Crossroads Centre Antigua first Recovery Conference took place on June 8 – 9, 2019, under the
theme “Celebrating Recovery”. The experience was an amazing one filled with entertainment,
education and drug free fellowship. In this month’s blog, I take a moment to reflect on the event
and highlight its significance to recovery from addictive substances.

Why Celebrate?

For every recovering addict the experience of waking up each day free from mood altering
substance is a miraculous gift. Everyday free from mood altering substance is reason to be
grateful and celebrate. It is also important to reflect on the mundane, repetitive addictive life that
was once lived, because such reflections are reminders of your victory over addiction and
validate the celebration, which is part of the recovery journey. It is often said that those who do
not remember mistake of the past are doomed to repeat it. I would venture to add that such
memory also reinstalls the value of hope that change was and continues to be possible. The
significance of this is seen in the importance placed on telling ones story in the 12 Steps
tradition. The two day recovery conference was a tribute to recovery, a showcase of strength,
dignity, hope and courage. It was also an invitation to struggling addicts that they were not alone;
that change is possible and recovery is fun.

Recovery Conference 2019

The two-day conference June 8 – 9, 2019 was well attended by a wide cross section of persons
from the recovery community, professionals working in the field of addiction and mental health
as well as loves ones of people still struggling with addiction. Two primary goals of this premier
event were to first tackle the many stigmas surrounding substance addiction in the Caribbean, which is a major barrier to obtaining help. The second goal focused on providing continued
support and resources to persons in recovery.

With these goals in mind, the multiplicity of activities included: A job & health fair, with
wellness activities such as massages; Seminars designed to bridge the gaps in our understanding
on issues such as duality, family integration and entrepreneurship; Skill workshops with hands
on sessions guiding participants on how to enhance their recovery journey using meditation, art
therapy and improvisation training. The crowd’s favorites were the showing of Eric Clapton’s
movie – “Life in 12 Bars” for its inspiration and the Fellowship dinner, which proved without a
doubt that recovery is FUN. The weekend was filled with activities for everyone, and was by all
report a rewarding experience.

One participant’s summary of his experience really captured the essence of this event and
provides the perfect way to conclude this reflection. He stated — I walked away inspired,
renewed and grateful that I took this step 14 years ago and got help with my addiction. The
conference reminded me of some things I had forgotten over time. It also felt good to fellowship
with others in recovery knowing that we all celebrating the same thing … SOBRIETY.

Jean-Machelle Benn-Dubois, PhD. LPC NCC ACS
Director of Admissions & Continuum of Care
Crossroads Centre, Antigua
Antigua, W.I.
Toll-Free from US or Canada: 1 888 452-0091
Toll-Free from UK: 0 800 783-9631
Direct to Antigua: 1 268 562-0035 Ext. 5024
Fax: 1 268 562-3278
Email: jbenndubois@crossroadsantigua.org

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