Recovery from Addiction or Abuse - Finding the Buried Treasure Within Yourself

Author: Paul Hook Page 1 of 3

Video Testimonial

Please watch this 7:43 video testimonial to learn more about us.

Pirate Springs at Year End 2019

Over the course of four years of operations, Pirate Springs, through its Clean Time division, has given 141 individuals from all over Tennessee, living in local half way houses, transitional employment enabling them pay obligations while training or searching for more permanent employment or making career choices.

Since opening Ocoee Mist Manner in November of 2017, our long term residential recovery program for women, we have housed 64 women and over a dozen children.

The Metric we use to gauge our success is how many Ocoee Mist graduates maintain a recovery lifestyle, free from drugs and alcohol one year after graduation.

Traditional 28-30 day rehab programs range between 6% and 10% using this metric.

Long term programs improve to 40% – 45%

Ocoee Mist Manor is currently at 70%!

We serve a population which is underserved and high risk; women, women with children, and no insurance. Our geographic footprint in terms of clientele is all of Tennessee, North Georgia and Kentucky.

We have become the agency of choice for referrals from many rehab organizations following treatment, as well as state agencies. While working with DCS, Probation, Courts, and other agencies we have initiated successful reunification of families and helped a number of clients restore broken relationships.  If you could sit with just one of our successes and listen to their story and their experience with us, your heart would melt.

We believe our success is due to our loving, family type environment and the experience the founders have as recovering addicts themselves and one who has gone on the become a Social Worker, earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Mental Health. This coupled with the other’s experience as a pastor offers a powerful dynamic in leading and guiding our clients to developing solid recovery foundations with spiritual and emotional healing underway prior to graduation.

For the community this creates an impact that results in less crime, lower tax payer expense for law enforcement, court costs, costs of incarceration, property theft and damage, medical costs, etc., plus the positive benefit of healthier happier families.

At the level at which we operate today, we have paid all of our bills on time with only 8% of our revenue coming from donations. Here is a look at our average month.

Program Revenue

Clean Time average revenue                        $14,000
Ocoee Mist Manor average fee revenue     $  5,000
Other Revenue

TN-ARP                                                            $  1,250

TOTAL                                                              $20,250

Expense                                                            $22,000

Over/Under –                                                  $   1,750 (made up for in donations)

We have added to our equity base each year with no negative year ends. With that said, no staff member has received a paycheck, and there is room on the property to grow, so resources are badly needed.

Pirate Springs has shown it has the ability to make a difference in the Addiction/Recovery environment and needs support to expand the reach and increase capacity. We have accomplished a lot without much help at all, and I can’t help but imagine what we could do if we could rally some community support.

Does this look like the kind of impact you want to support?

Do you want to make a real difference?

We are always happy to talk to prospective donors about our operation and our philosophies around addiction and recovery if you want to call.

Or write your year-end deductible charitable donation check today! Get behind something you can be proud of and watch us grow.

Thanks in advance for reading and considering us.

Paul G. Hook


[email protected]


A Textbook Example

This is the way it is supposed to work … Sort of.

On October 30 I got a phone call from a woman in Rockwood, Tn. She was looking for a place for another woman that was in a Domestic Violence shelter and struggling with addiction. The woman struggling with addiction was now down to suboxone, and hadn’t used any illicit drugs for a couple of weeks. The shelter she was in also had drugs flowing in and out and she was at risk of using them.

Because we are a long term treatment facility and do not do detox (we don’t take anyone on drug replacement therapies either), we provided the number of a partner rehab facility and told her that we could take the woman after she completes the program.

After some serious mis-communication the helpful woman drove two hours to Cleveland, TN on 10/31 and called to let us know that the Rehab had no available beds and she had the struggling woman with her and asked if she could she bring her to us.

We were on our way to Cleveland for Halloween with the residents of our program and we decided we would pick the woman up and keep her until she had a bed at the rehab. This isn’t something we normally do, but we felt led to.

This young mother, over the next couple of days, proved that she was determined to detox off the suboxone and convinced us she was able to try it with us.

