Cenikor

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FamilyFirst

Deer Park, TX

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#63
Sep 27, 2012
 
CJB, that is good news and I am happy for your son and for you as well.
The strain a child who is an addict can put on a family is more than mst people can imagine.
My son has been there and now, Thanks Be To God, he is clean. It was not Cenikor alone that did it, but it did help.
There has ben much corruption at Cenikor, but with the constable gone and many of the former staff gone, maybe it can be what it should be.
The idea of residents being in charge and helping each other is not bad idea, as long as there are rules and they are followed. What they had was rules that were seldom followed and more often ignored. Counselors took advantage f their positions over the residents and there were accusations of theft, intimidation, and even sexual abuse. Of course credibility is not on the side of the inmates, but when these accusations were repeated over and over, with resident turnover as high as it is at this facility, you have to start thinking that thre may be more than just accusations.
I hope things have gotten better.
We almost lost our son, now he has been clean for years
cjb

Spring, TX

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#64
Sep 27, 2012
 
FamilyFirst wrote:
CJB, that is good news and I am happy for your son and for you as well.
The strain a child who is an addict can put on a family is more than mst people can imagine.
My son has been there and now, Thanks Be To God, he is clean. It was not Cenikor alone that did it, but it did help.
There has ben much corruption at Cenikor, but with the constable gone and many of the former staff gone, maybe it can be what it should be.
The idea of residents being in charge and helping each other is not bad idea, as long as there are rules and they are followed. What they had was rules that were seldom followed and more often ignored. Counselors took advantage f their positions over the residents and there were accusations of theft, intimidation, and even sexual abuse. Of course credibility is not on the side of the inmates, but when these accusations were repeated over and over, with resident turnover as high as it is at this facility, you have to start thinking that thre may be more than just accusations.
I hope things have gotten better.
We almost lost our son, now he has been clean for years
I am very happy for your family and your son. People that have not gone thru anything like this cannot understand. It tears you apart. They say "well just don't go buy the bottle" but it is not that easy for someone struggling with alcoholism. People need to educate themselves before judging. I really hope and pray that this will help. It is a shame that a place like Cenikor that has a real good concept and could help so many people have staff and board members that want to take advantage for their own gain. I know I will hear a bunch of horrow story's when he gets out. One thing he did tell me that had me puzzled was he said he moved up to the "Family". This was real odd to me. I wanted to tell him not to drink the "Kool-aid". I am just glad that I got to hear from him and know he is ok and he will be getting out soon. I think and worry about him everyday but hopefully he learned enough to stay sober when he gets out.
FamilyFirst

Deer Park, TX

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#65
Sep 28, 2012
 
cjb wrote:
<quoted text>
I am very happy for your family and your son. People that have not gone thru anything like this cannot understand. It tears you apart. They say "well just don't go buy the bottle" but it is not that easy for someone struggling with alcoholism. People need to educate themselves before judging. I really hope and pray that this will help. It is a shame that a place like Cenikor that has a real good concept and could help so many people have staff and board members that want to take advantage for their own gain. I know I will hear a bunch of horrow story's when he gets out. One thing he did tell me that had me puzzled was he said he moved up to the "Family". This was real odd to me. I wanted to tell him not to drink the "Kool-aid". I am just glad that I got to hear from him and know he is ok and he will be getting out soon. I think and worry about him everyday but hopefully he learned enough to stay sober when he gets out.
There is a lot of kool-aid to be consumed at Cenikor... It operates very much like a cult in that they break you away from family, friends, and anyone that was part of your life. The separation, while very hard, helps develop new habits that replace the old habits. While that sounds bad, new habits can often be better than the old ones.
When they start, they are put in a bigger dorm, they have almost continuous pier-counseling. The have a meeting room with chairs in a circle - you have an assigned seat and as new people arrive, you move up in the circle - until you reach the end and move up to a family. A room with 4 bunks. From there you are able to go to work, etc.
about 25% of the residents work in the premises - desk, dispatch, gardening, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, etc. The rest are farmed out to companies where their wages are paid direct to Cenikor. Others are sent to collect donations and sell raffle tickets at multiple locations throughout Houston (ie: Wallgreens).
The clothes they wear are all donated (other than what they were allowed to bring in). While this is harsh, it also teaches them humility and to appreciate what is done for them.
Much of the board is made up of business people and they seem to get lots of recognition (and business) out of it. The staff is made up primarily of people who are themselves former addicts. My opinion is that not all these people were ready to supervise other addicts. Thus the sex-coercion accusations, theft accusations, etc.
One recent staff dismissal was known for blackmailing residents into doing his bidding or they would get kicked out. His usual line would be: "If you don’t like it, you can leave. The door is not locked and I can have the police meet you right outside" - since the majority of the people there have been placed there by a judge, this was a simple threat - do as I say or go to jail. That individual is now gone, but much of the behavior does continue (to a reduced extent).
The women's wing is opposite of the man's and there are video cameras that monitor the hallways, however these are monitored by the same "inmates" and "guards"...
As bad as I think their operation is, I do believe the basic principle of Cenikor is good and that it does help in the recovery.
Best of luck to you and your family. You're not alone in this journey and your son is not the only one out there.
larry c

