Clarion County, PA
I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. I have spent the better part of 30 years in my addiction. Everything from huffing gasoline to snorting heroin, I have done. It was shortly before my fourth DUI, that I knew I had a problem, and did not know a way out of my addiction. I don’t know if it was the addiction itself or my pride that would not allow me to ask for help. Once I got pulled over for my fourth DUI, I knew at that moment that things were going to change for me, and I was finally going to get the help I needed.
I was sentenced to a program called Drug Court (I prefer Treatment Court because it doesn’t have the same stigma). I went to a local rehab for inpatient treatment, and then another drug and alcohol facility for my outpatient later. After completing my sentence, I decided I wanted to help others that struggle with the same things I was struggling with.
I decided to make one of my biggest life regrets one of my biggest accomplishments. I went to and graduated college with a 3.4 GPA. I studied Rehabilitative Science with a concentration in addiction. Now, I am in my third year of my Master’s program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and have a 3.8 GPA. That’s not so bad for someone who finished high school with a D average. I want to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
“I have learned that knowledge is not enough for my recovery, it’s the actions that I take that keep me clean and sober.”
I try to help others, and I am involved with many of the drug and alcohol prevention programs in my county. I am a member of the Clarion Drug Free Coalition and a board member/volunteer for Brandon’s Dad, a DUI prevention program. I have spoken to the District Attorney, Sheriff, and the Drug and Alcohol Task Member to combat addiction. I volunteer with Armstrong Drug and Alcohol Commission to educate others about the dangers of drugs and alcohol by sharing my story with children and parents. I work as a drug and alcohol counselor at a local facility too.
I have spoken at many different churches about my recovery, not only from my addiction, but also my journey with God. I still attend 12-Step meetings. I have learned that knowledge is not enough for my recovery; it’s the actions that I take that keep me clean and sober. As long as I continue to help others in recovery, and work on my recovery, then I will continue to be successful. On December 1, I will have seven years of solid recovery, and by the grace of God, I will continue to recover.