What kind of treatment does Open Minds offer?
Open Minds offers an intensive, abstinence-based recovery programme. This means that our clients have probably realised that trying to return to some form of controlled drinking or using would put them at risk of relapse and therefore the safest option may be to refrain from using mood-altering chemicals. This programme is designed to help you to consider that option and to pick up all the advice and help you will need in order to make the best decision for you and those you care about. Clients are introduced to the 12 step programmes of Alcoholics and narcotics Anonymous and also benefit from daily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy offered by our qualified counselling team.
Will I need to stop drinking or using drugs before I can enter treatment?
Stopping on your own can be dangerous, so we would not recommend this before entering treatment. You will meet with our GP who specialises in prescribing detoxification regimes. You will have a friendly consultation and work out between you the best way forward in safely becoming drug and alcohol free. Everyone is different and so each detox regime is tailored to your own needs. The nursing team will check in on your progress to ensure everything is going smoothly.
I've heard about 12 step programmes - aren't they religious?
The simple answer is no - absolutely not. People sometimes get confused about this because the 12 step programmes encourage you to consider and develop your own personal spiritual beliefs. Spirituality is different from religion as it is concerned with how you think and feel about yourself, other people and the world around you. The 12 step programmes help people to move on from the sense of emptiness and hopelessness that they have felt in their addiction and to find a new sense of happiness and meaning in their lives. Because this meaning is individual to each person the programme can work just as well for those who have no religious beliefs and those who follow a particular faith.
Where will I stay while I am on the treatment programme?
Initially you would stay at Stanley Villa, which is the Open Minds sober house. It is a large, detached Victorian house set inside a walled garden. It is decorated and furnished to a very comfortable standard and offers a safe and secure environment in which to begin your recovery. If you continue on to the Re-Entry Phase programme you will then move across to the Secondary House. It is a large, detached house set in private gardens; set in a quiet location which offers a very high standard of facilities.
How long is the programme?
Successful treatment programmes vary from 2-24 weeks. The programmes are defined less by time and more by individual needs. The length of time needed will be determined by our assessment process. The length of time recommended will be determined by a client’s progress through the treatment programme with successful treatment being the ultimate goal.
Will I have my own room?
The bedrooms are twin rooms so you will usually have one roommate. Rooms are shared so that you don’t feel lonely or isolated when you arrive and most people find that they soon feel at home. Each bedroom has its own modern shower room, all of which were refurbished in 2012. In the Re-entry Phase clients are assigned their own rooms.
What are the meals like?
All clients help to suggest menus and to prepare meals for the house. The emphasis is on simple home-cooked food using as many fresh ingredients as possible. If you have any special dietary requirements we can normally accommodate this by providing you with an opportunity to be involved in the weekly menu planning session.
What leisure activities will I be able to do?
The primary purpose of treatment is to deal with your chemical dependency and therefore the majority of each day is spent concentrating on recovery issues. However, we believe that learning to have sober fun and enjoyment are an important part of the recovery process and have built into the programme one afternoon per week a range of leisure activities and on Sundays a leisure walk.
What free time do I get? What is there to do?
The schedule at Open Minds is designed to be productive and busy in order to give you the necessary tools for your on-going recovery. Each day you will be free between 9pm - 11pm, during which time you may watch TV, read, play board games, draw/paint or simply enjoy talking to your housemates.
I have a lot of problems/issues that I need help with. Do I get one-to-one counselling with specialists who understand addiction and recovery?
All Open Minds staff are qualified counsellors and you will see your counsellor once a week for a formal one to one counselling session. As well as this you will spend a lot of time in group therapy sessions run by the counselling team, and will be able to use these sessions to ask for the help you need.
What rules and regulations are there?
We have a list of sensible rules and regulations that are all designed to allow clients to focus on getting well in a peaceful and positive atmosphere. The rules have been set in order to preserve the safety and effectiveness of the programme. If you would like to see a copy of the house rules, please call and we will send them to you.
What happens during the day?
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings you will be driven to the day centre in our minibus. This is where your counselling, lectures, videos and group therapy will take place. You will eat your packed lunch here and will leave at 4pm to return to Stanley Villa. On Wednesdays you will travel from the house with the leisure/shopping team for a short supervised shopping trip to a major supermarket. Followed by an activity from our varied leisure programme. Weekends have a schedule of life skills building and leisure activities.
What if I need to buy personal items?
Each week when you go to the supermarket shopping, you will be provided with.
What happens in the evenings?
Three times a week you will go to 12 Step fellowship meetings (either Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous). On a Friday evening you can watch a film together and other evenings from 7 - 9pm you will be working on a variety of written work assignments to help with your recovery.
Can I keep in touch with friends and family?
In the first two weeks you can write and receive letters. Following this period you can also make and receive phone calls on three evenings per week and up to two close family members may visit on Sundays between 2pm - 4.30pm.
I'm on benefits; do I need to change anything before I come?
You cannot be on jobseekers whilst you are in treatment because you are unable to look for work, but you should be okay on income support or incapacity benefits.
What if I need to see a doctor or a dentist?
Our Nursing Team specialises in detoxification only, if you need to see a doctor you will need to register with a local practice. Please bear this in mind when entering treatment and ensure you bring with you at least a month supply of prescribed medication. NHS Dentists are in very short supply in North Wales and so we recommend seeing a dentist before entering treatment.
What if I need to buy personal items?
Each week when you go to the supermarket shopping, you will be provided with £23.50 of you personal money to cover such items as toiletries and clothing etc.
What Items will I need to bring on admission
• 1 Suitcase & Holdall
• Casual, comfortable clothes for day time
• Comfortable walking shoes (These may get dirty)
• Outdoor coat/jacket – bring jumpers/cardigans for when it is cold
• Personal toiletry items i.e Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap/shower gel & hairbrush (please make sure that any toiletries that you bring in are not alcohol based. You may bring aftershave/perfume with you, but this will be locked away & used under supervision)
• Towels – Bath & Hand towels
• Any prescribed medication you are already taking (This will be given to the medical team)
• Writing paper & envelopes – Stamps can be purchased from the office & your letter will be posted by the Admin team
• A good supply of cigarettes/tobacco, if you smoke. You will only be purchasing this once a week.
• Where it is possible, please go to the dentist before you come into treatment, as it is extremely difficult to get an NHS dentist in this area
• If you need to see a doctor, optician or any other health care professional, please do so before you come in for treatment
• Slippers must be worn in the house
• Enough money to cover your personal spending allowance of £25 per week, plus what you may need for cigarettes/tobacco, or access to money with a Credit/Debit Card. All money/cards are locked away for safekeeping and managed by the Open Minds Team.
You will not require any of the following items:
• Laptops, iPods/Personal CD Player, Stereo, Radios, any personal music systems or portable DVD players, CDs/Tapes etc.
• Mobile Phones – Please make a note of any numbers you may need. If you wish to bring your mobile phone with you, it will be locked away securely for when you leave.
• Baseball caps
• Revealing clothes, for example, short skirts, cropped tops, bikinis or really short shorts or high-heeled shoes/boots