My name is Jon and I am an addict in long-term, abstinence-based recovery from all drugs including alcohol and marijuana. The first day of my recovery journey was September 16th, 2011 and I have not found a reason or an excuse to use since.

Growing up, my using started with smoking pot with friends and weekend drinking binges, but eventually progressed to cocaine, hallucinogens, ecstasy, benzodiazepines and pain killers such as OxyContin and Vicodin. When my habit progressed to a point of extreme tolerances for opioids and insatiable discontentment, I found myself chasing heroin in Detroit and eventually using the drug intravenously; a line I swore I would never cross. Heroin addiction took what was left from my life as the chase for more became my sole purpose. The fear and pain of withdrawal consumed my every thought.

My using was only interrupted by stints in jail, rehabilitation centers, and brief periods of court-mandated abstinence. At the end of the line, my family had stopped taking my calls and visits, employment had become nonexistent for quite some time, my health was deteriorating fast, and thoughts of suicide were a common theme.

Although I was not ready to quit at the time, the court-ordered 12 step meetings introduced me to the solution to my dilemma and gave me the out that I needed once I became willing. Various new towns and rehab centers later, I found a local treatment center that exposed me to a new recovering community that offered sufficient support to help me find long-term recovery.

Since getting clean, I found the courage to begin college and have since completed an Associate in Arts and Human Services from Washtenaw Community College and have now transferred to Eastern Michigan University to complete a bachelor’s degree in social work. I have been blessed to return to that local treatment center that helped save my life to work as a case manager at the residential/detox facility. I’ve been able to travel to Recovery conventions and advocacy rallies in several different states and speak at many of these venues. The relationship with my family is stronger than ever before and I have found an amazing woman that I share a rich, and rewarding relationship with.

Being involved in abstinence-based recovery has offered me a deep connection to the best friendships I have ever had. I have a support system that caries me when I struggle and helps me to celebrate my achievements. I am part of a world wide fellowship that is far more powerful than my addiction and I am forever in it’s debt. Had I wrote down my goals in recovery when I first got clean, I would have short changed myself. I am hopeful that my life will continue along this uphill path with plenty of joy and love along the way. Thank you for the continued support along my journey!