Happy Canada Day to all of our fellow Canucks and to everyone else we wish you a great Wednesday.
Last week we posted the first part of our interview with the founder of the Oasis Addiction and Recovery Society Takis Liris. As the interview progressed we asked Taki some more pointed questions regarding his drinking habits; since he began as a social drinker who over the years increased the quantity of his consumption was he an alcoholic or just a heavy drinker? Is there a difference between the two? He laughed and quickly informed us, when a heavy drinker is told the next drink will kill him or her, they quit; when the same news is delivered to an alcoholic he leaves the office looking for his next drink. “When I left the [doctors] office I went to the liquor store and bought a bottle–That’s insanity!” At this point there was a thoughtful pause in the flow of our conversation as we all considered the weight of his last statement “That’s insanity!” To someone who has never had the misfortune of struggling with addiction alcoholic or otherwise, it is the epitome of insanity to continue any type of behaviour that will result in your death; to an alcoholic or an addict insanity is to NOT find your next drink or fix.
This pause in the interview signaled a change in the direction of our conversation. Taki no longer wanted to discuss his past but rather, wanted to use this platform to discuss the issues facing anyone who finishes a rehab or detox program. The first days for anyone coming out of any type of rehab program is stressful, as Taki says “A new person in recovery is foggy upstairs” and it takes time for this fog to dissipate. Regardless of this however, when the newly recovered alcoholic is released back into society he or she is expected to carry on like everyone else and lead a productive life. This is impossible. If we as a society are serious about tackling the problem of alcohol and addiction we MUST create programs that support their introduction back into society. Unlike like Taki who had a family and home to go to when he left his rehabilitation program, 90% of those who complete these programs have no home, or family take them in, as well as no income. Without housing or gainful employment newly recovered alcoholics and addicts return to their destructive behaviours. Taki is very clear when he states “If they(government , society) like to deal with alcoholism or addiction in general, we have as a society to concentrate on solving these issues”. Furthermore it is unfair and unrealistic to expect someone who is newly recovered to make any kind of life decsisions when they are in their “foggy” state; to borrow Taki’s phrase “THAT’S insanity”
The Oasis Addiction and Recovery Society was created with the intention of helping these newly recovered alcoholics and addicts re claim their place in society. Oasis helps them through the “foggy” days,; their programs empower individuals supplying them with tools they need to successfully navigate their new sober life. Taki proudly proclaims 85% of the programs participants not only remain clean and sober but, have also integrated themselves back into mainstream society. While this percentage is encouraging more help is needed, in order to truly tackle the problem of addiction and alcoholism in our society we require many more programs like Oasis because the journey to sustainable recovery really begins AFTER rehab and detox.
Below is the YouTube link to part two of our interview Recovery and Integration. We thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to watch our interview.
Have a Great Canada Day and Happy Wednesday!