Drug Rehab Success? These 5 People Prove You Can Turn It Around

When someone hears “addiction,” they may automatically equate it to feelings of negativity and/or hopelessness. What people do not understand is that addiction is not only more prevalent than they think, but it is completely treatable with proper and consistent care.

Many addicts, regardless of what they are addicted to, seem to go down very similar paths. Usually, it begins with experimentation with a gateway substance and eventually snowballs into using it and/or in combination with others uncontrollably.

Drug Rehab Success

In most cases, addicts experience a significant or traumatizing event in their lives that cause them to seek escape in the form of substance abuse. They eventually lose many important things such as close friends or jobs. Sometimes, they even lose their families.

They soon become “problems,” that no one wants to deal with. Hopelessness and continued usage usually follow this disenfranchised feeling.

This feeling does not and should not last forever. At this point, family members and friends should be at the most attentive state to addicts.

With rallying support and a stable system behind them, addicts can progressively move towards successful treatment.

Sure, many addicts may not seek help because they’re in denial or feel they have a better grasp on their condition than other addicts do.

The real issue here is that society has placed such a negative connotation on addiction, considering it “forbidden” in the sanctity of everyday, normal people. Instead of treating it like a nuisance, acknowledge it and understand that real people, with families, friends and jobs, can all become addicted and be treated, successfully.

As it may have taken addiction several weeks, months or years to develop, recovery should be treated in the same manner. Recovery and sobriety may be a lifelong process, but is completely achievable. Every soul on this earth deserves a second chance at life.

Each person deserves the opportunity to bring themselves back up from falls that may have claimed their livelihood.

Many former addicts have seen great successes in their lives due to successful and sustainable treatments.

These are everyday people, not celebrities.

They may not be the next, big movie star, but they are heroes in their own rights. They battled and continue to battle with one of the toughest and ailing diseases.

They overcame with strength, vulnerability and self-awareness. Just look at these five AMAZING turnaround stories.

5 Amazing Drug Rehab Success Stories

Melissa_Hartwig_Addiction

#1 - Melissa Hartwig

Drug(s) of Choice:

Meth, Ecstasy, Heroin, Hallucinogens, and Pills

Post Rehab Achievements:

Author of two New York Times Bestsellers: It Starts With Food (2012) and The Whole30®: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom (2015).


Melissa Hartwig is the co-founder of Whole30®, a nutritional program geared towards helping people achieve their weight loss goals.

She is the best selling author of It Starts With Food (2012) and The Whole30®: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom(2015). She’s also has been featured on Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Shape,  and SELF.

Whole30’s mission is to help clients with transforming their diets as well as their relationships with food. But, one wouldn’t think that Hartwig, herself, was a struggling addict prior to her creating such a successful business.

As she describes in her confessional video on YouTube, she started using when she was about nineteen years old. Hartwig’s substance repertoire included meth, ecstasy, heroin, hallucinogens and prescription pills.

At first, she was highly functional with a job and outings with friends and family. Towards her “rock-bottom,” period, she had lost her job, respect of her loved ones and had regular panic attacks, all by the age of 24.

Life spiraled out of control and she was finally admitted into rehab. After treatment and counseling, she relapsed one year later. She did not lose hope, though.

Melissa Hartwig Addiction Quote

She picked herself right back up and has now been clean for over fifteen years. Hartwig knew that in order to be clean for good, she needed to make a clean break from all the influences in her life that triggered her drug use.

So, she even changed the music she listened to as well as normal driving routes to prevent nostalgic moments of her addictive times. Now, her experience gave her a purpose.

She channeled her determinate attitude towards creating a program that focused on treating people with addictions to food.

In a testimonial on Whole30, she says, “Thanks to my rehabilitation center and years of addiction counseling, I discovered and created recovery and maintenance strategies that worked very well. I also tried more than a few that backfired.”

She speaks proudly about her past and sees it as a sense of hope for other addicts seeking to get clean.


#2 - Per Wickstrom

Drug(s) of Choice:

Alcohol and Cocaine

Post Rehab Achievements:

Left a high paying job at GM to open a Narconon Treatment Center and has saved over 6,000 people to date.

President and Founder of Best Drug Rehabilitation, A Holistic and Natural Treatment Center.


Per Wickstrom started drinking at 14 when his girlfriend broke up with him. This led to a depressive state where alcohol turned into cocaine soon after.

Like most addicts, the use of substances served as his escape from grief and people. Wickstrom struggled with addiction for over twenty years and four different treatment centers.

At 38, he could no longer play sports, lost all his friends and decided if his commitment was not going to be 100%, neither would his recovery.

He was checked into Narconon which proved to changed his life for the better.

While here, he noted, “I realized that I was given a second chance at life and thus, found my higher calling: a dedication to helping people beat their addiction, just like I did.” From Addict to Entrepreneur: How I Overcame My Greatest Obstacle. (November 2012).

Per Wickstrom Addiction Quote

He left his high-paying job at GM and opened his own Narconon Treatment Center. Over the course of several years, his treatment center saved over 6,000 addicts.

Based off his own recollections and reflections, Wickstrom developed his own curriculum that he deemed would be most beneficial for the clients.

Fast forward three years, he now runs the largest holistic rehabilitation center in the United States.

