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Voices for Recovery

Jared Hamre (06/30/2009)

Boston, MA
Recovery Advocate

September 13, 2008, marked my third year of recovery. I am grateful for my recovery. That doesn’t mean life struggles have not come my way, but recovery has given me the tools to now cope with challenges.

It was residential treatment that started me on this life-learning process. With the help of the staff and residents, I’ve learned that practicing positive behavior changes has enabled me to become a good, dependable person – I’ve changed how I act and perceive myself.

About six months into my recovery I decided to start giving back by speaking at my former high school. Helping others, owning my history, and sharing the value of my experience have taken away the unnecessary shame of this disease. My drug addiction would have ruined my life, but in a matter of three years, recovery has brought me positive friendships, a house, a dog, and a loving girlfriend who is not ashamed of my past, but proud and interested in my recovery.

I’m saddened that too many of my friends have passed away from using drugs. I could be one of them and I’m so grateful to be alive and living in recovery. I do not take recovery for granted. Through Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR), I’m learning how to be a voice, helping to ensure that residential treatment can expand to help even more people to live in recovery. Learning how to make positive changes in recovery has given me the skills to be an advocate for positive public policy changes. Joined with others in recovery, families, and friends, voices like mine are making a positive difference in the treatment and recovery landscape.

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