Our Day in Court

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

But I am convinced of a couple of things:

First, to all you naysayers out there, Sherwood Hills Recovery will, in the end, be my salvation and not my undoing. The Sherwood Hills project and I go way back, to before 2000 (1998 to be exact), but never have I enjoyed business as much as I have in the last year acting as executive director of Sherwood Recovery. Understand this, I’ve made no money. In fact, I’ve lost A LOT especially in the first two years of operation when the rehab was so mismanaged. Contrary to what you may hear, this venture called Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort has NEVER been about making money, but rather has been about making a difference. “Changing the world” is what I have called it, one soul at a time. And, regardless of how it may now appear, the work we have done at Sherwood Recovery is a good and a noble work, and frankly we (the whole team) did it well. We underestimated our enemies, however. I never imagined the state would be so bold and so careless in making a case for shutdown. I believed in the process and never imagined that those in the licensing department could be suckered into taking what, in the end, will be an indefensible position.

So, my dear reader, I do not need your approval or anyone else’s for that matter, but rather am determined to allow the wheels of justice to turn, however slowly, in resolution of this matter. And I am truly grateful to Teresa Jones, the licensing specialist in charge, who has given me the best possible facts that I could ever hope for through her sloppiness and her ignorance. My regret is to those 43 clients of ours she cast out of treatment on the last day and to the 88 employees and their families she hurt to get at me. May we all reap what we sow….that’s my hope and my prayer. And, in the meantime, I’ll commit my time, my energy and my money to helping people in every way I can, who struggle with substance abuse issues.

Richard M Knapp, Executive Director

Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort



Addiction and the Primitive Mind

Addiction’s roots are in the primitive brain.

Evolution of Man Pic

Addiction Has Roots in the Brain


My “Addiction’s Primitive Roots” video script has been produced, and it’s not too bad.
See for yourself. – Richard M Knapp

Addiction’s Primitive Roots

This is an awesome educational video
explaining how the brain works in addiction.

Good4Utah Interviews Sherwood Recovery

Sherwood Hills Recovery’s executive director, Richard M Knapp, appeared last week (Thursday 5/18/16 at 9:45am) on Good 4 Utah to talk briefly about addiction and to review Sherwood’s Christian philosophy about how to treat those who suffer from addiction.  Take a look.


Another two minute interview will be televised the first week in June 2016.

Press Release: “A Noble Work” Published

“A Noble Work,” addressing training for those in the substance abuse treatment industry has been released.

RMK at 50 July 4th 2Sherwood Hills Recovery director, Richard M Knapp, released his first book in a series of three on the subject of substance abuse treatment.  “A Noble Work” sets forth the philosophy Knapp has been teaching since the treatment center opened 3 years ago.

Inside “A Noble Work” Knapp clearly sets forth a very loving philosophy regarding addicts and addiction. First of all, we don’t use the word “addict,” and those suffering from addiction are not to be shunned. When it comes to treatment, they say at Sherwood Hills Recovery,

Once an addict, NOT always an addict” and “one size DOES NOT fit all.”

“A Noble Work” accommodates the various needs of different clients using a multifaceted, evidence-based approach to treat people seeking help at Knapp’s “place of healing” in the mountains of northern Utah. “If a treatment or an approach helps even just some of the people, then it’s worth it.” To aggregate all these treatments under one roof, the Center for Innovative Therapies was born.  While some approaches could be deemed unconventional by some, there are those who feel that they are being “helped.”

The entire focus of Knapp’s philosophy is to discover and treat the underlying causes of addiction rather than the addiction itself.  “Addiction is not the disease but is the symptom of a disease,” says Knapp. Once you begin to understand why someone “drinks or uses drugs” then you can help them long term.  Answering the question, “Why do we do what we do?” Is the beginning of all understanding and is the key to change.

Once his clients understand the why, they can begin to forgive themselves for their substance use. To get clients to a better place, “they need to be lifted up.” One of the biggest things Knapp says is lacking in treatment programs today is that little is done to boost the devastated self-esteem so common with “addiction sufferers.” To this end, Sherwood Recovery brings in an array of speakers on various topics including addiction, nutrition, families & marriage and success.

The book, “A Noble Work” is actually a workbook to be used in staff training because not everyone knows addiction like the former addict. Much of the workbook requires the reader to not only read and study, but think and analyze and write in appropriate answers.

This first draft is available only to staff and employees of the treatment center, although future printings will be made available for public purchase.

In coming months, the remaining two volumes will be published, each with a different angle on treatment. Volume 2 will be the client program manual and Volume 3 will be a support booklet for families of those in treatment.

“Some Interesting Thoughts About Addiction”

by Richard M Knapp, Executive Director

Those of us who sit around and think at Sherwood Hills Recovery have come up with some interesting ideas about addiction.

