Gateway Alumnus Shares his Recovery Story
By the time John Fields turned to Gateway, he was having a drink as soon as he woke up in the morning. He had become aware his abuse disorder was out of control and that he needed help. "I knew I couldn't quit on my own. I needed a safe place where I didn't have access to drugs or alcohol," John said.
John wanted to get his mind clear so he could begin to think rationally again. He also wanted to learn how to live on the outside without using drugs.
"Gateway gave me what I needed most, a safe place and the tools and knowledge I needed to live a sober life outside of treatment," John explained.
John had been sent to drug treatment centers in the past by family members or managers at a job but he'd never gone to treatment for himself. Each time, he'd end up returning to his same routines. He never followed up with meetings or became involved in an alumni program, and he thought he could resume his old lifestyle with friends.
This time around, he was highly motivated and he also did his homework. John said, "Gateway is a much nicer facility than the others I looked at and the staff is great. These people know what they're doing."
One of the most important things John realized while in treatment was that you have to make an effort to maintain your recovery. He learned he would need to continue to attend support groups beyond just residential and outpatient treatment. It's a message he wants to share to help in their recovery efforts and he credits Gateway with helping him with that realization.
As an active member of Narcotics Anonymous, John has found outside support. He frequently attends Gateway outpatient groups to remind himself of where he was at one point in his recovery, which helps him gauge his progress.
John also finds alumni meetings very helpful. He likes the camaraderie he finds at the meetings in addition to seeing that the program works for other people as well.
When asked what his advice to others who are dealing with substance abuse issues would be, John was straightforward: "If you're struggling with drug or alcohol use, give a place like Gateway a try. It's a comfortable environment with a staff that truly cares about the individuals in treatment."
Reflecting on his experience at Gateway, John sees the impact it has made on his life. "Everything about my life in general has gotten better because I've changed my whole way of thinking," he said.