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Addiction Recovery Stories

Click on the links below to explore our addiction recovery stories from patients at Arapahoe House’s Colorado drug rehab facilities:


It’s remarkable how a moment can change the course of your entire life. At age 27, I severely injured my back doing deadlifts improperly at the gym. My doctor referred me to a pain management clinic and I was prescribed oxycodone and Oxycontin. I was completely addicted within a month. Before I knew it, my prescription for the meds ran out and I was doctor shopping to fulfill my cravings. I never would have thought this for my life.
I had every advantage growing up in Colorado. I came from a good family, attended private schools and went to culinary school to become a chef. My alcoholism cost me everything. I lost jobs, houses, cars and much more important things like my dignity and custody of my young daughter. I’ve been homeless, on life support and in detox more times than I can count. 
In 2013, Arapahoe House profiled a mom in our New Directions program. Today, nearly three years later, she is still going strong and wants others to know how valuable the New Directions learning center has been for her son.




Drug addiction stole 10 years of my life. I missed out on everything you are supposed to do in your 20’s: college, building a career and figuring out who you want to be.





Filling the Hole in My Soul
I picked up right where I left off with my drinking and it’s amazing how quickly I fell. After a period of long-term sobriety, I became depressed and relapsed. I felt like I had lost my soul and my dignity. I was mad at the addict within. I didn’t want to lose myself again, but I was.




In These Rooms
Olga celebrated 25 years of sobriety with a trip to Colorado from her home in Florida. The 64-year old completed treatment at Arapahoe House’s adult intensive residential program in 1989. She recently shared her recovery story with clients currently residing in the same program.





I saw the red and blue flashing lights of the police car in my rearview mirror my first thought was relief. I was actually thankful I had been pulled over, that someone had finally caught me, saved me. I saw the police officer as my rescuer. Although he was very understanding of the situation I was trying to get away from, he still arrested me. He gave me the option of jail or detox. I chose detox and he took me to Arapahoe House’s facility in Aurora.

When Health Insurance Pays for Alcoholism Addiction Treatment
From my first sip of alcohol, it didn’t take very long for me to completely self destruct. I didn’t have my first drink until I got to college at the Colorado School of Mines. As most students do, I checked out a party one Friday night. My first night of partying gave me new purpose and I knew that I needed to find another party the next week. 





In Treatment
The worst thing imaginable was happening and I couldn’t stop using meth. My son was taken from me, ripped from my hands by the authorities and rightly so, I was using drugs in front of him. We were homeless and hopping from motel room to motel room just trying to survive another day. It was absolutely no environment for a child.




My Prescription Drug Nightmare – Postpartum depression hit me hard after the birth of my second son. Shortly after, I was in a car accident that severely injured my neck and back. My doctor prescribed Oxycontin for the pain and that’s where my prescription drug addiction story begins.





A Smartphone and Sobriety – My name is Paul and I have been with Arapahoe House for approximately 14 months. Part of my treatment with Arapahoe House is a smartphone with an application on it called ACHESS (Addiction Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System). This app allows me to e-mail and text my counselor, alerts me when I’m near a location that might increase my risk for relapse, provides appointment reminders, and connections to other deaf and hard of hearing clients in the program.




Empowering Others as a Peer Mentor – Meth and the holidays do not mix well. I usually couldn’t get a ride to our family Christmas celebrations, but when I could, I usually fought with everyone. One year I remember my mom calling just to see if I was alive. Another year I was in jail. 





Serious About Sobriety – Life was going where I wanted it to go. I had everything: a happy marriage, a daughter, a career as a stationery engineer, a home overlooking a golf course. Alcoholism crept up on me fast over a period of four years in my 40s. I started having attendance problems at work. I remember my co-workers telling me to go hide somewhere, they could smell the alcohol on me. Problems at home with my wife were escalating too.





We have so many New Memories to Make – I remember being homeless and pushing my now 6-year-old daughter in her stroller through the snow feeling no control over my life. Being a single mom is hard enough. The only thing harder is being a single mom battling a substance use illness.





An Addict’s Apology – I’m dedicating my success story to all the families and friends of alcoholics and addicts. I want to let you know, as loved ones, that we are so incredibly sorry for everything we’ve put you through. 





Back to Being MeI’m 23 and I’m in recovery. You might think it would be impossible for someone as young as me to live a sober life. But, I’m here to tell you that no matter what your age, a new life on the other side of alcohol and drugs is possible.






This Place is Hope –  It’s strange how addiction slowly takes over your life. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia eight years ago and my doctors prescribed powerful medications like Demerol and Percocet to help me manage the pain.





Stability in RecoveryArapahoe House has given me everything. I live in a nice neighborhood near my mom, and my daughter is in a good school. I love that my daughter knows the real me. All of this is what reminds me that it is not even worth one second of going back to speed.






A letter to my addictionYou took everything from me: my family, my friends, my job, my home, my dignity. You were all I thought about from the first thing in the morning to the last thing before I stumbled into sleep.






Meth: The real-life stories behind the ads – We’ve all seen or heard the frightening ads on the dangers of meth from the Colorado Meth Project. Take a closer look at the world of meth and one mom’s story of survival and recovery.






Mother and Daughter, Healing Together – I’m a mother of an addict, words I never thought I’d say.  I don’t think any parent thinks they will endure what our family has gone through.






Hal’s Hope – At 6:45 a.m., most people are just starting their day.  At 6:45, I’m working on my recovery from addiction; I start every day with an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting.







From Trauma to Triumphant – From my experience in treatment with Arapahoe House, I’ve noticed that many addiction stories start with a broken home.  I’m lucky, my story is different. Protection Status
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