Military Sexual Trauma-Veterans Administration in-patient treatment facilities

MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA / SEXUAL TRAUMA RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT RESOURCES   INFO UPDATED MAY 2009

This list consists of programs identifying themselves as providing MST or sexual trauma-specific treatment in a residential or inpatient setting. Only programs open and actively accepting referrals are included, such that programs under development are not listed. Programs range from those solely dedicated to the treatment of sexual trauma; to those with a special track emphasizing the treatment of sexual trauma; to those with two or more staff members with expertise in sexual trauma who, in the context of a larger program not focused on sexual trauma, provide treatment targeting this issue. More detailed information about each program is provided on the pages following this summary list.

VISN 1 VA Boston HCS/Jamaica Plain Campus, Boston, MA: Women Veterans’ Therapeutic Transitional Residence Program VA Boston HCS/Brockton Campus, Brockton, MA: Women’s Integrated Treatment & Recovery Program

VISN 2 VA Western New York HCS/Batavia Campus, Batavia, NY: Women Veterans’ Residential Program

VISN 3 VA New Jersey HCS, Lyons, NY: Women’s Military Sexual Trauma Residential Program

VISN 5 VA Maryland HCS/Baltimore Division, Baltimore, MD: Dual Diagnosis PTSD/Substance Abuse PRRTP

VISN 7 Augusta VAMC, Augusta, GA: MST Clinic & Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program

VISN 8 Bay Pines VAHCS, Bay Pines, FL: Center for Sexual Trauma Services

VISN 10 Cincinnati VAMC, Cincinnati, OH: Residential PTSD Program VISN 12 Clement J. Zablocki VAMC, Milwaukee, WI: Rehabilitation and Transition Unit – Trauma Track North Chicago VAMC, North Chicago, IL: Stress Disorder Treatment Unit

VISN 15 VA Eastern Kansas HCS/Topeka Division, Topeka, KS: Stress Disorder Treatment Program

VISN 17 Central Texas Veterans HCS, Temple, TX: Women’s Trauma Recovery Center

VISN 21 VA Palo Alto HCS/Menlo Park Division, Menlo Park, CA: Women’s Trauma Recovery Program

VISN 22 VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Long Beach, CA: “Renew” & “Bridges”

 Please see the pages that follow for more detailed information about each program.

 VISN 1 Facility: VA Boston HCS/Jamaica Plain Campus (Boston, MA) Type of program: PTSD Transitional Residence Program name: Women Veterans’ Therapeutic Transitional Residence Program (TRUST House) Phase of treatment targeted: Flexible, ranges from stabilization and skill-development to trauma processing. MST-specific treatment available: Veterans receive therapy through the Boston Women’s Stress Disorder Treatment Team, a clinic with an explicit emphasis on treating sexual trauma. TR staff also have expertise in this area. Notable admission criteria: Prefer 90 days sobriety; able to function independently; ability to work 20 hours/week; prefer 60 days without suicidal behavior. Some criteria are flexible depending on the individual case. Treat both men and women? Women only. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions. Ask for commitment of at least 3 months though prefer veterans to stay for a year; maximum stay is 18 months. Contact information: Erica Sharkansky, PhD – (857) 364 – 4925; erica.sharkansky@va.gov Facility: VA Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Campus (Brockton, MA) Type of program: Women’s Residential Program Program name: Women’s Integrated Treatment & Recovery Program Phase of treatment targeted: Emphasis on integrated treatment of substance abuse and trauma; group therapy focuses on skills building for maintaining abstinence and managing PTSD symptoms. MST-specific treatment available: Individual therapy focused on processing sexually traumatic experiences using a CPT model with and without exposure. Staff members have expertise in the area of sexual trauma. Notable admission criteria: Commitment to abstinence; medically stable; linked to outpatient care and have a discharge plan; no acute psychotic symptoms, suicidal or homicidal ideation. Treat both men and women? Women only. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions with 8-week length of stay which may be extended to 90 days under certain circumstances, if for example, a veteran awaiting admission to a subsequent program needs to meet criteria for a length of sobriety greater than 56 days or is awaiting housing. Contact information: Sharon L. Baker, Ph.D. – (774) 826-1312; sharon.baker3@va.gov

