Arizona woman shares overcoming drug addiction to save others - WNEM TV 5


Arizona woman shares overcoming drug addiction to save others

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A Valley woman's dependence on drugs and alcohol nearly killed her more than once. But she overcame addition and now she's sharing her experiences to save others.

Brie Kuiper started abusing drugs and alcohol when she was 13 years old, and after failing to conquer her addictions at numerous rehab and living facilities, she finally found one that stuck when she was in her 20s.

"At this ranch I found safety and I found God, and it was placed on my heart at the time that if I could give back to someone that was given to me, that I wanted to be a part of it," Kuiper said.

A few years ago she convinced her husband to move with their two kids into a rental and turn their existing house into the "Hope Home" - a safer place for women recovering from addiction.

Wendy Cichon was the one of the first residents and, 14 months of sober living later, she now helps run the program.

"I remember when I was still thinking that I knew what was best for myself, so it's a constant reminder that the person walking in, they're me," Cichon said.

The women live in tight quarters, follow strict 12-step programs, have curfews and must attend meetings, but the atmosphere is far from jail - they say it's more like family.

"These women teach me more about myself than they know. I'm constantly learning from them," Kuiper said.

Kuiper's friend, Debbie Mueller, emailed CBS 5 News to spread the word of what her friend has accomplished.

"Everybody has a dream of something that they want to do, but most of us just keep dreaming, but she's so young and she's jumped in with both feet," Mueller said.

"You two have opened your hearts and followed your dream to make a difference in women's lives not just now but in the future too," Mueller told Kuiper as she presented her with $500.

For more information, visit the Hope Home for Women website.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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