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Hope for all who battle addiction


Imlay City grad goes from rock bottom to recovery outreach



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June 06, 2018
TRI-CITY AREA — Six years ago addiction wiped it all away—a six-figure salary, nice house on a golf course, season tickets to Michigan games and a young family. It also nearly took Patrick Patterson's life too, but "God would not let me go," the 1998 Imlay City grad said.

Today he believes God saved his life for a reason—to help lift others out of addiction's despair, and important people are taking notice.

Patrick will share his story at the June 14 Families Against Narcotics meeting in Lapeer and talk about the work he's currently doing through the Blue Water Recovery and Outreach Center in Port Huron.

• • • •

"Addicts wake up in the morning and don't want to be addicts. It is not a fun life. I hated to see the sun rise," Patrick said of his addiction.

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Patrick Patterson
Like many others, it started with prescribed pain killers and transitioned to heroin.

"All roads lead to heroin. That sounds terrible but that's it in a nutshell."

Patrick said it took him two years to even admit he had a problem and another 2-3 years cycling through rehab and relapses.

"I was beautiful at manipulating people. My life became a never-ending lie," he said of his actions as an addict.

In late May 2016, Patrick decided he didn't want to be an addict anymore and planned to end his own life.

"It got to a point where I could not escape this addiction. I couldn't get out of this trap that I was in," he recalls.

He bought a large quantity of heroin and planned to overdose in his car.

"God wouldn't let me die. I fell asleep before I could inject the whole thing. I tried several times...the process repeated itself for two days. Finally, I walked to a hospital and asked to be admitted. That was the beginning of the end," he said.

Eventually he came to Vision Quest in Port Huron, a transitional housing program for those battling drug and alcohol addictions. Patrick stayed there nine months and then, with the connections he had formed there, helped grow the Blue Water Recovery and Outreach Center less than a year ago.

The new center's concept is garnering attention for what they've been able to accomplish in 10 short months.

The Blue Water Recovery and Outreach Center (BWROC) is a community organization that seeks to help recovering addicts re-enter society with an array of recovery support services in affiliation with Vision Quest.

Participants come to Blue Water after completing treatment and they

can stay for up to six months.

"Every day we volunteer and go to meetings. It's all about non-stop engagement," he said.

"We ingrain you in the community through engagement."

Located at The Center of Port Huron, the facility features an activity center with a big screen tv and pool table and they provide assistance for things like resume writing and interview coaching. They also host daily support group meetings. Recently the health department opened a satelite office in The Center too.

"We are a one-stop resource center for those living in recovery and seeking recovery," Patrick said.

Outside of The Center, BWROC members give of their time in an array of ways—from providing labor to re-roof a home to helping boost hepatitis A vaccinations through the health department.

Patrick said he and fellow addicts have attended recent resource fairs with health department officials where they've had success reaching out to individuals most at risk for contracting the disease. Their efforts helped the health department grow their vaccination numbers from 40 to 100 from one fair to the next.

This week, BWROC officials, including Patrick, will receive a proclamation from the city of Port Huron for 'Outstanding Citizenship in the Community.'

In his role as Director of Operations for BWROC, Patrick is spreading the word about the success of the organization and seeking out financial support.

He's given presentations to county and state officials and hopes the BWROC model can spread to other corners of the state.

• • • • •

Lapeer County's Families Against Narcotics chapter meets the second Thursday of the Month from 7-9 p.m. at St. Matthews Anglican Church, 220 W. Nepessing Street, in Lapeer.

For more information, call (810) 728-2033 or email

lapeer@familiesagainstnarcotics.org.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.
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