Village of Hope Stories – Summer


Summer’s story: “It was nice to be around people who understand and are kind of going through the same situation, even though it may not be the exact same problem.”

I was at a point where I was looking for help but wasn’t sure where to go. Dave Smith was recommended to me by someone I knew. I didn’t agree to it right away. It was another month or two before I decided to contact them.

It took a while for me to get to the point where I felt like I needed to get help. But my drinking had escalated a lot. It kind of goes back to high school, and it got worse when I started university. Basically, I was just drinking all day and unable to do anything. I somehow managed to get through the semester, but that was with me going home and sobering up. And then I would go back to school and start the process all over again.

Drinking was always sort of an alone activity for me. Like, I would drink with other people, but even when I was first getting into it in high school, it was really me doing it alone, doing it before school, and doing it in situations where a lot of other people weren’t. At first it was just at night, and I kept to that for a few years, but then, by my fourth year of university, it was an all-day thing. I mean, when you get to that point, there’s not a lot you can do other than just keep going and watch things fall apart – or fix the problem.

I was 21 when I finally went to Dave Smith. It had been months of me drinking all day. It’s very tiring, and I just realized I wasn’t going to be able to stop by myself. I had tried different things, and nothing worked. I didn’t know what else to do. There was no way I was going to get through another semester like that, and I just needed to do something, so I tried Dave Smith.

Being at Dave Smith was hard for me at first. I didn’t want to go and be away from home, and have to put my life on hold, but I did want the help. I felt like I had to be there, and I knew I needed to do something. It was an adjustment, for sure, being around a lot of different people in a different place, and just having people around 24/7. After the first week, though, I got used to it, and by the end of my stay I was sad to leave.

It was a good environment, a good experience. The staff were all great, and to have them there supporting me through whatever I was choosing to do was really helpful. Also, the other people there, just getting to talk to them and having them there whenever I wanted or needed, it was great. It’s nice to be around people who understand and are kind of going through the same situation, even though it may not be the exact same problem.

I got out of treatment at the end of May last year. Recently, things have been going well. When I first got out it was a bit rocky. I was starting to try to go back to drinking like I used to, but I was living at home and my parents were more cognizant of what I was doing, which made it difficult. Then, when I went back to school in September, I had a few slips. The difference was that I wasn’t trying to hide it anymore. I would reach out to my Mom or my Assertive Continuing Care (ACC) counselor from Dave Smith. I knew it wasn’t something I wanted for myself anymore. That’s a big change.

Overall, the fall semester went decently well, and I haven’t had anything to drink for over three months now. Also, a lot of things have been happening that I didn’t expect to happen. I’ve been showing myself that I can do things that I didn’t think I could, and that’s been great.

It’s important for people to know that, even if you don’t think anything is going to work, just try. I didn’t think there was hope for me, but Dave Smith helped. I would encourage anyone who is in the same position I was in to just go and see what comes of it. Don’t give up.

Summer is a former client of the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre.


There’s been a lot of progress made on the new build!


112 Willowlea Road,
Carp, Ontario K0A 1L0
613-594-8333 ext.1201
Charitable Registration # 88992 6242 RR0001