Nova Recovery Centers Achieves Behavioral Health Care Accreditation from The Joint Comission

(Austin, Texas – November 30, 2016) –  Nova today announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.

GoldSeal_4colorNova underwent a rigorous onsite survey November 15-18, 2016. During the review, compliance with behavioral health care standards related to several areas, including care, treatment, and services; environment of care; leadership; and screening procedures for the early detection of imminent harm was evaluated. Onsite observations and interviews also were conducted.

Established in 1969, The Joint Commission’s Behavioral Health Care Accreditation Program currently accredits more than 2,250 organizations for a three-year period. Accredited organizations provide treatment and services within a variety of settings across the care continuum for individuals who have mental health, addiction, eating disorder, intellectual/developmental disability, and/or child-welfare related needs.

“Joint Commission accreditation provides behavioral health care organizations with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas related to the care of individuals and their families,” said Peggy Lavin, LCSW, interim executive director, Behavioral Health Care Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission. “We commend Nova for its efforts to elevate the standard of care it provides and to instill confidence in the community it serves.”

Nova is pleased to receive Behavioral Health Care Accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” added Mat Gorman, CEO, Nova. “Staff from across the organization continue to work together to develop and implement approaches and strategies that have the potential to improve care for those in our community.”

The Joint Commission’s behavioral health care standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, quality improvement measurement experts, and individuals and their families. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.



Sober Fun: How to Socialize Sober

Social functions are times to relax, enjoy friends and family and have fun. If you’re someone in addiction recovery, staying sober during these occasions may feel like a cloud hanging over the experience. There are ways to have sober fun at social functions, and this article outlines a few tips and tricks to have a good time without endangering your sobriety.

Plan for Sober Fun

Make a plan that will reinforce your resolve to attend the party sober. Decide how you’ll get to the party, how you’ll answer any questions about not drinking and how you plan to get home. Have an exit plan strategy for how you’ll get home if you decide you want to leave the party early. By having a plan for your sober fun in place before you go, it will help you deal with any questions and enable you to exit early if the temptation to lapse becomes too strong.

Be Prepared to Answer Questions

When you’re at a party and aren’t drinking alcohol, the inevitable question will arise, “Why aren’t you drinking?” Rather than wait for the question to be posed and then scrambling for an answer, be prepared to answer confidently.

If you want to keep your recovery journey to yourself, then the key is to keep your answer short and to the point to avoid having to divulge details about your private life. Two good answers would be:

“I am going with a (non-alcoholic drink of choice) tonight. I have a busy day tomorrow.”

“I am not in the mood to drink tonight. Thanks.”

Don’t be offended if people question your non-alcohol choice. Research shows people tend to classify things in order to make sense of the world.1

We come up with behaviors and rules for interaction. When someone who drinks sees another who isn’t, it upsets the “rules.” Take the questions in stride. Don’t let them throw you off your game or interfere with your plan to have fun while staying sober.

Keep Busy: Work the Party

Keep busy by finding a job at the party. Finding lots to do relieves any boredom and removes the temptation to fill your hand with a drink because you’re just standing around. Your host will be grateful for your help as well. A few good jobs would be:

  • Become the DJ and keep the music going
  • Prepare or serve food
  • Be the clean-up crew and remove the empty cups and dishes
  • Organize and supervise party games (without alcohol as a focus, of course)
  • Be the photographer for the event

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back for a Job Well Done

Be confident and congratulate yourself that you planned well and stayed sober. The first party may seem alien without alcohol, but as you stay sober and reap all the benefits of your newly found healthier life, it gets easier. You’ve proven living sober isn’t miserable and boring.2

Think about how you don’t have to worry about losing control, you can drive home sober and not worry about a DUI and how you can recall everything that went on at the party and you’ll feel good about yourself. Stay positive and don’t dwell on what other people are doing. You are making decisions based on your own unique circumstances. Be proud of your sober fun choices; they keep you safe and healthy.


