Addiction Series: Drug and Alcohol

The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates ten percent of Americans have a drug or alcohol problem.

The institute estimates only about two percent of users actually seek treatment. "Barbara" who doesn't want her identity revealed is part of the two percent and says sobriety has given her a second chance at life.

Barbara is a mom, a daughter and a friend. She's also a recovering alcoholic.

It was 27 years ago this August, her life changed forever.

"I cracked open a Coors Light on a hot summer day and I looked at the beer and I said I can't do this anymore," Barbara says.

The night before, Barbara says she disappointed the one person that meant the most to her,her grandmother. She was supposed to stay with her, but instead stayed out partying all night with friends.

She still remembers the date, August 19th, as her "rock bottom."

"Which can be combination of physical, emotional, spirtual devastation, it's the one day the turning point where you just become sick and tired of being sick and tired," Barbara says.

The first person she told was her father, who was a recovering alcoholic.

After barbara admitted it to herself and her father, she went to her first A.A. meeting.

"You go to a meeting and you have to admit you're an alcoholic outloud, I mean it was a horrifying thing for me to have to say," Barbara says.

As she started to get sober, Barbara says her dreams, her ambitions started to be come clear, something she hadn't had when she was drinking and partying.

"When I first got sober I would have little snipits of serenity, I would go oh gosh what's that, that's scary nothing's happening, oh that's serenity I get that," Barbara says.

She says one of the hardest parts about getting sober is learning about yourself and learning to love yourself.

"You take away your pacificer and woo some raw stuff can come out, you better put on your big girl pants and be ready to deal with your pain," Barbara says.

After barbara made the commitment to get sober, she started asking herself how she could be of service, how she could help others, what decisions she could make that were the best for herself.

She is now a mother of two, and she's extremely successful in her career.

"It's not a battle anymore, it's an awareness," Barbara says.

She's thankful she was given another chance, a chance to get sober.

"I'm really grateful and I'm really humbled that I got to feel this in my lifetime when so many other people in my life that i know and care about aren't alive anymore or they're living on the street. I believe we all came here with lessons to learn, and i can't wait for the rest of the lessons," says Barbara.

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