The Bethesda Recovery Center Dba Choices in Recovery (Choices) has been working with adults 18 years and older, who are struggling with Substance Use/Co-Occurring Disorders for over 25 years.
Choices was originally founded by Steve Burgard, a native Californian in 1994. Steve was known as "Big Homie" in his hometown stomping grounds of Encinitas, CA. After getting clean under the direction of Dr. Bob, who was also his sponsor, Steve opened Choices in Recovery in Vista for his "homies" who needed to begin their journey of recovery. Choices' early success in Substance Abuse Treatment is attributed to Steve's charismatic personality, individualized treatment, small, safe "homes" in the community, and his commitment to providing services to all people regardless of ability to pay.
Upon opening Choices, the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) began looking for facilities that would treat individuals affected by the criminal justice system who required substance abuse treatment, under their program known as Substance Abuse Service Coordinating Agency (SASCA). Steve did not hesitate to offer services with specific curriculum to address criminogenic needs. Choices continues to provide Withdrawal Management Services and Residential Long Term (LTR) services to this population through CDCR's Specialized Treatment for Optimize Programming (STOP).
Then in 1998, Steve was approached by National Alliance of the Mentally Ill's Intensive Case Management (ICM) program to provide detox and longer-term treatment for persons affected by HIV. At the time, ICM was providing Intensive Case Management Services to their clients who are incarcerated, but they had very few referrals for them after release. At that time there was still apprehension when working with those affected by HIV making treatment placement even more difficult. Since that time ICM has expanded services to clients outside the criminal justice system who are affected by HIV. When Tim Smith from NAMI's ICM approached Steve with an opportunity to broaden his client base, he enthusiastically opened his program to even more individuals who sought relief from substance abuse. After 23+ years, Choices proudly continues to work with ICM clients.
Unexpectedly in 2014, Steve Burgard passed away, and Choice's went through a very difficult grieving period. Without Steve's charisma and guidance, the program struggled for a period until Steve's wife, Alice Burgard took over as the Director. She proceeded to emphasize education and hired a new staff of highly qualified individuals. Since that time, The Bethesda Recovery Center Dba Choices in Recovery has continued to increase its bed availability and improve the services provided.
Saturday July 17th
October 17th, 1998
October 2nd, 1999
Choices In Recovery