TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — CODAC is helping one Tucson man beat his heroin addiction and his recovery coach has been by his side every step of the way. The last three years have been rough for Alonso Navarro, that’s because he’s been battling an addiction to heroin that started when he was given opioid medication after a car accident.
"It’s a hard thing to get away from but coming here made it easier. It can happen to anybody. From the time of the accident to the day I realized I was hooked to heroin it was quick. It was like an unconscious decision when I made it,” Navarro said.
Then one day, Navarro decided to go to CODAC for help and got connected to recovery coach and peer support specialist Jamie Patricko.
Patricko had her own struggles with addiction in the past and has been sober for more than ten years, she follows her cases for as long as she’s needed.
“Honestly, I never thought I would stop using. It does help when you have the experience yourself, because you can honestly relate in a lot of situations where there’s homelessness when people are unemployed, people are hungry,” Patricko said.
Navarro has regular check-in's with Patricko and spends time with his peers at intensive outpatient program meetings for nine hours per week to help keep himself going. Some of the meetings are at the CODAC offices on east Fort Lowell in Tucson. The location also has a methadone clinic, medical and counseling services available.
"Now I have a job, I got married in November. I have 5 kids I see them when it's my turn to see them. I can be there for them now before I would just choose to do drugs instead of spending time with them now, we have a normal life,” Navarro said.
Right now, there are 94 certified peer support specialists working at CODAC to help those who need it most.
“Nobody is going to judge you here they understand why you’re coming here and they’re here to help,” Navarro said.