Top Menu

Tell Us Your Story

We invite you to share your personal stories of recovery. All stories will be read by a moderator before being posted on the site. Please be respectful of the impact of your words and descriptive terms may have on others. Moderators may edit comments for content. If approved by a moderator, your comment will appear within 24 hours.

  • sam Emerson

    I am Samantha Emerson, and I am in the film. I will be sober for two years on thanksgiving. It hasn’t been easy and the outlook people have on someone like me is one of the aspects of sober life that is difficult. Fred Holmes saved my life, and continues to support me throughout my family not being there throughout this whole movie business. I have done interviews, pictures, press meetings with reporters etc. Because if I can just step past the fear of public speaking and have the courage to stand up and say all my defaults and my story, maybe I can save even one person/kid and they will come forward to get help. Don’t feel guilty, dont be down on yourself because this is a disease that becomes uncontrollable. A big shout out to Bess and her crew, and Fred, and everyone that helped make this possible, it takes alot of guts to come out and say things that you have done in your past that your not necessarily proud of. BUT YOU MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD!

    • Melissa

      You are so brave! Congratulations Sam!

  • Jennifer Ploof

    Hi, My name is Jennifer Ploof. I’ve been clean off of recreational drugs for going on 5 years in February 2014. I had lost my job in 1998 and struggled to pay bills and what life brought me. I started getting pain in my right hip from a fracture from a drunk and driving accident ( I drank and drove and hit a tree at full force at age 20 and fractured, dislocated my right hip and broke my right arm and left hand. Also i had laserations everywhere). I ended up going to the doctors office and the doc gave me Vikodin. Then pain got worse and doc gave me percoset, then Oxcycontin. I eventaully started to snort them because i like the feeling when i was on them. I eventually got so sick after i ran out too early with my perscription and i would spend money on street drugs. First i would buy oxcycontin and then later i would buy heroin because it was cheaper than oxys. I got so bad into them that i was lying to my husband, my dad, and everyone aroumd me. I stole money from my husband, my father, then from my children’s school . I eventually did break-ins to people i didnt know. It got so bad that I ended up getting approx. 8 felonies at least. I was given a chance to go through drug court. something eventually sunk in my stupid brain to get better for my kids at least. I want to be there when my kids grow older. This was not me. So i talked to a close friend and she suggested to call Brattoboro Retreat. So I did. I went to Brattoboro Retreat and got some help for starters. And I ended up getting on Syboxone. I had to go once a week to the Retreat for counseling and urine tests. I did okay for a while and when I couldnt find a doctor closer, i had a rough time getting to Brattoboro. I eventually was called in to go to the Chittenden Clinic. I had been calling and waited 11 months to get in. I finally made it and been clean since. I havent touched any recreational drugs since I started the Chittenden Clinic. I have much support from my counselor to the staff there. My family, even though i hurt them, they stood by me and we all can move forward. I still every once in a while have triggers but always remember the times i was sick, how much suffering i put through my kids, spouse, and my father. I mean, I almost made my father lose his house that he has had since i was a baby. Mom died of breast cancer in Jan.98′ at age 57. I know how much I hurt my dad, emotional and financially. He cant even get a checking or savings acct because of me. But he still loves me and supports me. I will always be an addict but I refuse to give up hope. I want to help others as well to never give up hope. Think about the negative affects of this. and stay strong in recovery. U are not alone!! It’s not easy but if I can do it then so can you. I also want to be a speaker about how maintenance dosing is not the same as using recreational drugs. I want to help educate people to help give them a better understaning about maintenance dosing. And that is a small part of my story. Thank you for your time, Jennifer Ploof
    (age:38 and she has two children:age 10/Hannah & 14 years old/Dylan)

  • Eric

    I’ve worked to help young adults/youth for about 10 years. Ever since I graduate from UVM at 22 years old (yep, I’m getting up there. haha). It’s hard to believe, but every relationship with those 16-22 year olds has been memorable and completely worthwhile. I tell people what population I deal with after they ask. I still don’t understand their reaction. (“Wow, that must be tough!”). I’ve never understood how it’s tough. Treat people, young or old with dignity and care, and they’ll be respectful, honest, and show care too.

