Recovered addicts spread message of hope

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) - More than 300,000 people in Alabama are affected by drug and alcohol addictions.

Sunday, several substance abuse agencies joined with a local church to raise awareness about the problem and spread a message of hope.

Jeramy Mann said, "In September 2007, I decided to change my life."

Mann says the decision was the first bright spot after years in the dark.

"Drugs came along around 8th grade, and so at a very young age, I was using," he said.

"I had gotten so far into the drug addiction that I thought it was the only way to live."

Julie Culverhouse has a similar story; she says her drug addiction left her at rock bottom.

"I was addicted at first to pain pills.  Before it was over, I lost my kids, my marriage, my house—pretty much everything.  I found myself living on the streets," she said.

After years of trying to quit for their families and for their kids, they made the decision to quit for themselves.

Culverhouse said, "I finally got to the point where I had nowhere to turn to but God, so I admitted myself to a one year faith based program in Auburn."

Today, Jeramy and Julie are recovered addicts, but both say it was far from an easy road.

Mann said, "Addiction can grasp anybody. It doesn't have a name.  It's just choices that I made, and once the addiction grabs you, it's hard to turn away.  But you can do it."

They both participated in a rally Sunday for substance abuse recovery.

They hoped to spread the message that with a helping hand and faith, it is possible to turn your life around.

Culverhouse said, "I've got a great job now, and I have my children back.  God is restoring my life and my family."

"I just want to say to all the addicts out there that there is hope.  You can live again," said Mann.

Sunday's event coincided with National Recovery Month, which is celebrated every September.

If you need help, you can contact the Alabama Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at 334-242-3961.

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