This is part of a fourteen-week series highlighting many aspects of drug use, enforcement of drug laws and treatment that community members and authorities in Hancock County face.
What does recovery from addiction look like? Who does it look like? The answer is, everyone. At the weekly series on chemical dependency Wednesday night, a panel shared personal stories of their struggles with addiction and recovery. The panel, moderated by the Focus on Friends organization in Findlay shared stories of addiction to alcohol, drugs, heroin, food, and other addictions, but also the road to recovery and how their lives have been changed.
Wayne Ford, Director of Focus on Friends said that society needs to hear these stories of recovery, but it is just as important that people be made to feel comfortable and free to share their stories of recovery as well.
“That we stop hiding, that we stop running, that we are able to honestly share why and how we became addicted.” said Ford
The panel consisted of individuals from all walks of life. Rich, poor, those that had amazing jobs, and others who struggled. All shared stories about what drove them to the abuse and how they came to embrace recovery from their addictions. Ford said that addiction and abuse has no stereotypical face or look, which is something that people need to understand.
“We need to stop the stigma that individuals that are in recovery are people that are bums or junkies or people who are not giving back. Because as I mentioned, it could be a doctor, a President. The fact that there’s a player on every baseball team in this country that is in recovery. Recovery is everywhere.” said Ford.
The panel heard from individuals who struggled with alcoholism at a young age, who dealt with high expectations that parents, family and they themselves put on themselves, and also how the abuse started small, but then grew to uncontrollable levels. Almost to a point, the panel agreed that the hardest aspect about their addictions was admitting to themselves that they had a problem. And that they needed to talk openly about their addictions and their struggle.
“If we’re honest with each other and if we’re brave enough to tell our stories about what we’ve been through, and where and how we’ve got to where we are today, I think we’ll find out that more of us are alike than we are different and that recovery plays a huge part in all of our lives.” said Ford.
Ford notes that many people consider addiction to be drug or alcohol related. Yet real addiction can manifest itself in many different forms.
“Addiction is not just drugs. As the panel talked about, addiction can be food, pornography, sex, gambling. I believe America is addicted” said Ford.
The panel also shared their stories about how they came to recovery. Some just quit, and some were at the end of their rope. Some found God, and others still realized they needed the work of professionals. Ford said that when it comes to recovery, there is no simple solution or easy fix.
“We want people to understand that there are multiple pathways to get to recovery. There’s no cookie-cutter way of saying ‘Ok if I use the twelve step program on this person and that person that it’s going to work.’ Because that’s not true.” said Ford.
Ford noted that the twelve steps were great for many people, but that they are not perfect for every single person.
In talking with the audience, the panel noted that a common element to their recovery was that they made a choice to recover. A person needs to decide for themselves that they need help before recovery can achieve any significance.
“We just can’t put you over there and expect you to be changed. It’s a process that continues for a lifetime. Because it’s about growth, about becoming honest with yourself and being open-minded and willing to change your life.” said Ford.
Focus on Friends is a nonclinical treatment facility that works with people in recovery. They can be reached at 419-423-5071 and their offices are located at 509 W Trenton Ave in Findlay.
Next week, the Chemical Dependency Seminar will feature Century Health as they discuss Adult Substance Use Disorders and Treatment Services. The seminar will be next Wednesday in Davis 2225 at the University of Findlay at 6pm.
The seminars are sponsored by The University of Findlay College of Pharmacy, Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services, Hancock County Community Partnership, and the Hancock County Opiate Task Force.
Read More →