VISN 2: Facility: VA Western New York HCS/Batavia Campus (Batavia, NY) Type of program: Women’s Residential Program Program name: Women Veterans’ Residential Program Phase of treatment targeted: Emphasis on trauma processing as well as intensive self-regulatory and interpersonal skill development. MST-specific treatment available: Individual and group therapy focused on processing sexually traumatic experiences. Staff members have expertise in the area of sexual trauma. Currently have mixed-trauma cohorts, though at times cohorts end up being entirely composed of veterans with sexual trauma histories. Notable admission criteria: 30 days sobriety; medically stable; linked to outpatient care and have a discharge plan; no acute suicidal or homicidal ideation. Treat both men and women? Women only. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Utilize a cohort system with a 10 week length of stay. If the cohort has openings, short-term stays of one to two weeks are possible for veterans wishing to focus on skill-building and supportive therapy. Contact information: Terri Julian, Ph.D. – (585) 297-1205; terri.julian@va.gov VISN 3: Facility: VA New Jersey HCS, Lyons, NJ Type of program: MST Residential Treatment Program Program name: Women’s Treatment Unit Phase of treatment targeted: Emphasis on skill building and trauma processing. Group treatment is central with individual psychotherapy for processing of traumatic material. PE and CPT available. MST-specific treatment available: Program as a whole is devoted to MST treatment. Childhood trauma, combat-related PTSD, and SUD also addressed as needed. Admission criteria: No psychotic symptoms; Not in need of detox from drugs or alcohol; ability to work intensively in group format; no recent violent behavior; cannot present as danger to self or others; must be able to manage own medications; must be medically stable. Treat both men and women? Women only. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions. Average length of stay 6-8 weeks Contact information: Suzanne Loftus, Psy.D. – (908) 647-0180 ext 5896

VISN 5 Facility: VA Maryland HCS/Baltimore Division (Baltimore, MD) Type of program: Psychosocial Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program with Focus on Comorbid PTSD & Substance Use Disorders Program name: Dual Diagnosis PTSD/Substance Abuse PRRTP Phase of treatment targeted: Flexible, ranges from psychoeducation and skill-development to trauma processing. MST-specific treatment available: Multiple staff members with expertise in treating sexual trauma using empirically supported treatments. Individual and group therapy. Notable admission criteria: PTSD and substance abuse/dependence; prefer 30 days sobriety and that have had at least one significant period of sobriety within the past year; ability to function independently in daily life; psychiatrically and medically stable. Treat both men and women? Yes. Have both mixed and single-sex groups. Women stay in individual rooms with private, non-attached bathrooms. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions. 45 – 56 day stay. Contact information: Lorie Morris, Psy.D. — (410) 605-7418; lorie.morris@va.gov

VISN 7 Facility: Augusta VAMC (Augusta, GA) Type of program: MST Clinic in conjunction with Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program Program name: MST Clinic & Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program Phase of treatment targeted: Emphasis on trauma processing. MST-specific treatment available: Veterans receive therapy through the outpatient MST clinic where staff have expertise in the treatment of sexual trauma. Notable admission criteria: No pending legal issues; no physical assaults in past six months; current sobriety; not taking any controlled medications more than two times/day. Treat both men and women? Yes. Women stay in lockable two- to four-person rooms. Some women-only groups, but others are mixed-sex. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions. Length of stay for up to 120 days. Contact information: Lorraine Braswell, Ph.D. — (706) 733-0188 x7735; lorraine.braswell@va.gov

