“It Just Felt Right”

At a time when drug use and addiction is wrecking havoc in this nation and the options for appropriate help being cut daily for those affected, there is hope. For someone who has worked on the front lines of the drug war and those affected by this illness for the past 25 years from running/developing prevention programs to running NIDA funded projects at a major University I have seen what devastation drug use brings to individuals/families and the community as a whole.  


I have personally struggled for many years with my own demons associated with addiction at times putting over a decade of recovery together only to find myself caught in the grips again and losing all hope that I would ever find the path of recovery again. Many detoxes and attempts at treatment left me hopeless and often suicidal. I knew that recovery was possible, but couldn’t seem to be able to get my feet under me again. My major coping skill had become the narcotic that I would ingest daily just to function. I had given up hope thinking that I was destined to take this to the bitter ends. Treatment providers with good intensions however rendered as “Helpless Helpers”. A terrifying place for anyone to find themselves.

I was flown out to Southern California from the East Coast by some colleagues who just wouldn’t give up on me and on April 23rd 2012 I was admitted to a place that I thought once again would be unable to address the issues  and demons that I face daily. Due to my life and work on some of the most dangerous streets in this country and abroad and what comes with all of that the “Death Train” that circled my mind would or at least I thought go unaddressed again. I was terrified to talk about it and thought that if I did it would only make the situation worse.

Whatever your beliefs may be around a Higher Power when I arrived at La Ventana it became crystal clear to me that this place was different and that I needed to open up and leave some things here. IT JUST FELT RIGHT. I was given a personal Therapist something I had never experienced before at this level and the work would begin. They would begin to deal with the fertile ground that my addiction grows in as it does with most people.  Much pain and tears would follow as is necessary for the healing to begin. I believe deeply that my Higher Power has his fingerprints all over this and have found some hope again.

La Ventana has some of the most competent caring “healers” I have ever encountered and the program is just different than anything I am aware of. Yes after discharge from La Ventana the work has truly begun, but it’s with a renewed sense of hope and direction for my future and for this I will be forever grateful for the trained compassionate people working at La Ventana. Thank You doesn’t do justice.



Mark Kinzly

2 Thunder Hill

York, ME 03909