Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery: From heroin to helping others in sobriety

Road to Recovery

Giving up addiction can be difficult but one woman found a way to bring people together so they can help each other stay clean and sober.

34-year-old Samantha Sailer grew up in a loving home in Dickinson, North Dakota. But as a teen, she struggled with her identity and eventually began to use drugs and alcohol to cope.

Samantha says, “I could just get out of myself for a little bit and live freely.”

When she was in her 20’s, she found out she had a brain tumor and after having it removed she was prescribed pain pills and eventually began to lose sight of things that used to bring her joy.

Samantha explains, “I was on all sorts of narcotic opioids and I loved it and I was hooked. It was love at first sight.”

Soon after, she turned to heroin.

Samantha says, “The moment I got into heroin, I was obviously very addicted to it. I wanted more and needed more. From that point forward I started lying, stealing, selling whatever I had to do to get that drug.”

Jane Sveen from Ideal Option, a medication-assisted treatment facility in Bismarck, says
this is common in people who struggle with addiction who’ve been on pain pills for extended periods of time.

Jane says, “Heroin’s cheaper. Heroin’s cheaper than oxycodone’s so they go to heroin.”

Eventually, she got arrested for driving under the influence and spent 33 days in jail in the state of Iowa. After years of spiraling even more, Samantha knew she needed help.

Samantha says, “I went back to my parents and I finally had to hit rock bottom and see the hurt I was causing.”

In 2018, she went to treatment in Florida for 63 days and came back to find a recovery community in Bismarck. Now, she’s living a life in service to others who were just like her.

Samantha says, “I just can’t get enough of service work, and working with other women and men in recovery. And just sharing my experience, strength, and hope to really let them know that there is a way out and there is help and there’ so much support and there are so many things you can do.”

After finding herself in sobriety for a while, Samantha began playing guitar again. And now she teaches guitar lessons at The Hub in Bismarck. She says it’s even more fun to play music sober.

For more information on recovery resources, or for more Road to Recovery stories go here.

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