My name is Matt, and I have been in recovery from all substances since June 16th, 2014. 

Growing up my life was pretty normal. I had a loving, supportive household and an overall great environment. Addiction would have seemed like an unlikely path for me, yet here I am. I began using marijuana and alcohol at the age of 15. When I first used these substances they quickly consumed me, but I was unable to see it at that time. From the ages of 15-17, I used every drug I could get my hands on and believed that this was what teenagers did. At the time, it was fun and cool. It gave me a status that I was proud of. I felt like I belonged to something. At the age of 17, I narrowed down my substance use to prescription painkillers and eventually found OxyContin. The addiction to opiates was no longer “fun”. It robbed me of everything good that was within me. The morals and values my parents taught me no longer applied. Thankfully, at the age of 20, I was admitted to a long-term rehabilitation center and found out about recovery for the very first time. I entered into transitional housing and worked a 12-step recovery program. I sponsored individuals and got my life back in a positive direction. Above all else, I was able to love myself again.

I would love to say that this is where my story ends, but like many others, relapse is part of my story. My relapse lasted 6 years. It began with marijuana and alcohol but very quickly transitioned to heroin. During that time, I lost everything important in my life. I dropped out of college, was evicted from my apartment, ruined every last healthy relationship I had, and all sense of dignity and love for myself. By the end, I refused to even look in a mirror because I hated what was looking back at me. Luckily, I still remembered that recovery was an option, and it was there for me if I asked. 

On June 16th, 2014, I said I had had enough and asked for help. I was admitted to a local detox center and got into transitional housing at 10 days sober. It was not an easy process but through surrendering myself and working a 12-step program, I began to find myself again. Through recovery, I was able to achieve a Masters degree in Social Work- which is something I never thought was achievable. I got married to the love of my life and have a healthy and loving relationship. I now work as a therapist at the treatment center that I once attended back when I was 20. Above all else I am free, I love myself, and I love the life that I live.