From Recovery Client to Rehab Co-Owner

By The Fix staff 12/11/17

Despite being on the other side of the treatment business, Kesaris has never forgotten the pain and desperation that led him to seek help.

A living room with large couch, lights, and art on the walls.
Amethyst Recovery Center

Seven years ago when Sam Kesaris was abusing a variety of substances, he never imagined that within a decade he would have ownership in two recovery centers. Today, Kesaris is a part-owner and director of business development at Amethyst Recovery Center, a detox and rehabilitation center in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and New England Recovery and Wellness (RAW), which offers the same services in Concord, New Hampshire.

Despite being on the other side of the treatment business, he has never forgotten the pain and desperation that led him to seek help. He says that his personal experience helps him relate to the men and women who come through his programs.

“When I first got help, I didn’t want to get sober, I just wanted to stop hurting,” he said.

He was ready to take only the first step: getting to detox. The detox center that he went to looked nice, which enticed him to stay long enough to realize that he wanted long-term recovery.

That’s one of the reasons that Amethyst recently purchased a $5 million state-of-the-art detox center in Port St. Lucie. The center offers modern accommodations with 20 beds for detox patients and 20 beds for residential patients. There are amenities like corn hole and ice cream machines to make the first few weeks of rehab a bit more bearable.

“It’s important to have something attractive to patients, in order to convince them to continue treatment,” Kesaris said.

It’s just one way that Kesaris can connect with patients who come through Amethyst and New England RAW and help to show them what is possible with the gift of sobriety.

“It’s nice being able to relate to them. I see myself in the same shoes as the patient. I know what I went through,” he said. “I’m able to talk to them so they hear from someone who isn’t from the clinical side of things. I can show them a picture of when I first got sober and they’re pretty dumbfounded by that.”

Both Amethyst and New England RAW have a heavy focus on family involvement, incorporating family members through the intake process, updating them constantly and hosting family events every other weekend.

“If you can cure the family, you can help the individual,” Kesaris said.

Part of that is educating families about the disease of addiction and the negative coping mechanisms around it, including enabling.

“A lot of families don’t understand the disease or that they’re enabling,” Kesaris said. “Once you educate them about what’s going on with their loved one, you set the person with addiction up for a much better chance to succeed.”

That is important even if — in the worst case scenario — the client relapses.

“Even if the individual doesn’t stay sober, the family is on the same page,” Kesaris said.

Another important part of the programs at Amethyst and New England RAW is aftercare. All clients are encouraged to become involved with an aftercare program and the centers host their own alumni events regularly.

“The alumni program keeps clients involved and close to clinical team, close to us, and they’re able to see that their friends are succeeding in sobriety,” Kesaris said.

Which, in the end, is the goal for all clients.

Amethyst Recovery Center is a detox and rehabilitation center in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Get more information here, or connect with Amethyst on Facebook. New England Recovery and Wellness offers the same services in Concord, New Hampshire. Get more information here or on Facebook.

Amethyst provides amenities to make the first weeks of treatment more bearable.

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