September is National Recovery Month

ATCPCC 2013 – Marcie Chambers on Women’s Treatment


Today we would like to share with you a video from our annual ATCPCC 2013, Addiction Treatment Centers and Professional Consortium. Here in our guest lecture video series is CEO and Founder of Rose House Colorado, Marcie Chambers. In this lecture she shares about Women’s Treatment. We have a transcript of the lecture for you to follow:

My name is Marcie Chambers, and I am the CEO and founder of the Rose House Colorado. I also am a psychologist and a recovering alcoholic. We treat women only at the Rose House, and part of my personal story talks about why I decided to treat women. It was actually never my intention to go into alcohol treatment. I mean, as a psychologist, I started school late, 30 years old. I was 41 by the time I got my Ph.D., and I wanted to do couples counseling or work with adolescents or something like that. It was never my intention to work with alcoholics or addicts, but my daughter was given an ecstasy pill on her 16th birthday, and as a result of that, she drank a lot of water in a short period of time and was in a coma for a week and she ended up dying.

I couldn’t get out of bed for a while after that happened, and when I did start walking on the earth again, I really started reevaluating about what’s the purpose, what’s the point, why am I even – you know. I did so many drugs and alcohol when I was younger that it didn’t make sense that it was her that died instead of me, and, anyway, did a lot of really, you know, self-reevaluation and figuring out what the universe intended for me. And I was – see, I had a small, private practice and it just seemed like the universe was sending me these young women, and I was referring young women to treatment centers outside of Colorado because what I noticed is that when women went to – not necessarily women, but when people went to a 30-day treatment center and that was all, the chances of being clean and sober long term was pretty much zero. I mean, it isn’t zero, but it’s only a very small percentage of them stay clean and sober long term.

So I started looking at programs so I could refer these young women to because I didn’t want other parents to have to go through what I went through with losing a child, and I knew I couldn’t save my own daughter but I thought I might be able to have a hand in saving other women’s and parents’ daughters. And so I looked at other programs, and I really started formulating an idea of combining a treatment that treated not only addiction but the co-occurring disorders that many women have, like trauma and depression, anxiety, those kinds of things. So I developed a program, and in the beginning I was chief cook and bottle washer and I did – you know, I had six beds and did really literally, other than having a part-time certified addictions counselor, I did the grocery shopping and the cooking and the groups and the individual therapy and I took them to the gym every day and to outside 12-step meetings every night. And in a fairly short period of time I got full, and I didn’t do any advertising. It was really an amazing thing that people just came to me, and my first client was from Texas. They had no idea how they got my phone number, and they actually came before I even – this young woman came before I even opened. She’s still clean and sober and doing great today, by the way.

So I started looking for a place to move to because my house was too small. I only had six beds, and I started looking on Craigslist to rent a place because I didn’t have the money to buy a place. So the first place that I went and looked at I told the guy what my intention was, and he said, I don’t want your kind in my house. And so the second place that I went and looked at, he said, I am happy to have your kind in my house, but I’m going to charge you double the amount of rent that I advertised on Craigslist. So the third place I went and looked at I pulled up, and, I mean, this place was like a dream house. It was at the very end of a road. It was out in the country, Boulder County. The views were astounding of the Continental Divide, and it was just such a beautiful place, and if you could love a house, I instantly fell in love with that house. So I just said a prayer to the universe to help me talk about the Rose House in a way the guy could hear me. That’s it. I just wanted to be heard.

So I got out of my car and walked up the front porch, and the guy stood up. He was sitting on the front porch. He stood up, and he put out his hand, and he said, Marcie, how are you doing? It’s so good to see you, and I didn’t recognize him. And I said, do I know you? He said, “’you told your story at my home AA group a couple of years ago, and I have three daughters of my own, and I often wondered what happened to you. So I googled you when you called and scheduled to see the house, and I see that you opened a recovery home for women.’ He said, I think I built this house for you.” So we moved into that house, and we’ve been helping women save their lives ever since, and it’s been about six years or so now.

So that’s the history of how the Rose House came to be, so here I am doing exactly what I thought I would never do, and I feel blessed every day that I have a reason to get out of bed and I get to watch women change their lives. They start out as a literal or symbol as a closed rosebud, and the other end is a full-bloomed rose, and I watch women bloom during the process of the healing that they go through at the Rose House.

Now, if you – we serve women from 18 and up. We have women of all ages. Primarily the clients that we have are in their mid-20s. The Rose House isn’t a good fit for everyone. If you, as a woman, really don’t want to change your life, we’re not going to be a good match for you because we’re not a lockdown facility. We’re only a good match for those women who want to, you know, really create something different in their life. So if you think that we might be able to be of service to you or your loved one, please feel free to contact us. Our website is www.rosehousecolorado.com. We get people from all over the United States, not just from Colorado. So I’d love to hear from you.

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