Making a Brand New Ending: The Road to Recovery from Substance Abuse and Addiction

Perhaps the poet Carl Bard said it best. “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

We wake up one day and wonder how we got to be in such a place. How the cards fell in such a way that we found ourselves standing somewhere we never thought possible. Sometimes the place is where we hoped to go. Other times, it feels more like the bottom of a big hole, with loose dirt and crumbling rock impeding our upward progress. When we face these times, many of us rely on the love and understanding of those we trust, and the support and resources within our communities. But what happens if you don’t have someone to trust in your life, or don’t know where to receive help in your community?

According to the Curran-Seeley Foundation, "substance abuse can affect anyone: any age, any education, any income, any profession, any race or religion.” With such widespread possibility, the Curran-Seeley Foundation combats the substance abuse problem in Teton County, Wyoming through education, understanding, and support. Their outpatient services include programming for all stages of addiction, including aftercare or continuing care, so that those in recovery have a support system for maintaining and mastering their sobriety.

“Fighting addiction on the street is almost impossible,” says Spread the Love Commission Executive Director, Wren Fialka. “We have lost some of our dearest clients because they are not able to get the help they need in time or can not get into the proper housing for follow up care. Addiction takes away your hope and without a support system like a family there is no motivation to endure the very painful withdrawals to get clean. They don’t see a better life waiting for them. Until there is financial support for housing first initiatives, safer and more inclusive shelters, a stop to encampment sweeps and supported encampments, more comprehensive addiction programs with follow up support and housing this problem will keep killing and endangering our unhoused.”

Spread the Love Commission, founded in 2014, works to bridge the gap between those who need help, and those who want to give help by providing compassion, connection, and vital supplies. They believe that by providing understanding and support for those facing hardships, they can start to heal the crisis from the inside out.

Maintaining sobriety after you have received help can be the crux of substance abuse recovery. Many don’t have a stable home life or family, and others find they need a longer period of structured care to truly get back on their feet, especially if they’re navigating mental health and addiction.

“The transitional program, called the Discipleship Recovery Program, is a twelve-month program. 30% of the people that come to us report addiction is their leading cause for homelessness. These are people who have just gone so deep into drug and alcohol use that they realize they need more than 90 days. They need intensive care re-purposing in their life. And a lot of that is a process of really unpacking for many of our folks, a great deal of deep childhood woundedness and trauma,” says Brad Hopkins, Executive Director of the Wyoming Rescue Mission. The Wyoming Rescue Mission offers an emergency shelter, and a recently-expanded Discipleship Recovery Program facility, as well as hot meals and job skills training.

True rehabilitation isn’t a result of sobriety alone. People also need a safe and consistent place to sleep, the ability to procure a suitable income to afford expenses, and the right people in their life to keep them motivated. In Fremont County, Wyoming, these ingredients for recovery can be found at Eagles Hope Transitions. Offering meetings such as Wellbriety and AA, and training such as financial management training, job readiness, and life skills classes, Eagles Hope Transitions hopes to provide a well-rounded, maintainable plan to transition patrons back into their families or society.

“Substance abuse recovery may start with the individual, but it takes a caring, compassionate, and supportive community to have a lasting effect. The Hughes Charitable Foundation is proud to support organizations who not only work with the individuals, but within the communities to provide the resources and connections people need to set themselves on the path to lifelong recovery,” says Molly Hughes, Executive Director of the Hughes Charitable Foundation.


Now is the time to start your path to recovery, or to spread your compassion and support for those facing the hardships of substance abuse. Together, we can take that first step. Together, we can regain stability, and together we can make a brand new ending.