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    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

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    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

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    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

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    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

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New School Year, New Sober You!

Back to school season is upon us! Its pretty hard to believe, right? With temperatures still heating up across the nation, the thought of going back to school seems crazy and altogether too soon! And yet, there it is. Right around the corner.

In every store you look, parents are armed with school supply lists, purchasing the coveted items to ensure absolute coolness. The perfect backpack, the greatest outfit, the coveted sneakers – each item has the potential to make or break your popularity rank in the coming year!

The same goes for college families – the rush to get everything ready for the dorm and university harkens to the start of a new school year to come. For those returning, it’s a reunion to the familiar. For the new college student, welcome to a whole new world!

Adjusting to College Life

College is a place and a time for young people to begin their journeys as young adults. They are leaving home, knowing that they will not be the same when they return to it. It is a time to make choices towards opportunities that will shape their lives. With each new school year, however, the excitement of achieving your dreams can all too quickly be derailed when alcohol and substances enter the game.

Unfortunately, a new year of college also is also a time to let loose. Young adults fresh “out of the house” and away from the eyes of their loving family tend to push the boundaries, break free and experiment with the unknown. Temptations to cope, manage, balance, fit in and blend with the “right” (or, in many cases, wrong) crowd are masked behind alcohol and substances.

For some college students, instead of developing critical coping mechanisms, drugs become the solution to almost all problems. Do some Adderall to pull an all-nighter, stay up and finish that paper under the wire. Xanax is your new best friend when it comes to anxiety. Pop a Percocet to cure a hangover.

From Studying to Addiction

The disease of addiction is a progressive one. It is surprising to many struggling with addiction just how quickly it takes root. College students may believe that certain drugs help them maintain their day to day, providing an extra “boost.” Others need help “turning off” at night and a way to unwind from the stress of the day.

Whether it’s the overwhelming urge to drink to the point of blacking out, just to keep your reputation at a party, or the use of substances to try and pretend you are someone you are not, just to keep up. However you define your “why I use” – the lie that you need a substance, pill or alcohol to thrive and be “grown”-  keeps more students trapped in a harmful cycle.

New societal norms of frat parties, bars and clubs offer a buffet line of alcohol and drugs; many dangerously laced with other substances. Students consider it harmless to snort a few lines, take a few pills and just “check out” for a while.

Statistics for College Substance Abuse

For many students going to college and getting their first hands-on experience at “adulting”, they may find themselves triggered into experiencing the world of substances and alcohol for the first time. In a recent study by SAMHSA,of the 9.0 million full-time college students in the United States, 6.0 percent of used illicit drugs for the first time in the past year. On an average day during the past year, full-time college students used the following substances for the first time:

  • 2,179 full-time college students drank alcohol;
  • 1,326 full-time college students used an illicit drug;
  • 1,299 full-time college students used marijuana;
  • 649 full-time college students used hallucinogens;
  • 559 full-time college students used prescription-type pain relievers nonmedically;
  • 447 full-time college students used cocaine;
  • 415 full-time college students used licit or illicit stimulants nonmedically;
  • 166 full-time college students used inhalants;
  • 39 full-time college students used methamphetamine; and
  • 19 full-time college students used heroin.”

The mental health of college students is also in a delicate balance. New relationships, new friendships, higher highs and lower lows keep emotions cycling. Many college students find themselves facing the expectations of being an adult with the mental health of childhood not far behind. They feel as though they “should be able to handle this”, at this point in life, meanwhile misunderstanding that it isn’t just the classroom of college that is meant to be a learning experience. Friends and loved ones should keep a watchful eye for concerning behaviors that demonstrate partying has turned into full blown addiction. These signs can look like:

  • Drops in grades
  • Drops in class attendance
  • Drastic changes in appearance
  • Lack of energy and/or motivation for life
  • Dramatic social changes

Although college provides a world of fantastic new experiences, neither substance use initiation nor substance abuse behaviors have to be a part of your college experiences. Knowledge is key. Ensuring your college students are empowered with information about the harm associated with substance use is paramount to prevention.

Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

If you or a loved one have struggled with the use of substances or alcohol to get through college, take control of your life and make this YOUR year. We have the tools and resources to help you get there! There’s still time to get the treatment you need to start of the year right – strong, confident, successful and substance-free. You’ll be able to return to campus and make it a much better place than you left it, taking a stand against addiction and a step up for your own mental health!


Read More from Lindsey Simpkins:

Native American Healing at Oxford

Young Adults @ The Oxford Center

Finding Recovery In Nature

About The Contributor
Lindsey Simpkins is a seasoned learning and development professional with more than 13 years of experience in adult learning, including instructional design, facilitation, talent assessment, leadership development and organizational development.... Read More

Native American Healing at Oxford

Native American Healing is a method of addiction treatment that is rooted in connectivity, sobriety, and the health of the individual and their community. It calls for abstinence through purification – a detox not only of the body, but also of the mind, in order to allow the client to reconnect spiritually and emotionally with the world around them again.

Native American healing processes also remind the client of their identity which may have been lost in the isolation of addiction. The client rediscovers themselves through adventure-based activities, providing a hands-on environment to help clients take on an active role in their recovery. It drives home principals of reconciliation, reconnection and the belief that one truly can grow and learn from their own stories, both past and future. Through Native American Healing therapies, clients can a new worldview for themselves.

Daniel Winkler, Experiential Therapist at Oxford Treatment Center

Daniel Winkler, Experiential Therapist at Oxford Treatment Center

What is a Native American Healing Experience Like?

You do not need to have Native American heritage to participate in Native American healing programs. One can maintain their personal spiritual beliefs while participating in treatment. Most Native American drug treatment programs follow evidence-based therapies and treatments, such as medical detox, cognitive behavioral therapy, and individual and group counseling, but with a cultural difference.The program at Oxford is inclusive in order to help clients from all walks of life find their purpose again.

Here are some examples of the Native American Healing rituals:

Talking Circle (or Peacemaking Circle, or Healing Circle):

Members seated in a circle to ponder a question or problem. After a brief prayer to begin, a sacred object, such as a talking stick, may be passed around the circle, granting its holder the opportunity to speak, and all others must remain quiet. When that person in finished speaking, the object is passed to the next person in the circle. This creates behaviors of respectful reflection and encourages listening fully before speaking. It helps the patient learn to be less reactive and more engaged.

Medicine Wheel (or Sacred Hoop):

A tool used for health and healing, the Medicine Wheel embodies all four directions (north, south, east, and west), symbolizing dimensions of health and cycles of life. Used medicinally, movement in the medicine wheel is typically in a clockwise or “sun-wise” direction. Before entering the wheel, patients are often urged to eat or drink something slowly, in the efforts to purge their souls and enter into the experience with a clear mind and pure heart.

Smudging Ceremony:

A physical example of being refined by fire, the smudging ceremony is representative of cleansing and making pure again. Native American cultures believe that through the burning of sacred plants, such as sage, cedar or lavender, negative energy is removed and balance is restored. Through the act of covering one’s aura in the purifying smoke, you are being cleansed of remaining negative addictions.

At the Oxford Center

Our Oxford Center facility is among a select group to offer a true Native American Healing therapy course. At our campus in Etta, Mississippi, clients can experience drum circles, traditional ceremonies and medicine wheels. Most sessions are held outdoors, on the ropes course, the labyrinth walk, or in the surrounding natural environment, allowing clients to get outside and experience all that their bodies can do.Oxford Treatment Center Campus

Additionally, post-residential clients can participate in a one-day-a-week experiential therapy session at Oxford Treatment Center’s Resolutions campus.

By the intentional design of these sessions, clients experience a hands-on exercise in metaphor. By offering clients a new perspective on their own situation, they are guided to reach realizations that they are fully empowered to break out of denial and find motivation for recovery.


