Recovery Story Month: February 2021

Highlighting accounts of our Addiction Prevention, Treatment & Recovery clients and their journeys towards a strong and healthy future.

Meet Jermaine. Below is a firsthand account of recovery and the pathway to a life untethered by the grips of addiction and substance abuse.  Through his determination and commitment to recovery, strengthened by the support and guidance of FCA’s Sherpa Program, Jermaine shares his success story in hopes of inspiring others on the road to a better place.

shutterstock_728707039 reduced.jpg"In August 2020, I called THRIVE to seek help and was immediately connected to the Sherpa Program.  At this point in my life, I knew if I did not make significant changes, I would either die and/or never be able to be a good father to my kids. Things had to change!

I had a little over a year sober before I relapsed in August of 2020. Only this time my withdraws were so bad, I did the first available thing I could get my hands on: Methadone. I instantly overdosed, and the next thing I remembered was waking up with a tube down my throat. Instead of that scaring me straight, I left the ER, and within a few hours started smoking crack.  So, basically, my relapse took me from heroine, to methadone, to crack, to stealing a car, getting involved in a shootout, and finally arrested in Maryland. I was expedited to 3 different jails. While being in jail, I came across a book called Black Privilege by Charlamagne Tha God.  It was then my perspective on my life started to shift, and I promised myself to change my ways 100%.

I decided to check myself into a detox but was only there a very short time because COVID hit and we were released. The determination and willingness I felt inside pushed me to check myself into a psych ward, as opposed to being on the streets with my people. I refused to give up and reached back out to the social worker who was able to get me into Samaritan Village, in which I stayed for 4 months. I’m not going to lie, I felt defeated and straight exhausted because this was the first time in my life that I was giving it my all and trying my hardest, refusing to quit. I realized that the only way things would change was if I made those changes. So I went all in. I started to open up and talk to my therapist and reunite with my family for the first time in forever. I will never forget how grateful I felt to have them back in my life.  I am grateful to have survived all that I did, and to be where I am at today.

While in Samaritan Village, the Sherpa Team reached out to see how I was doing and to help support me in getting connected to the next steps to take on my journey in recovery.  They helped me to work on my discharge plan.  When I successfully completed my inpatient treatment, the Sherpa Team helped support me to find a place to live, an outpatient treatment to attend, and provided me with information about meetings I could attend to get connected with other people in recovery.

Honestly if it wasn’t for the Sherpa Team telling me over and over that they are here to support me, and encourage me, I am not sure if I would be writing this now.  The Sherpa Team actually does what they say they will.  They would return my calls, and even pick up the phone when I already called 5 times that day asking them for suggestions and support to help me to continue to stay clean a day at a time. The Sherpa Team made it their mission to help get me in contact with a shelter and the resources I needed to not only survive, but to move forward.

I can never put into words how much Sherpa helped me, especially when no one wanted to hear me. Without their help, I am not sure if I would have made it through the whole thing without them walking beside me throughout all of this. In my heart I truly believe there are so many people out there like me, who don’t know about Sherpa, but if they did it would help save their lives."