How do you become an addict?
People suffering from addiction don’t wake up one day and decide to get hooked on drugs. In fact, most of those suffering from addiction may not know there’s a problem at all.
According to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 20 million Americans suffer from a substance use disorder.
Addiction usually begins by trying to eliminate pain. While we typically think of pain as a physical ailment, the anguish of losing a loved can hurt just as much.
Battling addiction caused by pain
At age 14, “Crystal” developed a severe case of kidney stones. Some have called kidney stones the worst pain most people EVER feel. While any case of kidney stones, let alone a “severe case,” would be enough for most people, Crystal had to face down more than just physical afflictions.
She has been the victim of sexual abuse, a pain no one should suffer from.
But when Crystal learned of her father’s murder, she says she hit rock bottom. She could no longer handle the pain – mentally or physically. So, she turned toward drugs.
After her introduction to prescription medication, Crystal tried many different drugs, including meth.
Battling her pain and addiction nearly killed her. Luckily, a friend managed to revive Crystal by applying CPR during an apparent overdose.
Her downward trajectory finally led her to the one place that would give her hope.
Getting help at a Centerstone Recovery Center
Crystal credits her stay at the Centerstone Recovery Center (CRC) in Lexington, Ind., to her recovery journey.
Intensive therapy, group discussions and journaling helped Crystal realize that her use of drugs was related to the trauma she had experienced as a child. In fact, one of the most powerful, and therapeutic, activities Crystal experienced during her stay was to write down the traumatic events she experienced and then burn the list.
“The staff was absolutely amazing,” Crystal said. “They were very supportive of my needs and very compassionate. I cannot express in words how much I appreciate this program.”
Thanks to the well-trained staff at the CRC, Crystal learned the importance of letting go of certain people that may pull her away from her new life in sobriety.
“[This program] helped save my life and gave me the tools I need to cope with everyday living.”
Following her stay at the CRC, Crystal dedicated herself to helping others.
Now trained as a Peer Recovery Coach, Crystal recently started working for Dr. William Cooke, American Academy of Family Physicians’ 2019 Family Physician of the Year, to ensure that his HIV patients attend their medical and referral appointments.
When speaking to others, she shares the need to set boundaries and the importance of meeting people where they are in their journey rather than setting expectations for them.
Affectionately known as “client three,” for being just the third patient at the facility, many CRC team members now regard Crystal as a friend and colleague.