Dominick M. is a resident currently in the sober living phase (Phase III) of Turnbridge’s Preparative Care program. At the age of 25, Dominick’s addiction has already caused him an enormous amount of suffering and pain, but over the past 6 months he has reaped the benefits of hard work and dedication to a life in recovery.
At 13 years old, Dominick began smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Once in high school, his recreational use quickly progressed to daily use. A lack of motivation and an escalating drug habit limited Dominick’s progress after completing high school. “I didn’t really have any goals or ambitions after graduating high school,” admits Dominick. “That’s when I got into opiates and things got bad. I was in and out of dead-end jobs and my addiction just kept progressing.” Once Dominick began using opiates it didn’t take long for his parents to catch on. After finding drug paraphernalia in his room, Dominick was given his first ultimatum: jail or treatment. He entered treatment in Florida and thus began an unfortunate series of unsuccessful attempts at sobriety.
The next six and a half years were spent going to treatment centers and programs all over the country, but Dominick always had difficulty maintaining more than a few months of sobriety. “I just never really gave anything a chance,” says Dominick. “I would get healthy and think I was alright. In the back of my mind, I wanted to be happy and sober, but I knew I was going to use. I would wait until the point where everyone was off my back, then I could lie and keep doing what I was doing.” He attended plenty of twelve-step meetings and was aware of a solution, but like many others, Dominick continued to resist changing his way of living. “I would hear what people were saying but I just thought that I was stronger and didn’t need a program,” confesses Dominick. “There was a lot of self-will because I could control a lot of aspects of my life, just not with alcohol and drugs.”
In the months leading up to July 2014, Dominick experienced an awakening of sorts. After witnessing the effects of addiction with some close friends, experiencing a number of legal consequences, and feeling a sufficient amount of pain, he decided to seek out treatment one last time. He had a discussion with his mother and asked her once more for help. She agreed to help and Dominick began honestly researching long-term drug rehab that would best suit his needs. He enrolled at Turnbridge on July 24, 2014.
When he arrived, Dominick was ready to change. “I made a decision to not complain or moan,” says Dominick. “I was just beaten and knew I needed to do everything that was asked of me. Most importantly, I was told I needed to be honest, so I try to do that.” He quickly progressed through Phases I and II and has stayed close to his friends in Turnbridge and the friends he has met in twelve-step meetings. He got a sponsor early on, and continues to talk to him on a daily basis. Dominick has a job today and has worked hard to repair relationships with his family and friends.
“Before I got here I was lucky if I had a couch to sleep on,” Dominick explains. “I was committing crimes on a daily basis and completely unhappy on the inside. All the wrong and the pain of the last few years were in my face. It was complete misery. Where I am now is a complete 180 from that place. Being in Turnbridge has given me the chance to build friendships and strive for something better in myself. I am really grateful today.”