Ryan Hackworth

Through the support of the Blue Water Recovery & Outreach Center (BWROC), individuals like Ryan Hackworth can find a place to belong, a place to escape the dark shadow of substance abuse and all of the hauntings that come along with the lifestyle. His journey is yet another story of struggle and triumph that deserves to be told, possibly giving others who may be staring down the barrel of hopelessness a chance to make it out of the storm that brings many to ruin.

Established in the fall of 2017, BWROC has become a beacon of hope in Port Huron, Michigan, offering a haven for those grappling with addiction. As a non-profit organization, BWROC’s mission is clear: to provide unwavering support and guidance to individuals navigating the turbulent waters of recovery. Led by individuals who have walked the same path, BWROC stands as a testament to the power of peer-driven initiatives in fostering lasting change. While it does not administer clinical treatment, BWROC’s unique approach, rooted in empathy and understanding, sets it apart from traditional recovery programs. Instead of dictating from a distance, BWROC walks alongside its participants, offering a shoulder to lean on and a guiding hand to help them find their way.

Ryan, who has been a resident of Port Huron since 2020, grew up in the rural town of Munith, MI located in the southern portion of Jackson County with a population of roughly 300. Like most individuals before encountering illegal substances, Ryan was a normal child from a blue-collar family who enjoyed the usual childhood activities such as playing outdoors with his friends and enjoying the carefree life. That would all change when Ryan reached his adolescent years.

“Around the age of 15 I started experimenting with drugs because that’s what my friends were doing, so I just followed suit,” says Hackworth.

Ryan’s drug of choice was methamphetamines or “meth” as it is known on the streets. Methamphetamines are a highly addictive stimulant that is a derivative of amphetamines, that when used in a controlled medical setting has uses in pharmaceutical drugs to help individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The side effects of methamphetamine use can include: seizures, rapid heartbeat, confusion, psychosis, and ultimately death. Around the age of 35 Ryan’s life began to spiral out of control, and he hit rock bottom, but before he would let his addiction to meth take his life he decided that he had to take action.

“I knew that I had to get my life together and make a change. I had reached the point of homelessness, I was unemployable, no one wanted me around, and just the pain of staying the way I was became so great that I had to do something different,” says Hackworth.

It was at this time Ryan began treatment at Sacred Heart rehab center for his substance abuse. After his completion of rehab he was relocated to transitional housing in Port Huron.

“My transition to a three-quarter house here in Port Huron may have been the best decision that I ever made. I had forgotten about the everyday things like social graces and how to live like a human being because I was running the streets for so long that those things had escaped me,” Hackworth says.

It was around this time that Ryan met an individual that would introduce him to the team at BWROC, where he attributes Peer Recovery Coach Angela Valdivia and Executive Director Patrick Patterson as key individuals in his success.

“The team at BWROC got me involved in volunteer service work, and outside of myself, they showed me that there was something here that was bigger than myself. My peer coach was a really big help, in fact, the entire staff was really good at helping me with solving my problems.

As a participant of BWROC, Ryan has been having a successful road to recovery for almost five years now, which not only speaks to the care and passion that BWROC puts into helping every individual who steps through the doors of the organization, but also to the determination and resilience of Mr. Hackworth as well. He has currently been employed for the past three years in the field of helping those suffering from substance abuse, and is currently working towards becoming a substance abuse therapist to assist others in the battle of freeing themselves from the clutches of addiction. This is a huge accomplishment for Ryan as he used to often struggle with keeping employment during his low point of battling addiction.

In the late fall of 2020 Hackworth completed the six-month program at BWROC, and in 2021 he would go on to earn the “Rockstar of the Year ” Award which is issued to those who have performed with excellence in the field of volunteer work.

The journey of recovery is never ending, so there is no final destination or point where an individual says they have made it to the finish line, as the road to recovery is measured one day at a time. Ryan Hackworth’s journey has been a huge success thanks to his willingness to seek help after recognizing that his addiction was spiraling out of control, along with the resources and compassionate and knowledgeable staff found at the Blue Water Recovery & Outreach Center.

If addiction is impacting you or someone you know, discover ways to help by reaching out to the Blue Water Recovery & Outreach Center at (810) 689-4858 or via email at: contact@bwroc.org.