Our Stories

Simon C.

I came to breakthrough directly from Jail. When I first came here I was thinking that I was going to go back to Jail after the standard 90-day program, but I ended up staying at Breakthrough for 9 months. My experience at Breakthrough can best be described as amazing. I quickly felt at home, Breakthrough became my family away from my real family. They provided me with an excellent environment to develop coping skills and learn about my addiction. I had been facing some serious prison time when I first came to Breakthrough, and doing everything I was advised to do helped me out tremendously in my court case to the point where I didn’t have to do any time incarcerated. I very much enjoyed my time here at Breakthrough Recovery Outreach LLC and would greatly recommend it to anyone I know.

John P.

Having been in recovery since 1979 and having a career as a psychotherapist, I experienced a relapse on pain medication in the wake of 3 separate medical traumas. I eventually realized that in order to have a fighting chance to save my life, I needed to place myself in a protective environment which would fully support my re-immersion into the 12 step programs. I was seeking re-establishment of a healthy balanced lifestyle (wholistic approach). Being well versed in the metro Atlanta treatment options, I am grateful and blessed that I was able to successfully participate in the program at Breakthrough Recovery Outreach (BRO). I have maintained my recovery since leaving BRO and I am happy and healthy again.

Mike C.

I came to Breakthrough Recovery Outreach suffering from an addiction to prescription painkillers and alcohol after back injuries. I was out of control, had alienated my family and friends, and had severe legal problems. Chris Jacobs and the staff at BRO were kind, patient and understanding. They tailored a treatment plan to suit my needs. Today I am sober and am enjoying life more than I can ever remember. Chris and the BRO program saved my life. The program works.

Rick E.

I was fortunate to find Breakthrough Recovery Outreach after I was released from Peachford for detox. Breakthrough offered me Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) along with the opportunity to find and rebuild my life in a clean and safe environment.

Bert C.

I entered Breakthrough Recovery Outreach as a full time resident. After years of alcohol abuse I needed to start my life over. As a resident at Breakthrough I was shown a proper way to handle life without alcohol. I was shown how to reach out to my sponsor for guidance in the 12 steps of AA, build a network of new friends. Without the support of the Breakthrough community I would not be sober today.

Hunion. H

I am from  S.E. Washington DC where I spent most of my youth in the Foster Care System beginning at the age of three. During my youth I suffered both  physical and sexual abuse. All of  the trauma that I experienced in my life made me turn to drugs and alcohol, it helped to numb the pain.  Eventually the need for drugs led me to a life of crime and as I result, I spent most of my life in and out of jail.

At one point, I was so strung out that I left my apartment to cop drugs and never returned home again.  While staying at this drug infested house, I witnessed shootings and extreme violence. This was the darkest time in my life; I remember one day during one of my few sober moments, that I was able to see the drastic change in people’s personalities and their behaviors as they started getting high around me. It was as if an “Evil Spirit Fell in the room” This  “Moment of Clarity” is my reason for wanting to get clean. The next thing I knew, I was at Breakthrough.

In the beginning, I was extremely angry and resentful, but that didn’t stop the Breakthrough staff from helping me, it didn’t stop them from encouraging me to do better, to BE better…After a while, I began to open up and embrace my new beginning. Breakthrough became the foundation to my blueprints.  As a result, I have received several certificates; I have become a Certified Peer Specialist and I have been using my story to encourage other clients in the program. Breakthrough taught me that My purpose is far greater than my pain, and faith alone doesn’t work; you must put in the footwork. Nothing worth obtaining in life is going to be easy, never give up the fight- Thank God for Breakthrough!

Deborah. J

I started using drugs at the age of 38 years old. One hit and I was hooked, I spent every day and every dollar I had after that trying to get high. After several years of using my health began to deteriorate, drugs and alcohol took over my life and my health; nothing else mattered to me. I used so much and so often that I had a stroke one year and then the following year I had a heart-attack, afterwards once they released me from the critical care unit and into a hospital room; I left to go and get drugs. I thought I was dead…. I remember my daughter asking me when is enough going to be enough? Shortly after that I met with her and the rest of my family and told them that I was ready; I was tired! They brought me to Breakthrough.

