Category: Community Outreach

Building Up Our Communities

Leading By Example – Building Up Our Communities Through Education

Recovery from addiction helps us to realize the damage that we have created and shows us ways to make amends to those that we have caused harm. Sometimes, a relationship has been damaged so severely that it takes quite a bit of effort to mend it. And sometimes, it takes doing whatever you can, whenever you can, which is what Best Drug Rehabilitation strives for in our commitment to building up our communities.

Learning How to Give Back by Building Up Our Communities

One of the most significant differences that a person in recovery makes in their lifestyle is discovered when they learn how to give back. Ask any person that has struggled with substance abuse, or has seen a loved one suffering from addiction, and a great many of them will be able to tell you. A person who is abusing drugs or alcohol knows very little about giving but has plenty of experience with taking. So much so that, through selfishness, dishonesty and a general disregard for the feelings of others, many of their relationships have been damaged or destroyed by their addiction.

We believe that our youth is the most fabulous asset that we have in our country today and that their education is the most significant tool that we have in the fight against substance abuse and addiction. As a way of building up our communities, Best Drug Rehabilitation was proud to sponsor the 2015 “Music With A Mission” benefit concert held at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Mendon, IL on May 30th, 2015. This event was held to raise money to finance music education programs in the underfunded local school districts of Mendon and its neighboring town of Quincy.

Headlined by several Country-Rock performers, including Cadillac Three, Trailer Choir, Avenue Beat, Madd Hoss Jackson and Highway Run, the event raised thousands of dollars to put towards its cause. Hundreds of people came out to join in the festivities, undeterred by the muddy conditions caused by rain over the few days before the concert, and the show was moved indoors to the Adams County Fairgrounds Show Barn. Because of Best Drug Rehabilitation’s sponsorship, which went a long way in helping to cover the costs of holding an event like this one, a more significant portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and concessions was put towards helping to enrich the education of local kids by building up our communities.

Per Wickstrom, the founder, and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation was able to speak with the performers before the concert. They discussed a variety of topics, including the issues of substance abuse in the music scene and the world around us, as well as hearing their ideas and perspectives on recovery and what we all can do to help.

Music with a Mission and Trailer Choir

This duo consists of “Big Vinny” Hickerson and Marc “Butter” Fortney who met through a loose association of musicians while in college. They were happy playing small gigs for extra cash until, in 2006, country star Toby Keith heard them perform at a club in Nashville and brought them to his record label, which offered them a contract on the spot. Since then, Trailer Choir has been hard at work making a name for themselves.

“Big Vinny” is one of the lead organizers of “Music With A Mission,” saying that he wanted to step away from traditional methods of fundraising, such as bake sales or raffles. Music is his way of building up our communities. “Big Vinny” starred on reality TV competition “The Biggest Loser,” a show which promotes healthy eating habits and exercise by rewarding the contestants who fought against obesity and lost the most weight. For this reason, helping others to find a healthier and more positive lifestyle is a cause very dear to his heart. “I do a lot of motivational speaking,” he shared in Trailer Choir’s interview with Per. “One of the biggest things that I talk about is you have to believe in yourself and love yourself as you are if you ever want to be something better than that.”

Avenue Beat

A trio of local high school seniors who share a passion for performing, Avenue Beat is perhaps the most useful example of the benefit of music education programs in school. Sam, Sami, and Savana are three very talented young ladies who know how to rise above the negative influences of others and avoid the darker path of drugs and alcohol.

“There is always that underlying pressure of what group to hang out with,” said Sami, “but if you find the right people who won’t pressure you to do those things, it’s this safe feeling. We’ve surrounded ourselves with people who usually make good choices and stay safe.” Savana had some advice for parents who have a child that might be beginning to experiment with drugs, saying, “It shouldn’t be about forcing them to do what you want to do, but making them see what’s bad about doing those things and how they can negatively affect you in the future.”

Cadillac Three

As their name might suggest, Cadillac Three is a trio of musicians whose Country/Southern Rock sound drives plenty fast. But they haven’t let life in the fast lane take control of the wheel. They have maintained direction and are gaining popularity swiftly because of it.

