Options Recovery Centre

Three Stages Program


1) Intensive Treatment Stage

This stage (usually 12 weeks) of the program offers:

  • 1.1) Educational workshops
  • 1.2) Gender specific group therapy
  • 1.3) Introduction to 12-step self-help programs
  • 1.4) Life skills development

1.1) Educational Workshops

In reality every workshop is relapse prevention. Relapse occurs when the addict is faced with a situation s/he is not equipped to handle and consequently they resort to their #1 coping skill: using.

Our workshops cover a wide range of topics. They increase the client’s awareness and understanding of addiction. It’s not a question of if these issues are going to show up; they will. Life is like that. Armed with this knowledge, clients are able to explore and identify triggers and develop relapse prevention strategies.

1.2) Gender specific group therapy

Sharing past experiences with one’s peers in a group format does not appeal to anyone, at first. However, witnessing the process and seeing the benefits quickly allay clients’ fears and can even make some eager to share their “stuff” in group. This sharing helps the clients challenge all the denials they have held about their addiction and properly assess the impact substance use has had on their lives.

This process also assures them that they are not unique or different or special. Eventually they come to realize that their disease is just like John’s and Jack’s and Mary’s. It then follows that if they do what John and Jack and Mary did, they’ll get what John and Jack and Mary got: recovery. This practice also emphasizes to each client that they need the help of others if they are to successfully maintain long term recovery.

1.3) Introduction to 12 Step Self-help Programs

In addition to attending at least 6 AA or NA meetings per week, clients complete written assignments related to the 12 steps. Rarely do clients complete all twelve assignments while in this stage of the program but everyone acquires an understanding that recovery is a process that occurs as a result of doing the work. Journal Keeping is another tool that some addicts / alcoholics have found indispensable to their recovery. All clients are introduced to this practice and time is set aside each day for them to begin to implement it into their lives. The more time one commits to one’s recovery the sooner one begins to experience the benefits.

Clients are also required to get a home group and an outside sponsor while in this stage. Most recovered addicts and alcoholics agree that having a sponsor and a home group was critical to their recovery and we want to equip our clients with all the tools they’ll need when they leave here.

Although we realize that most of our clients will not be remaining in the area after they graduate, they will be knowledgeable about the importance of having a home group where people know you and where you start learning about “service work” which is a major component of long term recovery.

1.4) Life Skills Development

As a result of the topics covered in this phase of the program clients will be able to:

  • Redefine their values in order to improve their decision making processes
  • Recognize and value a healthy lifestyle
  • Make healthy choices
  • Identify and analyze personal, physical, mental and emotional responses to stress and determine effective coping strategies
  • Use relevant knowledge to make healthy choices and avoid high risk behaviours


Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Communication Skills
  • Life Skills
  • Anger Management in Sobriety
  • Grief and Loss
  • Stress Management
  • Family Roles
  • Relapse Prevention



Many clients come to OPTIONS with a family or living situation that they return to after completion of the Intensive Stage. Others however; for a variety of reasons, do not or should not return to the living arrangements they had in place prior to coming here. It would be unwise to equip clients with the basic tools for recovery then return them to the very precarious living situations they sought to escape from in the first place.

Others were either homeless or in custody prior to coming to OPTIONS and have no stable housing situation to go to. For these individuals there is the transitional housing stage. Depending on their history this stage provides access to:

  • Continued counselling
  • Educational upgrading (G.E.D. etc.)
  • Support meetings
  • Employment / vocational counselling
  • Financial planning
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Sober fellowship

In this stage of the program, clients are given greater personal freedoms than in the first stage, as well as greater responsibilities. As seniors they are expected to continue working their recovery program, formulate a plan that will address any barriers they may have and work that plan.

In keeping with our philosophy; we will help each client with their plan to succeed, put all the tools they will need at their disposal and be available when / if snags occur. What they do after that is their option. Following the plan and doing the work required has its consequence: success. Letting up or abandoning the plan also has its consequence: failure. In the case of addicts and alcoholics, failure almost always leads to relapse.

With this last in mind, the point of transitional living is to provide a safe house where seniors get to test their newly acquired skills. Here they will enjoy the small successes, make and learn from mistakes and experience the consequences of both while remaining within the safety of OPTIONS.


3) After Care Program

Returning to the house regularly is beneficial to both the graduate and the clients still in treatment. The newer clients get to see that progress is possible if one does the work and the visiting graduate gets to remember what he was like when he was in treatment. This symbiotic relationship is a cornerstone of all twelve step programs and is an effective defense against relapse.

The after-care program is designed to provide ongoing counselling and support for clients who have completed the OPTIONS program. We recognize that most often relapse occurs during the initial six months following treatment. Participants can review issues that lead to relapse and explore how to effectively cope with them.

Alumni are invited to participate in our social activities (baseball league, golf tourneys, etc) and invite in-house clients to theirs. Eventually our alumni will number in the hundreds and we will set up and sponsor activities or functions that further the cause of recovery, fellowship and commitment.

Follow Up

Former residents who maintain acceptable standards of recovery are welcome to visit the facility and interact with residents and staff on a casual and formal basis

Clients who have completed the program are welcome to participate in group sessions and other group and social activities.


Give a man a fish and
he’ll be fed today...

Teach a man to fish
and he’ll never be hungry again!


© Options Recovery Centre, 2009