Success Stories

Men and women improving the quality of their lives

Patients who utilize one of our Massachusetts substance abuse programs are living proof of successful addiction recoveries and exhibit how recovery is a lifelong process.

Here are some of our success stories.


In 1983, due to an intervention from work, I went through SECAP. At the time, I didn’t think I had any problems with alcohol, or that I was an alcoholic. I knew that I was drinking too much, too fast and too often, but I didn’t know about alcoholism and addiction. While in SECAP, I remember having an epiphany about the health concerns associated with alcoholism, but I still wasn’t buying into it all (addiction and recovery). I thought I could still drink, just not the way I had been. I was a bit crazy in SECAP and thought that there were a lot of scare tactics used. I thought the ‘one day at a time’ motto was only for certain times, not nights and weekends. I really enjoyed talking to my SECAP counselor, fellow patients, and those in my AA groups and, together, they really lit the fire beneath me to get through my recovery. SECAP became the “light over Marblehead” that I needed, and is the place I received my sobriety. I have been clean and sober for more than 29 years, married for 36 years, and have very successful children… I couldn’t ask for more!


Sarah, a 51-year-old woman from the Norfolk County area of Massachusetts, is married and has two daughters, both in college. Recently, her family did an intervention and she came to NORCAP for her first detox for alcohol abuse. Initially, Sarah was not convinced she was an alcoholic but came into treatment to pacify her family. She described herself as being a “social drinker” for most of her adult life although she realized, for the past three years, her drinking had become out of control.

While at NORCAP, Sarah attended and participated in the daily groups, and met with her counselor each day during her treatment. Sarah came to the realization that she is an alcoholic and can identify that all her attempts to “control her drinking” were unsuccessful. Sarah completed her inpatient treatment and followed up with NORCAP’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). To continue the hard work she accomplished through NORCAP’s treatment programs, Sarah now has individual counseling with a therapist in the community and is attending AA meetings. In addition, Sarah’s husband has been involved in her treatment through the family support group offered by the IOP. Sarah is grateful at how different her life is today, especially for her husband and daughters.


My life before recovery belonged to my addiction. By the time I was 35 years old, I could not go more than a few hours without drinking. All of my days and nights were spent drinking and it was an endless cycle of horror that I was convinced no one, or thing, could help me escape. I was barely conscious, and yet I asked no one for help. SECAP knew what I needed and offered me a soft, safe place to land – to detoxify and start recovering. The treatment I received brought me one minute, one meeting and one meal at a time. Those were the first miracles. Twenty-one years later, I remain alcohol free and I am as grateful to SECAP and to AA today, as I was when I took the first step and knew I was no longer alone.


Scott, 29 years old, has been through NORCAP seven times for his addiction to heroin. A resident of the South Shore area of Massachusetts, Scott typically leaves treatment prior to his discharge date stating a variety of reasons, despite his counselors and nurse’s urging him to stay.

Recently, Scott came into treatment very distraught. His significant other had just passed away from the disease of addiction and overdosed. Scott’s NORCAP team believed this was “a moment of clarity” for him and he expressed a desire to do things very differently this time. He met with NORCAP’s psychiatrist for an evaluation and was prescribed medication for depression. Scott had a previous diagnosis of depression but never followed through with treatment.

This treatment was very successful for Scott and he stayed for his entire treatment. After he completed treatment, Scott returned to his mother’s house with a comprehensive aftercare plan. He now attends a program in his community where he attends an early recovery group that meets four times a week, individual counseling and follow up meetings with a psychiatrist. Scott’s team at NORCAP received a phone call from him about one month after he left treatment letting them know he was doing well, on track, and thankful for their support.


Madeline, a retired educator from the Bristol County area of Massachusetts, has struggled with alcoholism for the past 25 years. Over the years, 65-year-old Madeline has had brief periods of sobriety. Recently, her husband and three grown children grew very concerned about her because she had been to NORCAP four times.

In the past, Madeline declined any aftercare appointments or suggestions for AA following a treatment at NORCAP. But, the most recent treatment for Madeline was different than the previous ones. Through a combined effort from her counselors, husband, nurses and NORCAP’s psychiatrist, she agreed to try something different. Madeline agreed to setting up outpatient counseling, psychiatric follow up and attending AA meetings. At the end of her detox, Madeline’s husband came in for a family meeting and was given information about the disease of alcoholism and support resources for himself.

Not long ago, Madeline attended a Friends of NORCAP meeting with her husband and looked like a new woman. She was beaming when she shared with one of the counselors that “things are very different this time” and that she is attending AA, counseling, and is seeing a psychiatrist in the community. Madeline proclaimed to the group “I am living my life one day at a time.”

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