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Topeka man in recovery after 15-year meth addiction

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) - Patrick Eldringhoff from Topeka is speaking out, because today is National Meth Awareness Day.
His recovery has led him to a new job helping others.

Patrick started trying drugs when he was just 15 years old. He said his parents' divorce and changing schools led him to start experimenting.
"I have kind of always struggled with depression and anxiety, and a little bit of PTSD," Edringhoff said. "I just never felt comfortable inside of my own skin. Meth made me comfortable temporarily inside of myself. Of course that didn't last very long, but that's what it gave me."

He believes he hit his lowest point at 27 years old.

"I have pictures of memories in my mind," Eldringhoff said. "I was using so much that it's kind of a blur. I lost my job and custody of my son. I remember reaching that point and thinking I failed as a human being. Is this what my life has become? Is this who I get to be? Is this who I am going to die as?  I eventually got some drug charges and found myself in jail. That's when I tried to start getting clean."

At first, Patrick was apprehensive and scared of the recovery process. Family support was key to get through recovery. Patrick's brother, who also was recovering from addiction, was in the treatment program at Valeo too. Alongside his brother, Patrick not only got clean, but paved his way to a bright future as well. 

"Little did I know when I walked through those doors, I was walking into what would be my career," Patrick explained. 

Patrick has worked at Valeo for three and a half years as a case manager. 

"When I see myself in other people when I do the work I do in case management, I connect to their issues and their emotional pain, (and) I heal," Patrick said. 

His message to anyone thinking of trying meth today, "it's just not worth it. There are other ways to find escape in a healthy way." 

Patrick is proud to announce he has been clean for about five and a half years.

For more information on Valeo's Recovery Program call 785-233-1730 and visit: http://www.valeotopeka.org/



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