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Last Door Recovery Society Newsletter Newsletter 006
August 2009
in this issue
:: News from our Fishing Program
:: Last Call for letters!
:: Hummer Raffle will be launched at the Door Slam
:: Alumni Gratitude Corner
:: What Natural Medicine Can Do For Addiction
:: Have you registered for GOLF yet?
:: Door Slam is around the corner - Can you believe it's been 10 years?
:: More Renovations
:: Yoga twice a week keeps our residents in balance
:: Receive your Playland discount
JessicaWe would like to thank the Board members and donors who assisted with the renovations at the Youth Program. The residents are happy with the new kitchen and take pride in doing their cooking, setting up and cleaning up chores in this pleasant "upscale" environment. Parents and referral sources are impressed by the quality and layout of the renovated kitchen and bathroom. 
Our current project is painting the exterior of the house and everyone has expressed various opinions concerning what color to paint the house but the youths' comments have been the most entertaining and humorous. At this time the color choice is in the hands of the Board, David and Louise. As you can see from the attached photo, the exterior of the house has become mostly filler as the painters prep for actual color application. Stay tuned to next month's newsletter to see the outcome of the colour choices.
We want to remind you that the last weekend of August (28, 29 & 30) is the 10th Anniversary of the Door Slam. This will be a weekend filled with Slo-pitch games, kids' zone, BBQ, dancing. Most entertaining will be the 80's Dance at which there will be a stellar line up of 80's Lip Sync Performances for our annual recovery programs' contest. Our residents can be heard practicing 80's songs, often from as far back as the year they were born, while swimming, making their beds, walking to meetings and wrapping up group. The energy is infectious! This Door Slam is bigger than ever and Last Door is proud of our ten years hosting this fun community, family oriented event. We owe a debt of gratitude for volunteers who help pull this event off !!!!
Jessica Cooksey
Last Door Youth Program Coordinator 

s1      s5      s2
stay tuned for the new paint job!
Fishing Program

"The Last Cast"


Many people have asked me......"what does fishing have to do with recovering from addiction?"  At the "Door" we have as much fun as possible and in the course of having fun, real long lasting relationships get formed. Catching fish is just a bonus you get while enjoying the gifts of recovery.
While the main objective of fishing has always been either catching "the big one" or talking about "the one that got away", there seems to be something else happening for our guys. I'm always blown away by the conversations and comments coming from the new guys. For instance, after a day of fishing at the Vedder River guys are saying things like "that was the best fishing trip ever, and I didn't even catch a fish" or " I haven't done something like this with my Dad for years".  I think it is important for anyone recovering from addiction to realize that life doesn't stop in recovery, it just gets fuller.
Special thanks to our alumni Denis D, Denis G and Dan H for participating in our program, not only teaching the new guy how to fish, but how to stay clean and live life to its fullest.
For more information about our program or to get involved contact Don Moran at 604-525-9771 or donmoran@lastdoor.org
The above picture was taken on August 5, 2009 on the Fraser River near Agassiz, BC
Don Moran
Addictions Counsellor

Have you submitted your letter?
Deadline POSTPONED to after Door Slam - Bring your letter to the weekend affair.

Our FIRST BOOK OF MEMOIRS will feature stories from people affected by Last Door.  If you  have a letter (or wish to write a letter) for possible publication, please mail, fax or email your letters to us.  A selection committee will determine which letters will get used in the publication- not all letters will get published be we thank you for your submission.
What kinds of letters?
  • Step 9 letters
  • "Letter to yourself"
  • "Last 90 days"
  • Mother's Day letters
  • Father's Day letters
  • Gratitude letters
  • Family letters

it's time for

and be the first to see the HUMMER!

Last Door's "Pimped" Hummer Rebuild is on schedule.  The final touches with the paint and interior work from Valley Custom Rods is done.  Visions Electronics is installing the state of the art Audio Video System. 

