Growing Up In A Town
Growing up in a town right outside of Boston, MA, I always felt like I was shielded from the most dangerous elements of society and safe from harm. Warm summers, cool falls, snowy winters and crisp springs made New England one of the best places to live. Leaving home and heading to college at 18, I was about to embark on a journey that would eventually land me in Austin, TX at BRC Recovery.
“Did you see the paper this morning? Seven more deaths due to overdoses.” This question, followed by harsh news, became my reality during the past 2 years. My parents still living in New England, would daily check the obituary section in the local newspaper noting that the number of deaths due to heroin and other illicit drugs would continue to spike.
The problem has become especially severe in New England, where officials have called for a renewed effort to confront it. “Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont devoted his entire State of the State Message in January to what he called “a full-blown heroin crisis” in his state. Like the new White House effort, the governor called for a new, treatment based approach.” (Michael Shear, NY Times)
The heroin epidemic in New England has taken a toll on all communities: race, ethnicity, age and class aside. A little over 2 years ago, I myself was using heroin, playing the dangerous game of Russian roulette like so many others in New England. The disease of addiction has caused many in my home town area much trauma and many sleepless nights. When would this epidemic end?
The White House, on August 17, 2015 announced a program that could very well improve the government’s response to the heroin epidemic across New England. The focus of this program will be on treatment, rather than punishment of addicts. The Office of National Drug Control Policy said it would spend $2.5M to hire public safety and public health coordinators all throughout the New England area.
Four of my friends from high school have passed away due to overdoses. Receiving these phone calls has never been easy but because of this epidemic, they don’t surprise me anymore. Confronted with the disease of addiction myself, I went to BRC Recovery in 2013 in an attempt to overcome my hopeless state. BRC taught me discipline and the spiritual tools necessary to combat my disease. The staff challenged me daily and got me to fully surrender to the program of recovery.
As I sit here now, over 2 years sober and after having been invited to join the BRC staff as a Recovery Manager, I find that I have a real passion for recovery and a mission to carry the message to those who suffer from this disease. I desire to help families who have gone through tremendous lows watching their loved ones put themselves in harm’s way. Time and time again there is a solution. If confronted with the disease of addiction, don’t give up. With the help of our government and the premier program of BRC Recovery, many have and will continue to recover. I know this to be true because I have.