Matthew M. is a resident currently in Phase III of the Turnbridge sober living program. Matthew spent years attempting to manage the effects of his drug and alcohol abuse, but when his battle with addiction took a harsh turn, he decided to seek professional help and is currently well on his way to living a sober and productive life. According to Matthew, he began using at the age of 13. “In 8th grade I started with weed and alcohol,” Matthew said. “My sophomore year of high school I started doing cocaine, and occasionally Percocet. Alcohol was consistent my whole time of using, and I just continued to add more and more drugs to the mix. When I went to college I discovered ecstasy and did that for a few years. When I graduated and moved back home that’s when I got heavy into opiates, and that just progressed very quickly.” After college, Matthew got a fulltime job at an engineering firm. He began using opiates regularly, and after two years of consistent abuse and occasional lackluster recovery attempts, he eventually “started to shoot up, and that got unmanageable pretty quickly.” “I was essentially getting to the point where I was going to lose my job,” Matthew said. “I couldn’t do it anymore so I asked for help.” Matthew told his parents and quickly entered a 30-day rehab, after which the staff recommended an aftercare program. “I think [my parents] were relieved,” Matthew said. “Every time we would talk about it, I would just make up an excuse. It was a big relief to my mom especially. She was able to start worrying less as soon as I left and went to Colorado.” Matthew planned to attend Turnbridge’s residential treatment program after completing his primary treatment. In the 4-day lapse between the two programs, he visited home and suffered a relapse, momentarily stalling him on his road to recovery. Despite the relapse, he still desired help to battle his addiction, and after being cleared by a doctor to detox, he then entered the Turnbridge program and hasn’t looked back since. “I’ve learned that I can’t do this my way,” Matthew said. “My way didn’t work. I’ve pretty much completely surrendered to the people with experience here that are sober and know what they are doing. They’ve been through this stuff. I’m getting the humility to do what I’m told, to have faith in people, and that the program is going to work. The camaraderie between all the guys has created a big community. You feel like you’re a part of something. I’ve made good friends in the five months that I’ve been here.” Matthew currently works for Turnbridge, but hopes to soon reenter the engineering workforce in the construction management field. After graduating, he plans to remain in the New Haven area, hopefully with a group of fellow Turnbridge alumni.