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There is Hope with Scott Vandenberg

What is health? Is it just the absence of being sick or is there something more? What is freedom? Is it the absence of being locked up or is there something more?  What is peace? Is it simply the absence of conflict or is there something more? Welcome to the Something More hosted by Origins Behavioral Healthcare. 

In this episode, we are talking with Scott Vandenberg. Scott is the Executive Director of Origins Recovery Center, Hananh’s House and the PHP/IOP programs on South Padre Island, TX. Scott has been a dedicated member of the Origins team since 2014. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Boise State University and a Master of Arts degree in addiction studies from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, and Certified Anger Resolution Therapist. Scott’s approach to co-occurring disorders treatment integrates clinical science and 12-Step recovery methodologies to provide services and interventions that address the physical, mental, and spiritual elements of substance use and mental health disorders. 

Scott shares his journey to recovery and becoming the program director. He shares his story, what he learned along the way, and how the 12-Step recovery methods finally helped start his recovery.   

Show Notes: 

  • [00:42] We are excited to welcome Scott Vandenberg.  
  • [02:34] Scott is the senior program director at Origins South Padre Island.  He takes the safety of the patients and the integrity of the program very seriously.   
  • [03:40] They are a twelve-step program, but also offer other services that are in place to support the process of the patients through the twelve steps.   
  • [05:47] In order to be able to navigate this world and maintain our own sanity and mental health, we need to be able to rely on some humor and see the light side in everything.   
  • [07:56] Humor is such a beautiful thing and so necessary in all healthcare.   
  • [08:41] Like most of the people working in this field he is not motivated by fortune and glory, but instead genuine concern for others.  He is also in recovery since 2012. 
  • [10:12] His drug and alcohol use started in college and escalated over a number of years.  
  • [10:54] Scott was stuck in this place in which he was motivated by nothing except changing the way he felt.   
  • [11:32] At the end of the day he never liked himself and always had this emptiness inside of him.  
  • [13:01] He knew he was going to die if he kept drinking. Fear of dying kept him abstinent for ten days. He didn’t understand why he was drinking when he didn’t want to.  
  • [15:30] He knew he had a problem with drugs and alcohol. He was unwilling to refer to himself as an alcoholic or drug addict. He started to experience some medical and physical consequences.   
  • [17:57] During his first rehab experience he had an epiphany that he may be able to help people in rehab professionally. He really connected with that world.  
  • [18:38] He had great intentions when he got out of rehab the first time and he lasted for two weeks because he didn’t follow any of the aftercare recommendations.  
  • [20:21] Scott shares his story of being arrested, going to jail, and detoxing in jail.  
  • [21:24] Over the course of four years, in and out of multiple rehabs he had nothing left. Every time he went to rehab he would have a great experience and when he got out he would typically be drunk again within hours.  
  • [22:47] As a last effort his mom put him on a plane in May of 2012 and he came to Origins. In the past, he had never got well and recovered from his illness or got the tools he needed.  
  • [23:56] He didn’t know how to navigate the recovery world outside of treatment.  
  • [25:24] The past rehabs suggested that he had the power to keep himself sober if he just made better decisions and it almost killed him. He wasn’t in control of himself or his own actions. 
  • [27:45] He had periods of detoxing, but for some reason, he would always go back, and then once he went back he couldn’t control how much he drank or used and he couldn’t stop without help.   
  • [29:51] He came to this new understanding that he was different, it was not a matter of choice, and he didn’t have the power to stop. 
  • [31:19] He kicked and screamed his way through steps two and three. He had to come to terms with the fact that his way wasn’t working at all and that he needed help.  
  • [33:20] He finally understood that surrendering was not a sign of weakness.  Vulnerability is a sign of strength.   
  • [35:19] There is hope.   



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If you or someone you love has a substance use or mental health disorder, Origins Behavioral HealthCare can help. We will work alongside you to provide the most comprehensive treatment available.