On a cold winter night in 2009, Zachary Bullard found himself in a familiar place — the back seat of a police car — hearing some very unfamiliar words.
The officers told Zachary that SAPD, the Sherriff’s office and The Center for Health Care Services had started a new program and they could take him to 601 N. Frio — the Restoration Center, or they could take him to jail.
“For almost two years, I was in and out of detox and I ran the gamut of recovery programs —Salvation Army, Lifetime, all of them. I would sleep at The Courtyard in Haven for Hope sometimes. I went through Detox at The Restoration Center five or six times, and although I always completed successfully, I always just left, and didn’t go anywhere for treatment. I started IHRP (In-House Recovery Program), but I didn’t complete it. I heard their suggestions, and I would start feeling better, but then I would leave,” Zachary remembers.
Finally, I stayed in IHRP for six weeks and they showed me a different perspective of the steps (the AA 12-step program) at a different level. At first, to completely just give up and follow a program was really hard. I always want to do things my way and I didn’t know that I needed to try someone else’s direction. Since then, it’s been everything they always told me it would be. In May, I will have been sober for four years,” he said.
A combination of experienced counseling, an open welcome and Zachary’s will made the difference.
“I made it because people kept telling me that I could be the one in 100. The counselors never judged me, they never gave up on me. Whenever I came back, they were always welcoming. They didn’t talk down to me because I was coming back over and over, they just kept telling me what to do,” he said.
Today, Zachary is working as a Recovery Support Specialist in the IHRP program. He helps new clients navigate the program, taking them to group sessions and meetings, and supports them as they get started in their own recovery.