PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - We hear a lot about the rising number of overdose deaths in reports about Maine’s opioid epidemic, but there are some success stories.
One place that has been helping women kick their addictions is McAuley Residence. This weekend runners and walkers from across Maine will gather in Portland to raise money for the services offered there.
“You know, coming to McAuley was a turning point in my life”, said former resident Tania Margate.
These days life is pretty good for Margate. She has her own place to live, a job she enjoys, hobbies and friends. A far cry from four years ago when she was hooked on drugs and homeless.
“I was eating from the dumpster from across the street because I was too ashamed to tell my family that I needed anything, because i didn’t want them to tell me to stop using”, she said.
Losing her job as an emergency room nurse, even spending time in jail, weren’t enough to make her seek help. Eventually it was an ex-boyfriend in recovery who convinced her to do the same.
“He basically reached into that darkness and he pulled me out. He basically said, ya know there is another way”, she said.
But it wasn’t until she started living at the McAuley Residence that her life took a turn for the better. While she focused on her recovery, the staff and counselors helped her with life skills.
“I was learning skills on how to stay clean, but not how to live life and stay clean”, Margate said.
Besides helping her with things like finding a job and dressing for success, they helped her with more basic things, getting along with others and being accountable.
“Going out into the real world, you don’t have things the way you want them to be. It really helped me grow up”, she said.
Clean for four years now, Tania won’t say I’ve got this beat. That would be letting her guard down.
“I’m addict, it’s going to pop in to my head, but I don’t have the compulsion anymore, nor do I obsess about it, which I never thought was possible”, she said.
While Tania does like the job she has now, she wants more. She’s working to get her nursing license back.
The McAuley Residence is funded mainly through donations and one of its biggest fundraisers is on Saturday, The Walk and Run for Recovery. It kicks off at the Mercy Hospital Fore River Campus at 9am.