Success Stories

Success stories

Ted, Donita and Sam’s Story

The owners and founders of Addiction Free Recovery Services have their own story of hope to tell. Please take a moment to watch this inspiring video.

Gary’s Story


Gary Bettencourt knew he needed to change his life if he wanted his life to change. He has now been sober for 26 years, after first taking that immeasurable step toward recovery in 1989. Today, he is a certified addiction treatment counselor through CAADE, a Christian Lay counselor, a sex addiction counselor and the director of Addiction Free Recovery Services. “I lost my sense of identity after I lost my role model,” says Gary. “I felt hopeless with no one to look up to. I started hanging around with low people in low places and alcohol and cocaine became my way out.” Gary started drinking when he was twenty-one, after a death in his family and the loss of his family dairy ranch, which left him feeling isolated and depressed. “I got four DUI’s, started passing blood through my kidneys, and I had to have plastic surgery due to my drinking. My drinking was a reaction to not accepting life on life’s terms.” His battle with alcohol and cocaine only worsened while working in the restaurant business in the 80’s and struggled with black outs and memory loss.


“Nothing changes when nothing changes. We are freeing people from substance abuse, giving them a better way of living and teaching them the skills to live addiction free.” Gary, himself, is a member of a fitness club and does cardio 4 days per week. Addiction Free Recovery Services has specialized outpatient programs to help with a wide spectrum of addictions from anger management, sex addiction, substance abuse, Christian counseling, as well as conjoint family counseling and specified programs for adolescents ages 14-18.


“When nothing changes in your life, getting clean and sober is the easier way to live,” says Gary.


“Life becomes manageable, there’s a freedom. I don’t feel like I’m being held hostage anymore. Today I have a choice to drink or not to drink.” Now Gary is ready to help you make that same choice.

SHELLY’s Story


Hi, welcome to Addiction Free Recovery. My name is Shelly Billington and I am here to serve you and our community to become just that, addiction free. Twenty-five years ago I began my own journey into an addiction free life. I have made good use of twelve step programs, church and counselors. I have overcome huge obstacles such as the loss of my first born child, divorce and cancer. In remaining abstinent of all mind and mood altering substances, I have become emotionally and spiritually whole.


Five years ago I made the life changing decision to become an addiction counselor and help others step onto this path that leads to wholeness. I have been registered as a registered addiction specialist (RAS) since 2012 and acquired my certification as an Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC) in 2014. Twenty-five years later I am still active in my own recovery and look forward to helping you and your loved ones step onto this path of restoration. Again I say welcome.



My name is Sam and I started my journey into recovery February 25th of 2013 and enjoy a wonderful life as a result. I am an addict and my drug of choice was oxycontin. I’ve suffered from depression since I was a teenager, at that age life is difficult enough without your brain not doing some of the things it should. I used drugs as a crutch to feel normal, and at first they did an excellent job of making me feel okay. Before long I became physically dependent and couldn’t function without getting high. I wanted out but didn’t know what to do, fortunately my family intervened in my life and convinced me to seek treatment. In treatment Gary Bettencourt was my counselor and lead me to understanding why I felt the need to use and gave me the tools to change my life. Today I have a over three and a half years of sobriety thanks to the guidance I received from Gary. With the inspiration I have from seeing what Gary was able to do in my life, I decided to become a certified counselor. Don’t be afraid of treatment, life is so much better sober!

William’s story


I knew from an early age that I was going to be a statistic, a numerical piece of data on a chart; but for so many years that chart consisted of adverse figures. That lifestyle fostered a negative environment and hopeless dreams of ever getting clean. I had always used my family as evidence of why I had no hope in changing or becoming a successful member of society because my idea of success was gun charges and drug sales. Today I’ve created a new image for myself, living positively on a daily basis and creating healthy opportunities for my family and myself, so I can show them that the past can be left in the past. History has its place but the future holds no boundaries. In short, I’ve learned through these experiences that grateful addicts don’t use.



I suffered with alcoholism and chemical dependency for years. I recently celebrated 10 years of sobriety. I finally decided to take the steps needed to achieve a clean and sober lifestyle. Life has changed in so many ways for the better. I can`t express the gratitude for the people who showed me the path to a healthier, happier way of life.


Jennifer’s story


My name is Jennifer and I am in recovery from drugs and alcohol. As a child I was not emotionally equipped to handle the many choices I was facing. Like many people, my life growing up was full of chaos, loss and abuse. At ten years of age, I was introduced to marijuana, at age fourteen, i was addicted to meth, marijuana and pills. Finally by the time I was twenty-one years old, I was addicted to anything and everything. It was a daily choir to juggle my need for drugs with a desire to drink. I could no longer keep up with all of the lies I had told, and I did not care about anything anymore. Today I am twelve years clean and sober, I have my health, the love and trust of family and friends and my sanity has returned. Recovery has allowed me to heal, forgive and grow. I am a productive member of society, working full time and attending college. I am finally at peace, knowing the I AM worth the fight. If I can get clean and sober and achieve these things in my life, then you can too. The first step is always the toughest.

Ryan’s story


I battled many years with an opiate addition.  Many times I had tried to quit on my own thinking my will power was strong enough or I was strong enough to just say no, but unfortunately that was not the case. The disease was much stronger than I had anticipated.  Tune and time again I would be sober for a couple of days until the cravings got bad that I had to use just to feel normal.  I finally got to the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired so I checked into a treatment facility.  Thanks to everything I learned I now have just over 3 years of clean time and am able to use the coping strategies that I learned from treatment in my everyday life.  Whenever something bad happens or stressful, I now know there is no reason to use.  I’m not saying it is going to be easy, but I am saying it is going to be worth it.