Driving Change Together

By Kaleb Nielsen, Wood’s Homes Addictions Peer Mentor and Victoria Mitchell, Wood’s Homes Addictions Specialist.


It’s National Addictions Awareness Week. 

This year’s theme, Driving Change Together, encourages everyone to reassess the way they think about substance use. 

As we acknowledge how addiction impacts families and communities, let’s not forget the experience of the client. Everyone deserves a future free from addiction.  

What is individualized care within the scope of traumatic substance abuse? This is a question that plagues the field constantly. 

Building a healthy self-esteem is important. A client’s unique personality and talents can reveal their deepest values and motivations in life. When they remember their worth and accept themselves for who they truly are, envisioning a hopeful future and handling difficult subjects around their traumas become simpler. 

This is the path to change. 

Addiction is a cyclical pattern and intervention is effective in the pre-contemplative stages. Although a linear break from the cycle is possible, I – as an Addictions Peer Mentor –​ support the idea that after breaking the cycle, someone in recovery can further incentivize their own and others’ sobriety by being in service of those who are still stuck on the cycle of addiction. 

This meaningful building of community can put anyone on the fast-track path to change, with each person as their own driver.   

Having had issues with substance abuse and grappling with a generally addictive personality, I was left looking for people who understood my experience. I drifted from one group of addicts to another in a self-righteous haze without really considering change. 

People suffering with an addiction should be able to feel safe to speak up and find the help they need. Through Wood’s Homes, I was able to connect with a group of people my age who wanted a future free from addiction and felt excited about process of Driving Change Together. 

Now, I’m comfortably sober, an Addictions Peer Mentor, and I have the privilege of building and supporting this very community on the path to sobriety.