SUCCESS: Ex-heroin addict shares his story

Two men praise a Christian-based substance abuse program and describe how they straightened out their lives following felony convictions.
Cary Ashby
Jan 18, 2013


Matthew Botbyl met Mitch Brewer at the Teen Challenge program.

At the time, they were both drug addicts and had been convicted recently for separate burglaries.

Both men said they always believed in God, but they didn't consider themselves Christians.

Now, Botbyl, 26, and Brewer, 24, are sober. They happily refer to each other as "brothers in Christ" and close friends.

"The Teen Challenge process -- it works," said Brewer's mother. "I've seen it."

Rebecca Brewer teared up as she shared how she saw her son make his biggest progress about a quarter way through the 12- to 14-month substance abuse program. She is adamant that despite the name, the Christian-based program isn't just for teenagers; it's intended for men and women from all walks of life with substance abuse issues.

"Teen Challenge repaired this family," Brewer said.

Feature stories about how Botbyl and Brewer turned their lives around are part of a two-part series appearing in the Friday and Saturday issues of the Norwalk Reflector.




What a wonderful story!!!

Estrella Damm

Hope in continues and they remain strong.


AMEN!! great!! stay strong...


Awesome job guys!


you should be so proud of yourselves!!!hope to hear more stoeries like this.

Cliff Cannon

Way to cool. Courage,hope,strength and faith in action. Thanks Matt and Mitch for showing it can be done. God bless & keep you

Kottage Kat

Hope your story will inspire others.
God bless you on the journey.

Kat 23 Years sober.

Ellis dee



All addicts need treatment,not jail. Good job guys!


So no jail time for theft?


I was thinking the same thing Contango. No jail time for illegal activity? If thats the case, I don't ever want a speeding ticket. Just send me a video that I have to watch on why speeding is bad. And if Im a repeat offender, Ill just watch the same video over again.

I guess the shoe fits w 448.....this person thinks this country is on the right track and that one man is to blame for it all. Their response is not shocking at all.


You are such a tool.


I said addicts Winnie. Trying to spin my words again? You should work for Fox.


According to the story in the NR, back pain led to his addiction.

Unless it was a "miraculous healing," the story doesn't answer the question on how he now copes with it.

Kottage Kat



Jesus with a side order of Tylenol eh?

The story also reveals that the VA said that he was “not eligible” for surgery and so he was shot up with morphine and given other strong drugs.

The govt. obviously feels that they have no responsibility in his addiction.

Reads like the Brave New World of socialized medicine.


Contango and Swiss family: Obviously you two are mis-informed...


Sat, 01/26/2013 - 3:21pm

Contango and Swiss family: The place where these two individuals went to instead of jail was called Teen Challenge. Its an adult male facility. It is for a year. Not a 30 day rehab, and it is not easy. Alot of people leave there and go do there jail sentences because jail is easier to complete than Teen Challenge. Very intense program that restores individuals instead of making them better criminals in jail. These two guys deserve credit for changing there lives and now making a difference by giving back to the community of what they learned and been thru. .... We all make mistakes in life, but tossing people in jail really isnt always the best solution.

Kottage Kat

Just love getting you going with a word


Former addict huh? Explains a lot. Tylenol or Tylenol 3?

Kottage Kat


swiss family

Although I praise these two guys for being sober.I also feel that they escaped the punishment for their crimes.I also feel that this treatment way of "justice" had to produce at least one success story, especially seeing the opposition by the community, every time the Judge passes out what I deem to be a "slap on the wrist.

I am also concerned, that in the printed story, oner of these guys, says that in court, "the victim testified and made it a bigger deal than it was" I have some serious questions about that. I believe that an form of punishment is to hopefully work to make the criminal "accountable" for their crime, and by his statement, he is not doing that.He is still blaming the person he stole from, the victim,for being out of line. I also know that any "rehab" center will instill in every addict.. "accountability for their actions. I have some serious concerns here.. I am hoping that they actually do have this under control, but from my viewpoint, I think it is impossible until they become accountable for their actions.

I am happy for them, and even proud of them, but I am also worried about them, and worried about all of us, because if and when they fall off the wagon, they still have not learned that robbery and breaking in is a bad my opinion


swiss you write too much I just skip over your books


I just wish more people had the success that this person had.


Arnmcrmn, I wish the same, but here in Heroin County, you get out of the Hilton and head right back with the same rats that got you put in in the first place! For every one of these stories, there is 1,000,000 that go the other direction!