HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - With the opioid crisis continuing across the nation and in Mississippi, local addicts in recovery are speaking out, hoping to help someone who is facing their same battle.
Jessica Bowman takes us inside Oxford House Vortex, a transitional home for women in Hattiesburg.
“We are drug addicts, but today we are drug addicts in recovery,” said Chandra Brown, an Oxford House Outreach worker.
“My drug of choice was marijuana and crystal meth," Alexis Pryor said. “I had been using for three years.”
“I’m an alcohol and drug addict in recovery," Jennifer Malley said. "I’ve been sober for almost 11 months.”
A program of recovery since 1975, Oxford House International has worked to help transform people’s lives. Brown has taken her story of drugs and alcohol abuse and turned it into a mission to serve others traveling her same footsteps.
“Oxford House is so much, it’s a miracle,” Brown said.
A place of sobriety, empowerment and support.
“I get emotionally overwhelmed because it gives people in addiction an opportunity that they never knew they had,” Brown said.
With more than 2,000 transitional houses across the nation and 17 statewide, Hattiesburg is home to three houses. Inside, a snapshot of a new life for women working towards a stable future.
“I love it. I am passionate because it saved my life,” said Dana Tarter, an Oxford House alum.
Tarter now helps others who face her same tribulations.
“It still helps you with accountability," Tarter said. "You see the women coming in and you are able to help them and watch them grow as you did. It’s amazing and a wonderful experience.”
“It saved my life because I was in addiction for so long I had no idea just how to live as a sober person,” Malley said.
The self-supporting drug free home is the foundation to a sense of freedom.
“I’ve seen people’s life change," Brown said. "It’s not a story that I’ve heard or something I read, I’m part of it. I get to watch the miracle happen and it’s probably one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever been a part of.”