“The system failed me,” was the blunt opening to Scott’s McLane’s story, a sentiment that resonates with  many others. The public services offered to those with substance abuse disorders simply put in motion a vicious cycle of poor recovery methods and a lack of support that makes it easy to relapse. Scott’s experience shows that the system in place lacks a crucial element to recovery: human connectedness.

Recovery seems to have the most success, at least with Scott, when it involves building relationships with others, and offering support to those in similar situations. Richard shared this belief, adding that “only helping another alcoholic” keeps him on his sober path. Once both Scott and Rich found a space in and encouragement within the recovery world, it was easier to make it through the rough times of potential relapse – “I had a place to go. That was important,” said Scott.

*This post was edited in January 2019 to remove the last name of one of the guest speakers at his request.