Alumni Support Team
Mark Adams, Alumni Coordinator
Mark is a proud alumni member of White Sands Treatment Center. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At White Sands Treatment Center, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives. We push for support and true connection with one another. There is strength in numbers and that is why we have a need to stay connected. If anybody is ever going through a rough time in their recovery, feel free to contact Mark. He will always be there with his hand out to help with a smile on his face.
Office Phone- 239.895.0610 Ext. 3024
Helping Hands Hotline- 877-4-REHAB-1 (877-473-4221)
Alumni Support Services
Alumni Support Services are here to support you on your journey ahead. Many of us from the White Sands family are out there recovering as we speak. Staying connected and reaching out when struggling, or even if you have a recovery question, are keys to success. Whether you are new to recovery or just coming back, you have the ability to inspire others as you continuously work to better yourself. Addiction recovery is no easy feat, but the positive support found in this White Sands alumni group can make long-term recovery much more attainable.
Once an alumnus reaches a year of recovery, they can come into our facility to share their story but now sit on other side of the fence. Sharing about the dark path of abuse that got them there but also what keeps them progressing in life today and what it takes for them to continue to recover.
Alumni Support Group
The continuing growth and success of our Alumni is of the utmost importance to White Sands Treatment Center. As such, we provide a safe venue once a month for our former clients to share in each other’s everyday life experiences and to discuss how they are feeling about their journey in recovery. Food will be provided for the event. Much strength is gained from one of our Alumni helping another. Alumni Support Group is hosted Tuesday nights at 630PM at 4531 Deleon St, Ft Myers, FL 33907. It is right by the residential location. Please come join us!
Fourth of July Alumni BBQ
We are having an alumni get together for the Fourth. Come for food, fun and fellowship. There will be a DJ there along with sports and other activities including raffles, karaoke and games. There will be a White Sands alumni speaker. This would be a good time to further your recovery network and get to know some more of that family.
The White Sands Treatment Center alumni program connects recently discharged clients with other recovering alumni. This relationship provides encouragement and support for our clients, as they adjust to living a sober lifestyle and engage in additional support groups at home.
If you would like to become a buddy, please contact Mark Adams at email@example.com in order to learn more about what the program entails.
White Sands Alumni Community
Throughout the year, our facility offers events that encourage alumni to share their unique experiences, setbacks, and inspiration. Alumni also have the ability to keep in contact through our .
Long-Term Recovery Management
Some of the recovery programs we provide include:
- Phone follow-up from our support team
- Intensive outpatient weekly meetings
- Communication by email
- Family programming
- Aftercare resources
- A support network
Our staff can also help assist you in locating addiction recovery meetings in your area.
Tales of Recovery:
I grew up in a small town in central Indiana. I played basketball as far back as I could remember along with other sports. I succeeded at school and sports. I noticed early that I was different. I had an acute awareness of the long game of life. I was especially intelligent for my environment. I seemed to fit in with everybody, the different cliques, but never really had any friends. I was always fine studying, practicing, doing hobbies by myself. About the time I went to college, I tried drinking. I had gone through high school not liking the taste or smell of beer (which dad and grandpa usually drank). And, I also held the deep paranoia that if someone was going to get caught, it would be me. I wasn’t willing to take those risks.
I remember choking down my first beers. They were sour and foul. But, they made me feel good, a part of the group, accepted. That is also about the time I learned to effectively function using alcohol or in the post-alcohol haze. Some days weren’t so easy, but I learned to do it well. No one ever suspected me to be hung over. Everything that I had learned along the way (to prepare, to practice, to know things intricately), all applied to how I was functioning with alcohol. I thought it was normal to go home after work and drink 4-6 beers or a pitcher or two. I could still make dinner and take care of my home responsibilities just fine. What do you mean most people don’t drink more than a case and a half beer over the weekend? This went on for 23+ years.
