Ronni G: Now I Have Purpose in My Life
On December 27, 2012, one month after Malibu Beach Recovery Center opened The Brentwood House as our second alcohol and drug treatment center, Ronni G walked through the front door. At 70 she was the oldest client we had ever admitted, but she was young at heart and fully committed.
The ex-wife of a Hollywood entertainment professional, Ronni had seen it all and done it all. A veteran of treatment, 20 years had passed since her last try at sobriety. Her rampant addiction to drugs, pills and alcohol had estranged her from everyone, including her 3 children. Her eldest son was so exasperated he blocked her phone calls and text messages. Her driver’s license had been suspended. No bank in town would give her a checking account. She had a “dirty doc” who would write prescriptions for “anything,” she says, and a local pharmacy that would refill prescriptions just days after she filled them if she put cash on the counter.
After graduating Ronni became a frequent visitor to The Brentwood House, helping new clients acclimate. Seeking a new purpose in life, she became the Alumni Co-Coordinator and in that capacity lobbies our elected representatives to support important issues in the field of addiction. She has successfully mobilized alumni to make calls to their state senators, urging a yes vote on SB 809, a bill intended to reduce “doctor shopping” and “pharmacy hopping” by funding California’s almost moribund online presciption drug data base. She has arranged for alumni to meet with their State Senators and Assemblymen to speak about the benefits of the CURES legislation, and the need for Blue Cross to change its national policy of sending payment for out of network substance abuse providers to addicts in their first days of sobriety. In 2014 she plans to begin taking classes at UCLA that will lead to her certification as an addiction counselor.
When we re- dedicated The Brentwood House as an alcohol and substance treatment center “By Women For Women” it seemed only natural that we invite Ronni to speak at the Open House. Here is her story as told on July 26, 2013 when she already had 7 months of continuous sobriety.