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On the Phone


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  • What services do you offer?
    We work with people suffering from various substance and behavioural addictions. We also work with people affected by someone else’s addiction, including friends and family members. We offer one-on-one outpatient counselling and groups, and also provide referrals to other professionals or agencies. We work with clientele of all ages. Our services are primarily in English.
  • What training does your staff have?
    Our team includes master-level social workers and psychologists, certified addictions counsellors, and an intern from Concordia University's Master's Program in Drama Therapy. Individual counsellors also have areas of specialization, including families, youth, codependency, concurrent disorders and sexual addiction.
  • Do I have to be Jewish to come here?
    Absolutely not. Addiction does not discriminate, and neither do we!
  • What does the Chabad in Chabad Lifeline mean?
    Put simply, Chabad in Hebrew is an acronym made up of the words: Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge. Besides being an acronym, Chabad is also the name of a community that is committed to making the world a better place for everyone, whatever the cultural, social or religious background.
  • Are all your staff Jewish and will you to try to convert me?
    No to both questions. Our only goal is to help everyone become healthier and happier people.
  • What kind of groups do you offer?
    Check out our weekly schedule by going to Programs and Services.
  • I don’t have an addiction myself, but a family member does, and it’s creating havoc for the rest of us. Can you help?
    Absolutely! Addiction affects the whole family. Our help in this area includes individual counselling for the affected friend or relative, family counselling and a group dynamics group for families.
  • Do you charge?
    No one will be turned away due to financial constraints. Most of our services are free, including short-term crisis intervention, individual counselling, referrals, and several of our groups.
  • How are you funded?
    Our budget is covered by private donations.
  • I’m Jewish. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Montreal’s Anglophone Jewish community is pretty small. I’m looking for support, but I’m worried others will find out that I’m coming for help.
    You are not the first. We’re very sensitive to this need for anonymity – for clients generally, but also for clients who are members of the Jewish community. If this is a particular concern for you, bring it up with the counsellor when you call. We will work with your concerns.
  • You used to be called Project Pride. Why did you change your name?
    Our organization has evolved since we first started up 27 years ago. PRIDE stood for Preventative. Resources. Information. Drug. Education. In our early years, we focused more on education and prevention. Today our focus is on counselling addicts and families - much better reflected by the Lifeline concept.
  • Are you easy to get to by public transit?
    Couldn’t be easier! We’re one block east of the Cote Ste. Catherine metro station, next door to the Jewish General Hospital (corner of Lavoie St.).
  • That’s a pretty nice building you’re in. Do other groups use it, too?
    Glad you asked! Our space is also used by a number of 12-step groups, including Cocaine Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, Codependents Anonymous, Emotions Anonymous (for Women), Gamblers Anonymous, and Survivors of Incest and Sexual Abuse Anonymous.
  • What are your hours of operation?
    Mondays to Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Outside of those hours, our space is used by 12-step groups.
  • Is there a good time to drop in and see the place?
    Come to one of our open meetings, held each Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Based on the philosophy of the 12 steps, open meetings are open to anyone concerned by addictions – addicts, friends, members of the public, health-care professionals. Each meeting includes a recovering addict who tells his or her story. There’s warmth, sharing, inspiration and both seriousness and laughter. Another option is to call Rabbi Bresinger and tell him you would love to try one of his famous peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. He’ll give you the rundown and show you around.
  • Who can I phone for more information?
    Call us at (514) 738-7700.
  • What is substance abuse rehabilitation?
    "Why is it necessary to go away to an in-house substance abuse rehabilitation centre?" Treatment is for those who cannot or will not stop their use of alcohol or drugs without the help of a special program - usually those who have become physically and/or psychologically dependent on alcohol and/or drugs. Treatment can be in-patient or out–patient. In particular, the in-patient treatment helps the person start their rehabilitation in a safe environment with intensive support and therapeutic services.
  • What are the harmful consequences of drug use?
    In brief, drugs can be considered harmful when their use causes negative physical, mental, social, legal or economic problems.
  • What is a “12-Step Meeting”? (I heard the groups are very religious and cult-like!)
    12-step meetings make up a support system that is based on spiritual rather than religious concepts.
  • How do I know if I am a sex addict?
    The primary way to identify any addictive behaviour is to consider whether it is causing negative or unwelcome problems, and yet you return to it anyway. If your sexual behaviours have caused consequences to your legal status, relationships, career, health (emotional or physical), yet you continue to engage in those sexual behaviours anyway, then there is likely a problem. You know that you are a sex addict if your sexual behaviours take up more time, energy and focus than you would like, or if they cause you to act in ways that go against your underlying values and beliefs. Men and women who are sexual addicts will frequently say to themselves, "This is the last time that I am going to...", yet they will find themselves ultimately feeling driven to return to the same sexual situations, despite previous commitments to change.
