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Family Testimonials

Addiction takes its toll not only on the addict, but also on his family, friends and community. Fortunately, addiction is a disease that is treatable through programs such as Next Step Recovery.


We know our program works because our residents and their families tell us in so many touching ways. We invite you to read some of the testimonials we’ve received from families who are grateful for the support Next Step Recovery has provided their loved ones.

My son completed 3 months of sober living at Next Steps Recovery, surrounded by kind, caring and compassionate staff, with all the skill sets required of true professionals to guide and assist him in living a productive, healthy , sober and happy life. He flourished and started to smile and enjoy life again during those three months.


He now lives across the country and is starting to build a career for himself and is enjoying the normal things in life that had been missing for so many years. As a family we have been blessed to have been connected with Next Steps Recovery. Thank you.

- K.W.

Our son has just completed his 3rd month at Next Step Recovery and we are so grateful and thankful for the progress he’s made because of this wonderful program! After surviving 12 years of drug addiction and many failed attempts at sobriety we were fortunate to find Next Step. We cannot say enough positive things about the program as it has truly saved his life. Next Step is unique in that it offers a great deal of structure in a modern home-living atmosphere and with a staff that is caring, compassionate, knowledgeable and most of all, respectful! There is so much personal attention given and their goal is to make everyone successful. For the first time as an adult, our son is living a happy, productive life, working, attending meetings and learning to take care of himself. He has formed friendships and bonds with so many of the men there it has changed his life. Everyone is like a family, going to meetings, making meals and other activities together, and most of all, supporting each other. When we visit we always leave in awe at the transformation we’ve seen in our son, and we thank God every day for giving us back our son. We understand that the nature of addiction offers no guarantees, but for the first time in years we are at peace knowing our son is happy and in a safe environment with people that care about him. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you Susan, Jay, Jordan, Terry and all the staff at Next Step. Please know that you make a difference everyday in the lives of your residents and their families!

- D.K.

I appreciate so much the availability of the leaders of Next Step Recovery and I am so thankful that Next Step Recovery was recommended to our family. My son has made remarkable progress in so many areas. I love his visits home where we can sit and talk for hours about everything. To see how he has grown emotionally, mentally, and physically tells it all. When he does come home for visits, we do everything together. I would have no trouble stopping in at an AA meeting when he is not here – that’s how many meetings we have gone to together. Our family dynamics are really good now. He loves being with his sister and brother-in-law and he absolutely adores being with his niece and nephew. It is such a blessing to have all my family in the same room smiling, interacting, playing games, and just creating happy memories together.

- S.P.

After our son completed 30 days of inpatient treatment, the decision was made for him to go to Next Step Recovery. NSR has been a blessing for our son and our entire family. The living arrangements, the way the program is run, the requirements and accountability, the great staff, the attention given to the men – it all works. Our son has learned to live again, to be productive, to take care of himself, to co-exist with other people, and to be responsible. We talked to other similar programs, but none were as excited to be talking to us as the staff at NSR. Not only do they work with the men in the program, but they have been great to us when we have called and emailed with our many questions and concerns. Learning to live and enjoy life in recovery must be so difficult, but the NSR staff have developed a great program to help make that a possibility. Our son is very happy, enjoying a clean life, working, and learning to make his own way. He would not be in this position if he had done anything other than go to NSR as soon as he completed his inpatient treatment. We cannot say enough great things about Susan, Jay, Terry and the entire program – this has truly been a lifesaver for our son. As parents, we felt pretty hopeless and scared, but we now have great hope and a much better relationship with our son. We are so grateful to everyone at Next Step!

- S.A.

The 5th Anniversary Party for Next Step Recovery is over. The leftovers stacked high on the counters. Boys to men sort through for leftovers. Some missed the celebration for work, but most worked at the celebration. Parents and loved ones enjoyed the sun and music and meeting each other but mostly seeing our sons healthy and happy again. It’s been years for some of us. Recovery is such a common word but holds lives captive without it.


It was like an unspoken given that we all knew what was in each other’s hearts that day. Some shared their story on the sidelines, mother to mother. Some, you could just read their faces. There was an underlying excitement for the blessings we could see before us.


My son had been to many rehabs in his career of drugs that I always prayed would end and his life would be spared. All the famous rehab places, doctors, books, prescriptions, and halfway houses just washed away as he kept going down the path of destruction. He’s been at Next Step Recovery for months now. At first, he had to begin to trust and see what and why this situation was different from the rest. What would happen, and how would he be received? Sensitive, disillusioned and needy, he came and vowed to be open-minded; in all honesty, I think he was curious. Nothing had really worked out before. There were healthy, happy guys here who were friends, and he wondered how all this worked.


