‘I believe in miracles’: Recovering addict reflects on journey during National Recovery Month

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Karen Elmore battled with drug and alcohol addiction since the age of 13.

“I was always fighting the disease of addiction. I always wanted that next best high,” Elmore said.

For decades, Elmore says she could not take care of her kids or maintain a job because she was always fighting the disease of addiction.

“I can remember when my mom was dying and that couldn’t get me sober,” Elmore said. “That was probably
the worst I had ever been. I guess just to know I was about to lose her. I just could stop.”

Her struggles with addiction lasted for 37 years until she started her journey on the road to recovery.

“I went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting on Aug. 24, 2015… I had no intentions of staying …
that’s not how that went,” Elmore said.

Six years later, Elmore is now a Certified Support Recovery Specialist with People Engaging in Recovery, an organization that helps others who are on the similar journey Elmore once traveled.

PIER, FAVOR Coastal Alabama, and the Drug Education Council are some of the many resources
available here in Mobile. These resources are just a few of the many willing and ready to assist those struggling to overcome addiction.

Jane-Bartlett Pappas with the Drug Education Council says these organizations come together monthly to come up with ideas to better serve those who are suffering from addiction.

“Locally, about 1 and 10 are affected by a substance abuse disorder,” Pappas said. “Everyone is touched by addiction in some way whether that’s a parent, a sibling, a spouse.”

Derrick Tinsley is the Executive Director of PIER. Tinsley says many of their employees, including himself, previously battled with substance abuse. Being able to relate to those who are in need of their assistance helps them bridge the gap.

“Were people who have now experienced long-term recovery,” said Tinsley. “We share our experience, educate, and provide hope to those individuals seeking the process.”

As National Recovery Month comes to an end, those seeking to walk on the road of recovery should know — you are not alone.

“I’ve never been anybody’s lifeline. Today, I’m somebody’s lifeline. How? It’s just a miracle. You know people say they don’t believe in miracles? Well, I believe in miracles,” Elmore said.

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