“Where you’re going, I’ve been.”
From the moment I discovered recovery, and the message that promised me the hope I did not have to die from this disease, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life’s work to helping others recover.
Where you’re going, I’ve been. Since my early teen years, the grips of addiction had its hold on me and by sixteen I was convinced that I would either die or be in prison before age twenty-one. Having grown up in “nice town”, New Hampshire, working in the family business, and having a bright future in front of me, the idea of being a drug addict was completely taboo.
By the age of 21, I was fifty pounds underweight, completely unhealthy, homeless, and absolutely hopeless. I finally found recovery in what felt like just days before discovering what would be my destiny of jails, institutions, or death. The nearly immediate passion I had for helping others with the same affliction was undeniable.
Almost all of my free time was spent in church basements and volunteering at treatment programs. My passion for being of service focused on young men new to recovery. So I decided to open a young men’s sober living house in Derry, NH, which turned into two houses in a short time, and then an extended care treatment program with a full array of services. This program gained national recognition and became the impetus to open our flagship residential addiction treatment centers in Effingham and Canterbury, NH. This same passion continues its mission today.
In 2011, a colleague of mine alerted me to a 17-acre property in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire in the historic village of Canterbury. I went to see it and immediately fell in love with the place and its beautiful surroundings. I knew it was an excellent location for a new treatment center. However, I wasn’t able to make a deal at that time. A year later, I found myself sitting in a room on that same property bidding on it in an auction. I won that auction with paddle #164! I spent the next two years coordinating with the town and gaining all the needed approvals, and a complete renovation of the property immediately followed. And so New Freedom Academy was born and opened in September of 2015.