Next Step stands out to me not as a business but more of a personal, caring family of people searching for their truth and path that they can share with a trustworthy staff of individuals who seem to accept and give them their trust. Each staff member brings something unique to the table and, together, they bring priceless strength and hope. Susan is their rock, and Brian is their role model. The rest of the staff complements the atmosphere with their knowledge, personalities and humor. It’s like a movie with all great leading characters (with character!). Ironic!


I didn’t think I’d ever be one to write a testimony for a place that my son stayed at because he usually moved out, moved on and kept running. I’m blessed today to be able to say he truly is in recovery. He couldn’t have done it without Next Step Recovery. He didn’t in the past, and I can see the difference. Susan really cares as does the rest of the staff. The resources, schedule, structure and atmosphere are taking my family to a wonderful place to be. My son loves Next Step, the people, the food and Asheville. Thank God and Next Step for giving me back my son and giving him back his life and new beginning!

- L.F.

In December 2011, we recognized that our son had some serious substance abuse issues that he could not tackle on his own. We were referred to Four Circles Recovery Center in Asheville, and after a successful 8 weeks there, they suggested several options for a transitional care environment, one of which was Next Step. Our son was given substantial latitude in the decision as to where to go, and thankfully chose Next Step. I remember driving home after leaving him. He seemed genuinely happy to be moving forward with the next chapter in his recovery, and thinking how fortunate we were to have made that choice. We were comfortable with the surroundings, the residents we met, the staff and expectations. Our son was the youngest resident at the time, and even with that we felt totally comfortable that he was in great hands. Most impressive was how accommodating his fellow residents were not only to him, but to us as well.


Over the next four months our son grew into his role at Next Step, accepting the recovery process, and spoke highly of the program. He enjoyed the advancement opportunities, the life skills classes, the independence that was fostered, and even though he complained about the “rules” from time to time, learned to enjoy the benefits of structure. He stayed in touch with us regularly, as did the staff, and we were never worried about his safety or his development. He quickly found full time employment, went to his meetings, attended skills classes, enjoyed the adventure programs, and I think made some lasting relationships with a few of his fellow residents. He also seems to have made what we hope is a “many years to come relationship” with Jon, his primary case worker.


Our son seems to have turned a significant corner in his life, and even though we expect there may be bumps in the road going forward, he has been given a structure that will serve him well the rest of his life. We are happy that he has decided to remain in Asheville and I expect that in no small part, Next Step being right down the road was a huge part of that decision. Our son is working full time, volunteering at the Science Center, exercising regularly, attending meetings and joining Next Step for Tuesday night alumni dinners and an occasional adventure day when possible.


In closing, we would like to thank the Next Step staff, the residents and our son for accepting recovery as a treatment and/or a career, and we hope that the relationship between our son and Next Step is not over. As with many issues we deal with in life, we need ongoing support, and he has received and will continue to have available just that through your program. Thanks for all of the hard work, the passion you bring to your jobs, and most of all the love that you have for your residents.

- J & S

I would recommend Next Step Recovery for many reasons. From the first phone call, the Admissions Director was so helpful. He was patient and resourceful, helping us make the transition and never making us feel pressured. The program is affordable and the location is ideal. The complex is top notch with very nice homes and grounds.  The staff are knowledgable and welcoming. The staff was always available to answer a call and talk even before my son was a resident. They really make you feel like “family” and not just another client. The other residents were very welcoming to the new guy making the transition as easy as possible. Personally, the fact that a network of total strangers (staff and clients) were willing to welcome my son and treat him with respect as a valuable human being when he himself had seemed to have given up, was huge. Their sincere combined effort to make my son welcomed was incredible and made all the difference.


Within two weeks, there was a noticeable change in my sons mood and mindset. His thinking and outlook was so much clearer. He was seeking employment and functioning again, able to handle a daily routine and living a healthy lifestyle again.

- N.P.

As parents of a young man who is struggling with addiction, it has been gut wrenching to say the least. After several inpatient treatments and other facilities, Next Step Recovery has been a godsend to us, as well as to our son.


Next Step Recovery is committed to helping their residents transition into a normal, addiction-free life. They do this by providing life-skills training and requiring several AA meetings each week. The program is designed to give these men back their pride and dignity.


We have seen a change in our son. Probably the biggest difference with Next Step is they care. Susan and Mick have a place in their hearts for their residents, and they care about them. They want them to be successful. They have always been there for us and my son—anytime we needed them. They understand what the residents and their families are going through.


You will not find a more caring, well-equipped, or safer place than Next Step Recovery. God bless the staff and their work there.

