Twenty-three months and counting! Joe Carroll is proud of his recovery from his Substance Use Disorder. Joe knows it’s easy to relapse and has created a support network to make sure he stays on his recovery journey. The first 6 months were particularly hard. He credits his success to his faith in God as well as the treatment and support he received from Centerstone. Joe said about his experience at Centerstone, “The Centerstone team didn’t give up on me. The trust that Dr. Gunawardane and staff had in me made me want to be clean. If someone really wants to be clean Centerstone will stay with them through their recovery.”
Joe has not only dedicated himself to his recovery he is helping others in their recovery. He spends more 15 hours a week counseling and mentoring others who have a substance use disorder. Joe volunteers two afternoons a week at the Centerstone’s Recovery Engagement Center (REC) in Columbus. As a recovering drug addict he understands how drugs rewire a person’s brain, the cravings they feel and how hard it is to make the decision to get clean and start on the long recovery journey. He readily shares his story and provides advice and encouragement.
Joe’s substance use disorder stems from a number of surgeries for back issues. Joe was over-prescribed opioids to manage the pain. As a recovering alcoholic, Joe had an increased susceptibility to addiction and found gratification by taking meth and heroin.
A traffic stop by the Columbus Police Department was the first step in bringing changes to his life. Spending two days in the local jail was the wake-up call he needed. As a veteran, Joe was eligible for his case to be heard by the newly created Veteran’s Court. The program provided the structure and accountability he needed. He was required to attend the court twice a month and was subject to daily drug tests. He was also referred to Centerstone for treatment. He was proud to be one of first four individuals to graduate from the Veteran’s Court program. The Mayor and Attorney General were in attendance.
Joe is very interested in staying with Centerstone and becoming even more involved in help others with their recovery. After completing two years of recovery Joe will be eligible to apply to work at Centerstone as a Peer Recovery Coach. There are two certifications for him to earn before he can become an official member of the Centerstone team. We are looking forward to the possibility and know that Joe’s experience and communication skills will be wonderful assets in Centerstone’s Addiction Recovery Program.