February 2020
Helping those struggling with substance abuse since 1986.
Recovery & Restoration Through Christ
  Step II of Alcoholics Anonymous: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

(Romans 1 : 18-20) 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

When we say, “We came to believe,” we are in reality saying we understand it will be a process. What then, is the process that leads us to solid belief and changes our life? We all have to start somewhere and that is usually looking at our own experiences and seeing what doesn’t work. Looking at the condition of our life, we realize that we don’t have enough power to overcome whatever we’ve become dependent on. We try with everything we have inside us, but to no avail.
Recognizing our internal weaknesses is the first step toward recovery. When we get to the point of being able to look beyond ourselves, we can see that there are others who have struggled with an addiction and have been able to recover. We also know that they too, were unable to heal themselves, yet they now live free from the bondages of addictive behaviors. So we can conclude that there must be a greater power that helped them, since we came to believe that our powerful God can restore us to sanity. This is where many people are when they get to step two, and it’s a good place to be on the road to recovery.

Rev. Joseph Cordovano 
Founder/Executive Director
What Happens When You Leave Fresh Start or a Residential Rehab?
Residential rehabilitation is a difficult time for substance abusers. However, most leave with a much better understanding of how to manage addiction and hopefully stay in full recovery. The transition from rehab to the real world can be challenging. In the facility, life is very structured and predictable. When addicts make the transition they are thrown into the stresses of life, and must learn to use the skills taught in rehabilitation. That’s one of the main reasons Fresh Start has an Aftercare program at our small apartment complex nearby. It provides a smaller portion of structure but still has some accountability which allows for more of a step down approach.

Research from Current Psychiatry Reports states that relapse occurs mostly within 90 days following rehab. These are unfortunate findings, however it shows that over a third of drug abusers are able to thrive after rehab. The truth is that drug addiction is an ongoing battle, and unfortunately not one that everyone is able to win. But it’s not up to chance. Anyone can overcome drug addiction with the willpower, proper care, and a strong support system in place.

The research study didn’t just cover the likelihood of relapse, but the most common causes. According to its findings, most relapses were caused by:

Continuing relationships with other addicts/users
Mental and emotional stress
Inconsistent post-rehab care
Celebrations, such as holidays and family gatherings
Physical cravings
Traumatic life events

It’s important to note that physical cravings are not the only reason for relapse, nor are they the most common.
Five of the six causes for relapse can easily be treated with therapy or simply by building an emotional support system. That is why most relapses happen within the first 90 days of release -- either the individual has support and does not relapse, or they don’t and relapse quickly.

Relapse is also not the end of the road. It can, however, significantly reduce an individual’s self-confidence and wear on their willpower to continue. As the number of relapses increases, the less likely it is for someone to continue on their path to recovery.
Aftercare is the one essential step that can make or break a drug addict’s recovery.
Three Essential Steps to Aftercare
Sober housing. One of the easiest ways for an addict to relapse is being in a familiar drinking or drug using environment. If you were living with someone who was not 100% sober before, you must ask them to abstain or live somewhere else. Even if you think your spouse having a glass of wine, or roommate smoking a bowl isn’t a big deal, it is and you absolutely cannot be around it. If they want to support your recovery, there will be a “no drink or drug policy” in the house.

Outpatient therapy or family therapy. Those who have suffered from drug addiction often need long-term therapy to fully recover. This is not a sign of weakness in emotion or willpower. It is simply one of the best ways to stay on track with a sober lifestyle and practice the coping skills you learned while at Fresh Start. Therapy can help you overcome traumatic life events and will keep your focus on recovery. You received a lot of help at Fresh Start but it may not have been time to clear all of your deeper issues. Consider seeking additional counseling from a qualified counselor, not your buddies.

Joining a recovery community. There is a reason why so many of us in recovery are lifelong support group members. Often A.A. or N.A. is another option or one to use in addition to Fresh Start’s support group meetings. Finding a support system is necessary to stay on the right track. The community you choose will give you a place to celebrate holidays in a supportive environment. It will also give you a place to go when your therapist is not available and you are struggling. Where many of us go wrong is not staying accountable. Accountability is what has helped you this far – remember that.

“Hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.”
Psalm 130:7
Recovery is a Lifestyle Change
When we come into recovery we enter with our old attitudes and mindsets that played a huge role in our choices to use drugs and alcohol. As we start the process of working through our issues it is extremely important that we recognize one important fact. We need to commit to a complete “Lifestyle Change”. Changing people, places and things is a good beginning but to be thorough and effective we will need to completely change our attitudes and mindsets. We cannot expect to obtain a different outcome in our lives with the same beliefs, thoughts and feelings we experienced during our addictions. I see this mistake many times in men who struggle to surrender, because they hold onto their past way of dealing with life. God wants us to experience the fullness He intended in and through Him, which requires our commitment to living our lives according to Gods Word. Learning everything possible about recovery and relapse prevention, along with growing in the Lord simultaneously is essential for a positive outcome. By staying committed to our recovery and growth in the Lord, we will experience the joy, peace and excitement life has to offer. I want to thank you all for your continued prayers for the men in the program and their families, and pray Gods richest blessings on you.

Rev. Timothy Carlsward 
Program Director
February Church

For the month of February Fresh Start will be attending
Celebration Church located at
3100 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL 32804
for the 9:00am service.
The 12-Step Support Group meeting is every Tuesday evening from 7:15 to 9:00 pm.
We now provide Addicts Group, Family Group and Alumni Group

February 4th
Addicts : (Step Two) “ Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. "
Family : Step Two Teaching
Alumni: Step Two Teaching

February 11th
Addict: Understanding and preparing for Step Two
Family: Understanding and preparing for Step Two
Alumni: Understanding and preparing for Step Two

February 18th
Addicts: Working Step Two
Family: Working Step Two
Alumni: Working Step Two

February 25th
All Groups Combined for Graduation: Michael G., Wes H., Kevin M., Dave S., and Allen M. 
Fresh Start Ministries of Central FL | 407-293-3822| info@freshstartministries.com | www.FreshStartMinistries.com