Drug Rehab 2021 Round 2 – Greed, addiction and education

Name: jessica hurlbert

Greed, addiction and education


Hello! My name is Jessie. I am a single Mom of a 12 year old son. After much struggle, I am now in recovery from an addiction to opioids. Currently I am in school working toward my Masters in Social Work. I plan on addiction recovery as my career path and will be also seeking LADC credentials. The road to this positive time in my life has not been easy. It has been a rough road flawed with my many poor choices. I struggle with substance use disorder and borderline personality disorder. Like many addicts I started drinking alcohol and smoking pot in high school. Then I went to harder drugs thru college and during my twenties. I was however able to be functional. I had a good job, a house and car, a boyfriend and then my son. Only to loose it all. About five years ago I received a drug possession charge and a OUI. I was put on probation and was ordered to attend the local drug court program. While in the court program I received a probation violation and was sent to jail for 3 months. Having to leave my son and face my family with all this was humiliating and painful. While in jail I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. This made some sense of the chaotic life and unstable relationships I had developed. 


 Upon my release I started seeing a counselor and learning more about my dual diagnosis. I have found a LADC/counselor that I really connect with. I have been seeing her regularly now for 3 years. She is a big believer in the healing quality of yoga and got me hooked. She has a group called called sober yogis. I am very committed to my yoga, hot yoga, or pilates. I also started going to AA meetings in my home town and organized a “young peoples” meeting on Sunday nights. It has been running for 2 years now and even thru the pandemic thanks to zoom. The 12 steps of AA have turned my life around and showed me how to lead a better life and helps me curtail my borderline personality. I chose to begin working in the addiction field as I knew my experience could benefit others and it would also help with my own sobriety. I am a volunteer for a local organization called “Chucky’s Fight”.Chucky (who lost 2 sons to overdose) runs a non-profit to raise funds for those seeking sober living in our community.I also host a podcast called “I am a heroin addict”, which spotlights the recovering addict and their journey to a better life. 


My previous college degree is a BS in business from UNH, not really applicable to my work. So I decided to go for it and go back to school at UNH for the Masters in social work and also get my licensed drug and alcohol credentials. This program is lengthy and expensive. Three years at 20,000 per year. I am excited to be entering my third and final year with a 3.9 GPA.I will be graduating with a heavy debt and my career path of addiction/recovery does not necessarily generate the salary needed to recoup this cost. I would be very grateful for your scholarship help. Gratitude is a big part of AA and my life today.  


I would be happy to share my story with anyone in hopes of encouragement. Recovery is possible.  


The nations drug epidemic is ultimately fueled simply by greed. Greed begins with suppliers such as big pharma for producing and using misleading advertising to market drugs. Followed by the greed of the drug dealers and drug cartels for distributing drugs illegally for profit. And, finally the greed of the consumer searching for a temporary, artificial high.
The consequences of this temporary escape provided by opiates, alcohol, marijuana or other mind altering substances is addiction. The phenomenon of craving develops and obtaining the drug of choice becomes a priority for the individual which spreads throughout society. The addicted individual develops a persona of taking from society instead of giving of oneself. But the question here is also why does addiction affect only some individuals while others can turn a blind eye and live an addiction free life?
A possible answer and remedy is treating addiction as a disease and not a moral failing. To offer treatment to the addict instead of incarceration. Yes, law enforcement plays an important role in chasing down illegal selling of drugs. The U.S. government has a role on a national and corporate level by punishing big pharma for the part they play, especially the misleading advertising about addiction statistics. But the disease model must be used in treating the addicted individual. Education of physical and mental addiction can help an addict rise above this lifestyle. Education can also save many by helping someone avoid taking that first drug or drink and managing life stress in healthy ways.
I am excited to be entering the final year of my MSW program which will be followed by a career in addiction recovery. I know firsthand the devastation addiction created in my early life. It brought me to a very dark place and I hope I can help others benefit from my experience and the strength to recover.