Trauma, Addiction and Recovery: My Journey

R.T.A., Narconon Suncoast Graduate
R.T.A., Narconon Suncoast Graduate

I am proud to say I am a recovering addict who has just successfully completed the Narconon Program. Before I started the experimental stage of drug use, my life was not the best. From a youth to a teenager, I was in 18 different foster homes and a victim of molestation, rape, and torture. Living with family on and off, I finally decided to run away entirely at age 16.

I was a full-blown addict to meth, heroin, marijuana, alcohol and everything in between. My addiction led me into the pits of despair, loneliness, depression, and illegal activities that led me to juvenile hall, county jail, and eventually prison.

Through many years in and out of prison due to my addiction, I wound up in several rehabs and sober living facilities. Family wrote me off and I was alone. In 2015, I met my fiancée and for the first time, I felt true love. In 2017, I moved to Michigan from California. After many relapses and 3 beautiful babies, I decided to try recovery one more time. In May of 2021, I left back for California to rehab and returned in June. By the 4th of July, I was already drinking again. This was followed by a solid year of continued drug use.

In early February of 2022, my fiancée had been through enough and gave me an ultimatum. Either find a rehab or pack your stuff and get out. It was at this time that a family friend of ours found Narconon Suncoast. Scared, nervous, and strung out, I headed for Florida for approximately 3 months.

Upon arriving at Narconon Suncoast, I was immediately relieved and appreciative of the welcome I received. The food was amazing and many of the staff knew exactly what I was going through and that was very comforting. After only a couple of days something clicked, and I knew I was going to stay and complete this program.

After completing the withdrawal portion of the program, I regained a lot of confidence after spending time with the staff and learning to embrace being in present time. I experienced my first big win in a class after sauna when I learned about something that helped me appreciate others and communicate with them. This really opened my eyes and I still use it to this day. Inside of the sauna doing the New Life Detoxification, I felt like I was sweating out all the drugs and toxins from my body, I felt renewed. The supervisor was informative and amazing, without her guidance, I would have never made it through.

When I started the Objectives, I was healthier than ever. I gained a total of 32 pounds and was blessed with an amazing twin to continue the program with. During Objectives, she was able to help me walk through past traumas that came up. My time in the life skills portion of the program was the most valuable part of the program for me. I was able to get my trauma and past wrongdoings out on paper and feel a release I have never felt before.

“Having completed the program is the best feeling
I have ever felt in my life.”

The things I have learned here at Narconon Suncoast are essential to my continued recovery. Completing the program is the best feeling I have ever felt in my life. I am looking forward to maintaining contact with the staff here and all the amazing people I have met on this journey.

—R.T.A., Narconon Suncoast Graduate



Justin has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 1 year. Justin earned his Bachelors's Degree in Finance from Florida State University. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Justin is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions.