News & Articles

Mission Moments: Kirk

Warning – this story contains references to alcohol poisoning (overdose).

When Kirk came to Fora Health, he felt hopeless. After witnessing his wife lose her life to addiction, Kirk’s use had taken over his life, and he didn’t have anywhere to turn to until he got to Fora Health.

“I realize now that I was an alcoholic my entire life. My wife and I were hardcore drinkers. At the beginning of COVID, we both got laid off – we were just using our unemployment to party. When I lost my wife to alcohol poisoning, I was a mess. I just turned to alcohol after that – it became my everything. When that happens, you lose everything else in your life.

I lost my house and hurt relationships with my family; I ended up living in my Jeep. I was lost, so very lost. After a few weeks of living in my Jeep, my niece contacted me. She was ten months sober herself, and I’ll never forget what she said, “At the rate you’re going, you’re going to die. Are you ready for treatment?”

That was the first hurdle – saying yes to trying treatment.

My niece helped me get into Fora Health. I feel so lucky that I ended up at Fora Health. I went to Detox for a few days and then got into residential.

I wasn’t very healthy when I arrived for treatment; Fora has excellent programs to help patients get their physical health back. Once I felt healthy, I soaked in the behavioral work they teach. I learned a lot and was able to work through a lot of my trauma and the loss of my wife. I really immersed myself in the programs here – 100% attendance! I’m so thankful for the staff here because they helped me find a 12-step program that wasn’t religious. Once I felt the fog lift out of my head, I felt like I got my creativity, mental focus and drive back!

I graduated after 106 days. When I graduated, I had housing and, shortly after, a job opportunity! My sobriety is an everyday choice – and I choose it every day. Fora Health helped me get my life back.”

In Oregon, excessive alcohol use is the third leading cause of preventable death and is responsible for over 2,000 deaths annually (Oregon Health Authority). So many in our community are weighed down by the burden of addiction and at risk of losing their life to their substance use disorder.

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