Malibu, California (PRWEB) April 12, 2006
Acclaimed rehabilitation center Malibu Ranch is offering scholarships and complete expenses for 30-60 day stays at its beautiful center with its extensive Recovery Plus program.
Working with the Washington D.C.-based Office of Community Connections, which helps choose the recipients, the pilot program has been proven successful, and the multi-cultural exchange program will go into official and continuous operation starting immediately.
Sandra Connelly, a 41-year-old crack addict and alcoholic from Washington D.C., is proof that the program can help everyone associated with it. At first, things looked as bleak as they could be for her. For years, the African American woman had been living on the streets in D.C., smoking crack and drinking every day -- and prostituting herself to pay for it.
Local help and treatment centers were short on beds and tight on budgets.
Then a ray of light and a bit of hope unexpectedly came from faraway Malibu, California. “When I first got there, I thought it wasn’t my style. I was scared,” said Connelly. “I soon realized that regardless of my color, everyone was there to help me.”
Jerry Schoenkopf, director and founder of the Malibu Ranch said, “She helped us as much as we helped her. Everyone at Malibu Ranch, from clients to staff, learned something from the cross-cultural pollination. We will be flying her back in five months so she can take her one-year cake with us. Wonderful things happened to all involved.”
“Quality Residential Treatment Facilities such as Malibu Ranch is a tremendous support to agencies such as ours and the clients with substance abuse problems that we serve,” said Jack Kline, Office of Community Connections’ associate clinical director in Washington D.C.
For Connelly, the cultural shock went much farther than the change between the East and the West Coast. She was flown from the harsh ghetto to upscale Malibu Ranch with its swimming pool, Jacuzzi, tennis court, gym and spacious grounds. In fact, it was the first time she even saw a beach and was just as excited at going to Universal Studios and Hollywood on a field trip-type outing.
Yet it wasn’t fine surroundings that changed her, it was the intense recovery program at the ranch that altered her life, perhaps forever. Therapies at Malibu Ranch include individual psychotherapy, cognitive and behavior skills, 12-step groups, dual diagnosis, family treatment and interventions. “I learned why I liked crack and alcohol so much, and how I could stop. Everyone was there to get help just like me. I am seven months sober now.”
Indeed. After being brought up and abused in a battered home environ, to selling herself on the streets for drugs, she proudly proclaimed “This week I am moving from a shelter to my first apartment!”
The Recovery Plus Program that has been lauded by critics, musicians and major league ballplayers.
Schoenkopf said, “Ours is a tightly-knit recovery program that shows there is another world out there besides the circle of addiction and alcoholism. We strive to give them the tools they need to take their lives back, re-enter society and have the heart and hope to begin again.”
Education and research are a big part of the Malibu Ranch agenda. Schoenkopf said “We plan to bring the newest and most effective treatments for chemical dependency into our program and perhaps through us to other programs with whom we interact. We are excited to be offering a state of the art recovery program to our clients and to be part of a nationwide network to help the No. 1 killer of kids in the United States.”
Schoenkopf, well known as a recovery expert, has over 25 years experience running treatment facilities and administering mental health programs. He is also the director of the Telesis Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to education on addiction to the community. Furthermore he runs the HeroinTimes.com, which further elucidates on the dangers of all manner of substance abuse.
Now back in D.C., Connelly has laid claim to a new life and a new self-esteem. “This saved my life. Now I even go to four 12-step meetings a week. I have learned that I really could start over.”
For interview arrangements or photos, call Jolson Media 310-270-3690.