Tony Foster is the Chief Operating Officer of The Road to Freedom. As a man in recovery himself, Tony has a passion for helping others find and stay on their road to recovery. His ultimate goal is to help his patients gain a better understanding of the role of spirituality in addiction recovery and how building a relationship with a God can help in the healing process.
Growing up, Tony was not raised in a particularly religious family. In fact, he described in his church service on November 29th, 2017 that his childhood household was ruled by money and alcohol, both of which had a stronger hold on his parents than God did. He went on to describe that, shortly before the start of his 30-year long career in drinking, his father told him, “If you don’t learn to drink, people aren’t going to trust you.” This resonated with Tony more than his father probably realized, as he began drinking alcohol at 15.
Tony continued to describe in this service that, from that point forward, he followed a similar path as his father— leading a life ruled by money, the pursuit of success, and the frequent consumption of alcohol.
The Turning Point
Tony has openly admitted that his mindset as an alcoholic was like that of any other: one of heightened ego and an even higher insecurity to drive it. It was because of alcohol that he was able to get through each day. It was because of alcohol that he was able to have fun and relax. And it wasn’t until alcohol nearly killed him that Tony was able to realize that alcohol didn’t have to rule his life.
Rehab and Finding God
During his November 29th church service, Tony points out something very important that people in recovery tend to learn the hard way: not everyone responds to treatment the same way. In his case, Tony had no problem admitting that he was what many would call a “problem patient.” This was due in part because, when Tony started rehab in 2002, he did so because it’s what his family wanted— not what he wanted. It wasn’t until he came close to death in a six-week long relapse that he finally realized that being ruled by alcohol was no way to truly live. From that point on, Tony turned to God for the strength to recover and willingly went to rehab. Once he did, he found a method of treatment that worked for him: toothbrush therapy.
This form of addiction therapy, as Tony had described it, is one that focuses on recovery one day at a time. Toothbrush therapy is based in positivity, self-reflection and the reinforcement of good habits over bad ones. For those like Tony who turn to God for strength in their recovery, toothbrush therapy is an effective method of counting your blessings during rehab. During his own recovery, Tony was able to do this through composing daily gratitude lists, praying every morning and every night, and building a relationship with God. Today, Tony has been sober for fifteen years and even now continues these habits every day.
Dedication to Helping Others
Tony initially earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. After facing his own struggles with alcoholism and finding his faith, he went on to earn his Master’s of Science in Rehab Counseling and Mental Health at Florida Atlantic University in 2010. Five years after that, Tony received his Ph. D., also from FAU.
With these tools at his disposal, Tony forged a path for himself in the addiction treatment field, acting as a therapist and certified addiction professional before becoming the Chief Operations Officer at The Treatment Center in 2015. Today, Tony oversees the operations and development of the Road to Freedom addiction treatment program and assists those in need who are struggling with both addiction and faith.
Making the Right Choice
In any given situation, knowing right from wrong isn’t enough to make the right choice. When it comes to addiction, making the right choice goes beyond the decision to go to rehab; it’s something that you have to do every day in order to be truly free from addiction. Making the right choice in recovery can be as small as getting out of bed in the morning or as big as building a continued relationship with God. At Road to Freedom, people like Tony can help you on your journey to sobriety by helping you find a treatment plan that works for you. The best treatment plan will help you make the right choices going forward— for God, for your loved ones, and for yourself.
You can watch Tony’s full address here: