When Sara Crawford first entered Healing Transitions in 2017, she was not yet ready to own the responsibility to address her addiction. Because the disease of addiction is not a linear path, the journey to recovery is different for everyone. So our doors are open as many times as it takes. One night, overwhelming shame and guilt took over, and Sara left campus on a whim. That night, she overdosed. 


Sara was found – and saved – by Healing Transitions’ Rapid Responders. With a rude awakening to the life-threatening reality of addiction, Sara entered another detox and treatment facility to gain some comfort and structure. But she was able to skate by without truly confronting her addiction. When she left that facility, it wasn’t long before she was using again. Addiction chained her to a brutal, unpredictable pattern of jail, broken family relationships, and drug use.


Sara was living out of her car in 2019 when it got repossessed. When she arrived at the repo lot, she was met with an arrest for nine felonies and three misdemeanors due to the pills found in her car. 


“In recovery, we talk about jail, institutions, and death. And I’ve experienced all three.”


The vicious cycle of addiction pulled Sara away from her son, her mother, her job, her schooling, and her life itself. She was in and out of jail for years. When the pandemic hit and Sara’s mother kicked her out of the house for using, Sara hit rock bottom. 


Her life was in grave danger. Sara was mandated by Wake County to return to Healing Transitions. Today, she’s overwhelmed with gratitude for the mandate because the grit and acceptance she experienced paved the way for her participation in the program. 


“I’ve been to rehabs all over North Carolina multiple times, and Healing Transitions is the only one that was challenging for me because of the dedication it required to work on myself.”


Sara credits the Rapid Responder team at Healing Transitions and her sponsor Maya with saving her life. From the time she overdosed years prior, they stuck with her – even through relapses and jail. They visited her, showed up for her court dates, and encouraged her in her recovery.


“It was amazing to see multiple people in the courtroom stand up on my behalf,” she said with a smile. “Stephanie, one of the Rapid Responders at Healing Transitions, was one of them. And Maya helped me see that God is not a punishing higher power. I know I’m not sitting here by luck.”


It took years of jail time, confronting her own death, interactions with Rapid Responders, and a court mandate for Sara to commit to recovery and experience real change in her life. This is the power of showing up for those who need it most on the darkest of days. In May 2023, right before she received her Silver Chip, Sara’s probation ended, and she was free to live her new life in recovery. 


“I was in a very dark place. Healing Transitions gave me my life back, gave me my family back, taught me how to have genuine relationships with people in my life,” she shared.


And now we get to witness Sara giving back in her Recovery Life to help other people find the light of recovery at New Waters Recovery and Detox, another local recovery program. She’s living proof that there’s hope on the other side of despair. And her story is the reason we see the potential in our community regardless of where they are on their journey to recovery.


This September, in honor of National Recovery Month, we invite you to invest in 75 people’s journey to recovery, many of whom caught a glimpse of hope because someone showed up for them regardless. Your generosity has the power to rekindle a person’s desire and ability to return to a meaningful and productive life: healing-transitions.org/nrm