TROSA Reviews, Cost, Complaints



[block]0[/block]TROSA Review

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) is a unique, nonprofit residential substance abuse facility located in Durham, North Carolina. With the support of local community leaders, recovering addict Kevin R. McDonald opened TROSA in 1994. McDonald had worked with the Delancey Street Foundation, the San Francisco therapeutic community, for 12 years and opened a branch in North Carolina before launching his own endeavor. Today, TROSA is a comprehensive, two-year recovery program that boasts high success rates.

Accommodations and Food

TROSA houses as many as 500 residents at any given time, but not all at the same location. There are three main campuses in Durham. Residents live in shared dormitories for the first 18 months of their program, gradually earning their way to an apartment-like setting on campus. Three meals a day are prepared by residents of the program and are served in a cafeteria setting. They do not accommodate special requests, but a variety of healthy options are always offered.

Treatment and Staff

TROSA offers group therapy, individual therapy and education to clients, with a focus on evidence-based therapeutic methods such as CBT, DBT, behavioral modification and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Anger management classes, relapse prevention education and trauma-informed care, offering methods like EMDR, are also available. Group sessions are referred to as peer-led group sessions and typically held three times a week. Individual sessions are available if the client requests, or if counselors decide it’s necessary. Peer support is very important at TROSA and plays a vital role in how the community is organized.

In addition to therapy, developing a strong work ethic is a huge part of treatment at TROSA. During their first 30 days in the program, each resident is considered an “intern.” Intern activities include participating in daily classroom recovery courses, teamwork projects with other interns, earning the rules and structure of the program, and touring various TROSA properties. Once in the freshman phase, clients are assigned to a particular vocational training department. Assigned jobs can include office work, running the switchboard, being in charge of transportation, training as an auto mechanic or working in one of TROSA’s successful businesses. Those include a thrift store, a moving company and a lawn care operation. Generally, clients work in their assigned jobs for about eight hours per day, six days a week. By six months, clients are considered “residents” of TROSA and certain classes that are outside the treatment program become available, like parenting or GED prep.

In general, men and women live in different housing and do no socialize together for the first year in the program, but they do receive vocational training and participate in recovery courses together.

Many of the staff have experienced personal addiction struggles and are graduates of the TROSA program. Staff members include licensed clinical addictions specialists (LCAS), licensed professional counselor associates (LPCA), certified substance abuse counselors (CSAC) and internationally certified alcohol and drug counselors (CADC).


Residents at TROSA enjoy outings and monthly activities, like dances or trips to the local lake. Trips to a museum or Duke University basketball games or attending a play are also common and clients can take part in the program’s graduation ceremonies, which occur every three months and are considered an inspirational experience for those who are currently in the program.

After 21 months, clients are allowed to take a job off site and save 100% of their earnings until graduation. After graduation, the transitional housing program is available for those who wish to stay for another year and still receive the benefits of the residential community, while experiencing more freedom and exercising skills they have acquired at TROSA. All graduates are encouraged to continue to attend free aftercare support groups on campus.

In Summary

TROSA offers a highly structured and organized treatment program. Those who complete the program emerge with strong skills to maintain sobriety and return to their communities with a new outlook on life. This program is an amazing opportunity for those who have run out of options and sincerely want to change their lives. The best part is that it is completely free—all participants have to do is work hard and follow the rules.

TROSA Location

1820 James St
Durham, NC 27707


Free. Reach TROSA by phone at (919)419-1059. Find TROSA on Facebook and YouTube

Do you have a complaint or review of TROSA to add? Use the comments area below to add your TROSA review.



  1. I Have Never Been To Trosa But I Really Hope The Food Comment is not true because my brother was sent there and i hope it works out for him.. ive been where hes at in life and it sucks im glad i never faced prison time but i hope this program works for him.

    • Estill Forrest Jones III "Tripp" on

      i recieved treatment at TROSA, and i can tell you that you get back what you put into the program. This program is not for lazy or people without a previous work ethic. The patients are the ones TROSA has to count on to get the jobs done. In return you will recieve all the treatment aspects of a traditonal rehab you need, but it will be at the end of a hard 8 hours of work. As to the food, its execellent… TROSA has changed many peoples lives, and i would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a better life.

