Addiction Rehab: Before & After Pictures & Stories

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Peace Valley Recovery is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to provide patient-centered care that focuses on healing and recovery from addiction. This blog provides information, news, and uplifting content to help people in their recovery journey.

Authored by Elliott Redwine, | Medically Reviewed by Peace Valley Recovery Editorial Staff,
Last Updated: March 5, 2023

Substance addiction, medically termed as substance use disorder (SUD), and defined as a “chronic, relapsing brain disorder,” continues to prematurely take the lives of U.S. citizens, and it doesn’t care if the lives it takes were people initially lost in a bottle of liquor, or in a joint laced unscrupulously with meth, or even in a painkilling prescription from their family physician.

The only thing that appears to matter to the ogre of addiction is that the lives were there to be taken in the first place. If there is nothing to prevent the ogre’s will – no moment of clarity for the sufferer, no intervention by family, no health insurance or personal savings to cover the cost of rehab, and no other unavoidable circumstances – the end result is, sadly, stacked in its favor.

The ogre wins again.

However, although substance addiction can never be cured per se, it can certainly be defeated, as the inspiring personal stories of triumph over its adversity described here later will testify. The ogre doesn’t always win. Remember, there is always hope.

“I used and abused just about everything possible, from huffing paint to prescription pills to liquor – everything except a needle. In the end, my main addictions were alcohol, and cocaine, and ecstasy to give me the ability to drink longer.” – Terin DeVoto, now the Executive Director of Purpose House Sober Living, in Fort Collins, CO.

Yes, addiction can be fatal, but hope never dies when someone is provided with the care, support, and access to the professional addiction treatment they will need to fight such an ogre, and to come out victorious. Not cured, no, but victorious nonetheless.

Pennsylvania in a Time of Corona

Here in Pennsylvania, just as in every other state in the U.S., the national opioid epidemic was still actually being fought when coronavirus (or “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2,” aka SARS-CoV-2, to be medically exact) arrived on American shores.

Terin Before and After Alcohol Rehab

Source: Used with the kind permission of Terin DeVoto

The social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in more isolation for all, including the addicted, and those desperate for recovery, rising rates of anxiety and depression, job losses, furloughs and foreclosures, and, as many addiction industry experts foresaw and forewarned, a deeply troubling spike in fatal drug overdoses across the nation – Pennsylvania included.

Coronavirus: Feeding the Ogre of Addiction

The effect of focusing the nation’s efforts on controlling the virus has been to the detriment of evidence-based opioid addiction treatment. Make no mistake – coronavirus has been feeding the ogre, and, until something is done to redress the balance, it has made it stronger.

Only a few months ago, the American Medical Association released an urgent national brief, using data compiled from the U.S. Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), which collects real-time overdose numbers. The brief was blunt. In at least 40 states, including Pennsylvania, suspected drug overdoses across the nation had risen by almost a fifth (18%) from March, 2020 onwards, when compared with data from before the coronavirus arrived.

rehab and coronavirus

In western Pennsylvania, the high rate of overdoses, including those that prove fatal, are now mirroring what was happening at the height of the opioid epidemic in 2017. For example, in Beaver County, the corona effect has been devastating – fatal overdoses have spiked by 30% from the first 3 months of the year.

The county’s District Attorney David Lozier recently spoke about how people’s mental wellbeing, including rates of opioid use and addiction, was now a huge, ongoing concern: “COVID has sucked the wind out of every other issue. Now this year, the [overdose] numbers are going up like 2016 and the first half of 2017. We’re seeing an increase in domestic violence, Childline and child abuse calls, a worsening mental health picture, and worsening drug and alcohol pictures.”

In Pennsylvania, much like the rest of the nation, it’s not a vista that is going to be changing dramatically anytime soon, with or without an approved vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.