Opened in 2009, New Beginnings at Lake Charles is residential rehab that at the time was one of only two such facilities in Southwest Louisiana. Dick Kessler, New Beginnings’ CEO, describes himself as a former roughneck in the oil fields who almost lost everything before getting sober. His mission has been to help others like him and offer hope to alcoholics and addicts in the region.
Programs at New Beginnings are individually tailored and the length of stays varies according to identified needs. New Beginnings touts specialized tracks focused on the physical, occupational, emotional, spiritual, behavioral and social aspects of addiction. Medically supervised detox is available on site.
Accommodations and Food
New Beginnings has two cottages on site, one for men and one for women. Each cottage provides apartment-style living and can accommodate up to 12 clients. Clients share a room and bathroom in the cottage with up to two other residents. The intent is to accustom clients to self-sufficiency and responsibility in their living environments.
Unlike many other places, but consistent with the approach of fostering self-sufficiency, clients at New Beginnings cook and eat their meals together in the cottage. The food isn’t the draw here. In fact, a New Beginnings Alumni Association survey ranks it last among what clients liked best at the rehab.
Cottages are also equipped with washing machines and dryers for clients to do their own laundry.
Treatment and Staff
New Beginnings’ program is strictly abstinence-based and incorporates 12-step principles throughout. Typical days can vary according to the specific treatment plan developed for an individual, but groups and exercises are designed to address both the physical and spiritual aspects of recovery. Individual and group counseling sessions are conducted with counselors who are available from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday.
The staff includes physicians, a psychiatrist, licensed nurses and medical technicians. Nursing is available on a 24-hour basis. Staff scores high marks from alumni. They also praise the tools and training they received to succeed in recovery on their own after leaving.
No computers, cell phones or Kindles are allowed. Outside reading material is similarly not permitted—plenty of 12-step materials are provided.
Phone calls are limited to 10 minutes per day at certain hours.
There is a strong focus on the family at New Beginnings, with participation encouraged throughout and following treatment. In addition to family visits from 2-4 pm on Sundays, combined family-client groups are held on Wednesday nights. Educating the family on the disease of addiction and understanding their loved one is stressed.
Keeping with the theme of providing tools and skills to help clients succeed in their home environments, New Beginnings provides a 15-week intensive outpatient program following the completion of a client’s stay. This includes further 12-step work and continued connection to New Beginnings while in transition.
An active not-for-profit New Beginnings Alumni Association also participates in 12-step meetings at the rehab. The Alumni Association is active beyond those meetings as well. It holds separate events, such as an Alumni Bike/Run and picnics. The Alumni Association is also active on social media.
For those who are seeking a small, lower-cost, intensive inpatient treatment, New Beginnings could be a good option. This is particularly true for those in the Southwest Louisiana area—they can best take advantage of the focused family program and the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) following treatment. Locals can also avail themselves of the companionship and support provided by the robust Alumni Association.
New Beginnings at Lake Charles
145 Victoria Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70611
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