  2. TROSA saved my brother’s life. I am forever grateful to the staff and program. The highly structured program with very strict rules that require residents to earn privileges and hone their leadership skills has brought back a person who had no self esteem and was a prisoner to his substance abuse. He is a resilient, highly motivated, sought after and well respected leader at TROSA and has thrived there. Yes, he worked very long hours and was tested in many ways most of us don’t get tested. But all of this strengthened his character and allowed him to truly believe that he is worthy of a good life and he has so much to give back. Thank you TROSA for giving him his self worth.

  3. I hear alot of complaints. Obviouly, many people have serious drug problems whom live at Trosa. I have heard many complaint. My son had a serious heroin addiction. He has finished his first year. He is doing so well. I am very proud of him and I am thankful to Trosa. My son would have been dead if not for Trosa. I have s nephew who died due to an overdose and another nephew who is addicted to meth and heroin. Addicts do not consider the toll addiction has on family members. If not for Trosa I dont think my son would have gotten clean. My son may be dead today if not for Trosa. As a parent of a drug addict., I am thankful. Stop complaining and do the work.

  4. James Weaver on

    Trosa is not free. Yoour are better off paying for treatment because at trosa they work you like a slave which leaves no time for therapy sessions and group meetings. They exploit addicts who are facing jail time and use that against them to work them to the bone all in the name of profits. I have a friend there now and if he wasn’t facing 10 years in prison he would have left after the first day. You get what you pay for but at trosa all they care about is how much money you can make them. Not on recovery because if u can’t work they send u to jail then immediately fill your place. I have heard nothing but bad things about this institution.

    • Estill Forrest Jones III "Tripp" on

      Most people work in order to live instead of do dope and nevarious activities. All TROSA tries to do is instill a work ethic into people that is necessary to have a happy healthy life. sorry it did not work out for you brother. Not everybody has what it takes to complete this program. I have a very high respect for TROSA and always will.

  5. I agree I was a resident 3 years ago your not aloud to go to church until you have been there for six months it has to be there church. They told me before I did intake I could bring 2 pieces of literature my Bible and my Big Book they took both of them away from me told me they did not do those programs I had to earn them I have to earn God

  6. A Pastor commented on how good TROSA isI hope you know your best donations go to the staff. I hopr you know how much donated food goes home with staff. You know how much food is put in trailers when the health department is coming Yes we knew that too Do you know clients of TROSA dont recieve your good deeds TROSA took my Bible away oncheck in. You are a Christian What do you think God thinks about TROSA not allowing his word until you have been there for6 months. How do you thinkthe Jews felt without Gods in the Nazisconcentration camp HAIL TROSA

  7. TROSA is horrible Very few people who are addicted that need help are as low as the staff. If your black they are going to save you. You can bully your roomate you can rapeyour roomate saving you makes a pretty poster for TROSA Because all the female whoredthemselves for a living they think every addicted person is as low as them. How much money does TROSA make a year on their moving company. How many
    addicts beg for food how much of the food out of date how many times I put old food into a trailer when the health department arrived to get rid of it so we were blessed the next day. How many times did I see staff members take food and home that were donaret to us addicts. You are not aloud to believe in God for 6 months then you need permisertresion and it must be a staff members church AA forget it the most recognized program your not aloud to read their lititure
    they in fact will take your Bible away and all of AA ITS not that kind of program Hail TROSA I left found another long term program I was aloud to have GOD I was aloud to heal did not make thid
    s treatment center a dime actually went to classes learned about me not howto pack houses an clean walls

    r Bible and AA lititure on intake


    • Charles M Weems on

      You have it all wrong sad people like to bash a place that didnt ask them to come in the first place never has there been a mister wise all lies and these comments should be removed I am a graduate of the program and have been invloved with the trosa since 2010 don’t spread lies about a place that has saved hundreds of lives they do not promote AA and do not allow the material and that was told to you at intake stop the lies I am going to ask to have your post removed

    • Charles M Weems on

      there been a mister wise all lies an be removed I am a graduate of the program and have been invloved with the trosa since 2010 don’t spread lies about a place that has saved hundreds of lives they do not promote AA and do not allow the material and that was told to you at intake stop the lies I am going to ask to have your post removed

  8. I haven’t heard anything about the therapy they offer residents. I saw on the site only three 2 hour group sessions a week. Individual therapy if deemed that it is needed? All I have heard about is how hard they work. I was only checking this out because my friend was recently denied acceptance to the program because she couldn’t lift 50 lbs. Doesn’t seem like they want to help you unless you can work for them. IDK but my impression is Trosa is more focused on the free labor, then rehab second.

