Month: October 2014

Happy Halloween from TWC

Trick or Treat! Together We Can wishes everyone a safe, sober, and happy Halloween. Don’t get “tricked”, instead enjoy all the “treats” that sobriety has to offer. This is a great time of year to get involved with some fellowship, head out to a meeting, or spend some time with family.

And with Halloween upon us, it can only mean one thing; Movember is around the corner. So get ready to grow, and sign up and donate to help bring awareness to men’s health. You can donate to the TWC Movember team.

Client Stories – A Former Alumni’s Story

Everybody has a unique history of where they’ve been, and ultimately where they will go. Although our paths may sometimes be different, it is important that we recognize that we all share in the same battle; with ourselves and our addiction. Together We Can supports our clients as they selflessly come forward to share their personal struggles with addiction, so that perhaps others may learn from or be inspired by them. Alone we cannot, Together We Can.

This story comes from a client that wishes to remain anonymous:

I came into Together We Can in April of 2014 hopeless, depressed, and craving substances. I had severe anxiety and was not very social. I was nervous about what the next few months would have in store for me, as I knew this program would require rigorous honesty and hard work. Within the first week the clients and staff at TWC made me feel at home and were happy to help me with any or problems that I was dealing with at the time. By the second and third week, and after working the program to the best of my ability, I began to see results. I no longer had the anxiety which previously plagued me, I became more confident in my ability, and most importantly I began to gain a deeper understanding of my addictive behaviors and feel a sense of control over them. Through one-to-one counselling sessions with counsellors and interacting with my fellow peers, I began to feel something which I had not felt in quite some time: hope.

I moved into TWC’s second stage housing in mid August and have been there for approximately 3 months. I still get intense cravings and feel like using sometimes. It’s hard. However, I now understand why they recommended that I go to second stage housing; the support is invaluable. Being able to talk with my fellow housemates when things get tough has literally been the saving grace that has allowed me to remain sober. Whereas before I would have thrown in the towel and called it quits, I now understand and practice talking to others when I feel like using.

This sense of hope for my future still remains with me today as I continue on with my new life, and I am still clean and sober to this day of October 26h, 2014. For this and much more, I cannot thank TWC enough as they have truly provided me with a new life and the best gift of all: the gift of recovery   – Anonymous


Together We Can’s Movember Team

Together We Can is please to be a part of this year’s Movember fundraising challenge to help raise money for men’s health, including cancer research. Not only do we pride ourselves on providing world class treatment for drug & alcohol dependency, but we also recognize that there are other aspects of men’s health that deserve support and attention. Therefore we are proud to announce the formation of our very own Together We Can Movember Team!

The Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. They achieve this by challenging men to grow moustaches during Movember (the month formerly known as November) to spark conversation and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues.

They are working hard every day with an urgent goal in mind: accelerating breakthroughs in prostate cancer research that will benefit patients and their families. Movember is achieving this by the formation of the largest, global alliance of prostate cancer researchers and clinical specialists, who are tackling the toughest prostate cancer challenges.

Together We Can is passionate about this cause because one in five Canadians will experience major depression in their lives. Many men find the stigmas associated with mental health lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment, which often prevents them from seeking help and taking action. We must change this, Together We Can!

Visit our Official Together We Can Movember Page.

Sign up and donate today!

Health Canada launches campaign to combat adolescent addiction

Article Link:

Health Canada recently announced they would be implementing a new advertisement campaign geared at teens and their parents to inform them about the dangers of substance abuse. This comes on the heels of a recent statistic that revealed that in 2012/2013, more than 80,000 Canadian youth admitted to getting high on prescription medications.

Rita Notarandrea, Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Center of Substance Abuse, had this to say about the epidemic:

“Adolescence is a time of rapid development change, during which the brain is particularly vulnerable to the effects of drugs. Investing in multi-faceted prevention efforts helps reduce the harms of use and abuse of drugs on youth, their families and communities. It can also greatly reduce the cost of addiction on Canadian society – including the costs to our economy, as well as our health and criminal justice systems. We commend Minister Ambrose and the Government for this initiative, one that also involves parents, as they play an important role in helping to build resiliency in their children.”

Rita Notarandrea
Chief Executive Officer (interim)
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

If you have a loved one who is suffering from substance abuse dependency, in-patient treatment has been shown to be one of the most effective treatment modalities in helping people regain control of their lives. Together We Can is one of Canada’s premier men’s drug & alcohol treatment facilities which is committed to helping men get their lives back through providing exceptional services and support. Call Together We Can today at 604-451-9854 for more information.

Article Link:

TWC Music Therapy Program

Together We Can is pleased to announce the addition of our new Music Therapy Program.  This program will be facilitated by Jeremy R. and Matt R, two gentlemen who have an extensive background in playing, teaching, and communicating themselves through music.

We believe that music has the power to heal and help these men explore a new passion and direction in their lives.  It’s value also comes from reducing stress & anxiety, exploring creativity, and interacting with others who share a passion for music.  Whether you sing to it, dance to it, or just listen to it, the benefits of music are innumerable.

In the music program, our clients discuss what music means to them emotionally, triggering feelings they may not be able to express with words. We are also working to create a music instruction class, teaching a variety of different instruments with the goal to write and perform their own original music at local sober events.

We invite and encourage all current clients and alumni to come out and participate Sundays from 2-4pm at TWC!