The woman that brought her to us was a member of a church in Rockwood, TN and this young woman had walked in on a Wednesday evening church service with her 4 year old daughter asking for help. They took her in and began looking for resources. Initially the Pastor of that church and his wife kept the 4 year old daughter and was able to get the woman into the women’s shelter, where she stayed until she called out for help again because of the drugs in the shelter.

If only you could have seen her then. Ashen and gaunt, trembling from fear, anxiety, and all of the other troubles of addiction. She was ill and understandably so.

Six weeks and three days later, that helpful woman, the pastor, and his wife drove from Rockwood, TN to our facility to bring the 4 year old daughter home to Mom. Today Mom is healthy, happy, has her daughter back, working a full time job making good money, and full of faith and hope for a bright future. Of course she has a long way to go, being only 7 weeks now into her recovery, but, she is on track and showing all the signs she will continue.

This is how it is supposed to work. The church didn’t judge but grabbed her up, helped with the child, and helped us cover her financial needs.

Just over a year ago Pirate Springs opened Ocoee Mist Manor, a long term recovery facility for women and women with children.

It has been a bitter sweet year as we have seen heartwarming successes and heart breaking endings.

We have welcomed 37 women over the year and had as many as 5 children living on the property at one time and a total of 9 as residents and another dozen as weekend visitors. We have had many families visit as well as children not yet in Mom’s care come to visit.

We have gone to court and seen the reunification of 5 families across the state, and we have had to advise courts of client red flags in three cases.

We have several alumni that are still clean, practicing recovery, employed and productive; and there are a few that are in jail today for non-compliance with legal requirements, or new crimes.

The reward of seeing the successes, is our reason for existing. When we receive a new client that is fresh out of treatment, and they arrive scared, nervous, full of self-doubt and self-loathing, and we get to watch the transformation to a confidant, courageous, productive, spiritual women, full of hope and joy, this is the reward of our labors. Seeing the light come back on in their eyes, watching them as they see their child(ren) for the first time in who knows how long, knowing there is a chance that this one may not have to suffer from active addiction again, this is the paycheck that erases the pain of our hard work.

We have been operating at capacity since we opened, and hear regularly that we need to expand. We have the room, but not the finances.

If we are going to increase housing capacity we also need to build a commercial kitchen as the one we have now is stretched to accommodate cooking for the 12-15 we cook for daily.

We also are working on creating a prevention video and presentation that we have previewed portions of to rave reviews, but need funds for production.

We need a 15 passenger van (at minimum), a playground for the kids …… we need ….

We are praying that the year ahead will bring champions into our midst that can and will help us accomplish our goals.

With 11 days left in the month we have increased our donor contributions by 36.3% over last year, increased our program revenue by 5.6%, and added $5,726 to our balance sheet (equity), so for three years we have proven we are a viable agency, able to accomplish our mission and stay within budget.

Lives are being saved, the Opiate Crisis is in our battlefield, and we are making a difference. If you are looking for a critical mission to support, please just take a closer look at us. Call and talk, or schedule a visit. The community needs us, and we need you.

Paul G. Hook
Pirate Springs
You can mail a check, or give online at but please, do something!

Please Help and Forward

*** This was Posted 3 weeks before we moved into this facility.  Now we just need ongoing support to continue to serve these women. ***

She Needed Help

  The last woman we brought into our home, Jolene, wound up leaving after our attempt to buy a property for women hit a snag. 



That mother of a 9 year old boy will never see another chance at recovery. She relapsed and is now deceased.


  We now have another woman staying in our home, while others, many others, look for a place to go. 


Tara, mother to a 7 year old boy, had 7 years clean, but lived isolated from others in recovery, and relapsed.


She wound up on Life Support with a heart infection and complications causing a series of mini strokes and requiring open heart surgery for a valve replacement.


  She needs longs term recovery and continued fellowship to stay clean while she finds a new way to live. 

Brody needs his mom.


Pirate Springs Ranch 

A property that we have had our eyes on for over a year is still available and the terms have changed to make going forward a reachable goal.

The owners are willing to rent this property to us so we can start providing service, and acquire licensing, which is what will enable us to purchase the property with very affordable terms.

This property can house 10 women immediately.
  This is the Western side of a 4 room  detached bunkhouse with two twin beds in each room. 


