Recovery Stories

Cassandra Buzzell's Story


I’m the person with a substance use disorder that decided to fight for my life, not give in any more to the devil! This is the first time I will be sharing this with most of you and I hope you don’t mind that I tagged you! Did you know that the U.S. government has estimated that 2.1 million people have opioid use disorder (OUD), this is what I SUFFERED from and BATTLED along with alcohol abuse. More than 11 million people have misused prescription opioids in their lifetime, mine started when I broke my back in 2016. Opioid use disorder is a chronic disease and should be treated as such, I never imagined me of all people would lose myself to such horrible toxic drugs such as pain killers then heroin! Many individuals with OUD, include those currently using heroin such as I did, and thought I hid it so well, but was just to far lost to realize if I was coming or going… I was a different person associating with people I would normally only PRAY for, I became deep in situations I never imagined myself being in, doing things I never would have thought of, and in situations In which I became a victim of such horrible things! I have lived in guilt and shame for years now among many other feelings and emotions. I was someone I never wanted to see again! I can look back and see the nightmare I lived for so long and never understood why!? Still don’t, but I changed and now I empower others daily encouraging them to keep going in their recovery and to seek help after relapse through online groups and chats! I find a tremendous amount of comfort in helping others, I always have but now there is something more beneficial to helping someone who I once was and can relate too! People who use other illegal opioids started using opioids usually with a doctor’s prescription, that’s how the downward spiral started for most of us! As a result, their lives and the lives of their loved ones such as my kids most importantly, my parents, siblings, grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and all of which were and have been greatly affected by this disorder. I never in my life intended to make the choices I did or be in the lonely places I allowed myself to go but I did and I’m alive to share my story making a better future for myself and my kids! I will always encourage others that they are not alone in their journey because that was the hardest part for me, being shown tough love for so long, during my journey through addiction and incarceration! I’m so thankful for FORGIVENESS, 2nd, and final chances! If you are dealing with OUD, or think you are, there’s hope—you can manage and treat your illness and enter recovery!! If you think someone you love might have OUD OR ADDICTION from other substances and you would like to support them, there are resources that can help you talk to that loved one or help them seek treatment!! Don’t ever give up on them! GET educated! Also if you live in Colorado, the Department of Human Services, the Office of Behavioral Health has information about Colorado’s response to the opioid crisis and links to treatment programs. OBH and the nonprofit Mental Health Colorado also have reliable resources for you, including the Mental Wellness and Addiction Recovery Guide.#Recovery July 2019
💞REMEMBER!! We can all help prevent suicide. Every year, the Lifeline and other mental health organizations and individuals across the U.S. and around the world raise awareness of suicide prevention during September, National Suicide Prevention Month.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide please reach out to someone. This world would not be the same without you! Remember you never realize the army you have behind you until you reach out!!