If you can attest to the benefits that music has to offer and would like to show your support for this program, we are always gratefully accepting donations to help fund musical instrument purchases, repairs, and maintenance. Call the office today at 604-451-9854 to find out how you can help!

Client Stories

Join us every week as our clients share some of their inspirational stories about their unique, individual experiences at Together We Can.

This is Luke D’s story:

My journey into alcoholism began twenty-one years ago. It was when my three and a half year old saw son Andrew died in a house fire in Toronto while I was sitting in a jail cell in Halifax. I blamed myself for not being there for him during his time of need. I’ve spent all of this time building walls of shame, guilt, remorse, blame, and hopelessness around myself. I chose not to forgive myself and I chose a life of suffering as a form of punishment. This year after eleven months of sobriety, I thought I had everything under control. I was going back to school taking the mental health and addictions program, I was in a great relationship with a wonderful woman. As the anniversary of his passing drew nearer, the feelings of shame, guilt and blame overwhelmed me. Within four days I had lost everything: school, my home and relationship were all lost. A four day relapse cost me everything. I was now in downtown Victoria and thought to myself, “I am done with this life…” I saw a bus speeding down the street, and just as I was about to step in front of it a voice inside my head said to me, “your pain shouldn’t be the cause of someone else’s pain.” I froze.

I made a call to the Umbrella Society in Victoria and told them I needed help. Three days later I was here at Together We Can I was so grateful! It is time to deal with this now. I am fifty-four years old and life is passing me by. So one of the things I did was to write a letter of forgiveness to Andrew. Then I wrote myself a letter. You see, I have never had a problem forgiving someone else, it was only me I could never come to terms with. So I am now on a journey to discover peace of mind, self-forgiveness, and hope. Each day for me is getting better. It takes time to heal and tear down the walls that I have constructed all around me. The staff here at TWC keep it real. There are no shortcuts to recovery. It is one of those hardest things that I have had to do, but the rewards are infinite. It’s time to bury the past, forgive myself and to finally become the man that I was meant to be. Hope is here. Help is on the way. Thank you, TWC! 22 Days Clean. – Luke D.

One Year Achieved!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that TWC commemorates today as a breathtakingly special day for the Together We Can family as we witness two of our very own mark their 1 year mark of sobriety. A HUGE congratulations and job well done is in order to Robbie E. and Clayton M. as without their hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm, TWC would not be the extraordinary organization that it is today. These two gentlemen have embodied what recovery is all about by demonstrating through their interactions with others the hallmarks of compassion, fellowship and positivity. Phenomenal job guys, we are all very proud of you!

Similarly on the topic of family, TWC would like to remind our clients and their family members that Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:30pm is family night! If you or your loved ones are interested in attending, please contact the TWC office at 604-451-9854 to speak to Jordan. We look forward to seeing you there!

TWC Client Stories – Jarrod W’s Story

Join us every week as our clients share some of their inspirational stories about their unique, individual experiences at TWC Vancouver.

This is Jarrod W’s story:

After getting clean for the first time in my life in 2013, I attained ten months of real recovery by going to meetings, staying connected with my support group and friends, and writing and reviewing the Twelve Steps with my sponsor. I stopped doing the things necessary to stay clean at ten months and as a result, I picked up drugs. My close friends in recovery had told me about Together We Can and the unwavering support they provide, and I chose to reach out after a short time to get myself back on the path of success.

When I entered treatment, I was arrogant, doubtful, and anxious about nearly everything in my life. I didn’t know which way was up, or down, and I needed the program that TWC offers to ensure I could gain not only the confidence to do the next right thing, but the knowledge that by helping other I could stay clean – something that was severely lacking near the end of my ten months the first time.

Through the dynamic counselling approaches at TWC, I took full advantage of the opportunity to be proud of each step I took towards transparency and healthy vulnerability, and learn how I could personally encourage others to grow alongside of me in treatment. When I finished my sixty day First Stage program, I was called up to speak personally with the office staff about transitioning into a Second Stage housing environment. Second Stage Housing at TWC is a chance for graduates of the program to figure out what they want to do with their lives after treatment, and for me it meant returning to work.

I now live with other men who practice a daily program of recovery and support each other throughout the new experiences we have clean. TWC amazes me to this day at their ability to provide ongoing care that is open to clients who want to return to the facility as alumni to share their strengths and experiences with new guys. There is a weekly meeting open to alumnus every Tuesday evening, and much of my continued success is a result of this being available. As well, office staff and counsellors are always available at my disposal because they practice the principles of the Twelve Steps and embody a true compassion for their fellows. I am ninety days clean as of October 19th, 2014, and it would not have been possible without Together We Can. – Jarrod W

Gabor Maté article

Great article featuring renowned addiction specialist Gabor Maté suggesting that addiction treatment needs more compassion and less punitive condemnation in order to be effective. This highlights the importance of choosing the right treatment center (like Together We Can) that understands that benefits of providing clients with compassionate, caring attention that they so rightfully deserve. Let us know what your thoughts are about this topic! Check it out here:


TWC Clothing Drive

Together We Can would like to thank everyone who came out this past Thanksgiving Day weekend to organize and participate in the clothing drive for the less fortunate on Vancouver’s downtown east side. We can think of no better way to spend the holiday than to be involved in fellowship, giving back, and appreciating the gifts that recovery has to offer each one of us. Great job!