com·pas·sion, noun: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.


Why does Houston Recovery Center’s logo include two hearts? One reason is compassion.

We’ve all seen others struggle. Sometimes we ignore it. Sometimes we feel sympathetic. And sometimes, our sympathy drives us to action. Compassion has the power to open the door that leads to personal change.

In the case of our clients, that means supporting them as they face the consequences of their actions while using alcohol and other drugs, even when doing so can be personally horrifying. The Houston Recovery Center team has walked in our clients shoes. We separate the person from substance use behaviors and in doing so find extending personal compassion a key that can initiate a client’s recovery journey.

This journey isn’t easy, partly because of the brain’s amazing ability to adapt. Regular substance use physically changes the brain to become tolerant, and eventually dependent. So substance use is not always motivated by getting high. Instead, it often becomes a necessary daily chore to keep from being sick—in some cases very sick. People have been known to drink a gallon of vodka each day, just to stem the dangerous effects of alcohol withdrawal.

Withdrawing and detoxifying from substances can be a living hell, and its effects are different depending on the substance. Even though withdrawal from synthetic cannabinoids (Kush, K2, Spice) is rarely deadly, people who have withdrawn from these substances say that it feels like death. Detoxifying from opioids can be very painful, and detoxifying from alcohol can be life-threatening. Even if a person truly wants to abstain from substance use, the fear of facing a painful or deadly withdrawal becomes a scary catch-22.

Compassion is the first step in helping someone overcome this fear.

Spurred in part by a greater national focus on addiction, professionals, academics, and everyday Americans are debating what it means to be in recovery. Is recovery defined by maintaining full abstinence from using any substance? Is recovery defined by reducing substance use from a “problematic” level to a “functional” level? Does recovery include medicated-assisted treatments like methadone or buprenorphine? Where do we draw the line that defines recovery?

The answer is that we don’t. Houston Recovery Center recognizes the multiple pathways of client recovery. Compassion is the heart of our service model; it opens the door to recovery.