SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WWSB) - For twelve years now Jeff Lynch has been clean and sober after many years of addiction to drugs and alcohol. He says if he can do it, anyone can do it.
"There is hope for people that are seeking recovery, complete abstinence for me is what's worked," said Lynch.
Lynch says the turning point for him was waking up in a fog on the floor of the Salvation Army after relapsing after being clean for 5 years. A person next to him had urinated on his leg. At that time he was high on crack cocaine mixed with alcohol. In the past, he would get high on many different drugs including speedballs.
"I thought to myself God how did I get here and then it dawned on me I realized I took the first drink again and that's how I relapsed," said Lynch.
Lynch, who is a veteran says these are the five steps he follows everyday that keeps him from relapsing, they include prayer, educating yourself about addiction, going to one meeting a day, calling someone in recovery, and praying again before the end of the night. What has also worked for Lynch is having his dog Boris right by his side. He now spends a lot of his time working as a maintenance man on Siesta Key, selling antiques all over the country and meditating at the beach.
"I'm happy, joyous and free," said Lynch.
P.J. Brooks with First Step of Sarasota is happy to see Jeff Lynch talking about his successes. He tells us it's important to celebrate recovery, especially with the opioid epidemic being such a huge issue on the Suncoast.
"Recovery being anonymous often does not let itself to allow individuals to come out and be open and share that their in recovery," said Brooks and I hope as a community we can be more supportive of that."
Lynch says there is a group that meets at the Siesta Beach pavilion every morning at 8am and that has helped him stay on the right track. He has this advice for anyone struggling with addiction.
"Be persistent, make up your mind, make a decision and do the deal."
If you or someone you know needs help with drug and alcohol addiction you can log onto www.fsos.org or call 941-366-5333.
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