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Georgia Stories > Community > Maddy's Journey to Recovery and Resilience

Maddy's Journey to Recovery and Resilience

Overcoming Substance Use Disorder, Embracing Mental Health, and Finding Hope in Georgia
6 Oct 2023

Maddy wanted to be a musician. She’s always been a sensitive person, but her family said, “Gotta be tough.” She felt alone in her feelings, and like she had to tune them out.


She used substances to help cope—but still, she felt like there was no way out. She also had a hard time making the connection between her mental health and her substance use disorder (SUD). “I thought I’d just like to party. But it took getting involved in the recovery community and them reaching out to me and making me understand it’s not the same. For me, my life falls apart when I use. It’s not fun for me.”


Many Georgians who develop SUD report high rates of co-occurring mental illness and have a similar experience when they use substances to Maddy’s. Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) saved Maddy’s life and started her recovery journey. “I was on it for about four months and it just gave me enough time to stay alive—to realize I wanted to stay alive,” she says. MOUD is life-saving, effective, and FDA-approved.


People can and do recover. Maddy’s experience changed her attitudes and learned what’s possible for her and for others. “Most of my life I thought once you pass certain thresholds, you just do not come back from it. When you’re in, it feels like there’s no way out. But there definitely is. It’s mind-blowing sometimes realizing how much opportunity and life I still have left.” These days she’s feeling hopeful and she’s feeling loved. “I’m not going to toot my own horn here, but I’ve been pretty fearless the past year with my ambitions, and I’ve had a lot of people let me know they love me and they’re still going to be here for me.”


Learn more at #GARecovers #GARecoversTogether



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Georgia Recovers is a campaign brought to you by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) in partnership with Shatterproof, a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (Tax ID #45-4619712) under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

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