This special section highlights the work our coalition partners are doing to keep our community safe, healthy and drug-free. Last month, we spoke with LaDonna Booker from New Life Lodge.

IMG_4240What is your background in prevention and treatment?

I have over 17 years experience in treatment and prevention. It is my passion. I grew up with a brother who was an addict and now has 26 years clean in recovery. He was my inspiration for wanting to help those in need. My first “real job” was working with dual-diagnosed patients at Peninsula Lighthouse in 1996. I then worked several years for an outpatient addiction facility before working with families and children with addiction issues. I started working for New Life Recovery almost 4 years ago which led me to New Life Lodge.

How did you first become involved with our coalition?

I heard about the coalition though a coworker and immediately became involved due to all the great work that is done for the community. I have two children (16 and 20) who I hope will benefit from the work the coalition is doing in educating the community about alcohol and drug abuse. I became co-chair of the coalition this year and will become chair at the beginning of 2014. I am so excited and honored to be involved in such a great organization. I hope to bring some helpful ideas to the table.

Tell us a bit about New Life Lodge and its services.

New Life Lodge offers medical detoxification and on-site partial hospitalization for alcohol and drug treatment as well as co-occurring disorders. We also have several specialty tracks. The traditional 12-step approach is used as well as a faith-based program. We also have a gender-specific track. We have an opiate-specific track called ProVita in which Vivatrol is offered to patients after safely being detoxed under medical supervision. Vivatrol is a non-addictive opiate blocker which helps to significantly reduce cravings. We offer individual, group and family counseling as well as a dedicated aftercare and alumni program for those who wish to continue to be involved.

What do you love most about your work at New Life Lodge?

I love helping people in their time of need. I feel blessed to have a job in which I can be of service to the community. New Life Lodge is full of caring and compassionate employees, and that’s why I continue to help people through my work with them. I think most families are touched by the disease of addiction at one time or another and I am lucky enough to offer them help when they need it the most.

How does your secluded location help with the recovery process?

New Life Lodge is located in a remote area five miles off I-40 west about 20 miles outside of Nashville.  The beautiful, woodsy campus is on 100 acres of land with a large pond in the middle. The woods and water promote a serene atmosphere in which we treat mind, body and spirit. At our facility, patients get away from life’s “fast track” and have the opportunity to concentrate on just themselves and the recovery process.

How important is family support for patients in recovery?

We strongly encourage families to attend our Family Education sessions on Sunday. Each session covers topics that are relevant to families of our patients and provides an opportunity for family members and patients to strengthen those core relationships.

How do you help your patients deal with life outside of the treatment structure?

At admission, staff begins working with the patient to plan for what returning to the community will look like. Our philosophy incorporates the 12-step model, evidence-based practices, psycho-educational sessions and group/individual counseling techniques. Topics such as trauma, grief, the disease concept, relapse, continuing care, management of recovery, codependency, family issues and spirituality are addressed. Additionally, we provide patients with extended care options that may be included in the continuing care plan.

How can people get in touch with you to learn more about your services?

Anyone interested in our treatment program can call me directly at 615-924-0364. I am happy to answer any questions at any time.

How can people support New Life Lodge?

New Life Lodge wants to help anyone who has an addiction and/or co-occurring disorder. If you or someone you know is suffering from the disease of addiction, please contact me for help today. Please spread the word that our facility is out there to help the struggling addict. You can contact our admissions department at 800-365-3899.