Serving the counties of

Des Moines, Henry, Lee & Louisa




Alcohol and Drug Dependency
Services of Southeast Iowa

The Iowa Department of Public Health licenses the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services of Southeast Iowa (ADDS) to provide chemical dependency treatment services. Individuals and family members who experience the effects of alcohol and drug dependency may receive ADDS treatment services as well as those persons suffering from compulsive gambling.

ADDS Success Stories

Substance Abuse Recovery

I am a 35 year old white male alcoholic and meth addict. When I came to ADDS I was a mess. I had been homeless for over a year staying in a friends shitty basement and on other friends couches. I was working part time construction trying to get on my feet but spending every dime on alcohol and meth. My addictions had me by the balls again. I have been drunk or high on a daily basis since I was 17 with the exception to a few breaks for jail and treatment. All together, my sobriety time for the past 18 years totaled to a little over a year. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially I was tore up. Since being here [at ADDS] I've worked on many big issues that I never had and never planned on. But I was such a mess I was willing to do whatever they asked. When I thought I'd dealt with an issue enough and they said: "Oh no, dig deeper," I did. It's been tough as hell. They've had me bawling like a baby and mad enough to spit nails but I stuck with it and they were there for me to put me back together when I thought I'd lose it. It's not all work here. I've been camping, Frisbee golfing, bowling, roller skating (that did suck), fishing, basketball, volleyball and the list goes on. I've been here a long time but I've got my head on straighter now than I have in my entire life. That's no exaggeration. It's not all rainbows and butterflies. I've done shit I'll always regret and had shit done to me that I'll never forget but I don't let that stuff eat me up anymore. I can't believe how my thirst for alcohol and drugs has subsided. It's not the main driving force in my life anymore. Jason (2009)

Problem Gambling Recovery

When I came to ADDS I thought I was going so everyone around me would be happy. My girlfriend was going to leave me, my friends were tired of my lies, nobody trusted me, and I had no control over my life. To say the least, I was a mess. I was nervous when I walked through their door. I didn't know who I was anymore. How the heck could some counselor who didn't know me help? I didn't know how I could replace that rush of gambling and at that time I didn't want to. The first couple meetings went alright, I talked about my past and what it had led to. Then came the meeting where my girlfriend joined me and that got very intense. I was sweating and at a loss for words. Suddenly, I knew that what I had done had affected more than just myself. I needed help, but how could I do this alone? My counselor recommended a group setting with other gamblers. I was again nervous at first, but realized soon that we all had a lot in common. The more I listened the more interesting it became. It became a little easier each week to give insight and tell my own personal information. It was a very safe place for me to go. I no longer needed to hide my thoughts or feel ashamed, like I was the worst person in the world. I started the 12 step process with my counselor and quickly realized after I just filled in the required lines and brought it to him that this was not acceptable. I needed to dig deeper in my thinking and write it all down. I started keeping a daily journal and this really helped my process. I was now letting everything out and this gave me something to look back on. I started setting goals again in my life. Gambling had made me forget my dreams and also my old hobbies. I had not taken care of my body during my addiction, I decided to exercise daily. I learned great discipline by getting up at 5:00 a.m. and working out. I was feeing healthier and I believe in the theory sound body=sound mind. I then decided to do something that I had told myself for years that I couldn't. I applied to Graduate School. For years I didn't think I was smart enough and then while I gambled I just didn't care to do it. I was accepted and started taking classes last summer. I have now finished 6 classes and am thoroughly enjoying it. I love proving myself wrong. For me being healthy, active, and constantly wanting to learn has proven to be most effective in my recovery. I believe in setting goals and challenging myself. I needed to get back my dreams and my life. Jason

Before beginning treatment I had developed a suicide plan. My life had taken so many horrible turns and I felt like the only way to stop from spiraling further downward was to simply stop existing. I had tried several help groups and counseling professionals regarding my gambling, but never stopped. Gambling seemed to be the one thing I could not control in my life. Unfortunately it led to me becoming not only someone I detested, but to acts I thought I would never commit. On the outside I appeared to most people as a competent professional but my finances were so out of control that at one time I had seven payday loans, owed thousands in back taxes and had reached the maximum cash advance on thirteen credit cards. I had simply given up on ever becoming the person I wanted to be. Then fourteen months ago by what seemed like happen-chance I met a gambling counselor from ADDS. The first day we met I informed him that this type of program just doesn't work for everyone and that I had already heard everything he had to say. His response was life changing. He said, "You may know what I have to say, but has anyone ever really heard what you have to say?" We met three days in a row and I started to feel the smallest glimmer of hope. Needless to say, fourteen months later I have not gambled and my finances are manageable, but the most precious thing I have discovered is myself; someone I actually like. I am now looking forward to what lies ahead; not only do I have hope I have peace. I thank God daily for the individual and group counseling I have received. It has literally saved my life. Dorothy

Gamblers Life Story

My addiction to gambling caused me to lose my job, many friends, family, and possibly my freedom. I had turned into a person that I never thought I'd become. Gambling for me started as a way to escape my problems and hectic lifestyle, and a place to forget my troubles for a short time. Gambling has now left me with an addiction that led me to steal from my employer and face very serious legal implications. When I met Lori through the ADDS program I felt I had no reason to go on. I was this terrible human being who deserved no compassion or understanding from any human being in my lifetime. I have destroyed many valued friendships with my empoyers and co-workers that I will regret forever. But Lori has made me realize that my addiction causes good people to do terrible things. Through working with Lori on the steps program and weekly counseling, I am gaining the strength I need to beat this addiction. I am starting to see a clear path to attempt to right some of the wrongs I committed. Many thinks to Lori and the ADDS program for saving my life and giving me that hope for a better future gambling free. Michelle