  This home is laid out perfectly for recovery. 


3Bd 2 Ba on the main level with two living rooms and community sized Kitchen and Laundry rooms.


A 2,400 square foot unfinished basement is crying out for 4 more bedrooms.



36 acres, cross fenced, with large pastures and two Barns for Equine Therapy horses, and several building spots, enables Pirate Springs to fulfill the Vision we believe is our purpose, to provide long term recovery in a serene environment while encouraging a productive work therapy routine.


$15,000 is our goal This initial amount insures 4 months of operational safety. 

Our partners (Treatment Centers, Recovery Court, etc.) need us and ensure that they can provide clients to keep us full.

Occupancy covers the 50 % of the costs before we bill any insurance or the State.


Click through the link below to Donate Now! 


Please help.  This will be the gift that keeps on giving as we grow this facility to help dozens at any given time. 

There is no shortage of clients, and there is a high demand for more recovery beds.

 Pirate Springs is a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization and all donations are Tax Deductible.    


National Recovery Month

I have gone a long time without an addition to the current running series “Addiction is a Global Problem”, but there is a reason; I have been pouring myself into this years’ National Recovery Month series of events, and primarily the Treasure Hunt and Celebration at Camp Jordan in Chattanooga.

This year for National Recovery Month we are attempting to change from just celebration to celebration, education, and outreach. With multiple events related to addiction and recovery, we want to keep this subject, and solutions, in the forefront of the public attention in a way other than just articles bemoaning overdoses and the rise of addiction.

We want to reach the community and help bring an understanding that may be unfamiliar to them, we want to reach the families that suffer from a loved ones addiction, and we want to reach those still using and show them there is a way out, and life after the struggle.

The best way to overshadow defeat is to shout out success and the best way to achieve success is with a unified community.  Our goal is to begin this year with something new, something fun, and something that works; and grow it into next year so the celebration swells and means more to more people and families.

This year we have brought together two Counties, Hamilton and Bradley, and their health departments;  treatment facilities, and other interested parties to create the biggest event possible and attract as many to it as possible. September 1 was the starting day of the two County Treasure hunt.  Each map location visited earns an entry in the drawing box, and each event attended earns 3 entries in the drawing box.  Many prizes will be awarded.  For those who haven’t heard about this yet you can read about at the following link.

Treasure Hunt – How it works!

There are other events happening during the month which can all be seen on the events calendar at They include:

Bridging the Gap for a Stronger Community – Suicide Prevention Coalition 9/15

Recovery Works! 5K and Silent Auction – CADAS  9/16

Generation Found Film Screening – Pirate Springs 9/19

Yoga for Recovery – The Trini Foundation 9/23

Attendance at each of these events earns 3 entries in the drawing box.

The Recovery Month Events are capped with a free concert, free comedy show, exhibitors, and more, in  a family atmosphere, including face painting and a bounce house, designed to give hope to those who are hurting either directly or indirectly from addiction.

Our goal is bring at least 800 to 1,000 people together and show that recovery is borne out of hope and the belief that there are people who care, and there is a reason to recover.

The Camp Jordan Event is free and runs on September 23rd from 4:00pm to 9:00pm and promises to be fun, informative, and rewarding. We will be drawing for prizes from the Treasure Chest throughout the day. Entertainment is top notch and did I say FREE.

Bring a lawn chair and weather suitable clothing, pack a meal or buy food from the vendor, and bring everyone you can get in your vehicle!







If you have any questions please call or write [email protected] 423-476-4860

Recovery Community Organization

In the last segment, back in December, I talked a lot about the Certified Recovery Community and what that could look like. I want to step back for a minute and reinforce an understanding of the need.

I  was able to watch the film Generation Found a couple of weeks ago. This film captures the need for, and the obvious success of, Recovery High Schools. While there are only 54 of them in the United States, according to the film, this is something that should be available to every student that finds themselves involved in a drug and/or alcohol problem that cannot escape without help, and chooses the path of recovery.

Listening to the teens in the film discuss the inability to stay clean after being returned from rehab to the same school environment they were in before rehab, makes it all too clear that changing friends, places, and things related to using includes school. The fact is, the students all said that not only were they around other kids high there, but that is where they got their drugs.

