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SAM C. – From Turnbridge to SCSU to The City College of NY

Sam C. successfully completed the Turnbridge program on April 1, 2012, after spending just over a year in the program. When a childhood friend died from a drug overdose, Sam made the life-changing decision to commit to the recovery process. With the help of Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living, Sam has worked hard to better his life. Like many of those who suffer from drug addiction, Sam began to use recreationally with friends in high school. At 16, he was smoking marijuana every day and at 18, he began to experiment with opiates, snorting heroin for the first time. By the time he was 21, Sam had begun to use intravenous heroin on a daily basis. When’s Sam’s close friend passed away, he vowed to make a change. “I promised myself I would stop,” Sam said. “After a month or two of promising and giving in everyday when I said I wouldn’t, I went to my mom and told her that I needed to go to rehab. She knew that something was wrong. She knew that there was a problem for a while but didn’t know the extent of how bad it was. She was upset but happy at the same time that I was coming to her for help. She was really great at getting me the best of whatever I needed.” Sam completed his inpatient treatment at White Deer Run in Pennsylvania, staying about five weeks there for detox and group therapy. After a short stint at a different outpatient center, he decided to enter Turnbridge. “I knew that I needed something more,” Sam said. “The extended program was helpful more than anything. I love Turnbridge. I’m still involved, but not as much as I used to be or as I’d like to be. It’s not just rehab in terms of sobriety.” According to Sam, Turnbridge teaches their residents beyond what they need to learn to stay sober. Aside from going to AA meetings and working the steps, Turnbridge’s program teaches “life skills” like buying groceries, applying for college, and cleaning. “Beyond those aspects of sobriety and life skills, the reason I think Turnbridge is actually so successful is because of the community that it has created within itself. The phase programs, the staff, the peers that you meet there; there’s a built-in community for you…The people were the most important part to me.” Since graduating from Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living, Sam has gone back to school. He began at Gateway Community College and is now at Southern Connecticut State University. He currently lives in New Haven with two fellow graduates, and recently received news of his acceptance into the Liberal Arts program at The City College of New York. According to Sam, the biggest change that he has noticed in his own life is his ability to follow through and stick with things. “I’ve tried school in the past, two or three times, but I never stuck with it. This time I’m in school full-time and I’ve been doing well with setting goals and sticking to them. I applied myself and am finishing something that I started.”