Wickstrom is now the president and founder of Best Drug Rehabilitation, a center focused on helping people beat their addiction through holistic and natural methods.

He got his second chance. Now, his lifework is focused on giving others the same opportunity.


April Addiction

#3 - April (Last Name Withheld)

Drug(s) of Choice:

Acid, Marijuana, Cocaine, and Alcohol.

Post Rehab Achievements:

Reconnected with her family and life. 

Regained custody of children that were lost to foster care.


Not all success stories have to deal with big businesses. April (last name omitted for privacy) had been in a family of addicts. Her mother and sister were addicts.

When her parents divorced at 12, she started using acid and marijuana, along with alcohol. When she had her first daughter at 19, she thought her life was turning around for the better.

But, when her mother came back to stay with her, it proved to be too much for April. She started using cocaine. Each relationship she had with men were toxic and her impulsive behavior lost her all of her kids. April was arrested for drug possession and child abuse; her children were taken into foster care.

After nearly seven years of addiction, she was arrested again and taken to the Phoenix House Treatment Center. April saw this treatment as something that changed her outlook on life completely.

“For me, recovery means letting go and taking responsibility. It’s a lifelong process that Phoenix House allowed me to begin” April: A True Story of Addiction (November 2012). Her biggest motivation to get clean was her kids.

April Addiction Quote

She needed to be healthy and understood that it was going to be a struggle towards good. She now attends church regularly with her family and her son is back, living with her.

April may not have a successful business, but she has her family and her life back. She’s taking it one day at a time and that is the best success she can begin to describe.


Adi Jaffe addiction

Source: Adi Jaffe

#4 - Adi Jaffe

Drug(s) of Choice:

Crystal Meth

Post Rehab Achievements:

Achieved a PhD in Psychology from UCLA.
Founder of Psychology in Action, a group of UCLA grad students who want to make positive differences in people’s lives.
Created an addiction website, All About Addiction.


Addicts come from all walks of life. Adi Jaffe started using drugs at 15 and it went on for nine years. He was not only a drug user, but a drug dealer as well.

His drug of choice was meth. He went to rehab twice and learned that his road to recovery was going to take longer than other addicts in his similar situation.

After successful treatment, he decided to commit to research addiction. He needed answers as to why some patients seemed to recover better than others.

Jaffe devoted eight years to research and school and he eventually achieved his PhD in Psychology at UCLA.

He specialized specifically in addiction issues. Eight years sober now, “At the end, you have no idea where your path can lead you,” he says. “That's the amazing thing.

Adi Jaffe Addiction Quote

You can have the most incredible life if you're just willing to get back up enough times.” The Truth Set Him Free (May 2011). Now, he is a founder of Psychology in Action, a group of UCLA grad students who want to make positive differences in people’s lives.

He also created the website, All About Addiction, in which he uses all of his research to help addicts and families cope with and figure out steps towards recovery.

He believed that knowledge about addiction is the key ingredient towards treatment. His philosophy is that all addicts can be treated successfully, but not necessarily quickly or easily.

Jaffe’s dream was to give people the best treatment as possible as each one of them rightfully deserved so.


#5 - Mike Devlin

Drug(s) of Choice:

Cocaine, Heroin, and Other Opiates.

Post Rehab Achievements:

Became a house manager at the Gaston House, a sober living community.


Mike Devlin is 24 years old from Dallas, TX. Using drugs made him feel like a man. He used a little bit here and there in high school, but quickly became addicted when he got to college.

It began when he was prescribed painkillers for his sports injuries. Then, he began abusing cocaine, heroin and other opiates.

At first, he was able to balance a job, school and sell drugs. He wasn’t stable for long because then, he began stealing in order to afford his toxic habit.

Devlin recalls receiving text messages and voicemails from family members, begging him to seek treatment. He had thought they wanted nothing to do with him.

Yet, here they were, reaching out and looking out for his well-being. He decided to stop fighting and checked into Caron Treatment Center in Wernersville, PA.

Mike Devlin Addiction Quote

In an interview with U.S. News (July 2013), Devlin said, "You know what, I'm going to do it this time. I'm going to surrender and take direction and give life another chance". He is now a house manager at the Gaston House, a sober living community.

Its Never Too Late To Get Clean....

The thing is, addiction is a touchy subject for many. Regardless of which side of the fence you may be on, each side houses human beings.

On side one, these are the families, friends and other people who care deeply about the addicted individuals.

On the other side, there are people wanting to be saved, but may not necessarily know where to start. Let us bridge this gap and bring this world towards humanity

Please Help Educate & Share This Post

Share With Someone in Need.
  • What a great article. I have a niece in rehab and, when she was admitted, she really felt her life was over. I kept telling her that her old life was over, she would be reborn – new hopes, new dreams, new aspirations. I’ll send her this article as proof of that. She loves to write so I hope the new her comes out, fully refreshed, reborn, with a pen in her hand. Thanks for this article – excellent.

    • Yea – they say sometimes the only way to see further is to stand on the shoulders of giants.. Its great inspiration to know others have been where you are and dug themselves out!

  • Terry

    Hello, thats an inspiring article.
    Seeing examples of successful drug rehabs, many would be encouraged to follow the same path.
    Regards Terry.