Houston’s 2nd Annual REEL Recovery Film Festival

Join The ARK and The Council on Recovery for Houston’s 2nd Annual REEL Recovery Film Festival taking place September 25 – 27 as the culmination of Recovery Month. This multi-day event is a celebration of filmmakers who make honest films about addiction, alcoholism, behavioral disorders, treatment and recovery. Slated for screening is an eclectic lineup of contemporary and classic films, documentaries and shorts from American and international, first-time filmmakers and industry veterans. Click here to purchase your tickets and for more information.



Addicted to Comedy

Join us for this year’s Addicted to Comedy showcase on Saturday, October 3, 2015 celebrating Recovery Month. Headliner Jose Sarduy will be joined by comedians Shayla Rivera and Jay Lafarr for an entertaining evening at The Council on Recovery. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Sober Recreation Committee. Click here for more information and to register online.

Council Named #2 Best Local Charity

We are so grateful to have been named as the #2 Best Local Charity in Houston by the Houston A-List this Summer! Thank you to those who nominated and voted for us. We are truly honored to continue providing compassionate excellence at every level from our vast array of community programs and services to our team of devoted staff who interact with our clients and their families on a daily basis. Thank you, thank you!


Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 4.28.41 PMBy Marilyn Vache, MD, Medical Director at The Council on Recovery
Dr. Vache is a private practitioner specializing in integrative adult psychiatry, addiction medicine, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

“They come in saying, I’m so nervous, I’m so nervous, I’m so nervous, but as soon as you treat them the group – they’re so calm — it gives me chills.”

That’s David Schrieber, LCSW, explaining his experience in administering acupuncture to clients in residential treatment at the Hicks Family Ranch in Buda. He and another AR counselor went to a workshop at the Academy of Oriental Medicine in Austin last year and, under the tutelage of Claudia Voyles, LCSW, took up the age-old practice of acupuncture for a very modern purpose.

Every Tuesday morning David, Claudia, and AOMA students treat 8 to 15 clients, inserting 5 acupuncture needles in each ear and leaving them in place for 15 minutes. Not everybody is comfortable with the idea, but once treated most clients return for more sessions.  The idea is to manage PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal symptoms, an uncomfortable syndrome of anxiety and sleeplessness which can really distract clients in early recovery.

David’s goal is to provide the service even more often – three days a week. AcuDetox is provided at no additional cost to AR clients – something that would cost $40-60 per session in an acupuncture office. AR has provided it in earlier years and we are glad it’s back in our program. Even after years of positive research into its effectiveness however, it is still not well known or widely available. Just one more thing that makes AR so valuable in this community.

I first encountered acupuncture detox when I was in medical school and spent the summer of 1975 studying at the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical. The clinic adopted it soon after an acupuncturist in Hong Kong, Wen Hsaing-Leu, found that acupuncture points in the ear used for anesthesia also relieved symptoms of opium withdrawal. Research on 40 heroin and opium addicts appeared in  Asian Journal of Medicine in 1973 and clinics in New York City and San Francisco adopted the practice. Since then we Westerners have adopted other Asian disciplines such as mindfulness and yoga as important supports to the work we do.

“We don’t claim it’s a cure for drug addiction. If we can treat the withdrawal symptoms, make the patient more comfortable, and alleviate their suffering, then we have achieved something. Our treatment is not the complete answer to drug addiction.” – Wen