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Addiction Recovery Stories

Will you be our next success story?

Wouldn’t it be great to see YOUR success story here? It CAN happen! Contact us to begin your journey toward addiction recovery.

Below are some success stories and letters that we’ve received from our past patients. All of these people, or their family members, have come to Williamsville Wellness for help with alcohol abuse, drug addiction, or gambling problems. We have helped them, and we stand ready to help you too. Names have been changed or abbreviated to protect privacy.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Richmond VirginiaK.B., a woman in her 60s, had unsuccessfully tried

to conquer her problem drinking at several rehabilitation facilities. Her drinking often led to verbal tirades in social situations and strained relations.
With the support of their minister, her husband convinced her to come to WW. She no longer drinks.

J.T. was a sports star at a Division I college

when his drinking first sabotaged him. When he lost his scholarship, he became a binge drinker and prone to blackouts. His estranged father, a recovering alcoholic, re-established ties with J.T. and connected him with Williamsville Wellness.
They now go to AA meetings every Sunday and enjoy a strong bond.

Dear Mr. Cabaniss, first of all, I would like to thank you

once more for everything you have done for my family. The program that has changed my mother’s life is one of a kind and you have done a great job with the success of your patients and their families. So, thank you again for helping my family through such a difficult time.
It was a pleasure to meet you when I was there and all the counselors you have hired for the Wellness Center were very impressive. I took note of all of the various disciplines your staff specializes in, and my interest in psychology has been increasing ever since.
Thank you again for Williamsville Wellness Center and I wish you the best in 2010.
Sincerely, Carissa

D.M. was a compulsive gambler for fifteen years

Williamsville Wellness not only changed my life but it saved my life for sure. I was on the verge of losing everything including my marriage, my newborn, my family, friends, job, reputation, etc… I came to WW reluctantly thinking that it was going to be HELL and I would get nothing out of it and I could fix this on my own.  I had the complete opposite experience – after spending 21 days there I didn’t want to leave – the therapists, counselors, and staff were so amazing, welcoming, comforting, and brought me so much confidence that everything was going to be okay. They gave me the tools needed to face my fears, insecurities, problems, and yes my debts in a very simple way. I tried the route of just going to meetings and “white-knuckling” staying away from a bet and that only works for so long because it’s not just about staying free from a bet as a compulsive gambler it’s about learning about yourself and creating a better way of life and that’s what I have now and wouldn’t have that without spending 3 weeks in the Williamsville Wellness Gambling program. The 1 on 1 sessions that you have mixed in with the group sessions is the perfect formula for beating any addiction. If you have an issue with gambling or any addiction I would not think twice about attending Williamsville – leave everything behind for 3-4 weeks and you will have the tools and the mindset to handle anything that is ever thrown at you for the rest of your life – think about it 3-4 weeks is nothing in the grand scheme of life. Oh yes and the food is amazing, you have plenty of free time, they have cable TVs, and you will be very comfortable throughout your stay!

J.P. is now free of his debilitating gambling addiction

I credit Williamsville Wellness with saving my life from a debilitating gambling addiction. Williamsville provided me a combination of highly skilled and educated mental health professionals, with counselors that had been in my shoes, and managed to pull themselves out of their addiction to lead meaningful lives. The extensive one on one therapy enabled me to dig deep into my past and allowed me to develop the skills needed to change how I handle the variety of situations that life throws our way. The other incredibly beneficial part of the program was being around other people that were battling addiction. Strong connections were made, and the belief was easily instilled in us that we are not alone in the fight against the illness of addiction. Recovery from addiction is a “day at a time process”, and ultimately my experience at Williamsville gave me the hope, confidence, and skills I lacked when I arrived and set the table for me to live a healthy life filled with purpose. 

Williamsville also facilitated the start of a healthy chain of communication between myself and my family. That came at a time when my addiction had truly strained family relationships. Their support of me and compassion towards my family helped mend fences that I could not have done on my own. 

J. W. was a 20-year-old gambler and a recovering heroin addict

when he arrived at WW. During his stay, he overcame his gambling compulsion, but he still needed to work on his drug problem.
When he left, he kept in touch with Williamsville’s executive director to discuss his problems and worked on his drug rehabilitation. Today, he is living in a halfway house and is drug-free.

