Testimonials

From the Families and Graduates of Mark Houston Recovery & Benchmark Recovery Center

The day I walked into Benchmark Recovery Center, I thought my life couldn’t get any worse. Had I been told what the end result would be, I wouldn’t have stayed. I wouldn’t have believed you.

I kinda’ had a job. I kinda’ had friends. I kinda’ had a family. In other words, I had nothing. I had destroyed everything in my path but the way I acted you would have never known. I was leading a double life. I had nothing- but on the outside I had everything. I walked into Benchmark thinking I just needed help to stop the dope and I needed a lesson on how to drink like a “normal” person. What I got though was a life-changing experience. I learned how to properly take care of myself.  I learned how to express my feelings. But most importantly, I got to work the steps and learn that I could have my own higher power! I was longing for Him all along but never knew how to reach Him. I completed my steps there and walked out a brand new woman! I was reborn!!

Benchmark has such a special place in my heart. Benchmark did everything they could to help me–to help another drug addict recover.  Today I live a life better than I could have ever dreamed. I have friends!! My family is back in my life! I have a job! And people can rely on me. I use the tools Benchmark taught me on a daily basis. So many BRC alumni are still a part of my life and I am so grateful!! Thank you Benchmark!!
-Kimber M.

As a chronic relapser, I have struggled with alcoholism for many years. I had been to four treatment centers before coming to Benchmark Recovery Center and had a totally new experience with the process of drug and alcohol recovery.  Not only was I beaten and lost, but I was skeptical as well.

Through a rigorous program of 12-step work, self-appraisal and spiritual exercises, I learned that addiction is truly a disease of the body, mind and spirit. Re-aligning myself in all three of these areas changed my life.  At Benchmark, I practiced the daily disciplines that are so crucial for long-term sobriety: trusting in a power greater than myself, cleaning up the wreckage of my past and helping fellow addicts along the way.  I finally learned that this was not something I could do by myself.

Not only have I taken away the tools I need to stay sober outside of treatment, but I have made life-long friends and become a member of a fellowship that will carry me through the everyday trials and triumphs of life. The staff at Benchmark are committed and invested in each resident—and it works.  Thank you Benchmark!
-Nina J.

When I came to Benchmark Treatment Center, I was broken and had no hope.

The BRC staff really does care about each and every person who walks through their doors. They know and understand exactly what we are all going through and where we’ve been. They have been there themselves, and they share their experience, strength and hope with all of us.  They have opened my eyes to what life is all about, and to all that I have to look forward to. I came in closed off from the world. The staff here helped me find my strength. They didn’t just give me wings, they helped me find my own.

I tried every way possible to quit drinking on my own, even when it came down to losing my family, and losing everything else that mattered in my life.  I couldn’t stop no matter what. I was ready to give up.  I could not do it on my own, I needed to find a Higher Power, whom I choose to call God. I know as long as I keep a close connection with my God, and work the steps on a daily basis, I know that I will never have to drink again!

Now, my life is better than I could have ever imagined. I am helping others and sharing my experience, strength, and hope.  I am now 6 months sober, and I have my family back. I am truly blessed. I am forever grateful to Benchmark, for giving me my life back.

At Benchmark Recovery Center I was given a solution, “the only solution”.
Krista R.

I arrived to Benchmark Recovery Center a broken and hopeless woman, a woman whose internal and external circumstances required a profound intervention. What I was lacking was the ability to connect on a visceral level to the desperation needed for this overhaul. Luckily, I had a mentor who showed me that lack of power was my dilemma, and aided me in conceding to my inner despondency. Moreover, she showed me how to get unblocked, which allowed me to get in touch with the Power that ultimately saved my life.

I had tried everything to stop using, but was completely unable to do so on my own power. I urgently needed a group of people willing to tell me the truth about myself, and I was blessed to have a mentor who could not only do this, but also possessed the stubbornness and will power to match my own. I cannot thank Benchmark Recovery Center enough for the solution and the tools that I was given during my stay there. I am no longer that broken and hopeless woman…I have a purpose, as well as a life full of friendship, blessings, and camaraderie.
-Libby A.

