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Meet Chris Prentiss

Meet Chris Prentiss

Co-Founder of Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

Hi. I’m Chris Prentiss. What I have to say will be brief, but it will help you or your loved one move from where you are now, which is dependent on drugs or alcohol, to where you want to be, which is sober, healthy, and happy.

I’m 78 years old and over the years I’ve met and helped many people. Helping people is my specialty. It comes very naturally to me and I love seeing people become all they can be. In 1984 and ’85, this passion led me to lead month-long seminars for people who had less and felt they were less than they wanted to be. The backbone of the seminars was to remove their limiting beliefs and create new beliefs that caused each student to become successful.

My students - all ages, both men and women - had huge breakthroughs and afterwards their lives were never the same. They found out how to be who they wanted to be and have what they wanted to have. Later, I wrote a guidebook, which provided the same information that I taught in the seminars. The name of the book is, “Be Who You Want, Have What You Want.” And after 25 years, it’s still selling in bookstores, still helping people change their lives.

Pax was severely addicted for many years. His drugs of choice were marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, and finally, heroin, One day, barely 18 years old, he sat in front of me crying. Through his tears he said, “Dad, I’m hooked on heroin.” I didn’t know much about heroin then, especially how lethal it is and how powerfully addictive it is. So always wanting to positive, I said, “Don’t worry Pax, we’ll fix you right up.” Little did I know that I was in a fight to save Pax’s life and that it would last for many years. Several times I nearly lost him after he had overdosed or was severely beaten by drug dealers to the point of hospitalization.

I tried everything to get him sober. I took him to psychiatrists, psychologists, and addiction specialists. All we heard was that same dismal story, perhaps the same one you’ve heard: “Addiction is a disease. It’s incurable, and your son will be an addict for the rest of his life. The best he can do is learn to manage it. Get him into a 12 Step program and make sure he stays in the program as long as he lives.” Every time I heard that, my heart plummeted. It was as if he was being sentenced to life long imprisonment with no hope of parole. But he went to 12 Step treatment centers – 30 days, 60 days, and 90-day programs. Nothing worked. He would relapse almost immediately.

Determined to stay in the 12 Step program, he went to endless meetings, but all he heard was, “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic” and, “Once an addict, always an addict.” That tortured me because I believe that those slogans were deadly. I knew sayings like that reinforced addiction. They are self-fulfilling prophecies, and not ones that I wanted Pax to learn. All those years when we fought to save Pax’s life, we were looking outside of ourselves to others to help us. And although we were told by everyone that healing addiction was impossible, that there was no such end to addiction, we searched everywhere, never giving up hope. After many years of fruitless searching, I finally said to Pax, “The help you need is not out there. Unless we create a different program for you, something brand new, you’re going to die.”

From my workshop experience I knew that people make miraculous changes when given the right information and the right coaching. I believed that there was a reason why Pax, and all those others in the treatment programs he attended, were so powerfully addicted and were struggling so hopelessly. And if I could find out the reason they were addicted and couldn’t stop, I could find out how to heal Pax.

The program we created for Pax, the one that is now the Passages program, was primarily based on finding out the “why” behind his addiction. It worked. Pax finally discovered his “why” and we knew that he was healed, that he would never again use drugs or alcohol. He was free at last. A few weeks later, Pax said, “Look, dad, we know how to do this. Let’s start a program to share what we know.” That was 18 years ago and here we are doing it. And it is becoming the standard of treatment in the world. It has saved thousands of others and it can work just as powerfully for you or someone you care about.

Finding out the “why” is not the end of it. There is more to it than that. But unless the “why” is discovered and healed, relapse is nearly certain. Some people can use drugs or alcohol and they don’t become dependent on them. The ones who do, the ones like Pax or you or your loved one, always have an underlying condition: a “why.” And, it is that condition that has created and is maintaining your addiction.

Most treatment centers make the mistake of spending all their time treating alcoholism and addiction and they missed the underlying issue completely. This usually results in a relapse after treatment. I suggest you do not go to a center like this.

Drugs and alcohol are not the problem. They are what you are using to cope with the problem. Other centers treat addiction and alcoholism as if they are the problem. They are not. They are merely a symptom. It’s the underlying condition that’s the problem. Thousands of people have gone through the Passages program and most of them are clean and sober, living vastly different lives from the ones that brought them to us because we have healed their underlying problems that created and were maintaining their addiction. Because of Passages phenomenal success, there are now many programs that try to copy what we do. Because Passages is so well known, they will tell you that they offer what we do. But they do not. They are still offering mostly group meetings with little one-on-one therapy. They believe in the hopeless disease concept, and their programs are based on the 12 Steps with their terrible slogans and belief that addiction is forever.

What we offer is unique. Pax and I are natives. We have been through it all… firsthand. We know what works and what doesn’t. We will be honored if you allow us to help you or your loved one put an end to your addiction. When you walk through the doors of Passages, you will know you have arrived at the right place.

I know I said I would be brief, but I get carried away when I talk about helping others.