Breakthrough made me start from scratch; they taught me how to Live Life Again. I am an example of REHABILITATION- They had to take me back to the very beginning; teaching me how to bathe and care for myself again. How to groom myself, wash my clothes. Simple Life Skills that I had taken for granted, I  had to learn all over again. Without Breakthrough I don’t know where I’d be, or if I would even be alive at the rate I was going.

In order to make a change and have victory over Drugs and Alcohol you must be Sick & Tired of being sick and tired. YOU must personally be ready to commit to making a real change, not your family, your friends or even your doctors. None of this would be possible without the loving and encouraging Breakthrough Staff. They never made me feel small they always showed me that they cared and were concerned despite who I may have been in my past.  I will never forget what they have done for me and my family.  I will forever be grateful to Breakthrough.

Desirae. B

When I first got to Breakthrough, I was a wreck under 100lbs, all washed up at 16 years old. I was so afraid to be sober. I was uncomfortable with myself, afraid, dishonest, unreliable and untrustworthy.        I was mostly afraid of the feeling. I had suppressed my feelings and emotions by staying high, I had no idea how to function sober. I have endured so must trauma in my life that I never confronted… Being high made me numb to the pain, depression and anxiety or so I thought.

When I first got to Breakthrough I was just going through the motions, saying what I thought everyone wanted to hear, I didn’t participate in groups or in meetings and I didn’t look for a sponsor. I was just there warming up a seat. Fighting the Process… Looking back now, I realize that it was more work fighting against the process than it was to submit to taking advantage of the opportunity. Breakthrough gave me tough love when I needed it most.

Since being here I have learned how to be more accepting of my own flaws and to be comfortable in my own skin. Breakthrough has helped me take inventory of my own actions not just focus on what others have done to hurt me or cause trauma but how my actions affected  those around me who loved me and wanted the best for me. I never thought in a million years that the relationship with my parents would be mended. Now thanks to Breakthrough my family is also a vital part of my healing and my recovery. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned being here at Breakthrough is that you get out of life what you are willing to put into it. If you want this process to work, you must be willing to work at it. Once you realize that you want to change your life and put in the effort into making a real change, then and only then can the outcome be a favorable one! Thank you so much Breakthrough!

Tony. B

Growing up for me was a Horror Story… My life was full of physical and sexual abuse by those closest to me. My mother was the only one who showed me love consistently. She was also abused. As an adult, I experienced one toxic dysfunctional relationship after another. The most recent went on for three excruciating years, during which my drug and alcohol use became more and more frequent and directly resulted in more severe violence. After praying for a change in my life for more than six months, my prayers were finally answered, and I ended up at Breakthrough

By the time I had gotten to Breakthrough I had been to several other treatment facilities, and my first impression was that I didn’t know what to think… Everyone seemed so nice, so caring and concerned which in the beginning made me question why would they be so nice to me; I’m just an addict. For months I had convinced myself that I was being “set up” but after several  months I finally realized that they were sincere, and their care and concern was real; and  if their concern is real than the PROCESS must also be real… At that point, my whole perception changed.

Breakthrough taught me that if you have faith in God and in the process, you can overcome what you thought was the impossible. However, you must do the footwork; no one else can do the work for you.

The most valuable lesson that Breakthrough has taught me is that  the process is SIMPLE but simple does not mean EASY. I am now registering for school, looking forward to finding employment and for once in my life; planning for my future. None of this would be possible without Breakthrough!

Craig. F

I wanted to share my experience as a recent graduate of the Breakthrough Recovery Outreach Intensive Outpatient Program.

After attempting to get help and to get my life back on track, I reached out to several facilities in the Atlanta area and felt that I was treated as if I wasn’t a human being. It wasn’t until I called Breakthrough and spoke with the Operations Manager “Marcus” where he was kind, nurturing, and spoke to me with such genuine compassion. He was detail oriented and had such insight about my situation.

