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Alumni Profile – Adam S. Celebrates Continuous Sobriety

Adam’s journey to Turnbridge began early in his life.  Adam comes from generations of drug addiction and alcoholism.   His substance use and co-occurring mental health issues came to a head in the latter part of 2012, leading him to pursue treatment at Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota. In January 2013, at the recommendation of his therapist at Hazelden, Adam made the choice to enroll himself in Turnbridge’s long term drug treatment program. Since coming to Turnbridge, Adam has dedicated himself to living drug and alcohol free, one day at a time.

how to get soberAdam’s first use came early in Junior High School.  “I got wasted and I loved the feeling,” said Adam.  This was the start of what would become a progressive illness, however it was not Adam’s first experience with issues of compulsion. At an early age, Adam developed an Eating Disorder. Adam explained, “I would get very irritated when certain foods were not in the fridge.” Adam also stated he felt as if “I didn’t fit in and didn’t feel comfortable with who I was.” Coming from affluence, Adam believed school would come easy, yet he found that, “skipping school made [him] feel good about who [he] was.”

Adam, like many others, struggled with his inner feelings. “I was liked by others, but didn’t like the way I felt inside,” he explained. His senior year of high school was full of college applications and anxiety. 

Adam found himself accepted to the University of California Santa Barbara.  “I thought I’d be happy at this beautiful school but I was so uncomfortable in my own skin.”  While at school, Adam found himself isolating and “smoking marijuana all day, every day.” Adam began experimenting with a variety of substances.  “Drugs quieted all of my feelings and emotions,” said Adam.  Slowly, ideations of self-harm began to pervade his thought life, leading him to drop out of school.

Adam entered his first drug treatment center in October 2012. Shortly after, he made his way to New Haven, CT to join Turnbridge’s residential drug treatment program in January 2013.  Adam jumped into the program and began the work.  In the beginning, Adam described that he “still felt scared of life, still felt lifeless with no confidence.” After allowing himself the time to build relationships with his peers and Turnbridge Staff, Adam started “becoming more comfortable in [his] own skin.” 

Life began to steadily improve for Adam. “I started having the hunger to have my own life.  I am very grateful for Turnbridge,” said Adam.

He successfully completed Turnbridge in May 2014 and moved into a sober living house in New Haven, CT. He found himself a part time job, while taking classes at Southern Connecticut State University. Adam found a new way of life. “Sobriety is how you approach everything, from work to relationships. It’s how you handle the smallest issues, to the biggest ones. Being open-minded, honest and willing makes all the difference,” said Adam. 

This past January, Adam celebrated 2 years of continuous sobriety.