The following are stories of those in our community who are living successful lives of recovery. These stories are used to shine a light on the possibilities of recovery and be a glimmer of hope.
*All stories have been shared with the permission of the peer.
My journey with drug addiction began in the 8th grade when I stole an ounce of pot from my mom to take to
school and give to two of my friends. We moved from the Orchards to downtown Lewiston and that is when
my mom started giving me pot to take to school and sell to friends; let me add, I still had not tried smoking
pot, but eventually, I did try it on my own. By 9th grade in the summer, I tried acid for the first time, and
shortly after that, I found myself smoking and snorting meth every day. By 17, I dropped out of school, got my
GED, and ran away to start cooking meth and growing pot. Somehow in the mix of all this, I started smoking
black tar heroin. I met a guy who was just smoking pot at the time, so he helped me detox from heroin. We
then moved back to the LC Valley from Pomeroy. This guy and I ended up moving in with my sister, who had
him start selling meth while I was still smoking and selling pot. I found out I was pregnant, and we moved to
Spokane so that he could get clean from meth and I could quit smoking and selling pot. After my daughter
was born I only smoked pot. Shortly after that, on rare occasions, we would do acid and cocaine (I wasn’t a
big fan of cocaine). Next thing I knew I started doing ecstasy and cocaine on the weekends. By the time I was
23 I had 3 kids. I took my kids and left their father because he was really addicted to cocaine and drinking
constantly, along with being very physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive. Now I had all three babies, I
was working three jobs to survive, and next thing I know the kid’s dad took them for an overnight visit and I
didn’t get the kids back until the end of 2010. I found myself cooking and doing meth again until 2008 when I
moved back to the LC Valley. After moving back, I was clean until 2016 when I started using meth again. I
then got 3 counts for conspiracy to deliver meth with three enhancements. Because it was my first time being
in trouble, I was given five years of felony probation. I was on parole for a year and a half then moved
without permission or reporting it to my parole officer, so I found myself having an agent’s warrant for
absconding. I got pulled over in March 2018 on my way to the casino and was put in jail. I was in Nez Perce
County jail for three months before I was granted Drug Court, which puts me where I am today. On
November 19, 2019, I graduated Drug Court and began pursuing my career in being a Recovery Coach and
eventually a Drug and Alcohol Counselor.
When I was first released from jail it was First Step 4 Life and Change Point that I went to. If it wasn’t for the
recovery center, I wouldn’t have had a place to go and know that I was safe, sober, and free of all outside
issues and temptations. I would have gone back out, but because of the recovery center I had help with
community service, I was able to graduate Drug Court, I had positive things to do, I learned how to have
sober friends, and they taught me sobriety and how to have fun with it. The recovery center has been a big
part of my recovery and now it's going to be a part of my career. It's an amazing place.
Peer, Ally, Mom
Sober Date March 28, 2018
I started using Xanax and Hydrocodone at the age of 15. From there it progressed to selling for a really long time, which is when I got really addicted to Methadone. Around 22 I decided to withdrawal from the Methadone. It was horrible. I was hospitalized, and 4 months later I still wasn’t done with the withdrawals. I tried smoking meth for the first time. It wasn’t something I was really into, but it did take away my shakes, so I did that for a little while. After I shot meth the first time, it was all downhill from there. I lost my house, my car, was living on the street, sleeping on benches, under the bridge, eating food out of garbage cans, and eventually picked up a couple of felonies. I was found in a boat dock bathroom, and they thought I was dead because I fell asleep with a needle in my arm. I went to jail for about 15 days and when I got out, I absconded from probation, caught a felony for absconding, and went on a rider. I came back from the rider, was thrown out on my ass, hadn’t worked in years, I didn’t know how to survive in the real world, and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. It only took 2 weeks before I relapsed. I ran from probation again and was running for about 7 months. During this time, my ex-boyfriend and I were pulled over and I had a bunch of needles on me, and I caught a new felony. At this point it clicked, I knew I needed to be done, I had nothing.
Eventually, I got Drug Court, got out of jail, and hit the ground running and have been since. Probation and Parole recommended I go to First Step 4 Life, and when I got there, they had a toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shampoo, conditioner, all of that. I had access to the computer lab and I was able to get a job within the first two weeks. When I wasn’t at group I would come to the center and hang out. Jamie is a really good friend of mine so having her there made it really easy for me to come in and feel comfortable. I didn’t realize there were so many people that I knew, but there’s just a huge community of people that will help you get into places, help you get a car, and help you get a job. It was something that I knew nothing about until I was in it. Now I’m here and I have it all.
The recovery community is key. It changed my life.
Peer, Ally, Waitress
Sober Date February 27, 2019