Weighing Cost & Benefit

The staff at Magdalene Serenity House completed training for SMART Recovery this year. Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) was started in 1994 and uses cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) techniques to help people with substance use disorder change unhealthy behavior. SMART offers tools that help people examine their behavior and develop strategies to change behavior. While the program is for people in recovery, some of the tools are useful for anyone interested in changing behavior.

One tool is the cost benefit analysis. This exercise helps us look at why we keep engaging in behavior that is not healthy. For someone who has a substance use disorder it really helps to see the pros and cons of substance use. Most people would have no difficulty identifying the cons but may not think about the positive benefits that people with addiction experience.
Some of the benefits of using drugs/alcohol is increased confidence, weight loss, excitement, and socialization. The costs include financial losses, estrangement from family, job loss, and illness related to substance use.

When doing a cost benefit analysis we also examine the short and long term results. Think about the list of benefits from using drugs/alcohol described above. Are those benefits long lasting? Most of the benefits are short term. The costs, on the other hand, are usually long term. Many people never recover from the costs of their addiction.

Consider how you might use this tool to examine the cost/benefit of a behavior you would like to change. As the holidays approach, many people start worrying about maintaining their weight, not gaining weight, and losing weight. Your relationship with food may determine how well you weather the holidays. How can you use the cost/benefit analysis? What service does food provide you?

You enjoy the taste of food. You like to have your hunger satisfied. You know you need food to survive. Most of the social activities you participate in involve food. What disservice does food provide you? You eat too much and feel horrible. You are worried about having hypertension and elevated cholesterol. You can’t fit into your clothes.

We encourage our residents to keep a copy of their cost benefit analysis close at hand. It is not uncommon for people to start to believe they can return to old behaviors if they are just careful about doing so. “Just one drink can’t hurt me.” When they review the analysis they readily recognize that the costs of addiction far outweigh the benefits. When things are going well, we may need reminders of how bad things can become if we engage in old behaviors.

Senior Resident Story

Magdalene Serenity House has given me the chance to stand on my own two feet again. I’ve got 2 years and 11 months sobriety. I have gained full-time employment, opened a checking account, and purchased a car. I have regular visitation with my kids with the goal of regaining custody. I am currently working on repairs of my house and purchasing the things I need to furnish it and will soon be going home. Magdalene Serenity House and its staff have given me a second chance at a normal life.

Resident Achievements

  • We are at full-capacity. All of our residents are working hard in their recovery.
  • One of our Phase Two residents is saving for a car. She is working full-time and looking for a reliable, affordable vehicle to pay for in cash. Have leads on a car? Contact liz@lovehealsnwa.org.
  • Our Phase Three resident is preparing for graduation. She is working full-time, saving money, and getting her home ready. She will graduate in February.
  • One of our residents received dentures. We are thankful to Dr. Wilson at Sequoyah Dental for working with our residents.
  • Two of our newest residents reunited with their children. We love having children visit MSH.
  • Our residents are working on a line of jewelry with our volunteer Kate Baer. Check it out here

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who purchased an item off our Amazon Wish List to welcome our new residents. Many of our residents come to us with nothing and this basket helps them begin their healing journey. Thank you for being part of their road to healing and recovery!

Financial Audit Completed

We went through our first financial audit and passed with flying colors. A big thank you to our Board Treasurer Haley Hixson for working tirelessly on the audit. The audit will increase our eligibility to apply for different sources of funding!

Upcoming Events

  • The Smokehouse Players fundraiser production of “Night Mother” is on November 14 @ 7:30pm at 1725 S. Smokehouse Trail, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701. All donations at this show will benefit MSH and be matched 4 to 1. Seating is limited, so get there early!
  • Stories from the Inside Out “9 for 9” – November 23 @ 7:30pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. A suggested donation of $10 with a portion of proceeds benefiting MSH.
  • We are thrilled to be one of the beneficiaries of the Holidaze event. Learn more here.

Ways to Give

The giving season is quickly approaching and we are grateful for your continued support. There are several ways to give back to MSH and support our residents. We are always in need of household items such as toilet paper, towels, sheets. and laundry detergent. Interested in donating? Contact ashley@lovehealsnwa.org

  • Volunteer – we need volunteers to transport our residents to work and appointments.
  • Give – we need donors willing to contribute monthly and/or annually to support our program.
  • Wish List – Help us welcome our new residents home by purchasing an item off our Amazon Wish List.