September 1, 2010, 4:52 PM
SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Wednesday, treatment centers across the nation took time to celebrate the millions of people who've received help to break from addiction. And that included a celebration in Sioux Falls that had a very special meaning for many of those in attendance.
The Keystone Treatment Center is one South Dakota facility that has helped thousands turn around from a life of addiction.
"People are more and more beginning to realize this is an illness. It’s not a shame to have an illness, it's a real shame not to do anything about it however because it can be life changing," Keystone Executive Director Carol Regier said.
But getting to that point of recovery can be a rough road. That's why experts say anyone who needs help, simply needs to ask.
"People need to be aware that there is help available and treatment does work. Families can heal, people can heal and lives can turn around," Regier said.
"I put myself in the hospital five times from drinking and I was near death three times. It shouldn't take that to get sober, but to finally make a choice to get sober wasn't easy," Trevor Gacke said.
Trevor Gacke knows how hard it can be to turn a life around. He's celebrating sobriety today, but knows that getting help isn't the end of the struggles. He's relapsed once in his 11 months of sobriety.
"If you come back through that door, you're always welcome. Doesn't mean you can be welcome to relapse but you're always welcome," Gacke said.
But like thousands of others, Gacke is thankful to now have a helping hand.
"Every day that I wake up and I'm sober, it's a great day. I struggled for years and I could never find a way on my own," Gacke said.
And to celebrate, a crowd released balloons symbolizing the freedom achieved, when addictions are overcome.
The event also included a proclamation from Mayor Mike Huether and Governor Mike Rounds, officially naming this as Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
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