Growing up Vern’s upbringing was not typical compared to many of his peers. At the age of 3, he was put into foster care after his mother was sentenced to 5 years in prison, meanwhile his father was selling drugs in the streets. Bounced between different homes, the cycle of addiction went from witnessing his parents using to experimentation during his teenage years when he moved back in with his mother at 13, where he was later introduced to cocaine by the same person who was sentenced to prison – his mother. Things progressively went from bad to worse when his mother introduced him to crack; sharing a needle with him at 17 that ended up infecting him with Hepatitis C.
On May 10, 2017, his life hit rock bottom when he was admitted to a local hospital in Ponoka where he was under suicidal watch. During his stay in the hospital he later reached out to his sister to plan out his next step coming out from suicide watch; this was the moment of change in his life that brought him into recovery at the Calgary Dream Centre.
Vern graduated from the Men’s Recovery Program on July 7, 2017 after completing the 7-week recovery and have been sober for over 6 months. “…This is the longest I’ve been sober and I feel great!” as he says with excitement and gratitude.
Recalling the time when he first entered program Vern was 167 pounds with no motivation to stay healthy. Since then he has gained an impressive 210 pounds of healthy weight with a routine that includes nutritious diet served at the CDC well as a steady gym routine to help him remain healthy. “They take care of you and feed you well here!…” as he mentions with a smile on his face.
Being a fan of bodybuilding, Vern is currently planning his return to school to study personal training and nutrition, in hopes to help more people reach their health goals in the future.
You can help men and youth like Vern by donating today; sponsor a meal to help someone in recovery with a dignified meal now!…
Dylan began his journey towards recovery on August 2017 as part of the Youth Program. The 21 year old grew up in a good home with good parents and family by his side.
Growing up in a rural town with a small population, he felt the effects of peer pressure which lead him to experiment with drugs. “It was something for me to escape – I just wanted to fit in” he recalls; “…it blew up in my face” describing the first time he was using drugs.
Despite his first experience with drugs he continued to use, this was a time in his life where once turned to twice and slowly it became an addiction eating away at his life. Dylan’s addiction worsened through time which resulted in him stealing from his friends and family along the way.
Left with no money and support Dylan was living in his truck for a period of time, to which he even contemplated the thought that his loved ones would be better off without him. Dylan’s rock bottom came around the time when his isolation got worse with his addiction. He recalled the time his cousin had to pick him up from the area he was using in order for him to not miss his brother’s wedding.
After witnessing his brother’s wedding Dylan was inspired to turn his life around; “…seeing my brother getting married, I realized I want more for myself!” Completing the 7-week program with fellow young men between the ages 18-25, Dylan credited the tools he learned in program well as peer support Mackie and Program Manager, Jordan for helping him through his sobriety.
“…it gave me my family back and a new (CDC) family!”
Today Dylan is an alumni of the CDC’s Youth Program and a fellow resident of the main facility. He now looks forward to rebuilding his relationship with his parents well as giving back to the community by helping others!
To support a youth struggling with addiction, make a positive impact in their lives by donating today!