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Our Clients’ Stories & Testimonials

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Adrian's road to sobriety.

Trafalgar really saved my life. I had been to another rehab previously, and I completely hated it, and was discharged early. The staff, the counsellors, and the therapists, really open my mind to what it means to be sober. I would not be alive today without Trafalgar. The experience was amazing, of course there’s work to become sober, but this place really really cares about each individual. You were not just the number, or just someone to be pushed away, what you think say feel or do is seen and you are helped with anything that You can imagine. I really enjoyed my stay, to be honest I did not even want to leave! This place is really the best place and it’s saved my life. I would be dead today if I had not gotten the help I needed from Trafalgar. Thank you so much to everybody that helped. This is really a place to go to get well and to take in all the information to become the best version of you possible!

The minute I walked through the door at Trafalgar I was amazed at how welcomed I was by all the staff. Their warm embrace brought a long awaited smile to my face. The knowledge I gained about my addiction was second to none. I rate Trafalgar Residence a 5 star!!

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres helped me in many ways. Through my addiction, I had lost myself. I had no self-esteem, many anger issues, a lot of hurt and chaos in my life. Trafalgar helped me find myself, believe in myself and centre my life. I owe them my life.

When my husband began his treatment at Trafalgar I knew without a doubt that it was where he needed to be to receive treatment for his addiction and mental health. The treatment he received through the comprehensive program, and the support he received from the dedicated staff, were instrumental and invaluable in guiding him to take ownership of his addiction, be accountable for his behaviours, build his sense of self, and educate and equip him with coping mechanisms and skills that have ultimately saved his life. A spark has been reignited within him and he can now see and appreciate the beauty in his life. He is excited about what the future holds, and he once again has a smile that lights up his eyes. In addition to supporting my husband, Trafalgar has been an immense support to me through the weekly Friends & Family Support Group, as well as through individual and family therapy sessions. I know that my husband’s recovery is a lifelong journey, and I will be forever grateful to Trafalgar for supporting us each step of the way.

I came to Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres feeling ashamed, defeated and tired of being me. I am leaving Trafalgar with the passion I once had for everything life has to offer and most importantly, the tools to keep me grounded. Thank you to all the staff at Trafalgar for this second chance.

I would like to thank the whole staff at Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres for making a stressful time in my life both fulfilling and rewarding. Your compassion and thoughtfulness will not be forgotten.

A place to absorb help at your desired pace and approach techniques to apply it in a pragmatic way.” During the stay at Trafalgar Residence, the experience had a comfortable transition from one stage to the next. The facility is idealistic to accommodate a strong willingness and effort to change from the clients perspective. The staff engages each client with certain empathy to better understand personal goals and struggles. Notably, however, there must be an ambition to seek out solutions to get the full potential of the help provided. The freedoms and leisurely demeanor are very ideal for persons who accommodate introspective self work and quiet location. Food service is exceptional and highly diverse. There is ample free time to work at your own pace and a general understanding of that personalized recovery time frame. There is a varying schedule of AA meetings throughout the week but satisfying aspect to integrate what works best for you. In general there is a level of autonomy that works best for individuals who need space, not rigidity.

When I first arrived at Rice Lake I was broken physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Upon arriving I will never forget those three words a therapist said: “Miracles happen here”. At first, I was in such pain, I disregarded her. However, as I started to heal and open my mind, I couldn’t help remembering those words and believe in them. I have completed my stay at Rice Lake and I can truly say I have my life back!

Trafalgar Residence is a great place to get your life back. The location, staff and therapists make you feel at home. There is a real sense of community and the therapists give you the tools to get back on track.

It just goes to show miracles can happen. After my 6-week stay with the amazing staff and clients at TR my life, has been turned around. The way I think is where I want to be. I look forward with a positive attitude and I do it with a smile now. If life isn’t treating you the way you want it to be, this amazing staff will get you where you want to be. I thank everyone that made this happen with sincerity.

Thank you Trafalgar for your help. After 30 days, I feel rejuvenated, healthy and clear minded. I feel like Trafalgar saved my life.

TR saved my life! The staff were always on point with information and compassion. I highly recommend this place to anyone with a substance addiction or process addiction.

The staff are eclectic, as are my needs and goals and even the smallest of my concerns were always addressed with diligence and authenticity. I look forward to continuing in aftercare and maintaining strong ties with Trafalgar as to keeping my sobriety as flexible as possible. Everyone, from housekeeping to Head therapist taught me how to bend so I would not break and for that I am grateful.

You are all awesome. This experience was truly transformational.