Austin, TX

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#66
Sep 28, 2012
 
i was at cenikor in fortworth....do not go there
hope this helps

Katy, TX

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#67
Oct 2, 2012
 
help wrote:
Awesome. Yea me and his family haven't heard one word from him and im afraid this place ia going to turn him into someone hes not, not in a good way. Its been a month and ive sent 4 letters and haven't received anything. His counselor gave me his card and at the time stated if I needed anything or had any questions call at anytime. I did so, and he first told me my fiance wasn't even there! Then said well haven't you thought hes just trying to think about himself for once and pretty much ended the call. the counselor has told me numerous times that he can send letters now anytime. I think its bull, because I know of he was allowed to I would have gotten SOME kind of word from him. I don't know how to get in contact with him to see if he wants to try a different rehab, I feel like they've roped him in and won't let go. I don't know what to do at this point. Any ideas?
I would definately contact the court that let him go there and tell them your concerns. I was considering having my 21 year old son go there IF the court let him but after reading these comments which sound VERY true I think prison might be better.
hope this helps

Katy, TX

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#68
Oct 2, 2012
 
I would definately contact the court that let him go there and tell them your concerns. If it's not court appointed then maybe go to the police station and file a report of what you think is going on at this place. I was considering having my 21 year old son go there IF the court allowed him but after reading these comments {which ring true} I think prison might be better than this place. "Food is worse than prison" "Not real rehab" "Dangerous work places with no training"
cjb

Spring, TX

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#69
Oct 15, 2012
 
As you know from previous post, my son when into Cenikor over 2 months ago on his own. He was not court ordered or threatened with jail time. He just came home Saturday is a different person. His attitude about life has completely turned around. He learned alot about himself and his addiction and how to handle situations without turning to the bottle. He has grown up and is able to be responsible for his own actions. He did say that Cenikor was very tough, he was glad he went but said he did not want to go back. These are just a few accounts of his time there. The food was plentiful. They did feed him well. After orientation he was allowed to go outside the facility to work. He worked 50+ hours a week at a pallet company. It was long and hard but he said it felt good to go to sleep because you were tired from actually doing something than because you were drunk. They take you out of your comfort zone by putting you in situations that make you uncomfortable. It is run by your piers with a few actual employees. His counselor did help him and he did get treatment. He was to attend counseling and group sessions 4-5 times a week. There are a 1000+ rules to follow and no one makes it thru without a "Major Assesment", which is punishment for not following the rules. In a place like Cenikor you have to have rules and enforce them, maybe not to the extreme but not following the rules is what got most of them there in the first place. He also said that since the government has gotten involved the punishments and the getting in your face has eased up and is not as bad. He saw no inappropriate behavor from the counselors or the leaders. I am sure this goes on in any Rehabilitation Center. Bottom line is if you want to get better and have a chance at life, you have to work at it. If you just want to do your time and not put in the effort to getting better, take the easy way out and go to jail. Cenikor is tough and by no means a pleasant place but my son is alive and doing well and with his conviction and gods help, I hope he will stay that way.
CenikorNo

