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Addiction Recovery Research Center

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute

2 Riverside Circle

Roanoke, VA  24016

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Phone: 540-315-0205

Email: iqrr@vtc.vt.edu

Media Inquiries:

John Pastor, FBRI Director of Communications

Phone: 540-526-2222

Email: jdpastor@vt.edu

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Below, you will find inspiring recovery stories from some of our recovery heroes. If you are interested in sharing your recovery story to be featured on our website, please email us at iqrr@vtc.vt.edu.

"I had my last drink on Thanksgiving Day, 1973. I went to my first meeting that night, and picked up my white plastic poker chip with some dimes taped to it to make call from my new list of friends. There was a death in the family that night..."

Doc's Story

"Alcohol was a long term problem for me. I started drinking and smoking pot when I was about 14. By 15 or 16 drinking and smoking pot was a regular weekend activity. Binge drinking proliferated in my late teens and early twenties..."

William's Story

"It all began with me being so out of control, that my wife kicked me out. I had no where that I wanted to go. I decided to check myself into the local Veterans Administration hospital. I was locked in the Psych Ward for five days..." 

Daniel's Story

"Forty one years ago, this weekend, after three months of quart and a half a day, at just under 120 pounds, which followed the six-month stay in a Maryland State Mental hospital for the same..."

Carmac's Story

"Hi my name is Kendall and I’m an alcoholic. My drinking started when I was about 12, I was the type of kid that would try anything once always the first one to go when a dare was presented..."

Kendall's Story

"On March 20th, 2013, something happened that changed my entire life and way of living. I can only hope and pray that this change is forever. I started drinking around the age of 14..."

Rick's Story

"Hi, my name is Kristin. I am 32 year old female who currently lives in Grand Rapids Michigan. I have been in long term recovery for 5.2 years. I am a gratefully recovering alcoholic..."

Kristin's Story

“My name is Beth and I’m in recovery. December 2, 2008 I used meth the last time and pray daily it was my last time. I’ve been asked several times, why at 31..."

Beth's Story

"I became ill in 2004 with several serious ailments, for almost the whole year. Just when I was starting to feel normal again I developed some neck/shoulder pain. I tried seeing a chiropractor..."

Rebecca's Story

"In November of 1988, Thanksgiving as a matter of fact. I first asked the question of my family if they thought I may have a problem. My sister replied “If you think you have a problem then you may have a problem..."

Marilyn's Story

“My name is Karen. I have 6 and a half years clean and sober. I am a nurse. I work in the fast-pace environment of the emergency room. I feel as though I live with a dark secret due to my history of addiction..."

Karen's Story

“HOW DID I GET HERE?

I took my first sip of alcohol at age 13. I pilfered five or six one-ounce airline bottles of hard liquor from a cabinet in my parent’s half-bath and shared them with my neighborhood pals..."

David's Story

"I the 12th of 13 children.  I was 4 years old when the Marines told my mother my brother was killed in Vietnam. This changed our family dynamic and also caused my first instance of post-traumatic stress..."

Maggie's Story

“I started at 13 with cigarettes, beer and pot. Little did I know at that time that that would progress until I got to the end of the road at 49. I liked the idea of escaping from reality. As I tried stronger drugs, I enjoyed the high more: hashish, mushrooms and LSD..."

Carl's Story

“Five years ago I was a homeless, hopeless junkie that was fighting a 14 year meth addiction as well as alcoholism, pills, cocaine, and whatever I could use to get high. I was a single mother dragging my son from hotel to hotel, from living at the dealer’s house..."

Holly's Story

“The reflection in the mirror belied the memory of an enthusiastic young girl who was going to take on the world. The tears that ran down my face could not wash away the unbearable guilt and shame I had felt deep within me for what seemed like forever..."

Janis's Story

“My name is Ginny. I’m a 37 year old mother, wife, daughter,and friend. I’m also an entrepreneur/business owner and many other things, but most of all I’m a recovering ADDICT..." 

Ginny's Story 

“I remember the first time that I had actually gotten drunk off of liquor and it almost felt like this “switch” went off inside of me. I couldn’t believe how AMAZING I felt. It felt like the missing puzzle piece had finally been placed in my life..."

N.B's Story 

“My name is Ginny. I’m a 37 year old mother, wife, daughter,and friend. I’m also an entrepreneur/business owner and many other things, but most of all I’m a recovering ADDICT..." 

Christa's Story 

“Twenty years ago I stopped using drugs, including alcohol. I have worked as a substance abuse professional for the past twelve years. Currently I work at an inpatient treatment center and have my Master’s degree in Counseling..."

