You can’t predict when you will “Hit bottom.” For some the mere threat of failing out of school, losing our spouse, family support or a job is motivation enough to begin the process of recovery. For others the bottom is a much messier, deeper, darker place. Those of us who experience increased physical tolerance for alcohol or drugs inevitably see an increase in our mental and emotional tolerance for pain, suffering and compromising our values. This desensitization is an integral part of the denial system a person needs to sustain their drinking or drug use. It sounds like, “Sure, my wife left me, I got a DUI and I was fired, but I don’t see why everyone else is so upset.” Similarly, a comment I’ve heard among younger, opiate addicted patients who relapse within a matter of weeks is, “Sure, I’ve overdosed a few times. I’ve had some friends die from overdose, but I don’t really need to do all this recovery stuff. I just need to quit using.”
Exactly what does it take to cause surrender? The unfortunate reality is past, present or future consequences, no matter how dire, are often not enough to cause a person to hit bottom and choose the path of recovery. That’s because hitting bottom, reaching the point when enough is enough, is an extremely personal thing. Some people in recovery describe having a moment when the pain and fear of staying in active addiction was greater than the pain and fear they felt about the recovery process. But the best definition I’ve heard recently was from a patient who defined hitting bottom by saying, “It’s when bad things are happening to me faster than I can lower my standards.”
Stan Bumgarner graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2006 and worked for the Tennessee Association of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services teaching ministers across the state. This led him to become an alcohol and drug counselor. He is currently the Spiritual Director at Cumberland. Stan is a regular speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Clarksville, the father of thirteen-year-old twins and active in his own 12-Step recovery.
Mayor Megan Barry joined Cumberland Heights executives and other dignitaries for opening event
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Aug. 9, 2016 – Nashville-based alcohol and drug treatment center Cumberland Heights today officially opened its new Music Row Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) with an open house and ribbon cutting that included Mayor Megan Barry, musician John Hiatt and many other community leaders and supporters of Cumberland Heights.
IOPs offer alternatives to inpatient treatment for patients who seek daytime and evening counseling in order to continue with their schools or careers. IOPs offer flexible scheduling, group therapy, 12-Step meetings and specialized family therapy. The Music Row IOP is located at 1619 17th Ave. South.
“Cumberland Heights has a long history of working with members of the music industry, so it’s so great to finally be located here on Music Row,” said Cumberland Heights Chief Executive Officer Jay Crosson. “We are excited to be located so close the music, collegiate and Downtown Nashville communities, making this type of treatment as accessible as possible to those that might need it. Cumberland Heights is known for recovery, and Nashville is known for music, so this is a natural location for us.”
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry also spoke briefly at the opening event. “I want to thank the entire staff of Cumberland Heights for all the good work that they do for people who are overcoming addiction and regaining control of their lives,” said Mayor Barry. “This facility is such an important component of how we go about building a warm and welcoming place and serving our community. Thanks to Cumberland Heights and the Boedecker Foundation for making all of this possible.”
George Boedecker, who originally came to Nashville years ago to “do music,” created the Boedecker Foundation that purchased and renovated the Music Row building for Cumberland Heights, making this new IOP possible.
“The mission of The Boedecker Foundation is to provide critical resources to nonprofit organizations that inspire positive change within diverse communities around the world,” said Boedecker. “It is such an honor and a privilege to be partnering with Cumberland Heights and their Intensive Outpatient Therapy Services at this location. We look forward to a long-lasting and impactful relationship.”
Since its founding in 1966, Cumberland Heights has built a reputation for helping many music industry professionals recover life from drug and alcohol addiction. The Music Row IOP places a 12 step-based rehabilitative program nearer those who need it most and affords more flexible care for those who do not require the medical detoxification that requires inpatient care.
The Music Row IOP is Cumberland Heights’ tenth outpatient facility in Tennessee and the first in the central part of Nashville. The organization opened its first IOP in 1987.
Photos from the grand opening
Introdution by Jay Crosson, CEO of Cumberland Heights, and speech from Mayor Megan Barry
About Cumberland Heights
Cumberland Heights’ mission is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol or drug addiction. As a non-profit organization, Cumberland Heights is committed to the approximately 2,500 men, women and adolescents it serves every year and the communities where its facilities are located. The organization has followed the teachings of the 12 Steps since its founding in 1966.
