This is the fifth article in a series examining the opioid crisis in Fayette County.
Eight years ago, a friend offered Brittany Hart, 32, a pill. She took it and “from there it just kind of grew, I started using pills more and more,” Hart recalled.
Soon, she was also abusing methamphetamines and alcohol. For years, she tried to overcome her addictions on her own. “I’d get clean for a little while, but, you know, after awhile something happens and you get stressed out and you go right back,” said Hart, of Washington C.H.
Then, a few months ago, Hart said she “got tired of chasing drugs,” of waking up and asking herself “how am I gonna get high? How am I gonna get the money to get high?”
“I can’t explain it. I just knew that something in my life needed to change, and I don’t even know what came over me…it’s just like something told me I was done,” explained Hart. So, she prayed that God would show her how to change her life.
The next day, she saw a Facebook live video of Cody Bowen. Bowen is a recovering addict himself and an active voice for recovery in the Fayette County community. He is also the founder of Resurrection Recovery, a local nonprofit that works to help individuals who are struggling with addiction
After watching Bowen’s video, Hart contacted him and he encouraged her to attend the Sunday service at the Bible Baptist Temple. “I ended up getting saved that day,” said Hart.
The next week, however, she relapsed and returned to drug use, but “it didn’t feel the same… it wasn’t enjoyable at that point,” said Hart.
She reached out to Bowen again and he had her come meet him at the church. There, she told him she was ready for treatment. Within an hour, Hart was booked into the Floyd Simantel Clinic in Chillicothe.
Hart said attending in-patient treatment was crucial because “it gets you to remove yourself from all of the people, places and things that were so much a part of your addiction, and when you finally remove yourself from those things you can start focusing on yourself and fixing what you need to fix.”
Hart successfully completed 30 days of in-patient treatment, and is now participating in intensive out-patient treatment through Fayette Recovery and attending meetings. She is now two months clean and she said, “It feels amazing.”
“When you’re high, you think you’re happy, but it’s like a false sense of happiness and never lasts very long, but now, being sober, it’s like I know what true happiness is,” she said.
Of others who are struggling with addiction Hart said, “If they truly want help and want to live a sober life, all they have to do is ask for help. If you really want recovery, it’s not gonna be easy, but it’s doable and it’s worth it. It’s really worth it. It is very rewarding.”
Hart also said, “It’s always helpful to have as much sober support as possible.” This support can come from friends, family, religious leaders, counselors and “sponsors, especially, because they’ve been through it.”
“I’ve never had this much support in my life,” Hart said of the outpouring of support she has received as she has worked to overcome addiction. In addition to her family, who she said has always been supportive of her, Hart said she has made friends along her journey to recovery who have become like another family to her. She also said, “Resurrection Recovery had a big hand in it. They helped me get into treatment, they stuck with me through treatment.”
Now, Hart said, “I’m trying to give back, kind of share my sobriety with others.”
Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124 or @MeganNeary2