Jeff S: Moving Past the Disease of Addiction

Jeff S. is a resident currently in Phase III of Turnbridge’s addiction treatment program.  As is true with most addicts and alcoholics, Jeff’s addiction has put him in some trying situations, but his path in recovery has led to healing and change.

Jeff began smoking marijuana and drinking at age 12, which almost immediately became part of his daily routine.  He experimented with other substances through high school, but was able to keep up appearances until being introduced to opiates in college.  Once out of his parent’s house, the drug use escalated quickly while attending the University of Albany.  Jeff was introduced to prescription opiates after a kidney infection, most likely a result of his drinking and drug use, allowing Jeff to legally obtain the drug Oxycodone.  Not long after, he became physically addicted to the drug and began doing anything he could to get it.  It did not take his parents long to realize that Jeff was struggling with a drug addiction.  When confronted, Jeff confessed everything to his parents and a therapist and was given the opportunity to attend a treatment center in Florida.

He spent thirty days at the treatment center and left unconvinced that he was an addict.  “I didn’t believe that addiction was a disease,” says Jeff.  “I just thought I got addicted to opiates because they’re a physically addictive substance and I only stayed thirty days in treatment because I was convinced I was cured.”  Jeff got drunk in the airport on the way home.  

For the next few months, Jeff began a cycle of part-time jobs and failed outpatient programs, until a car accident and subsequent arrest brought things to a head once again.  He was court mandated to an outpatient program and this time the situation was dire.  Jeff’s parents were on their last leg and there were heavy consequences hanging over his head.  He had every intention of staying sober.  Despite his best intention, Jeff was unable to stay sober for more than a few days and was kicked out of the outpatient program.  He was given one final ultimatum: lose all financial support or long-term drug treatment.  

He entered a treatment center in Statesboro, Georgia, and in March of 2014, Jeff came to Turnbridge.  “I struggled with some things when I got here,” Jeff confesses.  “I didn’t really buy into [12-step recovery] at first, but that has completely been lifted.  I tried it out, and too many good things started happening to me that totally reinforced that this was the right path for me.”  Jeff has had a steady job since getting to Phase III and has a close group of friends who have helped each other out through the difficulties of early sobriety.  

Jeff plans to move in with a few of those guys when he graduates the Turnbridge program in March.  He has also enrolled in an Addiction Recovery Counseling program and plans to use his experience to help others in the future.  “I have seen how a good counselor can save someone,” Jeff explains.  “I have been saved by some, and I think I can be helpful to young guys who are struggling.”