HELLO, MY NAME IS STEPHANIE LANDREE. I joined the Step Denver team in February of this year as the Director of Vehicle Donations. My passion is to work for a purpose, to work for an organization that
I have seen firsthand how the disease of addiction can destroy a person’s life. Both my Father and Sister are addicts. It took me a very long time before I could openly say that my Father was an addict. I always knew he had an addiction to pain medication and alcohol, but never wanted to say it aloud. My father was in a severe auto accident at the age of 18, spent an entire year in the hospital, and was treated with painkillers.
The first time I knew my Father was an addict was when I was 10 years old. My siblings and I were getting ready for school; mom and dad had already left for work when I noticed my dad’s car was still in the driveway. I went outside to see why. My dad was just sitting in his car. That’s when I noticed that he was not moving and the cigarette he had in his hand had burned a hole in his fingers. My dad had overdosed. I will never forget that moment, as they revived my father he grabbed my hand and would not let go and rode in the ambulance to the hospital. Upon release, my dad entered a treatment center for addiction. The next 30 days our family watched my dad try to turn his life around; he was sober for 30 days.
In the years that followed it was a never-ending battle between my mom and dad, the pain was real, and it took bigger quantities of pills to ease his addiction. I watched my mom hide his pills, only giving them to him on a schedule, but somehow my dad always found the hiding place, would take whatever he could get his hands on and that led to many more visits to the ER and more fighting with my mom.
I grew to resent my father, resenting him for choosing the pills over his family. I watched my mom struggle every day to find some sort of balance between enabling my father’s addiction and keeping
her family together. As my father grew older, he quit drinking; I think he knew his body could not take both so he chose the pills over the alcohol. In the final year of my Dad’s life, he was in the hospital 7 times, all centered on various complications from taking too many pills.
My Father passed away on March 1st of this year, the very day my parents were married 55 years ago.
My Sister’s story is much like my Father’s, same path and I am afraid, it will be the same outcome. I cannot help but think how different our lives would be if they both received the treatment much
like the treatment provided by Step Denver.
As I continue in my new role at Step Denver, I see firsthand just how remarkable this program really is and the men we serve. I am honored to work alongside the amazing staff at Step Denver and cannot help but believe that I was put in this position for a purpose.