By Juan Carlos Gonzalez
Downtown Tijuana, Mexico, has a reentry program now. The Christ Center Rehabilitation Program (Centro de Rehabilitación Renovaos Vuestra Mente) is located 15 minutes from the U.S. border.
The Tijuana border is one of the most visited borders on the whole planet. Because the city of Tijuana is overcrowded and international, an individual can get easily lost in the mass of people without being noticed.
When I say lost, I do not mean off-track or astray from a specific path. That is not what I mean. I mean that drug trafficking, alcoholism, female and male prostitution are increasing by the hundreds as days go by.
One of the purposes of the Renewing Your Mind (RVM) [program] is to be able to help our community, to offer a second or third opportunity to the individuals, and a future hope to their families.
One day, the person who came in as an addict will walk out as a person able to stand on his own two feet. He’ll be someone more equipped to resist the temptation of “going back” into that deep dark hole from which he cannot climb out on his own.
In RVM, we believe that if we teach a person the root of the problem ― which is not an addiction, but a lack of understanding of his nature as an individual ― he will have a better perspective, a different philosophy of life, a richer understanding of who he is as a person. He will be able to make a strong and better decisions for his life and those around him.
In RVM, we have a professional psychologist, doctor, counselor and nurse assisting in the recovery of our patients. We also have added the spiritual aspect to it. Hence, Renewing Your Mind.
In RVM, we use the traditional 12 step program, but we have added Celebrate Recovery, Bridges to Life, Bible studies and things of that sort that will help out in the growth and development of our patient’s mind. It has been said: “the way one thinks, [is] the way one acts.”
In RVM, we begin with a 90-day detox program during which the person is assisted by the doctor and nurse. Once he is clean or sober, he will move into the second stage, which is understanding the root of his situation, assisted by the psychologist.
At the same time, the patient will participate in workshops, which is the third stage. We are an independent program.
Our expenses come from the hard work of only two individuals. No money is asked of or requested from the Mexican government.
I personally have a background and do understand what it is to be involved in this state of mind. I have learned that there is a better way of living and enjoying life, even when life seems to be blurry or feels painful to live it.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be heard.