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ANDREW S. – With a Different Outlook on Life

Andrew S. is a Phase III resident

Andrew S. is a Phase III resident who came to Turnbridge’s extended care program following the recommendation of the staff at his primary treatment center, Caron Texas. Pitfalls in life have previously blocked his road to recovery, but Andrew is back on track in his efforts and is currently scheduled to graduate from the program in August. According to Andrew, his path towards addiction was “pretty typical.” Around age 14, he started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana and by the time he was 17, he was using cocaine and acid. In 2007, at the age of 22, Andrew opted to leave school and begin a career as a sheet metal worker. “I was not interested in school,” Andrew said. “I was just going through the motions and decided to stop wasting my money.” Six months after he began his apprenticeship with a sheet metal workers’ union, Andrew was laid off from work due to the sinking economy. “I went through a break-up, and had nothing better to do than hang out with kids who were up to trouble.” At this point, Andrew began experimenting with heroin and within a year, he was admitted into his first rehab center. “I didn’t understand the concept of addiction,” Andrew said. “I didn’t think alcohol was a problem, yet it always got me it trouble.” When Andrew left his first treatment, he stayed clean from heroin and other drugs for 8 months but continued drinking. He eventually started a relationship with a girl who was also in recovery and things began to get better. “Things were good; not completely unmanageable.” While Andrew was visiting home, his girlfriend was killed in a drunken driving accident, marking a dramatic shift in his life. He began using again and had several run-ins with police that led to six arrests and “all kinds of legal trouble.” After being arrested for DUI, Andrew was given two options by his probation officer: seek treatment or go to jail. His probation officer initially recommended Caron in Pennsylvania, but Andrew eventually chose to enter a 30-day program at Caron’s facility in Texas. Andrew successfully completed Caron Texas and the staff there recommended that he enroll in a long term drug rehab program like Turnbridge. “It’s my first time in an extended program,” Andrew said. “I’ve been to several sober houses but it never worked out. I never actually surrendered to doing what I needed to do as far as treatment. I didn’t have anything back home waiting for me, so I thought I might as well stay here. A month went by, then three months, and I started to be OK for staying the duration.” “I never got a sponsor before. I never worked any of the steps until I came here. Now I’m doing the right things and that makes a difference. I’m finally doing what everyone suggested. I’ve had the most success at Turnbridge. Things just started changing and I started to think differently. I’m actually trying to become a better person for the first time and I feel like I’m achieving that. I have a different outlook on life. It has to do with being in this program and being surrounded by sober people all the time. I’ve met a lot of good, sober people here and that’s important to me.”