, but I didn't know the extent of it at the time."

In addition to the struggles caused directly by Gordon's drug addiction, Jane also suffered through codependency issues, but found help and
support through a support group at an outpatient center Gordon had attended. "The program was not helpful to Gordon at all," Jane said. "I was in the parents' program, 
From The Family Quote
and that was extremely helpful for me because I started to figure out what I needed to do." It affected Jane deeply, and she told Gordon that he had to leave her house.

At that point, Gordon called his father, who made the arrangements that would lead to Gordon's residency at Turning Point. Gordon followed his family's wishes, and soon entered detox. Since coming to Turning Point, Gordon has embraced sober living and serves as an example to new residents. Despite his years of drug abuse and the early struggles in recovery, Gordon has improved dramatically over time, returning to his old self, and even better, according to Jane.

From The Family

"He's back," Jane said. "In fact, he's not only back, he's better than he's ever been. [Gordon] has the ability to take care of whatever he's got in front of him, and he has the ability to be the leader I've always known him to be. He can inspire people to look up to him and see him as an example. He has serenity about him that he never had before. I'm really grateful to Turning Point for giving him that opportunity. I know he's the one who did the work, but he had to have the environment to do the work in. I'll be forever grateful."
Dave President's Greeting
Spring is just around the corner (though at times it may not feel it!), and with it comes another exciting season at Turning Point. In early March, we will be opening our new Phase II home located in the beautiful Whitney Avenue neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut. Our facilities staff has been working day and night, weekends and weekdays, to get the house remodeled and ready for the first clients to enter.

With a state of the art kitchen, more two-person bedrooms, and a computer lab/lounge, the new Phase II home will be a tremendous addition to the homes of Turning Point. The home is conveniently located on major bus lines and only blocks away from the campus of Yale University. And most importantly, we believe this home will benefit our client's recovery in any number of ways - from ease of access to schools and businesses to a more comfortable living environment.

If you're ever in the neighborhood, please feel free to stop on by. We look forward to seeing you all very soon.

David Vieau
President, Turning Point

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