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ALTAY P – Musical Self-Expression in Sobriety

Altay P.

Altay P. is a current resident in the third and final phase of the Turnbridge program. Last Autumn, following some legal troubles, Altay entered the substance abuse treatment program at La Hacienda in Hunt, Texas. Altay ap1initially entered treatment in an effort to offset the severity of sentencing for pending legal charges, but since completing the program at La Hacienda and transitioning to Turnbridge, Altay has adopted a new perspective. He has come to the realization that recovery is a task that should be undertaken for oneself and is now “all-in” for his recovery efforts, as evidenced by his 10 plus months of continuous sobriety. Altay began drinking alcohol in his early teenage years, and started smoking marijuana at 14. When he was 15, Altay began taking LSD, and around age 18 he eventually experimented with heroin. “I mostly preferred LSD,” Altay said. “I didn’t consider it a drug. It was ingrained in my identity because I was using it to make music.” Music was, and is, a huge aspect of Altay’s life. “It’s been in my life forever. I started playing piano when I was six, and I went to school for audio engineering. Thoughts are sacred, and music is a really personal expression for me. I feel like I can’t express my emotions with words like I can with music.” In November of 2012, Altay was arrested a number of times in a short period, for heroin and marijuana possession, and for public intoxication. “The court didn’t order [rehab], I chose to do it,” Altay said. “I thought I needed it, but it would help me out in terms of sentencing.” According to Altay, he wanted to seek help, but in the beginning it was a decision made to hopefully get him out of trouble later. Altay successfully completed in-patient treatment at La Hacienda, and was offered several different options for aftercare. He chose Turnbridge because there was a picture of a music studio in the program’s pamphlet. “I can still do the things that I enjoy [without drugs], like make music and be an artist” Altay said. “I didn’t lose who I was in the process. I realized that I don’t have to change my identity to be a sober person.” At Turnbridge, Altay was able to focus on several of the aspects in his life that needed work. “I was weak in terms of being able to plan,” Altay said. “Now I feel more responsible, which is something I was really lacking in. I have had to initiate things on my own, and that’s really helped a lot. I care about my own wellbeing now, and I feel a lot safer with myself. I feel a lot more consciously of how I affect other people. I care about what I do when no one’s looking. I feel like I’m building character that I didn’t have before.”