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Small Town, Big Problem

Brittney was born and raised in Corsicana, a historic and charming city around 60 miles south of Dallas known to Texans for its world-famous fruit cake. She loves living in a smaller town, a refuge away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Eventually, the boredom and drug culture of her small town got to her. Brittney started

using meth recreationally at the age of 14 and drugs consumed her life for six years. Once she overdosed and ended up at a mental institution, she was directed to Homeward

Bound’s outpatient program in Corsicana. This changed everything for

her as she grew more knowledgeable about her own addiction and met relatable recovery coaches who guided her towards recovery.

While Corsicana fits the ideals of an American small-town with its kindness and neighborliness, the town suffers from problems that haven’t been mild or manageable. Drug use among the youth has been rampant over the years, and so have substance use disorders. These problems were mostly ignored for years in this town, at least until Homeward Bound brought their services to the city.

This issue isn’t uncommon. Small-towns are often romanticized while the problems that plague their city are overlooked. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the rates of drug overdose deaths in rural areas were surpassing rates in the inner cities.

"In 2017...the rates of drug overdose deaths in rural areas were surpassing rates in the inner cities."

“There’s nothing for our youth to do, therefore, there’s nothing but trouble to get into… Drugs are a very big problem here in these small, rural towns,” says Brittney. She also emphasizes the lack of resources, which are likely leading to comparatively higher overdose death rates in rural towns.

Her admission into the Corsicana outpatient program was the first time she heard of such a resource existing in her town. When she heard Homeward Bound was expanding in her region with a new Crisis Respite House, she wanted to give back. After being in recovery for two years, she started working as a Mental Health Specialist at this new facility.

While describing Homeward Bound, Brittney says “They’re saviors. They loved me when I

couldn’t love myself." Working there helped Brittney stay in recovery, help others like herself through treatment, and spread awareness about addiction that she felt was missing for her when she was younger. In her first year of recovery, she even had a baby that she called her “recovery baby.” She finally felt she found her purpose in her new life and in her son. She says her son reminds her of her journey, especially every day she goes back home to him after her 12-hour shifts.

“They’re saviors. They loved me when I couldn’t love myself."

Brittney believes that the situation is improving in Corsicana as there are more resources now, such as the medication-assisted treatment provided by Homeward Bound. As a born and raised native that has dealt with addiction, Brittney is able to connect with clients on a personal level and provide the trust and support they need. Through HBI, she and other local residents are able to care for each other and finally address the town’s issues that had been previously neglected.

Homeward Bound Inc. is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization based in North and Far West Texas. If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder or having a mental health crisis, please call Homeward Bound at 214-941-3500.

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