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“Having a dual diagnosis of mental illness along with addiction made it a struggle to come to terms with the damage I was causing to my kids, my family, my fiancé, my friendships and ultimately myself.  I was staying awake for days and even weeks at a time at a pace no one could keep up with let alone an anxiety ridden drug addict like myself.  My self-medication with Crystal Meth and Alcohol was leading me to a very ugly and public demise and it came to a head finally in an incident involving cops at my son’s high school football game in front of 1500+ fans…most of whom knew me well and saw it all unfold.  I was treated for mental illness and addiction in the Psych ward of our local hospital when the police admitted me.  I cried for days.  I was a complete mess and thought about breaking out to get away, that is, until I came to terms with myself that I was sick and needed this help.  It was then that my attitude and outlook changed and I accepted that I needed to find a new life no matter how difficult it seemed at that time…and this time it needed to work and so I committed to lead a life devoted to recovery.”

– STEVE (39 years old)

“Being from an area that sometimes excuses alcoholism as a way of life in the ‘Skook’ it was sometimes hard growing up and being able to decipher who is and isn’t an alcoholic.  That made it difficult to persuade my father to seek the

help he was in dire need of.  A house full of females made him feel like we were always ganging up on him and sometimes we were, to be honest.  My father wasted away his daughters’ childhood and teenage years because he loved alcohol more than he loved his family.  He had to realize this on his own and come to terms with his demons before moving forward and getting help.  Now our families are learning to patch up the holes that were created by years of watching this disease up close.  I pray every day that he remains in recovery and takes it one day at a time.”

– ROSEMARY (41 years old)

“I have been put through hell and back with my drug use and lifestyle over and over again.  I have tried inpatient and outpatient facilities numerous times and in a number of different places.  I tried NA, AA, counseling and many other so-called treatment programs and meetings and these all worked for some people but not for me in totality.  Don’t get me wrong I am not knocking any method of rehabilitation and recovery because they all work for different people at different times, but nothing fully worked for me until I found faith and religion and the love of Jesus Christ.  I have been able to turn some things around in my life by giving praise to Jesus, my lord and savior and I am now clean for 2 years and working full time while attending meetings regularly in order to pay it forward to another lost soul in need of rescuing.  Recovery has become a way of life to me now.”

– ALAN (27 years old)

“I was using drugs with some of my family members when I was 12 so it’s no surprise that by 19 I was entering my 3rd rehab in that many years and was desperately addicted to pills, opiates…heroin.  I was in need of a fix to even think about functioning or start a day.  And then most days were spent figuring out how you would keep getting high.  Nothing else because nothing else mattered.  Then it finally hit me how I had missed my teenage years and instead of memories I only had recollection of awful days when I didn’t get high wrapped around days when it seemed I could never get enough.  It hit me hard that I had already seemed to have given up on my life and I would never do that again.  I gained some self-respect and seeked out my own help and made a promise to myself that, never again would I go back there.  Even now there are still good and bad days, but the bad days usually just bring anxiety and remnants of withdrawals that are very manageable.’

– MARIA (24 years old)

“With all the resources that are now out there for addiction and recovery it made it very easy to get the help I needed when I became addicted to my pain killers after my surgery.  I was starting to run out of money to feed my addiction and I had contemplated getting heroin several times, but I thank god that I never crossed that bridge because ultimately, I knew statistics and the horrors due to the continuing education provided by all the organizations popping up to fight this epidemic.  From my own knowledge I knew I was addicted and I sought out for help and I was salvaged.  I am so thankful to not have to rely on a drug to live each and every day or every 2 hours.  That’s a powerless feeling and one I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.  The tools are out there and the education and help is waiting to come to the aid of someone in need.  I knew this from reading and hearing about all the resources available.  Finding help should always be so quick and reliable and then more people would be in recovery, I think it’s up to us to keep finding help for those still in need.”

– GEORGE (58 years old)

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