GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The holidays are a cheerful time for many people, but for people addicted to drugs and alcohol, this time of year can cause a lot of pain.
During 16 years of being hooked on heroin, Emmitt White suffered through many lonely holidays.
“Didn’t have any family around,” he said. “No one wanted me around.”
Now sobering up, White is an addiction recovery coach at DarJune Recovery Community Center & Services in Green Bay. His family is even inviting him back into the fold.
“It makes me not want to go back to using because I know if I do, I’m not going to be where I’m at ever again,” he said.
Mandy Suthers founded DarJune after her battle with alcoholism became too much. At the center, she prefers coffee and conversation over drugs and alcohol. She wants addicts to know that if addiction has taken your family away, you can find a new one this holiday season.
“You can come in DarJune’s doors, get a recovery coach, have someone to talk to, and nobody has to be alone on the holidays,” Suthers said.
That message is simple, but some addicts struggle to do anything with it. Brennen Hacker was a meth and heroin user. Now sober, he manages DarJune.
“I see a lot of hope when people are here,” Hacker said. “That’s what helps me the most is being surrounded by people that are trying to live a better life.”
The group wants addicts to take that first step to sobriety by reaching out.
“We do help no matter what,” White said. “There is hope. All you got to do is ask.”
“Even sitting on a futon for the day or one of the chairs could be your one day of saying, ‘I didn’t use today. I didn’t overdose. I didn’t die. We don’t have to bury me this holiday because I found a safe place to go,'” Suthers said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, call (920) 676-5350 or visit https://www.facebook.com/darjunerecoverycommunitycenter/.