TROSA Graduate Finds Recovery and a Bright Future
“It’s like two completely different people. There’s a night and day difference between where I was at and what I’m doing now.”
Curtis knows first hand that the road to recovery can be daunting for individuals with substance use disorders. He developed a chronic drug addiction as a way to cope with unresolved issues and abuse stemming from childhood.
He became increasingly dependent on alcohol and harder drugs as he gravitated toward a community of other young users, eventually losing everything before ending up in the hospital. He knew he needed a permanent, life-changing solution to his addiction, so he turned to the Triangle Residential Options for Substances Abusers, Inc. (TROSA).
A licensed treatment facility in Durham, NC, TROSA has provided life-changing support for thousands of men and women recovering from substance use disorders since 1994. Even after making the decision to turn their lives around, many lack the funds, rigorous recovery programming, and encouragement needed to make it happen. A nonprofit organization supported in part by United Way of the Greater Triangle, TROSA empowers participants to lead healthy, productive lives by providing housing, meals, vocational training, life skills classes, health care, counseling, transportation, education advancement opportunities, and more.
Best of all, these services are completely free.
“By providing long-term comprehensive services at no charge, TROSA’s clients (residents) can focus on what matters most: recovery,” says Melissa Spil, TROSA’s Associate Director of Development.
“Residents graduate from TROSA’s two-year program when they reach 24 months in the program, and these graduates are celebrated quarterly at a graduation ceremony. Last year, 113 men and women graduated from TROSA’s two-year program and went on to either secure employment in the community or stay on at TROSA beyond the two years as a post-graduate,” Spil says.
Two years can feel like a long time, and Curtis admits to feeling overwhelmed when he first joined the program. He recalls, “This is something that I never thought was really possible, honestly.” But at TROSA, he found a community of professionals that was “extremely supportive, loving, and caring.” He received essential services such as meals and housing on a daily basis, as well as therapeutic care to address his mental wellbeing and behavioral needs.
While improving his physical and mental health, Curtis also worked toward his career aspirations. Although he started the program with only an 8th-grade education, he studied hard to earn his GED and gained office experience vocationally training in TROSA’s Medical and Intake departments.Upon graduation, Curtis enrolled at Durham Technical Community College and applied to be a post-graduate of TROSA so that he can stay beyond the standard two-years to complete his recovery goals. This has allowed him to serve as a leader and mentor for others in the program.
“People need to know that there is a way out and that they don’t have to live in active addiction for their entire life. That the damage that’s been done to them emotionally or physically because of abuse doesn’t have to hold them back or keep them in their addiction,” says Curtis.
Reliving a difficult past can be painful, but Curtis wanted to share his story. He says, “When first asked about participating in this video, I was extremely nervous about it. I put aside my fears about doing the video in hopes that it would be able to inspire, and help people that are stuck in addiction or dealing with different kinds of abuse in their lives.”
TROSA’s new video was generously donated and produced by Blueforest Studios, a Raleigh-based production company dedicated to helping non-profits and bettering the community around it.
Curtis’ story of success is just one of many examples of TROSA’s impact. Thanks to an innovative approach to recovery, 90% of graduates remain sober one year after completing treatment. Not only is the program successful in changing lives, it has also grown over the years. The organization now serves a daily average of 500 men and women who reside in TROSA housing and receive comprehensive services.
United Way of the Greater Triangle proudly funds and supports TROSA through its Healthy Families pillar. To learn more about organizations supported by United Way’s investments, visit www.unitedwaytriangle.org.