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The Fight For Sobriety: Stories of Recovery

By Abby Hancock, Reporter (Social Issues, Youth Issues, and 2 Your Health), ahancock@ktuu.com
Published On: Jan 31 2014 07:49:54 PM AKST
Updated On: Jan 31 2014 08:50:27 PM AKST

The Fight For Sobriety: Stories of Recovery

ANCHORAGE -

The Salvation Army's Clitheroe Center is one of the few residential programs in Anchorage for drug and alcohol treatment. It is where Kendra Butts has spent nearly the past two months.

Kendra violated her probation and was required to go through in-patient treatment. Kendra is a meth addict who spent almost six years behind bars for armed robbery when she was just 18 years old.

She was released from prison in February 2013. She relapsed within six months.

Kendra said she knew she needed to get clean.

"I've seen the lowest of the low, and I've been in positions where I didn't like myself at all," she said.

At Clitheroe, she receives treatment for her addiction, as well as other psychological issues. The residential program has 42 beds. According to the center, it is currently 83 percent full, but there is still a waiting list. The center is trying to streamline the application process to get addicts in the doors more quickly.

The center closed its detox program in June 2013 due to financial and budget issues. The Ernie Turner Center, run by Cook Inlet Tribal Council, then became the only dedicated detox facility in Anchorage. Ernie Turner has 12 beds for detox and another 12 for its residential program.

But many in behavioral health believe Anchorage needs more beds dedicated to detox.

"We'd like more, and the community would like more, but often where we find the gaps in the system is when people are finished with detox and are getting a spot in a residential program," said Kristin English with CITC.

According to English, there should be more detox and residential programs in Anchorage, since ending up on a residential program's wait list can keep some from staying clean even after completing detox.

Jasmine McAuley, an Ernie Turner Center alumni, said she was in a desperate place when she sought out treatment in 2010.

"I was heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol and my life was just unmanageable,” she said. “I had lost my kids, lost my self-esteem, my self-worth, and I was just desperate to try something different.”

Now her life is different. Her past has given her future a new purpose: as a mother, and soon, as a nurse in behavioral health.

"If I help one person to recover from this disease, than my life has been a success."