Ryan: An Addiction Recovery Story
After losing both of his parent at eight years old, Ryan was in a foster home from age 11 to 18. At 21 years old, he was in a car accident and given hydrocodone in the hospital which opened a door for Ryan’s substance use disorder.
“Over time it took more medication to mask the pain and I moved to drug seeking and found heroin and fentanyl,” said Ryan. “I just started on that terrible road that so many people know about.”
Ryan lost everything — his apartment, car, and connection with family and friends. Periodically, Ryan tried to stop drug use on his own, but kept falling into familiar habits. It wasn’t until he was considering selling his car in exchange for $300 worth of drugs, that he realized he needed professional help. After eight years of addiction, Ryan’s foster family stood by him as he sought treatment at Centerstone.
“I went to the Centerstone rehab facility and it was the best decision I ever made in my life,” said Ryan. “I met some really good people and they helped me transition back into the community, and helped me understand how to live a life free of addiction.”
More than 20 million Americans have a substance use disorder. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, here are some things to know when starting the recovery process:
- Know that addiction is a treatable disease, not a moral failing!
- Identify your triggers. Stress, uncomfortable emotions, social isolation, and physical illness can lead to strong urges to use again.
- Consider changing your environment. Who you spend time with and what you do in your free time can affect your recovery.
- Moving your body can reduce stress, improve sleep, increase self-esteem, and restore healthy brain function.
- Get help. Individuals in recovery need support, encouragement, and the right skills to make recovery sustainable. Substance use disorder professionals can provide appropriate and specific guidance for your situation.
Ryan said, “When I was in active addiction, I never had any thought other than that day, the next high. There was no future to think about. But now that I’m in recovery, I think about having kids and helping them grow and having a wife. There’s nothing holding me back anymore.”