Veronica reports a lengthy history of methamphetamine abuse starting in her early teens. It began as a social activity, another way to party with her friends. Eventually, it turned into daily use and began to contribute to further participation in other risky, impulsive, and illegal behaviors. In 2009, Veronica was arrested and charged with an aggravated DUI. During this time Veronica was transporting marijuana between Mexico and the United States and was caught in 2010. After serving out her sentence in prison, she was picked up on a probation violation in June 2015. Veronica realized her life needed to change because she was pregnant and facing a future of continuing legal troubles.
In December 2015 Veronica enrolled for services with Center for Hope, a program run by Community Bridges and supported by Mesa United Way. Shortly after entering services Veronica gave birth to her son. Due to her history of substance abuse the Department of Child Safety became involved and he was placed in the physical custody of Veronica’s best friend. Veronica saw this as the motivation she needed to keep working on her recovery and improving her circumstances.
During her time at Center for Hope, Veronica has attended group and individual counseling and learned to address past experiences that may have contributed to her substance abuse, how to identify and cope with triggers, and how her history of use has affected her life as a whole. “Working with a counselor has been a beneficial piece to my recovery. Some things needed to come out and be worked through in order to get better.”
Veronica has also demonstrated what it means to be a friend and a healthy support for others during her time at Center for Hope. She has assisted peers with watching their children and also volunteered to be a Big Sister to several new participants on campus. “I love the new relationships I’ve made with sober friends. We support each other through the toughest times in our life.”
On June 6, 2016, Veronica celebrated her one year of sobriety. “Staying sober is a daily challenge. It can be hard but it’s totally rewarding. You have to try new things and see what works for you. For me, having a good support system is key.” Due to her commitment to her recovery, physical custody of her son was returned to Veronica in March 2016. “Getting custody of my son was all about doing the right thing and keeping him always in my mind, my heart, and considering him in every choice I made.”
Veronica has also made extensive progress with her remaining legal concerns. She was facing charges that could have resulted in further incarceration, but by working with her probation officer and showing evidence of real behavioral changes she was able to reduce the sanctions to probation. “Working to resolve my legal issues is one of my hardest issues because it brings so much anxiety for me. But one of my old behaviors was ignoring legal issues, which got me nowhere except into deeper trouble. So I tried the exact opposite and faced them head on and it’s been completely in my favor ever since.”
In June 2016, Veronica decided to enroll in Peer Support Certification courses in order to give back to the community. The process, she believes, has helped her in her recovery journey. “I decided to do peer support classes because I’ve been through a lot and I feel that my stories will be able to help others. I also want to do it for my recovery and also to have a good future for my kids and I.” Veronica has said she hopes to one day be able to work for Center for Hope or a program like it.