A strong faith is vital to one’s recovery, said Joey Ibañez, cofounder of Total Care Institute (TCI) Village—a rehabilitation facility in Amadeo, Cavite, described as “a healing place for persons with addiction and behavioral issues.”
Ibañez and TCI program head/certified recovery specialist Duane Patrick Tan have both survived the harrowing disease of drug abuse and recovered from it thorough total surrender to spiritual faith. It’s an experience that has inspired them to share their time and knowledge to TCI’s patients who are referred to as residents.
What was your spiritual life like as a kid in the family, and later as head of your own family?
Joey Ibañez (JI):As a kid my family never went to church.
The bishops in our place wanted my father dead. He was a doctor who performed mass tubal ligation and vasectomy, a government program the church was totally against. I learned to understand Christianity because I attended schools run by Jesuits. To me it was just a requisite thing to move up.
Duane Tan (DT):As children, religion was forced upon us. I was forced to pray the rosary without learning to appreciate it. We went to Sunday Mass without understanding its purpose.
What role did spirituality play when you were still undergoing rehab?
JI: A strong faith is vital to recovery. You have to believe to break the habit. In rehab, there is nothing you can embrace but God. At first I found it useful, in the end it became my refuge. My faith allowed me to set the intangible cornerstones of sobriety. It glued my motivation and focus to heal together. Today my faith binds me to Christian principles which are, in a sense, guidelines to do good.
DT: In rehab, my favorite saying is, “Let go, let God.” I learned to develop my faith, trusting God that he would take care of my fears and worries.
Describe the spiritual component of the TCI rehab program.
JI: TCI is big on behavioral modification. It brings change by highlighting the residents’ relationship with a higher power—with evidence on greater treatment success on residents truly attuned with God. When one accepts what life brings through God, there is less tension and pain to resolve.
DT: The program includes Bible studies conducted every Friday, while Mass is held every Saturday.
What are your observations on the spiritual development of TCI residents?
JI: Residents are strengthened by the spiritual program of TCI. Majority of them find inner peace with the Christian teachings. This contributes to the wellbeing of residents. Negative issues are easily addressed before they assimilate back to society.
What’s your favorite Biblical passage, and why?
JI: “Let he who has no sin cast the first stone.” Anyone’s flaw is never anybody’s business.
Universal Treatment course
Meanwhile, TCI residents and staff attended a course on Universal Treatment Curriculum Series 2 for Substance Use Disorder, held March 18-21 at TCI Village.
Other participants were the Department of Health (DOH) and Higher Power Place rehab center.
Guest speakers were registered psychologists/ICAP II, master addiction counselors Claire Abas and Wynona Pandan, and certified recovery specialist/ICAP II/family therapist Malyn Cristobal.
The course—which focuses on the continuing care of people with substance abuse disorders—engaged residents who were given an opportunity to learn the different programs that help people recover, including motivational enhancement therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. It also serves as foundation for TCI residents who would like to eventually work in a treatment and rehabilitation facility.