Guitarist and vocalist Jaren Johnston, who co-wrote Keith Urban’s #1 single “You Gonna Fly,” had this to say about the band’s experience with substance abuse in the music industry: “You have to be smart enough to kind of shut it down. We like to keep a tight reign on it because we travel so much. But, we’re around it quite a bit.”

Highway Run

Engaged couple Brandon and Alyssa make up the core of Highway Run, another rising talent in the Country-Rock music scene. As many hard-working musicians must do to succeed in the industry, these two travel extensively and attend many social events where others sometimes make poor choices.

“Being in songwriter circles and those things,” offered Brandon, “you hear about it, and you see some friends that are going through that. Maybe they just got back from rehab for alcohol addiction or drug addiction. It’s out there, and it’s an issue that needs awareness. Parents need to talk to their kids. There needs to be communication.” Alyssa added, “It just keeps getting younger and younger and younger.”

Madd Hoss Jackson

Madd Hoss Jackson is a trio of musicians who have been performing in the Midwest for several years, playing everything from country to classic rock. They have also traveled extensively, and have been able to maintain an air of professionalism where others seem to falter.

“In this industry, sometimes it’s tough to balance everything,” said Jim Jennings, drummer, and vocalist for the band. “People get to travel, and everybody wants to party with them, and there’s a lot of temptations out there. You have to be strong to be able to stay away from it. We see that, but we’ve seen a lot of bands get torn apart because of addiction.”

Giving Back and Building Up Our Communities

These musicians and Best Drug Rehabilitation participated in this event for one of the best causes that we can think of – educating our youth while building up our communities. It is crucially important to offer them alternatives to drugs and alcohol and to show them the potential they have in life if we hope to lead them away from that dangerous and deadly path properly. By encouraging art, music, athletics, and academics, we strive to help shape our teens and young adults into the strong leaders we will need tomorrow. Giving back by building up our communities is just one way that we lead by example and show our patients, and indeed everybody, just how vital it is to help out wherever and whenever we can.

Volunteering at an animal shelter

Volunteering at an Animal Shelter is Therapeutic for Clients

With a focus on being an integral part of their community, staff members and clients at the Best Drug Rehabilitation treatment facility in Manistee, MI are always looking for ways to give back to those who are less fortunate. While they’re typically volunteering to help underprivileged families, they haven’t forgotten about their four-legged friends either. They spend time volunteering at an animal shelter every week.

Nothing is more peaceful and serene than spending time with our four-legged friends along with the joy you bring to them that you realize when playing with or taking them for a walk. Animals love any small bit of attention given to them, and they also show you how grateful they are by their wagging tails and many kisses. Who can’t feel better after spending time with these friends while volunteering at an animal shelter while at the same time improving their quality of life?

Volunteering at an Animal Shelter Touches BDR Clients’ Hearts

Every week, Best Drug Rehabilitation takes 5-10 patients to the Homeward Bound Animal Shelter to help clean the animals’ living areas, bathe the animals, feed them, and spend quality time with them, including taking them for walks. Out of all of their community service events, this one, in particular, has touched the hearts of many Best Drug Rehab clients.

Some BDR Clients Intend to Adopt Pets After Volunteering at an Animal Shelter

Several of our clients have already taken information from the shelter to adopt a pet once they’ve completed their recovery programs. “I love animals, and being able to spend a small part of my day making their lives better, makes mine better,” said one client who regularly attends. “Every animal deserves a loving home, and I’m just glad to be a part of helping them get there.”  The love of a pet may even help the client remain sober and in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction!

Clients Taking Time for Community Service

Taking Time for Community Service, Clients Build Toys, Bag Groceries for Local Families

One thing that we’ve always felt important to pass on and teach to our clients is that of the importance of community service.  Drug and alcohol addicts are for so long a major strain on the survival and the vitality of the community that they are a part of, and we believe that a rehabilitation of their ability to be productive and contributing members to society should start right away while they are still in treatment, rather than waiting until they get out of treatment.