  9. I have a young friend who is now in jail, and will possibly be going into the TROSA program. In reading the complaints, I have this to add: Of course it is tough. Of course there will be “battles of will” and people who refuse to be “broken” by someone else’s will. Consider this, though: being “broken” of the willfullness that has nearly cost these addicts their very lives NEEDS to happen in order for them to rebuild a healthier, stronger life. I have heard MANY times over, how the military (esp. the Marine Corps) will break the new recruits spirit in order to REBUILD it . Could it be that this is what we see here?

  10. I walked into TROSA business on Oxford Commons, 3500 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704, on Saturday April 1, 2017. I asked the cashier if they sold Metal stand up shelves for the garage. She pointed to the household furniture and told me to look over there. I walked to the furniture and did not see any so I started to the other side of the store. I passed another worker and asked her if they had shelves. She told me to go ask them guys over there they are not doing anything. I started to an area that had 5 (FIVE) guys, one was leaning against the counter, one was sitting in a chair looking at something on his cellular phone and the other 3 (THREE) guys was looking at the cellular phone also. The guy that was leaning on the counter I asked him if they had any shelves for the garage he said look over there. I said I am tired of looking over there can you show me? He said he was helping someone, and I asked how? He said he was looking for a customer lost furniture. I asked how? He said he could not help me. The other 4 (FOUR) guys did not even acknowledge me. I said that alright I will look for myself, I also commented that I have never been in a store with so many workers and nobody is willing to help you. I started at the back of the store where he pointed and did not see any shelves. I saw another guy and I asked him if they had any shelves for the garage and he said he believe he saw one. We started to walk down different isles looking for the shelf. I was getting tired of walking (the store is a big store). I went to the front and ask to talk to someone about the lack of help. The guy that was leaning against the counter came from the back of the cashier area and he was with the store manager (did not know he was the manager at the time). I ask if I could talk to the store manager and the guy that was leaning said that is her. I said what do I have to do to get help around here, the store manager said that the leaning guy was helping me and I said he did not help me (did raise my voice). The store manager said you will not holler at me, I said alright we are not going to get an understanding I would like to talk to someone else. He said he is the store manager. I told him it is someone else over him and I ask for a name and a telephone number to get in contact with his supervisor, he said that TROSA policy is not to give out telephone numbers only email addresses. He wrote down a kelvin email address. H also told me that just because they were standing around it did not mean they were not helping anyone and I needed to be patience. I said they did not help me. He said he was helping you (raising his voice). I asked him what ever happen to customer is always right (he did not answer). I asked what was his name and he offered me his business card. I took the card and left. As I was leaving I saw two ladies sitting in an office like setting, I went back in and asked them if I could get the owner name and number, the lady started writing down the information. The store manager came over and asked them what they were doing and I told him they were helping me, he started raising his voice higher and asked them what they were doing, I said again they are helping me and asked why he was over here because you were not willing to help me. HE SAID I NEED YOU TO LEAVE YOU ARE HARRASSING MY EMPLOYEES. I was shocked I have never ever been in a place that I was asked to leave. I go to my car and called the owner and his secretary said he did not work on the weekend. I told her my story and asked that the owner call me. As of 12:30 on Monday 4/3/17 I have not received a called from TROSA. I called today to see if he was in and talked to the same secretary and I told her who I was and asked if the owner received the message and she said she did not know what I was talking about. I asked how she did not know since it was her who I originally talked to, she said she transferred my message to someone higher than her. She transferred me she said to the owner and received a voice message left a message and have not heard anything. It is evidence they are not concerned about my complaint. I posting this on every website I can, sad when a company that depends on public donations to survive.

