"Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living Alumni share their stories about their memories, friendships, experiences, and perspectives of their time at Turnbridge. Enjoy the stories and consider sharing your own. Send your Alumni Experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org."
From Mirmont Treatment Center to Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living and Beyond
Jeff is a recent graduate from the Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living program following a residency that lasted a little under a year, from October 26, 2011, to October 1, 2012. Like many of Turnbridge's residents, Jeff began the use of drugs and alcohol during his early teenage years and his path to extended care brought him through several other drug treatment centers. "I started doing drugs when I was 14 or 15," Jeff said. "I began by drinking and smoking pot, and later went on to the harder stuff like LSD, ecstasy, mushrooms, and pills. I was a habitual user of acid for about five years. Every couple of days I'd do like ten hits, and that continued for a few years." Jeff's continual drug use altered his entire lifestyle as a young adult. "I don't completely remember the past six years of my life, because of the amount of drugs that I did. From what I was told I hung out with all the druggies, and abandoned all of the childhood friends that I had." On August 8, 2011, Jeff was in a car accident, an event that spurred him and his family to take action. "I don't really remember everything," Jeff said. "I sat down with my parents, and decided to go into drug treatment." Jeff's initial primary care facility was Mirmont Treatment Center in Pennsylvania. While Jeff was there, counselors recommended Park Bench Group Counseling in New Jersey, which subsequently referred him to Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living after a 47-day stay. "The recreational activities at Turnbridge were extremely important," Jeff said. "During any downtime that I had, I would just be in my own head, and that's not good for recovery." In addition to recreation, the 12 steps and Turnbridge’s phases were crucial to Jeff's recovery. "I think that, for me, progression through the steps was the most helpful," Jeff said. "My case managers made sure that I was working on my steps with my sponsor, and being able to do that, while working at Turnbridge, aided in my recovery." "Before treatment, I wasn't really doing anything. I would just sit around with friends and get high. At Turnbridge, I was doing all the activities that were available. I was on-board with everything during recovery. Everything they told me to do, I was completely willing to do." While a resident, Jeff worked as house manager for Turnbridge's Sober Living Phase III Morris Cove location, and since graduation, he is continuing his work as a member of support staff for Phase II. "Working with the residents helps my sobriety," Jeff said. "As a house manager, I noticed that working for Turnbridge shows you the whole other side of addiction recovery. I think it's nice to give back to a place that's helped me out so much." Jeff is currently studying Computer Systems at Gateway Community College, and plans to work in the computer field after graduation. Since completing his addiction treatment program, Jeff spends the majority of his time working, going to school, and hanging out with friends. Although he will go home to visit his family in Pennsylvania, Jeff plans to live in New Haven at his current sober living home where he has a good support network. "I would definitely recommend Turnbridge," Jeff said. "They helped me out so much. I went from having horrible friend/family relationships and stealing cars to having friends from my childhood wanting to hang out with me. I have a great relationship with my family, and I have friends here that can come to me if they need me."