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Last Door Recovery Society Newsletter

Newsletter #021

January 2011

in this issue
:: A Call for Submissions
:: Cameron Speaks
:: Family of the Month
:: Last Door Christmas Gathering
:: How can education support recovery?
:: Stretching for Recovery
:: Last Door Soccer Team
:: What do we do?
:: What better time to plan than today?

A Call for Submissions

Last Door is seeking submissions from individuals and groups on our mailing list. We're soliciting ideas, essays, photographs, and general interest stories for our newsletter. Please forward any of your submissions to pr@lastdoor.org.





Cameron Cutler

Last Door has become something extraordinary over the years -- built on the willingness of the residents, the effort of our staff team, the gratitude of alumni and parents, and the acceptance of our program in the community.


I have always enjoyed watching 50+ people shuffle up the street in black embroidered hoodies, covered in tattoos, making the neighborhood safe. In recovery our residents are off to a meeting, embarking on a new adventure, helping a neighbor with chores, and learning to be different people from what they used to be.  This is living clean and serene! 


Our staff team has grown on both a personal and professional level over the course of 2010, and continues to flourish into the New Year. When I walk into the office at the adult program I see a group of individuals working together as a team-very reminiscent of the movie The Breakfast Club, everyone grows to enjoy each other's company. The Youth Door has become the epitome of efficiency and goodwill due to the heroics of yours truly and the crew. All jokes aside, we have grown professionally over the past year and everyone has adapted to the changes by enfolding the new members into our team.


As we begin 2011 the only thing that I wish to share with others is to live with inspiration. Whether you are a day clean or the executive director, Mr. Pavlus, each one needs to find something in life to be passionate about, have faith they can achieve their goals, include others, and have fun in the process. Each event creating memories in recovery that you can reflect on years from now and say, "Man, am I grateful to be clean." Our wish in 2011 is that on your journey you come around and let us know the experiences in recovery that are happening for you, because each story instills inspiration in us.


I'm proud to announce that Daniel Marks and Matthew Kalenuik have gotten married. (Not to each other). Our team has taken the concept of celebrating life to heart, and we continue to look forward to sharing our successes with you.



Dan Rita Wedding
Reeta and Danny

Matt Dawne Wedding
Carey-anne, Dawne, Matt, and Vincent






Cameron Cutler

Family of the Month



Steve Bev and Phil
Steve, Bev, and Phil


Steve and Phil are two brothers whose recovery has profoundly affected their family and the community, read on to hear their experience with Last Door.




From Phil B


I walked into the Last Door on Feb 22nd 2010 feeling frightened, worthless and embarrassed with little or no hope. I tried to get clean at the Last Door in 2007 and lasted for 2 weeks but wasn't ready to surrender my will. All the wrong reasons couldn't keep me here.

This time around I wasn't willing to blow my opportunity again. In this time period I had to prove to myself that my way doesn't work before surrendering to the way I was being taught at the Last Door. In the beginning my self esteem was so low I couldn't look anyone in the eye but fairly quickly that began to change. With every conversation and task at hand my confidence started to rise. I was taught how to treat people with respect and participate in their lives. I got clean for myself but believe I am still clean because I have learned to make it about other people. By living this selfless way of life I have been able to accomplish many of my hopes, dreams and goals. To this day I am not able to explain why, but trust that it works. 

Through my stay at the Last Door there were so many alumni and staff to look up to. They spoke of and valued integrity. This is how I was taught to be impeccable with my word and always finish what I start. My most fond memory is hiking the Chief in Squamish with my Mother and Brother along with about 100 people participating in an NA convention. This marked the beginning of welcoming my brother to my home, the Last Door. Seeing my Brother accomplish this, the smile on my Mothers face and knowing how proud my Father is, is the proof that shows how much the program has affected my family. 

I believe that recovery is contagious so my hope is to inspire other people to make positive change in their lives. I have returned to school and continue my education with a goal to qualify as an addictions counsellor with the support I found at the Last Door. Today I am able to practice all that I am taught as a client care worker for the Last Door. I am 10 months clean and forever grateful for everything the house has provided me and my family. I truly have found a new way to live through completing the 12 steps at the Last Door. I have faith that with support and guidance absolutely anything can be achieved if you just put your mind to it.



From Steve B



"My name is Steve and I am an addict" those were my first words when I entered the program of Narcotics Anonymous and they were the most important words I said in my life. 


I didn't become a member of NA at the first meeting I went to, nor the second.  When I started to believe that this actually works, I was ready to join.  I saw people "taking clean time", people sharing about how good their lives are today and what the program has given them. It was at the fourth meeting that I attended that I took that initial step to better my life. It was August, on a Saturday after we had come back from hiking the Chief in Squamish, during the Sea to Sky NA Convention -- there were about 50+ addicts that had conquered the Chief, including my mother and brother. When we got to the top we read from the Just For Today and I experienced my first spiritual awakening. 


