A fresh start - The Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley

Bill's battle with drug and alcohol addiction not only led him to losing the trust of friends and family — it led to losing his job. After years of struggling, he found help in Mercy Health Youngstown’s New Start chemical dependency program. Through donations and grants, our Mercy Health Foundation - Mahoning Valley gives $650,000 each year for substance abuse prevention and treatment initiatives. This includes New Start outpatient counseling, SBIRT screenings, a tobacco treatment center and recovery coaches.

“I don’t know if New Start saved my life, but it definitely made my life worth saving,” Bill said.

Bill’s addiction started with back aches and the pills prescribed to ease his pain. At one point, he was taking 30 painkillers a day. When he lost his job, he was required to get treatment for his addiction. Bill admits that he wasn’t convinced he had a problem at first. He decided he could justify drinking instead of taking pills. Soon, was having 20 or 30 drinks a day. 

Bill was 47, with no job and no ambition to do anything but drink.  He prayed for a reason to quit. Then his wife announced she was leaving him.  Bill wanted to get his wife and his job back, so he decided to complete treatment and get sober once and for all.  

Bill went back to New Start. This time he got a sponsor and completed all the steps. He’s been sober for eight years now. Bill is still with his wife and he got his job back. He even became a certified chemical dependency counselor, chairs group meetings and sponsors other people in recovery.

“I didn’t like who I was before. I wasn’t a good person,” said Bill. “Since going through New Start, I like me now. My kids and my family are proud of me for my journey and for beating my addictions. I’m grateful for the donors who support New Start and helped me get my life back.”

The Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley helps connect quality and compassionate care to those in our community who need it most. In any given year, our foundation helps fund up to 50 projects, all of which aim to make lives better — in mind, body, and spirit. Our donors help transform the facilities and programming that we offer our communities. It is with gratitude and inspiration that we continue to partner with donors like you — to provide resources and life-saving services to everyone in the greater Youngstown area.

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