It is the drug free and recovery based environment provided by the Recovery High School, a non-judging, caring, understanding environment that not only allowed the teens to succeed in class work, but empowered them to excel beyond what many believed they could.

It is the community aspect, the closeness of identification, and empathy, that enables these addicts to experience recovery and maintain recovery for the long term.

I believe that adults need that sense of community and identification as much as teens and young adults.  In virtually all of the fellowships (AA, NA, CR, etc.) those with longer sustained recovery have closed their social circle to include only those they know in their fellowship.  This is part of the key to their success.

In one study known as “Rat Park” a rat was given access to drugs while in a solitary social environment in its cage and used the drugs over and over, but when moved into a social setting of several rats, no longer used the drugs.

This may be an over simplification of the experiment, but then Rats are over simple compared to humans and the human life experience, but it makes a point.  Community makes a difference.

That may lead to the question, “Why, then, do people start using at school or elsewhere when they are in a social setting of a community of peers?”

The answer is in the individual.  One of the big recurring statements you will hear from almost all recovering addicts is that prior to their beginning of active addiction, they felt different, alone in a room full of people, not good enough.

This understanding points us to a few of potential conclusions:

  1. Early identification of salient personality traits can offer a pathway to more effective prevention efforts.
  2. Helping those stuck in the grips of active addition feel that they may not be as alone as they feel can attract more addicts into recovery.
  3. Creating environments for those in recovery to gather and maintain a sense of community and belonging can promote more successful long term recovery for those who utilize the resource.

Early Identification

I referred to an article in my newsletter of October 26, 2016.

In a New York Times article, written September 29, 2016, Maia Szalavitz discusses Preventure, a new approach to identifying youth that are at risk of addiction, which has not only resulted in dramatic reductions in addiction and substance abuse, but lowered the incidence of depression and reported anxiety in schools in Europe, Australia, and Canada.

That article, “The 4 Traits That Put Kids at Risk for Addiction” is a worthwhile read and gives a deeper insight into this discussion. This is a project with proven results and we need to take out lead from it.

Those in Active Addiction

One the sayings heard often in the rooms of 12 step programs is, “We will love you until you can love yourself”.  This is an important fact.  It is love that ultimately draws those in addiction to a successful attempt at recovery.  Love doesn’t judge, but welcomes, gives hope, and helps break down the barrier of isolation that keeps most addicts stuck in a cycle they don’t understand.  Hearing success stories from people who have had the same feeling they have (Identification), is the beginning.

Creating Environments of Community

Like the Recovery High Schools that are now finding success, maintaining a Recovery Community Center, could have a huge impact on those who begin a journey of recovery and have to change “people, places, and things” in their life.

It is one of our goals, to open one or more of these in our region.  An old motel, defunct school, or abandoned factory that could be revitalized and repurposed with a large TV room, a game room with pool tables, ping pong, card tables; a meeting room or two that could rented to the various fellowships for 12 step meetings, counselling offices for peer recovery support specialists to meet people in, an outdoor barbeque area.  You get the idea by now I’m sure.  There could even be a coffee counter, literature sales area, and a recovery activities planner.  A computer room for study, job application filing, and more would be helpful too.

Our Efforts

While there is still much that can be added to the discussion of a Recovery Community (the community at large being supportive to an environment of recovery), and definitions of what it should all look like and how it could all function, we can only do our share and hope that we touch enough with our ideas, our message, and our goals to gain the help we need to make it all happen.

We do already have many willing partnerships; organizations and agencies willing to roll up their sleeves and lift along with us.

Today we are working with Health Departments, Rehab facilities, State and Local Agencies, Coalitions, and other Non-Profit organizations to change from a running dialogue to running a race.  The missing ingredient is community involvement and community action.

My next installment will be my presentation of a plan that could help turn the tide, along with a description of a current effort that supports this plan.

Today I will leave you with another article I just read written by a County Sheriff, that runs parallel to my position.

I’m the Chesterfield County Sheriff And I’m Done Talking About Drug Addiction. It’s Time To Act.

Please take the time to read this one, and I will remain excited to present some steps that can make a difference in my next installment.

