Why “open recovery” matters for the community

Center for Open Recovery’s Drug Diversion Program is geared towards supporting  participants to make positive behavioral and lifestyles changes through the reduction of and/or elimination of using alcohol and other drugs as a solution that actually causes unwelcomed and unintended problems. Instead of reaching for substances, we help clients identify other healthier choices that they can make to enhance their lives and empower themselves to live healthily and positively. Our Drug Diversion Programs consist of 12-24 weeks of group education and counseling sessions.

Ryan K. recently participated in the three month Drug Diversion Program, completing the program in January 2016.  He shared the unexpected benefits of his experience:

“As I think back to being handcuffed and walking out of the courthouse, it was hard to see what could come out of it.  I was arrested — a bag of cocaine fell out of my pocket at the Bay to Breakers race. Those were dark days. It was tough for me to swallow the impact of my situation – especially on my family.  My parents work for the government — and as a result of my arrest, my mom lost her security clearance.

Instead of going to jail, I participated in the 3 month Drug Diversion program at COR. Most of us got there and were anxious to get through it.  There were 20 people in the program when I arrived.  We met weekly and over time we began to open up and talk. The facilitators really cared.  I got comfortable and began to see how the others transformed their lives and I took it seriously.  It was subtle, but we learned to move forward and we learned to focus on the more meaningful.  We looked beyond the drugs at the actual problems and issues that we were dealing with.

This ‘open recovery’ platform really made sense to me – valuing people and their recovery as a whole. I used this opportunity to better myself.  I learned to be constructive, to create a new environment and today I am doing really well. I  have changed my approach to drugs.  I am more cautious.  I don’t look away when I can’t find my way.  If I need a relief, I think about the future. I met my new business partner in class and today we are supporting schools in South America.  We just opened a storefront on Maiden Lane.

When I completed the program I approached the staff to let them know how grateful I am, what a change has occurred in my life and how I really appreciate ‘open recovery’ as a concept. I am not keeping this a secret, I am sharing my experience with others.”

Ryan touched on a key point that we take to heart: not hiding in shame because of the challenges we have faced. Instead, we create a healthy, open community. Our participants and facilitators work together to create a supportive environment in which everyone can make informed and healthy decisions and feel supported. Center for Open Recovery would not be able to offer this unique program and environment to Ryan or other participants without charitable contributions from community members. Community is key to our shared well-being. Now, we cannot wait to bring the community together as we celebrate long-term recovery from addiction at the Road to Recovery 5K on May 1st. Together, we will enjoy a day of wellness and healthy activities at a day on the Bay. Please join us! Find more information at http://openrecoverysf.org/events/road-to-recovery-5k/ or on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/openrecoverysf/.