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DAVE F. – Living a Sober High Point

Dave F. is a Turnbridge graduate who came into the extended care program after successfully completing treatment at the Gosnold on Cape Cod. Although he has endured his share of bumps along the path, Dave has been successful in his recovery efforts and continues to work as a member of the Turnbridge staff in order to “give back” to the program and the community. Dave began drinking and smoking marijuana during his early teenage years. When his friends began to experiment with other drugs, he was right by their sides. “I did everything,” Dave said. “Whatever I could get my hands on. As time went on, I noticed that when I did harder drugs, I had to do more than my friends. I couldn’t stop when I was around it. I didn’t know I had a problem until I noticed the physical symptoms.” He first used heroin at the age of 24 and subsequently developed a physical addiction that severely affected his way of life. Before “things got really bad,” Dave worked as a hiking and rafting guide and maintained a keen interest in the outdoors and recreational activities. “When I was doing hard drugs, the only thing I could do was work,” Dave said. “My job supported my habit, so I had to work. I isolated myself and did drugs in my room. I kept it pretty under wraps and didn’t really let anyone know.” As the symptoms of addiction worsened, Dave’s life took a turn for the worse. “My life had become miserable and pretty unbearable with addiction and everything that came with it,” Dave said. “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to reach out because I was too ashamed to bring it up.” Dave’s parents eventually found out about his drug abuse and just after he turned 26, they offered to send him to treatment. “The day they found out is the day I went to detox. By the time I got there, I wanted a change. I wanted to live a normal life. At first I went to detox and did an IOP, but I was still hanging around with the wrong people and it didn’t work out. Two weeks after that I went to detox again, and said ‘I’ll do whatever.’ I wasn’t discouraged. I felt like what I was doing back home wasn’t working and whatever they recommended, I was going to do.” After Dave completed primary treatment in Gosnold at Cataumet, the staff there recommended that he go to an extended care facility, proposing a local sober house. Dave wanted to leave the area at that time, so he followed the suggestion of a fellow patient and came to Turnbridge in August of 2011. “Turnbridge gave me a lot of tools,” Dave said. “It gave me the time to get myself integrated into the community and their staff was available all the time. The case managers gave me tips about what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Eventually, over time you integrate yourself into the community as the program allows. I met a lot of good people and got a lot of really good advice.” During Phase III, Dave began working as a house manager at the Foster Street residence. Upon graduating in July 2012, he asked for a permanent position with the organization. After graduating from Turnbridge, Dave entered a sober house in the area and began working as a member of the Support Staff one month later. Over the next several months, Dave took on the additional responsibilities of Phase I Activities Coordinator was recently promoted to Phase I Support Staff Manager. “I’m living a high point,” Dave said. “Nothing could be more positive than what is going on in my life right at this moment. My relationship with my family is unbelievable; it’s better than I could have ever asked for. Most of my friends are in recovery and they’re all good people. I love my job and I work hard. It’s reassuring working here and being able to relate to the residents coming in. I’ve gone through the exact same things. I’ve become significantly more responsible for my own affairs and I’m a lot happier. My whole life has changed in a really good, positive way, and it’s rewarding for me to give back what was given to me as a resident.”