“What began at age 12 as sneaking beer with his friends had become, two decades later, a physical dependency.
Typically an outgoing, insightful person, Erick had become isolated and depressed when he was in active addiction.
One night, he was arrested as part of Operation Helping Hand, a law enforcement initiative in which officers play an active role in connecting individuals suffering from opioid addiction with treatment, recovery and support services.
At the police station, Erick spoke to Maria Alvarez, who said to him ‘This is what it’s like now, and this is what it can be.’
Erick says that his arrest was the push he needed to begin the process of recovery,
Erick entered a detox facility and then residential treatment. The program was highly structured, and Erick responded well to the intensive treatment. After he completed the program, he moved to New York and started rebuilding his life.
He is still in touch with Maria, and says they’ve built a trusting relationship and a friendship.”
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Taken from the Children’s Aid and Family Services website