Recovering Addicts Turn To Community To Help Healing Process

, Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Fri, September 6 2013 at 6:19 PM, Updated: Fri, September 6 2013 at 6:34 PM

The US government says that one in every ten Americans is suffering from some sort of addiction.

An addiction can sometimes lead people down the path of drugs and serious crimes.

For most of his life, Michael Duncan says he had been taking the wrong path.

"I made it a point as a child to be incarcerated because I felt safe there. When I got older I didn't know how to function in society," Duncan said.

He's now been sober for 18 months.

Alex Barbiero, whose been sober for more than 200 days tells a similar story.

"I started experimenting with marijuana and alcohol at a young age and because of my strong addiction, I lost just about everything in my life. I knew I was powerless over my addiction," explained Barbiero.

Ordered by a judge to take action, like many addicts, the two were sent to recovery programs like Ontrack.

Defeating addictions is often a hard and challenging step itself, but for these two men, and a group of others their recovery is only a small part of it.

"We don't look at the havoc we have on our community. I want to feel the empathy for people I've harmed, not just my direct victims but my indirect victims," Duncan said.

That is why they are creating a victim impact panel, a chance for those impacted to share their side of the story.

"I've done a lot of things that have hurt a lot of people, it's the realization and hearing from them. That will keep me from doing it again. It's an uncomfortable thing but it is important," Barbiero said.

An important step that will help bring closure to both sides.

Since September is National Recovery Awareness month, the two will also be at the Recovery Fair at the Jackson County Courthouse on September 19.

To find out more about the victim impact panel, you can contact Ontrack at (541) 772-1777.

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About the Author

Kyle Aevermann

Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.

Catch Kyle anchoring weekends on NBC 5 News at 6pm and 11pm.

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