FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
Steve Manko's personal journey of recovery is the story of one man's belief in the American dream. The dream that one can come back from the destruction of chemical dependency and build a life that makes a difference. Steve has plenty of what it takes - courage, determination, and especially concern for others.
His story is a voyage from business and personal success at the highest levels of society to one of self-destruction and the depths of addiction. One morning he awakened to the reality that he had lost everything. That he was, in fact, powerless. This was a very bitter pill for Steve to swallow.
After a search for reputable treatment centers, he selected South Florida and the Hanley-Hazleden Center, recognizing Hazelden as the great pioneer in the field. Here he received the help he needed and slowly began to reclaim his life and his dignity. After obtaining sobriety, Steve decided not to return home but rather to remain in Florida where his sober support system was.
It didn't take long for him to recognize what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Steve began to reach out to others with his personal story as well as with his dream and model of recovery. Now, 20 years later, 30 rehabilitation facilities exist in this area as the result of this vision and passion.
His programs embrace people at every level of recovery and in every socio-economic parallel with an unprecedented success rate. The synergetic effects of Steve's efforts in South Florida have resulted in this area becoming the largest recovery community in the World.
Recently Steve won a major case in Federal Court for discrimination against disabled persons; the millions of addicts and alcoholics, both in an out of recovery, that suffer from this life destructive disease. This epidemic in America has untold costs. It took 5 years and millions of dollars plus the emotional and financial drain on Steve and his family.
As a result of his commitment to stay the fight, Federal law now protects the rights of recovering men and women in new ways. They can no longer be treated as outcasts but rather can live anywhere within the very communities they are becoming contributing members of. This legal victory is, perhaps, the greatest legacy of the man we call Steve Manko.