  11. I was there for 11 months. The moving company accepted my request to be an in office estimated. This seemed like a good role for me…until I met the staff person in charge. He told me…Brill you’re my personal project. And from that moment on, he made my life at trosa,he’ll. Making me come in on days everyone else was off to kill flies.Yup, 60 flies and you can leave Brill. I refused to break for this obviously corrupt staff members. And I paid the price. Endless hours of right ups resulting in demoralized cleaning tasks. No problem Mr Patrick Wise
    I’ll do it, but I won’t be broke by you either. During the nc state fair, I was selected by trosa to work from 7pm till 2-3 am at fair. Mr Wise could care less having me continue to show up at work at 7 am with little to no sleep. After several weeks of this insanity, I wigged out n through a chair in state fair meet area. A high ranking staff membe r confronted me and I told him what I’ve been doing every single day. He was apuled and called Mr Wise and immediately made him allow me to come in later. I stayed for 11 months. Got a lot of discipline from trosa, but ultimately they are corrupt n take advantage of desperate addicts with no where left to turn. I’d give anything to meet mr wise outside his safe bubble. The man is sick and should seek many years of therapy before ever thinking about trying to help a fellow addict. Met some great guys there but not worth the abuse in long run.

    • Charles M Weems on

      You have it all wrong sad people like to bash a place that didnt ask them to come in the first place never has there been a mister wise all lies and these comments should be removed I am a graduate of the program and have been invloved with the trosa since 2010

  12. I think TROSA is a great place, saves lives.
    They take you in with no money, no insurance nothing but the clothes on your back. You work to support yourself and the program. Where else would poor and impoverished drug addicts get a break like this?

    • Jim, you are right. My son was at rock bottom – and my view of rock bottom is not the same as a drug addict as I found out. My son was facing jail time and suicide. He is in Trosa now and seems to be doing good. I and his dad have seen a change in him and its a good change. Yes they have rules but rules are every where. My son had been in 2 other rehabs before this one and he has been here the longest. I’m proud of him for staying cause he can leave anytime he wants but is staying – plus knowing he can’t come home like he was. I can say I’m happy with Trosa so far.

      • I wholeheartedly agree. My son is alive because of TROSA and we are still a family. I didn’t think 15 mos ago any of this would be possible. Feeling very blessed that we found out about TROSA. Yes there are very strict rules but as an addict he needed this strict regiment . He needed to be pushed by someone other that his family .

  13. Allen jarman on

    There is no individual counseling. Residents are treated like dogs and worked like slaves to make Kevin McDonald richer. Trosa preys on those who are facing jail time by getting them probated there by the courts. They treat residents like dirt because they know they can’t leave. Alcoholics Anonymous is what has kept me sober. No doubt trosa started out as a good thing, but has grown into a monster that is all about money.

    • Allen before reading your review, I was going to suggest my 27yr old son the program with trosa for his addition with alcohol. How long did you stay in the program? Do they really treat the residents like dogs and slaves? Sadly there are not many reviews to go by.

      • My son was there for 8 months. They do work them hard – 10/12 hour days. but this keeps them busy. there are a lot of rules to live by – which I think they also need. my son has never been in jail so it was a big adjustment for him to be in this environment but he made the best of it. you can’t have 400 people with all kinds of problems without strict rules. my son came home in January and is still clean thanks to Trosa. I do agree that things have gotten a bit out of hand there with the number of people living here. it’s a good concept, but needs to be controlled. after my son left we heard that the State came in and made some changes so maybe it’s better. he definitely did benefit from the program. it’s better than jail or living on the streets – as many of the residents have experienced

      • Yes they do. I am a Pastor at a local church. I came by just to extent an invitation to any of the residents to attend church on Sundays. Everyone in the Durham area knows that everyone residing there works 6 days a week. I meet with a extremely rude woman who indicated that she was the head of administration.She indicated that they,meaning Trosa had a contract with one church in the area only,Orange Grove,they don’t do any other churches. Many of the residents appear frightened to even talk about going to church.

    • this is why this site should have a moderator it is not fair people talk about trosa and have no clue what it is what it does and how many lives they have saved do not listen to this asshole for he is one of those who did not have the balls to save his own life and wants to complain about it

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