This week on #GandaraAtWork, we sit down with Eddie Rodriguez, Recovery Coach Supervisor

Eddie Rodriguez was a client at our Gándara Addiction Recovery Program (GARP) before he was able to achieve recovery. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, Eddie moved to Springfield to get away from a lifestyle that swept up many of his close friends, some of whom suffered from fatal overdoses. While at GARP, the program director suggested Eddie enroll in the Recovery Coach Academy, where he could use his lived-experience to teach the lessons he’s learned to recovery-seekers in need guidance and support.

For Eddie, it’s important for everyone to understand that addicts can change their behavior. It’s his goal to eliminate the stigma around substance use, to show that people who suffer from addiction have a disease and not a moral failure. For a long time, Eddie himself thought he was doomed to be an addict; “once an addict, always an addict,” he hold himself. But that is the biggest misconception people have. Recovery is a realistic and attainable goal.

When Eddie’s not managing his recovery coaches in Springfield, he enjoys relaxing with music, watching movies, cheering for his beloved New York Yankees, and spending time at his home in Puerto Rico. He’s traveled to Puerto Rico since he was a kid, when his dad used to take him. His family on the island has always revolved around horses, and he continues that tradition today, riding as often as he can — when he’s not surfing.


Gándara Addiction Recovery Program (GARP)

Gándara Addiction Recovery Program (GARP) is a 42-bed residential program that provides long-term recovery treatment to Spanish-speaking men who have a history of drug and alcohol use, but are not currently using drugs or alcohol. Average length of stay is 6-12 months.

Contact: (413) 781-2234, ex. 300

Eligibility: Must be at least 18 years-old and be a resident of Massachusetts. Must pass a self-preservation test and be responsible for participating in the program.

Referral: Open

Insurance: Funded by the Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services