dream of being addiction free

‘The founders realized that meaningful work was a key element in rebuilding individual pride, the human spirit and the will to succeed – to find a better life’.

This is actually about two dreams – the hopes and dreams of people everywhere and the dream that started OASIS, for they are interlocked.

Let’s start with Dream #1 – people’s hopes and dreams – they are common to all levels of our society – a good home, good upbringing – good family values and support, a good education…leading to a good career or job; which in turn leads to a good life – marriage, a family, children, happiness…and hope for the future; which starts the cycle all over again – but maybe not for all?

Consider two men – or two women – it doesn’t matter. One grew up with all the ‘perks’ listed above, went to the right schools, got his (or her) ‘ticket punched’, got into a good career, started working their way up, got married, had kids – found a path to the ‘good life’…but then something happened.

Another one – man or woman – doesn’t matter – didn’t ‘have it so good’ – they ‘grew up rough when times were tough’; didn’t get a good education, drifted into jobs when and where they could, bounced around grabbing what they could. Maybe they got into a little trouble along the way – started losing jobs, then couldn’t keep a job…. and the downward spiral towards the street started. Something had happened there too.

Nowadays ‘something’ is usually a combination of alcoholism and drug addiction, leading towards despair, depression, loneliness and even suicide – and the victims are getting younger every day.

Despite all the ‘perks’ – education, career and experience the first one has – both people are in the same boat – and it’s sinking. Of course one has it easier to fight their way back to a better life – if they can.

But doesn’t our second person deserve the same chance – if they really want it – and are willing to DO something about it? At OASIS we think so.

That was Dream #2 – the dream of three men who started OASIS. Ironically, they were more like our Person #1, but they were fighting their way back to a better life and they realized what they were learning about ‘The Way Back’ needed to be shared with others – for the common good of all.

They started a little “Club’ – a safe haven, where people who had troubles in the past – drugs, alcohol, unemployment, homelessness – could go and stay out of trouble. People could relax there, have a cup of coffee, talk to other people like them who knew what they were going through – they’d been there.

And now? Twenty-three years later, the OASIS Addiction Recovery Society still provides post-detox individuals, treatment centre graduates and Twelve Step Fellowship members support – a ‘safe haven’ and sane social interactivity.
And now there’s more – much more. The founders realized that meaningful work was a key element in rebuilding individual pride, the human spirit and the will to succeed – to find a better life.

OASIS now serves about 700 individuals per year. We place about 170 people a year into meaningful full or part-time employment and many members (about 500 per year) participate in casual labour placements that often lead to full time jobs.

These numbers can be increased with the cooperation of society as a whole and the business community in particular, by providing jobs. Employment helps individuals stay clean and sober and re-integrate into society, and this benefits everyone.

Welcome to our journey towards ‘A Better Life for All’.

Kevin Meade