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Voices for Recovery

Cindy Christy (02/23/2011)

Cindy Christie

My name is Cindy Christy and I am a person in long term recovery, what that means is that I haven’t had a drink or a drug in over six years.

I’m alive today because of funds allocated to help people like me.

It wasn’t long ago that any of you most likely wouldn’t have wanted to sit beside me on a bus, which, by the way, was my only means of transportation. I was unemployed, unemployable, uninsured, just about un-everything.  I made one very difficult phone call and ended up in a non-medical detox for indigent people. This was the beginning of my road to recovery. From the detox I was guided into a ninety day treatment facility, and although it took more than once to maintain my sobriety, as does recovery from most other chronic diseases, those periods of treatment were crucial.  While those months of care cost the state money, I believe that I and many people like me can and have been able to repay that dept over and over.

Today I’m employed, medically insured, I pay taxes, I volunteer, I have a registered automobile with auto insurance, a valid driver’s license and am able to give back to my community. I have a relationship with my family today and a community of friends that I cherish. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I know hundreds of people exactly like me in the recovery community that today are upstanding members of society and no longer a burden on state or federal financial systems.  In addition, a few of my friends in recovery not only contribute to the workforce but have started their own small business and have created jobs for others.

Last September I was involved in planning the first Recovery Month event in Kansas City, The Mike Johnson Memorial Walk for Recovery. The Director of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, better known as the drug czar, was our guest speaker. We had over 500 recovering people just like me, along with their families, and close to 100 volunteers to help raise awareness that addiction is a treatable disease and recovery is possible. Needless to say it was an awesome day; a day I and my family would have missed if not for the help I received.

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