Our son Aaron has been at Recovery Ranch for over a year now. The day we left him there was one of the hardest and best days of our life. We struggled for a long time to “do this ourselves” approach; detox, sober living, doctor appts., medications, counseling etc. Watching our son self-destruct was unbearable. He slowly disappeared from us, we feared he was going to die and there seemed nothing we could do for him. Addiction was something that we as a family came to realize we do not have the necessary skills to help him. As parents we want to protect our children and fix what is broken, with our experience this was not possible. This is where Recovery Ranch comes in, the philosophy of the Ranch is why this program is successful for so many. All the managers and gentleman at the Ranch have walked in the same shoes, albeit different addictions and experiences they all lead down the same dark path of destruction and pain for all involved. There comes a time when the addict has to make a choice or in many cases the family has to make the choice on what is ultimately best for their lost loved one. We know what the choices are; death, incarceration or recovery. By the Grace of God, our son was spared of the first two and chooses recovery!
During this past year Aaron has struggled being at the Ranch. As you “sober up” all those feelings that were denied during active addiction comes flooding in. The Ranch provides the opportunity to work through all the emotions in a safe and caring environment. They build a strong brotherhood. They dig deep and work on the character defects that lead them to use in the first place. This is not an easy program they have to work it for it to work! There will be many struggles along the way, but I believe this is where we grow, in those struggles. To face your self is not easy but it is necessary for change, AND THE ADDICT HAS TO CHANGE!
Our son went in a drug addicted lost boy with no hope for a future. Today he is happy, healthy and well on his way to becoming a gentleman with goals! This program takes time there is no set date when you “complete” your time at the Ranch. It is all based on attitude, gratitude, accountability, brutal honesty, selflessness, dedication and commitment to work really hard emotionally, physically and spiritually and a genuine desire to improve one self and to help others that are also struggling. No one can do it for the addict, they have to want it and do it for themselves and this takes time. Aaron wanted to leave many times, and he did leave. He came home for 11 days. Thankfully he did not relapse, and decided to return to the Ranch. We learned that it was imperative for Aaron’s success at the Ranch that we did not give him a pathway to leave.
The Ranch provides an important work ethic; the many businesses at the Ranch give the men a chance to explore employment opportunities, gain skills, confidence and self-esteem and to work as a team. They give back to the community through community services projects.
The gentleman also play hard, the many trips; camping, backpacking, fishing, baseball games, movies are all equally important as these outings take great planning and organization skills that all the houses participate in putting together. All of which many of these awesome men have never done or have done sober! Leading in recovery comes first in all they do.
The monthly family visits are really fun! All the gentleman work hard to put the day together and the time spent with our son is always a blessing.
We highly recommend Recovery Ranch for your loved one struggling with addiction. There is success here! As loved ones of the addict the managers are very helpful to talk to, they do so in the same brutal truth fashion as they run the Ranch, but this is necessary because addiction is a disease that affects the whole family.
Please call us if you want to talk. We know how painful this journey is, from watching them slowly kill themselves and then on to recovery. Believe me, at the beginning of our nightmare we never thought this time would come. We are so very proud of our son. We will always have the utmost gratitude and respect for Recovery Ranch, for this awesome start for our son. Aaron has learned the necessary skills to lead a happy, healthy successful life! It is all about his choices now and from this moment on we pray he choices wisely.
So, from our family to yours we wish you all the best as you journey with your loved one through this rigorous process. There will still be tears, however our tears now are tears of joy and we pray this for you too.
Denise & Dan Cozza