Director of PreventionTexas“What motivates me is knowing that people can change, whether that’s finding a job, healing a relationship, or overcoming substance abuse."
Rudy Garcia has 13 years of experience in treating substance use disorders for adults and adolescents. A licensed chemical dependency counselor and certified prevention specialist, he decided to pursue work in the field of addiction treatment after successfully completing outpatient treatment for his own substance abuse.
He earned his license at Galveston College and conducted his practicum at Phoenix House working with adolescents. There, he did assessment screenings and conducted treatment groups before turning to the field of substance abuse prevention.
Trying to prevent “the most preventable disease of addiction” opened up a whole new way to help people, Rudy says. Schools didn’t educate students on substance abuse when Rudy was a student, a factor that led to some of his own dangerous experiments with alcohol and drugs. “Educating students about alcohol and drugs saves so many lives. It’s incredible,” Rudy says. He is now a state trainer for Project Towards No Drug Abuse, an evidence-based classroom drug abuse prevention curriculum for high school students, and for the Strengthening Families Program, a family skills training program found to reduce alcohol and drug abuse in children.
A certified prevention specialist, Rudy now oversees all prevention programs in Phoenix House Texas and manages the adult and adolescent intensive outpatient programs in Houston. He also directs a woman’s program that addresses trauma using the evidence-based curriculum, Seeking Safety.
Rudy has five years of clinical supervisor experience and provides services at each step of substance abuse treatment: assessment, intake, referrals, creating treatment plans, facilitating group and individual sessions, crisis management, case reviews, and cognitive behavioral therapy. He is certified as a clinical supervisor in the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, a behavioral intervention with the goal of increasing a caregiver’s support and participation in a teen’s treatment process.
Rudy says, “What motivates me is knowing that people can change, whether that’s finding a job, healing a relationship with a parent or significant other, or overcoming substance abuse.”