Marc Wiltshire is the Director of Regional Alumni Services and Community Outreach for Amatus Recovery Centers’ Georgia facilities. Originally from New Jersey, Wiltshire comes from a family with a long history of addiction and recovery. His mother is a substance use and mental health counselor. His father passed away with more than 22 years of continuous sobriety.
Despite being aware of the hazards of substance use from an early age, Wiltshire began using drugs himself when he was still a teenager.
“I was using pretty heavily around 16 and 17 and I knew I had a problem back then,” he said. “But when I started using opiates at 20, that’s when I knew it was bad.”
Heading Into Recovery
When Wiltshire’s use became unmanageable, his mother put up boundaries between him and his family, “and for the right reasons.” Homeless, he made the move to Florida in late 2010 in order to seek treatment. He was kicked out of three programs. Despite not finishing the third program, Wiltshire experienced a profound change in his attitude and remained sober.
“For me, god provides little moments in active addiction. They become more apparent when you’re clean, but there are these sparks of willingness,” he said. “I was homeless twice during my first year in recovery. That was all because of my behavior. I didn’t know how to act. I thought that being clean was everything, but I had to change who I was. I couldn’t just put the drugs down.”
Working at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
Wiltshire became heavily involved in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida recovery community, being of service to those new in recovery whenever he could. He landed a job at a treatment facility in Florida when members of his recovery community were moving to Georgia to open Georgia Addiction Treatment Center. They reached out to offer him a position. Initially, Wiltshire was hesitant, but eventually thought, “What do you have to lose? Here’s a shot to really start over.”
As part of Wiltshire’s job responsibilities, he stays connected to alumni of the Georgia Addiction Treatment Center and Atlanta Detox Center programs, providing support and resources when necessary. With a familial history of substance use and recovery, it comes as no surprise that Wiltshire helped launch the Georgia Addiction Treatment Center Family Night group meeting, which meets each Wednesday between 6 and 7:30 p.m.
“We talk about boundaries, and the stuff that happened with me and my family,” he said. “Our trauma therapist runs it with me. My mom joins us and gives experience about what she had to do to separate me from my family until I got help.”
Wiltshire views co-facilitating group sessions with his mother as an opportunity to make an ongoing amends to her for his time in active addiction. Not all Amatus Recovery Centers employees get to work side by side with their relatives, but Wiltshire believes that the support provided by Amatus employees from the headquarters to the facility level makes it feel like family.
Passionate About the Job
“[COO of Amatus Recovery Centers] Mike Silberman makes it very easy to work for him. He lights a fire under you and you really want to do your best,” he said. “The passion that this company has for actual recovery is unmatched. It’s next to none.”
Wiltshire also praises the clinical staff at each of the Georgia facilities, calling them the best people he’s ever worked with.
“I can’t do what I do without them,” he said. “They’re educated, willing, and receptive. I can’t speak highly enough of them. Everyone down to techs have such important roles in keeping people sober.”
When asked what the most rewarding part of his job is, Wiltshire asserted that it’s a tie: seeing an alumnus reach a year of continuous sobriety, and having family members of alumni show gratitude for their loved one’s recovery and the robust family services at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center. For Wiltshire, it’s all about family, and the ability to show up in their time of need.
“There are people I’ve lost, and people who are close to me who are still using,” he said. “I stay clean to make sure that I can help them when they need it. I want to be there for my family like I never was able to be before.”