Explore Colorado Stories

Addiction can affect anyone, regardless of race, gender identity, age, geographic location, sexual orientation or income. Recovery is possible through the support of community, and when loved ones recognize and end the shame and judgment of substance use disorders.

Watch and read Colorado stories about individuals who broke down the barriers to treatment and overcame stigma to find recovery for themselves or loved ones.

Michaela, Sterling, CO
There are many pathways to recovery.
Valentina, Montrose, CO
The recovery community walks alongside me on this healing journey.
Candice, Durango, CO
Supportive communities provide the fundamental connections all humans need. A beacon of hope, actively dismantling the barriers of stigma surrounding addiction.
Dr. Lesley Brooks
Dr. Lesley Brooks, Greeley, CO
I want to break down these systemic barriers, creating easily accessible treatment services.
Angela & Andrea
Angela & Andrea, Sterling, CO & Eaton, CO
You can always find professional resources if you don’t have anybody you can reach out to. 
Joanne, Woodland Park, CO
We may not solve all the world’s problems, but we might solve just a little of them by helping others.
Janice, Denver, CO
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to offer it. 
Corinthiah, Aurora, CO
There is so much hope and possibility in recovery.
Hans, Greeley, CO
If you’re still struggling with substance use, take your time. It’s not going to happen overnight.
Angie, Colorado Springs, CO
The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; it’s connection.
Kyle, Fort Collins, CO
You can do this; you are capable.
Christina, Pueblo, CO
The skills I learned in CRAFT have made a huge difference in our lives.
Hawa, Colorado Springs, CO
I want them to see that the past doesn’t have to control the future.
Chief Rick Brandt
Chief Rick Brandt, Evans, CO
I remind them that they took an oath to protect life. Naloxone does just that.
Dr. Klie
Dr. Klie, Family & Addiction Medicine Physician
When you decide to open your arms to someone with an SUD, you’ve already made the most critical step.
Antoinette, Dacono, CO
One of the most encouraging things for someone struggling with addiction to hear is there are people who care.
Bryan, Peer Support Navigator
Meeting people where they are at is critical.
Julie, Lakewood, CO
My son realized he didn’t have anything to be ashamed of.
Victor, Peer Recovery Coach Manager
In peer recovery, everyone is a person first.
Kory, ED Clinical Nurse Manager
You can’t rush someone into treatment when they’re not ready.
Marvina, Peer Recovery Coach
I got started as a peer recovery coach because I wanted to be able to help just one person.
Donna, Behavioral Health Services Director
More lives have been saved with this medication than any other type of treatment for OUD.
Sheriff Fitzsimons
Sheriff Fitzsimons, Summit County, CO
As law enforcement officials, our job is to protect life.
Leon, Colorado Springs, CO
Having support is important, and you might not realize you have it.
Sarah, Denver, CO
When seeking help, you have to be vulnerable.
Chris, Peyton, CO
Fear is not real. Don’t hinder yourself because you’re scared of being sober.
Alicia, Grand Junction, CO
Don’t ever be afraid to reach out. There are so many people available to help, you just have to ask.
Rica, Denver, CO
What worked for me is not necessarily going to work for the next person, but if you’re willing to try it, then I believe in you.
Lars, Florissant, CO
We need to end the stigma around addiction; it’s not your fault you’re wired this way.
Keith, Denver, CO
You need to break free of shame and guilt to experience recovery. And recovery helps you break free of shame and guilt.
Kat, Denver, CO
I want to help people see they can do the same thing I did. Every little success is a huge reason to celebrate.
Jerrid, Colorado Springs, CO
Only when you are honest with yourself, can true change take its course.
Michael, Lakewood, CO
People in your life will be advocates for you. They will ask questions and fight for you.
Laynee, Colorado Springs, CO
The support of my family and a treatment facility that understood my needs are what got me through.
Anna, Denver, CO
Eventually, I was treated by a school nurse who could tell I was struggling with opioid addiction, and she didn’t judge me.
Teresa, Denver, CO
Now I don’t need anything to get up in the morning, and that’s a good feeling.
Dana, Denver, CO
I think when people meet me now, they’d never guess some of the things I’ve been through.
Amanda, Denver, CO
It wasn’t until I stopped stigmatizing myself that I was able to start my lasting recovery.
Michele, Erie, CO
Because of the stigma, he couldn’t tell them he was using Suboxone, even though it was keeping him off heroin.
Alma, Denver, CO
I wish we’d let him know he was not alone in his struggles.
Kaley, Colorado Springs, CO
It was the first time they realized that I didn’t choose to be messed up.
Scott, Steamboat Springs, CO
A lot of it boiled down to none of us understanding what addiction was.
Kaylan, Brighton, CO
I let him know that he had my love and support when he was ready to get treatment.
Nathan, Greeley, CO
Opioids helped cover for the PTSD symptoms, depression and anxiety that I have.
Rich, Denver, CO
My mom was able to get me into treatment right away, and her support made all the difference.
Victor, Denver, CO
I got introduced after being drafted to Vietnam. People picked up a lot of bad habits over there.
Dan, Grand Junction, CO
By sharing Preston’s story, I can help others realize they’re not alone.
Sara, In Memoriam
I didn’t think it could happen to me because a doctor had prescribed them.

In Memoriam

Overcoming opioid use disorder is a lifelong journey, and Lift The Label has been fortunate to work with individuals in different stages of their recovery to share their personal stories. The path to recovery can involve recurrence of use and overdose, and these events can also be the reason someone decides to seek help.

However, sometimes the battle with addiction or other circumstances result in the tragic loss of life. We remember Austin Eubanks, Blair Hubbard and Sara Wittner. Their stories and advocacy efforts for people suffering from addiction live on. To honor them, and all those we have lost to addiction, help us lift the stigma—let someone know they’re not alone, and learn how to help them in their struggle with addiction.