“The Path is a Spiritual Path…”

Al entered Emberwood Center ‘s outpatient treatment program dependent on cocaine, which he had battled for decades. Al completed formal substance abuse treatment once before, while in prison for cocaine-related charges. He successfully achieved complete sobriety while in prison four years, as well as the first seven years after being released. Upon release, Al began rebuilding his life around sobriety. He created his own business, started attending church regularly, and found a healthier peer group. However, he slowly found himself and his lifestyle spiraling back into unhealthy patterns. Al began dating someone who did not attend church. Eventually he also stopped attending. Al successfully abstained from cocaine an additional four years, but began drinking alcohol and using marijuana. He started hanging out with a different crowd of people. Fifteen years after successfully quitting cocaine, Al used again when he started dating someone who also used cocaine. He lost his business. Eventually, dealing drugs became necessary just to make ends meet. One day, Al found himself on his knees praying to God to help him out of the mess his life had become. A week later, on October 26, 2005, Al was arrested for dealing. That day was the last time Al used… Al voluntarily checked himself into Emberwood Center’s outpatient treatment program. He recognized the impact his drug lifestyle had on his life and his family. He shared openly with his primary counselor about his past. Al began making strong strides toward overcoming his addiction. Through his efforts in treatment, Al was able to completely change his way of thinking and learn new and healthier ways of coping with stress and conflict in his life. Al learned the “psychology of addiction,” and admitted for the first time in his life that he was an addict. He never missed a single individual counseling or group session, and successfully graduated the program 12 weeks later. At the urging of his primary counselor and other staff at the agency, Al became a volunteer at Emberwood Center, facilitating two social support groups. For Al, facilitating group was a way of giving back; but more importantly, it was an effective way to renew his spirit. Volunteering at Emberwood Center was Al’s way of staying “plugged in to the Source.” Recovery is a long and difficult road for anyone to travel. Despite successful, extended periods of sobriety, relapse can occur, a fact to which Al can readily attest. Courageously, Al took the essential steps on the life path of recovery. His tenacity and daily victories ensured that his was a long and safer journey on the road of recovery!