HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. — Teri Drosch is continuing her efforts to help people with addictions in her community.
Drosch has over a decade of experience working in the field of mental health and addictions.
The Happy Valley-Goose Bay woman started a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) program about two years ago and has been researching more about various addictions.
Drosch has developed an All Addictions Anonymous (AAA) program to help people suffering from numerous addictions – from alcohol to drugs; gambling to pills; sex to food.
In describing what an addict is, Drosch said it’s people “whose using has become harmful, habitual and compulsive.”
“Addiction has many faces and the addict simply has a habit he or she can’t break. The compulsion has become irresistible,” she said in social media post letting people know about the new AAA program.
Drosch said it’s not unusual for people to have more than one addiction.
“I’ve had a lot of outreach over the last year from people requesting an all addictions group or a support group where we can discuss gambling, alcohol, drugs and other addictions rather than just focusing on alcohol or drugs,” Drosch said.
Unlike many other addiction programs, AAA is not a 12-step program.
“It’s a group of individuals with the same purpose: a desire to remain sober from their addictions,” she said. “We share life experiences. We offer support.”
Anonymity is very important, Drosch noted. What is shared during the meetings never leaves the group.
Recovering addicts as mentors
Recovering addicts are also welcome and are great mentors for those who are working to overcome addiction.
Drosch is among the recovering addicts.
She has shared her own story with The Labradorian in the past, opening up about her addiction to cocaine and morphine. After reaching out for help, Drosch began seeing a counsellor and was accepted into an out-of-province treatment centre. She has been sober from addiction for about four years.
“When you’re at your rock bottom, you feel there’s no help out there. So I’m hoping, by getting more information out there, and by starting this little group, that one day there will be more treatment programs here in the area to help people with addictions,” she said.
Drosch is program coordinator with the Mokami Women’s Centre. The centre – which focuses on empowerment and equality for women is supportive of her efforts in helping people overcome addiction, she said, and have offered space free-of-charge for her to host the meetings.
Recovery is possible
Drosch’s message to other addicts is one of hope — that recovery is possible.
“There are so many people reaching out. So many people want support,” she stressed. “You give away what you know by sharing your stories. And, if me sharing my story helps somebody, that’s very rewarding.”
AAA meetings get underway at 10 a.m. on Saturdays at 43 Grenfell Street. Drosch can be contacted through the Goose Bay Recovery Facebook group.