Hello, my name is Thomas Klemm and I have been free of drug and alcohol use since November 12th, 2014

I first used drugs when I was 14 years, smoking weed and abusing prescription medications. By 16 years old I had begun to use drugs intravenously including but not limited to heroin. By the time I was 18 I had developed a benzodiazepine addiction, in addition to a meth habit, and by 19 I had been to several rehabs, psych wards, jail, and had dropped out of high school. It felt like my life had already ended. After getting my ass kicked for the entirety of my drug use I decided I needed to go to long-term treatment of some kind.

I am incredibly privileged to have had a mom and dad who both wholeheartedly supported my recovery and who helped me seek the services I needed to assist in my recovery. I attribute the fact I was able to get sober at such a young age to them. After two weeks at an in-patient facility, I spent 90 days in a halfway house followed by 7 months in a sober living facility. Long-term care was the biggest difference in me being able to get and remain sober.

Almost 7 years later I live a life I could not have imagined even before ever trying a drink or a drug. Today I am a part of my family’s life in a way I had not been prior, a partner to an amazing woman, and a Doctoral Student in Political Science at the University of Michigan, despite always having doubts about my abilities to perform academically after dropping out of high school in 10th grade.

Additionally, I have become a much more active community member and relative in my tribal nation the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, and plan to use my degree to advocate for Native self-determination.