Brothers who previously struggled with addiction getting clean through SWFL nonprofit

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
gabe and zach miller

A journey that began with addiction has progressed into brothers helping others. The men were able to get clean with the help of a nonprofit in Southwest Florida.

Gabe and Zach Miller had lots of adventures growing up in Nebraska. “We were always like best friends,” Gabe said. “We got into a lot of trouble we were good at getting into trouble even before we got into our addiction.”

But years later, these two found their brotherhood shattered by addiction.

“I wasn’t considering my brother, his well-being; ultimately I didn’t care about my brother,” Gabe said.

It enabled their most destructive tendencies to surface.

“It was a daily battle, and it was something that I didn’t think I was ever going to be free from,” Zach said.

“We got in a situation where it just got really, really dark and like, hopeless,” Gabe said.

By 2016, the Millers say they’d found hope, love and God at St. Matthew’s House’s Justin’s Place, a yearlong addiction recovery program.

“We showed up and there were people that said ‘hey, you can do this and you’re going to,’ and ‘we are here for you if you need us and it’s OK to make mistakes,'” Zach said.

“The more I just kept going forward with it, the more I was realizing I’m doing this, I’m not … I’m not using, and I feel whole,” Gabe said.

Almost five years later, they’re both working to help others through St. Matthew’s House. And not only have they both beat addiction, they’ve repaired their relationship.

“We’ve seen each other at our worst and we just, we don’t want to see that again, we want to see each other at our best,” Zach said.

“I feel like our relationship is better than it ever was before because it’s a kind of relationship that’s like, accountable,” Gabe said.

The Millers are keeping each other on track as they pursue their new life of purpose. And they aren’t the only ones in the family who recovered at Justin’s Place.

Their sister Rachel also beat addiction through the program.

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