Treatment of substance use disorders at La Hacienda does not stop on weekends. Ensuring that patients continue to receive quality personal care Friday through Sunday is the responsibility of Weekend Program Director Charlotte Safir. Since 2005, Charlotte has been the go-to person on weekends. She also does Big Book lectures and leads a relapse focus group. “Keeping patients involved on weekends is vital. Early recovery is about getting connected, to build a sense of community, and weekends are an especially good time to do this.”
Time for Patients to Process What They Are Learning
Patients receive a great deal of information and the weekends give them time to integrate what they are experiencing. “Weekends provide downtime to catch up ,” says Charlotte. “Patients have time to discover things they like to do, to refresh and regenerate.” Among those activities are relaxing at the Guadalupe River riverfront, playing disc golf, working out in the gym, or expressing their creativity in the bead room.
Loves Working Weekends
Working on weekends is not everyone’s desire, but Charlotte prefers it for several reasons. “I love working with the weekend staff,” she says. “We are a very cohesive group.” “Working at La Hacienda gives me an ability to meet people where they are; so they can have the benefit of their own experience.”
At La Hacienda Since 1997
In September 1997, Charlotte started at La Hacienda as a clinical intern. Upon completion of that training, she became a case manager for weekdays. She became Weekend Program Director in 2005. Her awareness of the disease is personal. In the late 1980s, Charlotte realized she was “in serious trouble, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I was dead on all levels.” She sought out an acquaintance who had seven years in AA and “started the journey.” Sober since August 1989, ” I continue to follow direction, I use the 12 steps to deal with my life , I go to meetings to carry the message, I am grateful to be able to be of service. “
Understands the Danger of Relapse
That is not to say the San Antonio native does not recognize the challenges facing men and women in recovery. “I know what they’re going through. I have never forgotten what it was like.” While being busy with her internship and working in San Antonio, Charlotte went into relapse. “I was eight years sober , working full time , I drifted away from the circle and triangle. I shared about where I was in burning desires at meeting, help was offered and I didn’t pick up.” Charlotte along with Chris Raymer started the Relapse Track.
Time for Family and Other Interests
Having four consecutive days off gives Charlotte time to be with family, read, watch movies, and explore other interests. One of those is Nia, a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts, and healing arts. She has a black belt which has a stated purpose to empower people to connect to their body, mind, emotions and spirit. Sounds like a good match for Charlotte.