The night before I was up all night getting loaded and in contrast took part in this event surrounded by people in recovery who were having the time of their lives living clean.  I surrendered to living clean and made the decision to take my white fob that night at the SNL meeting of NA.  Saturday Night Live is now my home group. 18 days later I relapsed and required the support of the Last Door Recovery Society. Ever since I made the choice to pick up the phone and ask for help my life has improved. I never thought that I could have fun without drugs and alcohol but I was wrong.  I am having more fun than I ever had in my life. I have gone on fishing trips, softball tournaments, golfing events, amends trips to Kelowna, swimming adventures, movie premieres, field trips with guys in the house and a long list of fun events. But the most important gift that I have from staying clean and doing the work is my family and friends. 


My mom is a huge supporter of the house and people who reside here. She introduces herself to the "new guys" and takes them out for coffee to get to know a bit about them. She has cooked a gratitude dinner for the entire house and drops off baking. She gives hope to the guys in the house that one day they could have a relationship with their parents. I am extremely grateful she is in my life today. There is one thing for certain that I would not have accomplished where I am today if my brother didn't seek the help that he needed from The Last Door first. So as of January 3rd I am 6 months clean and loving life. I got to spend Christmas weekend at my mom's house with my family opening gifts and enjoying dinner together for the first time we were all together in 8 years. This was all possible due to the effort I put into the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous, going to meetings, doing service, helping the new guy and reading from the literature. With this said I am grateful for NA, the Last Door and the family and friends who have had faith in me during my recovery.


From Bev G



My name is Bev and I feel truly blessed to currently have two sons living their lives in recovery at The Last Door.
My eldest son Philip found his way to the Door in February 2010 after living in addiction for half his life. He had been through detox several times and tried treatment on a few occasions, but his decision to enter treatment at the Door this time around has worked for him.  Since he entered treatment at the Door, his life has changed, as has mine. Philip's addiction was tearing me apart. I was in denial about his addiction, seldom talked about it, thought it would go away, felt sick inside and was afraid.
My son Steven (the youngest of my four children) saw the kind of change Philip was making and made his way to the Door in July 2010. Steven's addiction was more isolated and I did not know how severe it was. I was extremely happy he made the decision to get treatment. Philip was a role model to his brother and contributed to Steven's decision to get help.
It seemed a bit strange to have two boys at the Door at the same time, but thank goodness I only have two boys. I had no idea what my life would be like once I started participating in the Parent's Meetings at the Door and hanging out with my boys. I feel inspired when I see and feel the positive energy and attitude of my boys and other clients at the Door. I take an interest in supporting not only my boys but the other clients as well. I love being welcomed by numerous hugs when I visit the Door. I laugh more now and the tears I cry now are tears of happiness.
Philip finished his 12 Steps and is currently working at the Door and going to school and coming up to 11 months clean time. Steven is on Step 11, on the Door soccer team and loving life with 6 months clean. There have been several "firsts" for us over the past 10 months, one in particular was me climbing The Chief with my boys.  I would never have accomplished that without the help of my boys.  I very often say "I wouldn't be doing this if my boys weren't in recovery". I am happy to say that I have built a network of new friends and family.
I am extremely proud of where Philip and Steven are today. I enjoy spending time with them and can see the fine young men they are both becoming. I have an improved relationship with them. I no longer focus on the negative, feel more at peace and sleep better. The program offered at the Door has given me hope that my boys will continue on the road they have chosen. I am truly grateful to all staff who have helped my boys. I strongly recommend this program to the suffering addict, it does work.


Last Door Christmas Gathering


christmas gathering food spread



The holidays at Last Door are a sight to behold. Families get together to celebrate success, and a sense of new found dignity and hope. These times can be emotional, loud, busy, and fun and are usually complemented by an abundance of food. 


Parents, wives, children and other family participate in this holiday celebration and the facilities are filled to the brim with gratitude and merriment. Special thanks to everyone who helped cook and brought goodies.


How can education support recovery?


book open black background


Last Door is once again pioneering new ideas in the field of addiction services.


We've recently begun facillitating several psycho-educational groups centered around Media and Gambling Addictions as well as a group for individuals who want to improve their Lifestyles and Healthy Living. These groups are available free of charge to current residents of Last Door.


Healthy living and lifestyle health are at the core of Last Door's philosophy. They are the main building blocks to helping each person fulfill their potential for living a happier and more satisfying life.


