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June 2019 Sober Living Alumni

Summer is finally here! That means it’s time for the June Edition of the Surfside Alumni Spotlight. This month, we will meet Jordon S. and follow his journey from addiction to recovery as a sober living alumni. Enjoy!

Jordon grew up on the West Coast in Seattle, Washington where he was introduced to drugs at a very young age. He wasn’t a big drinker from the start, but marijuana was very popular among his friend group. In his mind, smoking weed was a normal part of growing up.

He went to college in Los Angeles where drinking took a larger role in his day-to-day life. He started experimenting with some harder drugs, because once again, it’s just what kids do. One day, a buddy brought an opioid pill and Jordon finally met the love of his life.

Continued partying and now opioid use, Jordon lost his scholarship due to zero effort in school. All he wanted to do was party and fit in with the “cool crowd,” so classes and homework took a back seat in his list of priorities. Eventually, the university had enough, and Jordon was kicked out of school.

Now out of school, he continued drinking and smoking weed, but he felt that he had control of his opioid use. He moved out to New Jersey thinking a change of scenery might do him some good. But like most alcoholics, he found himself with the same type of people doing the same thing. However, this time, instead of drinking and smoking weed, his new friends were heavily invested in opioids.

He started buying prescription pills from a friend, which lasted him a few weeks. But as time went on, the same amount of pills would last him a week… then a day… then a couple of hours. He became a slave to the pills, needing a fix as soon as he woke up in the morning. Naïve to the fact that he was fully addicted to pills, he did become aware that his opioid habit was not financially sustainable, so it was time to make a change.

He stayed away from pills for about seven months in which he made some drastic lifestyle changes. He started going to the gym and showing better work ethic at his job. One day, an old friend hit him up and asked if he wanted to hang out. Seemingly automatic, Jordon agreed to get high. He now found his new love: heroin.

Over the next few years, Jordon’s life embodied the mantra of unmanageability. In the grips of a full-blown heroin addiction, he found himself in places he never thought he would be. Overtime, the cycle of addiction wore him down and he began to feel hopeless.

He was living in a house with two roommates, and the three of them decided to make a large purchase of narcotics. To Jordon’s surprise, the dealer turned out to be an undercover police officer. Facing significant jail time, Jordon turned to his parents for help. He was sent to a program in Nevada for several months, but he got high immediately when he returned home.

For the next five years, Jordon could not stay sober. He hated himself and the life he was living, but could not find it in himself to change anything. He finally became willing to go to treatment at RCA Lighthouse. He had no more fight in him. He heard about Surfside while in treatment, and the idea of getting sober by the beach sparked his interest. He arrived at Surfside, and Jordon has been sober ever since.

Check out the interview below to hear what this sober living alumni has to say:

What is your sobriety date?

June 26, 2017

What do you do for work? 

I work in the family business that publishes medical books and journals.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love playing golf. I like to snowboard and play Spikeball on the beach. I enjoy music too. 

What were some of your biggest concerns before coming to Surfside?

How am I going to work? How am I supposed to pay bills? How can I put my life on hold for this long?

What was your biggest takeaway from Surfside Sober Living Alumni?

In my opinion, Surfside is the only reason I’m sitting here. I couldn’t have gone home after treatment. If I were to hang around the same people I used to, I’d be getting high. Surfside taught me self-respect and a mentality that I need to put recovery first. I wish everyone could go to Surfside. The program does things the right way. It puts you on the path to learn how to fend for yourself and live your life the right way. But you have to allow the process to happen.

How is Surfside different than the previous programs you have attended?

Surfside focuses on providing you tools to have success once you leave the program. It’s not a “come here and just don’t drink” program.

What are the best and most challenging parts of living independently after Surfside?

The best part is being able to live a life where I have confidence, face my fears, and I’m happy with who I am. I have some humility today. I have grown as a person and learned how to face my demons. It’s great to be alive today. I have a relationship with my family today. I can have real conversations with people today.

The challenging part is not always having a network around. I moved back north recently, and I’m faced with more situations where alcohol is involved. So I have to remember to keep living my life by spiritual principles. Life happens, ya know? But as long as I use the tools Surfside gave me, I’ll be fine.

Now that you are out of the program, how do you stay involved with Surfside and your recovery?

I try to link up with former Surfside guys when I come back down here. But I definitely don’t see the guys as much as I’d like to. I enjoy the Alumni events, so hopefully there are more to come.

Any final thoughts on Surfside?

I love Surfside. I love everything about Surfside. Ian is great. Surfside is the only reason I’m sober today. The program does things the right way. It can’t save everybody, but it can save a lot of people. It saved me. The best option to recover from this terrible disease is Surfside.

What is your 5-year plan?

I just want to continue to progress spiritually. I want to keep on the path I’m on. I want to succeed- whatever that means- and I feel like I’m on the path to do that.

We reached out to Jordan’s family to get their thoughts on their son’s experience at Surfside.

Why did you decide to send your son to Surfside?

Jordan made the decision at RCA Lighthouse. At the end of his stay, he had a choice to make: did rehab cure him or did he need to do some more work and really become serious about beating his addiction. After he met Ian, he decided to go to Surfside.

What should prospective parents know before sending their son to Surfside?

It’s a safe, structured environment. All the young men there are sharing a similar experience: that’s what makes it work. I embraced the concept of Surfside 100% because it works.

How have things changed now that your son has completed Surfside?

He has matured and has become very serious about his recovery- which is not always easy. He’s a lot more fun to be around. It’s brought us a lot of peace of mind. I think Jordan learned two important things at Surfside: 1. Increased level of respect for himself and others 2. Humility, which is essential for young alcoholics and addicts. Surfside pushes that it’s time for the guys to look in the mirror, see the damaged they’ve caused others, and take it upon themselves to make things right.

Jordan is now a sober living alumni enjoying a happy and free life at almost two years sober! If you or a loved one need help, please do not hesitate to reach out.  We are always available to point you in the right direction.