Owning Addiction and Moving Forward in Klamath Falls

On May 4, 2015, Holly Ruiz was arrested for possession of methamphetamine in Klamath Falls, OR. She thought her life was over.

“Little did I know that my life was just beginning,” Ruiz said. “I was tired of the ball and chain that is methamphetamine.”

Ruiz was “seriously freaking out” when she went to Drug Court on June 15. She told the

Holly Ruiz

Holly Ruiz is on the road to addiction recovery with the help of our comprehensive treatment program in Klamath Falls.

judge she was an addict – the first time she admitted it in public. She met LCS Northwest Drug Counselor Dawn Magnelli that day. Dawn told Holly that she was just like her. Magnelli is going on 20 years of sobriety.

“She helped me save myself,” Ruiz said of Magnelli. “She made me feel OK. She had been where I was.”

With Drug Court, if you complete a treatment program, your record is cleared. Ruiz chose LCS Northwest for treatment. She went home from Drug Court and got high. That was the last day Ruiz used meth, a drug her boyfriend introduced her to in 2006.

“I hold all responsibility for this use,” Ruiz said. “I chose to do it. He didn’t make me. It went from what was supposed to be a party favor to a lifestyle. I had no idea.”

Ruiz’s life went downhill quickly. She tried to commit suicide. She had to sell her home. Her daughter went to live with her father. Her meth addiction intensified.

In 2009, she was convicted of felony domestic assault in Vancouver, WA after catching her boyfriend cheating on her. Her weapon was a crowbar. They would “beat the hell out of each other” when they were high. They broke up, but got back together again living in central Oregon. In March of 2014, Ruiz ended the relationship and moved back to Klamath Falls, where she grew up.

Ruiz calls herself an addict with integrity. She didn’t steal, paid her bills, and always worked so she could buy a bag of dope. Her son stayed with her, and remains loyal. She would go months without using, but she would always start back up.

When she came to our Klamath Falls office for treatment, Ruiz told counselors that her first uranalysis would be “dirty.” It was. There was a defining moment in that first month of treatment.

“I decided I was going to utilize this opportunity that God and the universe had presented me to get cleaned up and off drugs,” she said. The next 85 UA samples over nine months were all clean.

One of the reasons treatment is working for Ruiz is that she started seeing Mike Bricker at LCS Northwest for mental health counseling. She was diagnosed with depression, PTSD and anxiety. She started taking Wellbutrin for depression, instead of self-medicating.

“Mike believed in me, and I learned that I can believe in myself again,” Ruiz said.

On March 28, Ruiz graduated from Drug Court. She did it in only 9 months. She calls herself a “grateful recovering addict.” She credits LCS Northwest’s recovery program in Klamath Falls.

“I can’t believe how much my life has changed in a year,” Ruiz said. “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. This time I had teachers who helped me to help myself.”

Ruiz wants to help other addicts in the future. Her goal is to give back more than the help she has received.

“I’m really me again,” she said with a smile. “I’m not hiding behind my meth mask.”

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