Hi, I’m Blake, and I am an addict. Never did I imagine those words to flow so freely of my mouth. Sitting in a Cocaine Anonymous meeting at age 21 was not where I saw my life heading as a little girl. It took me a long time for that statement to transfer from just words in my head, to a feeling in my heart. For the longest time I knew on an intellectual level that I was an addict, but to really accept and concede it to myself, was a different ballgame. Although, there were many different stages I had to pass through before that transformation could take place. I tried the geographical moves, changing the social circle, rehabs, jail. It wasn’t until I exhausted every last resource I could possibly think of, that I was willing to admit I might want to take someone else’s direction other than my own.

I arrived at Benchmark Recovery Center in February of 2010. Fresh out of jail, weighing 102 pounds soaking wet. I had no soul left, I was psychically standing there, but there was nothing left inside.  I had been strung out on heroin and crack cocaine for the last four years of my life and I was only 21 years old. I had tried the treatment center gig before, and never gotten very far.  But I knew that something was different about this place the second I stepped foot on the BRC property. I now know what that difference was, I had just checked in to a Recovery center, not a treatment center, and I was about to be given all of the tools I would need to RECOVER from the hopeless state of mind and body I had been living for so many years.

It was in this recovery center that they were able to take this broken, busted up dope fiend I had turned into, and start me on my journey to create something totally new. I learned about the disease- that I have a body that is allergic to drugs and alcohol. A mind that is sick, and will take me back to those things every time without question.  And a spiritual hole deep inside me that blocked me from being able to live life and function in this world.

I learned that my only way out of this pain, and insanity, was to place my dependence on a power greater than myself that was going to save my life. I was given the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and guided through the 12 steps of the program. Somewhere along those lines, I got connected to that power, which I choose to call God, and my life hasn’t been the same since. In fact it’s not even something I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.

It is here at Benchmark Recovery center that God lives. I owe thanks to God for providing a place for me to go, with staff members who cared more about my life than anything else.  Day by day I will continue to grow, and strive to live this new way of life I was given.  I am forever indebted and eternally grateful.
-Blake B.

“I came to Benchmark/MHR in December 2007. Before that I was a person who could not stay clean and sober; I was a “chronic relapser”. I had been through numerous treatment centers without much success. I had put together a year here, 6 months there of sobriety but nothing long term, I was living life on “my” terms thinking I knew how to control my life.
It wasn’t until I was completely beat down and out of options that I knew something had to change. With this change and guidance from Benchmark/MHR came a new way of thinking and a new life. I was given a simple set of tools to follow and use in my day to day life. I hit the ground running and performed whatever was asked of me, this was my new beginning. They helped and guided me through fixing the mental, physical, and spiritual deficiencies in my life.
As I write this I am coming up on 4 years of true, meaningful sobriety and am truly greatly to Benchmark/MHR for the work that was done and helping mold the person I am today. To continue to keep this new life I must give it away to the newcomer and help the next person like someone helped me. I am truly blessed and understand that there is a reason that I am still alive today!” -Ronnie

“A superior alternative to a straight clinical treatment. Teaches real world techniques to deal with the realities of your addiction by taking the pure message of the Big Book. The thinking/ego which keeps us sick will not control your life any longer. Great facility and staff who are really dedicated to helping you learn how to live a happy, productive sober life.” -Benjamin C.

“I love my daughter and it was very difficult for me to entrust her life to people I didn’t even know. However, I knew that we, and particularly she, could not go on the way we had been. In the past year I have learned so much about alcoholism and addiction. I am so impressed with the this program, specifically with what you have done with the women’s program.
I trust you with my daughter’s life and I feel confident about her prospects for the future.I firmly believe that my daughters’ recovery is directly attributed to your efforts and also believe that her continued participation in a your structure is extremely important for her recovery and long term sobriety.
It is my understanding that you are in the process of establishing a sober house for women. I can’t tell you enough how excited I am about this and how important I believe this is. Just in the short time since my daughter has left there, it has been painfully obvious that your program is so much different compared to the programs that the other women in that sober house have attended.
There have already been two relapses and two potential relapses of women from the other programs. The feedback that I have gotten from the women at that sober house that have graduated from your program, is that they are starving for the structure and support that only your program offers. These women are serious about their recovery and want to continue their program in a structure you have shown them. Anything that can be done to expedite the women’s home can only benefit the current graduates at that sober house as well as future graduates. Thank you so much for what you have done with and for my daughter; she is everything to me.” – Julia” -DJ N.

