I did not grow up thinking that I was going to become an alcoholic and drug addict. But that is what I became. My high school years were taken over by my obsession for drugs and alcohol. Two stays in a residential treatment facility, a stint in the mental hospital, countless intensive outpatient sessions and finally I was in recovery. I will never get my high school years back, but I have gotten back my life and so much more. I am now a young person in long-term recovery who has not used drugs or alcohol in over five years. My story is not the norm. It is rare that someone at the age of 17 can recognize that they are a prisoner of addiction, decide to take action to be released and then be able to sustain long-term recovery.
A lot of times I ask myself, “why me?” What did I do that made the difference between life and death? How come I lost count of how many people I know who have died because of this disease? How come all of my friends who partied just as hard as I did were not given the opportunity to go to rehab? Why can’t this be possible for any young person who wants recovery? I have a million questions and nobody really has answers for me. Or they have answers for me, but because of current policies related to substance use disorders, nothing is changing.
YPR | Young People in Recovery is taking the recovery community by storm. We are addressing those very questions that I have. We are advocating for the rights of those suffering so that long-term recovery can become a reality for more young people. We are using our lived experience in conjunction with the knowledge we have gained from YPR to speak out and educate young people on current policies and bring changes to the system that are beneficial and impactful to the community. If you are a young person in recovery and have ever asked yourself those same questions that I asked myself….then YPR is the place for you!
Check out YPR’s website at www.youngpeopleinrecovery.org and find them on Facebook and Twitter!