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Recovery tale: Rise from addiction victim to crusader for patients

Recovery tale: Rise from addiction victim to crusader for patients

It is common knowledge how addiction can turn into a curse or anathema in one’s life. Given the severe consequences of addiction, it becomes quite challenging to recover from addiction. However, a lucky few are able to recover successfully from this complicated condition and begin leading a healthy life. One such stellar example for others is Bev Harvey, a woman who once fought a tough battle against her substance abuse problems.

Reportedly, she went through the vicissitudes of a residential school and successfully overcame the hurdles like low self-esteem, defeatism, suicidal ideation, etc. She received the Helping Hands Hope award for supporting the youth and bringing changes in mental health by the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba.

Harvey, now working as an elder and cultural advisor, offers support to young girls at the Dauphin Friendship Centre. Apart from her volunteer work at her local food bank, she is also a volunteer with the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba. It has not been an easy ride for Harvey due to her long tussle with depression, trauma and relapse. However, after conquering her substance abuse problems, she has been able to find love, respect herself, and quit alcohol and drugs.

She aims to spread the message among people that “every little bit helps.” She said that, “Regardless of your color, your race, your level of education, your level of income, that volunteering—giving that helping hand, smiling at strangers even when you have nothing—it goes a long way.”

Harvey’s battle against mental illness and substance abuse

Life was tough for Harvey two decades ago. She was fighting a tough battle against her substance abuse problems that was making her feel defeated, develop suicidal thoughts and indulge in self-harm. However, things changed for good when she decided to stand strong against her condition and started her fight against trauma, depression and relapse.

During her journey toward recovery, she also met her future husband who taught her how to love herself and overcome addiction. Rather than running away from her problems, her husband gave her adequate time and care to overcome her childhood trauma. She entered rehab after getting married in 1996. Although it was a tough battle with its own phases of recovery and relapse, Harvey has been able to stay sober since 2007.

Another difficult phase of her life was in 1998, when Harvey was diagnosed with depression. However, with the support of elders and group workers, it became possible for her to recover from her condition.

Harvey is truly an inspiration for many around the world dealing with different types of substance addiction and mental illness. Her main objective is to spread awareness among people about the fact that moving out of this dark place and attaining recovery is possible.  She said, “I tell them about my dark moments and I tell them how I came out of it, and that anyone can do it. Anyone can do it. It is all within us.”

Getting out of addiction is possible

The condition of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder leads to the comorbidity of a mental illness and substance addiction. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 7.9 million Americans were experiencing both a mental disorder and substance use disorder (SUD) at the same time in 2014. The co-occurrence of two life-disruptive conditions can lead to many hurdles in treatment. People with such conditions need a holistic treatment to address the symptoms of the coexisting disorders.

Since the condition is devastating and difficult to treat, it is important to seek help from an expert and get the right treatment plan formulated. This may include detoxification, rehabilitation, support groups, psychotherapy, medications, etc. In case you know someone who is dealing with addiction, mental illness or both and is looking for details about dual diagnosis treatment centers in Florida, the Florida Dual Diagnosis Helpline can help. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-337-7631 or chat online with one of our experts to know about the best facilities offering treatment for dual diagnosis in Florida.

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