The Cape Fear Edge;
the Place and the Way
Wilmington, North Carolina, where the Cape Fear River and Interstate 40
end at the Atlantic Ocean, has historically been the goal of journey, or a
logical staging area for embarking. The excitement of new beginnings and the
gratefulness of homecoming are daily experiences here. The seaport and old
downtown district are along the river, roughly eight miles inland from
Wrightsville and Carolina Beaches.
Maybe it's the sense of new possibilities, of changed fates, that make
the area haven to an unusually large and dedicated recovering community.
Perhaps it's because travelers, who escaped here from rum and carousing,
lived on to tell tales of what is was like, what happened, and what it's
like now. We know it today as a good physical, mental and spiritual place
to start new lives.
New Life Launch Pad Has History
The New Life Launch Pad System has, for the past twelve years, provided
hope and support for hundreds of addicts and their families, as they took
the steps to regain respect for each other.
Having negotiated the terms of surrender that we needed to end our own
battles with addiction, we became convinced that helping others was
necessary. But the tragic casualties of addiction continued to multiply.
Twelve-step meetings alone, the generally indicated solution, did not work
for many of them.
The education/seminar approach of classic treatment centers helped some,
but what was needed was a clearly structured and humanely coached life-style,
day in and day out, for much longer periods than usual 'treatment'
could practically provide.
Services and Benefits
The Launch Pad System is made up of a combination of services and benefits.
If you are accepted into the Launch Pad System it is because you agree with
certain ideas. First, you must be open-minded enough to give a fair hearing
to the argument that you could live more effectively. You must have a desire
to be all you can be, regardless of the mistakes of the past. You must have,
and recognize that you have, what is often called an addictive personality.
You must put these things in writing, and agree to be shown those statements
when you are tempted to abandon your dedicated effort.
What to Expect
Your Recovery Management Plan begins with an interview appointment. In this
session you create a personal profile that will be helpful in planning any
therapeutic exercises or informational resources indicated for your
General Orientation for Launch Pad residency is presented each Sunday.
The minimum requirements of Orientation can be met in time for church
attendance, if desired. Complete Orientation involves a study of the rules
that guide daily routines as well as an extended series of classes and
materials about the nature of addiction/alcoholism, ethical and spiritual
basics, house-meetings, and 12-step programs. It is a requirement of Launch
Pads that residents attend 12-step meetings daily.
Practicing abstinence involves a great deal more than good intentions,
heartfelt resolutions, or a desire for practical rewards. And making
choices is a fundamental part of an effective recovery commitment.
You Have a Choice!
Freedom of choice is at the heart of the matter. The Launch Pad approach
is to coach a growing self-awareness to complement constant reinforcement
for the desire to stay clean. Elements in the application process,
screening tools, and initial plans record the person’s desires
and decisions at the time of admission. As strength is recovered and
memories of pain and commitment grow dim, cadre and staff refer to those
After the extended orientation process and completion of the Recovery Plan, Launch Pad residents continue to learn, by teaching. Our favorite
recovery formula is, “If A helps B, A gets better.” Staff, house
managers and stable members recount reasons and techniques that worked for
them. The newer members learn by practicing this part of the solution, and
become the next wave of teachers.
In the same spirit all residents must complete at least two and one-half
hours of community service each week, and describe it during a house meeting.
They may do anything from planning and preparing a meal for their own
households to working with the homeless in local shelters and soup kitchens.
While no particular religious affiliation is required of residents, our
growing ranks of successfully recovering alumni often provide connections and
transportation for spiritual fellowshipping. Scripture study or meditation
groups are honored, not just allowed. Diverse spiritual and cultural systems
are also respected.
Completing the Program
The minimum Launch Pad requirement of "soul searching" must be
sincere consideration for the spiritual resources of the 12-step
fellowships. That observable honesty, open-mindedness and willingness, as
evidenced in measured behavioral change, along with a residency of one year in
good standing, is rewarded with a Certificate of Completion of the
New Life Launch Pad program.
Our homes are located in good neighborhoods with easy access to buses,
employment options and other services. This system was designed with respect
to the Oxford House model, except for the notable exception of including a
management team in each home. Each house has a resident manager and assistant
manager; and there are two other levels of supervision.