Here at the James A. Casey House we have the unique opportunity to offer a new program designed to give men in recovery the tools they need to succeed. The purpose of the Peace Education Program (PEP) is to help participants discover their own inner resources - innate tools for living such as inner strength, choice, and hope - and the possibility of personal peace. Consisting of motivational videos, interactive workshops, and personal reflection, the Peace Education Program allows our clients to develop a new identity free of the influence of drugs and alcohol.
One of the biggest obstacles to an addict staying clean is everyday stress. This is because, for an addict, relieving stress oftentimes means turning to drugs and alcohol. One of the biggest stresses an addict faces is money. Too little, or too much money can be a problem, so learning to budget money is a top priority for people in recovery. At the James A. Casey House we offer real world opportunities to make, and stick to, a budget. With a weekly allowance our clients learn to buy their own food, cigarettes, and extras without spending more than they have. This way they can develop fiscal responsibility to take with them when they leave.
At the James A. Casey House we feel that one of the most important aspects of a person’s recovery is the ability to take care of themselves when they leave a facility. If a man in early recovery can’t cook his own food, or stick to a budget, then they will slip back into old habits which will eventually lead to their addiction. To that end, we offer life skill classes on a wide variety of topics that cover everything from the simple to the complex, from the remarkable to the mundane. In addition to the 24/7 life skills program that comes from sharing an apartment, clients are taught everything from how to do their own laundry, to managing anger and aggressive behavior.
Many addicts deal with strong and difficult emotions because of their chemical dependency. Because of this we offer Anger Management for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Clients. This class is based on the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Manual developed by The US Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, and CSAT. The purpose of the class is to learn to manage anger, stop violence or the threat of violence, develop self-control over thoughts and actions, and receive support and feedback from others. Armed with this knowledge our clients can be successful in their recovery.
Animals have long been recognized as a positive addition to the healing and recovery process. In facilities such as ours, visits from therapy dogs have been shown to increase happiness, calmness, and overall emotional well-being in the clients. Led by our AKC CGC
certified dog trainer, we allow our clients to have positive interactions with dogs to help support their recovery. These visits provide a break from the daily routine and bring back happy memories of the family dog, because nothing says comfort like a cold nose with a warm heart.
Over the years we have found that in many ways a little bit of effort can lead to great success. One of the best examples of this is learning to cook for yourself. Not only is it oftentimes healthier, but you can save money. A single lunch at a fast food restaurant can cost $6-8. For the same price you can buy the makings for a sandwich and eat lunch all week! That’s why we put a strong emphasis on making your own food. All of our clients are expected to cook for themselves. We teach how to properly store, prep, and cook a variety of easy meals that they can make for themselves when they leave, saving them money and making them feel better!
Oftentimes the most mundane activities can be new experiences for men in early recovery. While they were in their addiction these men may not have been concerned with things like doing the dishes or vacuuming. Even showering on a regular basis may not have been a priority. When they get clean and sober these activities become important again, but they may not be used to doing them, or even know how. An integral part of our life skills program is focused on these basic tasks. General housekeeping and personal hygiene may be taken for granted by most people, but they are an important part of the recovery process.
Aside from teaching the life skills of day to day living we offer a variety of programs to help our clients heal their mind, body, and spirit. At the James A. Casey House we offer classes in Tai Chi, which involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. This type of exercise has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and can help improve a range of medical conditions from arthritis to heart disease to problems sleeping which can greatly help men in early recovery.