A Clean & Safe Community (by Lisa Pritchard)

Introduction & Research Question:

How can we as a community help drug and alcohol dependent individuals get clean and sober?

My name is Lisa Pritchard and I am a full time student at PCC, I am doing a final writing paper, a research project based on my volunteer work this term. My focus has been on drug addiction. I spent a large portion of my teen and adult life dependent on meth. I went to outpatient treatment (rehab) and it helped me grow so much as an individual. I wanted to give back, and help others who were struggling in their addiction. I finally made the decision to stop using drugs, after a long twenty year addiction, because this was the life I had led everyone I was associated with were also current meth users. People I considered family were now almost enemies, then I met someone I wanted to be with in a relationship who had never been involved in drugs or alcohol. She was the one that asked me to enter outpatient treatment. I of course did not feel I needed it, and had heard negative stories about treatment, but eventually I chose to do it for myself and my relationship.

Since I had such a long addiction I was asked to go four days a week, which I never thought I would make it through, by the time I stopped going I was down to only a couple days a week. I believe that I was given the tools to help me continue down a road of a drug free life; now almost three years clean and sober. I decided to become a sponsor and volunteer my time to go to meetings, and be support for someone who has now outside support. I take calls whenever she feels that she needs someone to talk to, or feels like relapsing, I also go to meetings with her as recovering addicts have a hard time being motivated without someone there to help them to do it.

I feel that if the community comes together to try and help the people who suffer from current addiction, instead of turning our back on people, but show them how much better life can be without being dependent on drugs we can have a healthier more stable community. As a community we need to view current addicts as people who are ill, and need therapy along with a support system. This is a big reason why most stay in their addiction, there is nobody to help and support them. The question is how do we, as a community, help addicts to become clean.

If you are interested in volunteering here is a website: Volunteers of America have some resources to help volunteer. www.voa.org

Works Cited

Brys, S. (2014). The addict who became mayor. Addiction Professional, 40.

Mandal, B. K. (2013). A relationship between drug abuse and crime. Anil Aggrawal’s Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology.

Mann, D. (2014, July 18). A Long Recvery. Mail Tribune. Medford , Oregon.

The Public Writing

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

My name is Lisa Pritchard, and I would like to take a couple minutes of your time to address a couple concerns of mine. I am currently doing a research paper for a writing class at PCC and my project for the term has been volunteering as a sponsor for a recovering drug addict. I am trying to help educate the community on how to help current addicts become, and stay, clean and sober.

One thing that is still a big problem in Portland is that there is not enough treatment facilities that people can go to that does not either require a large amount of money, or a long waiting list. Even to get into detox facilities, such as Hooper, there is usually at least a 24-72 hour waiting list. I believe that this discourages people from getting clean or gives them a chance to change their minds.

 I personally would like to get involved and help to make this all possible. I am willing to help organize fundraisers to raise money to expand these buildings, or move to a bigger building. What I would like to know from you is how I can help to make this possible?

It would be a great help to those in need, and our community if these facilities could house more patients, or the buildings were larger to where if someone wanted help then they could actually get it.

Thank you for taking your time to read my letter, and maybe taking it into consideration.

Lisa Pritchard





One comment

  1. Julia Thorson


    You have a very touching research project. I worked in healthcare for over eleven years and saw a number of addicts come through our door. It was always sad to me that there was not more that we could do to help them. Many would end up coming back because they did not have any support to stay clean and sober. Fortunately there are programs like NA and AA that will help anyone that asks for the help.

    The works that you sited seem interesting, but I was hoping to know more about each article. I also liked your letter to Governor Kitzhaber. I agree that more facility space is needed, but I also think that raising the minimum wage in the state would help. People struggling with addiction should be struggling to pay their bills as well. All in all it is a good post with a very touching personal story.

    Thank you,

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