Hear What Turning Point Alumni Have to Say in There Own Words: DAVE

"Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living Alumni share their stories about their memories, friendships, experiences, and perspectives of their time at Turnbridge. Enjoy the stories and consider sharing your own. Send your Alumni Experiences to alumni@tpextendedcare.com."   When Dave was a kid, he would hang out at his father’s shop down the street from his home.  When Dave finished high school he started working there, pouring concrete for the family business.  When Dave was 20, he lost his spleen in a dirt bike accident.  That’s when he was first prescribed painkillers. In high school Dave says he liked to party.  He smoked pot, drank, and occasionally dabbled in harder drugs.  Once prescribed painkillers, it wasn’t long before Dave folded them into this party lifestyle -- finishing entire prescriptions in a week.  Dave fed his addiction by buying opiates off the street -- OxyContin, Percocet, anything he could get his hands on. “Before you know it I was sticking a needle in my arm,” Dave says. This was Dave at 21 years old.  And though he may have thought there was no turning back at the time, five years later he’s learned otherwise.  Today, Dave is on the path to recovery, a successful graduate of the Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living program. But things got worse before they got better.  He was still working for the family business when his addiction fully manifested itself. “I was making good money, a lot more than I should have,” Dave says.  “I had everything.  I had the world by the hair.  But I kept going with it.” Then Dave says his mother found the marks on his arms.  He went to a detox program, but relapsed when he got out. “That went on three more times.  Detox, come home, relapse,” Dave says.  “I relapsed again but I had this game face on where everything was fine.  The last time I relapsed I had an anxiety attack.  I drove to the hospital and they gave me a bunch of anti-anxiety meds and I ended up driving out of the hospital and falling asleep at the wheel. I got my first DUI.  And that’s when my life got really unmanageable.” Because he couldn’t drive, Dave was laid off from his job.  After this, he hit rock bottom.  His life was consumed by drugs.  But then his family gave him one more chance.  He went for drug treatment at Mountainside in Canaan Conn., and after 30 days there he went to Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living. “It changed my life,” Dave says. “At first I did it to get everyone off my back.  Obviously I wanted to change.  I wanted my life to get back to normal.  I was sick and tired of letting everyone down.  At first I got sober for everyone else, but in the past couple months I finally got sober for me,” Dave says.  “I came to Turnbridge expecting to stay just a couple months, but my life kept getting better and better.” Dave applied himself totally to Turnbridge.  In Phase II, he started working as a resident coordinator.  In Phase III, he became a house manager.  Dave says he wanted to get back to work as quickly as possible, and the staff at Turnbridge helped him do that.  Today Dave has an apartment with a friend and is back to work laying concrete for the family business. “My main objective is to stay sober,” Dave says.  “My second is that I want to have a big part in the family company.  I want to get my foot in the door and put my name on the company one day.  You know, working for a living.”