VISN 8 Facility: Bay Pines VAHCS (Bay Pines, FL) Type of program: MST Residential Program Program name: Center for Sexual Trauma Services, Residential Program Phase of treatment targeted: Emphasis on trauma work. MST-specific treatment available: Program as a whole is devoted to MST treatment. Patients are assigned a primary therapist who works with them to plan treatment based on individual needs and strengths. Treatment interventions may include Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Skills Training, CBT Group, Therapeutic Recreation, Patient Education and other interventions. Notable admission criteria: History of MST (though can focus on any sexual trauma while in the program); cannot present a danger to self or others and must be able to manage the residential environment. Treat both men and women? Yes. Roommates are same-sex, but men and women are housed in the same area of the Dom and share the common living areas. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions; variable length of stay based on the individual’s treatment plan. Contact information: Judith Connelly, PsyD. (727) 398-6661, x 7297; Judith.Connelly2@va.gov or Carol O’Brien, Ph.D. – (727) 398-6661 x7381; carol.obrien1@va.gov

 VISN 10 Facility: Cincinnati VAMC (Cincinnati, OH) Type of program: PTSD Day Hospital with lodging Program name: Residential PTSD Program Phase of treatment targeted: Emphasis on trauma processing. MST-specific treatment available: Most staff have expertise in sexual trauma. Individual and group treatment; veterans working on sexual trauma get one extra individual therapy session a week as needed. Notable admission criteria: PTSD; 30 days sobriety (will, however, take veterans on benzodiazepines and/or methadone); no active mania or psychosis; no medical or legal issues; no registered sex offenders; able to tolerate group treatment and share trauma accounts in individual therapy. Treat both men and women? Yes. Men and women with separate living areas but eat in the cafeteria together. No mixed-sex therapy groups. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Cohort admissions. Length of stay of 7 weeks. Contact information: For referrals, Jennifer Lewis – (513) 861-3100 x3310; jennifer.lewis2@va.gov

VISN 12 Facility: Clement J. Zablocki VAMC (Milwaukee, WI) Type of program: PTSD DOM Program name: Rehabilitation and Transition Unit – Trauma Track Phase of treatment targeted: Flexible, depends upon veterans’ previous trauma work. MST-specific treatment available: Staff with expertise in sexual trauma by virtue of the high prevalence of it in the program. Veterans attend general programming but individual and group treatment would be focused on the sexual trauma. Notable admission criteria: 30 days sobriety; need to be capable of independent living and able to manage living with others. Treat both men and women? Yes. Mixed-sex groups and living arrangements. One all-female support group where all participants have a history of sexual trauma. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions. Length of stay of 6-9 months. Contact information: For referrals, Katie DeYoung at the Central Intake Unit – (414) 384-2000 x 41986. For more information, Vickie Wiese, Ph.D. — x 42367; vickie.wiese@va.gov Facility: North Chicago VAMC (North Chicago, IL) Type of program: PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Program Program name: Stress Disorder Treatment Unit Phase of treatment targeted: Flexible, from skills building to trauma processing. MST-specific treatment available: Individual therapy; clinicians have developed expertise in working with MST, given the number of sexual trauma cases they tend to see. Notable admission criteria: Combat-related PTSD (combat broadly defined); SC for PTSD; minimum 30 days sobriety; medically stable; no active suicidal ideation in the past 60 days; admission can’t be court-related; must be in outpatient treatment; prefer no benzodiazepines or anti-psychotic medications. Current PTSD symptoms must be too severe to be treated on an outpatient basis. Treat both men and women? Yes. Women with private room, but men and women participate in groups together. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions. Length of stay varies but average is around 35 days. Contact information: Karen Paddock – (847) 688-1900 x 83312; karen.paddock@va.gov

