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Father Overcomes Addiction to Help Others

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By Noelle Forde | Thursday, September 22nd 2022

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — September is National Recovery Month.

According to the national survey on drug use and health, 40 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorder in the year 2020.

Shane Hassler went through the recovery process and is now working to help others struggling with the disease.

“As somebody in recovery, I talk about it openly and freely. If it makes somebody uncomfortable, that’s who I am and that’s where I came from,” said Hassler, program digital services manager at Gateway Foundation.

Hassler has been in recovery since 2015.

“One of the most difficult things for me, the last time I went to residential treatment, was asking for help,” Hassler said. “You know, it’s just about making that first call.”

Hassler made the decision to get help after realizing his addiction was only going to get worse.

“As somebody who was college-educated, a parent, and the types of things like the financial situation and just my mental and physical health, I could tell the writing was on the wall and I knew if I didn’t get help it was just going to get worse,” Hassler said.

He said recovery has changed him for the better. He now uses his own experience to help others battling addiction.

“I was in situations where I needed assistance and I needed help,” Hassler said. “So I definitely have the capacity to be empathetic and meet people where they are.”

Hassler said it’s important to be open and honest, so people don’t feel ashamed or afraid to ask for help.

“I think the more open people are about it. People understand there’s so many people affected by it,” Hassler said. “It’s not something to be ashamed of or stigmatized by.”

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