Donette's Story 

“My name is Bob and I’m an Alcoholic! I had my last drink on October 1, 1976 at about 2 a.m. It was a beer. If I would have known it was my last drink, I might have had good Scotch. But as it was, it was a beer..."

Bob's Story 

“I believe in guardian angels – my dad is one…

Grew up in a alcoholic home. Mom was Bipolar, a musical and intellectual genius. Dad was a travelling wholesaler for Krylon spray paint..."

HowlAndWoof’s Story

“I went to work on May 11th, 1976 and the company had dispersed booklets on all the managers’ desks pertaining to the use and abuse of alcohol. I read the booklet, and it dawned on me that I did have a problem..."

Mike’s Story

“I started smoking when I was 27 years old.  I was dating a man who smoked and I had one of his cigarettes.  I immediately loved it, and it was a continuous addiction until I finally quit, using hypnosis, at the age of 63..."

Ed’s Story

“I am a recovering Compulsive Gambler who placed my last bet April 10,1968.I started gambling at about age 7 or 8 as a kid in Brooklyn, NY. It started with flipping baseball cards, pitching pennies, shooting marbles and playing pinball machines..."

Arnie’s Story

“I have been in narcotics anonymous. For 4 yrs 11 months without relapse. I started out with lots of meetings, completed 12 steps guide with a sponsor. Today I have a strong foundation..."

Tony’s Story

“My addiction began in 1977 at the age of 14 when I went away to boarding school. In 1980 I was expelled from high school 3 days before graduation for violating the school’s alcohol policy (I still have a notice that was posted on the school bulletin board)..."

Bob's Story

“Growing up in a dysfunctional family has caused many issues in my life, starting at an early age and continuing into my adulthood. In my story, there are things that should be told that I have only told a few people. I am writing this in hopes it will help other women realize..."

Elizabeth’s Story

“I grew up in the peace, love, drug era of the 60’s. I was attracted to that lifestyle but too young to take part. In the 70’s I began my road to recovery, it took 22 years to reach it, but the path was the one I chose..."

Phil’s Story

“I first smoked and drank alcohol in the 1960’s while in elementary school. The cigarettes were a quick addiction, but my father found out and after a convincing talk with threat of force I didn’t smoke again till boot camp..."

Samuel’s Story

"I am a re-tread, a relapse who managed to get sober a second time. My first sobriety began August 1, 1993.  I call it a “pink lace” sobriety – that is, it was a dainty process.  I went to meetings periodically, didn’t have any books or a sponsor..."

Betsy’s Story

“My name is Zacherie and I am a grateful recovering addict. I was 15 years old when I first picked up methamphetamine. After all the years of partying, smoking pot, popping pills, and snorting lines of coke..."

Zacherie’s Story

“I thought smoking was cool until I wanted to start a family. Walking around town and seeing those moms blowing smoke in their babies’ faces made me feel really sad about the effects of secondhand smoke..."

Laura’s Story

“I got into drugs, tobacco, you name it, when I was 13. I started off sniffing gasoline out of a lawnmower, then moved on to beer, wine, and marijuana. At age 15 I dropped out of high school. I learned to be a mechanic and I got a GED but I was still getting high..."

CW’s Story

"My name is Bobbi. I started using drugs in my thirties. I used constantly and I used any type of drug that I could find. I left my husband I left my three children and I became homeless and went out on the streets as a prostitute..."

Bobbi's Story

"My name is Amissa and I AM an addict. My sobriety date is June 30, 2014. I spent most of my life trying to fit in. Looking for love and falling short every time. Blaming and shaming. Moving from city to city they are the problem..."

Amissa's Story

"I celebrated 23 years of sobriety this past January and finished my final project for my Master’s degree last week. I am an A student by the grace of God, and I put my all into my work..."

Christine's Story

"My name is Dan and my journey of recovery has been an amazing work of God who in Christ Jesus has restored me to Him and through Him I’m delivered from the addiction that was killing me..."

Dan's Story

“My name is Tracie and I am a Alcoholic. “I’m an Alcoholic” these words were probably the hardest words for me ever to say in my whole life. Admitting that I was an alcoholic meant defeat..."

Tracie's Story

“I had been an alcoholic for 26 years. I started using marijuana at around age 15. The pot smoking lead to the drinking. I smoked pot and drank beer and liquor everyday from 1983 to 2012..."

Rodney's Story

"Entered AA on November 26th, 1989, and will celebrate 26 years this coming November. Presently am serving as District Treasurer, coming up on my third term..."

