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Brittany C. began her recovery journey with CODAC after being released from the Crisis Response Center for suicidal thoughts in 2006. Her mental health and substance use history had her cycling in and out of treatment facilities and feeling depressed, angry and isolated.

"I was a mess and I refused to admit that there was anything wrong with me," she shares.

For a long time, Brittany struggled to figure out exactly what was going on with her mind and emotions. Eventually, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder that she had been attempting to manage through drug use.

Brittany began treatment at Las Amigas, CODAC's Residential Treatment Program for women with substance use disorders. With the right combination of medications, therapy and support, she began to feel more stable.

"The staff made me feel cared for as a person. My recovery coach helped me find resources, held me accountable and saw something in me that I didn't know was there," she says. With the guidance of her Recovery Coach, Brittany was provided tools to better manage her life. These included bus passes (to get to her to treatment sites, appointments, and to find employment), support finding a job, and even permanent housing.

"Setbacks, like the threat of eviction, really held me back and sometimes caused me to relapse," shares Brittany.

"It's so much easier to stay sober when you have help keeping a roof over your head."

Brittany is feeling more confident as she moves forward in her life. She is now employed at a local fast food restaurant and regularly attends outpatient support groups and therapy. She is navigating the next steps to regain custody of her oldest daughter and just recently gave birth to her second child.

"CODAC has wrapped their arms around me and supported me with primary care, case management, medication management, family and job support. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me and it's been a long time since I have felt hope," she says.

CODAC Member Stephanie O. (C) celebrates her commencement from the Drug Alternative to Prison Program (DTAP) program.

"It wasn't that many years ago that your drug of choice was your friend — then your best friend — then your only friend — then your worst nightmare," says Chief Probation Officer David Sanders to the fourteen graduates of the Drug Court and Drug Alternative to Prison (DTAP) programs on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

A room filled with friends, family, sponsors, and supportive community members celebrated this important occasion. Among the graduating group were three CODAC members completing their DTAP requirements.

Programs such as this allow offenders to break the cycle of repeated incarceration by seeking intensive drug treatment alongside wraparound support services, which includes obtaining higher education, job training, transitional housing support, probation monitoring and regular court hearings. This allows members to address the root issues of their addiction, fulfill legal requirements and become productive members of the community.

Since the program's implementation in 2007, there have been 400 graduates. Sanders states that clients involved in these programs stay in treatment longer than others and face a 40% lower chance of recidivism.

Opening speaker and CODAC Peer Support Specialist Michael Kennedy is living proof.

"Prior to joining DTAP, the only thing I could do for six years consecutively is a prison sentence," he shares. Michael was in the first graduating class of the DTAP program and now gives back to those affected by addiction through peer support.

The three CODAC members who commenced from the program have also made significant strides in their recovery since starting DTAP.

"This program has a treatment-first approach that has given them the opportunity to heal and grow from their past rather than face incarceration. All three of these women have successfully reunited with their families, have independent housing, and are giving back to the community," shares Recovery Coach Rebekah Sewing.

A network of providers sets up clients for success. Through their own hard work, they are supported by a team consisting of their probation officer, treatment providers, attorneys, and judges.

"Each of them worked hard each day to get to this point. It was a joy and an honor to be a part of their recovery journey," Rebekah says.

Angela, Peer Support SupervisorAngela Moore recognizes the importance of seeing the whole person when working in the field of recovery support -- not just a label.

"There is more to my identity than being an addict," she says.

For Angela, learning the value of her self-worth ignited the determination she needed to tackle a fourteen-year battle with drug addiction.

Now three years sober, Angela was recently promoted to Peer Support Supervisor at CODAC's Cobblestone Court site. She oversees a team of six peer support staff and has the first-hand experience that allows her to excel at providing compassionate, trauma-informed support.

"When you come for help or services, it is critical that you are able to connect with someone on an intimate level of having really understood your experience," says Angela.

Her personal struggles with addiction, trauma, and homelessness are no longer barriers; they now create a pathway for open communication and a safe space to nurture and guide others who are in similar situations.

Having been on the other side of that desk herself, Angela remembers what helped her the most when beginning her journey.

"I learned many different tools from many different programs throughout that time and I never realized that I had to apply those tools outside of the recovery room. I learned from the other people who had years of sobriety," she says.

Though she never intended to pursue a career in peer support, Angela shares that there are many rewards that come with this type of job.

"There are times when I can see that a member is really listening and has absorbed what was said. You can literally see a shift in them when they really feel that they can change," she says.

Angela is motivated by supporting members through these positive changes because she knows first-hand that change is possible.

"Anyone can listen, but when someone absorbs what is being said to them, a seed is planted that recovery is possible for them too."

Tippy Atkins, Recovery Support Coordinator, commends Angela for her tireless dedication to CODAC.  "From day one, Angela has been so dedicated to this organization. It has been amazing to see her growth in such a short time both professionally and personally," says Tippy.

More about Angela:

  • Angela is a proud mother to her ten-year-old daughter Lexi.
  • She is a licensed nail technician and enjoys being creative with fun nail designs when she isn't working at CODAC.
  • Angela enjoys watching cartoons as a form of self-care and stress relief. Her personal favorite is "SpongeBob SquarePants."