For the above reason, we offer many different programs and activities for our clients to involve themselves in what ultimately all leads up to them becoming better and brighter individuals in the long run, and much more valuable to society and less likely to relapse as a result of it too.  This is a win-win situation for all involved, as the clients learn how to be more active in community service. and how to focus on others and not so much on themselves, and it is good for the community too.

How We Accomplish Community Service

Throughout the year we make a point to offer many different community-related activities to our clients.  True enough, our programs are some of the best out there we feel, and our clients certainly do benefit from them.  In particular, we tend to do a lot of community work around the holidays.

We’ve always felt that the holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and to be thankful for all that we have and to be joyous and loving in general, regardless of religion or personal beliefs. This is a time of the year that we take the time that many want to give back to those who are less fortunate.  Regular people outside of rehab centers do this all the time, so why not do the same with clients in a rehab center?  We started doing this a few years back, and we’ve kept it up as a tradition ever since then.

Best Drug Rehabilitation is definitely focused on being an integral part of their Manistee, Michigan community. We want to make a good impression here and to help out in any way we can.  For these reasons, our staff and clients alike look for opportunities to celebrate where they are today, and also to give back through community service to those around them in an effort to give back to humanity, since humanity never did turn their back on them no matter how bad their addictions got.

Community Service Last Christmas at Best Drug Rehab

Last year our clients here at Best Drug Rehabilitation teamed up with Lowe’s to build toys for children and for families in need.  The toys that our clients made were then donated to children at the Mason County Central Schools, who were selected as being in need of such toys with the help of the Mason County Reformed Food Pantry.  This experience gave our clients a feeling of purpose and joy through community service, knowing that they were effectively helping to improve someone’s life in some way, shape, or form.

This project had such a great result for our clients last year that we took another step with it and started another project just a week later, a few days into the new year of 2016.  We teamed up with the Mason County Reformed church.  This church is famous for hosting a food pantry every week, where they have been able to donate to no less than 88 families in need in the Mason County central schools in the holiday season of 2015 alone. To help reach this number of 88, clients from BDR under the supervision of staff members helped to bag groceries and move items from the church to where they would be sent out for delivery to the families.

This was only one of many community efforts that our clients have engaged in, and we plan to do more in this realm in the future too, simply because it is good to give back to the community and it is very helpful for our clients.  Our Executive Director had this to say about it:

“Our patients have come a long way in their lives, overcoming a lot of challenges. It’s gratifying for them to be able to now help those around them.  Being able to get out and involved in the community helping others, especially around the holidays, is something we don’t take for granted.”

We will continue these community service programs, and we know that they will continue to be very helpful to our clients and to the community alike.  In the long run, our hope is to make the world a better place, not just one rehabilitated addict at a time, but also by each and every act of kindness that we as a group engage in.


Clients volunteer for Lowe's
BDR clients build toys for local children through Lowe’s.
Clients Giving Back to Community by Singing Carols at Nursing Home

Clients Sing Christmas Carols at Nursing Home as a Way of Giving Back

One of our principles at Best Drug Rehabilitation is to do our best by giving back to the community, and to teach our clients about the benefits of doing this too.  Drug and alcohol addicts are usually such strains on the lives of those around them and on their home communities in general, so it is important to really give them the opportunity to give back to the community and do good deeds.  Doing good deeds is immensely beneficial for those who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, because it not only gives them a strong sense of responsibility and activity, but it also gives them something to look forward to and something to live for.  It is the whole, “These people are relying on me so I can’t afford to relapse,” technique at work.  It is a classic rehabilitative method, and it accomplishes two goals at once by effectively helping the community too.  Giving back to others is beneficial while on the road to substance abuse recovery in many ways.

Giving Back Benefits Clients as Well as Community

In addition to the classic “pay it forward” mentality that is so very beneficial for those who are addicted, (giving to others as others have given to you), those in recovery gain perspective and physiological benefits too. These benefits stem from engaging in charitable efforts such as improved self-esteem and self-confidence too, finding more purpose and meaning in life and improving a sense of community for themselves and for their loved ones through giving back.

