Twins celebrate first sober Christmas in 15 years, work to help others - WSAZ-TV
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Samantha and Jeffery Parker share the same birthday and more than a decade of drug addiction. This Christmas, both are finally in recovery, and celebrating the holiday sober for the first time together since they were 14 years old.
“I’ve been narcaned more times that I can count. Crack, meth, heroin, fentanyl, Xanax . I was pretty much a dumpster junkie,” says Jeffery.
Their first memory of drugs is when they were five years old. They say they opened a cabinet and found their father’s pain pills, took them and got sick. The lure of drugs raged in their teens and all through their 20′s
Jeffery says their family suffered with addiction, " I didn’t know there was a different way. Everyone I’ve always know has gotten high. "
“We were both right in the middle of all the madness,” says Samantha.
In 2018, Samantha pulled herself free and remains clean today. She went through a rehabilitation program with Recovery Point. She now works for Help4WV, a state agency that works with individuals with substance abuse disorder. Samantha also works as a peer mentor for Huntington’s Quick Response Team (QRT). The QRT visits people who are the subjects of overdose calls within 72 hours of the overdose, and offers support.
Jeffery has been clean since April 2021, his longest stretch ever. He has been in and out of jail with his addiction, and is facing some charges still. He’s a also a client of Recovery Point in Huntington, and is set to complete the program in January. He’s a peer mentor in the program.
Finally seeing him sober, brought his twin sister to tears. “These aren’t tears of sadness. It’s a good feeling to see the light coming back on in his eyes, " says Samantha. " I came to terms with he was going to die because I didn’t think he would ever get help. He called me from jail the last time he got arrested and he said, “I don’t want to die”. He had never cared about dying before. Addiction steals the relationships you have with people. It stole ours for a long time.”
Jeffery says he has no desire to get high today. “It feels a lot better helping people than stabbing myself with a needle all day every day,” he says. “I know my path today. I know what I have to do for the rest of my life.”
If you or a loved one need help to break free from addiction the Quick Response Team in Huntington can be reached at 304.526.8541. QRT members say you can call about help with drugs or alcohol, and that you don’t have to overdose to get their help.
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