“This is the only place I have seen in 7 treatment experiences that will immerse you in the program of AA and guide you through all 12 Steps with people living and working the steps on a daily basis both professionally and personally.” -Ken G.

“I just wanted to say HUGE thank you to you and your wonderful staff for helping save my dear, sweet friend, J’s, life. She is such a wonderful person. She definitely deserves the awesome life that God has intended for her. Thank you for helping her see that as well. We have been friends for over 14 years. She is more than a friend to me, she is like the big sister I always wanted. I could not imagine my life without her. That is why it was so important to me that she receive the best care while she was in treatment. The first time I was able to speak to her on her way home, I could definitely tell a difference in the way she was speaking. She spoke with such confidence and truth… She learned valuable life lessons and coping skills at MHR that I know will help her stay sober. I applaud you and your staff for all your hard work. Thank you!” -K

“I thought there was nothing that would stop me and this place turned my life around. I had experience here that shattered my delusion and made me take responsibility for my life. I found God here and true friendships. I got to a point of knowing my true self and being content to the point that alcohol and drugs were not an obsession. I grew up here.” -Ronald S.

“We are just amazed in the clarity and powerful messages in Kelsey’s writings. She is in this 100% and we prayed that she would take her strong will power and transform this into her recovery. She talks specifically of helping others in the program with her past experiences and intervention. She is so excited to be able to finally share at meetings and offer solutions to the newcomers. She’s in for the sober living house and staying with her new friends in Austin. “This is the right place for me I can feel it” Dianne and I are in favor of the program with J.D. at Addiction Directions. We told Kelsey this is just another “gift” in her recovery.We know this is a life long process but Kelsey’s transformation is truly a miracle.”

“This place is on to something. You will get things here you will not get anywhere else in the country. Family setting and program first rate and miles above the rest.” -Alex T.

“This is not “fast food chain” or a production line for people who are looking for a quick fix. MHR goes through the whole process, every step thoroughly. Not only giving one the information, but teaching how to use and apply the steps for the rest of your life.” -Mike S.

MHR is the strongest drug/alcohol recovery center that I have been. Recovery at MHR centers around having an experience with the 12 steps and a spiritual higher power. The staff at MHR all shares the primary purpose of helping other alcoholics and addicts recover.” -AJ

“This place is the best of the best. My life was saved here. If you want to put an end to your alcohol or drug use this place will give you everything needed for you to succeed. EVERYTHING!” -Kurt M.

“This place changed my life. It allowed me to grow up and become a man as well as work through all of the steps. I’ve had the experience of a total transformation in thoughts; attitude and I have hope again after being totally hopeless.” ~Owen

“Mark Houston Recovery Center is a place where I learned who I was and what I had been hiding from all my life. Had I gone somewhere else I would be drinking right now. The staff all know what they are doing and they have all been where I have been. This place may have saved my life.” -L.D.

“I learned that we can all get clean and sober but we do not know how to stay that way. Here you will learn how to stay that way for life. You will actually work all the steps; get that spiritual connect that we don’t have. You will get in great shape and learn (or relearn) a disciplined way of life that will carry over to the outside world. Most of all you will learn to be responsible and accountable. This, my friend is how to stay connected in life. I would also like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. For the first time I know how to stay clean and sober. I grumbled a lot and tried to buck the system at times, but I am eternally grateful for this program. I recommend this place above all others. Keep an eye out for me because I am going to kick some butt in this world and make ya’ll proud. Once again thank you for teaching me how to get my life back, for showing me how to reconnect with God and the tools for life time sobriety!” -Brian

“I learned more here in four months than the ten years of trying to get sober and that it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life, but so worth it.” -Grant

“Mark Houston Recovery is unlike other facilities specializing in addiction. The program is entirely experiential and gives the addict an opportunity to practice the disciplines that are vital to recovery. The grounds are beautiful, the staff is excellent and extremely caring, and the program is useful and relevant. It is impossible to capture the depth of the experience in words “MHR shows its residents how to recover rather than just telling them that there is a way out.” -Robert W.

