ALEX S - Journey from Hazelden, Caron Drug Treatment, and finally to Turning Point

ALEX S - Journey from Hazelden

From Hazelden to Caron to Turnbridge Extended Care and Sober Living

Like most of the residents here, Alex came to Turnbridge after the program was recommended to him by a previous primary drug treatment program.  Alex began adopting an addictive lifestyle early in life, starting to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol when he was 12.  “When I was 13 I started using meth,” Alex said.  “That was the big one for me.  I still used lots of other stuff, I did a lot of experimenting, but meth and alcohol stuck with me.”  He was put in a psych ward on a couple of occasions due to his recreational LSD usage, and began to spiral out of control after his discharge. One of Alex’s moments of clarity came when he was entered into an intensive care unit following a drug overdose.  “I called my mom to come pick me up,” Alex said.  “She would always pick me up in these situations, and she told me that she didn’t want to see me anymore.”  This was a low-point for Alex, and at the age of 16 he decided to seek treatment. “The first treatments went well,” Alex said.  “I was a little reluctant about the sobriety situation, but when I looked back at what I had caused and how miserable I was, I wanted to change it.  I was on board with everything then so it didn’t take me that long.”  Alex spent one month at Hazelden drug rehab in Minnesota and following the staff’s recommendation, he was able to receive a scholarship to enter the young adult male extended care program at Caron Treatment Center in Wernersville, PA for three months.   The staff at Caron suggested the Turnbridge program in New Haven for sober living, and with the help of a scholarship, Alex was able to make the trip. As a resident, Alex found the personal nature of the Turnbridge program to be very helpful in his recovery process.  “I became close with the support staff,” Alex said.  “I got to know my case managers really well as opposed to them just checking in on me once a week.  The fact that everyone there is in recovery is big, and I can connect with everyone on that level.” Like many, Alex found that his interests and hobbies changed during his period of prolonged drug use.  “I was really into music, and I played baseball and basketball,” Alex said.  “The more I used, the less I did that stuff.  Nothing mattered more to me that getting out of myself, and the only way I knew how to do that was to get high.  When I got to Turnbridge, I got to play music again, and reconnecting with music was really important for me.” After graduation, Alex plans on moving into an Oxford sober house in the New Haven area where he will continue his recovery efforts.  He dropped out of high school in the latter part of his sophomore year, and is currently taking online classes in order to receive his diploma in June of this year.  Once that is complete, Alex plans to continue his education within a nursing program, either in Boston or at one of the local schools. “I have a good sober network in New Haven, so I may just stay here,” Alex said.  “I would absolutely recommend Turnbridge.  The sober living program is designed on a personal, case-by-case basis, and the phase system is extremely helpful with recovery.  They help to establish an AA program and integrate you into society.  Turnbridge saved my life.”