Security at Serenity Recovery isn’t just about safety – it’s about getting the most out of treatment
The highest priority of the staff at Serenity Recovery is the success of every one of the people that come to us for help in overcoming their addiction. This requires several things to come together. We have to make sure that we are offering the very best in treatment options that we can provide. We have to make sure that the counselors, case manager, and group facilitators that we employ are compassionate and understanding of the difficult times that our patients are going through. We also have to give our patients ample time to work through their program in order to fully absorb all of the concepts and ideas that our program offers.
But, before we can worry about any of that, there is one very important thing that has to be taken care of first – we have to make sure that our facility is a safe, welcoming, and substance-free environment. We accomplish this with the help of our Security Department.
Our Security team must screen every patient that comes into Serenity. It’s not that we believe that our patients are bad people, but we understand that addiction will often lead people to make poor decisions. Those patients whose addictions have progressed to the point of physical dependency know that they are most likely going to experience some level of withdrawal symptoms. This is a very scary thought for many people, and even though they are coming to a place of recovery, that fear may lead some of them to try to bring drugs with them. This is something that we simply cannot allow.
Our Security Department inspects every suitcase, bag, package, letter and person that comes into our treatment center. We do believe that our patients have a need for personal privacy, and we respect that whenever we possibly can. But we also need to ensure that nothing comes into our facility that could interfere with the recovery of any patient. “A typical day is basically making sure that the employees and clients are safe,” explains JJ Williams, one of our Security professionals. “We make sure no drugs are coming into the facility. Everything has to go through Security.” Once we know that the patient is not bringing any contraband with them, they will go to the Medically Supervised Detox Center for an observational period of at least 24 hours, where we will assess their needs in detox and withdrawal, and begin to work with them to create their rehabilitation strategy.
Meredith Knoll is our Chief of Security. She gave us some insight of what a typical day consists of for her team – there really is no typical day. “It’s always different day to day,” she says. “If new clients come in, we have the whole intake process which is very important. My favorite part of working here is seeing the clients come in from detox. You kind of see them blossom through the whole process and then they graduate. It’s really cool to see them grow.”
A day for JJ isn’t just checking bags and patting people down. He and the other members of the Security team are vital to the day-to-day operations of our recovery center. They come into contact with our patients every day, and they start to build relationships with those patients. “When I can see somebody from start to finish, that’s awesome,” JJ says. “That means a lot to me. You get to see them graduate, you get to see them happy. It makes me happy to see them get through it.”
That interaction and trust is actually a huge step in becoming functioning members of society. Throughout their addiction, many of our patients have had run-ins with the law. Arrests for possession of drugs, driving under the influence, or any number of offenses may have caused a feeling of mistrust and wariness of police or people in positions of authority. This is part of that altered perception that occurs in long-term substance abuse. The mistakes that a person makes in addiction are rarely their fault, but the fault of the police or the people who put them into a position that caused their legal worries.
The treatment program at Serenity Recovery isn’t just a way for people to get clean and sober, but rather it is a way for them to make a lifestyle transformation that will help them to stay clean and sober after graduation. Addressing those altered perceptions is a key part of our rehabilitation plan, and building a trusting relationship with our Security team demonstrates major progress in that area. Even without realizing it, our patients’ recovery is furthered by simple, friendly conversations with the people whose job it is to keep them safe. Meredith, JJ, and the rest of the Security Department are just as important to the success of our patients as any of the counselors, case managers, group facilitators, or course instructors at our treatment center.
At Serenity Recovery, we believe that in order to truly overcome an addiction, the patient must uncover and address the underlying causes of their addictive behaviors. With our thorough program, which views healing the Body, Mind, and Spirit as equally important in rehabilitation, they are encouraged to dig deep within themselves to understand the “why” behind their substance abuse. As they find their own path to recovery from addiction, our patients also find a sense of confidence in themselves and their sobriety as well as an understanding of the personal responsibility that they hold in maintaining that sobriety.