Empowering for Life: New Hope for Addiction
Apr 01, 2015 12:00AM
● By Julianne Hale
Jack Pacewicz has spent the bulk of his professional life in the addiction recovery business, working in every imaginable treatment modality. After spending more than two decades using conventional treatment methods, Pacewicz recently decided to take a different path.
“About two years ago, I decided to break away from the traditional system of recovery and do something different, called recovery coaching,” relates Pacewicz, who is a certified addiction counselor, a certified recovery specialist, a certified pastoral counselor and a recovering addict with more than 30 years of sobriety under his belt. Part of a new national movement, recovery coaching is a more comprehensive treatment method that embraces all aspects of an addict’s life.
“The traditional approach is limited by time,” he notes. “Twenty-eight-day and six-week programs do not take into account that addiction is a chronic disease that requires long-term care.”
The care offered at Empowering For Life, an addiction recovery center opened 18 months ago by Pacewicz and his wife, Lucretia Pacewicz, offers clients a great deal of flexibility. “Oftentimes, people do not have transportation or a driver’s license, and they have job obligations. They get locked into traditional office hours that don’t work for their schedule. We have the ability to go to people where they are—at work, in their homes, in the evenings and on weekends. We try to accommodate our clients in every way we can and not add stress to their lives,” he explains.
In addition to his clients, Pacewicz works with the family and friends of addicts. “We work with spouses, family members, mental health counselors, probation officers and everyone else who can affect the life of the addict,” he states. “There are so many issues that come with addiction, and addicts are not equipped to cope with them. We address all factors of life, including legal problems, custody issues, financial stressors, marital problems and more. We create a recovery plan that allows us to work with the individual in all of these areas.”
Empowering for Life obtains most of their clients through word-of-mouth. New clients that come to Pacewicz for help do not have to wait. “New clients receive prompt professional service,” he remarks. “We will do a thorough assessment of the problem, figure out the appropriate level of treatment and immediately assign the client a recovery specialist. We talk to the family and the client each day. It’s not like the traditional treatment facility, where you do not have access to the counselor except during your regular appointment time. My clients can reach me at any time by phone or email.”
In an industry that can be dark and discouraging, Pacewicz’s most valuable asset is his optimism and sincere belief that each addict can turn his or her life around. “I want people to know that there is hope. Even in the face of the heroin epidemic that many parts of our country are facing, there is hope. People can and do recover,” he says.
Julianne Hale is a freelance writer and contributing editor for Natural Awakenings magazines. Connect at [email protected].