Opioid Prevention Toolkit

OPIOID & HEROIN AWARENESS TOOLKIT A Prevention Guide for Families

A Local Story, continued I really owe a lot to those meetings and the people in them. They taught me how to love myself again and how to deal with feelings of guilt and sorrow. They truly cared for me in a way that was unconditional and didn’t enable me. There were a few times that I was challenged by my higher power and in the end, I won. I was offered drinks, pills, weed, and other drugs but I abstained. When t hese troubles arose, I talked with somebody I could trust (either a counselor, sponsor, or a member of NA). I had to be in this (recovery) for me -not for my family, friends, or even my son. I was the one who had the problem, and I had to be the one to fix it. My recovery had to come before everything while I was in drug court. There was no room for mistaking that.

T he drug court program is intended to be a yearlong program in my county. However, participants may take more time to complete it. I completed the program in 14 months and I was the first in my county to graduate (2015). During that time, I completed my Associates degree and began my Bachelor’s. I was featured on the news (positively), and at my graduation I was given the opportunity to give an exclusive interview with the local newspaper. After I graduated I began to apply the skills I learned while in drug court to my everyday life. Skills such as: scheduling, accountability, and perseverance. I was still under supervision/probation, which was okay with me because quite frankly I was scared to think of being completely unsupervised. I only had 14 months of absolute sobriety and in many ways, I was still working through things. I remained abstinent from drugs and alcohol and stayed in good graces with my probation agents. My sentence of extended supervision was until September 2018, but in January 2017 I was granted an early release. Because of my good behavior, completion of the drug court program, and of course my absolute sobriety, I was also granted the expungement of all my felonies. This meant that all my rights had been restored and I didn’t have this shadow of my past dimming my true potential. I was elated more than I ever had been before.

Since I have been off supervision I have focused most of my energy on schooling. I am diligently working towards my degree and I am now half way done. I continue to give private guitar and piano lessons and have a part time job detailing trucks. On my down time I like to play games with my son, cook, and spend quality time with my family. I occasionally will pop into a support group meeting. But, for the most part, other things consume my time. At one point in my life I was so hopeless that I didn’t care if I was dead, in fact I wanted to be. Because of the dedication of my community, family, friends, and my own perseverance I can live again and serve a role in society. There is hope for every suffering addict. They just need to be willing, and guided in the right direction. I used to live in an apartment that had nothing besides a couch, a bed, and a TV. After that I was homeless, and slept wherever I could. It awes me to think about where I’ve been versus where I am now, and of how “normal” my life is now. Sometimes I sit in silence and look around my house and think to myself, “Wow, you did all of this.” Today I have 1193 days clean and sober. I now embrace the challenges I’m faced with full of gratitude, because I know that there isn’t a problem out there that is worth getting high over. Eddie


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