To view more information on the Hummer's journey and see who all the all the sponsors are
please click here
Alumni Gratitude Corner 


Seven months ago I had 39 cents in my pocket, no desire to live, no job, no friends and a lifestyle full of addiction. Gambling and drugs took over my life and I was unstoppable; creating damage every minute.   I disconnected with everyone who loved me including my two kids.
A friend of mine introduced me to a counsellor at the Last Door, he listened to my story and invited me to visit and see if there was something here that I wanted.   I took the suggestion and decided to stay here and make the necessary changes to learn how to live life clean.  Today I have more than 39 cents in my pocket, I am clean and free from active addiction.  I have friends, I am working, I have a healthy relationship with my loved ones and I am repairing the damage I created.
With Pride I tell you that I am leaving in a few days to go to the a Convention in Spain followed by a tour of Italy, WOW! Who would have thought my life would be so fulfilling, thank you Last Door for helping me find the miracle of recovery and for teaching me how to better myself.
Myke G, Alumni
What Natural Medicine Can Do For Addiction Article Two
Last Door welcomes Dr. Cynthia Isles whose supportive work with clients is demonstrating success.
Stay tuned to our montly newsletters for progress and read what the doctor has to say in the August article below.
You're invited to play Golf!


Last Door's 25th Anniversary Charity Golf Tournament

Sunday September 13th
1:00 pm Shot Gun Start
6:30 pm Dinner, Prizes & Auction
 $10,000 hole in one
Golf, prizes, golf cart & dinner $150
Foursome $600
To register please complete our registration form

Golf dress code in full effect

For information about
sponsorship opportunities,
to donate to the silent auction
or to order tickets by phone
please contact 604-329-7829 or email
Would you like to volunteer?
call 604-329-7829

Door Slam Time
Let's get ready to play ball!


 10th Anniversary

Over 25 teams compete at
Moody Park, Queens Park and  Terry Hughes Park in New Westminster
August 28th, 29th and 30th


Saturday August 29th Moody Park 
12 pm - 4 pm
Back by Popular Demand
Door Slam Weekend
80's Dance
Lip Sync Contest
Saturday August 29th
doors open 7 pm
  Would you like to volunteer on
the Door Slam Commitee?
Next meeting is Wednesday July 22nd at the Last Door, 6:30 pm

*NEW* Main Office Coming Soon

By the beginning of September the Main Office will be all done, check out our September Newsletter to see our new look.


 current view


Yoga now offered.


By popular demand Last Door is pleased to offer residents YOGA by personal instructor Tina two days per week.  This is another example of growth by demand.
Receive your discount code for Playland Tickets

Call to get your code today!

A One-Day PlayPass includes admission and unlimited access to over 35 exciting rides and attractions including Kids Playce at Playland. Excitement and wonder await you on Playland's rides!
To purchase your discounted tickets please call 604-329-7829 to receive Last Door's Promotional Code.  Enter this code online
and follow the payment options.


Please note that PNE's Online Ticket Program now accepts
Visa, MC & AE.

Inside our brain is a pathway that leads to the feelings of reward, pleasure and well-being. Called the Reward Cascade, this pathway lies within the structures of the meso-limbic system. Messages are communicated to the different areas of this system via nerves and neurotransmitters which are the chemicals used to send information signals from one nerve to the next. Once this information reaches its final destination, the message is translated into a feeling or action.
Upon exposure to either a naturally rewarding stimulus or a drug, several neurotransmitters are activated and messages relayed. When this meso-limbic pathway works normally, the release of dopamine gives us pleasurable sensations. If there is a deficiency or imbalance, the pathway is derailed leaving the person with feelings such as anxiety, anger and low self-esteem.
An addiction is characterized by neurobiological changes that lead to a dependence on a substance and repeated behaviours to obtain the substance, with loss of control over these actions. The dependency actually stems from the physiological reactions that take place within the meso-limbic pathway.

