I am writing to tell you about my struggle with being a teenager in recovery.

I am an 18-year-old, originally from Rumford, and grew up around alcohol and drugs; both of my parents struggle with addiction. Rumford is a small mill town where there’s nothing besides booze and drugs and the mill. I grew up in an abusive environment as a child. I enjoyed school but as I got older, I started using drugs to fit in with friends, and I continued to use because it filled a void and took some of the pain away that I had experienced as a child.

I found myself physically and mentally dependent on substances, doing everything I could get my hands on, from pot to heroin. I started manipulating my family and friends to get high, and when that didn’t work I stole from them. I went on a two-month binge that landed me in Long Creek, and led me to Day One in September.

Since being at Day One, I’ve gained back things I lost: I came into the program with eight credits as a senior and now I have 20; I rebuilt relationships I lost, and I can now take accountability for my actions and emotions. This program has turned me into an adult and given my family their loving kid back at the same time.

I am forever thankful for this program and the staff here. They understand the struggle of addiction, and don’t judge us for our past and disease. They look to help us instead of putting us down, and they make us feel welcomed and make it so we can be open about our past and disease.

Hi, I’m Ethyn, and I am a grateful alcoholic and drug addict.

Ethyn Buotte


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