Read More from Lindsey Simpkins:

Finding Recovery in Nature

Young Adults @ The Oxford Center

About The Contributor
Lindsey Simpkins is a seasoned learning and development professional with more than 13 years of experience in adult learning, including instructional design, facilitation, talent assessment, leadership development and organizational development.... Read More

Young Adults @ The Oxford Center

Young adults often find themselves at a crossroads – very much expected to embrace adulthood and live life independently, but also finding themselves swimming in self-doubt. They find themselves lacking in confidence, ill-equipped and unprepared for the real world. This can unfortunately lead to a series of bad choices, wrong behaviors and sometimes an unexpected spiral into addictive behaviors.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction in Young Adults

Young adults who are struggling with addiction will often exhibit silent cries for help, as their behaviors and environments change around them. Many of these behaviors can seem like typical “growing pains”, but it never hurts to begin the conversation with your loved one.

Some examples of “red flag” behaviors in a young adult would be:

  • Expressing constant feelings of being anxious or worried.
  • Demonstrating reactive bursts of anger most of the time.
  • Experiencing an increased struggle in sleeping, including nightmares.
  • Losing interest in things they used to enjoy.
  • Avoiding spending time with friends.
  • Experiencing difficulty in school, such as maintaining grades and attending class.
  • Quitting extracurricular activities or sports.
  • Obsessing over physical appearances to the point of extreme dieting.
  • Participating in uncharacteristic and risky behaviors.
  • Actively engaging in physical self-harm.
  • Contemplating suicide.

Treating Addiction at Oxford Treatment Center

Treatment for a young adult can often be overwhelming for everyone involved. Parents wondering how they arrived at this point and the client(s) desperately just wanting to be okay again. At Oxford Treatment Center, we can help.

Oxford has a therapy track designed specifically for young adults struggling with addiction. Our Young Adult program is a welcome, inviting and quite literal “breath of fresh air” for clients ages 18 – 26 and their families. Entering treatment at Oxford means your loved one is given a “pause” for the whirlwind life they are experiencing, and an invitation to experience what life is supposed to feel like.

Our clients are able to find solace and a re-connection to life through nature, building on their trust and self-confidence. In addition to medical detox and individualized therapies, the Oxford Center utilizes a hands-on approach to experiential therapy, allowing the client to experience what it’s like to find fun in sobriety.

Experiential Therapies and Healing

Through adventure-based programming led by trained therapeutic professionals, our young adult clients rebuild their coping mechanisms while taking part in camping and wilderness therapy. Clients learn what it means to take care of themselves and others through activities in our wilderness expeditions, ropes course and labyrinth. They learn the skills of collaboration and partnership through equine therapy, fishing, hiking and much more. With each new activity on the breathtaking grounds, your young adult will develop important life skills and behaviors, preparing them to reclaim their lives again and getting on track for a brighter future to come.

Family involvement is also encouraged as a fundamental part of our young adults’ program at the Oxford Center. The disease of addiction never just impacts one person- each member of the family unit experiences some brokenness and need for rebuilding. If the patient consents and the therapist deems it conducive to healing, our team will work strategically to re-integrate the family unit through their sessions and clear a path for healing together. By integrating lecture series, therapy sessions, and Sunday visits, Oxford is committed to helping families and their loved ones heal.

Whether its horseback riding trails, camping excursions, a pick-up game of basketball or an afternoon of canoeing, your young adult will encounter new ways to celebrate being alive at every turn.  Through our programs, young adults recovering from addiction can have the opportunity to face challenges, overcome them, and leave as much stronger individuals than when they arrived – both inside and out.


Read More from Lindsey Simpkins:

Finding Recovery in Nature

About The Contributor
Lindsey Simpkins is a seasoned learning and development professional with more than 13 years of experience in adult learning, including instructional design, facilitation, talent assessment, leadership development and organizational development.... Read More

Finding Recovery In Nature

“…I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear…” – Henry David Thoreau

The Power of Nature

Pick up an poetry book – Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau to name a few – and you will find yourself instantly transported into a world of blue sky observations and rolling meadows of vibrant life.