 VISN 15 Facility: VA Eastern Kansas HCS/Topeka Division (Topeka, KS) Type of program: Specialized Inpatient PTSD Unit Program name: Stress Disorder Treatment Program Phase of treatment targeted: Ranges from skill building to trauma processing. MST-specific treatment available: Though have ongoing admissions, try to cluster individuals with sexual trauma-related issues into “mini-cohorts.” Staff with training in treatment of sexual trauma. Notable admission criteria: 30 days sobriety; military trauma of some type; treatment can’t be court-ordered; no acute suicidal or homicidal ideation; no acute psychosis. Treat both men and women? Yes, but see relatively few women. Women and men are potentially, but not necessarily, in the same cohort. They participate in psychoeducational groups together but decisions about participation in trauma processing groups together are made on a case by case basis, depending on the size of the female mini-cohort. Women room together as appropriate but typically have private rooms with their own bathroom. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions. Length of stay of 7 weeks. Contact information: For referrals, Terry Falck, M.A. – (785) 350-3111 x 52139; for more information, Jonathan Farrell-Higgins, Ph.D. – x 52118; jonathan.farrell-higgins@va.gov

VISN 17 Facility: Central Texas Veterans HCS (Temple, TX) Type of program: MST Residential Treatment Program Program name: Women’s Trauma Recovery Center Phase of treatment targeted: Emphasis on trauma processing. MST-specific treatment available: Program as a whole is devoted to MST treatment. Notable admission criteria: History of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault while in military (for recently deployed women, sexual harassment only with a history of other military trauma is acceptable); no substance abuse for past 30 days; no suicidal or para-suicidal behavior for past 30 days; no acute inpatient psychiatric admission for past 30 days; no uncontrolled mania or psychosis; not significant organic impairment; no ongoing criminal or violent behavior. Treat both men and women? Women only. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Cohort admissions. Length of stay of 7 weeks. Contact information: Delicia Mclean, Ph.D. – (254) 743-1720; delicia.mclean@va.gov

VISN 21 Facility: VA Palo Alto HCS/Menlo Park Division (Menlo Park, CA) Type of program: PTSD Residential Program Program name: Women’s Trauma Recovery Program (WTRP) Phase of treatment targeted: Two tracks: 1) trauma processing; and 2) intensive skills building. MST-specific treatment available: Staff with expertise in the treatment of sexual trauma, particularly given the high prevalence of sexual trauma among veterans in the program. Notable admission criteria: Alcohol and illegal substance free for 5 days and off of benzodiazepines; problems are primarily due to PTSD; no active psychosis; no unresolved legal issues; no major medical problems that will interfere with participation in program. Treat both men and women? Women only. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Rolling admissions. 60 day to 90 day length of stay. Contact information: Kristen Marchak, LSW, Admissions Coordinator – (650) 493-5000 x 24692, kristen.marchak2@va.gov , Tasha Souter, MD – (650) 493-5000 x23158; tasha.souter@va.gov; Dorene Loew, PhD – (650) 493-5000 x23237; dorene.loew@va.gov

VISN 22 Facility: VA Long Beach Healthcare System (Long Beach, CA) Type of program: Sexual Trauma Residential Program Program name: “Renew”; (for information on “Bridges”, see box on ‘rolling vs cohort admissions’) Phase of treatment targeted: Emphasis on skill development and trauma processing. MST-specific treatment available: Program as a whole is devoted to treatment of sexual trauma. Individual and group treatment. Holistic focus. Notable admission criteria: 6 months sobriety; 6 months without psychiatric hospitalization; 6 months without suicide attempt or self-injury; ability to remain for the duration of the program. Treat both men and women? Women only. Rolling vs cohort admissions & length of program: Cohort admissions. Length of stay of 12 weeks. Also, potential for participation in “Bridges”: 12 week, rolling admissions residential and/or outpatient aftercare program consisting of 12 hours/week of community activity and support groups. Contact information: Lori Katz, PhD (program director) — (562) 826-8000 x4380; lori.katz@va.gov; or Sandy Dee Hoague (program coordinator) — x4820.

