A Minot native has turned his life around after battling with addiction to now helping others who struggle with the powerful disease.

Craig Larson was born in Minot and lived there for 22 years. During his childhood, Larson grew up in a home where his father battled with addiction which he says affected his way of life when he was little.

“My father passed when I was 12 and I had a few things going for me athletically and I had some social gifts I guess but the truth is I just let those go by the wayside from my addiction,” Larson said. “I think there was so much going on that alcohol and drug use just became a pain killer.

Larson credits his mother, Bev Nelson, and so many others including his wife as the reason for his 32 years of sobriety.

“I would have missed out on a lot if I would have continued that lifestyle. So I have a lot of people to thank and a lot of people that came into my life, no one does this stuff alone,” Larson said. “But I was taught very young what recovery was I was lucky and my father’s passing had a great impact on me.”

After turning his life around Larson attended the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and earned his bachelor’s in Social Work. And just this year Larson graduated with his master’s, with honors. But probably the best part, he said is that he did it alongside his daughter who also graduated with honors.

“She’s come so far and she doesn’t struggle with the issues that even myself or my wife do so it was gratifying to see her success,” Larson said. “And at the same time I didn’t really go far in high school I can tell you that, people who know me know I was a troubled teenager so to speak, and so for me to achieve not only a bachelor’s but a master’s degree was a personal achievement.”

After his past and recovery, Larson knew helping others struggling with addiction was what he was meant to do.

“I do have a passion helping families help their loved ones in healthy ways. I think there is a huge relapse potential for people when their families don’t know how to help but working in the treatment court that has been a huge blessing,” Larson said.

Larson currently works at the City of Las Vegas Municipal Court in the HOPE treatment court as an Alternative Sentencing Specialist.