Omaha woman who battled opioid addiction now uses her knowledge to help others

A local woman who's battled an opioid addiction is now using her knowledge to help others.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 4:58 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Michelle Young said she wasted her days away while hooked on opioids.

“Anxiety, not sleeping, erratic moods,” Young said.

Like so many others, Michelle said she got hooked on opioids after a doctor prescribed them to her.

“I’ve been in recovery for three years and battled addiction over nine years, off and on.”

In her case, she suffered a neck injury. Life then dealt her more blows, including her son’s suicide. In 2019, she said she felt like she hit rock bottom:

“Hopeless, and that if I didn’t get help and get clean, I wasn’t going to make it.”

Michelle started going to intensive outreach treatment and intensive therapy for trauma. It helped her develop healthy coping skills, but what she says helped most was the support from her family.

“My family was always very supportive. They pretty much said they held their bottom lines healthy boundaries and said if you don’t get help you’re going to lose everything.”

Tiffany Gormley is a clinical director at Northpoint Nebraska, an addiction treatment center in Omaha.

She said it takes a while for an individual’s brain to heal during recovery.

“In those 60 to 90 days after someone stops using dopamine, receptors are starting to irregulate so it’s important to have support in those 60 to 90 days,” Gormley said.

Tiffany urges those who are in need of resources to constantly reach out to their local treatment centers.

“Anybody who’s looking for resources can reach out to our admissions line and we’re not the right fit for them. We hope to get them connected with other resources in the community,” Gormley said.

Michelle’s not only in recovery — she’s now an employee at Northpoint and she has a message for anyone watching right now who need help.

“It’s never too late and that you matter, and there’s so many people out here just like you that are waiting in the recovery community to welcome you with open arms.”