An Inspiring Story of a Former Drug Abuser and Seller
During these troubled times when all we hear about is the serious virus problem plaguing our country and state, it is easy to forget about the serious drug abuse problems in our community, which also take and ruin many lives and which will still be with us even when the Coronavirus becomes a distant awful memory.
We recently spoke to Robbie Sipe, a Pocahontas County resident who is a recovering addict. Robbie’s story is perhaps the most inspirational one I have ever heard, and she wishes to pass on that inspiration and hope to others who may now find themselves in that same terrible situation she used to be in.
Robbie, can you tell us about your history with your addiction?
“Yes, in March, 2017, I went to jail for the first time, and I spent three months in jail. I went straight into Cross Roads -that’s a rehab- in Gilbert, West Virginia, and I was there for two and a half months.” Said Sipe. “I got kicked out and sent home and I was put on Day Report. I was clean for almost six months and relapsed. The Day Report Director at the time tried to help, but I wasn’t ready to get clean. Within that time, I only seen my kids one time.”
“Day Report revoked me, and I went back to jail for another two months, and then was sent to Anchor Point for twenty-eight days -that’s another rehab. I completed that and came home. I was put on Day Report and home confinement. I done OK for almost three months and relapsed again. After I relapsed, I tried to get clean, but I was in an accident at work, so that didn’t last too long. After that, I started using and selling drugs again.”
“Home Confinement showed up on June 12th, searched my house and found numerous illegal things and they took me back to jail. This time I had to spend six months there. I got out at the end of November 2018, and signed my plea for Drug Court on January 6th, 2019. That was over a year ago.”
In the past year, I have completed these classes: ‘Thanking for a change;’ Crime victim Awareness;’ ‘Anger Management;’ ‘Life Skills;’ ‘Matrix RP;’ ‘Matrix ERS;’ ‘Parenting;’ ‘Sabisa;’ and ‘Career Building.’
Things I have gotten back in my life: I have four hundred and nineteen clean days today; its been a year and nine months since I shot up -that’s a pretty big accomplishment for me. I have college credits, my license back, a house, a job, a car, a structured and happy life and my kids and my family back in my life.”
What drugs were you using?
“I was using methamphetamines, Subutex and Xanax,” Sipe answered.
And you said you were selling as well?
“Yes” she said.
Out of all the programs you went through, which helped you the most?
“I would say Day Report helped me the most” Sipe replied. “I have a really good relationship with them, and it’s a really good support system, and I got sanctioned, which means I went to jail for two weeks when I was in Drug Court. And when I came back, they made me go to Day Report five days a week and go to therapy two days a week. And I wasn’t happy about that at the time, but that helped me more than anything, because I was around positive people five days a week, here to help me. Day report was the biggest thing that helped me.”
At this point in your life, do you see yourself staying clean from drugs?
“Yes, I do” she said. “I’ve seen people get off this program and relapse and go backwards and. It’s your mind set. Like, I have it in my mind I am not going to go backward, I am not going to relapse again. Ans I just take it one day at a time.”
What message would you like to send to other people who are having drug problems?
“I would like for them to know that Day Report is a safe place for them to come and talk” Sipe said. “When you have a criminal mindset, you think (of) Day Report in a whole different light. You don’t trust the people there. You think you are working for the cops, and that’s not the case.”
“You come down here and they will help you get into rehab. You don’t even have to be in the program. If you are an addict or an alcoholic, you can just walk through the doors and receive help.”
Is there anything else that you would like to say?
“I would like people to know, don’t wait until you get into trouble because getting into trouble is easy, getting out of it is hard” Sipe added. “And, don’t do it for anybody else but for yourself, because if you try to do it for anybody else, you’ll fail.”
I also want people to know -because I didn’t understand this at first, and I feel this is why I failed so many times. When you first start, it’s about way more then just addiction. Like you have to change the way you think -people, places and things. You have to change the people, the places- all of that. It is not just beating your addiction; you have to change your lifestyle also.”
Robbie Sipe is also the first person to graduate from the Pocahontas Drug Court program since returned to the county last summer.
Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.