  • Katie Jo

    I am not ready to reveal my name just yet. I am a addict in recovery, and this time…I am actually in recovery. I was addicted to prescription pain killers for over 20 years before finally going to rehab at the Brattleboro Retreat. This was nine years ago. At the time I was addicted to Percocet. I was taking at the most 5 or 6 a day. At the Retreat, I was offered a wonderful alternative called the “Maintenance Program”. The doctors I trusted informed me that these two drugs,
    Buprenorphine and Naloxone would block the opiate receptors in my brain so that if I ever did use a pain killer, it would not give me that euphoria that I was completely addicted to. Also, it would help with my cravings. WOW! I had never heard of such a wonderful alternative. As soon as I was given it at the
    Retreat, I felt like a million bucks – why was everyone making such a big deal about this detoxing thing – I certainly didn’t feel it! Hell, I felt
    better/higher than when I came in and what a miracle – IT WAS GOOD FOR ME! This recovery business was going to be the answer to everything! Here is why – when I put drugs into my body in any form, I am a complete and total scum bag! When I am clean and sober, I am a mother of two beautiful boys, I am a 5th grade
    teacher, I am a contributing member of my wonderful community, I am a good wife, sister, daughter, and giving compassionate person, but if I begin to use
    – and for me that was working Dr’s to give me pain medication – I will steal, lie, isolate, I am a bad mother, wife, sister, etc. As I said, a total and
    complete Scumbag! Now I also know I have a disease and I have it in the worst way. I am not a bad person trying to get good, I am a sick person trying to get
    well. I thought I had found the answer with this new drug, Suboxone. I spoke at seminars on behalf of the benefits and my success on this drug. I was the absolute “Beup” Poster Child. I went to NA and AA meeting every day, I was the chair person on the H & I (Hospitals and
    Institutions) committee for NA, I traveled all around Vermont to Rehabs and Prisons and told my story, brought meetings into prisons, and eventually
    I was asked to speak at a convention for drug representatives in Hawaii. However, I could not take time away from my students and teaching career.
    I never abused it, sold it, traded it. I was the perfect patient. I never had to go to a clinic. I was prescribed it at first biweekly, then monthly. I returned to college and received another degree on this medication. I was on it for about three years when I met my husband at a NA
    meeting at the Serenity House, he had been clean for over four years. He and some of the other members of NA were sort of against this wonderful medication
    I was taking and I never understood why…at the time. But it did not matter, we were in love, working a serious program and were married within the year. We
    started three new NA meetings in our area. We were both GSR’s of different groups – highly involved. Life was great, or so I thought. Something began to
    happen to me about six years into taking it and by the way, I was told by my Dr’s that I could take this drug for the rest of my life if I chose to. I
    became overwhelmed with life, just like everyone else, but my addict brain wanted to find relief and numb any kind of “FEELINGS” I had. So I
    began doing this. Slowly at first, then I was prescribed another great drug called Klonipin, which is a benzodiazepines. When you look up
    the adverse interactions and side affects of taking these two drugs combined (which were prescribed to me) it is an absolute deadly combination. They both are despressants on our central nervous system and slows down our respiratory system and is a very fatal combination. I am very grateful to be alive. The last two years when I was on these drugs, I was a walking zombie. I finally went and checked myself into the Windham Center to come off both of these drugs. I was very determined and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. It has been seven months now and the desire to use has thankfully left me, however, suboxone is a very new drug. No one really knows what the long term affects are on our body. I am here to tell you that I am an educated, well versed, and intelligent woman, and this drug has taken a major toll on my brain and body. I am working part time now, but most of my time is devoted to getting my cognitive thought process back to the way it was before this evil drug came into my life. These Dr’s are just legal drug dealers. I am so happy to be free of that ball and chain. I have to work hard everyday, but I am confident that I have absolutely made the right choice and I hope this reaches someone who is struggling with the thought of taking that drug. Life is good and real with out it. The trees are greener, the sky is bluer, I am more present. My eyes are clear and PEOPLE NOTICE. Drugs – in any form are a stand in for life and life is not so easy at times, but it is so worth it to do it with out living in the fog of just another drug. Thanks for listening and please – this is just one addicts opinion. Peace!

  • K/A

    Not sure all voices were heard. The last time I was in shooting gallery I saw faces of many diverse individuals. Sorry I am from the 60’s not the last 10 years where hope fiends exist. I was saved via what I believe is the rare successful path to recovery via TC treatment, traditional education and family. Yes I know many are more prone to listen to the voices of people they can relate to but unfortunately racism has no place in addiction ,saving lives and healing the suffering but …. I am sure you mean well perhaps I will get pass my stubbornness and give your movie a peak. Remember addiction strives for connection and love people with soul demonstrate this extremely well. One last piece of enlightenment addicts use for different reasons many for the voices they hear and mental health other for the alienation from society employment good housing and opportunity please don’t feed the addiction massage but the hungry Heart. Try 30+ relapse after 17 yrs. and back on my feet shortly thereafter back for 18. God is Good.