It\'s been about a year since I stayed at Ascend\'s lakehouse for two months, which is their principle location. When I realized I was definitely going to rehab the first thing I did was look up reviews on this place. I feel obligated to write one myself in case someone is in my shoes.
Ascend is good. They aren\'t magic, but it was a very good place to be. Realistically, addiction isn\'t something you can cure. But at a certain capacity, and at the proper time, addiction can be a choice you make. In my experience, Ascend was a very good reset button.
Waking up and going to the gym was a weekdaily thing and probaby still is. I took advantage of this and lost a considerable amount of weight. The food they prepare was amazing. Also they have a piano, well and a drumset too, but I grew especially fond of the piano there.
The thing that got to me was the empathy, as many of them are recovering addicts themselves. You can study the pathology of addiction as much as you want, but unless you\'ve experienced it there\'s always a disconnect. There were therapists there however who truly understood what I had been going through. It\'s a special thing. Their therapist-intern was especially good. Probably the most substantial experience I had was listening to the story of the husband of one of the therapists tell his story. It was harrowing. It made me realize how much worse things could be, and how grateful I am that I haven\'t that. Keeping it vague of course as a courtesy.
The psychtechs (essentially babysitters), and at the time of my stay were almost exclusively recovering addicts themselves, many of whom had been through the program. I took a surprising lot from just conversing with them, hearing their stories, what they had been through and where they are now. Some of them do more than just babysit, jobs and school and etc., but do so only to give back to what they feel helped them get to where they are.
All throughout I got the impression that the owner, therapists and staff did sincerely care about us. One of the most memorable times involved the clinical director and therapist coming in at the middle of the night to help my roommate through a rough episode. It wasn\'t something they were obligated to do, but early on it made me appreciate that she cared about the person more than the pay. I don\'t know if that makes sense but it was pretty significant to realize how motivated the staff are towards helping the clients.
12 step meetings are definitely a part of their program. There was one almost every day. As someone who is not at all religious, it wasn\'t a big deal for me. They don\'t push religion. They do push seeking something greater than yourself, which makes sense considering propensity toward selfish behavior is an exciting feature of addiction. Regretfully I BS\'d through it while I was there, but when I returned home I came to realize the small business I work for and close friends are a valuable reason to not do drugs.
I suppose the purpose of this, if you\'re someone who genuinely wants help, who wants to get better, and wants their life back, this place can help. They won\'t mistreat you, or belittle you. In my experience they understand you, and you\'ll be surprised at the emotional breakthroughs you and those around you experience if you actually want help. If you\'re unwilling to accept help then of course it\'s kind of moot.