About the Boedecker Foundation
The Boedecker Foundation aspires to encourage positive outcomes through programs focused on education, health and wellness, youth development, along with family and community collaboration. At the central and innermost framework of The Boedecker Foundation’s endowments are partnerships and enduring relationships with organizations like Cumberland Heights, that have committed extensive resources to improve environmental circumstances, provide access to healthcare programs, and create opportunities for individuals, their families and communities in which they live. Through these guiding principles our Foundation has distributed over 28 million dollars to organizations in Tennessee and all across the nation.
Cumberland Heights Recognizes Excellence in Jackson Outpatient Office
Jackson Intensive Outpatient Staff Ruth Meyer and Christie Dotson recently received recognition for outstanding patient satisfaction, leading all Cumberland Heights outpatient offices in this important measure. While all patient satisfaction scores exceed 95% in all locations, Jackson office consistently, quarter by quarter, registers strong confidence of families and patients who visit.
As the field of addiction recovery evolves, evidence is pointing out therapeutic alignment – meaning the counselor and the patient are working on the same goals – has proven to be one of the most important factors predicting sustained recovery. According to Randal Lea, Executive Director for Cumberland’s Community Based Programs, “Nothing is more important in early recovery than keeping a patient engaged in their recovery, and counseling staff that puts rapport ahead of giving advice will be more successful.” Lea adds, “Christie and Ruth have shown they are able to let the patient set the pace for their growth and to take ownership over their recovery process.”
Cumberland Heights, celebrating its fiftieth year of operation, has been serving the Jackson community for over fifteen years. Soon there will be a total of 10 Cumberland Heights locations available to help communities in Tennessee. In addition to the Jackson Office on Stonebridge, Cumberland Heights has IOP facilities in Chattanooga, Cool Springs, Crossville, Hermitage, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Sumner County (Gallatin), in West Nashville on River Road and a new branch opening soon on Music Row location in the heart of Nashville.
Nationally Recognized Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center Begins Its Year of Celebrating Half a Century of Helping People to Recover Life
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Feb. 17, 2016 – Cumberland Heights drug and alcohol rehabilitation center will spend much of 2016 celebrating its 50th Anniversary and highlighting success stories from thousands of Nashvillians who have received treatment.
“We are honored and proud to have been a trusted provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment for five decades,” said Jay Crosson, CEO of Cumberland Heights. “Fifty years of experience brings us so many positive examples of helping patients and their families – we hope to be able to share some of these with the community throughout the year.”
In addition to events, Cumberland Heights will open a new intensive outpatient facility on Music Row in Nashville, expand its “Recover Life” communications campaign, produce a 50th Anniversary booklet and increase outreach in various ways.
The official kick-off event took place today with a staff-wide, kick-off party and Coin Ceremony where staff and board members received 50th Anniversary commemorative coins modeled after “sober coins” that are a fixture of recovery.
50th Anniversary Events and Initiatives Planned To Date Include:
Sept. 17 – Alumni & Staff Picnic with guest speaker Paul Williams
Fall – Fundraising Concert at the Ryman (Date TBD)
Fall – “Shelter at the Pond” commemoration ceremony (Date TBD)
December – Endowment Society Reception
Patients’ families are often included in the recovery process because success depends on a strong support system once they leave Cumberland Heights. “That’s why,” Crosson says, “friends and family are included in many of our 50th Anniversary events.”
New Intensive Outpatient Treatment Facility
Cumberland Heights has had a longstanding relationship with the Nashville music industry. However, it has never had a facility on Music Row. That will change in May when Cumberland Heights opens its first Music Row intensive outpatient facility on 17th Ave. South.
“Recover Life” Campaign
Cumberland Heights recently launched a multi-channel communications campaign called “Recover Life.” The campaign features staff members holding sober coins and saying how many years they have been sober. This month, the campaign expands to include other alumni as well as the families of patients.
A Quick History
Fifty years ago, Robert Crichton Sr. and his personal physician, Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., recognized an unmet need in Middle Tennessee and had a dream. They saw friends, neighbors and patients who were suffering from alcoholism and the disease of addiction. They had a vision of an accessible treatment facility in Nashville. They found a beautiful farm located on rolling hills along the banks of the Cumberland River and said, “What if?” They were, indeed, their brother’s keeper.
It is notable that the charter of incorporation established Cumberland Heights as a private, not-for-profit organization. The founders’ mission was to provide hope and restore patients to the full life of recovery – not to attain personal gain.
