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Local Recovery Program Helps People Reclaim Their Lives

Writer / Matt Keating 
Photography Provided 

Angel Bryant, founder of Stronger Than Addiction, an addiction recovery program located at Life Tabernacle Church in Elkhart, says the organization has helped multiple people.

“Stronger Than Addiction, a nonprofit organization, was started almost three years ago,” Bryant says. “I want people to know that I am in long-term recovery. I am also the mom of two sons with a substance use disorder [SUD]. Two of my four sons developed addiction early in their lives when they were 17 and 18.”

Bryant’s sons are now 28 and 31. 

“During the latter part of their addiction, both of their lives were spiraling out of control,” Bryant says. “Both had been arrested numerous times from crimes revolving around their addiction. Both had been to prison and both had been through a treatment program.”

Each time one of her sons would get sober, Bryant found that their community lacked resources for them. 

“As I continued to watch this illness destroy their lives, I started doing things to advocate for those suffering from substance use disorder, as well as some who had lost their lives due to SUD,” Bryant says. “This is how it all got started. I saw the need in my community, as well as being the mom to four sons. I witnessed kids I had known their whole lives falling into addiction at a high rate.” 

Stronger Than Addiction

The inspiration behind Stronger Than Addiction for Bryant is being able to meet and love those struggling with addiction right where they are. 

“I’m able to find people so beaten and broken down, feeling like they are hopeless, and then able to love them and encourage them that there is a better life,” Bryant says. “It shows them they can get their life back, and that they can learn to love themselves.”

Bryant loves getting that first phone call after people are in treatment somewhere, and hearing the glow in their voices.

“Getting to see someone for the first time after going through treatment and graduating a program sober is amazing,” Bryant says. “I like giving them a huge hug before they leave for treatment and telling them it will be all right, which leads to that huge hug when they return home sober.”

Bryant’s sons are both sober today, and this inspires her to keep going.

“No one left behind is how I feel when it comes to helping someone struggling with substance use disorder,” Bryant says. “The number of people becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs is growing at a rapid rate, just as fatal overdose is at an all-time high.” So if you feel like helping those people who’s struggling, the Pacific Ridge offers alcohol treatment in Portland.

Bryant loves seeing people get better. 

“When people say thank you, I always reply that there is no thanks needed – seeing them sober is all the thanks I need,” Bryant says. “I will say though, those suffering from substance use disorder are extremely grateful for all the love and support that they receive, from not only myself but our group as a whole.” 

Stronger Than Addiction

Bryant adds that Stronger Than Addiction is much more than a recovery meeting every Thursday night at Life Tabernacle Church. 

“We are a recovery family, we stick together, we rally around each other, we love each other, and together we go to extreme lengths to help the next person looking for help,” Bryant says. 

With donations from the Elkhart community, as well as sponsorships from local businesses and fundraising, the Stronger Than Addiction group is able to help provide transportation and resources for those seeking treatment. 

“If you or a loved one is struggling, please reach out, come to a meeting or feel free to call me anytime,” says Bryant, who also distributes Narcan, a medication used for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid use, in Elkhart County. “My phone is always on at 260-257-2675. I am not only the founder of Stronger Than Addiction, but I am also the patient care navigator for Pinnacle Treatment Center in the state of Indiana. We currently have two facilities in the state, with one more opening in late January in Martinsville.” 

For more information, visit strongerthanaddiction.net or email Bryant at strongerthanaddiction1@gmail.com. 

1 Comment

Summer Knight/ Gavin Hebert
May 4, 2022 at 12:01 pm

Hi there! My given name is Gavin Hebert and I have created a character that I have named “Summer Knight” and have brought my illusion to stages all across North America for almost 22 years. I am an actively in recovery myself. I remember the very first time that I ever partook of a substance like it was yesterday. It is a shame the way that I felt and the fear of possible rejection I would face if I said, “NO”. It is even more a shame that in the LGBTQIA+ community is seems as though being “drunk and high” is an accepted “NORM”. I recently decided to stand up for myself and to utilize my character that I have created as a positive impact for others in the community that have felt just like I. Being ostracized by family and then the fear of being ostracized by a community that I so wanted to be a part of; a community that saved my life and allowed me to notice so many similarities in myself rather than feeling so alone-I truly understand that “peer-pressure” was real. I have recently won Queen of Kansas City Pride and have come up with a platform – “QUEEN AND SOBER”. Showing other entertainers that have dealt with addiction and mental illness; that they are not “unique circumstances” but can find comfort in knowing there are other’s out there like them. I would love the opportunity to speak with you regarding how you came up with “Stronger than Addiction” and if you would be a mentor of sorts for me. I would love the opportunity to meet with you and see how you were able to surpass even your own expectations and help not only those that you loved, but start to love other human beings as well and just hope that they realize that their lives have the ability to make a positive impact and they are WORTHY and DESERVING of sober living if they so choose. I have lost too many people “way too soon” due to addiction. Thank you so much for what you do! I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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