One of the most powerful tools in recovery sits just outside our doors. From the urban jungles of Central Park, to the waters of the Great Lakes, from the cool air of the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains to the transcendent feeling of an ocean breeze – we find ourselves surrounded on all sides by nature. Powerful, beautiful, yet mostly underutilized, nature has the ability to captivate us and remind us there is something much bigger than our lives and this exact moment we are in. Nature romances it’s way into the heart and mind of humanity, even by spending mere moments outdoors in fresh air. It’s no wonder that the enlightened power of nature should be part of the cure for the darkness of addiction.person in hiking boots walking on tree truck across a river

While the role of the great outdoors is often overlooked in treatment, if you are partnering with a facility focused on healing the whole person, they affirm and acknowledge that a connection to nature is key to restorative healing. Facilities rooted in holistic, whole person healing – mind, body, heart and spirit – know that a greater connection has to be made to shift behaviors on a deeper level. You cannot just tell people they can live again, they have to believe they are empowered to do just that – that they have been created for more.

Here are 3 ways that Nature can help you on your road to recovery:

1: Renewal – Get Out On Purpose!

Build it into your therapy plans with your treatment team. According to the EAGALA site, experiential therapies, such as equine therapy, “embrace the science that humans learn best by doing. The model prescribes a hands-on approach where clients are given the space to project and analyze their situations, make connections, and find their own solutions. Since the solutions are personally experienced in conjunction with intellectual understanding, they tend to be deeper, more profound, and longer lasting.

Through blending nature experiences in your treatment, you will be empowered to focus on the outdoor activities, beginning to identify emotions associated with success, disappointment, responsibility, and self-esteem. Under the guidance of a trained experiential therapist, one can begin to release and explore negative feelings of anger, hurt, or shame as they relate to past trauma that may be buried emotionally and hard to discuss. Clients can breathe deeply with a change of environment – breaths they may not have been fully able to take for some time due to the weight of their substance-oriented depression and anxiety.

2: Spiritual – Connect on a Higher Level.

Integrating nature into recovery allows us the opportunity to see in very real ways how life can be restored. Reflection on a higher power reminds us that we are not alone, that humanity exists for a purpose. We can find connection to the positive again. Consider a forest after a fire – it still continues to grow. The fire, in a sense, acts as a refinement. It helps the patient reconnect to positive feelings such as love, forgiveness, and calm in the present, changing their perception of reality. The care of animals reminds us that we are able to care for others.

The stroll through a 12 step garden allows us to take in small reminders of purpose. The garbage pick up community service project empowers us to recognize our impact in the world, no matter the size of our footprint. Integrating nature to your treatment reminds the client there is a belief possible that you can’t find anywhere else – and certainly not in the destructive partners of a needle or bottle. Cultivating a healthy spiritual life through Nature can give purpose for living, helping individuals develop coping mechanisms to face their own personal trauma and find safe places to transition through their pain.

3: Physical – Remember What You Are Capable Of!

Scenic Oxford Treatment Center

The body is a mystery. Once it finds itself unchained from the weight of substances and unhealthy mental coping mechanisms, Nature quickly reminds us that we are ALIVE! We are meant to run and move, swim and dance, hike and climb. The more a person begins to use their body again in recovery, the more their mind creates healthy endorphins. Consider a mountain climb or a ropes course. Your body meets your soul, strength for strength, and at the end, the client experiences the “natural high” – the one they were physically capable of all along.

Nature’s greatest ability is that it gives us an honest view of who we are – our gifts, talents, weaknesses, flaws and our true potential are all made clear in each experience. In the example of nature, we can embrace who we are and grasp the vision of who we may yet be. Just like in hiking a trail – the best views often come after the hardest climb.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More

Alumni meetings dive deep into recovery experience

two men in foreground listening to Amy Woodward discussing to her message on parenting in recovery.

Oxford Treatment Center residents and alumni listen as Amy Woodward, CADC, speaks at Oxford Treatment Center’s May Alumni meeting which focused on parenting in recovery.

Topical programs focus on a specific life skill each month

 It’s the first Friday of the month and more than 15 people have gathered for Oxford Treatment Center’s Alumni meeting. The topic: Being a parent when you’re in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

The meeting begins with a reflection on each participant’s relationship with their children. The stories are hard, but the group listens intently and each member thanks another for sharing.

