Evan R. successfully completed the Turnbridge Preparative Care program, and graduated in May 2015. Evan’s decline into addiction resulted in a loss of ambitions, values and time. Since coming to New Haven, Evan has addressed the issues that were steering him in an undesired direction and begun to build a foundation for happiness and success in his life.
Evan started experimenting with drugs and alcohol in his freshman year of prep school. As with many addicts, Evan’s use began with drinking and smoking marijuana with friends. “I used to justify it by saying that was all I would ever do,” explains Evan. “I said I would never touch pills or powder and try to keep it natural.” At age 16, Evan broke his promise to himself and began experimenting with other substances. He was able to control his use and avoid major consequences through high school. After Evan’s freshman year of college, the progression of his drug use was starting to have a major impact on his life. He was using prescription opiates every day and had developed a physical addiction. “Before I really knew it, I had become physically dependent,” Evan admits. “I had to start selling pills to support my habit and after that year I had failed a bunch of courses.” Shortly after returning home following his sophomore year, Evan was arrested with an array of prescription drugs and did not return to school in the fall because of court requirements he had to fulfill.
In August 2011, Evan went to his first drug treatment center after he failed a drug test for probation. He left the center early and began using soon after. Toward the end of 2011, Evan was involved in a serious car accident, and in January 2012, he was back in detox. For the next two years, Evan moved up to Vermont was simply surviving. He lived with friends and relatives and continued to use. “I was just up in Vermont, getting jobs and getting fired,” says Evan. “I was just a terrible employee and person in general.” In November 2013, Evan’s uncle found his stash of drug paraphernalia and the family conducted an intervention. He was given a choice: homelessness or rehab. Evan chose to go to treatment once again and went down to a facility in Tennessee. He successfully completed three months of primary treatment, but relapsed in a sober house soon after getting out. He went back to the same primary treatment center, but this time looked at long-term rehab programs upon completion. Evan initially chose Turnbridge because he knew a few friends who had come to the program and succeeded in staying sober, however, he did not have the same plans for himself. “The day I came up here I was planning on having a friend of mine pick me up from the airport and I was going to start running,” admits Evan. “But they had a sober escort bring me here and they took my phone and my wallet once I showed up, which I was upset about, but ultimately I needed. I was just determined to get high that day.”
Despite his intentions, Evan decided to give the program a shot. Eventually things started to change. He was able to get some separation from drinking and using and his newfound clear-headedness brought about a new perspective. “I was able to look at what I had done in my life and I realized I really hadn’t accomplished or contributed anything,” Evan explains. “… It just took me time to not just realize all that, but to digest it and then make changes.” Evan started following suggestions and started committing himself to a 12-step program. He developed a close relationship with his sponsor and built a network of sober friends. While in Phase III, he got a job and also got back into school. “Coming into Turnbridge, I was completely deluded,” says Evan. “I really felt like things were going decently well for me and I had a good self-esteem about my life. Once the drugs and alcohol were taken away, I went into this terrible self-loathing state. After coming here and utilizing the program of AA, I don’t feel like that anymore. I have a job that I take pride in and I’m getting A’s in my classes. I am okay with where I am at today and I don’t need substances to facilitate that feeling.”
Evan is now living in the New Haven area with two friends that he met while in Turnbridge. He is still working the same job and plans to graduate from Southern Connecticut State University.