Starting with a few alcoholic men, Cumberland Heights gradually expanded to treat women, adolescents and families. Cumberland Heights was a pioneer of 12-Step-based recovery in Middle Tennessee and is now widely recognized and respected as one of the top treatment facilities in America. Cumberland Heights is still true to its original core values that the patient comes first and its greatest assets are its alumni, staff and campuses.
About Cumberland Heights
Cumberland Heights’ mission is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol or drug addiction. As a non-profit organization, Cumberland Heights is committed to the approximately 2,500 men, women and adolescents it serves every year and the communities where its facilities are located. The organization has followed the teachings of the 12 Steps since its founding.
Cumberland Heights has everything you need to complete your Gift List.
The Annual Fund A contribution to the 2015 Annual Fund fills critical financial needs in programs and services for patients and their families. Most importantly, the Annual Fund helps make treatment affordable for all patients and gives an individual the hope of a new beginning, healing and recovery. Gifts of any amount are welcome.
The 50th Anniversary Pond Restoration & Shelter Construction Project The Cumberland Heights pond has served to enhance the quality of service both environmentally and therapeutically for patients at Cumberland Heights as far back as the 1960s. Unfortunately the pond has receded and been unsafe for many years. Our goal for the 50th Anniversary is to restore the pond and add a picnic pavilion so it can once again be incorporated as a tool of recovery. If you make a $1,000 donation, your name, or your honoree’s name, will be included on a plaque in the shelter.
The Historic Orchard Project Join us in restoring Cumberland Heights’ orchard by planting trees on the hill directly behind the Hazel Hawkins Martin Center. If you make a $150 donation, a label with your name, or your honoree’s name, will be hung on the tree. (A limited number of trees are available.)
Endowment FundA contribution of any amount helps to provide Patient Assistance Funding (PAF) to those in need seeking treatment for the first time and committed to their own recovery. These contributions cover the gap that occurs when adequate treatment is denied by the insurer or is simply unavailable. A named fund to honor a loved one can be set up for $20,000. CH manages the principal of the invested endowed fund, while awarding a percentage of the income each year for a specific purpose.
As always, any gift can be made as a memorial or honorarium.Remember, to make your gift count for this fiscal year; we must receive it before December 31, 2015.
In my personal life I have had limited experience with addiction, so as a new Cumberland Heights employee, I was glad to have an opportunity to participate in our Family Program. To be specific, I attended family week, one component of our Family Program. This four-day workshop is an eye-opening and educational experience offered to each patient’s family members and loved ones.
On the first day, I entered the group room hesitantly. The seats were placed in a large circle in one of our group rooms. I sat in an empty seat among several anxious family members. It was in this seat, among these people, where I began my real education on the disease of addiction.
I learned the ways addiction affects each individual family member and loved one. I experienced a roller coaster of emotions as I participated in various educational exercises. I empathized with the families as they acknowledged their anxiety and fear at the thought of their loved one returning home. Everyone asked the same question: “What do we do when they come home?” The answer is not simple.
Spouses, parents, siblings and children enter family week hoping they will learn how to fix their loved ones, but, in reality, family week is designed to introduce each family member to his or her own recovery.
Co-dependency is a big topic during family week. Families enable the addicts in their lives and become co-dependent on them for their own happiness and self-worth. This reality hit me hard. As the parent of a son with autism, I could relate.
I often allow my son’s attitude and behavior to dictate my personal happiness. If my son wakes irritable and temperamental, I immediately shut down. My patience is thin. I too become ill-tempered and short. My faith goes out the window, and the weight of the world falls on my shoulders. Communication shuts down. I internalize my feelings and take out my frustration on everyone else, especially my husband. However, this does not give my son his best chance. I must take care of myself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually to be an appropriate source of support for him much like the family of an addict.
Recovery is not an individual journey, it’s a family journey. There was a saying I learned during family week, “You can’t cure it. You didn’t cause it. You can’t control it.”
What we can do for our loved ones is educate ourselves and work toward rebuilding our relationships through healthy boundaries and safe, clear communication so we are able to properly support our loved one.
In a matter of days I will open my front door to find small groups of witches, zombies, Captain Americas, and princesses on my porch. Faces, hidden by masks or make-up, will shout “trick or treat,” greeting me with plastic pumpkins or expectant pillow cases. I will dutifully share equal amounts of treats with each child. It’s fun. I love seeing all the different costumes, and I eat more than my share of the candy.
