SAN MARCOS — The doors to a new outpatient drug and alcohol rehab counseling facility recently opened in San Marcos with the mission of offering an innovative approach to a sober lifestyle. The founders of Immersive Recovery believe their intensive program is unique. Having battled their own addictions and achieving sobriety, they understand the issues surrounding dependency.
The founders of Immersive Recovery are Mike Weir, Wesley Heim and Robert Weir. They noticed the missing components in other outpatient programs and wanted to bridge the gap.
The men guide clients toward a lifestyle of recovery which consists of success, enjoyment and fulfillment. Immersive Recovery clients also have the choice to stay at a sober living home during their counseling program.
“Immersive Recovery is a men’s drug and alcohol treatment program treating chemical dependency as well as co-occurring disorders, and we also specialize in working with guys who have experienced failure to launch,” Robert Weir said. “So, on a weekly basis, we treat guys anywhere from five days per week to one day per week.”
The organization offers a plan called “Discover, Develop, Deploy.” It involves various therapies to help men not only engage in life but to give them a high level of clinical assistance with a credentialed, professional team.
“Discover, Develop, Deploy,” taps into what those in recovery need.
“Being sober is a time when you get to decide who it is that you want to be, who it is that you actually are, what it is that you’re going to be into, and where it is you want to go,” Robert Weir said.
According to the team, the Immersive Recovery experience gives clients the time away from the normal pressures of life and a stable platform to begin.
Each founder brings his own life experiences, too.
Robert Weir, 31, who was raised in Rancho Santa Fe with his brother Mike, says celebrating the small milestones is important. He started his recovery at 25.
“I failed out of school, barely held down jobs, got fired multiple times, and had a bunch of issues with the law,” he said, noting that recovery was a slow building process. “Once you start getting those wins under your belt, you’re like, ‘Oh, man. I don’t think there is any reason for me going back to using. This way of life is so far superior to what it was I experienced before that I have no intention of going back to it.”
Cofounder Wesley Heim, 31, has been sober for more than four years. His addiction began with prescription drug abuse at around 15. It progressed into heroin — something quite common.
“I’m from a normal, middle-class San Diego family, and it (addiction) literally led me to homelessness, multiple and chronic incarcerations, as well as suffering from a lot of medical problems,” Heim said. “It was only until I received the help that I needed to progress further in my life that things changed.”
One of those changes was having a stronger family relationship.
Heim described himself as being passionate about Immersive Recovery and wants a program that will not limit growth for their clients.
“We are looking to equip these guys with the tools and the principles necessary to not only maintain continued sobriety but more so to solidify a foundation of recovery that permeates every area of their life,” he said.
Looking back, Heim believes his relapses early on happened because he wasn’t addressing the life-skill portion of his recovery. “We feel adamant about inspiring passion and purpose in these guys,” Heim said.
Robert Weir’s younger brother, Mike, 30, started using when he was in the eighth grade.
“We’d party at a big house where the ‘in-crowd’ would go, and it would just be what everyone was doing. I didn’t think that there was anything wrong with it,” he said.
Weekend parties would sometimes pour into the weekdays.
“This progressed throughout high school and went into prescription pills as well as cocaine,” Mike Weir said.
Unable to finish junior college, he had various odd jobs. He also pointed out how life took a hard turn when the opiate use started.
“My day would consist of waking up, being sick because I wouldn’t have them (opiates) when I woke up and sitting in parking lots waiting for drug dealers to come drop off what I needed so I could feel well enough to operate throughout the day,” Mike Weir said. “It was just a continuous, vicious cycle for years.”
Now, he is four years sober. His life turned around when he went into sober living at 26.
Both Weir brothers also credit their parents for their incredible guidance and support.
“The best advice I can give is to stay away from drugs and open your eyes to different things and new experiences instead of just following the in-crowd in high school,” Mike Weir said.
For more information, visit ImmersiveRecovery.com.