My name is Brian Dierks and I’m a person in active recovery. I work with Young People in Recovery as a National Chapter Coordinator and Institutional Advancement Coordinator. My story begins at an early age in a household with a mother struggling with a substance use disorder. As a child I experienced trauma in every sense of the word. This ultimately led to a self destructive life, turning to substances to help numb the pain of my childhood experiences. I started experimenting with different substances at a young age of around 10. At first it was whatever I could get my hands on which was alcohol. As I got older I progressed into many different and dangerous things. But it was the very first time that I tried methamphetamine that I truly came to understand the word “addiction” and I was hooked. Through the many years of continued use my life began to unravel. I was houseless and lived in my car for a period of time. I started to commit crimes to support my active use which eventually landed me in legal trouble. My children were taken by CPS right before I was sent to prison for my crimes. While locked up I was forced to take a look at my life and decided it was a good time to take life and my recovery seriously. Once I had repaid my debt to society, I entered a program that would allow me to eventually get custody of my son again. This program included therapy and self-help meetings. This is where I was introduced into a life of recovery. As I worked this program, my life began to change for the better. I was released from parole early, I eventually received full custody of my son and I graduated the program with “complete compliance”. I was able to maintain sustained long-term recovery for 8+ years. During this time I was able to meet who is now my wife, start a family (now a family of 6!), gain and hold meaningful employment, buy a house, start and maintain meaningful relationships with family and friends plus so much more.
YPR has helped me take my recovery to the next level by helping others with All Recovery Meetings and through learning how to advocate for those in or seeking recovery.I was lucky enough to find YPR while looking for something else to help me in my recovery journey. I became directly involved as soon as I could and launched the Cañon City CO chapter. After becoming the lead I was offered a national staff position with the organization to help run other chapters across the nation. Additionally, I assist with finding and securing grants to support existing or up-coming chapters. YPR has helped me take my recovery to the next level by helping others with All Recovery Meetings and through learning how to advocate for those in or seeking recovery. I have been a part of the YPR team for a year and a half and have progressed from a local recovery leader to working with others at a national level. I am grateful to YPR for helping me sustain my recovery and for teaching me that it’s ok to be a person in recovery.