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In 1979, our founder, Jack Hamilton went to his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and began his sobriety in 1980. He had a strong belief in addicts helping other addicts and brought Narcotics Anonymous meetings to the local New York communities. Jack continued to reach out to other alcoholics and drug addicts, often bringing them home to sleep on the couch at his home until one day his family said, “We need a bigger living room.” And that is how the vision of opening an addiction treatment center on Long Island was born.

In 1995, Jack officially opened Long Island Center for Recovery (LICR) – a 50 bed drug and alcohol treatment facility, and subsequently in 2002, a 72-bed addiction treatment center in Florida. Although Jack passed away in 2010, he left a legacy far beyond anything he had imagined. Today, Long Island Center for Recovery provides medical detox and residential drug and alcohol rehab services for clients nationwide. His dedication and love in helping others remain in the family – our rehabilitation facilities are family-owned and operated.

To remember and honor Jack’s contributions, he is symbolically represented in the form of the red bird on the branch of our willow tree logo. For us, at LICR, there is the notion of him watching over us, as if he is here, guiding us to improve, adapt and grow to provide the most effective treatment programs to individuals struggling with the disease of addiction.

The 3 Most Valuable Things Jack Taught Us

Jack was passionate about his family, his recovery, and his addiction treatment centers. He never gave up on an addict, and per his daughter’s words, here are the 3 most valuable things he believed in, and taught her and many others that follow his path of helping individuals struggling with addiction.

  1. Every addict deserves a chance, and another, and another, and another…and while some people thought, “here we go again,” Jack would say, “Give ‘em a chance, you never know when they’re going to get it.” Jack had the ability to see hope in the hopeless, and he passed that along not only to his family, but to many that have worked with him.
  2. Forgiveness is more valuable to the one who gives it than to the one who receives it. This is a tough one for many of us, as it was for Jack, being shall we say, stubborn? Just let go…not only for the other person, do it for yourself!
  3. EVERYONE is capable of change. From the person just beginning their journey into sobriety to one who’s been clean 30 years, life provides endless opportunities to grow. Of all the things Jack accomplished over the course of his life, the changes he embraced in his last few years are the ones that brought him and his loved ones the most joy. It is never too late if you remain OPEN.

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