Raymond was born in Yuma, the youngest of nine. He says he had “a good childhood,” but when he became a teenager “started hanging around with the wrong crowd.” He joined a gang, started experimenting with marijuana and alcohol, and was “in and out of juvy.” And out of school by eighth grade. More experimenting, more trips to juvy, more years and at eighteen wound up in prison, was released and spent the next two years “in and out of jail,” adding cocaine, meth, and heroine to his drug diet. He overdosed three times on heroine and was sent to prison again for two and half years.
This was his life for thirty years. Then, he got arrested for possession of meth and was sent to Drug Court. He recalls, “That was it for me, no more. I had four kids and I was never there for them.” Raymond graduated from Drug Courg, got a job, an apartment, and was clean and sober for three years. Then, “fell off the wagon.” He remembers that a friend of his worked for HOPE, and she convinced him to enroll in services. He says that”Tracey and Fred changed my life, because he finally had the support and tools he needed to turn his life around.
Raymond enrolled with HOPE services in Yuma on November 24, 2020. He attended the Relapse Prevention group. He told HOPE staff, “ I need to stay clean and sober and learn new ways to avoid substance use triggers and to manage my anxiety symptoms in a better way and not have fear with my daily functioning.” After a couple of months, he increased his participation and attended Skills Training.. He eventually engaged in one on one peer support. Raymond successfully completed Probation in 2020.
Today Raymond has a job, an apartment, and a pet dog named Roxie and, he has his kids, his family, his grandkids. He continues to make significant progress in meeting his recovery goals and enjoys the support and compassion he gets from the HOPE Yuma staff. “It’s a good feeling to be clean and sober. I’m attending groups and I am moving forward.”