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Andrew G: Fighting to Keep Sobriety

fighting for sobriety

Andrew G. successfully completed the Turnbridge program, and graduated in December 2014.  Andrew’s decline into addiction was hard and fast, and at a young age he found himself in a dark and hopeless place.  After a couple attempts to get sober at rehab centers on the West coast, Andrew entered Turnbridge in December 2013, and has since developed into a hopeful, independent, and responsible young man.

Andrew’s issues with substance abuse began at age 15, when he was introduced to marijuana at a summer camp.  This introduction resulted in an intense fascination, and after only a few months he was using marijuana and alcohol on a daily basis.  The progression was rapid.  At age 16, Andrew began using prescription opiates and quickly became physically addicted to Oxycodone.  Towards the end of age 17, he was arrested twice and was sent to a farm correctional facility.   While in the facility, Andrew heard stories about heroin.  He sought out the drug when he was released and immediately began using it.   “From age 18 to 20, the heroin use was all day every day,” explains Andrew.  “… Over that time, I was hurting people and hurting myself.  My emotional state of mind was that I hated my life I hated everyone else.  Nothing mattered but getting high.”

In April 2013, Andrew entered his first drug treatment center in Palm Springs, California.  He went to a sober living home after completing treatment and relapsed immediately.  He heard a message of recovery but was unwilling to take any action or make any changes.  Andrew was then sent to a facility in San Diego, which took a non-twelve-step approach to addressing addiction.  “It helped in some areas,” says Andrew.  “But I continued to use while in the treatment center, so I was never really open to the idea of recovery.”  His using escalated once again after leaving treatment.   In December 2013, his family offered him one more chance at treatment.  Andrew got on a plane, came back to Connecticut, and enrolled at Turnbridge.

Over his first weeks in Turnbridge, Andrew was just going through the motions.  He knew the right things to say, but didn’t necessarily believe what he was saying.  Sometime in Phase II, Andrew started to notice that acting like he was making positive life changes was actually resulting in positive changes in his thinking.  He started to buy into this new way of living.  

In Phase III, Andrew experienced a lot of ups and downs, but got through the difficult periods by sticking close to the friends he made in Turnbridge and the network he built in the New Haven AA community.  Andrew graduated Turnbridge on December 14, and subsequently applied and accepted a position as a member of the Phase I Support Staff team.  He continues to go to a lot of twelve-step meetings and tries to have as much fun as possible in sobriety.  “I think that’s been the biggest thing for me,” says Andrew.  “If you realize you can have fun in sobriety, then you are going to fight to keep it, and to do that you have to work a program.”