For 30 years, Albert Smith struggled with drug and alcohol use before checking himself into a drug detox program in August 2019. After detox, he completed 28 days of treatment before spending several months in the men’s long-term program at Gaudenzia’s Crownsville campus.
These days, Albert works at Crownsville as a Recovery Support Professional, providing the same lifesaving services and support he received from staff during his stay. At 53, Albert enjoys spending time with his four daughters and two grandchildren. He hopes his story will inspire his own family, along with anyone still struggling with substance use disorder.
Keep reading to learn more about Albert and his journey into a fulfilling life in recovery.
If you or someone you love needs help with substance use disorder, please call Gaudenzia’s 24-hour Treatment and Referral HelpLine at 833.976.HELP (4357) or email [email protected] today.
Albert Smith and His Road to Recovery
What Were You Like as a Kid?
I was funny, curious, and always into something. I wanted to be a professional boxer. I was really good at it.
What Were Your First Experiences with Alcohol or Drug Use?
From what I can remember, I was young when I had my first drink with my dad, at around age 14. After that, I continued drinking and smoking weed. At first, when I would drink and use drugs, I was a funny and outgoing individual. After a while, things changed. I became mean. Towards the end of my using, I became depressed and isolated myself from everyone.
When Did You Realize You Needed Help?
I realized I needed help years before I got it. I stayed in denial. It wasn’t until I got sick and tired that I went to get the help I needed with God’s grace and mercy. I drank and used drugs for so long, I believe that surrendering played a big part in my recovery. That, and my age. After I went to detox, I continued to make my plans and stayed for the 28-day program. Then I went into long term. I was finally ready to get my life together.
What Were Some Challenges You Faced in Early Recovery?
To be honest, my biggest challenge was adapting to my environment of learning and getting to know the clients that I lived amongst and staff.
What Are the Best Parts About Your Life in Recovery?
Being healthy again is the best, showing up today and not showing out. Loving life. I’m being responsible and being a man of my word. I love being with my family, listening to music, and watching TV. I love comedy. I also enjoy cutting hair. Today, I have myself pride. I have my smile back because I got my teeth fixed. Also, one of the biggest things is that I have my license after not having one for 32 years.
What Are Your Goals for the Future?
In the near future, getting my peer recovery specialist certifications. After that — within 5 years — I want to get my own Recovery House.
What Advice Would You Give to Someone Who is Struggling with SUD?
I tell people all the time, put the same energy you put into using into your recovery. Get honest. Get out of your own way and have faith.
If you or someone you love needs treatment for substance use disorder, please call our 24-hour Treatment and Referral HelpLine at 833.976.HELP (4357) or email [email protected] today.