A local program in the Basin helps people recover from substance abuse

A local program in the Basin helps people recover from substance abuse

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - "It finally took me to realize if I didn't stop, I was going to die," said Veronica Sanchez, a recovering addict. "First time I did coke, I did it all night until the sun came up."

It's been 22 months since Sanchez has been sober but her journey to escaping the abuse wasn't something she could turn off.

"Because of a relapse, I got pregnant again with another baby and she just turned one," said Sanchez. "My son's godparents adopted her. That was more or less the final wake up call for me."

Organizations like the Palmer Drug Abuse Program, also called PDAP, is one of the programs in the Basin that help people like Sanchez get out of addiction.

Executive Director Michele Savage has been working for PDAP since the 70's.

"I'm in recovery," said Savage. "I have over 40 years clean and sober. I was one of those teenagers who drank. Unfortunately it became a problem for me in my twenties. I made the decision I needed to get clean and sober, so I did."

She is one of the original counselors that opened the program. During that time, there was a demand for substance-abuse programs where parents were concerned about their children drinking.

"Pot was the big deal," said Savage. "PDAP is a little more structured. We work with teenagers and young adults. Hopefully we're the bridge back into the church community, a place where they can feel comfortable and maintain a chemical-free life."

A recent report from the General Surgeon says 21 million people in the US suffer from substance abuse but 90% of them don't get treatment.
Although that number is constantly increasing, 12-step programs like PDAP offer free education and recovery to young people and families.

"I help people on a daily basis, I'm a strong believer in a 12 step program, it was the only thing that saved my life," said counselor Crystal Bell.

12-step programs are typically delivered in 12 weekly sessions to prepare people for recovery. Their counselors who have been there before and know that struggle said the 12-step program can pull those out of the dark.

"Started drinking at 13, smoked pot, later on in life, got into the bad stuff like methamphetamines or alcohol," said Bell. "I got sober at 31-years-old. I'd finally hit my bottom to ask for help. "

The General Surgeon report says active involvement in a 12-step program is key to successful treatment. 
"Life doesn't get easier, it gets easier to manage."

For National Giving Tuesday, you can donate to the PDAP program. Donations go towards counseling efforts, various activities, gifts to schools and more to keep the program alive. You can text Give2PDAP to 91999.

"Getting to see them get that light in their eyes when they start getting it, when good stuff starts happening to them," said Bell. "That's the best part of this program."

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