SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) "Black Tar Mormon" describes a Utah man's descent into the depths of heroin hell, then fighting for sobriety and finally realizing the real joys of life he can see now with clarity.
Dan Workman served an LDS mission, got married and had 2 healthy daughters. Life began to unravel as he turned to booze and beyond. "When you're downing two or three bottles of tequila a night, or whatever you're doing, it's really not that big of a jump to start snorting pills or smoking something and then shooting something."
He tells ABC4's Randall Carlisle how his marriage fell apart right along with his mental state. "You've given up all hope. For me it was a suicidal ideation in the sense that I'm going to do it all at once or one party at a time."
He can't really pinpoint when he hit bottom but remembers binging on booze, pills and heroin and waking up in a hospital.
"The doctor tells me I shouldn't be alive. If you don't believe in God, you should because everything you took could kill a rhino. So there's something you're supposed to do. Go figure it out."
Dan did figure it out. He now speaks regularly around the country offering words of encouragement to recovering addicts. And he has now joined the board of 10,000 Beds.
10,000 Beds was started by Utahn Jean Krisle who was inspired to serve recovering addicts after her son successfully found sobriety.
Jean and her husband Hal sold everything they had and took off cross country to spread the word of their mission. And it's totally unique. Basically they persuade high quality treatment centers around the country to donate beds. Then people who want the help but can't afford it apply on line for a scholarship bed.
Jean just returned from a 21 state trip. "10,000 Beds has gone 10,000 miles in a hundred days," says a weary Jean. "We hit that about two weeks ago and we're pretty proud of that."
She raised $1 Million in scholarship beds last year and this year will hit $5 Million, providing beds for hundreds of people seeking treatment.
What keeps her going? "I've never done anything that makes me happier. I absolutely adore these people who have struggled to recover and then build a life to help others."
People like her board member Dan Workman who can't say enough about his path to sobriety. What it has meant for his life, especially his relationship with the two daughters he loves.
"My older daughter kissed me on the cheek and grabbed my face and looked me in the eyes and said 'dad I can see you in there again.' If that's not enough to keep you going in recovery, I don't know what is."
If you would like to contact Dan or get a copy of his book, go to blacktarmormon.com/
He will donate one book to a prison inmate for every one you buy.
If you would like to apply for a scholarship or donate to 10,000 Beds just go to their website at http://10000beds.org/.
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