Understanding Addiction: Mike Lucier

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MikeNEWPORT- Mike Luceir grew up with a leg deformity which landed him in and out of surgeries throughout his teenage years. Pain killers became a normal part of his life, and he correlates that familiarity with his willingness to experiment with drugs as he got older. According to Luceir, his greatest struggle was with heroine, and around 2004 he joined one of the first Buprenorphine clinics in Vermont in an attempt to get his addiction under control.

"I got in there- it was a group, and I got prescribed Suboxone, and it worked. I was able to clean myself up, get a job, the groups were helping, and I got a girlfriend. It was my first falling in love experience, so it was pretty great for me."

Lucier stated that in time his relationship with his girlfriend came to an end, and that the stress of the breakup lead him back to drugs. "I would say around 2009 I was just off my rocker. Wasted all the time, doing anything I could find, and drinking and driving. All I could think about was I don't care you know, pretty much if I lived or died, and one night I almost did."

One night when Luceir was under the influence of drugs and alcohol he attempted to drive himself home. About two miles from his house he went off the road and ran into two girls and a telephone pole. Unfortunatley, one of the girls didn't make it.

Luceir was sentenced to eight years in prison, and it was there that he detoxed both mentally and physically. "As I was going through all that, I kind of realized you know, what I had done. What I had done to my family. What I had done to this girl's family. And this other girl who had to watch it all- what her and her family must be going through. And as I was going to court, and seeing these people, and going through all this I just knew, I need to change."

Luceir knew he wanted to do something to help people, so he spoke to a lawyer about educating others about his experiences. After about a year in jail, he got a call about going to local schools to speak with students. Recalling his first speech, he described the initial intimidation of standing in front of a room full of kids, but proceeded to note the positive outcome of the experience. According to him, the conversation sparked an interest among many of the students.

Luceir was released from prison in 2017 and got himself a COSA team from the Community Justice Center. They helped him get a job, they gave him rides, and they brought him to the Journey to Recovery Community Center, which he claims to have helped save his life as well. In continuing his efforts to pay it forward and help others, Lucier began his time with the recovery center as a volunteer.  He's now a trained recovery coach, working on-one with others. He also communicates with those still in jail to provide support as they work through their own recoveries.

Luceir says there's a long way to go in helping those still struggling with substance abuse, but says that he doesn't let that discourage him. "I've come to the conclusion that if I didn't do this, there would be a lot more failure. So, the people that we do get to save, there's probably never gonna be an end. There'll always be a ying and a yang, or a ten percent and a hundred percent. The good kind of makes you continue on your journey, and I have so many people I'm proud of, including myself."

Pt. 1 Understanding Addiction: Zach Rhoads

Pt. 2 Understanding Addiction: William Liberatore

Pt. 3 Understanding Addiction: Cynthia Boyd

Pt. 5 Understanding Addiction: Tennyson Marceau