It is a win-win situation for many different people and it is an activity that we strongly support at Best Drug Rehabilitation.  While we recognize and are very aware of the security risks of taking clients out of the facility for a day trip to go help out with a community event, we always prepare for this and make sure that they are closely chaperoned.  We have never had an incident in our many years of doing this, and the benefits of getting our clients so very closely involved in the community just takes the cake when it comes to helping out in the community and helping our clients in giving back too.

What We Did Last Christmas

The staff and the clients at Best Drug Rehabilitation have been focused on the initiative throughout the holiday season year after year after year of engaging in community programs and volunteering their time to bring joy into the lives of others.  Recovering addicts have gotten so used to being a drag on the lives of their family members and loved ones that this type of activity is truly beneficial to them as it really does give them a chance to give back and to make a difference in the world in a positive way for once.  This activity is basically giving to others through adopted families and spreading joy to those within the community in one way or another.

Around Christmas time last year On December 20, Santa Claus (one of our own BDR staff members), the BDR music director, Dan, and numerous clients from the facility went to Green Acres nursing home in Manistee, Michigan to sing carols to the residents at the live-in home.  Best Drug Rehabilitation’s Executive Director Veronica Johnson had this to say about the trip:

  • “The clients get to experience fun and joy not associated with drugs or alcohol.  It’s wonderful to see the joy on the faces of the residents from doing something so simple. The clients really enjoyed the experience.  It’s not only a positive from a recovery standpoint, but it also allows clients to see that the holidays can be a fun experience without the temptation or use of drugs and alcohol.  There really are countless benefits.”

Johnson has been an advocate for engaging BDR clients in community volunteer programs since she took the position of Executive Director more than five years ago.  BDR’s outreach efforts extend beyond the holidays too, and every year the center facilitates multiple programs and volunteer efforts that all have the goal of engaging the clients in various community programs and volunteer activities.  The overall goal and mission is to really get the clients thinking with how they can start giving back into the community and helping out.  Volunteering time has an unmistakable reward and benefit for those who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and from substance abuse in general.

The plan for Best Drug Rehabilitation is to continue to involve their clients in community programs.  It is a win, win, win situation for all involved and all engaged in the activity, and the end result is that the community improves, and the lives and the overall sobriety of the recovered addicts improve too.  Best Drug Rehabilitation is firmly dedicated to these efforts and will continue to pursue them for years to come.


Singing Christmas carols
Clients and staff at Best Drug Rehabilitation sing Christmas carols to residents at a local nursing home.
BDR Purchasing and Giving Gifts to Local Families in Need

Staff and Clients Purchasing and Giving Gifts to Local Families

As the holiday season approaches, the staff and clients of Best Drug Rehabilitation (BDR) in Manistee, Mich. have been in the giving spirit. BDR adopted three families through Love, INC and FiveCAP, Inc. to provide holiday gifts for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it.

“It’s a great thing for the staff and clients to get involved in this giving process,” said BDR Chief Operating Officer Amber Howe. “Not only are they able to help the less fortunate, but they work together and build camaraderie as a team.”

Giving was Truly a Team Effort

Staff went out to purchase gifts for recipients that ranged in age from infant to grandparent. Gift suggestions were provided by Love, INC and FiveCAP, Inc., many of which were practical in nature. BDR was sure to get the practical gifts but also wanted to add a little extra to ensure the kids had some fun opening up presents.

“We didn’t just want to fulfill needs, we wanted to provide some fun,” said Howe. “These families may not be able to afford toys and games for the kids and it’s nice to be able to give them something to allow them to be carefree — even if just for one day.”

Once the gifts were purchased, a group of clients got together to wrap them for giving to the families.

“It feels good to be a part of something like this,” said one client. “Knowing that we are helping others have a happy and fun holiday really means a lot.”

BDR adopted families
Clients at Best Drug Rehabilitation pose in front of purchased and wrapped gifts for adopted families.
Elk Rapids High School Baseball

Best Drug Rehabilitation Donates to Elk Rapids High School Baseball

It’s been an ongoing mission and focus of Best Drug Rehabilitation (BDR), a rehabilitation facility in Manistee, Michigan, to do their part in local communities to help nurture youth, and support events that encourage healthy behavior and aim to keep kids away from drugs and alcohol. On August 7, Executive Director of BDR Amber Howe presented a check for $1,000 to the Elk Rapids High School baseball team. The event, put on by the school’s baseball boosters, took place during Elk Rapids High School annual “Future Games,” in which returning baseball players and incoming freshman face off in an intra-squad exhibition.

