My name is Danny and I have been in recovery from addiction since July 13, 2010. I began using drugs at the ripe age of 12, when I started a rock band with a few of my friends and smoked marijuana because I thought it was cool. Things quickly spiraled out of control; by the time I was 17 I was using cocaine almost every day. At 18 I found myself in my first inpatient treatment center. Three weeks after my discharge I was using IV heroin. The next year was a blur of failed attempts to stay sober and impulsive decisions. I manipulated and stole from my parents, friends, girlfriend, and job in order to maintain my drug use. I was hopeless, suicidal, and desperate. I knew I had to try something different.

I entered long-term, abstinence-based, residential treatment followed by transitional housing. I was challenged to fully integrate myself into the recovering community, to work the steps and to live by them. I began to realize that I could be sober and have fun at the same time. The 12-Step meetings gave me the tools to live life. The program and the relationships I made gave me a life worth living.

I’ve been sober since 2010. Recovery has helped me to mend the relationships with my family and friends, it’s given me a degree in neuroscience and an acceptance letter to medical school. It’s allowed me to give back to my community by working at the same detox facility where I was previously a client. Working this program has lifted my shame of the past, knowing my experiences have made me who I am, and given me the life I live today.