This blog post is contributed by a counselor with The Council’s Outreach, Screening and Referrals department, which provides free screenings and referrals to detox services, inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities, and other recovery options.
A while ago, a client was referred to me from the Harris County Psychiatric Center. During the screening, the client revealed that his meth and cocaine use had destroyed his family and had caused trouble with the law. The client described some of the horrible things that he did to keep his drug habit going. I could see the pain in the client’s eyes as he began to go through the screening process, which made me want to do more for the client.
The only way I could help this client was to disclose a part of my own addiction, to help him know that there is hope, and that he does not have to continue using drugs. The client could not believe that I was homeless for 30 years, living on the streets and going in and out of hospitals and treatment centers. After my disclosure, I saw that the client was motivated to change. Because I went through the recovery process, I was able to help the client develop a plan of action to change his life. I stressed the importance of completing treatment for the next steps to take place.
The client went on to an inpatient treatment facility, completed the 30-day program and contacted me as soon as he was finished. I was able to get the client into sober living where he landed a job and had a place to stay. The client remembered that I told him I was going to connect him with an organization that was going to pay for his education. I gave the client the contact information, and he is now enrolled in barber school, working on his certification.
The client calls me from time to time to let me know that he is staying on course. He tells me he now has a support system, which includes his family, and that he did not know that he was capable of making the necessary changes in his life. He says that he will forever be grateful for the help that he received from The Council and wants to come back and share his story with our clients to provide them motivation as well!