Michael's Story

“It was difficult to measure success in my life at one time. I thought that if I had enough dope to make it for a few days, then that was being successful. Today my success is measured by how well I’m doing inside..."

John's Story

"It seems like everyone has a story to tell. My social media news feeds are littered with links to blogs describing stories of wedding planners gone mad, and crayons melted into car seats..."

Alissa's Story

“My name is Lisa and I’m an addict, I started using opiates addictively when I was 16 years old. I am now a 56 year old grandmother who is very appreciative for addiction research for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren..."

Matt's Story

“I am 58 years old and have 69 years of recovery. Yes, you read that right, I combine 3 recoveries from three addictions. Each recovery was through a different recovery model and in each instance I have not relapsed..."

Jeff B's Story

“I was 47 when I suffered my first heart attack. I knew I had to change the way I was living or I would die. I didn’t go to the doctor. I went to my first AA meeting. I didn’t drink heavily everyday, but when I did drink I drank to black-out..."

Helen's Story

"In 1989, I was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder. I disagreed and fought all forms of treatment until 1993. Standing on the curb to unlock my car, the voice that I had heard for about 2 years told me gently, “Take your medication"..."

Michelle's Story

“What Do I Do When

  • My Stomach turns….I sit with it. What did I use to do?  Drink

  • The rush of tears well up in my throat and pour out of my eyes…I turn to God and talk to ease the pain What did I use to do?..."

Marcia's Story

“I guess I should start with, I’m Amy and I’m an addict. I’m not sure how to put my story into words without it being a very long tale. It starts with me as a preteen hanging out with the wrong crowd and going through some hard experiences..."

Amy's Story

“I blended several substances. Mainly cocaine, alcohol, food, and tobacco. After periods of clean time from cocaine and alcohol I’d go back to drinking and smoking. I found it necessary to address my eating disorder to stay clean..."

Lorna's Story

“I’ve spent most of my life in a small town in Eastern Ky. Where the prescription pain killers are primarily dominant and highly accessible. I started out smoking marijuana when i was 13 years of age, then moved on to opiates at the age of 15 after a car accident..."

Anthony's Story 

“My story begins like many others who have been either randomly plucked, lucky, blessed, or in my case desperate enough, to find themselves in recovery. As a child, I didn’t fit into my own skin..."

AnneMarie's Story 

“I had my last drink of alcohol in July of 2004. In the 18 months preceding that, I had been actively seeking treatment for my alcoholism. I knew that AA involved praying, God, smoking, talking at length about oneself..."

Jeff F's Story 

“My name is Steve C. I have been sober since August 10th, 1994. Every day is a success for me when I continue to make the choice to not drink or drug..."

Steve's Story 

July 2nd, 1977, I could no longer endure the suffering of mental, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother, father and brother. My spirit was stolen to the wind. Momma did not protect me. Daddy sexually molested me..."

WhyNotMe's Story 

“Hi, My Name is Terri and I am an Addict and Alcoholic. I am a Survivor of Child Abuse. I was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused until I was 18. I started drinking at 13. It helped me to numb out when I was being abused..."

Terri’s Story

“I want to start my story with a quote from a song I heard awhile back….

“I ain’t no angel, I still gotta few more dances, with the devil, I’m cleaning up my act little by little, I’m getting there, I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see…”

Brooklyn’s Story

I was the puppet of addiction for 13 years of my life.  God threw me a rope on 7/7/12 to climb out of that hole I had dug myself into..."

Dana’s Story

“I’m sober. That was never my plan. My plan was to go to meetings and therapy in order to get everyone to like me again. Manipulation was my go-to response to life. When that didn’t work as well as I had hoped, I ignored what wasn’t working well for me..."

Dee’s Story

“June 1st, 2001, I woke up angry, oh, so very very angry. I was still alive and I didn’t want to be. I hated life. Hated waking up breathing. Hated myself. My heart hurt because I was still here and I didn’t want to be..."

Stephen's Story

“When I was drowned in addiction I never thought that someday I would write about it; someday that I would have successfully passed through it. Here goes my story since the first day I used narcotics until I revived from addiction..."

Ehsan's Story

“I have 14 years of abstinence under my belt. Relapse was definitely part of my journey, and while it doesn’t have to be for some, it was for me. I use Narcotics Anonymous, spirituality..."

Bill’s Story

“I started smoking when I was 12. The first time I quit was at age 21 and it lasted about 8 years, until I married a smoker. I quit again for one year at age 50. I foolishly thought I could smoke one cigarette without succumbing again..."

Walter’s Story