Former Addict Now Serves Others

Mar 5, 2019

Anthony was in his 20s when he started drinking. It was common in his world, and he started drinking every day. “It’s just what everyone did,” he said. And then he turned to illegal substances – like crack cocaine. And then his life spiraled out of control.

Before he knew it, Anthony was in his 30s and using, manufacturing and selling crack cocaine. “There were no consequences,” he said. “Until there were.” He eventually turned to committing crimes to maintain his habit. Eventually, Anthony landed in jail several times charged with manufacturing, selling or possession of drugs. He was in a gang and was shot at, stabbed and almost kidnapped.

The realities of Anthony’s life hit him pretty hard. He spent the next 20 years of his life in and out of treatment facilities all over the country. “I have been to 11 different facilities,” he said. “But I was never sober for more than a year until 2013. Then I went to The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center.”

The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center helps men battling addiction work through their issues and provides them with a solid basis to base their sobriety on. During treatment, clients live at The Harbor Light Center, receive all meals and attend therapy sessions, classes and group activities. Clients can stay at Harbor Light for up to four years as they move through the treatment program.

Anthony was sober for four and a half years until his mother died. “In the midst of my grief, I started using again.”

But he entered a program and got clean again.  And today he works for The Salvation Army mentoring teens and overseeing the youth programs on the weekend. He also works for Heartland Alliance working with individuals overcoming substance abuse. “One of the cornerstones of my sobriety is I have to step out of myself and serve others. I have to be unselfish.”

The Salvation Army helps more than 1,200 people obtain and maintain sobriety every year through the Harbor Light Center and Adult Rehabilitation Centers. Learn more about our programs and how you can help.

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