My name is Brooke and I have been abstinent from drugs and alcohol since June 8, 2010.

I grew up in a middle class, divorced family, with parents who were both very loving and supportive. I got good grades in school, was captain of my school’s soccer team and attended the occasional high school party. From the outside, I seemed like just an average kid. But on the inside, I was always craving something else, something more than grades or sports or friends could ever provide.

At about 16, my drinking and partying went from the occasional weekends to an every night event. I could never get enough of the euphoric feeling that alcohol gave me and eventually turned to prescription pills and marijuana to enhance that feeling. This behavior started to snowball when pills and marijuana turned into ecstasy and oxycontin and then eventually led to using heroin intravenously. It was never enough, I was never satisfied and was always chasing more. It literally became a full-time job. And with a long, toxic, co-dependent relationship and enabling friends added to the mix, it was a recipe for disaster.

I knew I needed help and tried multiple ways of finding it, like behavior modification focused treatment centers, doctor prescribed suboxone, a long-term religion-based facility, and even just pure self-will at times. Nothing worked for me and I kept returning to the comfort of drugs and alcohol until I finally found a 12-step program that focused on abstinence. The thought of never taking a drink or a drug again, especially without a substitute like suboxone or methadone, sounded like the scariest thing in the world. But through the support and guidance from others like myself and a step-by-step process to follow, I have been successful in so many ways where I had never been before. I am now able to hold a job, and one that I love and am good at. I am a student at a local university working on my bachelors degree, and am engaged to be married. None of these things would even be possible for me if it wasn’t for my sobriety. I can say that I am truly blessed and will continue to give back the blessings that have been given to me.