Publication date: Feb 09, 2020
She tried many avenues to get clean, such as adhering to a methadone plan, drug court, 12 Step programs, and even securing Suboxone off the street.
Her new life encompasses and hinges on a Higher Power, a rock-solid support system, and the deep-seated motivation to continue a journey that her own brother was not able to walk after his death two years ago.
She was also able to attend weekly recovery groups, 12 Step meetings, and had opportunities to meet with individual substance abuse and recovery counselors.
Despite the extensive services Bemis was offered, she was not able to gain traction in her recovery until she was released.
Although she encountered the challenges that she has repeatedly experienced upon her transition back to society, such as gaining access to her children, finding housing, health insurance, and employment, this time it was different.
Bemis lost her brother Thomas to an overdose two years ago.
Thomas relapsed while in the Drug Court program and so when she was offered a chance to join the same program instead of serving a sentence of more than four years in prison, Bemis balked.
Bemis says that Thomas always believed that she was the best person he knew, so she strove for this every day.
Eventually, the layers of her resentment towards the Drug Court program dissipated, and she found that at some point in her early months of recovery, she began to do it for herself, too.
Beginning at the jail, Bemis had access to psychiatric medication, which she says was the first time she ever felt stabilized and on -the right meds. “
The continuation of mental health care outside of the jail that she schedules includes her visits to see her therapist regularly, and her appointments with a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Bemis says in order to maintain her sobriety she relies heavily on other women who are seeking stability in recovery, too.
In the Cheshire County jail, she was able to get to know other women in recovery.
Bemis also credits the long-term drug court program she followed for the 14 months after she was released as a helpful part of her recovery process.
Without drugs, she had to develop something that could become the new center of her life.
-I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to do it – not without something else .. .” Bemis says of recovery.
When Bemis began to feel steady in her recovery she was able to voice to employers and potential landlords the truth – that she has a criminal record but is striving one day at a time to maintain her stability, self-confidence, and reliability.
Recently, though, she says that DCYF saw she was really trying, and she was finally able to have her two youngest children back in her life.
Today, Bemis regularly attends drug court, counseling, and 12 Step meetings.
- The Opioid Epidemic: The Individual Legally
- The Opioid Epidemic: The Systems
- The Opioid Epidemic: Where Are We Going? Final Questions
- The Opioid Epidemic: The Individual Medically
- SafetyNet Program for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)