Treatment doesn’t cure, it’s but one step on a long road

Lila Corcoran has been sober for more than 20 years. The Watson Lake resident went through the Yukon’s live-in treatment program in August of 1989, back when the program was called Crossroads. “The treatment centre doesn’t cure you, it more or less gives you the tools to work with,” she said.

Lila Corcoran has been sober for more than 20 years.

The Watson Lake resident went through the Yukon’s live-in treatment program in August of 1989, back when the program was called Crossroads.

“The treatment centre doesn’t cure you, it more or less gives you the tools to work with,” she said.

“They taught me that there is help available if I wanted to continue with sobriety.”

A number of tragedies in Corcoran’s life led to her trouble with alcohol.

“When my late husband committed suicide, I went off the deep end,” she said.

“For 17 months I just drank and worked and drank and worked.”

One morning she decided that enough was enough and sought help.

Luckily, Corcoran was able to get into the month-long treatment program quickly.

“If they didn’t say come in right away, I would never have made it.”

For Corcoran, one of the most difficult moments in the program was when it came to an end.

“That was scary,” she said. “I didn’t want to leave.

“You’re not going to leave there and have everything be hunky dory. You’re going to have to work if this is what you want. But I had a lot of support from my family too.”

Aftercare is the most important thing, said Corcoran.

A recovering alcoholic needs to be set up with an Alcoholics Anonymous program and a treatment counsellor.

Twenty years ago, a two-week refresher program was available to those who felt they were going to relapse.

Corcoran used this refresher program twice.

Unfortunately, these types of programs no longer exist in the territory.

“I learned in the treatment centre that I had to change friends,” she said.

“Another thing they taught me is that you have so much time on your hands. How are you going to fill that?”

Corcoran filled her time by going back to school to become an educational assistant.

She also began doing a lot of volunteer work, returning to the treatment centre as a guest speaker and holding Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Watson Lake.

She left her number with the Whitehorse-based program, saying she was available to help anyone who would be returning to Watson Lake after going through treatment.

One woman who contacted her in this way ended up becoming a very dear friend, she said.

“I always tell people I owe a lot to Crossroads.

“But the government can only do so much. They gave us the tools to work with and from there it’s entirely up to you.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

Most Read