Sussex County Recovering Addict Reflects - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Recovering Addict Reflects

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Bruce Ricketts (Photo WBOC) Bruce Ricketts (Photo WBOC)

LEWES, Del. - The Sussex County Health Coalition recently jumped on the purple band wagon to raise awareness for substance abuse. 

In light of that campaign, one local man, Bruce Ricketts, is speaking out about his journey through addiction in hopes of it becoming another person's inspiration. 

Bruce lives with 11 other people in an Oxford house that all share similar struggles. The goal in the house is to give recovering addicts a safe place to rebuild their lives. 

"We do a lot of things together, it's been a blessing," Ricketts said. "We go to a lot of meetings together, we eat together, we go to movies, it's like i have a built in network of people." 

Ricketts was addicted to crack-cocaine and heroin for nearly 15 years. 

He is back on his feet now - working for a cleaning service company. He said addiction is physical, mental, and spiritual in nature. 

"The physical is the compulsion, the mental is the obsession," Ricketts said. "Once I start thinking about it I can't stop and once I pick it up and put it in me I can't put it down," Ricketts said. 

He has advice for people who are where he once was. 

"Don't give up five minutes before the miracle happens, stick around for tomorrow's blessing, make a commitment to just stay clean today and let help help you," Ricketts said. 

It hasn't been an easy road to recovery for Bruce. He was clean for five years but then relapsed for three. 

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for the disease of addiction because it allows us to compromise our morals, our values, our standards," Ricketts said. "I have a lot more respect for the power of recovery now because it is possible."

However, Ricketts is once again clean. He said he has been clean for 15 months and his son has always been his saving grace. 

There's a long journey ahead but Ricketts said he is up to the challenge. 

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