Deer Park, TX

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#70
Oct 16, 2012
 
cjb wrote:
As you know from previous post, my son when into Cenikor over 2 months ago on his own. He was not court ordered or threatened with jail time. He just came home Saturday is a different person. His attitude about life has completely turned around. He learned alot about himself and his addiction and how to handle situations without turning to the bottle. He has grown up and is able to be responsible for his own actions. He did say that Cenikor was very tough, he was glad he went but said he did not want to go back. These are just a few accounts of his time there. The food was plentiful. They did feed him well. After orientation he was allowed to go outside the facility to work. He worked 50+ hours a week at a pallet company. It was long and hard but he said it felt good to go to sleep because you were tired from actually doing something than because you were drunk. They take you out of your comfort zone by putting you in situations that make you uncomfortable. It is run by your piers with a few actual employees. His counselor did help him and he did get treatment. He was to attend counseling and group sessions 4-5 times a week. There are a 1000+ rules to follow and no one makes it thru without a "Major Assesment", which is punishment for not following the rules. In a place like Cenikor you have to have rules and enforce them, maybe not to the extreme but not following the rules is what got most of them there in the first place. He also said that since the government has gotten involved the punishments and the getting in your face has eased up and is not as bad. He saw no inappropriate behavor from the counselors or the leaders. I am sure this goes on in any Rehabilitation Center. Bottom line is if you want to get better and have a chance at life, you have to work at it. If you just want to do your time and not put in the effort to getting better, take the easy way out and go to jail. Cenikor is tough and by no means a pleasant place but my son is alive and doing well and with his conviction and gods help, I hope he will stay that way.
If your posting is accurate, then Cenikor has changed. Their program is 18 months (or longer) and leaving before that time equals failing out of the program. The premise of the program is that most treatment facilities are 30 days to 3 months and that is too short a time to get the brain re-wired.
There are no visitations outside of Cenikor until a minimum of 6 months have passed (most of the time is 9 months) and then it is only 4 hours.
The Skid & Pallet company hires many of the (male) Cenikor residents. They work them hard and their pay goes to Cenikor. They provide no safety training and no insurance. If a resident/employee is hurt, they are often fount to be "in violation of the rules" and, since they cant earn for Cenikor, they are often sent packing.
Another company uses Cenikor residents to clean tanks for the refineries. They receive little or no safety training and often are encouraged to break the safety rules by working without safety equipment because of the heat.
It is a business. The employees and those in charge and the parent corporation do earn money.
Notsure

Bixby, OK

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#71
Nov 13, 2012
 
My husband has been in the program also for 10 months. Initially he would call and I have sent letters, but I don't think he gets the letters. Also spoke with the counselor on several ocasions, who reports he is working and doing well, but I don't like the fact that they don't involve family, especially a wife in the treatment process. No visits or phone calls is enough to drive the sane person to addictive behavior. We were contacted for initial payments. It's not healthy for a family unit.
RTK

Gonzales, LA

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#72
Nov 19, 2012
 
Addiction involves obsessive compulsive thinking. While it would be unhealthy for a non-addict to be brainwashed or go through intense behavior modification, it is the most successful form of treatment for addicts. They need to have their thinking rewired. They need to be taught they are not so special as to be above the law. If you've ever lived with an addict, you know the terminal uniqueness I am talking about: drinking and driving is horrible, but *I* actually drive better drunk, so that does not apply to me; violence is never the answer, but I don't ever remember choking you, so that was the booze/drug/demon, not me; it is the broken tail light that caused the DUI, not the vodka; and so on). They really do believe these things.

Behavior modification is hard and involves a kind of breaking down and rebuilding with different thinking. Working 60 hours a week is certainly not abuse, although lots of addicts would believe it is. Part of behavior modification is keeping them busy and tired, less time to obsess on alcohol/drugs and less energy to devote to finding them. This is the same type of behavior modification used on teens sent to boot camps. They seem abusive, and would be to me personally. However, they are effective. AA is also often described as a cult and often accused of being anti family/marriage.

This disease is so devastating, and the recovery rates are so low across the board. Many sufferers just do not have the will or ability to do the difficult work of getting better. That requires a complete change of thinking, rewiring of the brain and how it processes.

FYI, spontaneous remission rates of addiction are 5% per year, AA only about 5% per year, traditional 12-step spiritual 28-90 day centers about 7% per year, behavioral modification/reality therapy/rational recovery only slightly higher. Most do not complete the recommended programs, thus fail.

Perhaps the facility should be monitored more, I don't know. I do know that 13-stepping (sexually exploiting new members) is a common complaint in AA (another peer driven system). No communication for X period of time is standard in the addiction treatment industry, as it is almost universal that family and friends unwittingly contribute to the problem and try to make life easier for their loved one (thus, easier to continue using).

Of course residents don't like it. Who would? If staff abuse residents, certainly report that to appropriate authorities. However, keep in mind that your loved one may be manipulating you to get out, even if to be sent to a more cushy facility.

I am not associated with Cenikor, but used to work in the industry in the 80's at a halfway house for addicted teens. That program was at least a year, involved a lot of the same concepts, and the residents hated it for a solid 3 months, then slowly began getting it. It takes 90 days minimum before your brain begins to process in a more normal fashion. Before 90-days, rational thinking is really not possible. It takes a year before any addict should be making any large decisions. That's not just to be mean to them or control them. Medically, the brain functions differently in an addict for a loooong time.

