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Helping others help themselves: Rewind, Inc. promotes recovery through community

View of rural setting at Rewinds, Inc., in the summer. Submitted photo1 / 2
Kitchen area of men’s residence at Rewind, Inc. Lina Belar/FOCUS 2 / 2

“It’s all about people helping people,” said Jim Grey, director of Rewind, Inc., a 12-step, spiritually-based drug and alcohol treatment facility on the edge of Perham. The facility is a Rule 31 Chemical Dependency Treatment Facility, licensed by the State of Minnesota, with a mission to help people learn to live their life without mood altering chemicals.

The facility provides in-house treatment to the chemically dependent for 90 days, or longer, depending on an individual’s need.

It focuses on client-accountability and promotes teaching spirituality and life skills necessary for recovery. This includes employment, obtaining a new and sober residence when necessary, creating a sober network and becoming a more active member of society.

The men’s halfway house has been open since 2006, the women’s facility opened in June of 2013. Both houses include personal counseling, group therapy and individual treatment plans, as well as therapeutic and recreational activities, health and medical services. One of the most important aspects of the program, relapse prevention, has been further enhanced by an outpatient program which opened in November of last year.

The facility is staffed 24/7 by nine trained personnel and five counselors. Currently, there are four full-time and one part-time licensed alcohol and drug counselors.

Rewind uses a four-phase process to help clients realize their potential and achieve sobriety. Phase one involves developing a recovery plan that is specific to the individual. Phase two is designed to help people learn living skills that may have been overlooked during formative years or during addiction. Phase three addresses relapse prevention and phase four is a phase of continued support.

The concept for Rewind began in 2005, with the vision of Harlow and Margaret Robinson. They met Larry and Patty Refsland, who had the idea to start a Christian treatment center for recovering substance abusers.

A year later, Rewind was licensed by the State of Minnesota, but one critical element was missing. There was no licensed chemical dependency counselor for a director. Intrigued, Grey investigated this opportunity and discovered that the State of Minnesota was also demanding a complete restructure.

In May of 2007, Grey took on the task. With one resident and financial backing from the community, he began to develop Rewind as it is today. By July, the facility was at full capacity.

Since Grey began in 2007, over 250 men have completed the program. The women’s center, which is just over six months old, has had 26. At Rewind, people are given the opportunity to gain and maintain employment, improve their education and learn social, personal and financial skills, among other life lessons.

Since becoming director, Grey has worked to develop connections between Rewind, local AA chapters, community members and churches.

Sometimes, he has people who come in saying they don’t believe in church. “Let’s go for a ride,” he will say to them, “I can show you dozens of churches within a short distance of here. How can you not believe in church?”

Grey doesn’t care which church his people go to, as long as they go somewhere. The 12-step program, which is at the core of AA, is based on belief in a higher power. In that sense, it is spiritually based; however, all faiths are welcome. Bible study or meditation, it all works. Some churches go out of their way to invite the residents and Grey appreciates that.

Rewind’s board is made up of local business people who recognize the value of this place. Similar facilities exist in Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes. Another, located in New York Mills, serves women and children. Grey said the Perham community has been particularly supportive.

The men and women who come to Rewind have already taken a major first step. Depression and dependency go hand in hand, and counseling at Rewind works to address that. People learn, not out of books, from experience.

Grey knows what he’s talking about. He is open with his own past. Grey has been clean and sober for 30 years, and believes passionately in AA’s 12-step program.

“The best part is knowing I have something they need.” Most people last in jobs like his for seven years, but Grey won’t be ready to retire anytime soon.

“I take one day at a time”, he said with a smile.

“If I want to drink,” he added, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Sometimes, procrastination is a good thing.