Sunrise Ft. Lauderdale

Rockers in Recovery Ft. Lauderdale

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From left: Jessica Kyle and Lynda Michaletti with me (Ira Levy) and Stephanie Palyvos. Jessica and Stephanie are nurses at Sunrise Detox in Ft. Lauderdale. Lynda is Lead Counselor.

Recovery can be fun! That’s what I was feeling after the awesome live concert last week in Fort Lauderdale featuring celebrity musicians from Aerosmith, Vanilla Fudge, Southside Johnny, the Billy Joel Band, and even the SNL Band. This show was a non-alcohol event at Revolution Live at which those in recovery could have a safe, great time. What a great venue – Revolution Live  was voted “Readers Choice” and “Best Rock Club”by The New Times recently, and for good reason.

The Rockers in Recovery blockbuster fundraiser was held by Susan Israel (wife of the new Broward County Sheriff Scott J. Israel) and Rockers In Recovery for The Special Olympics and The Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County on March 22, 2013.

It was awesome to see some old name favorites raising money for causes like these. The children had a great time. It was cool to see them smile. Performers included Ricky Byrd (Joan Jett and The Blackhearts), Liberty Devitto (Billy Joel Band), Christine Ohlman “The Beehive Queen” (SNL Band), Muddy Shews (Southside Johnny), Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) and Richie Supa (Aerosmith).

I’m not the only one who loved this show, my friends and colleagues did, too. Attendees included Jessica Kyle, RN, Sunrise Detox Ft. Lauderdale, Ira Levy, National Marketing Director, Sunrise Detox, Lynda Michaletti, Lead Counselor, Sunrise Detox Ft. Lauderdale, Stephanie Palyvos, RN, Sunrise Detox Ft. Lauderdale and George St. Louis, Director of Admissions Holistic Drug Rehab Center in Miami.]

I am hoping to get Richie (from Aerosmith) or Ricky (from Joan Jett and The Blackhearts) to come to Sunrise Detox to play a set of acoustics for patients showing how you can have fun in recovery. I really look forward to being more involved with Rockers in Recovery next year.

Change Is The Key To Recovery

Yesterday I was at the new Sunrise facility in Ft. Lauderdale, helping prepare for an accreditation inspection. I was working with client records, and noted once again how many addicts relapse and return to detox. This isn't surprising; one of the symptoms of addiction is relapse, and virtually all addicts do it at least once. Noticing it just brought the fact back to mind. It’s a good thing for us addicts to keep in mind, whether we are in recovery or just think we are. Alcoholics and other addicts relapse. All the time. So can we all, even us old-timers. I’ve seen it way too many times.

I found myself wondering how many of those folks who returned multiple times for detox actually went on to primary treatment or the 12-step groups (hopefully both), versus how many went back out to The World with the same old ideas and habits.

Detox is certainly the first step in the direction of recovery, but it's not the whole answer.  If it were, our repeat business would be zip.  Recovery is about willingness to change: to change how we think, how we relate to others, how we look at our lives, our approaches to problems, and how we solve them (or don’t).  It's about deciding how badly we want to have a life free of drugs.

Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” We don’t like change. Hardly anyone does. Humans like predictability. We’re like the musician who said he was going to get his guitar tuned and have it welded. We want to get everything in our lives just the way we want it, and then weld it in place.

Welcome to the real world. The only thing that’s certain is change, and if you don’t want to keep on being miserable — regardless of the cause — you have to do what you can to make the changes reasonably predictable. As addicts, alcoholics, or whatever we call ourselves, if we don’t change all the things I mentioned above, and learn the skills to move forward afterward, then we’re going to see detoxes, jails and other institutions, over and over again. Until we die.

Detox is about getting alcohol and other drugs out of our systems, so that we have a shot at making good decisions about the rest of our lives. The secret's not in quitting — it’s in  learning to live in a way so that we can stay quit. We don’t learn that overnight. We don’t learn it from gurus, or New Age books (no matter how many we read) or preachers, or well-meaning friends.  We learn from other addicts and drunks, and we practice.

Staying sober is about practicing the skills of recovery until they become second nature, just like being an addict was second nature. Until that happens, we’re at risk. And if we forget how to live sober lives, slipping instead back into our old ways of thinking and behaving, we’re at risk again.

Some kinds of welding are worth the effort.

A Look At Sunrise Ft. Lauderdale, Our New South Florida Facility

Today I was able to stop in at the Open House for our new facility at 2331 N.E. 53 St., in Ft. Lauderdale.  I snapped a few pictures, and I thought you all might like to see how it looks.  We expect to begin receiving clients in mid to late June.

Click the thumbnails for larger images.