  • Staying Sober at SXSW

    drug rehab centers in texas

    Austin has become one of the largest hubs for drug rehab center in Texas. As a by product of the drug rehab center in Texas, many recovering individuals reside in sober living in Austin. Although Austin is a great place to attend a drug rehab center in Texas, Austin has grown into the next Silicone Valley. With a large increase in drug rehab center in Texas, many investors have begun to move their technology business to the every growing Austin area. With the University of Texas, as a breading ground for technology, Austin has begun to climb the technology ranks.

    As employment opportunities for drug rehab centers in Texas and technology grow, so does the entertainment. Austin is often in a close battle with Nashville as the music capital of the world. This month, Austin host one of the largest and hottest music events, SXSW.

    As the Austin recovery center grows, young adults in the recovering community are learning to attempt to the ever most popular Austin culture. We have all entered into a life of sobriety, to enjoy life!!! SXSW is an event that with worth the trip and having a life experience with. So if you are in recovery and want to be apart of the biggest event in Austin, here are three tips on how to enjoy SXSW and maintain sobriety.

    3 Tips to staying sober at SXSW

    1.Taking it slow.

    While you want to get back in the social swing of things, one poor decision can undermine the hard work and determination you put into getting sober. Whether you’re a newcomer or have years of sobriety, the best rule of thumb in staying sober during concerts is simply not going if you are uncomfortable.

    2. Going with supportive friends

    Going with a group of supportive friends or those in recovery is arguably the best insurance policy you can have while attending SXSW. These people can provide support and positive encouragement when you may feel anxious.

    3. Hitting A Meeting

    Another excellent tip to staying sober at SXSW is to attend the 12step meeting there. Plan on attending an extra meeting before and/or after a concert, and if you are working with a sponsor be sure to call them right after the event if possible.

    If you are truly ready to rock sober, keep these tips in mind and plan ahead. Read about Mark’s experience with concerts below.

    A quote from Mark Rector, Recovery Specialist for Nova Recovery Center a drug rehab center in Texas 

    One of my favorite things to do in life is going to concerts, so when I got sober one of the first questions I had for my sponsor was about attending them in sobriety. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to attend anything where alcohol and drugs were present and that I would have to avoid these things. Luckily, my sponsor told me that if I worked a program and stayed spiritually fit I could. My first sober concert was during SXSW I was nervous and full of anxiety. I went with some friends in sobriety and stayed vocal with them about my fear. We did some prayer and headed into the show. I lost myself in the music and experienced some true freedom. Here I was dancing and completely free of the thought of drinking or using drugs. I left the show that night and knew that sobriety was possible and that life was possible free from drugs and alcohol. I could truly go anywhere and do anything in life, as long as I was connected spiritually and working my program. I can truly enjoy everything that life has to offer.

    Mark Rector

    Mark Rector

    Recovery Specialist

    Mark Rector is a recovery specialist with Nova Recovery Center, a drug rehab center in Texas. As a recovery specialist, Mark, helps clients understand and have an experience with a 12 step program of recovery. Mark has several years of experience with working in other austin recovery center. He is very active in the Austin recovery community and enjoys travels and participating in photoshoots.


    When Alcohol Rehab is Needed

    Alcohol rehab is needed, when one develops alcohol addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines alcohol addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

    Signs of Alcohol Addiction that can lead to Alcohol Rehab

    dual-diagnosisAlcoholism is the most severe form of problem drinking. Alcoholism is above alcohol abuse, but it also involves another element: physical dependence on alcohol. If you rely on alcohol to function or feel physically compelled to drink, you’re an alcoholic. HelpGuide provides the following breakdown, to help determine if alcoholism has developed.

    Tolerance: The 1st major warning sign of alcoholism

    Do you have to drink a lot more than you used to in order to get buzzed or to feel relaxed? Can you drink more than other people without getting drunk? These are signs of tolerance, which can be an early warning sign of alcoholism. Tolerance means that, over time, you need more and more alcohol to feel the same effects.

