Addiction

At the Freedom Community Alliance (FCA) Therapeutic Community (TC) we believe that the disease (or dis-ease) of addiction is genetic, psycho-social and psychological. It is a consequence of both nature and nurture.

If self-medication with alcohol or some other drug is our ‘solution’ i.e. the antidote to our ‘angst’, this will eventually turn into a problem. Addiction is such a powerful, sneaky thing that we fail to notice its ever increasing grip on our lives. Once caught in its grip we are powerless to stop its progression. We lose jobs, family, and our freedom. We become increasingly bewildered, powerless and helpless to stop the self-destructive cycle we are on. It was never our intention to destroy our lives and hurt others, but we are powerless to stop.

Here at FCA, we believe that telling the truth is the way to freedom – telling ourselves the truth, telling others the truth and being told the truth by others. ‘You shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.’

Addiction is the enslaver and killer of far too many

It is reported that alcohol alone kills at least 3.3 million people a year. Each addict, on average, takes 3-4 other people ‘hostage’ to their destructive lifestyle. This means that those 3.3 million create as many as 10 to 13 million hostages, who are unfortunately left to deal with the fallout and the wreckage addiction has left.

That said, why do we seem to be so willing to turn our lives over to such a ruthless, demanding and insidious master? It is this question that we focus on and seek to answer. What was it that started us on this path, and how do we deal with it?

What we want to do is…

… to support individuals to find self-acceptance, and finally peace, and serenity without the use of self-defeating behaviours.

Why do people misuse drugs, including alcohol and other addictions?

  • To suppress pain and fear.
  • To avoid the lack of attachment to self, family and society.
  • In pursuit of love and pleasure.

So, do you have unresolved pain?
Do you feel discontented with your life and others you come in contact with?

We at FCA want to develop, educate and provide services, without discrimination, to adult men who describe themselves as ‘addicts’, and whose self-defeating behaviour threatens the quality of life for the individual, the family and the community.

We hope to accomplish this by:

  • Recognising addiction as a treatable illness which, left untreated, results in prison sentences, hospitals, mental institutions and death.
  • Providing a comprehensive and effective, quality drug and alcohol treatment programme.
  • Providing experienced staff, who act with honesty, integrity and fairness and treat individuals with loyalty, respect and love.
  • Providing an ongoing support programme with accommodation.

We focus on helping each person

  • to become honest with themselves and work on self-acceptance
  • to become, see and believe they are all equal to each other in the community and in society
  • to recognise and understand their individual potential.

A “people-centred philosophy” is offered in a loving, honest, confrontational and sincere recovery environment.

We help them see and own self-defeating actions/behaviours. We try to assist the individual to gain self-respect, compassion, and insight into self and others.

It takes a village to raise a child. – (African proverb)

Our heartfelt belief:

We believe addiction is an illness, and manifests itself in self-defeating thoughts, feelings and behaviours. However, this progressive illness can be stopped by working a treatment and recovery programme.

This entails understanding why we are destroying our lives as well as changing the way we feel about ourselves. So often an addict will try to be “better than” because inside we feel “less than”, in order to feel “equal to,” or “part of.”

At FCA, we agree with the overwhelming amount of research and literature that indicates that becoming spiritually connected is the antidote to our dilemma.

We believe ‘spirituality’ is a belief in something loving and higher than ourselves. This is about being spiritual and not religious. It is a sense of connection to ourselves, humanity, and a pursuit for the meaning of life.

For us at FCA, this is found in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ – but you do not have to agree with us in order to receive the treatment we provide.

We get beyond our self-centred obsession to gain a feeling of ‘belonging’ and an experience of wonder and awe that lifts us out of the fog of addiction. By becoming part of a loving community, we are enabled to connect with others and find the ‘belonging’ we are seeking.

We offer accommodation and a supportive therapeutic programme for drug and alcohol misuse.

The programme is for men whose lives have been taken over by addiction and who are ready and willing to go the lengths needed to gain and maintain freedom from it. Our current capacity is 13 beds and our goal is to continue to have a safe, trusting and loving environment conducive to recovery, allowing the necessary healing to begin to take place.

The first 6—12 months of the programme is residential based at our Therapeutic Community.  It is a ‘7 days a week’ treatment programme.

The final 3-6 months is a continuing care programme, which will involve attending a day programme and facilitating key elements of the programme to junior peers.

You will also be required to attend at least 5 ‘mutual aid’ meetings a week. At the end of the programme you will graduate with the option of applying to do voluntary work within the TC.

This is an intense programme and is not for those seeking to avoid a prison sentence or just a place to live. To succeed you will need to be ready to have your self-defeating behaviours challenged and be willing to go to any lengths to get free of your obsession to drugs and alcohol.

We are not a farm, or a work programme.  We do not have an array of outdoor activities; we are a peer support community.

Residents often remain in one of our ‘move-on’ recovery houses as they explore the abundance of new possibilities their ongoing recovery can offer including college, job training, employment options, increasing their level of education and other skills, recreation opportunities, hobbies and other aspects of a life that freedom from addiction can allow.

Therapeutic Community

We utilise the therapeutic community (TC) model of treatment, which includes community job roles, encounter groups and a structured environment. We also employ the use of groups, peer support and the building of peer relationships to enhance the treatment and recovery process. The social environment is a ‘therapeutic atmosphere’ in which we can learn social norms and identify and address the self-destructive behaviours that hinder us from enjoying a full and productive life.

Some aspects of our programme’s concepts are ‘Twelve Step’ related. Although we are not a ‘Twelve Step’ programme, we do advocate mutual aid fellowships as a continuing care pathway.  We introduce the idea of the inner child and the inner healing needed to be able to increase our self-love and acceptance, and we offer opportunities to explore the spiritual aspect of recovery.

The residential programme is currently located in a former farmhouse set in the beautiful surroundings of the Exmoor National Park in North Devon.

Apply to join the programme

We aim to make our programme as accessible as possible. If you are entitled to housing benefit and other welfare benefits, there is every possibility we will be able to help you.

Download our Terms and Conditions along with our application form and a workbook. Please review, complete and submit them if you wish to be considered for acceptance on our programme.

Potential applicants and referring agencies are invited to call the therapeutic community direct on 01598 753886 during office hours for further information and to ask any questions you may have.

Kitchen of the community house

Mural created by a former resident