If Addiction Is Part Of
Your Story

You Can Start The Road To Recovery Today

People Can, and Do, Recover

by ,

All too often we hear about the negatives associated with addiction; overdose, theft, unemployment, homelessness, neglected children, disease, and of course, death. 

It’s National Recovery Month, and time to cease reinforcing society’s addiction stigma. But how do you end the stigma of drug addiction? 

By showing that people can, and do, recover.

Sharing my story about addiction to heroin can be beneficial to millions of Americans with substance use disorders and their families. I bring my experience to the light so that others don’t continue to suffer in the dark. I say it out loud so that nobody will continue to hurt in silence. It is proven that treatment programs are more effective than incarceration. Rehabilitation allows for those in alcohol or heroin recovery to reintegrate into society. 

For heroin abusers, incarceration often leaves those who are physically dependent on drugs left feeling the symptoms of heroin withdrawal and its medical complications.  We are fortunate to live in a time when access to care is on the upswing, but there is still so much more work to be done.

Pathways to a beautiful life are available, and it’s so important that we understand that this is a journey, not a destination. Treatment is a phenomenal start, and without it we are simply spinning our wheels in the mud, but it’s not enough. The worst thing I could ever believe is that “I’ve got this”. Addiction is the epitome of disconnection. Recovery entails being connected again.

Addiction is Not a Character Problem

In active addiction, we are disconnected from relationships, from our family members, from the law, from stable housing, from healthy social and entertainment activities, and from our overall health and wellbeing. Once we learn how to stop the substance abuse that was causing the disconnect, the real work begins. 

By listening to other voices in recovery, we begin to clear up the wreckage of our pasts and right our wrongs. We learn how to enjoy life without being under the influence of a mood- or mind-altering substance. We adjust to life on life’s terms with healthy coping skills. We find gainful employment and become financially stable. We begin to take care of our bodies and our minds and learn how to look at “health” as something physical, mental, and spiritual. We become productive members of our communities again, or in some instances, for the first time ever.

Addiction is not a character problem, it’s a community problem. If we take the proper steps to support recovery synergistically, the future will be incredibly bright for the world. We need to focus on the present and the future. We’ve all felt pain, but we all deserve to feel love. We’ve all failed at one time or another, yet we can all experience our own definition of success. So many have unfortunately lost their lives, and it’s our obligation to live on and make sure that those lives lost will never be in vain. 

There is absolutely no shame in beginning again, for we get a chance to build bigger and better than ever before. We all have the power to say, “This is NOT how my story will end.”