Duluth Bethel Employee Shares Addiction Recovery Story

September is Nationwide Recovery Month

DULUTH, Minn. – As thousands in the Northland struggle with addiction, often it’s the tragedies we hear about like fatal overdoses and lives destroyed.

However, this month some are focusing on a different path, recovery.

They say it’s the success stories at treatment centers that aren’t about enough, and could have a life-saving impact on an addict.

“I got a DUI, I was arrested,” said Duluth Bethel employee Tammy Ewing. “I found myself in jail.”

Tammy Ewing says she didn’t grow up hoping to struggle with alcoholism, but the disease found her, and she found herself in a dark place.

“There was no way I could have stopped without hitting an arrest moment, hitting a brick wall,” said Ewing.

For Tammy, treatment was the answer, a 12-step program helped get her life back. Now she’s working at Duluth Bethel, helping others do the same.

“In this community there are so many people who are recovering in clergy, education, legal,” said Ewing. “I know judges, doctors, lawyers, teachers, priests. People who are recovering in all those places.”

Staff at Bethel says drug and alcohol addiction are largely the same. They believe a key to the solution to the opioid crisis that has gripped the Northland is stories of hope.

“Maybe we would see more people reaching out for services if they were not feeling the stigma of addiction,” said Sarah Niemi, program director of chemical dependency at Bethel.

They also say more people who have survived addiction need to speak out.

“I insist on recovering out loud,” said Ewing. “I think it’s important for people to stay, this is possible, “I’m doing this, I can help you do this.”

Duluth Bethel has both residential and outpatient services for addiction treatment for more information about the organization, click here.

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