Strength and Determination

SteveSteve is a current client at BETA, a transitional living program for adult males with substance abuse issues in Frankfort .  Before the interview, I was a little concerned Steve may be reluctant or cautious about telling his story of substance abuse.  However, what I discovered was actually quite different. Steve is so incredibly proud of his recovery; he wanted to tell his story without holding anything back. 
Steve is 51-years-old and used drugs from the age of 12 all the way until he turned 50. Steve takes full responsibility for his actions and blames no one but himself for the drug abuse.  He also took this opportunity to mention his wonderful childhood and his warm, loving family.    
Steve's years of addiction started with marijuana, which eventually led to stronger drugs.  When I asked Steve what drugs he has used, he answered; “It is probably easier to tell you what drugs I haven’t used.”  He thought he could handle his drug abuse and even held down a job for over 30 years.  He even managed to hide his addiction from his entire family. 
Steve also suffered a shoulder injury and was prescribed Percocet, which worsened his condition.  No matter how hard he tried, he could not get off this drug.  He started taking large amounts on a regular basis and even made several trips to Florida each week to obtain the drugs.  He lost his job, started participating in illegal activities and had to sleep in trucks for 2 years.  Finally, he knew he could no longer continue this lifestyle and he hit rock bottom.
Fortunately, Steve heard about the Schwartz Center in Lexington, a short-term residential program for adults with substance abuse issues.  He checked into Schwartz and participated in both individual and group counseling. After three weeks, he knew if he did not continue in treatment he would return to using drugs.  With the help of his therapist, Carla Lemon, he realized he would benefit from continued treatment.  He credits Carla and the Schwartz Center with preparing him for this journey."
He was then referred to the BETA program and met his therapist Jodie Newton.  With Jodie’s help, he received intensive counseling and learned to avoid the “triggers” that would make him want to do drugs.  He also learned to change his thought process and was finally able to open up about his addiction issues.  He has been at BETA and clean for almost a year.  He has obtained full-time, permanent employment and says he feels great.  "While I was using drugs I was a loner and felt terrible," he adds.  "All I thought about was how to get the drugs.  Now, I am reconnecting with my family and am developing a strong relationship with my younger sister.  I was determined to get off drugs and I did it!" 
Steve knows he will always be a recovering addict and still gets very anxious when he is in an environment that might trigger his drug use.  With the help of the BETA program and Jodie, he is learning how to prepare for and handle these situations. 
When you talk to Steve, you can see the determination in his eyes.  He is candid about his life on drugs and is extremely proud of what he has accomplished.  This is truly a success story and I feel Steve will be a positive influence in other people’s lives who suffer from drug addiction.
Steve, thank you for your time and your life story.
Stephanie Dean 


1351 Newtown Pike
Lexington, KY 40511-1277
859.255.4866 (fax)


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