By Christi Mersereau
Ryan S. grew up in Wayne County, Michigan, and at age 15 was “dabbling in pot and alcohol.” At 16, after having oral surgery, he was prescribed Vicodin for pain. He immediately liked the drug, and wanted more. Ryan’s use slowly escalated until, by his senior year in high school, he was a daily user of Oxycontin.
Ryan worked hard and had money, but even so, his habit was costly: $40-$50 for a single Oxycontin pill! Like many people addicted to pills, eventually it just cost too much, and Ryan switched to heroin. His life took a turn for the worse. Overwhelmed by his addiction, Ryan lost the trust and support of his family, lost numerous jobs, friends, and was even homeless for a period of time. He had hit “bottom.”
When Ryan came to Home of New Vision he was surprised to find it was not like some of the other treatment centers he had tried.
He was initially concerned his recovery plan would be the same as everyone else’s and he would be “pigeon-holed.” He found strength in the companionship of the other residents and staff, but his path to recovery was different from most, as he chose not to follow the oft-prescribed twelve-step approach. For Ryan, the SMART path to recovery proved to be invaluable, and has enabled him to maintain his recovery to this day. Ryan says that one of the things he likes best about Home of New Vision is the emphasis on “multiple pathways,” allowing individuals the freedom to choose and tailor their recovery based on what works best for them.
Three years later, Ryan is grateful for Home of New Vision’s important role in his recovery—so much so that he came back, first as a volunteer, and later as an employee!
Today, Ryan works part-time at HNV as a state-certified Recovery Coach, and part-time with the Washtenaw County Sheriffs Department. He loves working with people and helping others find their own unique paths to recovery.