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Addiction can impact people from every walk of life

There's a lot of stigma around addiction but this illness can affect anyone and looks different person to person.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — WZDX spoke to members of the Partnership for a Drug-Free Community - and the organization wants anyone facing challenges with addiction to know that there is a helping hand within the community.

The face of addiction looks different for all that struggle with the illness and it's important to note that.

The word itself even has a stigma.

And oftentimes, those struggling are blamed for their addiction but it's important to note that addiction is an illness.

"It may start with a choice, but for some people, it's not always a choice to do this and there are some people who are highly functioning," said Executive Director of the non-profit, Wendy Reeves.

Another thing to note is that you may not ever even know that someone is struggling and that addiction can look completely different person to person.

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"I myself, I was, what I call a functioning drug addict. I worked every day I went to college, I didn't graduate from college, but I went to college, I served in the military and I was functioning. So sometimes it's hard to recognize, especially with the opioids and all of the pain medication that's out there now people are addicted to those. So it's kind of hard to recognize but it's in all walks of life." said Treasurer of the nonprofit, Pastor of Draper Memorial Church of God in Christ and Recovered Addict, Dave Draper.

Draper is coming up on his 40th year of sobriety and wants to help others out of the struggle as well.

"Forty straight years of no drugs, no alcohol," said Draper.

He also wants people to know that there is no shame in asking for help.

"There's no shame because you can't get help unless you ask for it," said Draper.

"Really the first step is pick up the phone and call us," said Reeves.

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The number to the Huntsville Partnership for a Drug-Free Community is: 256-539-7339

The Partnership for a Drug-Free Community aims for just that, a drug-free community, and they do so by prevention education and recovery programs and by letting the community know that they are really there for them.

"We work with children who are from second grade to 12th grade in school, we work with college but we work with the community. Our recovery resource hub is really dedicated more to adults who - either we didn't get them on the front end or whatever has happened in their life, they're facing this substance use disorder. When they're ready to make that change, if they call us, we're going to help them," said Reeves.

To visit the non-profit's website: click here.