“It was a privilege to represent my amazing team at the ‘Future Games’,” said Howe. “We were honored to kick off the fundraising, and to take a leadership role in support of such a worthy cause.”Former Detroit Lions’ All-Pro wide receiver Herman Moore threw out the first pitch to kick things off, and all funds donated, including those made by BDR, will be used to improve the school’s baseball field, which is in need of significant repairs.Moore was joined on the field by BDR’s CEO Per Wickstrom, who sees a greater value in funding these types of events.

For Wickstrom and his staff, it goes beyond just supporting high school athletics.

“Baseball and other high school sports are a vital part of a community’s social fabric –and even more in smaller, tight-knit communities like Elk Rapids,” said Wickstrom. “The benefits and impact extend far beyond victories on the field, court, rink or gym. They give kids opportunities and outlets that are positive, uplifting and pay dividends for the rest of their lives.

“They can also play a significant role in helping kids avoid situations and influences that could eventually lead to drug and alcohol experimentation, abuse and addiction.”

It takes the generosity of places like BDR to make a difference in the lives of these kids, as well as their communities, and the hope is that the continuation of this event, and others like it, will instill good values for their future.

“The greatest thing about it is that it keeps the kids busy, it keeps them out of trouble,” said Wickstrom during the event. “Athletics are the best. If you get all the young kids educated with what drugs are, we’d be a lot further ahead with all of the problems that we have.”

Per Wickstrom Speaks at Salute to Detroit Hometown Heroes

Per Wickstrom, CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation and A Forever Recovery, drug and alcohol treatment facilities in Michigan, spoke at the “A Salute to Detroit’s Hometown Heroes” event at Ford Field in Detroit on June 8, 2013 to honor those who have been committed to turning the city around and ending the drug epidemic that continues to threaten the community.

During the event, which was a benefit for Mack Alive and it’s partnership for a Drug Free Detroit program, Wickstrom was awarded the Spirit of Detroit award for his hard work and determination to help the city of Detroit combat drug and alcohol abuse.

“In sitting back and looking out at Detroit –and Detroit has gotten knocked down to it’s knees–the way you fix anything is to handle the youth,” said Wickstrom. “The youth of today are tomorrow’s Detroit’s heroes.

“We have to fix the youth and if we can fix our children and help our children get educated, and help them get educated on what’s bad about drugs and alcohol, we can win the war. People might think I’m crazy for those thoughts, but it actually can be done.

”Wickstrom was joined by several of the city’s well-known athletes, including World Champion boxer and Detroit native Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, former Detroit Lions Herman Moore, Ron Rice, Mel Farr, Rob Rubick and Corey Schlesinger, and current Detroit Piston Greg Monroe.

“Ford Field truly came alive with energy, enthusiasm and pride for our community and Detroit’s youth,” Wickstrom said on his website. “Our challenge now is to take this energy out into the community and continue to make a difference.

“There will be setbacks and disappointments. Having struggled with substance abuse myself for over 10 years, I know that change does not happen overnight. But with continued commitment, we can make Detroit a drug-free city.”


imagination heals event

Imagination Heals Launch

imagination heals event

Best Drug Rehabilitation CEO Per Wickstrom, to Launch Program “Imagination Heals” Feb. 22 at Beverly Hilton

The launch of “Imagination Heals” is expected to inspire children around the country to maintain their hope regardless of their situation. Per Wickstrom, the CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, is planning to launch the program on February 22, 2013 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in the Wilshire Ballroom.

The Program

“Imagination Heals” is a program that celebrates the profound effect of music and the arts on human health. Best Drug Rehabilitation offers holistic healing and has the top experts in the field of healing through alternative medicine. The CEO, Per Wickstrom, has noticed the effects on the lives of those who are struggling with illness and the event promises to celebrate the successes, hope and happiness that art brings to others.