- DD & PD

Our son is excited about your program; he has never sounded more positive. We have experienced several previous attempts at addressing his addiction issues with little to no success.


The thing that is the most impressive about Next Step is the commitment of the staff involved in your program and the quality of the young men striving to work through various addiction issues.


From our very first visit, we were amazed with the positive and polite men in your program; there was a very positive attitude from everyone involved. We never experienced this before. Our son deals with relationship addiction issues, and the ability to be associated with quality people is critical to his success.


Thank you for your hard work.

- JA

I guess the best way for me to describe my impression of Next Step Recovery is to start with the fact that it had never occurred to me that after rehab, my son would not be coming home.


When it came time to discuss our son’s recovery plans and the idea of a “halfway house” came up, it sounded like a good plan—he would still be with people he had developed close ties to that could help with his support. Our son’s reaction also helped tremendously as we watched him visit each of his “buds” at Pavillon, holding the Next Step brochure high and exclaiming, “I’m going!”


When my husband and I got home from our visit and I sat down to read over the guidelines, it all hit at once. The only concept I had of Next Step was like most people who haven’t dealt with addiction issues before: a halfway house was something less than normal; a place where you go when you don’t measure up. I cried. A lot.


After several lectures from my husband about not having anything to cry about and how much we had to be thankful for, I opened myself up to the idea that this must be the right choice for our son or his counselor wouldn’t have recommended it. When I called Next Step to confirm the time that we would be bringing our son, the person I spoke with was very kind and reassuring. Still, doubts remained.


Drop-off day came, and I still held on to my doubts. We were greeted by Susan and Mick as soon as we pulled into the drive. I knew from previous telephone conversations that Susan was the director of the house. We sat in the office as one of the house managers, Mick, explained their policies and what would be expected of our son to qualify to stay as a resident of Next Step, and I realized just how much this could help.


I was an “enabler,” and if you are at this point, I am sure you have heard this term before. I had managed to let my son get by without making him do any of the things they called “life skills,” and this was what my son had to do to stay here. Being a productive person while staying clean was really going to take effort on our son’s part but, to my relief, he appeared anxious to take this step.


I came out of that meeting feeling confident that this was going to have good results. It was all up to our son now. Mick took us on a tour of the facilities and showed our son his room then offered to help him move some of this things. It was time for us to leave, and I was feeling more encouraged about our son’s chances of recovery. These seemed like good people.


It has now been seven months, and our son is clean and attending technical school. Our family has developed a close relationship with the staff at Next Step. Susan, Mick, Toney and Terry have all, in their own ways, helped us through this process. They have been there for our son, and they have helped with any need we had to get here.


Our son calls Next Step home now instead of “the house” in our conversations. He has fit in well and is comfortable with the staff at Next Step because they all know what it is like to be an addict. They know how to react to the residents’ ups and downs and how to support them through hard times without being a crutch. They have helped our son help himself.


For our family, it has been a blessing to know that our son is living with people that he can discuss his issues with that won’t judge but offer realistic solutions. These are the people who have seen it all and know what he is going through. They know what to watch for to determine when extra guidance is needed, and they are willing to work closely with us if we have concerns about his care.


I am truly grateful we were able to get our son in the Next Step program, and I am sure he is as grateful to know he can stay as long as he needs. All he has to do is work the program day to day, and he can get through this. I don’t think we could have asked for more.


I offer heartfelt thanks to Susan, Mick, Toney and Terry for all they do each day for the residents and their families.

- BA

Our son, Hogan, moved to Asheville to be a part of the Next Step Recovery program in March of 2016. He had been in a rehab center in California and was beginning to take steps backward, so we actively searched for a better situation for him. After speaking with John Libby and Susan Strader, we were very excited about moving Hogan to Asheville and felt strongly that he would receive the support he would need to continue on the right path towards full recovery from drug addiction. He felt right at home and comfortable from the very beginning, and as he dealt with personal struggles and issues, the staff at Next Step was right there with him, guiding him every step of the way. As parents, we had a hard time “Letting go” and stayed in contact with John and Susan quite a bit in the beginning. They were patient and kind and took the time to make us feel better and give us support as well. At this point, Hogan has grown up so much and has continued to move forward in his recovery. He is thriving and becoming more independent everyday, and we are so proud of him and the progress he has made. We would like to personally thank John and Susan for being Hogan’s friends and authority figures, all at the same time. Their compassion for him meant the world to all of us, and we feel that much of his success is due to their caring attitudes and for sticking with Hogan through thick and thin!


We highly recommend Next Step Recovery for anyone who is struggling with addiction and needs a safe haven with “Family-like” support.

- R.E.