Toronto woman says getting help sometimes means leaving home

Growing up, Shelly Linn Sabean regularly saw her parents using drugs.
Shelly Linn Sabean is a recovering addict living in Sudbury. She found help and friendship at the Monarch Recovery Services. (CBC Jan Lakes)

Growing up, Shelly Linn Sabean regularly saw her parents using drugs.

Sabean herself eventually developed her own problems with addiction and ended up homeless in Toronto where she's originally from.

"I was dying," she said. "My mom was an addict and she and I used together for a number of years. It was an ok thing. So my mom lived with this disease as well."

Eventually, she met a woman who told her about a rehabilitation program in Sudbury called Iris, now called Monarch Recovery Services.

"I moved up here and didn't know anybody who used," she said. "I even had to detach with love to my mom. That was a lot harder than just dropping drugs."

Sabean says she has relapsed a few times during her recovery.

"I'm on the one who has to live with my relapse," she said.

"I feel for the people who love me. In Toronto, my sister used to watch the news all the time to see if they found a body. She always waited for me to pass away."

She says her path to getting better in Sudbury is working because the workers "love" their clients and care for them.

"It wasn't about being a counsellor," she said.  "I've never been to facility like that and it made a difference."

CBC Sudbury has been focusing on the opioid crisis affecting Sudbury and northeastern Ontario in our series called HOOKED. You can read and hear more about this issue online.


With files from Jan Lakes