It takes a village…something David knows all too well. David has been an alcoholic his entire adult life. His problems with drinking started early. So early he remembers getting kicked out of school in 8th grade for drinking related issues. By the time David found himself in Gillette (at nearly 50 years old) he’d attempted rehabilitation at least three times, never finding success. This time David knew he had to make a change, “I’m going to die” he lamented “I’m going to die if I don’t fix this”….
David first came to the Council of Community Services because he needed a place to sleep. He’d lost his wallet, all means of payment, and his family had given up on him; refusing to see him in a constant state of intoxication. David spent one successful night in the Shelter. When attempting to return for a second night David was belligerently intoxicated and a danger to himself and others. Requiring care beyond the capacity the single staff person on duty, and refusing police assistance, David was denied entry. David asked for a blanket and made his way to a friend’s place to spend the night.
David had almost given up
After two nights of staying with a friend David knew he was done living this way. David desperately wanted to be sober. Seeking help in Gillette, David quickly realized that resources for detoxification and substance abuse rehabilitation were hard to find. After visiting multiple agencies for help David had almost given up. It wasn’t until one day when he was seeking food assistance from a local agency that the possibility for him to get the treatment he needed was presented again.
David learned that this local agency was able to connect him with a regional treatment facility in New Mexico. David was overwhelmed, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel and for the first time it seemed possible that he would be sober. However, David’s joy quickly turned to heartbreak. David was told for him to be sent to this treatment facility he would have to prove he could stay sober for five days.
to David five days was an eternity
Five days. It doesn’t seem long, but to David five days was an eternity. “I can’t stay sober for one day” David, through tears, told his case manager at the Council of Community Services “I want to, but I can’t”. Determined to find a solution, David’s case worker started making calls and recruiting the proverbial village. David’s greatest alliance would be found within Campbell County Memorial Hospital (CCMH).
Through various avenues at CCMH a two-part plan was developed to get David the treatment he desperately wanted. The first part of the plan was to get David to a detoxification center in Sheridan, where he would have the ability to become sober. Transportation would generously be provided by Campbell County Memorial Hospital. The second part of the plan would allow him to get to the regional treatment facility in New Mexico, where he had to be sober upon arrival. Before any of this could be put in motion, David needed to undergo a routine health evaluation to ensure his sobriety was his only serious medical condition.
David had grown to trust his case worker at the Council of Community Services (CCS) and asked if she could provide him transport to the hospital for his evaluation. She of course agreed and assured him that she would spend the afternoon with him to make sure everything went smoothly. While waiting for his appointment to begin David turned to his case worker and said, “I know I’m going to die, I’m going to die if I don’t fix this”. David’s case worker reassured him that this time was going to make the difference, this time would be different.
“I owe you my life”
With a clean bill of health David was cleared for transportation to the detoxification center in Sheridan. While making their way to the van David once again confided in his CCS case worker, “I owe you my life”. Powerful words from a deeply motivated man. David was personally driven to Sheridan by two devoted staff members at CCMH.
After a few days David’s case worker from CCS made sure to check in on him. His days in Sheridan had gone well, but his transportation to New Mexico had created problems. David’s bus broke down twice and took two days to reach New Mexico, they had to stay overnight in a motel. David did not have his sponsor or any sort of support with him on his journey from Sheridan to New Mexico. Staying sober on his own had never happened before for David, and he was the first to admit he couldn’t stay sober for more than one day.
David arrived at the treatment facility in New Mexico after two days. He passed the breathalyzer entrance requirement; marking the first two successful days in a long-awaited journey to sobriety.