From Drug Abuse to Recovery

Ricky stands in front of Harbour Light
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All he could do was think about his next fix. Then, when Ricky’s family was about to disown him due to his drug addiction, he turned to The Salvation Army for help. “My family was all I had,” says Ricky. “That struck me so hard.”

For over 60 years, The Salvation Army’s Harbour Light in Vancouver has provided a safe place and support for people to address their greatest challenges. Services offer a continuum of care that provides the tools to help clients regain their health, obtain shelter, recover from addiction, access affordable housing, build employment skills, and restore personal relationships.

“I battled drugs for eight years,” says Ricky. “I had a job and paid my bills. That allowed me to think I had my life together. I was in denial.

“I hid in hotels and used. I did regretful things to family and friends. I couldn’t look at people due to shame. My life revolved around drugs.”

At Harbour Light one-on-one counselling taught Ricky how to cope with life’s challenges without using drugs, group sessions gave him a place to express his feelings and the learning centre helped him with resumé writing.

“I successfully completed the recovery treatment program and am in second-stage housing provided by The Salvation Army,” says Ricky. “This allows me to live in an environment of accountability and independent living.

“The Salvation Army helped me get back on my feet,” continues Ricky. “My addiction is something I’m not proud of but am grateful for the opportunity to change. I’m working now and have gained the trust of my family back. That means the world to me.”