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Using addiction to help others find the road to recovery

September is National Recovery Month
Posted at 11:20 PM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-03 23:20:42-04

September is National Recovery Month.  It’s a time for those dealing with drug abuse and addiction to find the hope they need to get their lives back.  WMAR 2 News spoke to a woman who survived overdoses and now devotes her life to helping others with their journey to recovery.

"I overdosed two times, I was completely blue I had to be Narcanned and one time overdosed on the way to the hospital."

You wouldn't think to look at her now, but Melissa Johnson was once addicted to heroin and opioids.  

"I had a great childhood, just a normal life, later on in life after high school, I started experimenting because I wanted to fit in somewhere," she told WMAR 2 News.

"Something that started as once or twice a week became an everyday thing and I couldn't function without it."

After her first overdose, Melissa's life was crumbling around her.

"I had a good career at that time.  I ended up losing jobs because of it," said Johnson.

Then, a wake-up call.

"I ended up finally getting help and while I was in treatment, I got into a bad car accident and it just started all over for me."

That relapse could’ve cost Melissa everything. 

"I ended up getting three DUI's in seven months it was finally to where enough was enough. I’m a mother and things were getting bad with my child, my family and I came to Hope's and I was just so done with everything," Johnson told WMAR 2 News.

But she wouldn't allow her addiction have that much power.  Sober for more than a year now,  Johnson now works at Hope's Horizon.

"When I came here, it just felt like a family to me and I learned so much here."

It's the same rehab facility that gave Johnson her life back, and now she gives back to those in the grips of addiction.

"Being with those women every single day and helping them and seeing them where I had just come from helps me so much; there’s no better feeling than that and now I work in recovery! The love that people gave me just really helped me so much," Johnson said.

And it's that love that Melissa can now give to her son, her family and those who walk through Hope’s Horizon’s doors.

"I never thought I would have something like this again but I do and I’m getting ready to go back to school – life couldn't be any better right now."

Click here for more information about Hope's Horizon.