St. Francis Mission Among the Lakota Part 3: Relapse and Recovery

This is the third and final part in the series of interviews with leaders of the St. Francis Mission, for background, see An Introduction to the St. Francis Mission Among the Lakota

Q: The following link provides basic information on the recovery programs offered at the Reservation:
Recovery programs at the St. Francis Mission.

They seem to cover all of the basics, 12 Step through AA, Al-Anon, GA and NA. You also have the Betty Ford Institute coming in for various periods throughout the year.

Icimani Ya Waste Recovery CenterUSETHIS

(Photo of Icimani Ya Waste’ Recovery Center courtesy Mike O’Sullivan at the Mission)

Out of the general population of addicts and alcoholics, about what percentage attends meetings and do other recovery work (like sponsoring other addicts or service and volunteer work)?

(Fr. Hatcher) A: The two centers we have, we have regular meetings of each of these groups, but it’s a small percentage considering the amount of people who are affected by this disease.

(Mrs. Provencial) A: Using my opinion, I would say 40%.

Q: Do people continue with meeting attendance long after they have been clean and sober for a long time?

(Fr. Hatcher) A: The ones in our program, yes.

(Mrs. Provencial) A: Yes, their sober lives depend on it.

Q: How great is the incidence of relapse?

(Fr. Hatcher) A: I would say the incidence of relapse from the treatment program on the Rosebud is extremely high. In the meetings that we have at our centers, we’ve had a fairly high success rate of people staying with the program.

(Mrs. Provencial) A: The incident of relapse is a tremendous issue.

Q: Do people keep returning to the recovery programs despite any repeated failures?

(Fr. Hatcher) A: Yes.

(Mrs. Provencial) A: Yes, people will keep returning to the recovery programs despite their repeated failures. Everyone is different, and each person will experience “hitting the bottom” in their own way. This will usually be their time to step up and make that positive change in their life and live it everyday.

Q: How are any chronic relapsers supported? Are they encouraged by other members of the Rosebud recovery community to keep coming back, or does encouragement mainly fall to the clergy?

(Fr. Hatcher) A: This is a people based program. The support for those who relapse is provided by the recovery community and is supported by the clergy.

(Mrs Provencial) A: In my opinion, all relapses are chronic. St. Francis Mission recovery center’s provide educational and support groups to the addicts and family members on the Rosebud reservation. There are also other programs in the tribe that provide support for the addicts but limited support for the family members.

Yes, the addicts are greatly encouraged by their support groups or support person to continue their journey in sobriety. In my opinion, the encouragement does not fall mainly on the clergy, the families encouragement and support is crucial.

Just to wrap-up:

Is there anything else you’d like to mention that I haven’t asked, and that you’d like to “get the message out” to people?

(Mrs. Provencial) A: I would like to mention that the recovery services that St. Francis Mission provides are crucial to the families on the Rosebud reservation. There are no resources of support for the families affected by drugs and alcohol on the reservation. St. Francis Mission sees the negative affects and has developed positive educational support and workshops that have been making a spiritual and positive impact on the native lives.

This concludes this special series of interviews on SoberCatholic. I would like to thank Fr. John Hatcher, SJ, Mrs. Geraldine Provencial, and particularly Corrie Oberdin, Online Marketing Strategist at Corrie Oberdin {dot} Net |. For further information, please Contact the St. Francis Mission or Contact Corrie Oberdin

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

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