Mike is doing great! Your program certainly is fantastic! it seems I have the old Mike back that I married almost 35 years ago…

TR has been an experience unlike any other. The compassion and willingness of the staff is unparalleled. I have never felt so safe and secure when faced with my personal struggles. Ones which were so overwhelming that I had almost given up. The program works! The knowledge and skills that I leave with have helped me work through my issues, and will help me maintain myself, allowing me to achieve my goals once I reintegrate myself back into my life at home. I am grateful for the 30 days here and everyone I had the privilege to meet along the way. I’ve gotten a kick-start for a new lifestyle. I am excited to see where I go from here. Thank you.

On my way to Trafalgar, I was nervous and nauseous; I did not know what to expect, what I had gotten myself into. The minute I walked through the front door, I was treated with dignity, compassion, respect and understanding. They taught me what it meant to have an addiction and gave me the skills and tools to cope with my disease. The staff is amazing. They have turned my life around and have set me on the path to recovery. The best decision I have ever made!

I was a resident at Trafalgar for just over three months. When I entered treatment, I was suffering from extreme depressiona dn anxiety, and even had serious thoughts about ending my life. I’d also been struggling with a powerful behavioural addiction that had lasted almost 17 yeas. Trafalgar Residence literally saved my life. Through individual and group sessions, I was able to learn how to live life on life’s terms. I learned that my addiction was a failed coping mechanism that I was using to numb the pain of life. I saw that rather than dealing with problems head-on, I would engage in self-destructive behaviours as a means of escape. Through my stay, I gradually learned effective and practical ways to deal with challenges through meditation, journaling, coping strategies and sharing my struggles with the staff and other clients. The therapists at Trafalgar were outstanding. They were friendly, approachable and experienced professionals, who patiently listened to what I had to say in a caring and non-judgemental way, offering helpful and practical advice. I felt very comfortable working with them and never hesitated to speak with them about anything. The residence itself is an outstanding facility. The home itself is like a first-class luxury resort, nestled in the beautiful Ontario countryside. It was very relaxing and therapeutic to go on daily walks in the wonder nearby forest. Trafalgar truly was a “breath of fresh air”. All the rooms and living areas were very clean, modern, and comfortable. It was a place that was easy to relax and unwind in, free from the pressures of daily livig. In addition, the food was outstanding. Delicious and healthy, I always looked forward to mealtimes. I would highly recommend Trafalgar Residence to anyone seeking freedom from addiction and seeking the tools to build a better, happier and more fulfilling life. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to stay at this residence and thank everyone for their help and support.

I came to Trafalgar from a very chaotic, violent and drug-filled life in Southern California and left a new man, now virtually free of all the problems and issues that plagued my former life after my stay in Trafalgar.

This being my third rehab in less than a year, I found the therapy I received one-on-one much better here. The staff were all terrific and I would definitely recommend TR to others.

So, can’t believe it’s been 30 days. My time here at Rice Lake Residence has been a healing, strengthening, eye-opening journey. I leave here a totally new me. Thank you for all of your guidance to better understand myself. MY TRUE SELF.

Last night I had a conversation with my son. He came home from work. He looks good, healthy. Told me that he wanted to apply for a new program there. Then he told me about a project they gave him at work building something and that they told him he has been doing a great job. Six months ago he was barely able to get to work, he was sick, he did not have conversations with me, he was a stranger, he was killing himself slowly in front of my eyes. I was a mess, my house was in chaos. Thank you to you and your staff for what you do, without his time there things now would be very different, I’m sure. Your beautiful setting, your more relaxed approach is what he needed to be able to stay the 30 days and start his recovery. Please share with your other staff that I am so grateful for that conversation with my son who is now my son again. I realize there is still a road but right now things are good and I think you should hear the good things too.

When I arrived at Rice Lake on July 25th, I was a broken man. I was depressed, sad and angry. Having gone through the treatment process, I am a new person and am looking forward to my new life with my wife and my children and my grandchildren. I will always be grateful for the treatment I received. Thank you.

When I came to Rice Lake, I was a mess. I was welcomed warmly and well-supported, making getting adjusted easier. Upon leaving, I feel more balanced, stronger and more confident in myself and my recovery. I appreciate everyone and all their efforts and support.

