CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- When researchers from the US Department of Health and Human Services conducted their most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2019, they found that 35.8 million people nationwide had used an illicit drug and 65 million people had gone on a drinking binge in just one month.
The Great Lakes Recovery Center in Sault Saint Marie treats patients from across the state and is expanding.
A new lease on life.
"I came in there a broken man and I can't say enough about the treatment that I got, the hope that I got,” Great Lakes Recovery Center Client Robert Pringle said.
Robert said he's struggled with alcohol addiction for most of his life, and finally sought help after going through a divorce.
"I woke up and I was like man I'm a human being. I got my confidence back and got my self-worth back,” Robert said. “I didn't care about myself and then people I didn't even know cared more about me than I cared about myself."
These days, he lives in Gary's House, the transitional housing unit of the Great Lakes Recovery Center's Network of Care.
GLRC is building on a $1.5 million extension to an existing facility to help more people like Robert out.
"We'll have more offices so we can bring outside clinicians in to provide outside services to our clients but also we are increasing capacity by about 20%,” Great Lakes Recovery Center Project Coordinator Karen Sprague said. “We also think the environment is conducive to healing."
"We want to provide a service that they find meaningful,” Great Lakes Recovery Center Regional Operations Director Shawn Baker said. “We want to tailor that service to their hopes, dreams and riches.”
The men in the current residential treatment house will move into the expansion building, then the current residential treatment house will be converted into women's transitional housing.
Among the team at GLRC fighting to help out clients, Andrea Kokko, who battled addiction herself, recovered and now works as a recovery coach.
"People in recovery and people in active use are my people I love them that's who I love talking to and that's who I share the most with,” Andrea said.
Like Andrea, Robert said once he finishes up with GLRC he wants to give back, encouraging others to avoid the path he was on before he sought help.