    Withdrawal: The 2nd major warning sign of alcoholism

    Do you need a drink to steady the shakes in the morning? Drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms is a sign of alcoholism and a huge red flag. When you drink heavily, your body gets used to the alcohol and experiences withdrawal symptoms if it’s taken away. These include:

    • Anxiety or jumpiness
    • Shakiness or trembling
    • Sweating
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Insomnia
    • Depression
    • Irritability
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Headache

    In severe cases, withdrawal from alcohol can also involve hallucinations, confusion, seizures, fever, and agitation. These symptoms can be dangerous, so talk to your doctor if you are a heavy drinker and want to quit.

    Other signs and symptoms of alcoholism (alcohol dependence)

    • You’ve lost control over your drinking. You often drink more alcohol than you wanted to, for longer than you intended, or despite telling yourself you wouldn’t.
    • You want to quit drinking, but you can’t. You have a persistent desire to cut down or stop your alcohol use, but your efforts to quit have been unsuccessful.
    • You have given up other activities because of alcohol. You’re spending less time on activities that used to be important to you (hanging out with family and friends, going to the gym, pursuing your hobbies) because of your alcohol use.
    • Alcohol takes up a great deal of your energy and focus. You spend a lot of time drinking, thinking about it, or recovering from its effects. You have few if any interests or social involvements that don’t revolve around drinking.
    • You drink even though you know it’s causing problems. For example, you recognize that your alcohol use is damaging your marriage, making your depression worse, or causing health problems, but you continue to drink anyway.

    Signs of Alcohol Abuse: Is Alcohol Rehab needed

    PAWSAOften times, when we are in the stages of alcohol abuse, we are often oblivious to our risky behaviors and actions. Participating in alcohol abuse, can be dangerous, but is pushing the boundaries between a heavy drinker and alcoholism. Alcohol rehab, can often times create an opportunity for an individual to assess their alcohol abuse before it turns to alcoholism. WebMD list the following alcohol abuse symptoms.

    • You have problems at work or school because of your drinking, such as being late or not going at all. 
    • You drink in risky situations, such as before or while driving a car.
    • After drinking, you can’t remember what happened while you were drinking (blackouts). 
    • You have legal problems because of your drinking, such as being arrested for harming someone or driving while drunk (intoxicated).
    • You get hurt or you hurt someone else when you are drinking. 
    • You keep drinking even though you have health problems that are caused or made worse by alcohol use, such as liver disease (cirrhosis).
    • Your friends or family members are worried about your drinking.

    Why you should say No with Love

    If there was a professional sport for manipulation, addicts and alcoholics would rule the league. We are good at it. We understand how to play the heart strings of the people we love the most, to achieve the result we are looking for. I know this from my own experience. I was a puppet master with my family. Easily arranging where I needed all the characters on the stage and directing how I needed them to act.

    I remember the day when my puppets cut the strings and I lost the only power I had. In my addiction, I had multiple opportunities to seek treatment for my drug and alcohol addiction, but I never wanted to be sober. I never wanted to be sober because I never experienced consequences for my actions. Due to not experiencing consequences, I never hit a rock bottom. Every time I got close to a bottom, my parents would throw a pillow to prevent my butt from hitting the concrete. 

    We all do that. I am a father myself. As a parent, you never want to see your child hurt. To me, seeing my child feel pain, is the greatest pain one can feel. It is ingrained in us to give our children the best life that we can. Most of the time, we will do it at all cost. Often times experiencing both emotional and financial consequences of our child’s actions.

    Having found recovery, in 2007, I have experienced both ends of the equation. The manipulator and the manipulated. My opportunity to live a life of recovery, only began when my rein as the manipulator ended.

    On this day, it happened to be the umpteen time I had been arrested. Like every time before that, I would convince my parents to bail me out, get a lawyer and promise God the world if he got me off this one. Only this day was different. Upon throwing away my bologna lunch sandwich, my father asked me again if I wanted help. I desperately tried not to show I was laughing on the inside and responded with a firm declaration that I was not that bad and did not need treatment. Sound familiar?

