HANS | Greeley, CO

“If you’re still struggling with substance use, take your time. It’s not going to happen overnight.”

My substance use started at a young age. I had a lot of older friends and very little supervision. Eventually, I found myself using methamphetamine, or meth. Sometimes, it was to stay awake for work; other times to party. It started to take over my life. I had periods of recovery where I could stay away from it. But then, something like a bad relationship would cause me to use again. 

A big turning point came after I made a mistake while injecting meth. My hand swelled up huge. I ended up in the hospital with doctors telling me I might lose my hand. They were able to save my hand, but that experience scared me. I knew I didn’t want to live like that anymore, letting down my kids and parents. And I got a rare opportunity. Because I was healing in the hospital, it was like a detox in a safe environment. I used that safe space and my faith to create positive change in my life. 

Now, I’m a peer recovery specialist for a health collaborative in Northern Colorado. My lived experiences have made me a good advocate and helping hand for others. I get what someone is going through, what they are struggling with, what they fear, and what they need. And because of that, I’m able to be effective. I don’t pressure people. I just let them know the resources are here – I’m here – for them when they are ready. 

If you’re still struggling with substance use, take your time. It’s not going to happen overnight. You might quit in one day, but recovery can last forever. It’s hard for family members to hear this, but if you have a loved one struggling, ask them to call you when they feel like they’re going to use. Right now, you don’t have control over what people do, but if they know you support them at their worst, you will support them at their best.