Road to Recovery

Married couple shares their story of grappling with addiction

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Sometimes having a strong support system can be the difference between life and death. A proper support system can make navigating through life a bit easier. One couple has each other as theirs.

Recovery Month for Ashley Eastgate is a month celebrating a second chance at life. She began using drugs and alcohol when she was only 9 years old and became an IV drug user at 15 years old. At this point, Ashley stopped caring about everything that mattered to her and her addiction took control.

“By the time I was 21 to 22 years old, I was a full-blown addict so I came to terms with that’s how I was going to die,” said Ashley.

She was an addict with a lengthy criminal record. Ashley lost everything and the people that cared about her were fed up with her behavior.

“I could barely draw a sober breathe, the things I was willing to do in order to get what I needed grew. My morals and my values decreased,” Ashley said.

In 2018, Ashley entered Hope Manor. She wasn’t actually trying to get sober, but she knew it was better than jail.

“When I got to Hope Manor, I was federally indicted, on state parole, and had just been released from the state penitentiary,” said Ashley.

The love and support of the other women at Hope Manor helped Ashley to see she deserved a better life.

“I stayed there for 17 months. By the time I left, I went to federal sentencing and my prosecutor could’ve been my defense attorney. I left with probation and I was no longer required to be locked up,” Ashley said. “My attitude and outlook on life have completely changed.”

Part of that change she attributes to her husband, Dustin Eastgate.

Dustin has been battling addiction and incarceration for 20 years, and it wasn’t easy for him to adapt to a new lifestyle.

“Drugs and alcohol stopped working and I started finding peace in death,” said Dustin.

Dustin fought the help he was receiving from Hope Manor tooth and nail for seven months before he finally decided he wanted a better life.

“So I fought it, and fought it, and the biggest thing for me was having to humble myself. So the turning point for me in my recovery was when I finally decided to get on my knees and pray to God. After I did that, I felt an immense sense of freedom,” said Dustin.

Dustin says seeing Ashley being so strong during her recovery motivated him to do the same.

Since their recovery process, the couple has gotten married and Dustin has started a contracting company called Iron and Oak. He thinks the key to his business’ success is treating his employees respectfully.

“I employ guys that are in recovery and so far it’s been very successful. I think it’s so successful because I keep it God-based,” said Dustin.

“If anyone is out there struggling, feeling like they’re going to die in addiction or they’re not worth it, there are options and you don’t have to live your life like that,” said Ashley.

In October, Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum are hosting their annual Recovery Reinvented event that will focus on addiction. For more info and to register for the event, click here.

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