ManyFaces1Voice: Patrick Fogarty

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‘Patrick Fogarty received a gift on the day he was supposed to receive a sentence of years in prison.

During a caseworker’s pre-sentence investigation, Fogarty found himself being honest and telling her he had a “major drug problem.” He said, “I’m good with going back to prison. Send me back. I have nothing.”

That honesty – and the caseworker’s compassion – earned him a spot at The Healing Place in Louisville, Kentucky, the organization where Fogarty now works as a result of entering recovery in 2008.

Part of Fogarty’s duties at The Healing Place is to serve as the organization’s media spokesperson. The Healing Place is well known in the community because of its social model recovery programs and its 75 percent success rate in alumni staying in recovery for more than one year.

Fogarty welcomes the chance to answer a media call, even to go on television, although he admits to being frustrated with much of the news focus on addiction rather than recovery. He believes that serving as a recovery advocate is his duty.

“I don’t wear a mask anymore,” he says. “I put it all the way out there. I’m not concerned with what others think about me.”

Still, Fogarty understands that public advocacy and helping to change messages for the media and the public is not for everyone.  “They don’t want to be on TV or they don’t want their employers to know, and I do understand that. But some of us have got to talk.”

Fogarty’s work at The Healing Place still takes him back to jails and prisons, just not in lockup. As a certified alcohol and drug counselor, he works with men transitioning out of prison and back into society.

“It’s so rewarding when a guy listens to you and follows what you say,” he explains. “I have so much empathy for them and I want them to do good.”

Fogarty continues, “Recovery for me is a new way of life. Recovery for me is spirituality. Recovery for me is spreading the message of course and I believe by spreading the message we also exercise prevention so some people don’t have to go through what I went through.”’

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