Angel originally moved to Buffalo to find employment. He first started working in construction with a local company. “I felt really good having my own job,” he said. Angel saved some money, and decided to change fields to earn a bit more.
Next, he found a job at a factory. Unfortunately, that’s where things took a turn for the worse. “I found somebody that sold drugs there,” said Angel. He started using and quickly started missing days because he was sick. It wasn’t long before he lost his job. “I didn’t feel good,” Angel said. “The addiction didn’t let me do anything good. People didn’t trust me.”
Barriers to Help
Angel decided to find help precisely because he stopped feeling like himself. However, locating treatment was a pretty big challenge for him. He’s originally from Puerto Rico, so English isn’t his first language. That made accessing care particularly challenging. “That’s hard,” he said. “If you don’t know the area, it’s tough.” Navigating through this system can be complex, and adding a language barrier to it makes it even more daunting.
Thankfully, Angel found someone at ECMC who spoke Spanish. They walked him through what he was experiencing and explained the benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment. Angel was prescribed Suboxone, which has been a huge help in his recovery. “I feel better than before,” he said. “I have my mind clear.”
Creating a Bright Future
After receiving help at ECMC, he transferred to Stutzman Addiction Treatment Center for a 28-day inpatient stay. They then referred him to Sundram Manor where he’s been for over three months. He really enjoys it there since the program helps him with so much. “When I need to talk, they listen,” he said. “I feel comfortable here.” His faith is also very important to him: “God is first in everything I do,” said Angel.
He’s constantly on the move and he’s constantly doing or creating something. Since he’s been at Sundram Manor, Angel has focused this energy into great activities. In the early fall, he spruced up the landscaping at the program. “I can do anything you need in the garden,” he said with a smile. When asked if he had a favorite plant he said “everything.” He couldn’t possibly pick a favorite.
Angel also just started a craft project of building a small-scale replica of Sundram Manor out of scraps of wood. “I like to stay busy,” he said. Now that he’s been free of substances for four months, he’s got a whole new perspective. He said that he “sees life differently” when he’s not using. “When you look in the mirror, you can see yourself, and you feel good. It’s nice.”