Rise Recovery started as the San Antonio office of Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP), which opened in November 1977 when Reverend (now Bishop) John McNaughton of Christ Episcopal Church learned of the success of the PDAP groups in Houston and Dallas. What most impressed Rev. McNaughton was that PDAP was based on spiritual principles rather than a specific religion, and, most notably, that the organization did not charge for services.

After consulting with the Houston and Dallas PDAP groups and realizing the benefits the program would have for the San Antonio community, Rev. McNaughton requested a satellite office in donated space at Christ Episcopal Church for PDAP staff offices and a site for recovery group meetings and activities.

After hosting the first meeting in November 1977, word spread quickly that PDAP was the place for substance abusers and their families to get the help they needed; people could learn to be drug-free in a caring, loving and spiritual atmosphere. Within a couple of years PDAP – San Antonio opened several additional offices in San Antonio in different parts of the city to serve its expanding audience.

The Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP) started in 1971 at the Palmer Memorial Church in Houston, Texas by the parish priest and an ex-drug abuser. Originally designed to help adolescents using the 12 steps modified for youth, the program grew to work with adults and family members.


PDAP – San Antonio has expanded to include many other programs under its new name Rise Recovery besides the PDAP program:  Rise Education and Prevention; Rise Youth Leadership; and Rise Early Intervention.

Rise Recovery’s outpatient modality provides individual and family counseling and multiple weekly group support/education meetings. Chemical-free activities are provided on the weekends and day centers are open during the week, serving as safe havens for participants.  It is a comprehensive program of counseling, coaching, ongoing support, encouragement, education, and accountability for group members. Participation is open-ended. It is a non-sectarian, spiritually-based program which focuses on the entire family, offering programs for teenagers and adults who express a desire to find an alternative to drug and alcohol use; for parents who seek solutions to family and personal conflicts arising from drug or alcohol use by a family member; and for the children or younger brothers and sisters of drug and alcohol abusing siblings or parents.

We do not want cost to interrupt us helping anyone, so we are a free, no-charge organization, due to the generous support of the community.  Rise Recovery is a non-profit, community-based agency.  Funding for our programs comes through donations from individuals, businesses, corporations, foundations, churches, civic groups and the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.

Our programs are housed in several locations in San Antonio in local churches that support our recovery programs by providing free or low-cost meeting and office space:

  • House of Prayer Lutheran Church
  • Christ Episcopal Church
  • Beacon Hill Presbyterian
  • Grace Point Church
  • First Baptist Church of Boerne
  • Hope for the Westside Church

These churches help us keep our administrative costs low so that we can offer our services free of charge.

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