Ten and a half years have passed since Stages of Recovery's Stephen O'Dell began his sobriety.
"I'm a person in long-term recovery is what we say. I have been sober since April 25 of 2009," he explained.
O'Dell said it was after a terrible car crash when he sought help.
"I woke up in the hospital, handcuffed to the hospital bed, having to sign my third DWI as an 18-year-old," said O'Dell. "You know you have a lot of moments, when individuals are struggling with addiction and you're in this cycle, in this pattern of continued use, you have a lot of these little moments where you have clarity and you think to yourself there's gotta be something different."
O'Dell, now the Chief Financial Officer and part owner of Stages of Recovery, spent two years as a client, and attributes his successful recovery in part to support.
"Am I thankful that I hurt those people and did what I did and ended up in jail and all that? No, I'm not thankful, but I'm using that experience to the best of my ability to help others not fall into those traps," he said.
He said on a state and national level, conversations on destigmatization of addiction need to take place in order to see change.
"What we could do state wide is to have more appropriate ethical conversations about what's going on with the people who are actually suffering, so the stigma decreases, cause if the stigma decreases the likelihood people ask for help increases... the stigma is causing people to not want to ask for help," said O'Dell.