If It's You ...
If it’s you, the reader, considering a structured
living alternative, here’s an over-view of Launch Pad life:
The Launch Pad System is made up of several residences, mainly
located in Wilmington, NC. They are legally permitted by city
ordinance to serve as group support homes. There are three Launch Pads located in Myrtle Beach, S.C.The “group,”
that is offering and receiving support, is made up of people committed
to helping each other end their use of drugs, including alcohol.
This document is mainly for new Launch Pad members or prospective
members who are first learning about our program; and may not
be familiar with the “12-step” programs we honor.
12 Step Programs
Twelve-step programs (like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics
Anonymous) are free, and basically have no enforceable rules.
They are self-governing by the use of traditions upheld by members.
Launch Pads are not part of the 12-step programs, but all our members must attend 12-step meetings. For addicts/alcoholics
to remain abstinent there is no more successful tool than acceptance
and participation in 12-step recovery.
The 12 steps are mental exercises, sort of like directions about
how to assemble something. They are directions for rebuilding
effective personalities. Personalities that can survive their
own emotions. Launch Pads amplify and model these 12-step “directions.”
Our system teaches emotional endurance. Feelings like anger,
fear, loneliness and boredom are the kinds of emotions that very
often lead back to drugs/alcohol. If you really want to quit alcohol
and other drugs then you must master these feelings, instead of
having them master you.
Launch Pads are like training camps for people seeking to learn
the discipline they’ll need to live good lives drug free.
Our staff and senior residents act as personal trainers, much
like a coaching staff or workout specialists might encourage,
guide and push athletic ability.
Change is Possible - General Rules
Your experience of the solutions for addictive personalities
might be as limited as just having heard of a few friends who
“went to treatment” or a relative who mysteriously
managed to change. Now we are talking about you. Your quality
of life may literally be on the line. If it is you, and you want
to change, you must be willing to learn, and learn fast. You must
be willing to take some direction, now.
The first direction is “Don’t Use.” The second
is “Go to meetings.” You are not supposed to be hanging
around a Launch Pad house, whether in bed or out, during the day.
You should be working, looking for work, keeping appointments,
seeing counselors or going to 12-step meetings. “House check-in
time” during the first 30 days is 7 pm, which means you
should come home by then, unless excused by the manager. After
checking in you may go out to 12-step meetings. Nightly curfew
is 11 pm. Most Launch Pad residents share a room with one other
person. Single rooms are available to senior residents.
Launch Pad “General Rules” govern such things as
when you may leave the house, curfew, chores, use of TV, phone
and laundry, and guests.
Most of the General Rules are designed and followed so that one
person’s needs and habits don’t clash with those of
housemates. But the rules also start to introduce into your life
the training/coaching mentioned above. Abstinence, honesty, self-support
and responsibility, and keeping your priorities in right order,
are directed by the rules.
A more comprehensive example of the evaluation and coaching built
into the Launch Pad environment takes place in weekly “House
meeting.” During that session you are urged to describe
both the beneficial and the dangerous events or attitudes you’ve
experienced during the preceding week.
Those get-togethers tell your house-mates and yourself some things
about the nature and quality of the life you are living. This
is not an “encounter group,” but it is a chance to
learn how others see you, and to realize you are not alone.
The manager, assistant manager and other residents will, throughout
the rest of the week, mention to you things they see as dangerous
for your recovery or the welfare of the house. Serious breaking
of the General Rules will result in fines ranging from $5 to $20.
Twelve Step Meetings
Meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous occur
at various times throughout the day and evening. During your first
month in a Launch Pad you are required to attend a meeting each
day. Most meetings last one hour. They are a combination of social
(fellowshipping) and learning activities.
Most people arrive 5 to 30 minutes early for a meeting, and engage
in introductions, greetings and casual conversation until the
chairperson calls for attention. Meetings are supposed to start
and stop on time, and almost always do.
When everyone has found a seat and is quiet, the meeting begins
with the “Serenity Prayer” being recited by those
who wish to. Several pre-selected members will then read a few
standard pieces of 12-step literature. When the readings are completed
the chairperson will introduce a recovery-oriented topic to start
a general discussion, or will allow time for participants to suggest
Topics should be related to recovery. Participants in the discussion
are urged to describe personal experiences or hopes rather than
voice observations concerning things they have not experienced.
Newcomers have little experience of recovery so newcomers’
comments will generally be in the form of questions. Questions
are excellent ways to participate. They give the experienced members
ideas of what needs to be expressed for the good of everyone.
The “Twelve Steps” are the main teaching and practice
in meetings. There are short forms of the steps, and they are
read at the beginning of each meeting. They are also usually displayed
on posters during meetings. There are longer forms of each of
the steps, and descriptions of their meaning and practice, in
the Big Book of AA or the Basic Text of NA.
The reason the 12-step approach is honored and followed by so
many recovering people is that it works. It works, perhaps, because
it includes principles from most great religions and philosophies.
Those principles are described in terms that most people, (even
people from very different backgrounds,) can commonly accept.
If you arrive in the Launch Pad system without resources for food,
clothing, or medical needs, speak up. Tell a manager. Some arrangements
can be made for almost any real need. If you have an appointment
with a probation officer, therapist or medical doctor, or a court
date, don’t wait til the last minute to ask for any needed
help. If you are troubled by some tragedy or fear, find someone
you can trust and get it out. Our secrets are usually the most
dangerous things to our continued recovery.
Launch Pads are not for everyone. Just needing a place to live
does not qualify you for membership. But if it’s you who
needs this kind of life, don’t hesitate. Don’t let
anything hold you back. Call (910) 632-2344, or fill out the application on our contact page and start the new