A spiritually sound environment that is positive, creative, caring, and fun.

Brett’s Story

The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope. – Russell Brand

Our Philosophy

The Reprieve strives to create a spiritually sound environment that is positive, creative, caring, and fun. We believe that recovery can only be accomplished through developing positive relationships. We also believe that the living environment must be attended to in order to inspire our residents and staff to grow together in our quest for spiritual health.

Our intent for each individual is to have them create a plan of action that can be developed, improved, and that focuses on three relational areas: spirituality, community, and self. We strive to help residents understand how they separated from self, from spirituality, and from their fellows. Then we help them develop their personal plan for healthy relations to self, spirituality, and others. This is, of course, accomplished through intensive personal work in the Twelve Step discipline.

The Reprieve model encourages healthy community, fellowship, and internal change.

Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward. – Brian Tracy

A Good Candidate

A good candidate for care:

  • Men struggling with alcohol and drug addiction
  • Men struggling with 12-Step improvement
  • Men having difficulty with spiritual concepts and principals
  • Men needing help to transition back to college or into a career
  • Men that lack direction and goals in the areas of employment, responsibility, and accountability
Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking of what we want to become. Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking about who we don’t ever want to be again. – Shane Niemeyer

Key Services Provided

Pathway to Recovery

    It is common for the addict to have many different influences and experiences when it comes to spirituality. Their spiritual connection has either never been established, or it has been broken. The lack of spiritual connection is evident through their addiction.
    Most addicted individuals tend to isolate themselves from family and find difficulty in making positive relationships. They develop harmful relationships with negative influences. These relationships become a huge barrier to recovery.
  • SELF
    The morals and values instilled during childhood become lost through addiction. These virtues are replaced with negative instincts. Instinctually, the addict is only thinking about survival. He no longer grows mentally and spiritually. His only focus is hiding the addiction, denying the addiction, or resigning to the fact that he is an addict and there is no hope. At this point, the addict has truly lost his sense of self.

Life Skills Development

  • Career Exploration and Readiness
    In partnership with Southern Union State Community College’s Ready to Work Program, we explore each resident’s interests, values, leisure activities, past school or employment experiences and personality type to help determine which career field or educational opportunity suits them as they progress in their personal recovery.
    Next, we guide residents through a comprehensive career readiness curriculum which prepares for successful entry into the job market or education. Upon completion of this phase of the program, our residents will have gained an understanding of their personal talents and strengths with guidance on how to apply these in the Education / Job Market. Residents will have performed a mock interview, completed a detailed resume, and be given guidance and support necessary to successfully navigate this important part of their lives.
  • Community Service
    Through a symbiotic partnership with area non-profits, our residents learn skills that prepare them for life outside of the Reprieve, while at the same time giving back to society.  Self-centeredness is the root of addiction, and it is only through work and self-sacrifice for others that this may be overcome. Using this approach to spiritual healing, our residents contribute to, and become, active members of the Auburn-Opelika community.
  • Daily Balanced Living
    In this portion of the program, our residents systematically begin to get their material items back. The phone, the car, the job, and relationship building can quickly become the sole focus. The aim of the Life Skills program is to help our residents achieve a weekly routine which includes all facets of recovery– including spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental conditioning.

Community Living Program

  • Community Immersion
    This final 180 day phase is designed to normalize the new skills and daily living techniques adopted while in the first 6 months of the program. The old adage of “practice makes perfect” is put into action during the residents’ stay in the Community Living Immersion Program. The program is a safe and accountable environment that offers staff interaction 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The program is only for those residents who have completed the first 6 months of The Reprieve treatment program. This prerequisite ensures that Community Living Immersion participants are very familiar with other residents and staff. Participants in the Community Living Immersion Program are active volunteers with other residents at The Reprieve and in the Opelika-Auburn community.

Well developed, strong family programming

  • We believe the family programs at The Reprieve and A Reprieve For Women are unique. Over the course of 3 days we provide education from the scientific, as well as the spiritual understanding of the disease of addiction. What follows is an in-depth exploration of each of the 12-steps along with an explanation of why each is necessary to ensure the internal transformation required for recovery. This detailed look into the very process that their loved ones are going through at The Reprieve helps the families to better understand the need for long-term care and the opportunity for real change that it offers.We conclude each program with a series of presentations about healthy boundaries, how to stop enabling, and managing expectations, followed by time for questions from the families.The programs are conducted in a casual, family style environment. This allows family members an opportunity to really come to know and trust the Program Specialists, with whom their loved ones spend the vast majority of their time at The Reprieve. The weekend is capped off by a cookout featuring food prepared by the residents and offered to their families in an expression of service.


  • Visitation Times
    Every Sunday immediate family is welcome to come and visit their loved one. Visitation is always subject to staff approval. Visitation time is from 10am-4:30pm.

Relapse prevention
24/7 staffing and mentoring
Alcohol & Drug program for men

Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. – Bernard Williams

Home & Community



Wake up

  • The Reprieve day begins. Residents start their day by completing household chores and cooking breakfast together.

Daily Meditation

  • Residents of the Reprieve practice 30 minutes of guided Mindfulness meditation each morning. This practice allows the resident to begin his day by confronting, rather than suppressing or ignoring, any negative physical and emotional feelings that he may wake up with.
  • The nature of addiction is to avoid all negative experiences while attempting to feel a euphoric high at all times. This strategy has stopped working by the time the resident arrives at the Reprieve. Mindfulness meditation allows them to see this truth for themselves, through their own direct experience, and begin to develop a more effective strategy for dealing with unpleasant thoughts and emotions.

