092718 Louisiana opioid deaths

I saw a piece in the newspaper about the opioid crisis that was written by Cenikor Foundation CEO Bill Bailey.

I am a proud Cenikor graduate and was incredibly happy to see Bailey in your publication talking about this important issue. While opioids were not my drug of choice, I struggled with substance abuse for decades and know of many people in Louisiana who have, too. My struggle began after my daughter drowned over 20 years ago. I never had the emotional closure I needed, and as a result, numbed my feelings with substances, which led me to prison off-and-on for 20 years. I could have gone home after my last incarceration but decided to go to Cenikor, and that’s where my healing finally began. The program helped me get the closure and release I desperately needed through peer and counseling support. One of the most important things it did for me was take me to my daughter’s grave, which I hadn’t visited since her passing.

Today, I’m strong in areas where I was weak, and I’ve finally learned to put others before myself. I graduated from the program last June — at 56 years of age — and I’m looking forward to living the new life I’ve been blessed with to its fullest. I hope that anyone dealing with a substance use issue knows that it’s never too late to start over.

Tangipahoa Parish's 'Operation Angel' has sent 37 drug users to treatment rather than jail

James Victorian

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