Recovery Spotlight: Donna Wood

Recovery Spotlight: Donna Wood

“My daughter says I’m like a locomotive. Once I get going in the right direction, I keep going.” — Donna Wood, friend of AdCare

A year into her recovery, Donna today has peace, joy and patience. “I know that recovery is possible, and I choose to be around positive people,” she says.

Donna’s Path to Recovery
Donna’s path to recovery began at Rhodes House in Millbury, Massachusetts, where she stayed for five months. She continued at AdCare’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in Worcester. “AdCare’s IOP gave me the structure I needed, as well as the opportunity to give and receive support from other clients,” says Donna.

Donna also belongs to Everyday Miracles Peer Recovery Center in downtown Worcester. As part of the Center’s Learn and Earn Program, she serves her fellow members as a desk supervisor and recovery coach. “I offer peer-to-peer support, without judging the individual’s treatment plan –whether that plan is a 12-step program, medication-assisted, holistic treatment, or a combined approach,” says Donna who often interacts with Rhodes House residents. As a former resident, she understands firsthand the challenges of living in a halfway house. “It was hard for me in my later years,” says Donna, “to take orders from a 20-year old.” She also knows how tough it is out there because the crack and other substances are full of fentanyl. “Working with others who are struggling with substance use helps keep me honest about my recovery and inspires me to keep going in the right direction.”

Donna’s Downward Spiral

Donna’s downward spiral started toward the end of a 20-year nursing career when she was employed as a private duty nurse and her charge was moved to a nursing home. “I could have landed another job, but had a mindset that my situation was hopeless,” says Donna. “I couldn’t get out of my own way.”

Once Donna began drinking, she was quickly consuming a case of wine every few days. She also became addicted to prescription Percocets following a knee surgery, and started methadone treatments to get off of opiates. After adding cocaine and Oxycontin to the mix, she slipped into a substance-induced coma and was discharged from the hospital ten days later. She continued her spiral by using heroin before entering Rhodes House.