For Scott, Mount Airy was a great place to grow up. It was the kind of small North Carolina town where everybody knew everybody. But as the textile mills closed and smaller tobacco companies went out of business, people turned to drugs.
“Drugs had always been around, it just seemed like it got a lot bigger after the jobs left,” said Scott.
Substances were readily available to Scott even at a young age. At age 13, he started smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. By the time he was 25, he had progressed to cocaine, crack, and meth. Then in 2000, his brother committed suicide.
“I didn’t know how to deal with it, and I started drinking real hard,” said Scott. “I stayed drunk for like three years.” Scott’s marriage suffered, and his wife left him. He had been taking community college classes on computer programming, but he dropped out during his divorce. He started using heroin intravenously. He got high regularly at his job as a mechanic, enabled by all those around him.
“If I didn’t have dope when I showed up at work, I knew one of them did,” said Scott. “I was getting high at work every day.”
After 10 years of heroin addiction, Scott’s dad put his foot down. He did some research online and found TROSA, a long-term residential recovery program in Durham, North Carolina. At TROSA, residents receive everything they need for recovery at no cost to them—housing, meals, health care, counseling, vocational training through community assignments, and more. Scott agreed to go to TROSA.
During his vocational training at TROSA, Scott proved himself in the truck shop, taking care of the fleet of diesel trucks and trailers for the social enterprise TROSA Moving.
“I’ve always been a mechanic that just worked on the trucks, but now I’m actually helping manage the department,” said Scott.
Scott graduated from the program in October 2018. Today, he is now a TROSA staff member.
In addition to his repair work in the shop, Scott used his skills in computer programming to stay organized. He developed database software that tracks repairs, parts, inspections, and oil changes specifically for the shop. Scott is now training to assist in TROSA’s IT Department because of his technical prowess. Scott’s supervisor, Roger, has encouraged and inspired him every step of the way. Scott says Roger has taught him how to deal with stress and how to interact better with other people.
Where he used to become impatient with people, now he sees an opportunity to teach them. Learning from supervisors is just one way that TROSA’s vocational training provides residents with transferable job and life skills.
Scott has so much to be proud of in his life now. He’s proudest of being close with his family again. His relationship with his two daughters had been strained for the past 10 years. But now they spend time together whenever he makes a visit back to Mount Airy. Scott attributes his recovery to TROSA’s program.
“I don’t think any other place would have worked for me besides TROSA.”