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Recovering drug addict finds meaningful career pathApril 09, 2018

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Brittany Morris

“I never thought that I was college material,” said 36-year-old Brittany Morris.  “I graduated from Midland High School in 2000 and was 5 months pregnant at the time.  Throughout my 20s, I was addicted to drugs.  It just didn’t seem like college was an option for someone like me.”

Morris remembered back to that day in 2014 when she met with a Midland College advisor, whom she said believed in her enough to help her with her college application and financial aid paperwork. 

“I thought that if she believed I could be successful in college, maybe she was right,” stated Morris.  “However, I had a lot of self-doubt and even after the first semester, I had to make myself register for the next semester.  I was determined to prove to my kids that if I did it, they can also do it.”

The “kids” to which Brittany refers are her 18-year-old stepson Greg, 17-year-old son Kyle and 15-year-old son Brady—all of whom enjoy spending time with Brittany and her husband Scotty.  The couple have been married for 11 years.  The family enjoys going to movies and barbecuing in the backyard.  However, life hasn’t always been so idyllic for Brittany Morris.

“My parents divorced when I was 4,” explained Morris.  “Being a single mom, my mother worked all the time and was rarely home.  My father was a welder in the oilfield and was an alcoholic. He is now in recovery, but addiction to drugs and alcohol runs in my family.”

While in high school, Morris took cosmetology classes and then worked as a cosmetologist for 4 years.  This was during the time that she was suffering from drug addiction.  In 2004, she entered a rehabilitation facility in Odessa for 45 days; however, once she was out, she soon reverted to her old habits of drug use.  Then, in 2009, she entered a facility for 90 days in San Antonio.  She said that she had one more relapse after leaving the San Antonio facility, but has now managed to stay clean for the past seven years.

“I never believed that I could accomplish things—like becoming sober, going to college or having a professional career,” explained Morris.  “When I tried to recover in the past, I was always trying to do it for the wrong reasons.  I finally decided that I had to get sober for myself.  My husband and children deserve a healthy wife and mother.”

After becoming sober, Morris worked fulltime at a Subway sandwich shop for 2 ½ years.  Then, after much prodding and coaxing, she walked in the doors of Midland College and asked what she needed to do in order to start taking classes. 

“I was first enrolled in the Business Administration program,” recalled Morris.  “But, then I found out about the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling (ADAC) program, and I knew that was the program where I could make the most impact in people’s lives.  I can relate first-hand to what it’s like to have an addiction.  Recovery is tough; I want to help people who are suffering just like I was.”

Morris said that the ADAC program has given her the opportunity to obtain a meaningful career.  Before becoming a licensed counselor, Morris will spend 4,000 clock hours as a counselor intern.

“I want to work in an addiction facility, preferably in the out-patient unit,” said Morris.  “I’d like to help people as they are recovering and transitioning back into society.”

On May 11, Brittany Morris, the woman who graduated from high school 5 months pregnant, spent most of her 20s as a drug addict and didn’t think she was “college material,” will graduate from Midland College with an Associate of Applied Science degree.

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