Friday , May 25, 2018

Where recovery is a celebration

SEVEN months ago, Better Days Ahead recovery center opened its doors in Bacolod City as part of the Farm Group of Facilities formed in 2014, owned by Jimmy Clemente, who is based in Cebu City.

Clemente put up a rehabilitation facility in Minglanilla town, Cebu after he recovered from drug addiction seven years ago. At present, the facility has 70 clients.

He was given an opportunity to expand in other places in the Visayas, and opened four centers in Cebu City; one in Tacloban City; one in Iloilo City; and one in Baclayon, Bohol.

The eighth branch in Bacolod opened in October last year.

Rechi Cristobal then became the center’s program director in Bacolod. He is a known personality in the drug rehabilitation world, and an accredited rehab practitioner and consultant of the Department of Health in their out-patient program.

Maricar Acuña-Octaviano, a member of the Board of Directors, said they aim to promote the facility to assist persons who wish to seek help after being addicted to illegal drugs.

Octaviano said Clemente decided to put up a facility in Bacolod, knowing that her two siblings also underwent treatment in Cebu City.

The center at Medalla Milagros Street, Greensville II, Barangay Villamonte is located in a rented house. They can accommodate up to 15 clients.

It has seven personnel, including counselors, a psychometrician, nurses, maintenance staff, cook, and security personnel, staying at the center 24/7.

Facility head Renniel Bermejo said the center started with 10 clients who underwent several treatment and recovery programs that are “customized” and “tailor-fit” to suit the needs of the individual client, his or her family members, and employer (if applicable).

Bermejo said the drug and alcohol treatment facility has already three graduates out of the initial 10 clients, who were mostly moderate drug users.

They have three female and seven male clients from Bacolod, Manila and recently from California, USA, with the youngest aged 23 and oldest at 61.

Bermejo said the clients pay P40,000 a month for their in-house treatment.

Psychometrician Shenna Mae Zolayvar said clients were assessed based on the nature of their addiction and underwent several stages of the treatment and recovery process.

If there is a need for other health professionals like psychiatrists and psychologists, the center taps selected clinics and hospitals, Zolayvar said.

“What is different in this facility is that we do not place them all under the same treatment because we know that each of them has different issues and level of addiction. We make sure that we provide them proper care that is best suited for them,” Zolayvar added.

After three months, they will undergo continuing care and after-care wherein they assist the clients in their transition back to home, work, and the community.

The center also offers a client’s family members or friends an opportunity to understand the addiction process and its impact to the family system.

Their family members can visit them at the center after a month as they also play an important role in the recovery process, but only if there is progress in the clients' recovery, Zolayvar said.

Aside from in-house patients, the facility also caters to outpatients from Monday to Saturday.

The center closely coordinates with the Bacolod City Police Office, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, and Bacolod City Government in their operations.

It does not only cater to clients with drug and alcohol addiction but also those with gambling addiction, behavioral and anger disorder, and other kinds of addiction.

With the proper care that suits the client best, recovery is truly a celebration at Better Days Ahead.

For inquiries, the center can be reached through (0945)147 5421, (0917)325-0252, and (034)708-0199; email:; and website: