Aug 8
  • Written By Scott Drochelman

  • #153 – Chris Howe

    #153 – Chris Howe

    Firefighter Challenges Addiction And Trauma Stigma

    Chris Howe endured 17 long years of addiction to alcohol and drugs while working as a firefighter. He was different from everyone else in the department. He was smaller, tattooed and spent his time away from the job with alcoholics, addicts and criminals. 

    This double life filled him with self hatred and secrets. He’d been effected deeply by childhood sexual trauma and PTSD on the job and had no place to put it. Instead he was asked everyday to bottle up his feelings and do his job and the only way to cope involved massive amounts of alcohol and drugs to numb it all.

    Eventually the internal pressure became too much, resulting in 3 suicide attempts in 3 years before finally finding recovery on the morning he wrote his final suicide plan.

    Today, Chris is 11 years sober, a Captain with the Niagra Falls Fire Department and an addiction recovery speaker. He shares his story in and out of the prison system, leads a Buddhist inspired recovery group and hopes to inspire others through his actions and his new life in recovery.

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