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Crossroads Centre Antigua: 25 Years of Commitment to Recovery from Addiction

Crossroads Centre Antigua
Crossroads Centre Antigua

Crossroads Centre Antigua, established in 1998 by renowned musician Eric Clapton, serves as a powerful symbol of hope in the field of addiction treatment. Nestled on the serene shores of the Caribbean, this haven for recovery has evolved over 25 years into a globally recognized institution. Eric Clapton’s personal journey of sobriety ignited the creation of Crossroads Centre, addressing the prevalent struggles with substance misuse on the island and globally.

What distinguishes Crossroads Centre is not just its remarkable facilities—a beautiful campus and serene spaces—but its serious commitment to clinical and holistic addiction treatment. Rooted in the 12-step philosophy that sees addiction as a disease and a family challenge, the centre fosters open discussions and provides a supportive environment. With a focus on mind, body, and spirit, they weave mindful meditation, yoga, and clinical expertise into their daily routines.

Celebrated as ‘Champions of Recovery,’ Crossroads Centre Antigua doesn’t merely offer treatment; it brings hope into peoples’ lives. From alumni achieving 19 years of sobriety and earning PhDs to hundreds reuniting at a 25-year celebration, the impact is profound. As they envision the future, guided by the Crossroads board of Trustees, who have appointed Nicos M. Peraticos (CEO), Joanne Gonsalves (Clinical Director), and Treasa James (CFO), the Charity remains dedicated to accessibility to treatment for substance use disorders.

As Insights Care magazine shares impactful stories of compassionate care, our journey brings us to the healing champions at Crossroads Centre Antigua. Explore the realm of recovery and discover the transformative role that Crossroads Centre Antigua plays in this specialized field!

Can you provide a brief overview of Crossroads Centre Antigua and its mission in the field of addiction treatment?

NP: Crossroads was established in 1998 by Eric Clapton, who has had homes in Antigua for nearly four decades. Seeing problems of crack addiction and alcoholism on the island, Clapton, a sober man himself, wanted to give back to the people of the island he loved. Thus, he founded the Crossroads Foundation, generously funding its operations. The foundation is dedicated to offering 12-step treatment programs for individuals struggling with alcohol and substance use disorders globally who normally would not be able to receive it.

The mission of Crossroads Centre Antigua is clear: to deliver world class addiction treatment at an affordable cost. Additionally, the center strives to extend its reach by providing full scholarships to those in need, aiming to alleviate the burden of substance use disorder. Over the past 25 years, Crossroads Centre Antigua has evolved into a remarkable treatment center, symbolizing a commitment to transforming lives impacted by addiction.

What sets Crossroads Centre Antigua apart as a leading addiction treatment center? What does it mean for the organization to be recognized as ‘Champions of Recovery’?

NP: At Crossroads, our approach to substance use disorder treatment sets us apart. Our focus is unwaveringly ethical, prioritizing the well-being of the individual over financial considerations. With 25 years of experience, the journey of continuous learning has been invaluable as the field of addiction treatment improves and new methods and modalities emerge.

Being acknowledged as ‘Champions of Recovery’ holds immense significance for us. It’s not just an accomplishment; it’s a validation of our commitment to transforming lives. Achieving this recognition has long been an aspiration, and as we celebrate our 25th year, it fuels our determination to persist in delivering exceptional quality work in the field of recovery.

What are the key aspects of the treatment approach at Crossroads Centre Antigua, and how do they support long-term recovery for individuals?

NP: At Crossroads, we recognize that substance use disorder is a societal health issue, but we tackle it on a personal level, focusing on the individual and their family. Addiction is viewed as a family disease, and our aim is to create a space where sufferers and their families can openly discuss their experiences and how it impacts their lives.

There are no guarantees, but having a foundation from Crossroads improves chances of success. What stands out with us is our staff to client ratio which allows us to establish a personal connection with each client. From housekeeping to clinicians, everyone knows the clients by name, fostering a community approach to treatment.

