Chicago Man Celebrates One Year of Sobriety

Addiction Program Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Paul was the first patient ever admitted to the addiction program in October 2008.

For nearly a decade, Paul had been in and out of alcohol and drug treatment programs until he found the IIAR at Ingalls.

“I would drink to blackout after work every day,” he said.

Though he never drank at work, co-workers suspected he was an alcoholic. Then, in the fall of 2008, his behavior at an out-of-town conference left them with little doubt.

“I drank a lot during that trip and had multiple blackouts,” he said. Afterward, Paul went to stay with his parents in the South Suburbs to sober up.

But his success was short-lived. When he snuck some vodka into the house and washed it down with pills, Paul ended up in a nine-hour blackout that became a physical battle with his aging parents.

That’s when he turned to the IIAR.

Though Paul had exhausted his lifetime health insurance benefits and would have to foot the bill himself, he knew his life was well worth saving.

So what made the IIAR recovery program different from the others?

“I hadn’t encountered that kind of compassion before,” he explained. “Rachel (Ridge) was my counselor, and I felt so blessed to have her. The program at Ingalls incorporates every aspect of your life into treatment, including your family and your job.”

The program also taught Paul how to prevent relapses and create a plan for success in his personal and professional lives.

“Paul had been to treatment programs four times before coming to Ingalls,” explains Rachel, L.C.S.W., C.A.D.C., addictions counselor at Ingalls. “When he came to us, he was humble, honest and willing to be accountable. Anyone can sit up on our unit for 28 days. What most people don’t realize is that coming to treatment is the FIRST step in a lifelong journey of recovery. Paul was willing to do the work.”

A year of sobriety is proof of that.

“I incorporated recovery into my life,” he added. “I’m much more effective at work. Most importantly, I have peace of mind that I didn’t have the first 43 years of my life."

Located in the Wyman-Gordon Pavilion, the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at Ingalls is a 16-bed adult addiction treatment facility providing care for a wide range of addictions, including alcohol and drugs; gambling; the internet; video-gaming; sex; spending/ shopping; food; and chronic pain with addiction.

For more information or to confidentially access its private treatment programs, call 1.800.522.3784 or visit

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