Please research how the brain of an addict works, medical not just therapy. We've come a long way in seeing exactly what addiction causes and how it physically affects the brain and body, but the industry is still struggling to discover how to effectively treat them.

Sorry to rant, but it is just so sad. Addicts who refuse to give up that sense of control (because seriously, we can all see that the addict is really NOT in control) and surrender to whatever treatment (find Jesus, AA, SMART, Rational Recovery, Behavioral Modification, Reality Therapy, etc) do not recover. Addicts who insist on keeping control continue to be out of control. Addicts who break through and surrender control are the ones who finally regain it.
Notsure

Bixby, OK

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#73
Nov 24, 2012
 
Rtk, thanks for the research information on addiction and the brain function. However, I feel we give rhe addict too much controll and we rely on man and not the maker. We as therapist can not make the addict do anything, but they should deal with family matters The addict is not the only victim. Family gets stuck with all the mess the addict created, but according to the law, the spouse is still responsible even if they had no part in it. Therefore, the spouse should be allowed to be involved in the treatment of the addict, whether they want it or not. After all we are one. I don't get it.
Former1

Deer Park, TX

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#74
Nov 25, 2012
 
Cenikor has a very poor graduation rate and even poorer rate of former Cenikor graduates staying clean. To me it is a sign that their system does not work.
It works as a way to raise money from donations and it works as a way to keep many of their executives "employed", but when it comes to actual treatment, they are a poorly run operation.
Part of their system is to track down former patients and ask how they're doing... These ate former residents that DID NOT COMPLETE the program and left on their own or were kicked out. If they say they're fine or they state they are clean, they use them as part of their "success" statistics. If they don’t answer or say they are not doing well, then they don’t count them ...
The staff at Cenikor cuts off communication between the family and the residents so that they can better control the residents. It is not about treatment, it is about control.
RTK

Gonzales, LA

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#75
Nov 28, 2012
 
All addiction treatment centers have a very poor success rate. Not many addicts surrender control. That's what is so sad. If the addict does surrender, it matters little whether it is to AA, religion, behavior modification, reality therapy, rational recovery or the flying spaghetti monster. The success rate is statistically the same. The whole trick is for the addict to decide to get clean and sober and to do it, period.
If a treatment center can keep the addict isolated (to a large degree, but not solitary) and busy for 90 days at least, the addict has a better chance because the brain then has the ability to think more rationally ... not completely rational, but a milestone nonetheless. Same concept as 90 meetings in 90 days, no contact for 90 days, etc.
Personally, I doubt family has much influence one way or the other. If they did, the addict would not be where he is. It seems to be totally about whether the addict will just do it or not. Family triggers are often used as an excuse to use/drink so many treatment centers just remove that from the equation. I'd rather have the triggers happen while in treatment than hitting the addict when he has less therapy support. According to the numbers, though, it makes no real difference.
Regarding control, yes it is all about control. It is always a power struggle, no matter which treatment type you choose. Betty Ford clinic has to control their patients, AA as well, and Cenikor and jail and so on.
We (society in general) does not have a reliable treatment for addiction. They stop when they stop, or they end up dead or in jail. It is very sad and devastating to them and all who love them (myself included).
Jumpstart

Stony Point, NY

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#76
Nov 29, 2012
 
Hi, im looking at a rehab program as a love one wishes to explore the possibilities of dealing with their drug addiction. in the houston area cenikor as well as victory family center were recommended thru a website. Any experiences from any of those two programs will be welcome.

Thefacesofcancer@gmail.com
Jumpstart

Stony Point, NY

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#77
Nov 29, 2012
 
Cenikorformerjohn wrote:
im a former resident that begged for money....what do you need to know?
Hi i would like to know what happens at cenikor? Does it work? What is the environment like. A love one is looking onto that place as well as victory house to help with her addiction. Please contact me at thefacesofcancer@gmail.com
NoGossip

Houston, TX

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#78
Jan 20, 2013
 

Judged:

1

I work at Cenikor and have for the past 18 months or so. There is nothing shady going on and accounting IS public, it has to be it's a 501C3 non-profit foundation.
Cenikor is a tough program and so many people leave because they are not committed to the difficult job of CHANGING, which is required for recovery from addiction. Those who stick it out have tremendous success.
I can PROMISE you that salaries are not high, they are among the lowest in the industries but we do enjoy a nice benefit package.
Clients do not go out and beg for money. Car washes and raffles (which have not been held for years now) are volunteer opportunities for the residents to be of service to the community and the money raised is used to provide holidays for deserving families, I've seen it personally done for the past two Christmas seasons. It's something they are very proud of doing.
Cenikor is not "in bed" with the legal system or any other system. It's a struggle to get judges to send people to Cenikor instead of prison.
People should really stick to talking about something they know something about. Much of what I've read here is just that... Gossip and untruths.
NoGossip

