When Jan’s roommate asked her to stop bringing the people she was partying with to their apartment, it seemed like a simple enough request. She understood her roommate being uncomfortable with noise and the people. And Jan had a simple solution: she took herself to the party instead of bringing it home with her. She had always used crack cocaine in the safety of her own home, but now she was moving beyond her own four walls. Early one Monday morning she woke up after a two day binge. She was on a stranger’s couch, totally alone in a strange apartment. Not remembering where she was or who else had been there, she was terrified. The experience scared her enough to get help.

She went home, changed clothes and drove straight to Prelude. Her initial recommendation was to enter our residential program, but she had to keep her job, which she knew she was still lucky to have, in order to make ends meet. Instead, she started our Intensive Outpatient Program. Four nights a week, she would face another experience that was beyond her comfort zone—a life of sobriety. This time she embraced the experience, because even though it also scared her, she had to do it to live.

All through treatment, she admits she thought of using. She had dreams about it. Her counselors listened and supported her through those tough times. Her roommate, who had complained about strangers in the house now became her lifeline at home, often acting as a ‘doorman’ and sending away the people from her using past when she couldn’t face them alone. If it hadn’t been for her counselors and roommate, she says she never would have made it.

She completed our Intensive Outpatient Program and for a while attended continuing care groups, all the while building herself a solid foundation in the recovery community by attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and getting a sponsor.

Jan recently celebrated her year anniversary of sobriety. While she no longer attends groups at Prelude, she still stays in touch, calling her counselors just to say hello and let them know she’s doing okay. She’s gained a lot in her life—a new job, a bank account, a new sense of responsibility and a new perspective. She sees people from her ‘old life’ and instead of thoughts of using drugs herself she realizes she doesn’t want to go back to that life. Most importantly, she’s gained a new relationship with her Dad, whom she says finally has a reason to be proud of her, and tells her he is all the time. When asked how her life has changed since she’s been clean, Jan has a simple reply, “I have one now.”

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