For the remainder of the program, I sought guidance from my peers, counselors, and family for what my next steps should be. My realization that day changed everything—I no longer believed that I knew how to get or stay sober. After my month in rehab ended, my parents guided me to enroll in a 90-day halfway house program for men. The treatment and peer support I received there further laid a great foundation for my recovery.
I haven't had a drink or used drugs since July 15, 2001, but my journey continues. It's one thing getting sober and a whole other thing staying that way through college and into my twenties. Two things have helped me make this possible. Support from other sober young people initiated my recovery, gave me hope to the possibilities of living drug-free, and sustains my sobriety. And, of course, my parents—they did not cause nor could they cure my addiction. However, my success in overcoming it is very much because of them and the support they provided me. They continue to help me make healthy choices, and I owe everything in my life to them.
Greg Williams, now 26, is co-director of Connecticut Turning to Youth and Families, a statewide organization strengthening prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. Using peer-to-peer support they help adolescents and families with drug and alcohol problems connect with others who have lived through and recovered from the nightmare of addiction.
Originally published in June 2010 on FamilyCircle.com.