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25 Responses to “Military Sexual Trauma-Veterans Administration in-patient treatment facilities”

  1. patrick Machayo Says:

    seeking male sexual trauma treatment in non-VA hospital or clinic

  2. randy Says:

    how do i get in treatment

    • jayherron Says:

      If you are VA patient in any clinic explain to your primary care doctor that you need to talk to someone in the PTSD clinic about a something sensitive and that you know (and it is so) that have a legal right as per VA rules to speak to a person sensitive to MST issues! Please be cautious of whom it it,you have a right to proper treatment!

  3. randy Says:

    who will give me a referral

  4. Kits Edisni Says:

    Tell your Primary Care Physician you want to go to one of these programs. Ask to be referred to a social worker. S/he will have
    the time to assist you with the application and make phone calls
    to check on openings. It requires coordination.
    But ride them to keep working to get you what you need.
    Best of Luck! Kits

    • jayherron Says:

      Thank you for the advice! I no longer have association with the VA…thankfully,as here in my city they are ‘proud’ and operate in such a manner! peace

  5. 2010 in review « a males life after rape Says:

    […] Military Sexual Trauma-Veterans Administration in-patient treatment facilities July 2009 6 comments […]

  6. va augusta ga ptsd support group Says:

    […] Military Sexual Trauma-Veterans Administration in-patient … Jul 6, 2009 … VISN 7 Augusta VAMC, Augusta, GA: MST Clinic … Notable admission criteria: PTSD and substance … One all-female support group where all participants have a history …. seeking male sexual trauma treatment in non-VA … […]

  7. Mary ellen evanoff Says:

    I was diagnosed with sexual trauma and in the process of getting benefits for it, I can not hold a job, been fired from my last 5 jobs, as a nurse this is depressing on it’s own
    how do I get to an inpatient facility that deals with military sexual trauma???
    I know I can not do out patient as driving is one of my problems

    • jayherron Says:

      If you have a VA service connected disability already like you mentioned-and for MST then you have a huge foot in the door already! At your VA you should have (already) a counsuler or therapist,perhaps? It would that person who is authorized to refer you to an in-patient treatment program. I am told Bay Pines at St.Petersburg FL is the best,but not sure of any!! If you have any one at the VA you can trust (hmm,trusting aint easy) that is medically licensed…ask that person to refer you. Hope this helps…if not,say so-and we will try to find you an answer! Peace

    • SHANE ENSHA Says:

      GET A REFERRAL TO THE SALEM, VA MST PROGRAM! GREAT STAFF AND PROGRAM!

  8. help for rape victims Says:

    abuse victims…

    […]Military Sexual Trauma-Veterans Administration in-patient treatment facilities « a males life after rape[…]…

  9. Melissa Says:

    Went through the Women’s Program in Temple TX. What a JOKE!

    The treatment team was punitive and put unsubstantiated documentation in my medical record. I was raped (emotional and physical) when I was down there by another (male) patient. I didn’t report it for fear of being punished and thrown out of the program.

    • SHANE ENSHA Says:

      YOU ARE RIGHT. THAT PROGRAM IS A JOKE! THEY TOOK MY MEDS AND I WENT INTO WITHDRAWAL. THE TREATMENT TEAM IS PUNITIVE AND THEY PUT UNSUB DOCS IN MY MEDICAL RCDS TOO. PLEASE TALK TO SOMEONE AND REPORT THAT INCIDENT. MAYBE THERE IS SOME TORT CLAIM THAT WE CAN FILE!

      • jayherron Says:

        Shane-all of your comments are important, and thank you for sharing regarding Salem…thinking you mean Salem,Oregon-where I hear the same thing you are saying “they are great”! Meds? do not help-they are to me just a legal form of being able to escape the pain, and are chemicals produced by men. This is my main reason for not taking them-interesting that I was formerly addicted to cocaine, and morphine based drugs-not so any more-except the addictive personality still exists! I really believe each one of us ‘survivors’ are different because of the post rape lives we take-our shells we build-the way we hide our shame and pain. I lived too many years with out help so by the time help was there 5 or 6 years ago it became obvious to me I have become a hardened callous in my heart about it all. PEACE

    • Glenn Adair Says:

      I finally spoke out while residing at the Temple Dom. Saw that poster of MST and noticed a male in it. I thought I was the only, silent one. Not anymore, and continue my PTSD/Personal Assault therapy at the Waco OPC, by individual psychotherapy from already two graduate psychologists. Interns.