For Ashley*, this spring marks the first time she has been clean and able to see her children in years. She cries as she discusses the future of her relationship with her children. “I do have hope today,” she says, “whereas I did not before.”

If love was enough, none of us would be here.

Throughout the conversation is a common theme: “I love my children with all my heart. So why could I not stop using drugs for them?”

“If love was enough, none of us would be here,” said Amy Woodward, CADC, a clinical consultant and co-director of Oxford Treatment Center’s programming for alumni. In facilitating the May meeting, she affirmed to the group the nature of drug and alcohol addiction as a disease.

“If love alone could give us the power to stop using, there would be no such thing as addiction,” she said. “The love we have for our families can propel us take the first step to get help. But it’s very difficult as a parent to realize you may have to step away from your family for a while, to get a strong start in recovery and become the healthy parent you want to be.”

Supporting people as they navigate the many challenges of early recovery has been the goal as Oxford Treatment Center redesigned its programs for alumni this winter. Rather than offering generalized support, monthly alumni meetings are now focused around a theme.

4 meeting topics in a grid format

Monthly Alumni meetings at Oxford Treatment Center now focus on practical themes for life in recovery. For 2019, meeting topics have included money management (March), health and fitness (April) and parenting in recovery (May). The June Alumni meeting will focus on how to have fun while in recovery.

Brian Whisenant, director of community relations and a co-director of alumni programs, said the shift has made meetings more beneficial for alumni and kept more people involved.

“We want people who attend these meetings to be able to leave with something that can improve their everyday life,” Whisenant said. “We’ve already had talks on money management and health and fitness. Even topics such as how to have fun in recovery invite lots of sharing and practical takeaways.”

In focusing on health and fitness during the month of April, Whisenant brought in a caterer to make a healthy meal and show participants how to do that on a limited budget. That gathering also focused on exercise and the importance of going to a doctor in addition to maintaining mental health.

“I look at the needs of the recovery community, and then we find ways to address them through this programming,” Whisenant said. “I also look at what would’ve helped me in early recovery and bring those discussions to these alumni meetings.”

Even topics like parenting can prove engaging for a broader group than one might think. At the May meeting, John* shared that he does not have children — but that, in recovery, he can now imagine a future with a family.

“I could not even think about having anyone else around me before,” he said. “But now, I hope to have a wife, to have kids one day.”

Ben*, who is continuing in outpatient treatment while living at Oxford Treatment Center’s Resolutions campus, spent most of the meeting listening quietly before revealing how much the discussion had impacted him.

“I want to share with everyone I just found out that I am going to be a dad,” he told the group, which responded with cheers. “You all have given me hope. I know that part of making myself into a better dad is to be here, building my recovery.”

Next month’s topic will be on having fun in recovery and will be held at Oxford Treatment Center’s Resolutions campus on June 7. To learn about upcoming events, follow Oxford Treatment Center on social media.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More

Alumni Weekend 2019: Food, Fun and Fellowship

Make plans to join us for the annual alumni weekend this September

Continuing an annual tradition, Oxford Treatment Center alumni and their families are invited to a casual gathering of food, fun and fellowship on Saturday, Sept. 28.

For 2019, Alumni Weekend will be held at the residential campus in Etta, MS, from 1-4 p.m. Alumni and their families will enjoy fellowship, experiential activities and speakers. Oxford Treatment Center Executive Chef Moulay Elabdellaoui and his staff will serve Southern-style cuisine.

Register Here

“…it’s important for us to host weekends like this not only for our alumni but also for the people who’ve been their support system.”

Alumni Weekend 2019 is designed to welcome alumni and their families back to the Etta campus. The weekend aims to highlight the important role of families in a person’s recovery from addiction, said Brian Whisenant, Director of Community Relations.

“We say often that addiction is a family disease — but recovery involves the whole family, too,” he said. “That’s why it’s important for us to host weekends like this not only for our alumni but also for the people who’ve been their support system.”

Experiential therapists will be on hand to offer experiences in art, music, yoga and equine therapy that those in recovery took part in while in treatment.

