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Resident Profile – Chris E.

Chris E. is a client currently in Phase III of Turnbridge’s Addiction Treatment program. Before he began his journey into recovery, at the age of 24, Chris had compromised many of his values and crossed many “lines in the sand” in pursuit of drugs and alcohol. However since discovering sobriety and all that it has to offer he has flourished, and is continuing to work hard in order to maintain all that he has gained.

Chris began his experimentation with drugs and alcohol in 2008 in the summer before his senior year in high school, at the age of 18. It started with him trying marijuana and alcohol in social situations, but would soon escalate to him smoking marijuana whenever he could throughout the week. His use continued, and worsened, to the point where it took priority over things that were once important to him, such as his school and athletics; Chris was a very talented hockey player.  Over the next couple of years his drug use would progress from regularly smoking marijuana to experimentation with liquid codeine and oxycodone. “It was only once or twice a week”, said Chris, “it progressed to the point where I constantly had the compulsion to use.”

At this point things got worse quickly and Chris began to compromise his morals in a way he had never imagined possible. He began stealing from his friends and loved ones in order to buy the oxycodone he saw as necessary for him to function at that time. “It progressed to the point where I didn’t do much else, other than use” states Chris. Eventually, he started running into problems with the law; Chris was arrested on numerous occasions for possession of narcotics and had to be bailed out of jail by his parents. It was at this point that his relationship with his family and his girlfriend began to suffer. “My relationship with my parents, brother and girlfriend were basically destroyed because of it”, said Chris, “I had a nonexistent relationship with my parents for close to two years”. In December of 2014 Chris’ parents reached out to him and offered him help, he begrudgingly accepted and went to a 30 day wilderness program in Utah.

In Utah, Chris spent Christmas of 2014 away from his family and friends and began to see the impact that his drug addiction had had on his life and that of the lives of his family. He saw what he had lost but also realized that he had the opportunity to gain all of those things back.  In the wilderness program Chris discovered that he would be attending a long-term treatment program. “I was serious about staying sober at that point, but I didn’t know exactly what that was going to take”, says Chris. He enrolled at Turnbridge on December 30, 2014.

While in Turnbridge, Chris was introduced to the New Haven AA community and through the guidance of his AA sponsor, his Phase I case manager, Matt Barba, and his therapist, he started his journey into recovery.  “Stuff started to get a lot better for me as I got myself more involved”, said Chris. “My relationship with my parents started to get a lot better.” Once in Phase III, Chris “had all the freedom back,” he had a chance to go home for a visit and mend the relationships with his family and girlfriend that at one point seemed damaged beyond repair. Today, Chris is gainfully employed and continues to put his recovery first so as not to jeopardize all of the hard work he has put into repairing his life. Chris has also had the opportunity to get back into hockey, a hobby that had once fallen by the wayside while he was in active addiction; he plays on a Turnbridge sponsored team with other clients and staff in recovery who share a passion for the sport. “Now my life is honestly a lot better,” said Chris.  “I can go home and know that my parents are not constantly worrying about me.   That is due to AA and Turnbridge.”