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Program helps Nadine find her ‘new beginning’

Nadine is working on gaining custody of her young boys.

Nadine is working on gaining custody of her young boys.

Nadine, now 39, started smoking meth with friends at 17. When she had her first son, Brennan, at 19, she was clean during her pregnancy but relapsed a couple years later. This cycle continued when she had two more sons, Abel and Joshua. By the time her youngest was 4, Nadine was back to using meth every day.

“After his birth, I was sober until Joshua was around 2. Then I only used occasionally,” Nadine recalls. “But I started working, and I got a new boyfriend, and I started smoking (meth) with him.”

Nadine’s mother noticed that she would leave the house often. When her mother discovered Nadine high one day in the presence of her children, Nadine’s mother acted. “My mom said, ‘That’s it, I’m taking the boys.’ The cops were there and everything,” Nadine shared.

Nadine’s mother gained custody of her three children until Nadine “sobered up.” She filed a restraining order against Nadine, prohibiting her from approaching or communicating directly with her mother, or her three boys, until she entered a program and got sober. Instead, Nadine violated the restraining order and was arrested.

In January 2024, after seven months in jail, Nadine entered the women’s Life Recovery Program at Rescue Mission Alliance Central Coast. Nadine remembers what she felt when she first arrived at the program. “I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I was nervous but it ended up being wonderful. I was out of jail. I was sober. I felt like it was a new life, and it’s so good,” said Nadine.

The faith-based program is helping Nadine address deeper issues of her addiction. Her favorite parts are devotion and Bible study. “All of what we do is Godly based,” Nadine said. “I really like it, it’s so helpful. My relationship with God has grown.”

Inspired by her time at the Mission, after graduation Nadine is considering pursuing a career in case management to help others. For now, Nadine’s advice to anyone struggling is simple: “Take a chance. It’s an awesome program. It helps get you back on your feet and back on track. Your worries are lifted.

“Most importantly, don’t be afraid to better your life. To change your life around. … You can do it. There’s always hope.”

Nadine’s looking forward to building a healthy relationship with her mother and staying sober. She’s now able to communicate with her oldest son, and under the care and guidance of staff, Nadine is working on gaining custody of her two younger boys, employment and her own place.

“It’s a new beginning to my life.”

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