Houston, TX

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#79
Jan 20, 2013
 

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Notsure wrote:
My husband has been in the program also for 10 months. Initially he would call and I have sent letters, but I don't think he gets the letters. Also spoke with the counselor on several ocasions, who reports he is working and doing well, but I don't like the fact that they don't involve family, especially a wife in the treatment process. No visits or phone calls is enough to drive the sane person to addictive behavior. We were contacted for initial payments. It's not healthy for a family unit.
This is absolutely not true. After a client has been in the program for around 90 days and has earned enough points for privileges, families can visit on Saturday nights at "Open House". Cenikor also provides a program called "Families First". Clients also get all their mail. If you are not aware of Open House, Families First and are not getting your mail answered it may be that your husband has chosen not to involve you because I can assure you it's not the program.
NoGossip

Houston, TX

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#80
Jan 20, 2013
 

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Jumpstart wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi i would like to know what happens at cenikor? Does it work? What is the environment like. A love one is looking onto that place as well as victory house to help with her addiction. Please contact me at thefacesofcancer@gmail.com
The atmosphere is supportive and therapeutic but demands personal accountability and responsibility and for addicts, this is initially very uncomfortable, frustrating and drives many out. Cenikor is for the person who has truly had enough of living a drug and crime driven life and is committed, 100% to changing their lives, no matter what it takes because it takes a LOT of work to undo years, decades, of unhealthy and unproductive behaviors, beliefs and thinking patterns.
AboutCenikor

Deer Park, TX

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#81
Jan 21, 2013
 
Dear NoGossip…. As you say, you are an employee of Cenikor….
Many judges will not send potential “clients” to Cenikor because it has a very poor history of success. It is more effective to send someone to a State run treatment facility or another approved facility than to send them to Cenikor and, after a few months, have to send them somewhere else so they can get well.
Cenikor manages their “residents” by threats. A common way of dealing with residents is to remind them that they are free to leave, but if they do choose to leave, Cenikor staff will contact the police and have them waiting for the (ex) resident to walk out the door.
(Former) Cenikor staff members have been accused of sexual harassment, intimidation, theft, etc, yet the same pattern continues (only new faces appear).
Cenikor claims to help many, but they fail to provide clear records of their success.
It is a money making machine. The low-end staff don’t really make much in the way of salary, however the higher staff are very well paid salary and bonus.
While the car-washes may be suspended (during winter), Cenikor residents are often setup at locations like Walgreens on Spencer (in Pasadena)“selling” raffle tickets or at other locations throughout the Houston area. This allows residents to be unsupervised and to collect donations.
Cenikor encourages businesses and others to donate gift cards for holidays and birthdays. There is very little accounting as to what happens with the gift cards.
Employment among Cenikor residents is mandatory. Cenikor charges companies for their residents work, they keep the money, and the residents work. The money pays for the food and lodging. Clothes and all necessities are all donated. The building in Deer Park was donated, they are tax-exempt, and much of what they use is also donated. The residents use a “gold card”(welfare) for their medical care, that is if they can get a ride to LBJ Hospital.
The employers do not offer workers comp for the Cenikor employees, so if they get hurt they are on their own. If they get hurt they also loose their (money making) value to Cenikor, so they are usually then found to have violated some rule and kicked out.
When you have nearly 150 residents at a time, with a 250% yearly turnover, and only 2 or 3 graduate from the program, that is a monumental failure.
Notsure

United States

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#82
Jan 23, 2013
 
NoGossip wrote:
<quoted text>
This is absolutely not true. After a client has been in the program for around 90 days and has earned enough points for privileges, families can visit on Saturday nights at "Open House". Cenikor also provides a program called "Families First". Clients also get all their mail. If you are not aware of Open House, Families First and are not getting your mail answered it may be that your husband has chosen not to involve you because I can assure you it's not the program.
The program should encourage family involvement. You are not treating the entire person if he is unable to deal with issues at hand. Old problems must be dealt with and forgiveness of ones wrong doings. So you go through treatment for 18 months and don't tell your wife you do want to be bothered with her or the issues you left behind, sounds like someone who is masking their problems. Who's to say the program does not work. I do know that my husband blamed everyone else for his problems and avoiding the problems will not make them go away. They will be there staring him in the face when he get out or he will carry those problems into another relationship, resolving into drug or alcohol abuse all over again. I pray for him and ya'll daily.

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