Recovering addict from Watertown featured in state documentary

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:15 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - After a decade of struggling with opioid addiction, a Watertown woman is saying one type of treatment was life-changing and her story has been featured in the state’s Office of Addiction Services and Support’s latest documentary.

Justice Mills is a mother, manager, and recovering addict.

“With addiction comes really really dark ugly things and that is why people are afraid to get help,” she said.

Justice shared her story as part of “Routine for Recovery,” a documentary produced by the state’s Office of Addiction Services and Support, or OASAS, detailing the lives of two former addicts who have overcome opioid abuse through the use of methadone, a treatment which reduces overdose withdrawal symptoms.

“I think it’s really important that we show the successes that can happen in the field of addiction and not just the stories of death and despair,” said OASAS Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham.

Mills struggled with substance abuse for nearly a decade, starting in her early teens. Eventually, she turned to prostitution in order to make ends meet.

But things changed in 2018 when she found out she was pregnant with her son, Cade.

“Had I not gotten pregnant when I did, I know I would’ve relapsed at least once. So he was like my saving grace. He doesn’t know that but he pretty much saved my life,” said Mills.

Her advice for addicts on the road to recovery is don’t be ashamed.

“Whatever happened when you were using and whatever you did in the past, it’s okay and it’s going to get better if you want it to get better,” she said.

The documentary, Routine for Recovery, can be seen here.