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SOBER: Stories Of Recovery And Hope From Indiana

Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media
Brandon George, director of the Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition, hosted a live storytelling event in August in partnership with Side Effects Public Media.

Addiction affects millions of Americans. At a live storytelling event, Indiana community members who struggle with addiction shared their stories of life in recovery.

If you or a loved one need addiction treatment resources, go to

Nathan Boyer

Credit Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media
Nathan Boyer has been in recovery for four years. His wife checked him into rehab after he went to his daughter's school while drunk.

People in addiction recovery will sometimes talk about a "moment of clarity" that lead to their sobriety. For 48-year-old Nathan Boyer, that moment came after he fell off a ladder and his wife checked him into rehab.

Dwight Fortune

Credit Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media
Dwight Fortune was a college athlete who grew up in a supportive home. But once he became successful in the real estate business, he started using drugs and eventually ended up in the prison system.

Dwight Fortune acknowledges that his story isn't the typical one of someone who ends up in prison after years struggling with addiction. Now, he uses his experiences to help other people in recovery transition back into society after serving time. 



James, who asked to only be identified by his middle name, tried Oxycontin for the first time when he was in college. Now in recovery, he works as a paramedic, often responding to overdose victims who need to be revived using the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. 

Kelsey Phillips

Credit Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media
Kelsey Phillips has been in recovery since 2013. She now works with women just entering recovery treatment.


Kelsey Phillips, who has been in recovery since 2013, now works with women who are just entering recovery. Women who, like her, had children born addicted to heroin, and who have limited access to treatment.

Listen: The storytellers discuss the importance of sharing stories of recover on WFYI's No Limits

Brandon Dreiman

Credit Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media
Brandon Dreiman has been a firefighter and paramedic with the Indianapolis Fire Department for 17 years. Now, he works with other firefighters struggling with addiction and behavioral health issues.


First responders like firefighter Brandon Dreiman face barrierswhen it comes to getting treatment for mental health and addiction. He coped with traumatic experiences through drinking. Then, a random work drug screening changed his life.

This story was produced by Matt Pelsor. On Monday, Dec. 17, at 9 p.m. tune into WFYI for an hour-long special on these stories.