Stories of Success

Originally published to the March STR/SOR Newsletter Thu, Mar 28, 2019 5:54 pm

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Two individuals who received rehabilitative services through Gateway Foundation share their stories of how STR helped turn their lives around, and on rebuilding their lives one day at a time.

The first story we received comes from Joe, a 37 year old, white male who stated, “he was addicted to drugs for over 20 years, but he wanted something different.”
Prior to coming to treatment, Joe explains that he had experienced many challenges including “legal issues, homelessness, overdose, and poor mental and physical health.” He stated that he wanted to seek medication as a tool in his recovery process “to break the cycle” and that “suboxone helped with withdrawals and cravings and Vivitrol is now a huge part of his recovery.” He says because of medication, “I no longer crave and I know there is no reason to use with it.” In addition to medication, Joe indicated that “counseling, peer coaching, and recovery housing” have also been helpful in achieving and maintaining his recovery.
Today, Joe describes himself as someone “that has a strong passion to live a “life”and stay clean and sober.” He described his life now by stating there is “just an overall change with my health, I feel better physically and mentally. I am in a sober living house, and it is a huge part of my recovery. I have a network that I can go to now on a daily basis. As a result of my recovery, I am employed and very active in helping others.”
Furthermore, he stated, “as a result of medication I am able to maintain my mental health, keep up with my schedule for my physical health appointments, maintain stable housing, believe in my purpose of helping others, and continue to give back and live with integrity.”
Our next story comes from an individual who describes herself as “a 37 year old, divorced mom of two beautiful teenagers who loves to cook.”
When asked how she got here, she responded “after a month of looking up Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery online, I finally went in and got information for rehab. I did not have insurance so I had no idea where to go. At MoNetwork, they provided me with information and numbers to call. I was on the phone calling before I drove away. My drug of choice was heroin and pain pills but I would do anything I could find. I lost my job due to me using. But the main reason I wanted to get clean was because my 17 year old daughter and I were fighting one day and she told me she could tell when I was on stuff and my heart sank.”
She described how she had tried other forms of recovery before and that she chose to seek medication as a tool in her recovery process because “she knew she was not able to quit on her own.” She stated, “the suboxone has helped keep me from going back because I can focus my time and energy on my recovery. I do not have the urge to go find pills.
When asked what other supports have been helpful in achieving and maintaining her recovery, she stated “my family, children, and boyfriend. Also, my home group and that I have people in recovery at my job in the kitchen, and also my amazing counselor Liz!”
When asked to describe her life now, she stated, “As a result of medication, I am able to be a productive member in society. I wake up feeling good. I take care of what I need to during the day. I am able to spend quality time with my two kids making memories that will last a lifetime. My daughter and I are camping together at the end of the month and we are going to a concert together in May. Because of medication, I am able to take care of my loved ones at home and I have found my place in NA.”
Furthermore, she stated, “as a result of medication, I am hoping to keep putting my best foot forward. I am hoping to continue to thrive at my job and build relationships with my friends in recovery, my family, and my children. I am hoping to save up some money for a new couch and upgrade a few things around the house. And I hope to keep attending meetings and I like to help others in whatever way I can – I like to bring in breakfast for my co-workers once a week and I try to give people rides when needed.”

This month's Stories of Success contributions were curated by Lauren Green, Research Specialist at UMSL-MIMH.

Stories used with permission. Specific authorship and identifying details may be redacted to protect anonymity. Editor reserves right to redact content involving coarse language as well as content that could be triggering to readers in recovery from Substance Use Disorder. Additional edits made to grammatical choices to provide cohesion of text.