How I Got Clean: Steve P.

By Steve P. 01/23/17

Bright Futures was different than other long term residential drug treatment programs: their approach is very serious and they have a really good, therapeutic staff.

How I Got Clean: Steve P.
This time around was different.

After years of heroin addiction and eventually homelessness, Steve P. is now clean and sober. He sought help through Bright Futures Treatment Center, a male-only long term residential drug treatment program in Boynton Beach, Florida. This is his story.

I am 27 years old and have been clean since May 10, 2016 but I was addicted to heroin for most of my life.

I would honestly describe my childhood as just “regular.” Both my parents were together. My dad was an alcoholic and addict when I was young but he got clean by the time I was five. From then on, I had a very normal life. My mom and I have always been very close; she was always very supportive and loving. They bought a house after my dad got clean. Everything was really great.

Then when I was 15 I started using prescription painkillers like Oxycontin and Roxicodone. I was addicted to those until I was 22 and then I started using heroin. There was also alcohol, cocaine and tons of other drugs—all kinds of stuff. But my heroin addiction got worse and worse as time went on.

My bottom was living on the streets of New Jersey, sleeping on a beach all through April, up until going to treatment in May, digging holes to block the wind. I was homeless; I was addicted, and I wasn’t able to see my son. My family wouldn’t let me see him. That was my life— struggling and not eating. I’ve gained 50 pounds since I’ve been sober, and I’m still not fat. That’s how thin I was.

I had been to a bunch of rehabs in New Jersey, maybe 11 or 12. This time around was different because I had never lived like I was living before—I had never been on the streets before. What led me to Bright Futures was my best friend’s brother. She talked to me about coming down to Florida and then he put it into action for me. I couldn’t get in anywhere for a drug detox so I had to go to a psychiatric ward to do that before I came.

Treatment That Finally Worked

I did the Bright Futures PHP for 35 days followed by their IOP and halfway house for three months so I was there for four months altogether. Bright Futures was different than other long term residential drug treatment programs: their approach is very serious and they have a really good, therapeutic staff. We got to the bottom of a lot of things for me. They’re compassionate and you could just feel that they really are trying to help. This place definitely cares about you. I love it and still come on a weekly basis. I am not in the program anymore but I am still living in the area.

They do 12-step at Bright Futures and I still go to meetings now. I’ve tried this [being sober] so many times, I was at a point where I couldn’t not do NA and AA anymore. I was finally willing and open because I had no more choices.

In terms of other clients in treatment with me, we had a good group; we all moved out and lived together. I’ve spent most of my time with them and that was helpful; it was a very good fellowship. I’ve put in a lot of work on myself this time around and I feel like they really drove me to do that—the people that worked at Bright Futures and the other clients. We did yoga and meditation together and on the weekends, we did a lot of group activities. I went water skiing with the guys and we went to a bouncy house thing and the movies. I’m glad it was men only; I wouldn’t recommend guys mixing with girls if you’re trying to get clean.

It’s hard to pinpoint why I was able to stay clean after so many years of other rehabs and relapsing but I think it’s because I really counted on the people that work at Bright Futures a lot. I’m still very close to some of them and call them if I need them; they’re reliable and serious about helping you. I feel like I haven’t had that in the past.

Staying Sober Today

I had been trying to get clean for over 10 years; it took me coming to Florida and going into this program and really looking at myself and working with these people to get where I’m at now.

I really strongly advise anyone thinking about getting sober, even before looking into long term alcohol treatment centers, to read the AA Big Book thoroughly so they understand what it’s saying. It’s true—I read it a bunch of times and that really seemed to help me a lot.

To stay sober day-to-day, I network; I talk to sober people. I’m about done with steps but I always go to four meetings a week, no matter what.

So far, the greatest gift of sobriety is that I got to go home for Christmas and spend it with my son and the rest of my family—my mother, father and brother. It was amazing.

Want to learn more about Bright Futures Treatment Center? Reach Bright Futures Treatment Center by phone at (844) 207-7772 or by email. Find Bright Futures Treatment Center on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Flickr.

Photo provided by Bright Futures Treatment Center; used with permission.

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