“For our alumni, it’s often meaningful to bring their loved ones back to the place where their recovery began,” Whisenant said. “They’ve come this far in their recovery because of the support of their family and friends. Being able to reflect on how far they have come is truly an exercise in gratitude.”

Register Here


About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More

Joint Commission awards Gold Standard of Care

Oxford Treatment Center Recognized by The Joint Commission for Providing Gold Standard of Care

The Joint Commission recently awarded Oxford Treatment Center its Gold Seal of Approval® , an internationally recognized symbol for healthcare quality. This distinction signifies that Oxford Treatment Center has achieved Behavioral Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating its compliance with performance standards that reflect its commitment to providing safe and effective care.

Located in Lafayette County, Oxford Treatment Center is a leading provider of drug and alcohol treatment services, offering a full continuum of care, including medical detox, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient care and a recovery residence. To learn about the services offered, visit

To obtain accreditation, Oxford underwent an extensive review process, which included a rigorous on-site survey. The facility demonstrated compliance with behavior healthcare standards related to several areas including care, treatment and services; environment and care; leadership; and screening procedures for early detection of imminent harm.

The Joint Commission’s behavioral health care standards

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.

“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 Julia Finken, RN, BSN, MBA, CSSBB, CPHQ, executive director, Behavioral Health Care Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission. “We commend Oxford Treatment Center for its efforts to elevate the standard of care it provides and to instill confidence in the community it serves.”

“We’ve built our treatment model around established best practices and guidelines that lead to the best outcomes for our patients,” said Mark Sawyer, CEO of Oxford Treatment Center. “Achieving this accreditation is a testament to the high-quality care our staff provides every day and our ongoing commitment to clinical excellence.”

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More

Understanding Addiction: Community Workshop Open to All

Have you ever wondered what to say to someone who might be struggling with addiction? Do you think someone close to you might have substance or alcohol use disorder, but you’re not sure what the next step is in getting them help? Have you ever wondered what recovery actually is?

Those in search of answers can hear directly from a regional leader in treatment and recovery, at the upcoming community workshop Understanding Addiction: How Research is Charting New Roads to Recovery.

The event is set for Wednesday, March 13, from 6-8 p.m. at Oxford Treatment Center’s outpatient office at 611 Commerce Parkway. There is no charge to attend. Refreshments will also be provided, and everyone is welcome.

Mark Stovall

Mark Stovall, CAT, CMHT, Chief Operating Officer for Oxford Treatment Center, is the creator and facilitator of the Understanding Addiction community workshop.

Mark Stovall, CAT, CMHT, Chief Operating Officer for Oxford Treatment Center, will be leading the workshop, designed especially for those who have a friend or family member struggling with addiction.

Stovall is the former statewide head of substance abuse treatment oversight, having served as director of the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services at the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH). He has two decades of experience in the fields of chemical dependency and behavioral health.

“We enjoy any opportunity to share with the broader community what we are learning about addiction and recovery — both through research and through our own work with patients every day,” Stovall said. “We want to help people understand the nature of addiction as a disease. We also want to help family members and friends understand how to support their loved ones in finding recovery.”

As a chronic disease, Stovall said, addiction cannot be cured with a quick-fix approach, but rather through a long-term strategy of support. Family and friends have an important role to play in providing that support, he said.

“The good news today is, there is help and there is hope for people struggling,” Stovall said. “We can give them the first glimmer of hope that they’ve ever seen before.”

Stovall’s program will also give practical advice so family and friends can talk to people in their lives who may be struggling with addiction.

“A lot of times people will say, ‘If you loved me, you would stop using,’ but this shame-based argument does nothing but hurt everyone involved,” Stovall said. “Instead, we need to change the conversation and provide the support they need to get them proper help.”

The community workshop

Complements a 1.5 CE Lunch & Learn seminar for mental-health professionals on Tuesday, March 12. Stovall will be presenting Addiction 101: The Basics of Treating Addiction. Details and registration:

Brian Whisenant

Brian Whisenant, Director of Community Relations, has been instrumental in the creation of the continuing education programs offered at Oxford Treatment Center.