    Though this day was much different than the rest. The strings I had managed to hold so tight over the years, were cut with one might swoop. After my response, my dad said “Ok, but I am done experiencing the emotional and financial consequences of your actions. Only call me if you want help.” The he left. I figure his statements were half hearted and I could snake my way back in, but man he was stubborn. I think Al Anon taught him a few things.

    My parents stuck with it. I would call and try to hustle some money from them, for some admirable unselfish volunteering opportunity, when in reality, I needed to pay the bar tab or something. Every time, he would not say no but ask me if I was ready for treatment. When I said no, he hung up. This scenario  went on for about 6 to 9 months, until I had hit an emotional bottom. When I hit this bottom, only then, did I want to change my life. When that happened, the first step of my continuous sobriety since 2007, began.

    You might be reading this and thinking my parents were jerks or playing hard ball. If you asked me 8 1/2 years ago, I would agree. The decision my mother and father made that day, was the hardest decision they had ever made. They did not know if they would ever see me again. I am sure they had many sleepless nights. Although it was the hardest decision they every made, it was the best decision they ever made as my parents.

    Even though it was the hardest decision they ever made, it was also the best decision they ever made for themselves. By them making this decision, they took their lives back, from me. I was no longer in control of their emotions, or their finances for that matter. They ultimately experienced freedom, when they realized they could not control my actions. In addition, I did not need to change for our family relationship to change. All it takes is one person to change, and the whole dynamic of the relationship will change.

    Their decision saved my life! When they stopped throwing the pillow under me, it finally allowed me to hit a bottom and for the first time in my life, have the want and desire to change. In essence they said No and showed me Love.

    How Having Nothing Gave Me Everything

    September is National Recovery Month, and I have taken some time to reflect on the last four years of my life…

    In 2011 I was living in the slums of Staten Island N.Y. I didn’t have a penny to my name, no job, no friends, and was in the grips of my addiction. Internally, I just didn’t want to live this painful life anymore. You could say I was at what the Big Book calls “the turning point.” I could either continue using drugs and hurting the people I loved, or I could finally surrender to this disease and ask for help.

    I remember the day I finally made a decision to do something different like it was yesterday. You see, there had been countless days like this one, because I had been fighting this disease for a decade by now. I can’t really explain to you why I finally made a decision to change on this particular day. It was a hot July day, and I was in my shack detoxing from oxycodone. I had no money to score and was too sick to hustle to get money. There was a knock at my front door. It was a guy I owed money to in the streets, and he was there to collect his debt. I answered the door a trembling mess. I had no money to pay this man. An argument ensued. My wife was inside and overheard the amount we were arguing over and came out with a check to pay my debt. Here I was, a 31 year old man whom had gone to St. John’s University and married a wonderful, successful woman, but I didn’t have enough money to pay off this debt. The humiliation was overwhelming.

    That night I cursed God and asked that if He were real, to help me! That’s exactly what happened. The universe answered my plea for help. I began attending 12-step meetings and met men just like me who took me under their wings. We all grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, hung around the same type of people, and suffered from the same disease. The difference was they had a solution to the problem. For the next six months I followed these men. I went where they told me to go and did what they asked me to do. They taught me how to be a man in recovery. They taught me how to be of service and practice the principles of recovery.

    On July 31, 2015, I celebrated 4 years of sobriety. Today I have a relationship with my wife and family I had never even dreamed of. I have been blessed with true friendship. The men I surround myself with love me enough to keep me honest and call me on my bull. They care more about my life and recovery than they do my feelings. I am someone that people can trust and rely upon. I used to walk in a room and people would leave. Today I walk in a room and people are drawn to me. You see, my addiction stripped me of everything worthwhile in life, but my recovery has given me a life of abundance that I could never have dreamed of. This is how having nothing gave me everything. If you’re struggling, don’t give up. Surrender to this disease, stay focused and come experience this awesome life with us!

    Nova Recovery Center