It didn’t stop there, all Breakthrough staff are helpful, consistent, and provided me with quality service. This has truly been a life changing experience for me.

Instead of attending Treatment just 15 mins from my home, I chose to wake up at 4:30am every morning and travel by bus and train 3 and a half hours to Breakthrough because of that initial phone call with Marcus.

If you are seeking quality Treatment with people who truly care, I strongly recommend Breakthrough.


Craig. F

Willie. S

My name is Willie Slaughter, and I am a 57-year-old dually diagnosed chronic, relapsing veteran with over 20 years of struggling with addiction.  Arriving at BRO (Breakthrough Recovery Outreach) directly from jail, I was a deeply broken, hopeless feeling, powerless man who had been homeless for most of my addicted years.  I also caused my wife and daughter to become homeless as well on numerous occasions, I WANTED AND NEEDED HELP!!!

My prayer to God was please help me!  My introduction to BRO   came through Dekalb County Misdemeanor Mental Health Court.   Though not a perfect place, nor with perfect people it fit me perfectly because of my imperfections.  Breakthrough provided a safe haven for me.  They dealt with me holistically, even working with my family.  This place challenged me, causing me to experience the breaking down and breaking through of old mindsets, behaviors and belief systems.

I am so grateful for the 90 days I spent with them along with the intensive outpatient program.  My life has taken a whole new direction by surrendering to the process.  BRO IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT!!!

I would like to take a moment to consider the still sick and suffering who feel as though all is lost.  There is ONE who has all power, that ONE is GOD!  May you seek and find HIM now.

Christopher. D

My name is Christopher Davis and I am a grateful recovering addict. When I came to Breakthrough, I was hopeless and I believed that recovery was not possible. It was after I was released from Fulton County Jail after serving 30- Days without detox or psychotropic medications that I realized how unmanageable my life was. I was hearing voices that were rapidly getting louder and louder. I felt like I was losing my mind which left me very confused. When I was at my worst, I walked onto interstate 285 and was struck by a moving vehicle. Thankfully, my mother rescued me once again and took me to the stabilization unit at Dekalb Medical. Upon discharge, I was brought to Breakthrough.

On December 7th, 2018 my life changed tremendously for the better. My experience here at Breakthrough gave me hope and allowed me to share my story with my peers. The feeling of love and support here has given me hope and taught me leadership. Today I am clean and sober. I am pursuing my GED, I am honest, I am committed to treatment, and had a spiritual awakening. Breakthrough has given me freedom from isolation and a true desire to be the best version of myself free from the use of all mind-altering substances.

I want to thank the staff here at Breakthrough for giving me a second chance at life. For giving me the platform to be a productive member of society. I have passed the language arts and math portion of my GED testing. I have over 72 days clean and sober. I am somebody today with a bright future ahead of me.


Dear Chris,

I will attempt to keep this “open letter” as short as possible. It truly will require that I be efficient with my words – your Team has saved the life of my son and I now know that the wonderful and kind child that disappeared for existence for a couple of years was able to be resurrected. Your slogan: “Trust in the Process” I recite in my head many times daily. I trust in the process and I trust in the true caring Professionals at Breakthrough.

One hundred and ten days ago my son called me for the first time in many months. I knew he was an opiate abuser and had other drug issues. I had tried to reach him and get him to recover before but the monster of opiates had control. Shawn was at the end of his rope. He had lost all control of his life. He had no friends and no future and had lost 30 pounds. He knew himself that the monster of addiction was bigger than him. He finally asked for help.

That Friday morning, I rushed to the seedy motel where he was “holed up”. I called Chris Jacobs on the way (I knew Chris from Shawn’s first stint at Breakthrough 18 mos. prior). Chris answered his cell phone and right away he knew who I was. By the time I helped Shawn pack his belongings into my car and went straight to a doctor, it was getting late. Chris had promised to take Shawn back into the program and Michelle was working late at the office to meet us late that Friday evening.

