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Ralph’s story

Thursday, January 14, 2021

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“Without CCC, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d be in jail or I’d be dead.”

Client Ralph smiling for camera

Not that long ago, Ralph was hooked on meth and alcohol — and running out of chances with his family. He’d tried to detox before, but hospital-based programs never stuck. Today, he’s in recovery and has a good job making COVID-19 face shields for local hospital workers.

Ralph says Central City Concern’s Recovery Mentor Program and his treatment counselor, Bobby Tsow, made all the difference. “Without CCC, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d be in jail or I’d be dead.”

The process for Ralph started at CCC’s Hooper Detoxification Stabilization Center, where he spent 10 days withdrawing from substance use while receiving around-the-clock care. From there, a peer mentor drove Ralph to CCC’s Madrona Studios, a supportive housing environment where he lived while receiving intensive outpatient therapy at the CCC Recovery Center.

For the next four months, Ralph worked hard toward recovery – this time, with the long-term support he had been missing. “He was hungry for recovery and a new way of living – open, teachable and willing,” Bobby says.

Ralph connected with his recovery program mentor every day, participated in support groups and attended daily meetings of Narcotics Anonymous. He also got his health back on track with primary care treatment at Old Town Clinic, mental health therapy and regular counseling sessions with Bobby.

Ralph learned to develop new tools for coping with anger, stress and thoughts of using. He found purpose through the CCC Community Volunteer Corps, where he was able to give back to the community after feeling like a “taker” for so long.

When the coronavirus pandemic put an end to in-person gatherings, it could have damaged the social connections that were critical to Ralph’s recovery. But CCC adapted.

Most of Ralph’s counseling sessions with Bobby moved to the phone instead of face-to-face, and his regular recovery meetings went virtual. He had a phone list of supporters to call on, a mentor, Zoom meetings and the groundwork for sobriety he’d already laid. He didn’t feel alone.

When he graduated from treatment in April of 2020, Ralph had a quiet ceremony — just him and Bobby. But he still felt proud. He knew he’d met a big goal.

After his graduation, a member of the recovery program helped Ralph look for steady work. He worked with an employment specialist at CCC’s Employment Access Center to put together a professional resume, and he landed the job.

Now, he works the night shift at a company that makes face shields for front-line hospital workers. “I’m in a position to reach out and help others,” he says.

And, after so many false starts, Ralph says it feels good to know he’s not alone. “I have my life back.”

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