Thank you to the staff at Trafalgar Residence.When I first went to the residence I was at a low point in my life because of alcohol abuse and my family felt I needed expert help. I was made to feel welcome right off the start by the staff and fellow clients.I was taught that if I wanted to refrain from using alcohol again that I should follow a program that included a reliance on A.A. and the twelve steps that they suggested would help in my sobriety. After seeing that they could work for me, I adopted them into my life style,which I have followed since I left Trafalgar. During my stay the staff were caring and very helpful always keeping my welfare at heart.The food that we were privileged to have while we were there was exceptionally good. I have ate in a lot of first class restaurants in my day and the chef’s of Trafalgar were some of the best I have come across. Not only were they great chefs but they cared about my welfare and health.While I attended Trafalgar I had been diagnosed as a diabetic and they went out of their way to help me adapt to a new lifestyle as well as what food I should have.and they were most helpful as I adjusted to a new lifestyle without alcohol. The setting is ideal set in the rolling hills and valleys of Caledon Ontario. Since I have been back home with my family they continued to follow up on how I was doing not only in relation to alcohol also how I was adapting to a new life style with my family. I cant thank the staff enough and also the founders who felt strong enough to put into action what they believe. I am one that they helped to live a happier and better life without alcohol. Keep up the good work. I will always be grateful for my days at Trafalgar and the benefit I received while I was there. Age 74 – “You are never too old to need help in your life.”

My stay at Rice Lake was so beneficial. I came here at rock bottom and I’m leaving here “fresh”. I have met amazing people in here; clients and staff. I learnt and understood what mindfulness is all about. I laughed like never before and most importantly, I did it sober. I also gained new friends, a big family and support group. Thank you for everything and keep up the great work. People really need places like this.

My experience has been a very positive one. At Rice Lake, I was able to find my voice gain! I have learned a lot of strategies to deal with different situations. I’m feeling very thankful for the time I have spent here. Thank you once again.

Adrian’s Road To Sobriety

My name is Adrian and I graduated from the Rice Lake Residence program. I’m in recovery for heroin and opioid addiction.

I work in hospitality in Toronto and I have for the last 20 years, my using started about 17 years ago when I first entered the hospitality industry. I worked as a bartender in the Yorkville area. And at first, we would start using just because for something to do and help us sleep, or at least for me to help me sleep. I came from a good family in Toronto, you know a middle-class family that had everything I needed. Maybe not everything I wanted, but definitely everything I needed. No history of addiction, no trauma. Very loving parents. Four sisters that we all got along very well. So I started working full time in hospitality. And I guess there’s a lot of substance abuse within that industry and it’s pretty socially accepted. So for me, it started with alcohol, progressed into cocaine, and then eventually found my drug of choice, which is heroin. And at first, like I said, it wasn’t really a problem. I didn’t do it all the time, maybe a couple of times a year. And then when I turned 30, I had built a restaurant with my friends and my dog got very sick and a good friend of mine and my sister died. And it all happened in the same week. And I just found it super overwhelming. So I turned to heroin because sort of everything else, that’s sort of running its course in my life, I didn’t find it interesting or if it worked anymore.

And as soon as I started using that daily, I felt that I sort of, you know, felt that I hit my stride and that I could deal with anything. And at the same time, I started sort of rising in my career. I started doing competitive bartending and I had ended up winning a big competition that landed me in the newspapers as Toronto’s best bartender. And I accomplished this all under the influence of my drug of choice. So for me, it seemed like using drugs made me more effective, better at my job, more efficient, gave me lots of energy, more charismatic, all of that. And I was accomplishing great things.

So I continued to use without major consequence until maybe for a year. And then after that, things started getting out of hand. Due to the nature of my drug of choice, there was obviously physical dependency and I couldn’t stop. I tried to stop, but I couldn’t stop and I’d ask for help. So it was proposed that I would go on to methadone. For me, that was like it was even worse than using heroin, I call it liquid handcuffs. So I have to go see that the doctor every week and do urine screens. It didn’t even really work.

I was still using sometimes depended on two substances. So that brings me to about 2010 when I went to treatment for the first time and I pretty much went because I was told I should go. I didn’t go because I wanted to go. I went to treatment. I lasted about 45 days and relapsed. I didn’t tell anybody. Prior to this, I had never used needles before. I was only sniffing the heroin. I used for about four or five months and realized that I was gonna be in big trouble again. So I turned to a friend of mine, an active addict, and asked how I could taper myself off of heroin without telling anybody. And he suggested that I use needles to do that. At that point, I was so desperate to get off of it without getting honest with anybody, without asking for help. I listened to him and I tried to moderate my use with needles. And that took my addiction to the next level where I was now addicted to heroin and to IV needles. Within three months, I had lost my job, I lost my home, and I was now even more addicted. I was relying on far more than I was using before. To me, I felt like I was one bad shot away from dying. So I was about 150 pounds when you’re normally like 185-190 pounds.

So I went back to the same treatment center, a 21-day program, and then it was suggested that I go to a long term treatment, which I did. I did four and a half months just outside of Toronto, and it got some traction. And I hooked up with some good group of guys and to this day that I’m still in touch with. And life started to get really good.