As always, feel free to email me with your comments or concerns.

[email protected]


Pirate Springs Update

I closed my last newsletter saying “We will continue next week with a discussion furthering the idea of what the community can do and what the effect should bring.”  That was on December 7th.  The following week I had surgery and it has taken this long to get back to full speed.

I will be picking up where I left off with another installment of Addiction: A Global Problem that Needs a Community Solution, very soon.

We are in planning stages for this years National Recovery Month blowout in September and hope to keep recovery and recovery community needs at the forefront of the public sight and hearing as we start media coverage around the events of September.  This is going to be big.  Keep your eyes and ears open, and if you want to be involved, contact me.

When it comes down to the final solution around drug abuse, and addiction, the only two possibilities are prevention and recovery.  I believe that holding recovery out in the public view is an important part of prevention.  This we plan to do this year.

Our involvement with Tennessee’s Faith Based Coalition movement, is really picking up steam.  Our next meeting here in Bradley County will be on May 25th with the location to be announced next week and a planning meeting to be scheduled during the first week of May.  If you are interested in participation with this movement, again, contact me.  You do not have to be a church or even a faith based organization to be involved.

Finally, we have added an event calendar to our website to help keep our visitors informed of important events.  It can be found under the Events link on the main menu from any page.

You can also see it here.

We are looking forward to this year as we believe that the impact we have in combatting addiction, and supporting recovery, will multiply.    Stay tuned for what is to come from Pirate Springs, and those we work with in this endeavor.

Faith Based Coalition

The next meeting of this group will be on May 25th. Watch for updates for time and location!

If you want to be involved in the planning and/or the meeting itself, contact me ASAP!  We will be scheduling the planning meeting this upcoming week.

This is our joint work with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, other non-profits, providers, community leaders, and churches, to empower the community with understanding and familiarity with resources to help those who suffer from addiction.

Although still nascent, this movement is growing and having a substantial impact in communities all across the State of Tennessee.

Pleas join us in our efforts to stem the tide of destruction the disease of addiction leaves in it’s wake.  If you don’t have the time or ability to help personally, please consider helping financially with a fully tax deductible contribution.

Become one the crew!

Generation Found Showing

If you are concerned about addiction in our communities and want to be involved in solutions, joins for this event!

Mark your calendar for APRIL 13th from 7-9pm to join a group of us who are passionate about the upcoming documentary and discussion about addiction and the incredible communities developing in the U.S. to provide vital support for young people in recovery, GENERATION FOUND by the creators of the groundbreaking film, THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE. Check out this exciting film trailer here: . If you can come, join us in the UTC University Center Signal Mtn. Room located on East 5th Street (directions . Are you in? If so, spread the word to your friends and make an event out of it!

About the film:
From the creators of the groundbreaking film, THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE, comes GENERATION FOUND, a powerful story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, Houston faced the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. And so in one of the largest cities in America, visionary counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders came together to build the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community.
Independently filmed over the course of two years, GENERATION FOUND takes an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide.

Register and get your free tickets here (click on this link).

Putting the Concept into Practice

In the series, I have discussed a paradigm shift that is necessary to start making an impact in the war on substance abuse and helping people recover from the ravages of their disease.

This entry is not really an addition to the series, but more of an announcement that what we preach we are trying to put into practice and an invitation for you to attend a meeting on this topic.

Here in my home state, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse is backing an initiative to create community centered Faith Based Coalitions.  While there are many organizations, groups, and individuals that address the problem of substance abuse on their own level, there is strength in numbers and we believe that in order to truly create a community solution, those who are involved or even just concerned will accomplish more if a unified strategy is created and followed.

To that end, there is a meeting on Thursday, January 19th, 2017 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm to begin organizing such a coalition in Bradley County.

It is not necessary that you live in Bradley County to attend, feel free to come and see what we are trying to accomplish with the thought that the same concept might work in your community.

We could use your input, your help, and your care for the community and those who live in it.

Please click on this link for information and to register.

PS – The break in the Newsletter series is due to a surgery and I am only now getting to where I can type again.  I will resume the series in the next week or two.

Paul G. Hook
Pirate Springs

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