After a rocky start with her own addiction demons, followed by 10 years of further education and credentialing, two children, and several years working in European treatment centers, Susan Stader kept alive her dream of building her own recovery program – one based on structure, community and self-worth.
Back in the US, with several years working in the field of addiction, Susan knew there was a better way to assist substance abusers in getting back into ‘real life.’ She conceived of a program that would help people following primary treatment, to stay clean and sober, and transition back into the community as strong, healthy members of society; one that offered a fuller definition of “recovery.” She began exploring. And collaborating. Finally, she opened the doors of Next Step Recovery on May 1, 2006 with eight residents and two staff members (co-founder Tony Gause and a house manager), and quickly added another 19 residents by the end of that month!
A BIG dream with a small staff were the humble beginnings of Next Step Recovery, but it very quickly grew, as did their reputation. In the industry, Susan and Next Step have earned a reputation for offering quality programming at an affordable cost. They recognized the need for consistent structured recovery support and accountability for these men, where they could not only learn more about their disease, be supported and loved on their recovery journeys, but also gain independence as they moved forward in their lives.
The vision was, and still is, to provide a home-like setting, encourage daily structure, and provide a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to a sober lifestyle, while grounded in a strong 12-step foundation of recovery.
As Susan herself says, “There is truly nothing more rewarding than seeing and hearing so many graduates of the program attend our weekly alumni meetings. They return often, for support, camaraderie, and to tell their stories to our newest community members, and continue the cycle of peer support and recovery. It’s extremely gratifying to see!”