In 1979, a group of physicians in recovery established COPAC in rural Mississippi. Though it exists as part of the Elements Behavioral Health network of treatment facilities, COPAC prides itself on its removal from civilization (Jackson is 30 minutes away) out of the belief that physical distance from the temptations of regular life is critical in the initial stages of recovery. COPAC provides comprehensive treatment, from residential to outpatient, for adults struggling with substance abuse, dual diagnosis issues and behavioral addictions like gambling, sex and food.
Accommodations and Food
COPAC is spread across a 23-acre campus; administrative offices, living quarters, meeting rooms and the gym are housed in white clapboard single-story buildings surrounded by trees. The grounds include a winsome white chapel, a pond and walking paths, as well as beach volleyball and tennis courts.
The interior of the houses are welcoming and each living room is furnished with comfortable couches and a television. Every client has a roommate, sleeps in a twin bed and shares a bathroom.
Each residence also has its own fully equipped kitchen and clients make a dietician-approved grocery list together every week before shopping for their own groceries. As part of the treatment protocol, clients are responsible for a list of chores, including meal preparation, laundry and general cleaning.
Treatment and Staff
This facility firmly separates its male and female residents throughout their stays, though everyone has the same basic schedule and the same opportunities. Residents can remain at COPAC for 14 days or four months, but the average stay is 30 to 60 days. Ideally, COPAC residents stay long enough to move through the four phases of treatment: primary, transition, step-down, and outpatient. The first two phases are similar: residents participate in educational groups, learn non-chemical coping skills and have individual therapy and group therapy. COPAC also uses adventure-based therapy and equine therapy in these first phases of the treatment protocol.
In phase three, clients begin to take charge of their recovery. While still living in monitored residences, they are assigned daily therapy or service opportunities, have group and individual therapy in the evenings and are required to attend 12-step meetings.
In phase four, residents go back to work or school during the day and continue with group, individual therapy and 12-step meetings in the evening in a less structured living environment on the COPAC campus.
The day at COPAC begins at 6:30 am. Chores come first, then breakfast and time for exercise, followed by Big Book study and group therapy until lunch. The afternoon brings more group therapy and time for more exercise before dinner preparation. After their 5:30 pm dinner, residents have free time until an AA meeting at 8 pm. COPAC’s schedule is rigorous and they have high expectations for residents: there is even an “honesty board” where residents report rules they break and the ways they will make amends.
The family program takes place during the third or fourth week of treatment and lasts for five days. The emphasis is on addiction education and the impact addiction has on relationships and family life. During this week, the CEO of COPAC gives a presentation followed by lectures and classes and information about support groups and aftercare.
COPAC has an accomplished staff of medical doctors, doctoral and Master’s-level counselors.
COPAC treats a wider range of addictions than many facilities—drugs and alcohol as well as gambling, food and sex. Their knowledgeable staff is equipped to address all of these issues; some counselors even specialize in chronic relapse. COPAC’s gender-specific program may help clients feel safe and foster same-sex bonds. Potential clients looking to take charge of their recovery will appreciate COPAC’s structured phases and emphasis on personal responsibility.
3949 Mississippi 43
Brandon, MS 39047
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