AlcoholPatient's Perspective

A Patient’s Perspective: I’m Alive!

By March 27, 2018 May 21st, 2018 3 Comments
I'm Alive - Drug Alcohol treatment rehab story blog - Schick Shadel Hospital - Woman with arms raised on dock looking towards mountains and lake

Welcome to my blog.

My name is Kathleen S., and I wrote the book: “Drink Up! How Ten Days Ended a Lifetime of Addiction.” The book is about my experience with aversion therapy for alcoholism in 2005 at Schick Shadel Hospital in Seattle, Washington.

I was going to start this blog by saying I’m still sober today, nearly 13 years later. But to get more basic – I’m still ALIVE. The way I was drinking in those final days before treatment threatened my very existence. I come from a long line of alcoholics. In addition to my father, grandfathers, and several uncles, two of my three brothers died of addiction in their 40’s. Being alive is not a given in my family.

Sound familiar?

But I am alive, I’m thriving and I’ve come a long way since those days. I still have no cravings and alcohol still has no place in my life.

So why a blog now? Recently, Schick asked me to write for them from a patient’s point of view. I said yes because I want to help. I think I can do that by sharing knowledge and experience about addiction. And sharing feelings (yes, feelings).

We’ll be exploring a variety of topics in the weeks to come, but one thing to note right now:

A recent study of Schick Shadel patients conducted by Schick Shadel Hospital and the University of Washington reported large and statistically significant pre- to post-treatment reductions for wanting, liking, and craving alcohol. Read about the science here.

We’ll be looking at Schick’s success rates and how they compare to other treatment programs. (Spoiler alert – Schick has the highest success rate in the industry: in the 60 percent and higher range.) In fact, we’ll look at the meaning of the term “success rate.” Schick defines success as being substance-free through self-reporting one year after treatment ends. Be sure to ask about success — and when it is measured — when considering a program.

Other topics we might see are “Why NOT Schick? Different Strokes for Different Folks,” “Warning Signs of Addiction,” “Misleading Statistics on Addiction,” and “Addiction Affects Everyone in your Orbit”. We might talk about genetics, aversion or counter-conditioning therapy, present staff profiles, or share some patient stories. That’s what we’re thinking.

But what would you like to know about addiction, Schick Shadel Hospital, counter conditioning, the facilities or any other related topic? We want to speak directly to you, so, please, if you have a question or concern call 1-800-CRAVING. It was the best decision I have ever made.



Kathleen S.

Former Schick Shadel patient and author of “Drink Up! How Ten Days Ended a Lifetime of Addiction”

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Deena Walker says:

    In June I will be two years sober. I am doing great and it still amazes me that I was able to stop drinking at all, how good and clear I feel. It bothers me a lot to think that, if I am feeling this good now, how bad was I acting and looking before and wasn’t even aware of it because I thought I was hiding my drinking exceptionally well. Obviously I wasn’t and I know now it was a major contributor to may negative things that happened while I was drinking – I just couldn’t see it or wouldn’t admit it at the time. It’s very hard to look back on the person I was but so very gratifying to be the person I am now. I would tell anyone else who thinks they can’t stop that they can and that Schick Shadel really can help. I am so thankful for one random comment over two years ago that eventually led me to Shick Shadel and I wish I could find that person to thank them. I am so much better now without alcohol in my life and I wish everyone who even thinks they have a problem could realize that it’s much scarier to continue living a life of alcohol abuse than to go through rehab! And yes, there really is help that works and it’s Shick Shadel!

  • Yvonne Yniguez says:

    I, too, am a graduate of Schick Shadel and on July 4th I will be celebrating 5 years of sobriety. I did much research before I decided on a treatment option and Kathleen’s book is a great way of knowing a bit more of what to expect from Schick Shadel. It is a wonderful, nurturing program (though tough, at times). I will be forever grateful to those wonderful folks for offering me a non-12 step program.

  • Toby says:

    I’m sober 9 months now thanks to a lot of support from friends and family. I went through a traditional inpatient and outpatient treatment center. These places were OK but the success rate, admittedly so, was very low for long term sobriety. Chemical-aversion therapy sounds like a fascinating way to curb cravings. Who would want to drink after your mind tells you your nauseous just thinking about it? I don’t think I would. 60%+ success rate is incredible, I’ll certainly keep an eye out for more information on this.

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