TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers) in Durham, NC

Call (919) 419-1059 to Contact TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers)

Overall Rating

(4.3 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
1820 James Street
Durham NC 27707

TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers) Philosophy

Treatment at TROSA goes beyond basic sobriety. The residential substance abuse rehab strives to give clients real-life experience through vocational training and education, as well as peer counseling, mentoring, leadership training and aftercare. Once the two-year program is complete, clients are better equipped to handle the pitfalls and challenges of everyday life without turning to alcohol and/or drugs.

Areas of Specialization

  • Individual Therapy
    This term describes one-on-one therapy, in which a patient and trained counselor, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist meets privately with a patient to discuss challenges related to lifestyle, work, family and romantic relationships that may have contributed to the development of an addiction.

  • Aftercare Support
    Addiction recovery does not end with discharge after completing a rehab program. Facilities that offer aftercare planning and/or support work with patients to ensure sustainable recovery by helping to plan and make arrangements for transitional or sober living, help with housing, vocational counseling, etc.

Facility Highlights

PTSD Groups

Relapse Prevention Workshops

Gender-Specific Groups

Meet the Staff

Kevin R. McDonald

Founder, President, and CEO

Photo of Kevin R. McDonald

At the request of Durham business and community leaders, Kevin founded TROSA in 1994. Prior to coming to Durham, Kevin spent 12 years with the Delancey Street Foundation, a therapeutic community in San Francisco. He also opened and directed Delancey Street Foundation’s North Carolina facility. Immediately prior to founding TROSA, Kevin directed a program that assisted homeless parolees who were former gang members in Los Angeles. Kevin has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally for his work at TROSA.

Karen Kelley

Director of Clinical Operations

Photo of Karen Kelley

Karen has worked at TROSA since 2004 when she began as special projects manager. In 2010, she became Director of Clinical Operations overseeing the counseling, medical, and intake departments. Prior to coming to TROSA Karen was the Administrative Director of Schoolhouse of Wonder, an environmental education organization in Durham. She has a BS degree from North Carolina State University. 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA), located in Durham, N.C., offers long-term residential rehab for adults struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. Founded in 1994, the facility specializes in providing adults with educational assistance and work-based vocational training.

The two-year program focuses primarily on addiction, although some psychiatric services are offered through a partnership with Duke Medical Center.

TROSA’s program blends structured treatment activities with peer-to-peer support and real-world experience. To be admitted, applicants must complete an interview process.

Residents regularly participate in individual therapy, group counseling, and addiction education classes, as well as gender-specific therapy groups and anger management workshops. A specialized program is available for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder.

After six months in the program, clients begin to take educational courses and/or vocational training. Residents without high school diplomas are required to attend adult literacy or GED classes. Other residents can take classes about computers, relapse prevention, and/or career skills.

Clients who are ready to work are placed in various TROSA-operated businesses. Employment options include a moving company, lawn care and landscaping, warehouse work, auto mechanics, construction, and catering. TROSA also runs a local thrift store.

TROSA graduates are eligible for continuing care services after completion of the two-year program. This includes relapse prevention groups, transportation assistance, and reduced rent on sober housing.


The treatment team includes licensed counselors and two certified substance abuse residential facility directors.


The main campus has two 75-person dormitories, both of which were completely renovated and updated in 2012. Classrooms, recreation supplies, exercise equipment and community events are held at a nearby 12,500 square foot facility called the William Mack, Sr. Center.


At the time of this writing there have been five alumni polled by Most of the alumni provided positive reviews of the facility. Three of the alumni gave the facility five out of five stars for treatment effectiveness, accommodations & amenities, and meals & nutrition while a fourth alum gave these metrics each four stars.

One alum, D.R., gave more detailed feedback regarding the facility. D.R., who’s between the ages of 26-39, entered rehab for treatment of substance abuse based on a personal choice to enter rehab. D.R. completed treatment successfully more than 12 months ago and entered sober living after leaving the facility. D.R. added, “Didn't cost me anything. Totally changed my life.” The alum has not relapsed since leaving the program.

D.R. gave the facility five out of five stars for accommodations & amenities and meals & nutrition. He also gave five stars for the facility’s cleanliness, staff support, and overall quality of individual and group counseling. D.R. agreed that he would recommend this facility to a friend or loved one who was considering rehab.


At the time of this writing there have been two friends or family members polled by The respondents provided mixed opinions of the facility. One anonymous family member gave the facility five out of five stars for stars for accommodations & amenities,meals & nutrition while the other loved one, Patricia, gave these metrics only one star.

Patricia went on to give only one star for all metrics polled on regarding the facility such as cleanliness, staff support, family involvement, etc. but, at the end of the survey, she agreed that she would recommend the facility to a friend or loved one who was considering rehab and would consider the facility for treatment for herself if ever needed.

The second anonymous loved one agreed when asked if the facility staff were experienced and well-trained; if the facility was adequately equipped and staffed to treat co-occurring mental health problems in addition to substance use disorders; and if the treatment plan was affordable. She felt that the facility could improve upon the involvement of family in the treatment program and allow clients more opportunities to contact family.

Overall, the loved strongly agreed that he would recommend this facility to another friend or loved one who was considering rehab and wrote, “This facility court ordered Good program. Fingers crossed for my family member for success.”


At the time of this writing, there was one current anonymous staff member who was polled by This reviewer gave the facility a positive review across several different metrics. The employee has worked at the facility for more than ten years in an executive/management role.

On a scale of one to five stars, the employee gave the facility all five star ratings for all metrics. Some of these metrics include credentials and experience of medical staff/addiction treatment staff/mental health staff, enforcement of patient privacy and confidentiality, and the overall quality of patient treatment and care at the facility.


All services are free of cost; the program is funded by donations, modest government support, and revenue from TROSA-run businesses.

Published on August 2017

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
There are many people who come to Trosa a large number do not stay....working 6 days a week and although not religious based the fact that residents are not allowed to worship is not good.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
This facility was great.

Strong community foundation. Rigid and caring environment. Accessible regardless of finances.

  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
No contact with family. No family involvement with treatment. Limited phone calls Family member will graduate July 16. This facility court ordered Good program. Fingers crossed for my family member for success.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
An overall great facility.

  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
great place

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Totally changed my life. Last four months of the program help you get a job and transition back into society. This is not a religious/spiritual nor NA/AA based 2 year program. You will work in various departments to support yourself and the program during this time. Everything is a progression based on how much time you have in the program. The cost is free. The outcome is priceless. As a graduate, I go back and help mentor people in the program now.

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