I’d actually gotten my name into the newspapers for being a sober bartender, mixologists, they call it, and accomplishing some really great things in my career. I was, I guess, considered the only person within my industry to be clean and sober, switched from bartending to managing. I started running restaurants, really enjoyed it and did really well and life was really good.

However, I guess I got away from what was important, which is my recovery. So I stopped practicing my program and I ended up relapsing because I had a dog that I was very close to and who ended up dying suddenly. I had some very disappointing things happening in my job, in terms of like career, promises and expectations. And I had a very unhealthy relationship with a partner that we just were not good for each other. So, all of these things came together and I wasn’t working my program and I wasn’t around other addicts and wasn’t helping other people. I wasn’t doing the things I was supposed to do.

And eventually, I ended up relapsing by injuring my back, going to the hospital, getting prescribed an opioid-based painkiller, thinking that I was OK to take it. I was not.

And within two months, I sought out heroin and started injecting heroin again. I was sold a bad batch of drugs and I got into three car accidents in one day. And so, that’s how I sort of started the process of bringing me back into recovery. A big part of my story is what I do for a living. Because a lot of my use revolved around work, because it’s very physical, it’s very stressful. You know, you can just be very hard to deal with. Many different personalities, many different, you know, lots of ego. So, I wasn’t really willing to let go of my job at the time. And so instead of going back to abstinence-based recovery, I turned to Suboxone, which is a harm reduction based sort of semi abstinence. And it just wasn’t effective for me. All it did was sort of kept me in that world revolving around drugs. And then I was supposed to be on it for six weeks and I ended up staying on for two years. And I got a phone call from somebody that I hadn’t heard for a while. And they told me that they had some really good heroin and that, you know, they thought of me and that, you know, they thought I might enjoy it.

And I said no, I’m OK. And sort of it rang in my head for the day. And I ended up calling the gentleman, not quite gentleman. So, and I bought some of the heroin. And it turned out that it was very, very strong at all.

And again, I just took my addiction to another level. My use pretty much quadrupled overnight. The withdrawal got worse. The cravings got worse. And I just couldn’t stop. So and I’m not really sure why I had a big problem asking for help and being honest with everyone around me. But I was in such strong denial about how bad things were getting that I just did it. I was so broken and so beaten down that I was pretty sure I was going to die. I actually had considered killing myself at one point. I don’t think I would ever have done it. When I sort of fantasized about it and finally, I was just done with it. I sort of had the willingness to ask for help beaten back into me. So finally, I got honest with my parents about how bad things were and just basically told them, if you guys don’t help me, I’m pretty sure I’m going to die soon.

So that obviously was very difficult for my family to hear and difficult for me to say. We agreed that we would start the detox process. Then we would figure out where I was going to go. So, I started detoxing at the beginning of September. And I guess what had happened was the day after I started or the day I started, I ended up getting rushed to the hospital from a bad reaction to the medication I was given to help manage the withdrawal symptoms.

And at that point, I felt like I was going to die. It was just one of the some of the worst pain I’ve ever gone through. I could hardly breathe. I was hardly conscious. And I was in the hospital for about 24 hours, got released and came back. And it was proposed to me that there was an option for me to go back to treatment soon, which turned out to be Trafalgar Residential and without hesitation, I said, of course! Like I knew I was done because there was no way I was going to stay clean. I had a lot of knowledge about recovery, but I was in such a poor physical state. And the obsession to use and the cravings were so strong and just my body was in so much pain that I knew that I wasn’t gonna be able to stay clean.

And by talking to some counsellors and some of the other clients there, I started seeing the light and then I just made this decision that you know, I’m not going to stay stuck in this sort of negative frame of mind. And I just started working on things like acceptance and gratitude and forgiveness towards myself. And almost immediately I started feeling better. And I sort of just ran with that probably for the first two weeks. All I talked about was acceptance and gratitude because that’s what I needed to say.

If I needed to accept all the consequences that had happened, accept that I was back in treatment, accept that how far I had allowed things to go as well as I also had to talk about gratitude because I was very grateful to be alive. It was actually I was very grateful to be clean and sober and very grateful to be in a safe place. And, you know, for me, that’s sort of the foundation of my recovery is acceptance, gratitude and forgiveness. And, you know, I try and practice those every single day. And the way things are today is I have no desire to use drugs. And again, I’m just very grateful to be alive. And I think that’s just the way it is. It doesn’t really matter what causes addiction or why it happens as it happens, accept it.

And then take the actions to do something about it. And that’s pretty much my story.


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    A client is happy with his treatment at Trafalgar.