How James Became Sober at Lakeview Health | Lakeview Blog

How James Became Sober at Lakeview Health

Back to All Blogs


Published: October 6, 2017

Alumni Spotlight: James

My name is James (aka Shaky J) and I didn’t start using alcohol or drugs until freshmen year of college. Born and raised in New Jersey, I was big into sports and staying active at all times. This helped to keep me in line and away from drugs and alcohol. After college, I played semi-pro football in Philadelphia. After that, I stopped being active and was at the bar every night hanging out with friends drinking and smoking pot. After landing a very well-paying job, I moved out of my parent’s house and bought my own home with a friend. This is where I started to experiment with pills and other drugs. The pills are what I really got hooked on. After losing my job due to stealing and getting in trouble with the law, I realized that my everyday life revolved around getting high or drunk. I knew I had a problem and needed help. I then moved to south Florida where I went through a couple of treatment centers, but still wasn’t ready to call it quits. I moved back to New Jersey for a few months and later ended up in Jacksonville. I was without a job and relying on my girlfriend to support me while I drank and used heroin every day. Finally, I was caught on all of my BS, drinking, and using and was checked into a hospital. By the grace of God, I was told by the doctor that I was going to Lakeview Health for medical detox and treatment. To this day, I am so grateful for the decision that doctor made for me.

James’ Treatment at Lakeview Health

On April 1, 2016, I arrived at Lakeview completely worn out – all skin and bones – weighing only 170 pounds. I was shaking so bad from withdrawals that I couldn’t even carry my own tray or drink from a cup without it spilling all over the place; that’s when I gave myself the nickname ‘Shaky J. During my time at Lakeview Health I didn’t hold back. Working with the great staff, I was able to open up like I never had before. Not only was I getting help from my counselors, but also from techs, nurses, other clients, doctors, and pretty much any staff member I spoke to. I didn’t miss any groups, even though sometimes I really didn’t feel like going. I really wanted to get it right this time and tried my best in everything that I was asked to do there. I learned so much about myself and how to deal with different emotions that I didn’t know how to handle without numbing myself from reality.

I got back into working out within their wellness therapy program and ended up putting on a healthy 30lbs for the 5 weeks I was there. I was given a number of workout programs to continue doing to get myself back into being active again. Being active was something that I always loved doing before getting involved with drugs and alcohol. After leaving Lakeview Health, the aftercare program lined me up with a wonderful sober living situation that fit me perfectly. They gave me options and allowed me to visit each one to see which worked best for my current situation. Something I really learned at Lakeview was that I needed to surround myself with others who have similar goals in life as me. I developed great relationships with many staff members while there, whom I still stop by when I can to see them. I also attend support groups and alumni events set up by Lakeview where I’ve met many great friends and expanded my network that just keeps expanding with every event that I attend.

The more things I put in myself and a drink or drug, the better the chance I have at staying sober. I practice the principles of a 12 step program in all my affairs while working with others and strive to be the best person I can be each and every day. It has taken a lot of time and practice, but I can proudly say that I love who I am today and am very grateful for each and every day that I am blessed with.

Related posts



Empowering Profound Recovery

While we aim to provide accurate and up to date information on substance use and treatment for Substance Use Disorder, the information found on this site is for general knowledge purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as medical advice or guidance in any way. Always follow the treatment plan and guidance outlined by your trusted medical provider.

We are now offering an optional Covid-19 vaccine to all patients upon admission to keep our community safe.

Learn More Here