He’s in his sixties, but one of Doug’s goals is to go back to school. “I know I still have something to offer,” he says, “and I believe God wants me to help others avoid the path I’ve taken.”
Doug started abusing alcohol in his late teens. He moved on to marijuana, sleeping pills, hard liquor and “pretty much anything that was available.” Over the years, his addictions took their toll. His health began to decline; he’s diabetic, has high blood pressure and other ailments. He’s been in and out of various treatment programs over the years, and has spent time in jail for different offenses.
“I was in the methadone program for 10 years and managed to stay pretty clean during that time,” says Doug. “But the treatments made me sick, and I couldn’t see myself sticking with it for the rest of my life. I was very worried about the long-term effects. It scared me.”
He had heard good things about suboxone (an opioid medication approved for the treatment of opioid dependence in an office-based setting) and was curious about it. At the time, one of the conditions of his release from prison was that he attend a rehab program, and Doug jumped at the chance to join Horizon’s suboxone program.
“When he came to this program, he was – as they say – ‘tore up from the floor up’” says Ramona Lee, his counselor. “Today, you wouldn’t recognize him as the same man. Doug has learned from his mistakes and is motivated and determined to stay clean.”
“I was so tired of being on the streets, of always searching for drugs, of not feeling well,” says Doug. “I was determined to find a way to eliminate drugs permanently from my life. And I had heard that, with suboxone, there’s no pain during withdrawal.”
In the program since March, Doug has, indeed, made great strides. He’s been clean since entering the program, and has seen a significant improvement in his overall health which, in turn, has had a positive effect on his attitude as well.”
“Doug knew what he had to do,” says Ramona. “He’s made some very significant changes in his life. He has made such a positive impact on so many people here – he regularly attends meetings, he listens, he gives good feedback and he’s always positive and upbeat for others who are struggling.”
“Horizon has helped me in so many ways,” says Doug. “I never knew so many people could care so much about me. Everyone here has made me feel comfortable and worthy. They truly are concerned about me and they keep on top of me to be sure I don’t slip up. It’s been really great and I am very encouraged!”
Path To Recovery
The Path To Recovery includes true stories of consumers who overcame many obstacles with the help of Horizon Health Services to turn their lives around. Last names have been omitted for privacy.