Voices for Recovery
I haven't had a drink or used a drug in over 6 years, and I'm alive today and in long-term recovery because of government-funded treatment programs that help people just like me. However, it wasn't long ago that I was sick, unemployed, and uninsured. Ready to change, I took the first step to recovery by making a difficult phone call, ending up in a nonmedical detox program for people who cannot afford care. After detox, I was guided into a 90-day treatment facility and, although it took multiple attempts to maintain my recovery, those initial periods of treatment were crucial. While those months of care cost the state money, I believe that I have been able to repay that debt over and over.
Today I'm employed, I'm medically insured, I pay taxes, and I volunteer. I also own a registered automobile with auto insurance, have a valid driver's license, and am able to give back to my community. Last September, I was involved in planning Kansas City's first Recovery Month event, The Mike Johnson Memorial Walk for Recovery. Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, attended the event, and more than 600 participants came out to help raise awareness that addiction is treatable and recovery is possible.
It's not an exaggeration to say that I know hundreds of people exactly like me in recovery who are well-respected and able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. I cherish my relationship with my family and community of friends, something I would have missed out on had it not been for the help I received.