Ori Goldstein, JACS Toronto’s President & CEO Reflects on 17 Years of Continuous Sobriety

Ori Goldstein, JACS Toronto’s President & CEO Reflects on 17 Years of Continuous Sobriety

Toronto, Canada
September 27, 2023

Today, I celebrate 17 years of continuous sobriety. I am overflowing with gratitude for the life that I have today.  

Just over 17 years ago, I was 24, with the odds stacked against me as to whether or not I would live to see 25. I was addicted to oxycontin and cocaine, hardly ever drawing a sober breath, and spending many hours addictively gambling at underground poker clubs. I was fortunate enough to have a loving and supportive family, who helped steer me towards a therapist at JACS, in addition to close friends who never left my side. 

Fast forward to today; I live a life beyond my wildest dreams. I have the honour and privilege to serve as the President and CEO of the same organization that I came to as a numb 24-year-old drug addict, in active addiction, not knowing what the future had in store for me. That alone would have been enough. I am surrounded by loving family and friends who support me in my journey and motivate me to be the best version of myself, so I can best help others every day. That too, would have been way more than enough. But most of all, to start a family of my own, together with my wife Rebecca, and raise two beautiful children, Asher and Zoe, that is by far the biggest set of gifts in the whole wide world. 

I had no idea that 17 years after I took my last drug, that I would be writing to you all, as the President & CEO of JACS Toronto, telling you all that I have never had it so good. Sure, we all have good days and “not so good” days; We are all human. I have many not so good days myself, but I am grounded in the principles of my recovery, and I have the tools and support network to know that turning to drugs and alcohol aren’t the solution. 

17 years is: 

      • 204 months. 

      • 6,209 days. 

      • 149,016 hours. 

      • 8,940,960 minutes. 

      • 536,457,600 seconds. 

    One day at a time. Sometimes even just one moment at a time.

    Thanks for doing the math, Dad, it was great waking up to that message this morning! 

    What started with a phone call to JACS has me here today. 

    In 2006, JACS was a much smaller (but very mighty) organization that did a little outreach, ran a couple of support groups, and had a therapist or 2 on staff. Our clinical team today is made up of 7 full-time and 6 part time employees, and is supported by an in-house operations and marketing team. JACS runs 10 unique weekly support groups, with 5 more scheduled to begin in October. We have outreach programs in local elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, camps, and on university campuses nationwide, and we partner with communal agencies to deliver educational workshops to adults as well. We have conducted 1450 individual client sessions this past year, and continue to support those struggling with addictions and their loved ones.

    I am pleased to share with you not only my success story, but the successes of JACS Toronto. I invite you to learn more about our work in our 2022-2023 Annual Report here: https://jacstoronto.org/annualreport/.

    In gratitude,


    About JACS Toronto

    JACS Toronto is a registered non-profit charity offering sliding scale support for those in need, and is generously funded by our JACS Community Angels, donors, and private donations. To make a donation to JACS Toronto, and support our vision, please visit: https://jacstoronto.org/donate/