558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Making the choice of recovery
New Prineville business offers recovery services for adults and adolescents
January 21, 2013
We make choices daily — whom to marry, where to live, what to wear. A Mac or PC. Ducks or Beavers.
We can even make the choice to drive after having a few beers or a couple glasses of wine.
And then, when you’re stopped and cited for DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants), you now have a choice as to where to go for counseling, according to Tara Stever, program manager and the primary counselor with Choices Recovery Services.
“If they’re adolescent, the only adolescent treatment we have (until now) is through Rimrock (Rimrock Trails Adolescent Treatment Center),” she said. “If they’re adults, the only adult treatment is through Lutheran (Lutheran Family Services). A lot of our community members are traveling to Bend or Redmond to seek counseling. We’d like to give our community a choice.”
Choices Recovery Services (CRS) is a new substance abuse counseling service owned by Stever and business partners Darla Byus and Brian Beltz. All are licensed counselors, although Beltz is not currently practicing at CRS.
“Our program focuses on the criminal thinking errors, and the criminal behaviors, along with the substance abuse,” she explained. This is different from most programs, she said.
“Changing the way you think will change the way you behave,” added Stever. She explained that people first need to understand the personal stressors that are affecting their thinking, and that they may be using drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate.
It’s a bit more involved for kids, said Byus.
“It’s what my friends are doing, so that’s what I’m going to do. It’s normal for us to drink,” she said is the adolescent rationale. “They see that as a rite of passage into adulthood. They’re thinking, ‘I can get away with it,’ or, ‘I’m entitled to do this.’” Byus called this a pattern of criminal thinking, and that it’s starting at an earlier age, even among pre-teens.
At least part of the blame rests on the local culture, especially as related to Oregon’s legal use of marijuana, Byus emphasized. She said that the only life goal for many teens — and adults — is to get their medical marijuana card so they can smoke it legally.
“I also see it in alcohol,” Stever said. “Prineville and Crook County are rural areas. They have that ‘good old boy’ syndrome. It’s OK to drink. It’s OK to go out every weekend and party and get hammered.
“My children are 20 and 22,” she continued. “They grew up here in Prineville. That was my culture, as well. We’re really giving our children permission to do so (drink). So it isn’t just changing our way of thinking, it’s changing our community’s way of thinking.”
“The reputation is that if you want to get drunk or you want to get loaded, you go to Prineville,” said Byus. “That’s not a good reputation to have. Prineville deserves better.”
Each has their own reason for becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. For Stever, it was the environment her kids faced when they were in high school.
“I had no right to complain about anything if I wasn’t willing to do anything about it,” she said.
Byus said that it was during her own counseling (she’s in recovery) that she was encouraged to get into this field. Her own experiences, she noted, help to break down barriers with clients.
“A lot of the clients feel that if you’re not in recovery, and you haven’t been there, done that, that you don’t understand,” she said.
As posted, CRS closes at 6 p.m., but Byus said they stay open later if needed. They are flexible for those who work during the day, and whose employers may not be supportive to give them time off.
“That’s why our treatment’s going to be on the weekends, and at night,” she said.
Beltz said he hopes CRS will grow enough to support the addition of a male counselor, and since men have gender-specific addiction issues, he’d like to start a men’s group. Along with giving people a new choice, he likes to think CRS will foster close, personal relationships with clients.
“I’m in recovery myself,” he said, “and I know when I was ready to get clean, I needed to feel people were on my side because they wanted to be.”
Byus and Stever are also looking forward to growth, albeit at a moderate level.
“I just really want us to stay true to our roots, which is helping those in the community — especially the adolescents,” said Byus. “And the DUIIs. It sucks having a DUII. Getting people through that process.
“It’s scary. It’s time consuming, and for most people, it’s pretty degrading. I want people to know we understand where they’re at, and we’re going to do everything we can to get you through this as simply and painlessly as possible.
“You made a bad choice. We’ll get you back on your feet, and back in the community, and back to work, and (able to) support your family like you need to be.”
Choices Recovery Services
Located at 709 N.E. Third St., in Prineville.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sat., and by appointment.
For more information, call 541-362-5610, or visit www.choicesrecovery.org.
CRS counsels all adults, adolescents, and those in between, 18-21, who have substance abuse issues