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[fontawesome icon=”leaf” circle=”no” size=”medium”]Awards

During the event, awards will be presented to programs that focus on bringing the arts and joy to children around the country. Discovery Arts will receive the “Imagination Heals Pioneer Award” for more than 20 years of bringing the arts to children with debilitating and life-threatening illnesses. The “Butterfly Award” will be presented to Lester Chambers for his role and commitment to Pacha’s Pajamas and the program.[/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”]

[fontawesome icon=”leaf” circle=”no” size=”medium”]Entertainment

Entertainment at the event will focus on a performance by Pacha’s Pajamas, a book reading and the awards presentation. Several confirmed celebrity guests are expected to attend, such as Cathy Rigby and Jim Brown. Although some guests are confirmed, surprise celebrity guest appearances are expected.[/one_half]

How “Imagination Heals” Helps Children

Although the February 22, 2013 event will celebrate the successes of the arts and music on the lives of children, the program is not limited to short-term successes. The goal of “Imagination Heals” is bringing art and music into the lives of children.

Children’s hospitals are seeing a large number of problems that afflict families each day. The diseases that children face are often debilitating and shocking. From problems like asthma to severe forms of cancer, children are struggling to keep a positive attitude while undergoing treatment.

“Imagination Heals” is a program that is focused on bringing music and art into the lives of children in the hospitals around the country. Music and art provide children with positive reinforcement during challenging times in their lives and helps reduce feelings of depression or anxiety that might impact a child’s life.

The music and art go beyond just helping children through the challenging times. It is also a form of alternative medicine with music or art therapy that helps distract children from pain or discomfort during their treatment. The program is also educational and entertaining to help children learn, grow and laugh while spending time in a hospital.

Donations and Opening

The “Imagination Heals” sponsors are not limiting the involvement to a night of celebration. The event is only the launch of helpful programs. Best Drug Rehabilitation and other sponsors are donating 10,000 copies of Pacha’s Pajamas soundtracks and books to different children’s hospitals around the country. The books and soundtracks will provide children with entertainment and music while they are undergoing treatment.

The launch of “Imagination Heals” will begin on February 22, 2013 at 6:00 PM. During the opening of the event and program, media interviews and the arrival of guests are expected. The entertainment will begin at 6:45 PM and will continue through the different events that are planned for the night.

The CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, Per Wickstrom, understands the profound effect of music and art on the lives of others. With the launch of “Imagination Heals,” more children will have access to music, books and the arts during times when life is full of challenges.


Elite Fighting and Fitness – Founded by Per Wickstrom

Forging a Foundation for Recovery

I hit rock bottom at the age of 38. I could no longer play sports, I could no longer enjoy football games, I could no longer hang out with my friends. Nothing mattered but getting high and drinking. Luckily I found an addiction treatment center that saved my life.


I decided to open up a boxing center and partner with my good friend and former WBO Cruiserweight World Champion, Tyrone Booze, and I dedicated my life to helping those people in need. That is why I built Best Drug Rehabilitation, a leading addiction treatment center.

With Tyrone Booze and Sugar Ray Tony Rozario, we are creating a youth boxing academy here in Battle Creek, Michigan. As a young man I was a professional boxer; I was very good, but there were better. Like the old story goes, there’s always somebody better around the corner. My experience with boxing taught me how sports can help children and young adults; they learn the value of hard work, they learn the value of being a disciplined individual, and they learn to respect one another.

As children, we dream about changing the world and doing amazing creative things. But somewhere along the way, a thing called reality kicks in and tells us we shouldn’t dream big; but that instead, we should dream realistically, we should work from 9 to 5, and we should just be a part of this big machine we call society. Many people, in fact, because of those reasons turn to alcohol and drugs.

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Life is a lot like boxing, you’re gonna get hit. What matters is if you have it in you to get back up when you’ve been knocked down.

I took it as my mission to help all the addicted people in this world recover from any drug and alcohol problem. That is why it’s so important not only to instill good values to our youth, but also to provide them with organized outlets to express their creativity, exercise, and most of all, to compete against one another in a safe environment.

Life is a lot like boxing, you’re gonna get hit. What matters is if you have it in you to get back up when you’ve been knocked down.


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