I went to "Redgate" in mid 90s at the height of my heroin addiction. My friend/guide, an Irish-Cherokee USMC Marine in program, gave me a ride from OC. I was in really bad shape, sucked up & dopesick. Near the treatment in Long Beach, he stopped at a convenience store near treatment center. He went in, & I waited in car, & I was so sick was slumped down in car. So LBPD cops wheeled up, thinking an AR was in progress, & jacked us up. Friend came out, they had guns trained on him, but he explained en route to treatment.
Once in Redgate, the compassionate counselors/nurses got me on medical detox, helped immensely with kicking. I started feeling a bit better after a few days, but drugs/heroin still embedded in bones, causing me anxiety/jonesing, so I was pacing the halls in the middle of the night. Night counselor, reframed my complaint of red/demerit marks on progress, was nothing in perspective, from where we came from. Also I said I was gonna leave treatment, he ''played the tape through" "Yeah and you'll be standing on the street corner, repeatedly reaching deep in your pockets, but you'll still have only 75 cents." When Redgate was renovating, they put us all at American Hospital in Tarzana, with a big pool in summertime. The counselors at Redgate there were all very helpful & professional, my case worker/counselor was Yvette, a very kind & patient lady. I went out a couple more times after that, but I was even worse, and using durations became shorter. I now have been clean & sober coming up on 27 years now. I got a commercial CDL license in 2001, and traveled 46 of 48 states repeatedly. Seeing Indy 500 time trials, parking tractor-trailer at Daytona Beach, going in Atlantic for the first time. Another time at beach near Miami, Coral Springs? Going to church services in several states incl ND, NC(I played drums & harmonica), NJ, Alabama, TX, AZ, WA, CA.
The idea of freedom from active addiction for me, materialized in being able to get out of 10 mile radius of Santa Ana, i.e. Chuey's house.