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JARED C – “Turning Point Helped Me Get My Life Together”

Jared C. found his way to Turnbridge after years of struggling to fight his addiction, and after several failed attempts to stay sober he became a resident at Turnbridge in New Haven in October of 2010. After eleven months of consistent hard work, Jared reached a milestone in his recovery efforts, and he graduated from the program in September of 2011. Like many of those who come to Turnbridge, Jared’s story of addiction began in his early teenage years. There was no life-altering event in Jared’s life that led him to seek out drugs and alcohol. Instead, it was an incessant curiosity and a desire to experiment that led him down the path to substance abuse. “_The first time I smoked pot was when I was 14,” Jared said. “I had always found drugs interesting, and it was just something that I wanted to do. I wasn’t planning on being a junkie.” Jared began experimenting with heroin when he was 16. He was “strung out” by his senior year of high school, but was able to graduate. By this point, Jared’s parents were urging him to get help with his addiction, and he enrolled in a detox program in New Jersey on the day after his high school graduation ceremony. After completing the short detox program, Jared entered a sober living home in Pennsylvania in an attempt to convince his parents that he was ready to change. “I only stayed sober for three months,” Jared said. “I wasn’t ready to get sober, and I was just trying to get everyone off my back at that point. My parents knew I needed [treatment], and I went along with it.”   Jared was involved in a total of six various detox and addiction treatment programs before coming to Turnbridge on his mom’s recommendation. “I was never very serious about staying sober before coming to Turnbridge,” Jared said. “I picked up a little, and by the time I got to Turnbridge I knew what they were doing. I knew the basics of a recovery program, and I was willing to do what I had to do. I had lived life as a junkie for long enough, and I didn’t want to do it anymore.” Jared’s desire to become a tattoo artist was one of his biggest motivations to become and stay sober. “I was always into tattoos, and I always drew a lot,” Jared said. “One of the reasons I wanted to get sober is because I wasn’t getting anywhere with my profession.” During Jared’s period of abuse, his relationship with his parents became strained over time, but things have taken a positive turn since his residency and graduation from Turnbridge. “Everything is good [between us] now,” Jared said. “My family moved to Washington DC, but I see them on the holidays and talk to them two or three times a week.” After graduating from the Turnbridge program, Jared decided to stay in the New Haven area and he is currently living with a few of his fellow Turnbridge alumni. He recently began working at a tattoo shop in Clinton, CT where he is able to practice and further refine his craft. “I just started a month ago, and it’s going pretty good,” Jared said. “Business is picking up and we’re trying to get the word out. I plan on staying here for a while. [My goal] is to be able to make a living doing what I love to do.” “Going to Turnbridge gave me the time to get the basics together, and [helped] for me to be able to take care of myself. [The program] focused on getting a routine down, and that was probably the most important thing when I first got sober. I got a foundation. My case managers did a good job. Turnbridge was good for getting the basics down and helping me get my life together. The rest is up to you when you graduate.”