When someone enters our center, they are met with understanding and compassion from the staff, creating a supportive environment from the very beginning. We address their specific challenges clinically, medically and holistically. Our goal is to guide them in translating this positive experience into their journey beyond our center.

What unique treatment methodologies or programs does the organization employ to address addiction issues?

JG: In addition to our 12-step approach, we’ve incorporated a variety of modalities tailored to address substance use disorder comprehensively. Our focus encompasses education, skill building, and a significant emphasis on relapse prevention. Communication and relationship improvement are integral components as well as fostering spiritual development and promoting an overall sense of wellness.

Our clinical team, of master’s level clinicians, prioritizes a holistic perspective, addressing the entirety of an individual’s well-being—mind, body, and physical health. We integrate evidence-based modalities, such as EMDR and somatic work, into our 12 step treatment programs. Spiritual counselling, didactical workshops, individual and group therapy contribute to the multifaceted support we offer. Notably, all interventions extend to clients’ families. Crossroads is distinguished by medically supervised on-site detoxification services, ensuring a safe and monitored process.

How does the center integrate holistic approaches to recovery, considering the mind, body, and spirit?

JG: Our commitment to holistic recovery is ingrained in every aspect of our program.

Alongside Clinicians, our team comprises of professionals, including a Psychiatrist, Physicians, Nurses, Therapists, Counsellor Aides who together work to address every element of an individual’s recovery and well-being.

Our approach integrates mindfulness principles into all activities, including educational sessions, trauma work, and experiential activities.

The daily schedule is balanced, commencing with meditation, and progressing through psychoeducation and process groups, ensuring consistent attention to the mind, body, and spirit throughout the day. Services like acupuncture, massage therapy, and dietary guidance further nurture the body. We empower individuals with knowledge about the effects of drugs and alcohol and provide physical well-being through exercises and yoga. What sets us apart is the integration of diverse modalities into a cohesive treatment program.

Our spiritual counselor supports individuals in connecting with their chosen path, regardless of religious affiliations. Attendance to these sessions is voluntary.

Every day we hold team meetings that begin with a mindful reflection, involving professionals that bring their individual skills that respects the personal character of each client.

How does Crossroads Centre Antigua stay updated with the latest developments in addiction treatment and adjust its programs accordingly?

JG: Crossroads stays up-to-date of advancements in substance use disorder treatment through a commitment to ongoing professional development and a dynamic approach to program adaptation.

In addition to our extensive experience, we have an educational programme, and we are committed to keeping current with the latest developments in the field.

Our dedication to modern and ethical practices is integral to our foundation-driven center. We maintain transparency in our capabilities, focusing on our core expertise – assisting individuals in dealing with addiction. This commitment, coupled with our goal of providing continuing care support, underscores our confidence in being at the forefront of our specialized field.

JG:  We’re thrilled about a unique initiative we’ve undertaken – our staff exchange program. It’s an exciting collaboration where our team members spend four to six weeks working as clinicians in other reputable agencies. This hands-on experience goes beyond clinical aspects, delving into how other programs manage their medical records and operate from every angle.

In today’s dynamic business environment, balancing business operations, client care, and effective staffing can be challenging financially. How do you prioritize and navigate these aspects for overall success at Crossroads?

TJ: Coming from a background in accounting, where profitability was the primary focus, transitioning to a non-profit organization required a paradigm shift. Now, I must consider not only the financial bottom line but also prioritize client care and the well-being of our staff.

From an operational perspective, every decision is geared towards enhancing the well-being of our clients. While we remain efficient, our accountability extends to responsible funds management.

In managing the organization, I liken the process to a triangle, with each side representing operations, staff, and clients. This metaphor guides our decision-making process, emphasizing the interconnectedness of these three key aspects.

With regards to our staff, we’ve implemented a performance-based system, linking salary increases directly to staff performance. This approach ensures fairness and efficiency in rewarding our team members, encouraging a work environment where dedication is recognized and rewarded. We provide comprehensive benefits for our staff, including full medical coverage, to create a supportive and caring work environment.

