My name is Mark Vick, and I am a person in recovery from a substance use disorder. For me, that means I haven’t taken a drink, drug, or other mind altering substance since May 27, 2015. Since that time, my life is no longer unmanageable and has never been better! I have regained the respect of my family and professional colleagues.

I started regularly drinking at the age of 15. I was popular and a successful athlete and student, and got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees immediately after high school. I was a so-called ‘All-American guy’.

I then worked professionally as a men’s basketball staff member at a couple NCAA Division 1 institutions. One of our teams made the March Madness Tournament, and I mentored four future NBA players.

All the while, my life was growing into something unmanageable, without a clear reason why. Even though I drank nearly every night, I didn’t see the connection. As a divorced man with no kids, I still rationalized I deserved my “me time.” I worked hard, so I drank just as hard.

Bosses and family members brought attention to my excessive drinking, but I continued. I lost jobs and friends. After a while, I was working road construction for $9 an hour and as a bouncer at a small-town bar. This was just two short years after coaching games on ESPN.

Mark VickThe picture attached is of a Trailblazer that I totaled while drinking in February, 2015. As scary as that may have been, this still wasn’t the end of my drinking. I needed a few more months of research to figure out I had a problem and needed help. For me, will power wasn’t enough!

I am now a recovery coach with Northern Michigan Substance Abuse Services (NMSAS). I have collected over 50 Continuing Education Units in substance use disorder advocacy. I’ve worked with and been mentored by nationally renowned advocates, and I am working to become a certified peer recovery mentor.

I’m am thankful to my Higher Power. Connecting to a spiritual source, as well as to like-minded individuals, has saved me. I now can help others who struggle. This is what peer recovery support services does. In my opinion, PRSS is the best and most effective way for people like us to recover. People like us includes people that are most often described by using insensitive and stigma-perpetuating terms like: druggies, pill-heads, junkies, and drunks.

Many disagree on whether our issue is a disease or a choice, but either way someone feels the stigma. Hurtful terms create barriers to recovery and end up contributing to the 144 American lives lost everyday! I ask all to please be sensitive and educate yourself before making such statements.

Mark VickIt is very liberating to share my experience. I now aim to carry a message of hope. Recovery is possible. I want to say this to those who are struggling or have a loved one who is struggling. My family is now starting a new community friendly business. We’re bringing excitement, energy and hope to our hometown, which has been struggling since the most recent recession.

Love to all who have supported me over the past two years!

Comments

  • Arenacs

    Thanks for sharing that Mark. My dad was an alcoholic and he finally quit drinking for good (made several attempts) when he was in his late 50s. Was always proud of him for that because once he figured out what it was, the effort he put in before stopping was awesome to me. And I told him that a few years before he passed. His response? “Well,you know. Thanks.”

  • Hi Mark. Thanks for sharing and glad you’re doing well. What types of continuing education classes have you taken? So you’re a recovery and mental health coach now. Are you a PRSS Peer Recovery Support Specialist or is that what you’re getting certified as?

    I think you are spot on in your opinion that Peer Recovery Support Services are very effective in helping people recover. Individualized services and treatment plans with long term accountability and support are key to increasing recovery success rates.

    We need to spread the word that traditional treatment such as residential Rehabs / inpatient treatment centers are not effective – particularly without a continuing care plan.

    If you are a parent out there with a loved one in addiction, look beyond regular cookie cutter rehab. Its a waste of time and money because 90% of people relapse after rehab, many within days or weeks.

    They have a Bubble around them where they are away from responsibilities, environmental stressors, and other triggers to relapse and they build up a false confidence but when they discharge its right back to life problems and they cAn’t handke it.

    Having an individualized treatment plan would dramatically reduce relapse rates. A sober companion helps you adjust fir a few days keeping you safe from relapse while you practice living sober life in the real world.

    Then a recovery coach comes in to help you create a plan for success, takes you to meetings and suppirt groups, helps you connect with potential mentors, soonsors, and friends and coordinates other aspects of your recovery plan like therapy, outpatient groups, medication and psychiatrist visits, drug testing and monitoring and other services or resources that could benefit you in your recovery process. We typically start treatment out more intensive and then transition through 3 phases of outpatient treatment and recovery support services.

    This plan and these types of recovery programs have shown to have about a 90% success rate, and you can see why it is so effective.

    Contact us at Recovery Solution and we will help you create a customized Sober Success Plan. Talk to someone before making the decision to send a child or other loved one to treatment. We can help you assess their need. Maybe they need detox, or a week or two weeks to stabilize but then get right into a treatment plan customized to meet needs and preferences and create a platform for optimal recovery. Maybe they would benefit from ibogaine treatment for heroin addiction and detox- we could accompany them to Costa Rica for treatment while working on their sober succes plan.

    You could get a year of jndividualized, one on one, evidence based outpatient treatment for the highest proven long-term recovery success rates for less than a month at most treatment centers. Individualized treatment is more cost-effective and successful

    Recovery Solution in Dallas, TX provides Peer Recovery Support Services, which combine a number or treatment approaches so that you have an arsenal of weapons and tools to battle addiction along with a support team to manage your recovery, keep you accountable, help you with errands and taking care of needs, showing you different types of support groups, introducing you to people in recovery, and keeping you well in 7 different dimensions to reduce your desire to drink or use as well as creating an atmosphere conducive to maintaining success and balance in life.

    Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Environmental, Social, Occupational, and Emotional Wellness are evaluated for strengths and weaknesses and a Recovery Coach helps you address each of these aspects to get you where you need to be to maximize your potential.

    Recovery Coaching, Sober Companions and Escorts, Sober Monitoring and Drug Testing, Interventions, Extractions, Individualized Addiction Treatment Programs and Services. Based in Dallas, Texas but many services available Nationally and Internationally.

    Contact Recovery Solution today at http://www.recoverysolution.org
    469-556-4597