“I have been to three different rehabs and Mark Houston Recovery is unlike the other 2. Here at MHR I learned tools, gained knowledge of the Big Book and how to stay sober. At the other rehabs I just bided my time because they did not push me into recovery. Mark Houston Recovery challenged me and I came out a different person.” -John J.

“This program is unlike any other one. At Mark Houston Recovery, you go through the twelve steps. The people at Mark Houston Recovery care about you and can relate to your experience. The environment is excellent for recovery. It does not cost as much as other places, but it is classier.” -Andrew V.

“Even if you do not know that you are addicted, these people will help you see past your delusion to see the reality of your life and the consequences your actions have had. You work all the steps here and get to practice implementing them into your life. Knowledgeable and understanding staff guides you through the entire process.” -JC

“You will find a solution here. I have been to many other places, and they offer you half measures solution. That is why most people who go to treatment do not stay sober.” -Jack Y.

[My husband] has been at MHR for the past 4 months. I would like to thank you for allowing him to be a part of your program. Initially, you gave us the opportunity to bring him into your program – the real thanks goes to you for allowing him to bring himself into your program on his own accord the second time. If you and your staff had not given him that chance, he would be a much different person today.Your program has given my husband another chance at life – not the same life – but, a better life. You have given myself and his children a chance at a better life.Thank you for working so hard on your own recovery and creating Mark Houston Recovery for men afflicted with addiction. You truly are doing God’s work here on earth.I know your program is rigorously difficult for your residents. It is also rigorously difficult for the families.I would not have gotten through these past 4 months peacefully without the candidness, care and compassion of JD Darley. I kept thanking God for placing JD as my husbands’ program director and inspiring him as he has-but, then I realized that God was looking out for me, as well, by putting JD in my life. JD gave me a tremendous amount of insight and care. He does a wonderful job drawing from all of his difficult times in the past and using those experiences to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I hope my husband can do the same. Most people go through their whole life never even attempting to make an impression on people never mind completely changing someone’s life – JD has changed the lives of a whole family.Thank you for providing the foundation for miracles to occur at MHR each day– I know our family has been blessed with a miracle.My promise is to live each day appreciating and acknowledging that fact and giving back to life in some small way each day.Thank you for helping my husband break the surface again of life – you have given him the opportunity to breathe that first gasp of “true” life. You showed him that incredible breath of life can sustain him through the temptations and trials and tribulations of life – you taught him how to be cognitive of the appreciation of life and carry it with him throughout his journey. Mark Houston Recovery gave him the opportunity to regain self pride, self appreciation and a general appreciation of life.Now, I have a new appreciation for life. Four months ago, I would not have thought I would be thanking you today for making such a difference in his life. I thought the man I have known for 26 years, my husband of 12 years, the father of our 2 children, my best friend, the love of my life was gone to me – you have brought him back.I am forever indebted to you.A multitude of thanks to all of you!!!” -D.H.

“This place will show you how to live life again. You will have an opportunity to work all 12 steps, learn the truth about yourself and your disease and get in a routine of living life on spiritual principles.” -Robert W.

“Benchmark represents what sobriety is all about. Awesome experience, the change I felt inside cannot be put into words. Awesome staff, facility and growth into physical body were beyond imagination.” -Brady W.

“MHR helped me find my personal truth and what had been missing in my other attempts at sobriety. MHR cares more about my recovery than my thoughts or feelings, which is what I need to break through my layers of delusion.” -Brad T.