We realise that our success depends in crafting a balance where client care and staff well-being are given equal importance alongside sound financial management. This approach reflects our dedication to being an organization that deeply cares for both our clients and our team.

Could you describe the facilities and amenities offered at Crossroads Centre Antigua that contribute to the overall well-being and comfort of individuals seeking treatment?

JG: Our campus at Crossroads is a serene and beautiful location right on the water in the Caribbean.

We have a full medical department, shortly after their arrival clients undergo a comprehensive psychiatric assessment conducted by our psychiatrist. Our doctors and nurses are available 24/7 providing supervision for our detox program and addressing any ongoing medical needs. Additionally, they contribute to admissions assessments when necessary.

Crossroads is thoughtfully designed for our clients and their families. For individuals coming to us for treatment we have 2 dedicated wings that accommodate both double and private occupancy for up to 27 people. For our 5-day Family program we have 10 cottages situated privately on our grounds, which allows family members an opportunity to engage in a purposefully designed program with their loved ones.

Our campus features a range of recreational areas including a swimming pool, a modern gym for physical wellness and a sand volleyball pit. The grounds are designed to facilitate activities like yoga, meditation and group discussions, fostering a holistic approach to well-being.

How does the center provide ongoing support to individuals after they complete their primary treatment?

JG: Our commitment to individuals’ well-being extends beyond their primary treatment. We initiate aftercare planning upon arrival, identifying support systems in their hometowns, including AA/NA meetings, psychotherapists, and local resources. Leveraging our substantial 25-year alumni community, we connect individuals with sober alumni and pertinent support networks.

Our Continuum of Care Department, led by an alumni coordinator and a continuing care advisor, ensures a transition into aftercare. Collaborating with a network of professionals, we provide referrals based on individual needs, facilitating necessary support post-discharge.

Our coordinator maintains contact for up to two years, for a sustained connection to support individuals after completing primary treatment.

Could you share some success stories or testimonials from individuals who have undergone treatment at Crossroads Centre Antigua?

JG: I cannot disclose specific identities, but I can share impactful experiences from our alumni over our 25 years.

Success manifests in diverse ways, evident through emails, letters, and cards from alumni celebrating significant recovery milestones, marriages or the birth of children.

Daily, success is witnessed in the dedication of our passionate staff, some of whom are alumni themselves.

One outstanding success involves an alumnus with 19 years of sobriety, who now specializes in trauma and addiction in California, and holds a PhD. Encountering former clients turned industry professionals attests to our lasting impact and is a rewarding experience.

Having treated over 6000 people, our reunion parties powerfully demonstrate our impact. Hundreds worldwide gather to celebrate their sobriety journey, affirming the transformative effect of Crossroads in their lives.

How does the center envision contributing to the evolving landscape of addiction treatment in the coming years?

NP: Crossroads is poised to continue positively impacting individuals’ lives while adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of substance use disorder treatment.

Our aim is to continue our Founders vision to provide world class affordable addiction treatment.

Celebrating Transformations

In our 25-year journey at Crossroads, we take pride in the numerous success stories that highlight the transformative power of our programs. Alumni regularly share their milestones in recovery, expressing their achievements through emails, letters, and cards. These celebrations extend to significant life events such as marriages and births, showcasing the profound impact of our commitment to recovery treatment.

A noteworthy aspect of our success is reflected in the achievements of our alumni-turned-staff members. These individuals, having successfully completed our program, continue to contribute significantly to the field of addiction and recovery. One particularly impactful success story involves an alumna who, after 19 years of sobriety, earned a Ph.D. and now specializes in trauma and addiction treatment in California—an achievement we describe as “awesome.”

We’ve had the privilege of treating over 6,000 individuals., that have been positively influenced at Crossroads. As we enter our 25th year, with our reunion in March, and with hundreds of people returning from around the world, we feel privileged to welcome them back to Crossroads.

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