In observance of
National Recovery Month, Gateway Foundation is celebrating our
strides made as an organization, as well as highlighting notable alum and
recent events. Today, read the story of Mike and his journey to
for Mike when he was working at a liquor store at age 13. His friend’s
father owned a store, and Mike was responsible for stocking the shelves
and checking inventory. It was easy to steal a bottle here and there
because he was the one in charge.
As the years passed, Mike began experimenting with inhalants; as the
highs became less intense, he moved on to different substances with
greater risks. One such drug was Belladonna, a substance used for
treating asthma. Its serious side effects caused him to overdose,
and Mike awoke three days later in a mental institution. But his using
didn’t stop there.
down this path, using LSD and speed to reach the high he had been
seeking. Still able to graduate from high school and hold down a job as a
taxi driver, Mike became a “garbage can,” using intravenous drugs and
whatever else he could find that didn’t leave him with a hangover.
Things only got
worse. At 24, Mike was left to die in a basement after overdosing with
his dealer. At that time, Mike’s father had had a stroke and was in a
coma. His wife at the time told him that this was the breaking point;
their marriage was over.
Unfortunately, his addiction and search for the next high
continued. After spending six weeks in county jail, Mike came into
contact with a corrections officer who referred him to Gateway Foundation
again. Mike entered treatment at Gateway Foundation Lake Villa.After 13 months,
Mike became a model patient. Protected from the outside world and working
with dedicated staff, it became evident to Mike that recovery was
possible. After completing the Lake Villa program, Mike moved
to Gateway Foundation’s recovery home in Chicago.
After four decades
in recovery, Mike has stayed in contact with those he met at Gateway Foundation and feels they have positively
influenced his recovery.
“They have the
ability to rid you of the image you had of yourself,” he says, “and teach
you that you can live life without drugs, no matter where you come from.”
No matter how
bleak things appear now, Mike's success story proves that addiction
recovery is possible. To hear more success stories, watch here.
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