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Voices for Recovery

James (02/07/2011)


I am a 55 year old black male Viet Nam veteran that was addicted to poly substances, mainly heroin, cocaine and cannabis for over 24 years of my life struggling through the Viet Nam war era and most of the years of my adulthood following. My addiction landed me in numerous treatment facilities to include the V.A. Medical center and two prison encounters. For many years I felt hopeless and helpless, even with a diagnosis of AIDS in 1987. Finally in 1992 I made a decision while being in the Fulton County jail that I was sick and tired of living like I had been, so I became involved with a friend that had started attending 12 step recovery meetings. After communicating with her through the mail for 3 months while I was awaiting my hearing I decided to give this new way a try once I get released. On September 14, 1992 I was finally released from jail, but my addiction was so strong that I had to use one more time. Needless to say this was the most horrifying experience that I have ever had, so once I came down off of some crack cocaine I called my friend and she came and picked me up and took me to an Narcotic Anonymous meeting. I haven't found it necessary to use since that day. I have since gone back to college and not only gotten my Bachelor degree, but continue on to get a Master and I am currently writing my proposal for my dissertation for my Doctorial degree. I now work in the field as a Behavior Clinician with the Mental Health treatment court program in Fulton County assessing and implementing treatment for others who are in the correction system introducing them to a new way of living. My AIDS has reverted back to HIV non-detectable and I am living the best life that I have ever within the 55 years of my life. I am a strong advocate for recovery within the government system as from my own personal experiences; it really works when you take it one day at a time and give it all of the energy that you have given your addiction. I spend my life now being available to help anyone who needs help in every way that I can. I believe that this is the most rewarding life that anyone can live. It is truly wonderful that my Higher Power has blessed me, with not only two lives in one, but three. Long Live Recovery

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