Lifestyles Group introduces clients to concepts that help them;

  • Identify issues which affect their transition from treatment to community living,
  • Develop strategies for maintaining their mental and physical health,
  • Discuss different perspectives on health, different illnesses such as diabetes and stroke, hearth health, dental health, etc...
  • Examine the influence of their own experiences, background, and culture have on their attitudes towards healthy lifestyles,
  • Demonstrate basic skills in accessing resources for their health,
  • Understand the immune system in health and disease,
  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of the general principles, concepts, and language of health related issues.


Media group continues this idea of promoting healthy lifestyles by educating clients on the aspects of problematic gambling and media usage as well as discussing alternatives to these self defeating behaviors. We hope to;

  • Educate individuals on potential hazardous behavior,
  • Provide awareness, prevention tools, and healthy alternatives to problematic behavior,
  • Identify stress and triggers,
  • Enact post treatment prevention via in treatment education and awareness. 

Stay tuned for next month's newsletter when we will have testimonials from individuals who have used the education and awareness promoted in these psycho-educational groups to overcome these issues.

Stay tuned for next month's newsletter when we have some testimonials from some individuals who have first hand experience with these issue overcoming them through education and awareness promoted in these psycho-educational groups. 


Stretching for Recovery

Yoga Silhouette



The twice weekly Yoga sessions continue to provide a solid foundation for the recovery of residents who in addition to post acute withdrawal struggle with physical fitness, weight and mobility issues.  


The 90 minute sessions provide a balance between cardio, stretching and isometric exercises that contribute to symmetrical development of body health.  Instructor Tina Swan inspires guys to expand their perception of Yoga to include body awareness, mindfulness, rejuvenation and restoration of body performance.


As Shawn puts it, "Tina has changed my whole view of the integration of recovery and wellness and inspires me to continue exercising after I leave here."  The feedback from the participants focuses on both their ability to relax and an improvement in their flexibility and strength.  When the session opens clients gather on the mats and begin by calming their breath to enhance body-mind awareness. They conclude each session with a guided meditation that assists the clients to develop their own relaxation practice.   


The inclusion of Yoga, Acupuncture, Seasonal Sports, Fitness, Media Group and Lifestyles Group has created a dynamic recovery environment that further promotes balance in all areas of life. 







The Last Door wins! 





The boys are well into their second season and are finally starting to click as a team.  With Mark Innes leading the offensive strike and Gord "The stone wall"  Parker minding the net the team was able to sail to a 5-3 victory.   This was a gritty, physical and action packed game and we encourage our loyal fans to come out and support us in our next game!



Next game:

Monday January 24, 2011| 8:30 pm | Indoor Field - 8 Rinks


Last Door provides therapeutic environments where individuals and families experiencing addiction can gain support and guidance to restore themselves to mental, spiritual, physical and emotional health.


  • Substance & Process Addictions
  • Structured Environment
  • Accommodation and Meals
  • Processing of immediate problems
  • Group, Individual and Couples Counselling
  • Resource Referral
  • Recreation and Socialization
  • Support for Legal and Medical issues
  • Family Support including Group, One to One and Couples Counselling
  • Parent's Group
  • Co-Parenting Group
  • Women's Group
  • Couples Group
  • Qualified Staff - ICADC. CCS.
  • In-house Yoga twice a week
  • In-house Acupuncture
  • Qualified Naturopathic Support
  • Health and Wellness Education
  • Smoking Cessation Program
  • Back to Work Program Strategies
  • Continuing Care Alumni Group
  • Follow-up services including long term Transitional and Independent Living Residences


  • Screening
  • Orientation
  • Assessment
  • Treatment Planning
  • Counselling - Group Individual
  • Case Management
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Medical Management
  • Medical Assessment by LDRS Medical Director, Dr. Doug Coleman, Addictions Specialist
  • Client Education
  • Resource Identification & Referral
  • Reports and Records
  • Consultation with Professionals


Last Door welcome inquires via phone or email regarding suitability and availability of services, followed by completion of LDRS Referral Package.  As part of the screening/intake process Last Door can schedule up to a full day of program viewing for applicants and their referral agents.  We welcome clients from across Canada, the United States and around the World.


Call us at 1-888-525-9771


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Everyone benefits from the power of a Planned Gift - you, your family and Last Door. We want to ensure that everyone receives the maximum benefit possible; this is why Last Door Recovery Society offers a wide range of Planned Giving arrangements.   

To learn more about Last Door's 
Planned Giving Program please visit our website by clicking here or call 604-525-9771
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Thank you for taking the time to read our January issue of our monthly emailed newsletter.  To read past newsletters click here.

Please forward this newsletter on to people you may  think would be happy to hear from Last Door.
Last Door Recovery Society Public Relations
T: 604-525-9771
F: 604-525-3896