There are so many things I could recite about how the loving and caring Professionals at Breakthrough have saved the life of my son, but this letter would go on forever. I personally know about all of the housing coordinators because each of these great people embrace my son and me. A lot of people can fake a lot of things but the Treatment Team at Breakthrough does not fake their true dedication and commitment to the recovery of these lost people that need help.

Recovery is truly a process as I have come to know. As I mentioned to Dr. Cox once, I do not tell my doctors how to do surgery; I do not tell my pilots how to fly airplanes and I certainly do not try to tell a recovery Professional how to save the life of my addict son. Your really have to “Trust in the Process” – AND, trust the people. Both the addict and the parent / loved ones must be willing to turnover the handling of the crisis – and it truly is a crisis – to the people who know what they are doing. Dr. Cox once said in a family session to Shawn, “Your addiction will look for all nooks and crannys to resist”. How true that is.

There will be times when the collective wisdom of the Treatment Team reaches conclusions about what is best for the recovering addict that you may not understand. A parent wants to nurture a sick loved one. An addict needs structure and responsibility and accountability that you cannot give at home. An addict needs repetition of ideas and rehabilitation principles over and over – for life. This is truly not a disease that you can recover from without patience and perseverance – and trust. Relapse doesn’t occur to all addicts, but I have learned that it occurs to most. The Treatment Team at Breakthrough has taught my son how best to avoid the “triggers” for relapse. Nothing is certain and all you can do is do the best you can to increase the odds that your child or loved one will reach recovery and stay in recovery.

The gratitude I feel for all of the Treatment Team cannot be put in words and has a value that cannot be reduced to dollars.

Susan B.

Dear Chris, Tim and Breakthrough staff,

It seems that this letter would be easy to write; it is not. No words can adequately express my gratitude for all you have done for my son and me. It was not easy to leave my 16 year-old son in the care of complete strangers. I am so thankful that I did.

I credit him for working hard for his recovery, but it was each of you who did the work to provide him with the opportunity to learn about his disease, his recovery and himself. Six months ago, I thought my life was a nightmare. Now, I have a son who has grown emotionally, socially, spiritually, and even physically! Your integrative approaches touched all aspects of human growth and prepared him to come back home. He has been home for three weeks, and I am amazed over and over at what he has learned and how to apply his recovery principles in life’s daily situations. He has a new lease on life. The foundation that you have provided will last him a lifetime that he can always rely upon.

You are part of his sober network, so I know he will be back to visit. We will keep in touch. Some things you just can’t let go of.

Yours gratefully,
Susan B.

Beverly W.

I had the wonderful privilege of working as an intern for Breakthrough Recovery Outreach while earning my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. My experience with the clients and staff at BRO was unlike any other experience I have ever had. Each therapist and staff member at BRO seemed to truly care about the well-being and safety of the clients. I felt right at home at BRO from the moment I started my internship. The staff members are warm and friendly and the therapists are very involved with the clients. The clients also seemed as if they felt they were among friends during their recovery process. Breakthrough offers a wide variety of programs and learning opportunities to the clients and the staff. The programs at BRO give clients the chance to learn skills that will help them rebuild their lives. As an intern, I learned techniques from BRO’s different programs that I will carry with me for the rest of my personal life and professional career as a counselor. One of the main assets of BRO is that the director, Chris Jacobs, exhibits a great amount of care and concern for the mental and physical health of each client and staff member. He voices concern regularly for the well-being of staff members. His door is open for staff to voice concerns and receive help with working with clients. He also takes extra measures to get to know the clients and their families on a personal level. Each client is handled as an individual with a unique lifestyle and personality. I could tell from working with Mr. Jacobs that he really has a heart and a calling for helping others. The staff members share in the same love for people. I would highly recommend BRO for any individual or family that is in need of recovery services. I had an absolutely wonderful experience and I would trust Breakthrough with the care of my own loved one for recovery help.