M.M was hesitant to sign into Williamsville

 I knew I had a gambling problem but was scared to admit it to anyone. I made the phone call and from that moment my life changed. The owner greeted me at the airport and already had my bags ready to go as soon as I got off the plane. I never even met the man. We drove to the 400-acre center and immediately the staff got me settled in and fed me this amazing meal. The nursing staff did a quick medical history and handed me my schedule for the rest of the day. I met the other people I would be with for the next three weeks. I knew then I wasn’t alone and other people were suffering the same way I was. Some people were into drugs, some alcohol, and some gambling. It didn’t matter what it was, we were all the same. Every day our bond became stronger. The counselors are the best in the business. They dig deep into our lives to find out why we do what we do. When you finally figure it out after a few days this is where the recovery begins. The heaviness on our shoulders, the tightness in our chest and the sadness we all feel, is gone. The next few weeks we learn about why we do what we do and when urges occur how to acknowledge them and not act on them. It is not some 12 step, God preaching center. Every week you have 15-20 individual sessions with the best of the best counselors in the world plus group sessions and off-site activities. When you graduate you walk out of Williamsville Wellness with a new outlook on life with no shame or guilt. You will make lifelong friends with the people going through this journey with you. The hardest part of this is swallowing your pride and making the first call to Williamsville Wellness and walking through the front door. I will be forever grateful to Mr. Cabaniss and the entire staff at Williamsville Wellness for turning the darkest days of my life into a bright new future.

S.C. wrote to us about his son’s recovery

Yesterday I attended a wake for a friend who had lost his son. The handsome young man in the casket was 25 years old. It was not known by his parents, at that point, whether he committed suicide or overdosed. The sad reality of this very rainy day was that he was no longer alive. I was struck by the number of people at the service. They numbered in the hundreds and were mostly young. Clearly, he had many friends, but what I had a hard time understanding was that no one there on that day could have saved him. It was a terrible waste which brought unspeakable pain to his parents. I know that they had attempted to get him into rehab but were not successful. When I found out about this young man’s issues, I chose not to mention that I also had direct experience with my son going through addiction and rehab, out of an unwillingness to share this very personal experience.

While praying at the casket, I was overcome with grief and broke down in tears over someone I did not know. What impacted me was the realization that just a few short years ago this could have been my son in the casket. At the time, we were dealing with medical expenses for injuries, failure in school, inability to hold a job, fear that he would hurt himself or someone else while driving, not to mention the financial jeopardy he put us in. We had attempted medical solutions and set appointments with more than one psychologist. Nothing was working since he did not believe that he had a problem and felt that he could stop drinking at any time. All of the bad events were the result of issues not directly related to him but other unfortunate circumstances in the universe.

I was beginning to lose hope under the pressure of a career choice which demanded long hours and a significant amount of travel. While I prayed for another result, I feared that we would find him dead one day. His mother, however, never lost hope, continuing to look for a solution that would work. After a significant amount of research, she came upon Williamsville Wellness. She believed that their approach to addiction which included physical well-being, life skills discipline, education, and counseling in a rural setting far enough away to isolate him during his treatment was the right solution for him. A little more than three years ago, we brought our son to your facility. He spent 5 weeks there learning new skills and learning about himself. At the conclusion, he finally understood his addiction and what was necessary to control it. Now, he has been sober since the day he arrived at your door. He recently was able to finish two years of school at the local community college and hold a job as a tennis instructor for more than two years. In just a few short weeks he will be attending university as a junior with a goal of earning a doctorate in English literature and teaching at the college level.

Today I was able to direct a friend to Williamsville Wellness. I had recently shared with her my son’s experience. She approached me about how he was able to overcome his addiction. Her niece is also suffering from addiction and I highly recommended Williamsville.

This note is to let you know that what you taught N.C. is paying dividends. His life has changed dramatically and in a positive, constructive direction. As a parent, I am overwhelmingly thankful.


J.B. had been trying to “go it alone” for ten years before coming to Williamsville for gambling

After refusing to go to treatment twice, the third time was the charm as they say. My life had become so unmanageable, and I finally admitted that I needed to get help.  

In a matter of days at Williamsville, the therapists and fellow patients broke down walls that took 33 years to build up. They allowed me to open the door to my heart and say “come on in” without fear of judgment, ridicule, but most of all shame; which I had carried around for the last decade about my gambling addiction. I learned to be vulnerable and open, with others and myself, and that not being okay is okay. By being vulnerable with my peers and the staff, I began to feel truly like myself again for the first time in a long time, maybe in my entire life. I no longer felt like an outsider, and that I was accepted for who I really am. 

The people at Williamsville filled my heart with more gratitude and more joy than I ever thought possible. The therapy I received there was so comprehensive and incredible, and helped me discover so much about myself and the root of my compulsive gambling. Going to treatment and finally surrendering to my addiction truly saved my life. The 21 days I spent there gave me back my life, and showed me what life could be like without gambling.

I am now a few days away from celebrating 8 months since my last bet, and it has truly been the best 8 months of my life. Treatment gave me the tools I needed to overcome the triggers that drove me to gamble. It set into a motion a recovery plan that has guided me into recovery. I fought coming to rehab so hard because I had always thought it would mean I was not strong enough to stop on my own. When the truth walking through these doors into Williamsville was the strongest I had ever been, and I was even stronger walking out three weeks later.