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Former addict credits recovery house for her sobriety

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Nicole Durley heroin series

Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter

Nicole Durley at her desk at Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission

Nicole Durley credits her sobriety following opioid addiction largely to the support she received from her roommates at a recovery house in Washington.

She said housemates at Resurrection Power offered each other “24-7 support,” because they were all going through similar issues while trying to get back on their feet.

“Many addicts enter treatment, get out, go right back home and they relapse,” Durley said. “At a recovery house they’re giving them a chance to acclimate and not just throwing them back to the wolves.

“They are beneficial for the people going through them,” she said.

Durley, 33, had been on a bumpy path with drugs before she was court-ordered to live in a recovery house, which can be the next step to staying clean after an addict leaves a drug-treatment center or jail.

Her struggles began a decade ago following the birth of her daughter when depression set in and prescriptions led to oxycontin abuse and eventually heroin, a cheaper alternative to powerful painkillers. She had a $200-a-day drug habit and lost custody of her daughter by the time she began her road to recovery.

She went from living in a recovery house, beginning in 2012, to managing one, and was eventually hired as a certified recovery specialist at the Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, where she has a caseload of clients whom she assigns to recovery houses. She also won shared custody of her daughter with her mother, and will relocate from Washington to Plum Borough in order to live in the school district where her daughter attends classes.

“As cliche as it sounds, if I could help one other person ... that’s the reality of the situation,” said Durley.

Staff Writer

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley.

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