Finally, in NOV 2015, my wife decided she wanted a divorce, so I moved into the basement. So, I did what I do best – I drank and closed myself off. I was raised that you always go to work. You’re never too tired or too sick or too hurt. So, no matter how much I was drinking, or how much I was hurting inside, I was convinced that I was fine — an embrace of Midwestern Stoicism at its finest. But, I never dealt with the underlying emotions. I held grudges for decades. I took that pain and just filed it away…And I did that with everything. I have a way of shutting out everything and just focusing on the task at hand. When I would go home to an empty house, I would drink to calm my mind, to numb it, to slow it down just to sleep. My mind would haunt itself. See, no matter how I would compartmentalize or “file things away”, eventually it get full and overflows. That’s when things got REALLY out of hand.
My wife, along with my daughter, had stopped by the house from her boyfriend’s. She discovered me passed out on the bathroom floor in the middle of the afternoon. By that time, I had drank quite a few beers and shots mowing my lawn. We got into an argument and I disappeared for a couple days. When I returned, I told her of my epiphany to enter treatment. We got online and found White Sands. It saved the direction of my life and my marriage.
White Sands taught me an enormous amount about myself. I was always brutally honest, but not always objective, especially when it involved me. I started to analyze my life and how to make changes in my thinking, perspective, and actions. I returned healthier and more able to be a better husband and father.
Due to my current occupation and the tiny town in which I live, meetings are not a viable option. However, when I had tried to quit before, I realized meetings were not especially for me. I found that Smart Recovery works best for me. I apply a lot of the principles into my daily life. I am able catch myself, my poor ideas, and hit that pause button to rein them back in, a mental “DUDE!!! What are you thinking?!” I still talk to friends I made at White Sands. We are able to lean on each other and realize our journeys are very similar and to swap ideas on resolving certain situations. It all comes down to maintaining ACCOUNTABILITY, SUPPORT, and a SYSTEM. Every day I am thankful for the staff, the curriculum, and my fellow addicts. Further, I cannot speak enough about the alumni assistance as well. That was an awesome surprise. I was scared to death of just being put through the grinder and left alone. I’m thankful for the calls and emails/messages. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
My name is Michele and I am a grateful recovering addict, though I still suffer with the disease each and every day. It all started 15 years age when I went through a life changing event. I thought that I could cope with my emotion by using. I started off smoking marijuana and drinking here an there at the age of 13. By the age of 18 I was drinking everyday and using pills. Fast-forward 7 years, my addiction was in full swing. I was smoking marijuana and drinking to just bring my self out of bed. Cocaine and pills were also some things I felt like I needed to help me get through the day. By this time there wasn’t much that I wouldn’t do to chase my next high. I was on this never ending roller-coaster ride of using to make myself feel happy and numb. However, once I reached that “high” I felt disgust and hatred towards myself. Through my many years of addiction I ended up hurting everyone around me. Not only did I hurt my family and loved ones, I lost my marriage, my kids, but most of all I lost myself. I had opened a door that I couldn’t close anymore. I was very confused and could no longer distinguish between what was good and what was bad. I couldn’t make a decision to stop all these things. During the last four years of my drug use, I used to pray to God every time to let it be my last time. I was at my rock bottom an I didn’t want to live anymore. My life changed about 14 months ago when I walked through the front doors of White Sands. I thought I would just go there to make my family happy and be out in about 2 weeks, but that wasn’t the case. From being there, I learned that I wasn’t alone and that there was a solution. I was introduced to a 12 step program that showed me a new way to live my life drug and alcohol free. Committing myself to a lifetime without my “best friend” was a scary thing to me, but I decided to give it a chance since nothing else had helped me before. The recovery process is where I learned to get to the core of the reasons behind my addiction. White Sands taught me how to address those issues so that I can effectively move on with my life without going back to drugs and alcohol and my addictive behavior. After leaving White Sands I have moved on to become a house manager of a halfway house, I have begun to reconnect with my family, and most of all, I have taken the steps to start loving myself.