My name is Hal Ofstie and I am an alcoholic/addict. The road to my finding a workable recovery program, in which I could feel happily and usefully whole, had many rough patches along the way. It included many stop-offs at some of the best drug rehab centers in the country. And while I had the desire to stop drinking and drugging (most of the time), even the best drug rehab centers were not able to instill in me whatever it took to enable me to put together any serious amount of time clean and sober. The overwhelming compulsion to use would inevitably come back, stronger than ever, and all rational thought would go out the window. I realized with time that although I was attending the best drug rehab centers money could offer, the overall time I was spending in them (28-90 days) was not enough.

I realized I needed long term addiction treatment in a structured sober living environment. Most of the sober living environments that I tried proved to be not very structured; living in most of them entailed being told, “find a job, go to a meeting, and the rents due on Tuesday”. Most of the clients (including me) ended up watching TV all day and eventually relapsing. I was getting near the end of my rope. I realized I needed more than just a halfway house to sit around and try not to think about drinking in, I needed a combination of long term addiction treatment with a structured sober living house. There were plenty of long term addiction treatment centers, and plenty of “structured” sober living environments, but a place that put the two together in the right combination seemed to be as elusive as finding a unicorn.

Finally, a little over a year ago, after relapsing and being ejected from my third halfway house while living in Miami, a friend of my parents told them about a place called the Gonzalez Recovery Residences in Vero Beach Florida, near where they lived. After telling me about it I realized I had found what I was looking for, that perfect mixture of long term addiction treatment with a beautiful structured sober living environment. The houses were clean and beautiful, just about everybody got their own bedroom; it was much like what Boris Gonzalez, it’s founder, described as a “sober college”. At the GRR the clients received personal attention at all times, it offered three spiritual growth groups a week at the house, attendance of 10 12 step meetings a week, regular exercise at a health club, regular activities and a beautiful house in which to learn how to get and stay sober, then integrate yourself back into society at a pace that’s right for the individual.

What is of key importance at the GRR is offering a comfortable living environment for the person learning how to live without drugs and alcohol, one that keeps them active, and engages them in a healthy lifestyle in which they can enjoy staying sober.

Since coming to the GRR I have learned to embrace recovery and have come to enjoy life in a way that seemed unimaginable to me a year and a half ago. Coming here was one of the best decisions I have made in my adult life. I will forever be grateful to my parent’s friend in recovery (who is now also a friend of mine) for telling them about the GRR.

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