Recovery & Regeneration
By Jennifer Adriano
Recovery & Regeneration MEGA: The Philippines' Best Fashion Magazine

Abuse means using drugs for “recreational” purposes, though this may be occasional and in varying doses, Dependency, or being “hooked,” is characterized by symptoms of withdrawal and tolerance—the dosage gets progressively higher with continued use.

“Most young adults say it’s their peer group that influenced them, though during their earlier years they may have experimented with gateway substances such as cigarettes and alcohol, or marijuana,” says psychiatrist Randy Dellosa, founder of the Life Change Recovery Center. More hardcore drugs like shabu, cocaine and heroin lead drug abusers into the cycle of addiction.

Nina, 29, started drinking in college. “I loved getting blasted on weekends. I lived for it! I really liked being drunk—I felt freer, less inhibited. The world seemed much nicer when it was blurry.” She was then introduced to some “party” drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin by some “sosyal” friends. “I went from getting drunk every weekend to shooting smoking and getting stoned,” she recounts. “As time passed, I realized I needed more and more drugs to get the same effect. It began to scare me.”

In the course of Dr. Randy’s work at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and Makati Medical Center, he realized that half the patients confined in the psychiatric facility were drug or alcohol dependents. “I thought to myself, this is where the need is,” he says. After talking to some people, the Life Change Recovery Center was established in November of 1996. “The Life Change Addiction Recovery Program is an empowerment program based on choices, moral recovery and spiritual regeneration,” Dr. Dellosa begins.

Life Change begins with two weeks of detox, followed by a personalized one-month recovery program which includes family sessions, individual sessions and a whole lot of personal growth activities.

Dr. Randy calls his program “eclectic”-- which means that it’s a hodgepodge of different scientific approaches like Addictive Voice Recognition Training (AVRT) and Somatic Psychology, among others. AVRT trains people to recognize the voice of the addiction and to fight against that voice. Somatic psychology involves the body during therapy so the patient recognizes what his body is telling him. “Sometimes addicts have become so desensitized from their bodies that they no longer know how it is suffering,” he explains. Another ingredient to his approach is spirituality. Part of the problem of drug dependency is the lack of morality—the loss of values and disintegration of the conscience, which is why users succumb to negative influences We try to develop the relationship they have with God.”

The Life Change approach differs fundamentally from Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous. Dr. Randy explains that he doesn’t believe in the AA principle that ‘Once an addict, always an addict.’ “We believe the person is capable of choosing a life outside d drugs with 100% commitment. Our job is simply to motivate, guide and empower him towards that goal.”

For all their potency and power in wreaking havoc, drugs don’t have to mean irreversible doom. For Dr. Randy, complete recovery is possible. For him, “Complete recovery means looking at the bigger picture of your life and working on goals that will propel you towards a brighter future.

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