Aaron, 29, a Massillon, Ohio, native, came to Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley in August 2021 at a relative’s suggestion. He was drinking a lot and using cocaine. “I just knew it was time to find the help that I needed,” he said. And now, he’ll graduate this month.
At first, it was a culture shock. He needed to get acclimated to the way of life at ATCOV. The program has made Aaron more dependable. “Before I came here, I just wasn’t very consistent,” he said. “You know, you could ask me to come do something or be somewhere for you and I might be there and I might not. The consistency part of it all is where I’ve really improved.”
After graduation, Aaron plans to get an industrial job and be a better father to his daughter. “I think the program worked for me so well because you know, I didn’t have to be here,” he said. “I could have left, but there’s just a lot of people around here who really encourage you and make you want to do the right thing.”
“You see a lot of people that have been through here and you see how they’re living now and you want that for yourself too,” he said. “I realized that and I just stuck it out.” Aaron says the ATCOV program works if you decide you really want to change and make a commitment to do it. “If you want to change and be a better person and be sober, then that’s what will happen,” he said.
Aaron’s loved ones see the changes in him and he feels the difference too. “My head’s clear and I have sober thoughts and it’s just a lot different than what it was a year ago both physically and mentally,” he said. If he hadn’t come to ATCOV, Aaron believes his drinking and drug use likely would have continued. “I’d probably be dead or maybe in jail,” Aaron said. “There’s no telling.”
Every morning at ATCOV starts with time allotted for daily devotions — something Aaron didn’t do before. “That’s going to be something different in my everyday life that I take out of here,” he said.