My name is Amber. I have been in recovery since June 12, 2008.

I began using drugs and alcohol at the age of 12. By the time I was a freshman in high school I had to drink alcohol to feel normal and function. I was arrested at school when I was 14 for possession and was forced into drug counseling, which I quickly refused to participate in. My using progressed and I started using opiates and other drugs on a daily basis and eventually dropped out of school.

The first time I entered into a rehab was with an addiction to oxycontin at 18. I then began using heroin intravenously, as it was cheaper than oxycontin. I was put on suboxone maintenance several times, and it never helped. My life hit rock bottom very quickly after that. I was in and out of treatment centers, served 6 months in jail, and was in a toxic relationship.

I finally checked into a free detox facility in Ann Arbor, which I had hung up on before due to the fact that they did not offer detox medications, but I was desperate. It was 3 days after my 21st birthday, and the last time I used. This facility gave me what I needed, and it wasn’t medication. It was the support of others in recovery, a connection to those who were like me. Since then I have earned my G.E.D, A.S. and B.S. in Psychology. After working as a director in business dining for several years I returned to school and earned an MSW at Eastern Michigan University.  I have gotten married in sobriety, bought a house, and I recently gave birth to our third child (Harper, Charlie and Norm). Most importantly I pay it forward and I give to other struggling alcoholics and addicts what was given to me, and that’s how it works.