  10. Life after MST Says:

    The program in Lyons, New Jersey is the worst place i have ever been to in my life. I was treated like an animal. They do not care if you get better and do not provide any real help to people. The staff, Doctors and therapist alike are so unprofessional. The director lets her favorite patients call her mom and has an unhealthy relationship with them. I was emotional abused by my therapist who forced me to talk about things that i did not want to. It was the worst experience i have ever had in my whole life.

  11. Bonnie Casler Says:

    I am suppose to go to Houston to the three week inpatient program for women. Any one have any comments on that program? I could not deal with any negative experiences right now. So I would like to avoid any.

    • jayherron Says:

      I am unable to say; I will say that I am not quite sure how an inpatient program can help…just not sure-never having been involved, my thoughts are miminal, but I also had gone many years (almost 35) before anyone became interested in what happened to me in 1969-70. I have had to learn a form of self hypnosis to confront parts of life-especially in public-and recently confronted my fears by traveling on a ship for several months, all men, all confined. It helped!
      I do not believe any of our ptsd will go away, I still shudder in restrooms and crowded buildings; I was in an airport recently and it still has that power over me…crowds,inner building sounds-and restrooms!
      In our life we can learn we are the sole individual…and watch through our blinds to observe the rest of the world from a safe distance.
      Watch them in Houston too!

      • SHANE ENSHA Says:

        YOU WILL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH THOSE MST PROGRAMS WILL HELP YOU. ESPECIALLY IF THERE IS SOMETHING EATING YOU ALIVE, YOU HAVE GOT TO GET THAT OUT. THE OTHER GROUP MEMBERS HAD WORSE STORIES THAN MINE. SO UNLESS YOU WERE RAPED, SODOMIZED AND STERILIZED, CLAIM DENIED, WHAT? GET A REFERRAL TO THE SALEM, VA MST PROGRAM. GREAT STAFF, AND PROGRAM!

  12. Still standing Says:

    I have been reading so much about MST and I recently finished a project that has given me more background on how to develop a way to make it easier for people living with MST to come out and get help. The the impact of this trauma is so overwhelming it sucks the life out of anyone living with it. I am a combat veteran and have been living with this wretched secrect of MST. Up until recently I have come out of the closet with this secrect and I am not too sure the reason I have kept it hidden. I really dont want too unleash this dragon yet I am afraid of falling apart and then not being able to get back up. I am sure those of you that have experienced this can understand what I am talking about, I really dont like the way live my life these days. I present well with my family my husband and even my peers but the honest truth is I am really tired and I want too feek better. I feel horrible inside the two stories above me that were written this same year make alot of sense too me. I just dont trust anyone enough I have said that I have experienced MST but the details I refuse to let them loose.

    I know what I have to do but finding someone that I can come too that will without criticism and judgement help me I am yet too believe anyone exsists. I am live in Southern California if there is anyone that shine some light I would really appreciate the help!

  13. Patrick Machayo Says:

    Unfortunately, it takes the courage of persons like Air Force prosecutor Colonel Don Christensen to bring sensitivity and common sense to the issue of MST. However, he paid a heavy price career wise. No longer can commanders overturn the sentences handed down by Courts-martials. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has also been in the forefront to revamp the antiquated UCMJ tolerance of MST. Regardless, the military macho culture will take time to catch up. MST continues to ruin careers. VA fortunately is trying to address this issue. Obama awarded VA $16.5 billion recently. VA is supposed to hire 1,800 clinical personnel. The foot dragging needs to stop.