“This program gets you in touch with a power greater than ourselves. We MUST find that power. God does for us what we could not do for ourselves. Here, you get to go through the 12 steps thoroughly. Drugs were not the problem.” -Zachary C.

“I got into a lot of good habits that I’ve never experienced before. Mark Houston Recovery made it possible for me to live happily sober. Gave me the tools to help others and not focus on myself. Help me feel good about myself. Now I can actually accomplish things and be more productive. MHR helped me learn more about doing the right thing instead of what I want to do.” -Blake B.

“The staff is genuine about you getting and staying recovered! It is a country club typesetting, but recovery is the main topic on their agenda. The staff is a caring, loving bunch of people who always have your best interest at heart. They will do whatever it takes as long as you are willing to put forth the effort, and even when you’re not willing to put forth the effort, staff helps you recover from a hopeless state of mind. They are the only place I would recommend going to.With that said, MHR has been the most awesome experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. With your guidance and the help I am realizing true joy and happiness in my life. The genuine care I’ve experienced here speaks volumes for the love and dedications you have for the suffering addicts and alcoholics out there who have the pleasure to come here and recover. Thank you from the bottom of my soul!” -Sheldon

“I came not knowing what to expect and I learned so much about myself, life and a new found connection with a power greater than myself. It is a very good experience and great things happen at MHR.” -Cody S.

“Mark Houston Recovery is one of the best recovery centers in the United States because their program is really thorough in all aspects of your life. It changed me for the better and they have good programs to hold you accountable when you get out.” -Jenson

“MHR will give you truth, hold you accountable and teach you a lot about yourself and the Big Book. I’ve learned how to do recovery because I’ve had to do the disciplines every day. The staff is knowledgeable and speaks from experience as people who have recovered. All three aspects of the disease are addressed at MHR. We practice the principles of recovery in all of our affairs. It is truly a great experience. Thank you for everything.” -Maury T.

“You get to do the 12 steps and get connected to a power that will change your life. You get to work out, eat really well and have an experience that will change your life.” -Conner O.

“Mark H. is an excellent speaker and carries the message very well. The program here will help you get to a point where you can sponsor others the day you leave. You will grow spiritually and find happiness from within.” -Henry W.

“MHR is a place that along with giving you information on how to do this; makes you take responsibility to do this and therefore change occurs. The staff cares about you and holds you accountable.” -Dean M.

“My extensive battle with addiction and the 13 attempts at help through treatment, MHR is the only place to give me the chance to experience the solution that has worked for so many people through Alcoholics Anonymous. I learned the truth of myself, and my life here, and how off course it had gone and that is an awesome alternative to the way I’ve been living life. I now live that solution as a direct result of being at Mark Houston Recovery Center.” -Morgan C.

“This program is unique in that what MHR shows/teaches you here is practical and applicable in everyday life. MHR internalizes AA in that it incorporates unity, service and recovery. The consistency in the way we work the steps and interpret the Big Book will leave no confusion or doubt as to how to live a life sober and happy.” -Tony D.

“The best place to be introduced to the 12 steps with no middle of the road solution and you learn what it means to face your fears and be a real man.” -Eric

“It changed my life. It gave me hope, I have a better understanding of the program, but more importantly I had an experience with the work. The staff truly cares about you and your recovery. I have learned tools here that I will take with me for the rest of my life.” -BJ

“My experience here has been like no other place. As addicts we have a community that helps each other through early sobriety. For the first time in ten years of trying to stay clean I do feel a change and feel hope for the future.” -Grant B.

“MHR has a great staff to work with you. They are all in recovery, just like you so they are able to understand and relate to what you are going through. They have a unique approach to presenting and implementing the solution that was very effective for me. You will leave the program equipped with the tools you need and confidence to live a sober life.” -Norman J.

“I have had the greatest, most fulfilling experience here. The staff really cares about other addicts and alcoholics and seeks an end to suffering. Overall, they carry the most pure message of any fellowship. If you are willing to find a solution for drugs and alcohol this is the place to come.” -Wyatt D.