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Group 401

Greg’s Story

Here is the true story of a consumer who overcame many obstacles to turn around his life. Last names have been omitted for privacy.

The year 2003 wasn’t a good one for Greg. He lost his job of 18 years. His marriage fell apart and his relationship with his three children became strained. He underwent shock therapy for his depression and suicidal thoughts. While driving he was issued a violation for DWI. Greg’s life was in a downward spiral.

Greg started drinking when he was a teenager, experimenting with his friends. He smoked marijuana too, but only for a short time and it never seemed to be a problem. The drinking was another story as it continued to get worse. Greg recently found out that there is a history of alcoholism in his family. He also realized he suffered from severe depression for more than 20 years.

When he was arrested for DWI, Greg was fortunate enough to get into Amherst Drug Court and, from there, was referred to Horizon. “Greg is on his way to changing his life around,” said Lisa Prefontaine, program director, Boulevard Counseling Center. “He’s being treated for both addiction and depression, and has been very persistent in his course of treatment. He’s also gone back to school and has a goal to be a counselor. He’s very serious about turning his life around.”

Greg’s course of treatment has been specific to DBT, or dialectical behavioral treatment, and includes group and individual sessions, which address substance use and coping strategies for mental health disorders.

He says that while it hasn’t been easy, his recovery is going in the right direction. “The individual and group counseling sessions have helped a lot,” he says. “Emotionally, I am learning to turn things around, to view things in a better light. My self-confidence has increased and I realize both my addiction and depression are illnesses. My counselors have helped me see things much more differently and get back on my feet.”

He realizes recovery is a day-to-day situation, and though he had several relapses early on, Greg has been sober for four years. His medications have been adjusted. He’s earned his counselor trainee certification and is interning at a local program. He’s also working on his relationship with his children who, he says, are slowly coming around. Greg says he knows things aren’t going to change overnight, but the important thing is that they are changing – for the better.

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.