  14. Glenn Adair Says:

    Thanks to the 12 sessions of CPT that was the only therapy offered, I have opened up about my sexual trauma more. I still continue to self-medicate, which earned me an OTH from the Navy due to positive UA for methamphetamines. Never used meth until after the trauma in 1993, and haven’t been able to stay off the shit over 1 straight year yet. I am d/o polysubstance dependent for ETOH and illicit stimulants, meth. Depression seemed to disappear instantly under the influence of the stimulant and my mind was also altered into a totally different personality. One I’m ashamed of sober, but comfortable with not being myself at those times. I have remained single all my life and am losing my libido, or what was of it. Losing interests like dominoes falling. My alchohol and meth seem to be safer than psyche meds and benzos, honestly. I am falling into the deepest hole dug. I am not ashamed of being discharged for drug abuse instead of fraudulent enlistment involving a homosexual act, but am ashamed of being a junkie.

  15. jayherron Says:

    G.A.
    I got to tell you my nose has vacuumed lines that now would equal miles-coke or crystal…it did not matter, thankfully-this ended many years back; my coke habit was an expensive ordeal with money I never had-but with out having to steal…somehow l managed.
    A prostitute said the words that got me to quit.
    I ‘hooked’ up with her and when I brought out the ‘fixens’ to get high she remarked ” what is that shit?” I proudly reply “toot…” where she responds….”what are you doing here with me? I am for men-real men-and real men DO NOT do cocaine!!!! So….you need to call 1-800-get off that shit…before you come see me!”
    For real…that is what she said!

    That hole you say you are falling into-the deepest hole dug? I’ve been there-and often feel as if it is still surrounding me.
    You know this-we all-those of us who found the dumpster dealer more reliable than the pharmacy-as the route to go for escape….we all say the same thing at some point; we are in the deepest hole dug, and-the only way out…and the only one to lead you-is yourself.
    And brother…I will stand at the ledge of the top of that hole and salute you for the success you achieve when you beat that one battle…and earn sobriety. Being drugged only does one thing-it disappoints you the following day….the daylight proves that the PTSD and the memory and the pain of it all-is right there.

    Why will I salute you?
    Because it is the hardest damned climb there is.

    Nope….being able to beat that one battle does not rinse away the memory of the other battle; the sexual trauma.
    I will be 65 pretty soon; my trauma was 46 years ago-and I swear to God that the very reminder that triggers me any other time-triggered me an hour ago when I woke and went to the ‘head’; BOOM…there instantly the memory strikes.

    So-that shit is not going away!

    The damages the drugs did back in the 80’s has come full circle. I am feeling so bad health wise from all the nights I pushed my heart by being high; my escape-as you may know-from society was as a long haul trucker.
    On meth and driving a semi rig….once stayed awake 7 days straight and driving two rounds from Florida to California.
    Sir….that is insane.
    Oh yeah….popping the caps off of Budweiser’s too….12 or more a day.
    Age 45-my heart quit-and I had a stroke.

    Noooo…..quit? Noooo……after recovery my drinking continued; last year another heart attack-and finally my drinking is a bottle of beer here and there, no more being drunk.
    The cocaine ended back in the 1980’s meeting the ‘hooker angel’.
    The PTSD affects every day of my life; the sexual contact with others….my last time was the last day l saw my ex in 1998.
    All that-the fear and nerves and stress and anxiety-is still a battle.
    THANK GOD….for marijuana!

    I look at it like this….the depression can be beat by physical fitness and excersise; chemical substitutes from a legal dealer such as the VA are no more help to you than buying from the dumpster style pharmacy….the drug dealer on your block, that style too…does you no good.
    Set your mind spiritually (not church spiritual-real spiritual) to teach yourself to say if I continue to subject myself to self poisoning and self medicating then those who attacked you in 1993 are winning over and over and over….don’t let them do that any more G.A. – instead….fight back-and win!
    Peace

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