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Success stories navigating the holidays while recovering from addiction

Statewide campaign encouraging people to get help by eliminating stigma
Posted at 6:45 PM, Dec 21, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — About 80,000 adults in Colorado reported not getting needed substance use treatment in 2021, according to a state health access survey.

There's where 'Lift the Label' campaign comes in. Dozens of people share their success stories in hopes to eliminate stigma around getting addiction treatment.

Kaley Jones is 13 years sober.

"If we don't hear or see what recovery looks like, it makes it look like its something that's totally unattainable and that's just not true," said Jones.

Jones grew up in Colorado Springs. She started using Oxy then Heroin in high school. "I used it every single day until I became sober at 19 and I never thought I had a problem."

She said she owes her life to her parents for getting her into addiction recovery treatment.

"I can't even imagine what desolate space I would be in or I wouldn't be alive," said Jones. "From my high school I think, if I'm right, maybe about 11 people have died as a result of heroin abuse."

The holiday season can be tough for those going through recovery, as built up stress can lead to a relapse, said staff at Peak Vista Behavioral Health in Colorado Springs.

"You're around family, it's a busy time of year, it's financially costly, so there are so many things happening that could trigger substance use," said the behavioral health director Sharon Oates.

Jones said it took years to feel comfortable decorating and celebrating with family during the holidays.

"My family's still feeling unsure about my recovery or angry or sad or experiencing grief from how I showed up in holidays past," said Jones.

She said patience, support and understanding goes along way during this time of year.

The Colorado Behavioral Health Administration has a program to help people find treatment near them. Click here. Nearly 265,000 people used the site since it launched a year ago.

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