Nigel’s Story: I’m Not Ashamed Anymore

When asked, “What word would describe your life prior to receiving treatment services?” Nigel responded, “Chaotic.” She had committed a crime to support her drug use, got caught and was ordered to pay restitution to her former employer. Her attorney encouraged her to apply for participation in Berks County’s Drug Treatment Court. Nigel said she was scared, ashamed and embarrassed. She wasn’t sure what to expect and did not like being told what to do. As part of the treatment court program, Nigel was ordered to intensive supervision by the Adult Probation Department, to random drug screens, to seek employment and to participate in mandated drug and alcohol treatment services.

Nigel’s treatment experience included inpatient, intensive outpatient and outpatient services. It was during this time that she began to understand that she has a disease called addiction. “When you get deep inside of yourself as to what is really going on, it hurts,” she said. The treatment experience afforded Nigel the opportunity to learn more about her illness, the problems and consequences caused by her addiction and the solutions that were available.

“I’m not ashamed anymore,” Nigel said about her recovery story. Over time, she has felt more comfortable with herself and realizes the value in the help she has received. She still uses the scrapbook which she completed in Drug Treatment Court as a way to remember to keep moving forward. “My journey is not complete. I keep adding to it and I don’t want to put this experience behind me.”

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