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National Recovery Month: The stories of four people who have overcome their addictions

“I’d probably be dead I wouldn’t be here right now,”
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - September is National Recovery Month.

It’s a chance to recognize those of you who have overcome addictions.

”I’d probably be dead I wouldn’t be here right now,” said Azi Kazi.

It doesn’t matter your age.

“I probably started abusing alcohol when I was about 16 and it just escalated on,” said Phillip Nelson.

Or the kind of family you come from.

“My step father adopted me when I was two so I was not raised in this. I was raised in a very good home and my parents did well for themselves so it wasn’t about that,” said Olivia Ikerd.

Substance abuse doesn’t discriminate.

“I never thought this would happen to me and it did. It can happen to anybody. It doesn’t matter who you are, it can happen to anyone,” said Christy Lovelace.

Each of these people are in long-term recovery. Their substance of choice ranged from alcohol, to opioids, and even crack.

“I went through several marriages and I had three kids by the time I sobered up but none of that ever slowed me down,” said Nelson.

Leaving most with absolutely nothing.

“I lost my kids. My family was done with me so I just lost everything,” said Ikerd.

But while each had to hit rock bottom in order to get help, they say the path to recovery is worth it and they each took the same path to get help.

“I got in trouble and it got me in Drug court,” said Nelson.

“I went through a Drug court program that kind of helped me get cleaned up,” said Kazi.

“I went to treatment four times and then I ended up in drug court,” said Ikerd.

All of them now share their stories with other men and women who are sitting where they used to be.

“It gives me hope that maybe I can help someone and they can look up to me and say hey if she can do it maybe I can do it to,” said Lovelace.

Remembering their past but moving forward to their future.

“Most of my worst days as a sober man is nowhere near as bad as my good days, high. I heard that in and out of recovery and I never did experience it until I started getting sober myself,” said Nelson.

If you live in the Shoals area and you are looking to find treatment options and resources, we’ve listed a few below:

  • In Lauderdale County, there are three local Narcotics Anonymous meetings and there are 21 meetings held per week
  • There are 12 local Alcohol Anonymous meetings with 111 meetings held per week
  • NA and AA both have zoom meetings that are available
  • NA 24 hour helpline: 256-500-8889
  • AA 24 hour hotline: 1-800-789-4367

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