12-Step Presentation

  • Our Step Presentation is the process which enables our residents to begin to study, learn and practically apply the principles of 12 Step Recovery in their lives. Residents will complete, present and internalize each of the 12-steps in an intensive peer – supported setting. This is extensive, written work which each resident will present to his Program Specialist in front of his peers. This process is at the very core of what we do at The Reprieve and is the catalyst for substantial internal change. It also serves to help them develop healthy relationships and establish the communal support which is required to overcome Addiction and learn to live a satisfying and productive life free of drugs and alcohol.


  • Our meals are served family-style. We start with guest introductions and a prayer of thanks. All of our staff and residents sit down together and enjoy a time of food and fellowship.

Recreational Activities

  • We are located in a small town community that allows us to offer a variety of activities. Each of our residents has a membership to the Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatics Center, which has an indoor pool, indoor track, cardio and weight equipment, basketball courts, racquetball courts, as well as outdoor fields. We also utilize local parks, state parks, museums, Auburn University, Lake Martin, and other opportunities unique to our community.

Community Meeting

  • The community meeting is an opportunity for our residents and staff to come together and talk about the day. We discuss areas where we can progress, but we also praise areas where we excel.

12-Step Meeting every evening

  • Residents attend local 12-Step meetings every evening.


  • Accountability is the last thing that residents will do before “lights out”. Accountability is designed to increase the resident’s awareness of the self-destructive behaviors which accompany the disease of addiction. Their fellow residents the help them develop a plan for changing these behaviors, and hold them accountable for carrying out that plan. This is done in an intimate setting, usually no more than 4 residents together, and it provides them with a daily look into their own spiritual growth as it unfolds.

Meet Our Staff

Brett Young, Executive Director

Brett Young is a native of Alexander City, AL. He attended college at The University of West Alabama on a football scholarship. After college, he began working at a television station in Birmingham, AL. He left that career and bounced from sales, management, and finance before addiction took over his life. Brett went to long term treatment and a sober living community in order to get his life back. Shortly after getting sober, Brett began his career working in treatment. In 2011, he first learned about The Reprieve. His personal experience with the 12-steps and treatment caused him to immediately gravitate towards The Reprieve model. Brett worked in several positions within The Reprieve, including National Referral Liaison before being promoted to the Executive Director in 2014.

Britten Elliott, Office Coordinator

Britten is a native of Birmingham, Al. Britten began working for Bradford Health Services in 2004. She began working for The Reprieve the day it opened in 2009. Since the beginning of the program, all staff agrees Britten is the heartbeat of The Reprieve. Britten brings a much-needed sense of balance and truly adds great value to all the staff, residents, and the program.

Jarett Mitrani, Community Living Specialist

Jarett is a native of Long Island, N.Y.  Jarett started his career as an Emergency Medical Technician.  Unfortunately, his active addiction became a struggle within the workplace and, Jarett found himself in a 12 step fellowship learning how to live sober.  Once into his sobriety, it was a friend of Jarett’s who told him about the work that was being done at The Reprieve. This sparked Jarett’s interest in developing a career in this field.  It was that passion for recovery that led him to The Reprieve, where he uses his past experiences to influence the lives of residents on a daily basis.

Michael Azar, Community Living Specialist

Michael is a native of Montgomery, AL.  Michael graduated from Auburn University with a degree in mass communications.  He worked at a local television station for over two years when his addiction altered his career path.  Michael, soon after, attended and completed The Reprieve recovery program.  After two years of continuing to work on his sobriety, Michael made a decision to come back and work at The Reprieve.  Through his deep experience with The Reprieve as a client and he past struggles with addiction, Michael has been essential in growing the Community Living program.

Brian Rainwater, Administrator

Brian is a native of Newnan, GA.  He spent 20 years in the granite industry before losing his career to alcoholism.  Brian got sober in 2005.  Four years later, he began working in the drug treatment industry.  He has served in many roles, ranging from Clinical Assistant to Director.  In 2009, he received his certification as a CAC.  Since that time, he also began serving on the Board of Directors for The Georgia Addiction Counselors Association.  Brian’s personal life experience and extensive experience in the field of addiction and recovery adds depth and passion to his work at The Reprieve.

Seth Sherwin, 12 Step Immersion and Alumni Coordinator

Seth is a native of Laurel, MS.  Seth attended college at The University of Mississippi.  While he was a student, Seth began a career as a musician.  For 9 years Seth toured the country playing with his band.  Seth’s growing addiction, paired with a toxic environment, led to the implosion of his career.  Shortly there after, Seth reached out to a previous band mate in Nashville, TN and asked for help.  Once in Nashville, Seth began his journey of recovery and became involved in 12-step fellowship and mindfulness meditation. Now in long term sobriety, Seth has brought his extensive knowledge of 12-step programming, meditation and life experience to The Reprieve.

Brian Patterson, Food Service Manager

Brian is a native of Tullahoma, Tn. After a previous treatment attempt, Brian found himself back in treatment in 2011. At that time, Brian owned and operated a restaurant back in Tennessee but knew he needed to focus on his recovery. Brian made a decision to become a resident of The Reprieve. Within the first 60 days, Brian told the staff that when he got enough sober time he was going to come back and be the cook for the residents. In 2013, Brian became the Food Services Manager for The Reprieve.

Patty Sykstus, Family Program Coordinator


Will Mummert, Recreation Activities Specialist


Bo Mullins, Program Specialist


Will Howle, Program Specialist


Debbe Daymude, Registered Nurse


Hans Shellhamer, Recreation Activities Specialist


Jared Murray, Community Representative


Contact Us

The Reprieve

401 South 9th Street

Opelika, AL 36801