Opinion: Alcohol & Health

Volunteers of America Saved My Life: Long-term Residential Treatment Provides Freedom from Addiction

“Volunteers of America saved my life.”

“Volunteers of America gave me hope.”

“Volunteers of America helped me be ‘me’ again.”

“Volunteers of America gave me my mom back.”

These are the sentiments we often hear at the graduation ceremonies for the young, brave men and women and their children completing our addiction recovery programs. It is a humbling experience to listen to the stories of transformation our graduates tell after winning a long battle with alcohol and drug addiction. Their experiences are all unique, yet have common threads: experimentation with drugs and alcohol at a young age that evolve into a long-term struggle; surviving trauma and turning to substances to self-medicate; undiagnosed mental illness masked with alcohol and drugs.

The people behind these stories are our friends, children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Addiction is one of the few social issues that has affected nearly each and every one of us. Where do you turn when addiction invades your own family?

Volunteers of America is here to help. For over 30 years, Volunteers of America has provided licensed, residential addiction treatment. Last year we served 350 men and women in our six unique programs in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky for pregnant mothers, veterans and men with mental illness among other vulnerable populations. Our licensed, credentialed staff not only provide life-saving clinical services focused on sobriety, but also serve the entire person by addressing their mental health, housing, employment and life-skill needs, such as parenting and household budgeting.

When individuals, including the newborns and children who live with their mothers in our Freedom House program, graduate from Volunteers of America they are equipped to face life’s challenges. We restore hope. We return people back to the lives they knew they could always lead. We create positive change. And in return, our community feels this impact. After this past year alone, 350 individuals are now clean and sober and leading productive, self-sufficient lives in our work-places, involved in our community and mentoring other people struggling with the disease of addiction.

We can’t do this work without this community’s support and advocacy. You can help by discussing the impact of addiction in your own family or encouraging a family member to get help. Get involved with a local residential treatment program like Volunteers of America. Organize a collection drive or serve a meal in one of our programs. Every action will make a difference. One person at a time and one day at a time, we can save lives together.

To learn more about Volunteers of America’s addiction recovery services and how to help, visit www.voamid.org.

Alcohol and Violence

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