First of all, the term “addict” is often used in a derogatory way and its offensive.  Maybe it’s because I struggled with these issues myself some years ago?   Or maybe labeling people like this is just plain hurtful and creates another obstacle for those struggling to overcome as they try their best to put their lives back together.  Either way, in this modern age of “political correctness” you would think that there would be a better word for this.  Substance abuse victims?  Those who struggle?  Habitually-challenged?  Pick your favorite.

Here at Sherwood Hills Recovery we take a novel position regarding addiction when we say that “addiction is not a disease but the symptom of a disease.”  Like a runny nose is only an indication of a viral infection, for example.  In our case the drinking and drugging or any other addictive behavior for that matter, has roots which go far deeper.

  1. Perhaps, with some, there are genetic factors.
  2. Others have experienced trauma in their past.
  3. Some suffer from stressful
  4. Maybe a few have acquired these bad habits from their upbringing.
  5. And still there are many find that their addictions have roots in a core or fundamental level of shame.

So, in trying to ask ourselves “why we do what we do?”  

So why do we drink?  And why do we drug?   

The answer to these questions are key.  Only by getting to the underlying cause of addiction, can we begin to help someone long-term.

Now, there are those that scoff at the idea that there is a cure for addiction.  For those people, I merely rephrased my sentence, “we address the underlying cause of the addictions and notice a significant reduction in these destructive behaviors.”  After all, we are in the treatment industry.  So why would we then dare take the position that “once an addict, always an addict.”  If people can’t be helped, well then we might all as well go home.

Well, how is this done?

We employ a “body, mind and spirit” model at Sherwood Hills Recovery.  We first cleanse the body of toxins with our Sauna-Vitamin Detox ™ so that clients feel better and are attentive during their classes, groups and appointments.  Then, using Neurofeedback we retrain and recalibrate the mind, preparing the brain to depend only on itself for pleasure and not on outside substances.  Finally, we put a substantial focus our therapeutic efforts on releasing the “spirit” of our clients, helping them get their own answers to the question of why they do what they do.

Unlike other traditional treatment centers, we are not a 12-step facility.  The steps are only one of many tools available at our disposal to be used for “getting at” those underlying causes.  Aside from those things that every treatment center does, like individual and group therapy, we do some very innovative things.  We’ve established the Center for Innovative Therapies at Sherwood Recovery to administrate some of these cutting-edge approaches to addiction medicine.  The IT Center has, among other detoxification and rejuvenation treatments typically only found in high-end day spas:

  • Recreational / experiential therapies
  • Essential oils in addiction recovery
  • Acupressure
  • Spiritual healing
  • Horticulture therapy
  • Art and music therapy
  • Sand tray therapy and,
  • And more…

We believe that by keeping the number of treatment options as large as possible, we are more likely going to be able to find something that works for most people.  “One size does not fit all” and what helps one person is not as effective with another.  Eventually, we hope to find something that works for each person to make a real difference in their life.

We say here, “Now is the time.  This is the place.”

The time:  Is now, of course.  And if you don’t believe me, ask those that mourn loved ones lost to addictions.  I’d love to prevent any further casualties that can be thwarted with timely treatment.

The place:  Our treatment center is a former mini-resort hotel on 706 acres in the mountains of northern Utah.  This place has become a “place of healing” for those seeking humbly the chance to change.  Changing is what it’s all about.  And in substance abuse treatment, you have to change everything before you’ll change anything.   The real change happens in the hearts and minds of our clients, but once you realize what you are doing for individuals and families and friends and for all those that are affected when someone recovers from the claws of addiction, you realize that what we are really doing is changing the world, one soul at a time.

Well, changing the world is hard work sometimes and the hours are long, but in the 25 years that I have worked in other industries prior to this, I have not found the deep satisfaction like I have in doing this.

Here at Sherwood Recovery, We have given substance abuse treatment a name, we call it a “noble work” because it is just that — noble, good, and right. After all, we are saving lives.

In conclusion, I am grateful to be alive to deliver this message.  My own life was nearly forfeited to my own addictions years ago.  But I stubbornly survived, and those closest to me never gave up on me.   I guess that’s why I don’t give up on these people, my people, these “addicts.

Of equal importance, is that I am really quite lucky to have found my life’s work, my noble work, in substance abuse treatment.   And I am even luckier still to be able to have found the kind of people who share my “noble dream”, the men and women with whom I now work, every day, side-by-side.




What comes to mind when you think of freedom? Some people think about being able to live in a free country. Some think it’s have a vehicle, to travel wherever and whenever they would like. What about just being able to go do pretty much anything, without the fear, stress, anxiety, and worry about how you’re going to get your next fix? Of being able to schedule an evening to spend with family and/or friends, without fear of not knowing whether or not you’ll be in withdrawls. Freedom to spend your time and money how you want, instead of continually searching out different ways to fulfil your addiction’s needs.

When was the last time you had freedom? Isn’t it about time you take that back?