Brian Whisenant, Director of Community Relations, said the topic had been requested by therapists and social workers who often encounter substance-abuse problems in their clients, but are not specialists in treating addiction. For the community workshop, he said, Stovall will focus on providing practical information for people of all ages and backgrounds.

“Mark frequently presents at professional conferences, but at the same time he has an incredible way of making it simple for those of us who are not clinicians,” Whisenant said. “I’m excited for our community members to be able to learn from him.”

Stovall will also answer questions about how family and friends can tap into treatment and support resources to get their loved ones help.

“It means something to me to be able to help not only those in recovery, but also those people who will be with them on their journey,” Stovall said. “Ultimately, our success in treatment is actually about what happens after a person goes home. We want to equip both individuals and their loved ones for long-term success.”

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More

Yoga instructor Blends 12-Step Training with Personal Journey

Six years after losing her 23-year-old son to a drug overdose, Kent Magee has found a powerful way to help others build their recovery from addiction — one breath at a time.

Magee joined Oxford Treatment Center’s staff of experiential therapists in December as a part-time yoga instructor. She is certified as a Y12SR instructor for 12-step yoga, and launched Mississippi’s first Y12SR program as a community class a year ago.

Kent Magee

Kent Magee, RYT 200 and Y12SR Certified yoga instructor, leads recovery yoga classes for patients at the Etta campus.

“Yoga is a powerful tool for helping people fight their addiction and to get on a path to freedom,” she said. “Addiction affects not just your mind but your body as well — your whole life. When people use yoga as part of their recovery plan, it brings mind, body and spirit together.”

Magee’s classes are among a broad range of experiential therapy sessions available to patients at Oxford Treatment Center. In addition to the center’s signature equine therapy program, patients work with therapists in art, music, recreation and challenge-course sessions as well as in traditional talk-therapy groups and individual counseling sessions. The result is a treatment program that patients can tailor to their own needs and interests, boosting their engagement and speeding progress in recovery.

In each of her yoga classes, Magee selects a 12-step topic and leads a series of movements designed to embody that day’s theme. For example, a session focusing on the first step — admitting one’s powerless over addiction — incorporates postures of surrender such as child’s pose.

“Through yoga, we add the physical element to what can be a totally cognitive process,” she said. “If you are working the 12 steps traditionally, in a classroom or around a conference table, it’s all very much in the mind.”

By adding a physical dimension, you realize all the tension you’re holding in your body and find a new way to let that go. Particularly for people who are newly out of detox, it can be a very powerful tool to move beyond that initial stage where you’re really just white-knuckling it.”

Magee’s own journey with yoga has been intertwined with the experience of addiction and loss in her own family.

She began her eight-month teacher training program on the same day her son, William, began residential treatment for his drug addiction. The day she was scheduled to teach her first yoga class was the same day her husband found their son dead from an overdose.

Kent Magee on yoga mat

“Yoga had been something I had really connected with personally, first as an avid practitioner and then as a teacher,” she said. “After our son’s death, it seemed at first that our connection to recovery was over. It was only as we started to heal that we were able to look up again and say, ‘OK, what are we going to do next?’”

In 2017, she and her husband, David, announced they were establishing the William Magee Center for Wellness Education at the University of Mississippi. The center, which is slated to open later this year, will include a focus on prevention and early intervention for substance use disorders among college students. Magee also became involved with the Collegiate Recovery Community on campus, serving as a volunteer board member.

When she learned about Y12SR, The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery, she decided to earn the certification and traveled to Colorado for training. In 2018, she began offering weekly donation-based classes at Oxford-University United Methodist Church, with proceeds benefitting both the church and the Magee Center.

Tori Ossenheimer

Tori Ossenheimer, CTRS, Director of Experiential Services

The community class functions as an open meeting for those in 12-step recovery groups, including spouses and family members who take part in Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. Those in outpatient treatment at Oxford Treatment Center’s Resolutions campus became frequent attendees. Tori Ossenheimer, CTRS, Director of Experiential Services for Oxford Treatment Center, invited Magee to lead a similar program at the Etta campus.

