Proof that recovery assistance works

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Crossroads Counseling in St. Clairsville celebrated National Recovery Month with a Recovery Rally held at Memorial Park.

The rally included lunch, games and special guest speaker Heather Brocklehurst, who will be clean for five years on Oct. 21.

“(This rally) shows us that recovery works and treatment works,” said prevention specialist Laura Shimenga. “A lot of people don’t believe it … They are fathers, mothers, teachers, anybody can get a substance or alcohol addiction. This shows that the program works, not just ours, but AA, NA as well. To me, its means that there is hope … I want to thank everyone for coming and I want to thank Miracles Happens, Crossroads staff, all the judges, police and sheriffs that came out today.”

Brocklehurst spoke of her experience with substance abuse and the importance of recovery. She began five years ago after having giving birth; she was suffering from post-partum depression. Upon taking the medicine, Brocklehurst realized that the pills made the sadness go away.

“Little did I know it would take me on a hard road. Over those years, I would continue to use narcotics,” said Brocklehurst, who would get them anyway she could including stealing.

“It took me to a place where I didn’t know myself.”

When her then husband took her two children away from her in Oct. 2008, she overdosed. Upon waking up in the hospital she discovered that not only were her kidneys and that she would have to spend the weekend in Hillcrest, but the St. Clairsville police would arrest her.

Brocklehurst spent eight nights in jail before seeing a judge.

She was then sent to rehab because she would not take the advice of the counselors, which ended with a four month stay.

“I am still an addict,” Brocklehurst said. “I am still weak at this point in my life … I know this too shall pass and it will pass … It’s all about the choices you make in your in your life.”

Van Dyne may be reached at