Alex Elswick is a tireless advocate for people who use drugs and people with substance use disorders. He currently serves the University of Kentucky as an Assistant Extension Professor for Substance Use Prevention and Recovery. He is a trained researcher and therapist, but most importantly, Alex is himself a person in long term recovery from the chronic disease of addiction.
“My name is Alex and I am a person in recovery the chronic disease of addiction. Even though I grew up privileged and well-off, I inherited several risk factors that increased the likelihood I would have an addiction at some point. Sure enough, I had surgery to have my wisdom teeth removed at 18 years old, was prescribed opioids, and found myself unable to stop taking them. Addiction took me down a difficult path: Jail, homelessness, and so many treatment centers.
For me, addiction was suffering, plain and simple. Two things really helped me finally find sustained recovery: I had a continuum of care that stretched from six months of inpatient to six weeks of intensive outpatient to years of therapy and without gaps in care. This kind of chronic disease management ensured that I was never unsupported, never alone.
I had access to SO much recovery capital: I had help finding stable housing, meaningful employment with benefits, transportation, etc.
People recover when their needs are met!” – Cofounder, Alex