My name is Crystal. I’m honored to say I have been in abstinence based recovery since December, 2008.

Although I had first-hand experience with the consequences of drug use growing-up, I could not will myself into not using substances. By the time I was 12, I was using drugs daily to feel normal, by the age of 18 I was appalled at the realization that I was an intravenous heroin and crack user. The next five years of my life consisted of morbid places, inhuman living conditions, demoralizing choices and an abundance of legal, emotional and physical consequences. I had many vain attempts at using methadone, religion, suboxone, hospitalizations, incarceration, and treatment centers to get relief from my addiction. No matter how bad I wanted to abstain from drug use, nothing worked, I felt hopeless.

I self-admitted into our local free abstinence based detox facility where I was funded for and additional six months of residential treatment. Treatment emphasized integration into the recovering community so I followed the footsteps of those that worked the 12 steps before me and my life began and continues to change.

My story is one of recovery and hope. Due to the stability of recovery, I have bought a home, got married, traveled internationally, been present for my family, meaningfully participate in my community and contribute to society. In recovery I obtained four degrees and I am in the process of a Masters of Social Work degree. My recovery is intentional and purposefully used to help the person still suffering from addiction. I thank those that showed me a quality, drug free life is possible.