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Addiction Survivor Speaks to Cassopolis Students

Misty Dotson Collett shares her story of addiction and road to sobriety with Cassopolis students.

Misty Dotson Collett shares her story of addiction and road to sobriety with Cassopolis students.

Addiction Survivor Speaks to Cassopolis Students
Cassopolis, MI, November 22, 2016– When students of the Ranger Wellness Center Youth Advisory Committee were asked what social issue they thought their peers should be better educated on, drug and alcohol addiction awareness was unanimously chosen. The Ranger Wellness Center Youth Advisory Committee is made up of 12 students from Ross Beatty Jr. /Sr. High School and is led by Nurse Practitioner and Cassopolis graduate, Tabitha Pollard. Working with Cassopolis Public Schools and Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network, Pollard was connected with Woodlands Recovery Coach, Misty (Dotson) Collett.

On Friday, November 18, Ross Beatty High School students had the opportunity to attend a lecture on drug and alcohol addiction awareness and meet someone who has dealt with addiction firsthand. Cass County resident, Misty Collett, shared her story of drug addiction after being sober for 5 years on November 21. “I was always told, ‘Don’t do Drugs’, I even signed a contract as a child that stated I would stay drug-free. Growing up in an abusive home since the age of 4, I was always told to be quiet and measured my safety by how much alcohol was consumed that day. I turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the traumatic experience of witnessing my mother kill my father in self-defense at the age of 10 and losing my mother to cancer a year and a half later,” said Misty. Of all of the drugs she had tried, nothing quite had a hold of her like Methamphetamine, which took over her life for nearly 15 years. On November 21, 2011, a day that she will never forget, Misty and her now husband were arrested on 5 felony drugs charges and her son was taken into custody and placed into the foster system. Misty’s arrest was the ‘ray of hope’ she was needing to lead to life of recovery and sobriety.

At the closing of her talk with the students Misty said, “Looking back on my struggle with addiction, the most important thing I want you to know today, it’s ok to ask for help. You are valuable and you have a choice. No matter what you’re going through, just keep talking about it, simply because you are worth it. If you have already used, it does not mean you are useless or have no hope, just reach out for help.”

Misty is now a Recovery Coach and Peer Support Specialist with Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network. “In my first meeting after jail, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to give people the hope, love and attention they need to get through their road to recovery,” Misty stated.

Among the students and staff who attended the assembly, was Ross Beatty Jr./Sr. High School Principal David VanLue. “Lectures on drug and alcohol addiction awareness are an important part of helping students understand the many aspects of this topic. This information can include factual data about what substance abuse is; warning signs of addiction; information about how alcohol and specific drugs affect the mind and body; the consequences that addiction can have on one’s physical and mental health, family, relationships, and other areas of functioning; and how and why substances are abused.” said VanLue.

If an adolescent of Cass County is facing issues surrounding drug, tobacco, or alcohol addiction they are able to reach out to Ranger Wellness Center, Cassopolis Family Clinic, or Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network. “These resources are able to see adolescents age 14 years and older without parental consent following the state confidential services for minors law, however parental involvement is highly encouraged,” stated Pollard.

Ranger Wellness Center (RWC) is a School-Based Health Center and is owned and operated by Cassopolis Family Clinic Network. RWC is staffed by a Nurse Practitioner, Certified Medical Assistant and has a Behavioral Therapist that is on site two days a week. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (269) 445-WELL (9355).

About Cassopolis Family Clinic Network
Cassopolis Family Clinic Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center. With locations in Cassopolis and Niles, CFCN provides compassionate healthcare for the communities of Cass and southeast Berrien Counties. For more information, call (269) 445-3874 or go to