It is a privilege to write this testimonial about my family’s experiences at the Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC). I think it is a understatement to say that the staff and programs of LVRC have radically changed our lives for the better.
My daughter, a beautiful, talented 20-year-old college student, was progressively going downhill in all spheres of her life—academic, family, social, and psychologically within her own personality. My wife and I truly had no idea how malignantly affected she had become by a variety of drugs. She had had a serious drug-related automobile accident in August 2010 which almost took her life. The brilliant physicians of the Trauma Center at Hackensack University Medical Center saved her life and kept her incredibly functional in all aspects, despite a sub arachnoid hemorrhage, fractured lumbar vertebral body and intro-abdominal bleeding. After one week in the hospital she came home on a variety of pain medications. In retrospect, as talented as the physicians were in putting her back together after the accident, they knew little about the addiction proneness of their patient and how she would become more and more addicted to these medications. Over the next four months our daughter became less and less functional, even less than she had been before the accident. She could barely move from the sofa, constantly complaining of pain. In desperation, we began researching rehabilitation programs all over the United States for the treatment of addiction and pain. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have found LVRC, on the other side of the country (we live in New Jersey). It didn’t matter to us how far it was from our home, as long as the treatment and care they offered would return our daughter to her life and to us.
We brought her to LVRC in January 2011. She was truly a basket case, knowing only when she was supposed to get her next dosage of pain medication. It was brutal for us to see her in this condition. We had no previous experience with addiction rehab facilities. Several medical colleagues of mine had recommended LVRC. It seemed like such a long trip to make. Our daughter entered LVRC for what became a 90 day course of treatment. It was not easy on any of us. We made three trips to LVRC over the course of three months of her stay there. She wanted to leave after 30 days, but we were wisely advised by the staff that she was far from ready, and so we held on, not at all seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
We attended the four day Family Renewal Program in the fourth week of our daughter’s stay. We had no idea what we were getting into and expected informational lectures with a group of other family members, more personal meetings with the staff who were working with our daughter, and several meetings with our daughter herself, who expected to be coming home with us. In all respects the Family Renewal Program was exceptional, beyond description. The intellectual vitality of the presenting staff was amazing. The shared with us their perspectives on the nature of addiction, the treatment process, and the family dynamics which had been operating to enable our daughter’s addiction. Most profoundly their caring concern for their patients and for us was touching and impressive. Our group of family members bonded to a startling extent. For me, a somewhat suspicious and cynical physician, this was startling. Our heads were turned around in so many respects. We were imbued with a new energy to combat our daughter’s addiction, and to confront our own involvement in her disease. We finally recognized how addiction is a family disease. We saw the therapeutic road ahead as a long and arduous journey which it has proven to be.
But here we are, over a year post-discharge (April 2011), and we have our daughter back. She has her life back, in many ways even better than it had been before the events leading to her admission to LVRC. She has been committed to the NA Program, going to meetings almost every evening. We had been told by the LVRC staff that this was going to be pivotal for her to remain in recovery, not simply drug abstinence.
Our entire family has seen [our daughter's] profound growth as a young woman. She has returned to college, achieved straight A’s in her courses, and re-engaged with peers and with us. She has become committed to working out and becoming physically fit. She runs 5-7 miles a day, goes rock climbing with her brother and with friends, and regularly participates in “hot yoga” exercising. All this in marked contrast to her virtual physical inertness prior to going to LVRC. Her personality has transformed from being a withdrawn, introverted girl, to being an outgoing young woman who goes after the things she wants to achieve in life. She is now cognitively and emotionally intact for the first time in many years. But we take every day as a gift and make no assumptions about what lies ahead for us.
There is insufficient room in this testimonial to describe the profound turnaround she has made in her life. And there is insufficient room to describe how grateful and appreciative we are to the staff at LVRC for what they have given to us. They always maintained their commitment to the principles of the treatment, cut no corners and did not falter when the going became inevitably tough. LVRC is a first class program which I unabashedly recommend for families who suffer from the devastation of addiction.
—Dr. C., M.D., M.P.H.