“I was impressed with Kent’s knowledge of recovery as well as her ability to tie yoga and recovery together,” Ossenheimer said. “In just the first month, her yoga classes have grown as patients are telling each other how much they enjoy the group and benefit from it.”

Magee said that since joining the staff she’s been impressed by both her colleagues’ professionalism and by the willingness and open-mindedness of the patients to engage in her classes.

“Sometimes you feel like all the things in your life have led you to a certain point for a reason,” Magee said. “You look back on the moments when it is so hard and you wonder, ‘Why is this happening?’ It is very gratifying when you can take that pain and grief, and release it in a good way by helping others.”



Supporting prevention, early intervention at Ole Miss



About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More

Support Group Now Available for LGBTQ Community

Members of the LGBTQ community in Oxford have a new resource for connecting with others who share their challenges and experiences.

The LGBTQ Community Support Group now meets each Tuesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Oxford Treatment Center’s outpatient office at 611 Commerce Parkway. There is no charge to attend and everyone is welcome.

Brian Whisenant, Director of Community Relations at Oxford Treatment Center

Brian Whisenant, Director of Community Relations at Oxford Treatment Center, has led the development of the LGBTQ support group at the center’s outpatient office. Whisenant said the decision to open the group to the public was made after realizing the need for a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community.

Director of Community Relations Brian Whisenant said Oxford Treatment Center initiated the group in January as a service for its patients in early recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. The center chose to open the group to the public as its value became clear.

“It’s a place to talk about problems we all face,” Whisenant said. “The model is self-support, so we help each other while helping ourselves.”

The support group will cover topics that LGBTQ community members face in their daily lives, ranging from faith and spirituality to substance use and abuse and relationships, Whisenant said.

Oxford Treatment Center provides a complete continuum of care for substance use disorders at two campuses in Lafayette County. At the residential campus in Etta, Miss., patients can opt to take part in an LGBTQ therapy group as part of their treatment schedule. The new support group at the outpatient office extends the benefits as patients transition from residential treatment into an outpatient level of care.

Clinical Therapist Kana Crumby, MAPC, CMHT:

 who leads the therapy group at the Etta campus, said focusing on the LGBTQ experience is essential in treatment and recovery. People in that community are 25 percent more likely to have substance-abuse issues than heterosexual people, she said. They are also three times more likely to have a mental illness.

Adding to the challenges, people in the LGBTQ community are less likely to seek treatment for addiction because of the stigma and bias surrounding their sexuality, Crumby said.

Clinical Therapist Kana Crumby, MAPC, CMHT

Clinical Therapist Kana Crumby, MAPC, CMHT

“The shame and family rejection they have experienced because of their sexuality makes their addiction even more complex,” she said. “Developing specialized programming for our LGBTQ patients has given us a chance to really focus on their unique experiences and offer them a truly safe place.

Whisenant said Oxford Treatment Center had been seeing success in recovery among those patients who came out of the closet while they were in treatment.

“A lot of times, these were patients who had been to treatment multiple times,Whisenant said. “But once they found Oxford Treatment Center was a safe place to come out of the closet, they were able to maintain recovery.”

In designing the content for the community support group, Whisenant reached out to Jaime Harker, Ph.D., professor of English and the director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi. She agreed to act as a resource for the members of the group.

In Oxford, events are often centered around alcohol — even the events that celebrate gay pride,” Harker said. “What’s important about this group is that it’s an opportunity for people to connect and share in an alcohol-free setting.

With a group that can focus solely on connecting and sharing with others, a safe space will be created that has been difficult to find in Oxford, Harker said.

“I’m really hoping people will use this support group as a way to learn more and get resources for how to live a healthy life,” she said.

Whisenant said those who have attended the initial meetings said afterward they had no idea how much they needed to talk about LGBTQ issues with others who can relate.

“People said they didn’t even know they needed to talk about these issues, and I found myself feeling the same way,” he said. “I’m excited to see how this effort grows based on the needs in our community.”


About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Oxford Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More