Former Glace Bay man wants to help deal with addictions in Cape Breton
Sharon Montgomery-Dupe – Cape Breton Post
Published on June 7, 2017
GLACE BAY, N.S. – A former Glace Bay man says he knows full well about the addiction problem in Cape Breton.
“I had a lot of friends pass away there, it’s a community riddled with drugs,” said Daniel MacEachern, funding and operations manager with Together We Can, a drug and alcohol recovery and education society in Vancouver, B.C.
MacEachern not only works with the program but he is a graduate.
“In Glace Bay, there was a lot of booze and cocaine, a lot of partying,” he said.
MacEachern left Glace Bay in 2006 and after finishing college he lived in Calgary for about 10 years where his opiate addiction began. He entered the treatment program in Vancouver in May 2014.
“I had addiction issues of my own, tried to clean up a few times and ended up going through the program (in B.C.),” he said.
He joined the staff in December 2015.
“I’d say 90 per cent of our staff here are in recovery themselves.”
MacEachern said he would like to touch base with the A Town That Cares group in New Waterford. The group was spearheaded by Buddy Penney and John Bisson and they want to see a mental health and addiction centre opened in Cape Breton. They are holding meetings in various Cape Breton Regional Municipality communities to gather support for a facility.
MacEachern hopes to visit Cape Breton this summer. He said he knows resources to deal with addictions are limited in Cape Breton.
“It’s going to take experience, education, funding and lots of man power,” he said. “(Cape Breton) may want to look at replicating an experienced centre that treats the disease of addiction. There are a lot of great models out there.”
MacEachern said there are currently four people from Cape Breton at his recovery facility in Vancouver, which is a non-profit and offers typically 60-90 days programs. Their 12-step program includes cognitive behavioral therapy, smart recovery, financial aid, acupuncture, physical education and yoga.
“The list runs pretty deep,” he said. “We want our clients educated in areas of their life which may have been neglected due to their illness.
“Then they go into a supportive recovery environment where they start to transition back into the community and things like that.”
He said 16 of the facility’s beds are government funded but there is a long waiting list, costs are evaluated per client.
MY NAME IS WAYNE BINDER, I AM A DRUG ADDICT AND AN ALCOHOLIC. I AM 1 YEAR CLEAN AND SOBER TODAY JUNE 1 2017.
If you or anyone you knows is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction I can help.
Getting sober is the hardest thing I ever did. I never expected to get addicted to drugs or alcohol; I was always the guy who thought why don’t these people just stop! I thought addicts were losers and weak. Well I found the hard way what and addict looks like.
See I had a great childhood, good parents and lots of brothers and sisters. I liked to have a drink as a teen but nothing crazy. But one day I tried drugs (for me it was cocaine) no big deal, once here once there never buying it. Then one day I paid for it and I justified buying it in my mind with some stupid reason, then maybe a month or two later same thing. That turned into twice a week, then three times a week and then every day. I spent 1 year using a lot and 2 years using every single day. I held it together for a while but then my work started to suffer as I couldn't wake up every day like I use to. I worked for the same company for almost 10 years never missed any time, we worked 7 days a week 10 hours a day.
I started to hang out with different people so my real friends wouldn’t know what I was doing but of course they did, everyone could see it before I could.. I finally couldn’t hold it together any longer after a 4 day binge I told my wife and we decided I would start working home and not on the road anymore so I could try and clean up.
I move home to work and my wife is pregnant with our second child. I tried everything to get sober while working for a friend in city, a man who knew my work history and had worked with me for years and yet even with all the chances and him having my back I could not hold it together. I started withdrawing from life, friends, family, my wife and then 3 year old boy.
Things got worse so we went and seen someone to try and help me, my wife’s dad came to try and help and I started seeing someone but started to soon lie about going to them meetings and just using the time to get drugs. All hours day and night I would sneak out to fuel my addiction. I couldn’t stay sober! NOT MY WIFE, NOT MY KID, AND NOT MY SOON TO BE BORN BABY was enough reason for me to stay sober. At this point everyone knew everyone wanted to help but I couldn’t do it. See addiction is a powerful thing.
The shame, guilt, remorse I felt was starting to pile up. The only thing I ever wanted to be in this world was a dad and a husband, and I had that, but I was screwing it up. I was about to lose everything.
Everyone in addiction has a turning point, some of us get sober at that turning point and some of us sadly don’t make it to see better days.
I landed in the hospital fighting for my life for the 3rd time in 2016 on May 30th. I had a heart rate over 190 and my BP was 192/180ish, I was hooked up to all sorts of equipment and shot up with things to try and bring my heart rate and BP down, the doctors could not believe I didn’t take a heart attack or a stroke. It took hours before they got me stable. I remember telling the doctors I did not want to die and for the first time since I was a child I prayed to God to give me one more chance to see my wife and kids.
That was it I had enough, I needed help. My wife was at the end of her rope and I was on deaths door. From 235lbs in the best shape of my wife to 178 ribs showing. My wife called a friend of mine who was helping run a rehab place in Vancouver, not 24 hrs later my life started to change, I started to take the steps to get my life back. I had to leave my wife and kids for almost 3 months while I learned about addiction, about myself and about living sober. Not everyone takes the path I did but if I didn’t take that path I would be dead today that a for sure. I did not have another week in the struggle left in me.
See today sobriety has given me my life back, I have two amazing kids and a wife who has stuck with me in the good and the bad. Today I am the dad I always wanted to be. Today I play all the sports I use to love. Today I wake up with a smile every single day because I am healthy, I am happy and I have everything I ever wanted in this life.
My goals today are simple. I just want to be DAD, I want to coach my kids baseball team, soccer team and hockey team. I want to dance around the living room with my daughter and I want to make my wife smile.
I spend time helping others and watching them change their lives around like I changed mine. I don`t look down on people suffering in addiction unless I am helping them up.
Remember people suffering in an addiction whatever that addiction might be have families that love them, miss the person they were and just want that person to get help. When you shame and look down on someone suffering you are helping nothing. Compassion and understanding is what helped save my life.
If there is anyone out there struggling with addiction you have a safe place with me, I don’t judge I have been there! If you or someone you know needs help my phone or messenger is always on anytime day or night I will stop whatever it is I am doing to make sure that the person who comes to me for help gets my full attention. WE DO RECOVER.
Big thanks to my Family, my wife and her family, Daniel MacEachern and Everyone at TOGETHER WE CAN in Vancouver for everything you guys have done for me this year. I would not be alive today if it was not for you guys.