Substances and behaviours that become addictive stimulate the same neural pathways involved with normal reward sensation. However they are able to cause a much higher degree of stimulation and thus, an abnormally strong reward signal. Amphetamines cause the direct release of dopamine from neuronal stores; cocaine binds to receptors blocking the reuptake of dopamine thereby increasing the levels; and opioid-type drugs like heroin and morphine engage the enkephalin receptors to indirectly increase dopamine signalling by blocking inhibition. As the drug rewards become stronger the brain becomes desensitized to normal biological cues and the addiction is established.
Tolerance and Cravings

Addiction is the physical dependence which develops as a consequence of drug use; with continued exposure, tolerance develops as a result of the physiological changes within the brain; and cravings are the motivation and drug-seeking behaviours which lead to the high susceptibility to relapse.

Tolerance develops as the use of a psychoactive substance increases. The body perceives the overstimulation of the brain pathways and reduces its production of the neurotransmitters and the number of receptors. With each subsequent exposure to the drug, the level of neurotransmitters and receptors depletes, increasing the reward threshold. This leads to a need for ever increasing amounts of the drug being taken to achieve the desired effect.  
The prefrontal cortex has a primary role in awareness, determining risk and decision-making that occurs prior to the manifestation of an action. The brain releases the neurotransmitter glutamate to instruct the prefrontal cortex about the patterns of behaviour and environmental cues that lead to the "high" sensation. These memories are stored. Through glutamate neurons to other areas of the brain, the prefrontal cortex initiates the cravings and drug-seeking behaviours in an effort to regain the "high". As the addiction escalates and the neural circuitry is strengthened, the prefrontal cortex gradually loses its inhibitory processes and focuses the person to engage in whatever conduct it takes to obtain the dopamine "high" again.   

The prefrontal cortex also processes stress and environmental cues and this is why cravings are especially strong during times of stress or when the individual is exposed to people, places or things that were associated with or remind them of the drug use. 

The symptoms seen with withdrawal are primarily associated with dysfunction of the neurotransmitter (serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, and endogenous opiate) systems. Acute withdrawal also involves the brain stress neurotransmitter system, corticotropin-releasing factor.

The serotonin system is associated with emotional stability, behavioural inhibition, sensory reactivity, and pain sensitivity. Dopamine is the principal neurotransmitter in the brain-reward system, and activity of dopamine is associated with motivation, sense of reward and pleasure seeking. Activity of the noradrenaline system is associated with the ability to manage emotional stress. Endogenous opioids are involved in reward, hedonic tone and analgesia. Significantly they are involved in alleviation of psychosocial pain as well as physical pain. When the use of the substance stops, the damage to these systems becomes apparent as the symptoms of withdrawal appear.
Despite the tremendous deleterious effects on the body's systems from chemicals and lifestyle, the body can and will heal. After detoxification, the levels of neurotransmitters and receptors have been shown to rebalance using amino acid and vitamin therapies. Replenishing and rebalancing the neurochemical pools results in improved recovery manifesting as improved sleep, increased feelings of wellbeing and energy, and decreased anxiety and cravings. With the crucial help of various therapies, drug dependent individuals can achieve a balance of mind, body and spirit.
This excellent website shows how drugs work in the body and in the brain through animated demonstrations. The animations include how brain cells communicate and the effects of alcohol, cocaine and opiates in the brain.
Dr. Cynthia Isles

Naturopathic Physician

Visions Electronics and Valley Custom Rods
who have rebuilt the Hummer for the "Pimp My HUMMER Raffle"


for a full list of sponsors please

Making a donation to Last Door's "Continuing our Legacy" campaign  is simple. Donate now or donate monthly by clicking on the following "Canada Helps" link.

donate now
thank you!


Would you like to learn more about
Last Door's Planned Giving Program?

visit: http://www.lastdoor.org/main/givving.html

To make a gift please contact:

 Westminster Savings Finanical Planning Ltd.
Certified Finanical Planner, Shannon Erickson
 tel: 604-523-7918 or email: serickso@wscu.com

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Thank you for taking the time to read the 6th edition of our monthly emailed newsletter. 
Please forward it on to people you may think would be happy to hear from Last Door.
Giuseppe Ganci
Last Door Recovery Society Public Relations
T: 604-329-7829
F: 604-525-3896