On the road to recovery

first_imgWHITTIER – Mona Garcia couldn’t lie to herself anymore. After years of living life as a “functional alcoholic,” something snapped inside when her mother died suddenly 10 years ago from a heart attack. Garcia said that life-altering event not only set into motion her recovery but also the recoveries of countless others. Garcia, 46, founded LUNA Recovery, a drug and alcohol outpatient program, two years ago to empower individuals and families who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. “I was functioning, or so I thought,” Garcia said Thursday. “I had a job, money in the bank and what I thought was a good relationship with my family.” But her mother’s death forced her to reevaluate. She entered rehab and therapy. On Sept. 26, Garcia will celebrate 10 years of sobriety, she said. Like recovery from addiction, keeping LUNA’s doors open has been a struggle. But in February, the program received a final conditional use permit from the city and was designated a certified drug and alcohol program by the state. Garcia decided it was time to officially welcome the community to view the facility at 12813 Philadelphia St., so she held a grand opening Thursday that featured artwork that adults and adolescents in the program have produced as part of their rehabilitation. One of those pieces of art is by client Rachel Botell, 24, who will be celebrating a year of sobriety from drugs and alcohol Oct. 7. Like most of the clients, Botell was referred to LUNA. But individuals are welcome and payment is on an ability-to-pay basis, Garcia said. Botell’s piece of art is a photograph of the pink rose bush outside of the Whittier First Day Coalition’s Transitional Living shelter, a group home where she lives in Whittier. The roses represent how she is trying to view herself and how she lives. “I want to show how they grow to the best of their ability,” Botell said. “Not all of them bloom the same way and some have thorns. Not everything is perfect.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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