  • Can masturbation and pornography be a part of sex addiction?
    Compulsive masturbation with or without the use of pornography, and the compulsive viewing of porn with or without masturbation, both present longstanding problems for many sex addicts. Whether it is through cybersex, phone sex lines, videos, or porn magazines, or simply through fantasy, sexual addicts can lose hours daily to the isolating activities of fantasy and masturbation. Sexual addiction is not necessarily defined by having sex with another partner; some sexual addicts are too afraid of getting caught, getting a disease or being rejected to seek out partners for their acting out. Instead, those involved in compulsive masturbation or compulsive viewing of pornography may lead lonely, disconnected lives, never really understanding what it is that keeps them from real intimacy and connection with those around them. Many sexual addicts who utilize compulsive masturbation as their primary way of sexual acting out are in complete denial that their patterns of sexual release are any different than most people. Caught in compulsive patterns — often begun in childhood or adolescence — the sex addict who is masturbating compulsively may masturbate every night to get to sleep or every morning in the shower. Thus, these behaviours become as much a part of their daily routine as eating and sleeping.
  • If alcoholics and drug addicts define "being sober" by not drinking or using mind altering chemicals, how does a sexual addict define sobriety without having to abstain from sex altogether?"
    Unlike sobriety from the use of substances, sexual sobriety is not usually defined as abstinence from sex, although it is strongly advised to take a period of celibacy to allow the brain, which has been over-stimulated, to calm down, to gain perspective on what it is sex has been medicating, and to establish a sense of empowerment over one’s sexual behaviour. The ultimate goal for sex addicts is to establish or re-establish healthy sexuality.
  • My wife caught me several months ago in online cybersex/romantic chats and porn viewing. At the time, I admitted I had a problem and joined a 12-step program for help. I have not acted out sexually since that time; however, my wife continues to be distant, critical, angry and mistrustful. What can I do to improve our relationship?"
    The situation you describe is one that is frequently encountered by newly recovering sex addicts. Here you are, finally addressing your problem, being truthful with your partner and not acting out. Yet, she is angry, devaluing and distant. What is wrong here? Why isn't she cheering on the good progress you are making and being more understanding that you have a problem you are addressing? Let's look at the reality of the situation here. Although you are doing well and dealing with the issues and deserve lots of support and validation, it seems wrong to ask that your partner be the one to offer you that validation right now. As with many recovering sex addicts, you are missing the partner's side of the issue. Should she cheer for the fact that you are no longer betraying your wedding vows and the sanctity of your relationship, that you have now decided to respect the commitments you made to each other? Put in that context, it can be easier to understand that your partner is deeply hurt, angry and suspicious, and probably will remain that way for some time. Just as she stood by as you emotionally abandoned the relationship through your sexual acting out, you will have to be just as patient with her anger, disappointment and suspicion. It is vital that she express those feelings, even if they are hurtful, difficult and sometimes intolerable to you – it is also vital she get external support for herself.
  • As a woman who acts out compulsively in her sexual behaviour, I have a great deal of fear and embarrassment in addressing these issues and getting help. Almost everything I read and see about sex addicts refers to men and their behaviours. This makes me feel like a woman can't have this problem or she has to be even sicker to have it. Yet, I think I am a sex addict and I really struggle with this."
    First of all, there are many women sex addicts. No, the problem is not as common or obvious for women as it is seen to be in men, but that doesn't mean that there aren't many, many women who suffer from compulsive sexual and romantic behaviours - there are. In your comment, you hit on a major reason why so few women feel comfortable coming forth and admitting to having a sexual addiction problem. After all, what do we call a man who frequently acts out with sexual conquests and sexualized behaviour? Terms like stud, macho, dude or just plain lucky are the kinds of references that are most often culturally made to men in this category. But what of the woman who frequently engages in sexual activity? There our terms are quite different. Women in this category the culture calls sluts, whores, loose, etc. Not exactly the kind of validation that anyone would want to acknowledge. So, while our society often rewards men for excessive sexual behaviour, it simultaneously punishes and devalues women for the same activities. No wonder it is so difficult for women to come forth and admit they have a problem. Males today dominate most sexual recovery meetings, though this is beginning to change and even that culture has difficulty acknowledging that women do act out sexually. Increasingly, 12-step sexual recovery programs are opening themselves and their membership to more women, some providing women-only sessions, others more mixed meetings. Most local support group lists will state those meetings open to women sex addicts. It is essential for women in sexual recovery to seek out and find the fellowship of other recovering women to share their stories and reduce the stigma of being a woman with this problem.
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