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Jason's Story

“You can be calm and be in the moment.”

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The Risk of Using

There’s no question that using drugs or alcohol comes with some risk. However, that risk has greatly increased recently. The fact that it is so dangerous can often be the reason why so many people seek help. This is what motivated Jason, who just finished up his stay at Cazenovia Manor, our Rehabilitation treatment program in South Buffalo. Jason recognized the inherent risk that comes with using these days. “Fentanyl is a prevalent part of the drug circle,” he said. “Using isn’t a recreational thing anymore. It’s a life-risking event.”

Not only is fentanyl – a dangerous additive to many substances – very worrying, but COVID is making drug use more dangerous, too. Over the last couple of years, Narcan became more widely available, and people were able to use more safely if they were using together with Narcan. However, COVID is causing more people to use on their own again. Without someone nearby to administer Narcan in case of an overdose, the risk of death is so much greater. “Using alone is a death sentence,” Jason explained. Sadly, the recent rise in overdose deaths is partially attributable to this problem. Thankfully, Jason saw the risk and sought help.

Medication-Assisted Treatment & Wellness

During his time at Cazenovia Manor, the treatment and services he received helped him in different ways. Jason’s Medication-Assisted Treatment regimen is one of the most important parts of his recovery. “It helps me to suppress the cravings,” Jason explained. As we discussed last month, Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT, helps people manage their substance use disorder so that they can focus on other parts of their lives. Over the last few years, MAT has become a vital part of countless individuals’ recovery. “It’s being more widely accepted in the medical community to have MAT as part of a treatment program,” Jason added.

MAT isn’t the only thing that has helped him, though. Like many residents this year, Jason has greatly benefited from our agency’s focus on wellness. He’s found mindfulness to be quite helpful, especially since it helps him to identify “that first negative thought process.” Jason said that being mindful helps him to “learn how to deal with things so they’re not such a big issue.”  Working out is another important part of his recovery process, and the yoga classes we’ve had this year were great. “It helps to relieve the natural pain that you’re in every day,” Jason said. “You can be calm and be in the moment.” He regularly uses Cazenovia Manor’s elliptical and weights, too.

Jason’s Journey Continues

Jason just moved to Sundram Manor in Niagara Falls this week, and he said he was excited about the change. “I’m looking forward to new people and new things,” he explained. His plan is to focus on a goal he identified recently: he wants to go into counseling. Specifically, he’s hoping to enroll at Erie Community College so that he can become a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). Jason hopes to specialize in mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. “For me, it’s been the best form of therapy,” he said.

Over the last few months, Jason also began creating his own jewelry. “It’s something that’s calming, and you can see your accomplishment at the end of it,” Jason said. He likes bringing shells into his creations, and he’s also experimenting with sewing leather. All of this creativity will certainly serve him well as he continues his journey. “I feel good,” he said. “We’re not as isolated as we might think we are.”

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