ASHTABULA, Ohio — The holidays can be a difficult time for many, including those struggling with addiction.
Thankfully, community resources provide support to those who may not have family or friends to help them make it through the holidays.
“I come every week,” said Braeden White, who’s at the BrightView Ashtabula Recovery Addiction Treatment Center. “I been coming every week. I love it man. It saved my life.”
Inside BrightView Ashtabula Addiction Treatment Center, White says he has found his safe haven again.
“BrightView for instance for me is like my number one go-to because I can come here whether I’m broke, or homeless or I don’t have nothing,” said White.
It’s also a place White says he can receive support during difficult times like the holidays.
“With addiction and stuff, I’ve lost a lot of connections with family,” said Braeden White.
But now White has met people like Kerri Lister, who can relate firsthand to the pain Braeden White once felt in his heart.
“I mean it means the world to me because when I was drinking and using, I didn’t have anybody,” said Lister, who’s at BrightView Ashtabula Recovery Addiction Treatment Center. “Like last Thanksgiving, I think I was all alone, like feeling sorry for myself.”
Yet this year, Lister says she’s grateful to still be alive, and share her story as an inspiration to others.
“I can see God working in my life, and BrightView is amazing,” said Lister.
As a Community Outreach Manager at the treatment center, Jewel White says the holidays can trigger people like Lister and Braeden White if they’re around drugs and alcohol during different events.
“Also, there’s a lot of stress around the holidays with buying gifts and having to pay for travel, traveling just to see family members and things like that, so there’s a lot of different reasons,” said Community Outreach Manager, Jewel White.
Jewel White encourages those struggling to set boundaries and give themselves grace.
Meanwhile, she reminds loved ones to be present and to consider hosting substance-free events.
“I think that goes such a far way with individuals that are in recovery. It’s just having a support system that they can lean on,” said Jewel White.
Watch live and local news any time:
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.