The kids’ costumes do seem more elaborate these days. When I was a kid we were pirates or hobos. I recall my fifth grade year my best friend and I decided to go as mummies. We wrapped ourselves from head-to-toe in toilet paper then, one foot dragging, an arm raised, moaning, went door-to-door doing our best impression of Boris Karloff. It was a damp night in Birmingham. Our costumes didn’t last long. What didn’t melt right onto our clothes unraveled two blocks into the night.
I’ve worn masks as an adult that are made of much stronger material, but worked about as well as my fifth grade mummy costume. I found it helpful to hide behind them—the sports hero, the happy frat boy, the successful business guy, Don Juan the famous lover, the guy whose feelings are never hurt, the guy who has all the answers, the guy who never makes mistakes, the funny guy, the serious guy—my masks go on ad nauseam. I wore them to mask the real me: the self-doubter, the one who is never good enough or who is afraid to be exposed as a fraud. This seemed like a successful strategy until I discovered the most powerful masks of all, alcohol and marijuana. Overtime, these became the most destructive masks.
They weren’t as easy to shed as a toilet paper mummy costume. Alcohol and marijuana became a second skin. They were so integral to my life they became part of who I was at a cellular level. It was a painful way to live. Thank goodness there were people who had the skills to see beyond the masks and pull me out of the morass I had created. Through outpatient treatment, individual therapy and immersion in the 12-Step recovery community my true self began to slowly emerge and continues to grow.
Those old masks still live in my closet though. On occasion I will pull one out, put it on and wear it for days without realizing it. Then, one of my recovery friends will hold up a mirror helping me see what I’m doing. What a gift! Today, I am blessed to have a network of sober people in my life. They love me, imperfect as I am. I plan to remind myself of that as I hand out candy on Halloween this year—my friends in recovery are the greatest treat I’ve ever received. All I had to do was quit trying to trick them.
Stan graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2006 and worked for the Tennessee Association of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services teaching ministers across the state. This led him to become an alcohol and drug counselor, a position he currently holds as primary counselor for the Cumberland Heights Extended Care program for men. Stan is a regular speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Clarksville, the father of thirteen-year-old twins and active in his own 12-Step recovery.
The 2015 Concert for Cumberland Heights presents Montgomery Gentry with special guest Aaron Lewis was held on Wednesday, October 21 at the Ryman Auditorium.
Montgomery Gentry has secured a place in musical history with a unique blend of country, southern rock and Everly Brothers-like harmonies combined with relatable lyrics. The duo has fourteen Top 10 singles, including five number one hits, “Something To Be Proud Of,” “If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” “Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew It All” and “Roll With Me.” Their recently released album, Folks Like Us, features the hit song, “That’s Just Living.”
Check out some of the photos from the 2015 Concert Event
In the beginning I had the gift of desperation. The inability to manage the pain of my active addiction wrenched me to a place of willingness and honesty I had never known. My alcoholism forced me to contemplate a spiritual solution. I had no idea how precious desperation could be. At the time I was only aware of the pain of living. Fortunately I was more frightened at the idea of using than I was at the concept of a fearless and thorough inventory.
My first inventory was as fearless and thorough as I could manage and it was enough for me to meet my higher power. I don’t recall the act of writing it but I’ll never forget reading it to my sponsor as we circled the city of Phoenix in his Volkswagen. As I came to the end of my page and the silence in the car was stifling, after an eternal pause my sponsor quietly asked “Is there anything else?” I told him a secret I swore I would never let pass my lips. After speaking it I couldn’t make myself look anywhere but the floor mats. Then my sponsor shared a quiet truth of his own. I don’t know if it was the compassion of that man to offer a piece of himself to me or if it was the love of a wonderful God who put us togetherÍ¾ I just know in that moment I felt a deep connection with others for the very first time.
The Twelve Steps states on pg 57 “Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn’t belong”. It was the beginning of a true kinship with man and God.
Stepping out of that car I had my first spiritual experience. In a glimpse I saw the thread of the supernatural carefully woven through my life. In this ephemeral moment where I felt no better or worse than my fellow man I met my creator. Walking through windy woods of Still Waters, a Men’s 12-Step retreat offered by Cumberland Heights, I crested a summit just as the wind stopped and I stepped into the sunshine for the very first time.
If you or a loved one would like to speak directly with one of our licensed admissions staff, please call us now at (800) 646-9998 or submit the following information. If outside business hours, we will get back to you the following day.
Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?
Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.