My name is Ashley Livingston and I am a young person in sustained recovery. What that means for me is I have not used mood or mind altering substances for 4 years. I no longer just exist, as I did in active addiction. I have a wonderful life today that I’m able to be fully present for thanks to my recovery.

Like so many other young people, I began experimenting with drugs and alcohol on the weekends with friends. Also like so many others, I never thought that I would one day become a heroin addict, but I did. I was a good student and involved in several extracurricular activities.  That all changed during my senior year of High School when my boyfriend body slammed me and I was prescribed Oxycontin. Those pills soon became my love, my life, and eventually I moved on to heroin.

In 2007 I was arrested and placed on probation, which is where I found my first bit of hope. I was abstinent for 3 years until my first love came home and eventually shattered my mandible causing me to need reconstructive surgery and being placed on Dilaudid.  I overdosed on Dilaudid in 2012, which violated my probation. Shortly thereafter, I attended felony treatment court and that’s when my life truly changed. I was mandated to a 90 day program, domestic violence counseling, mental health counseling, and so much more.

After graduating Treatment Court I became extremely involved in the recovery community. I became the co-chair of Friends of Recovery – Warren & Washington Counties (FOR-WW), which is my local RCO. Today, sit on many Boards within my community and have begun advocating for the recovery community. I became a recovery coach and most recently obtained my CRPA-Provisional. I am being the change in the world I wish to see. None of this would be possible if I was not in recovery. I am beyond grateful for my new way of life, my new friends, and forever grateful for my family who have stood by me through my whole journey!!!

Thanks to recovery, I am the sister, daughter, niece and cousin that I used to be. My family was and continues to be a huge support for me!!