News Desk
 News Briefs
 News Summaries
 Arctic arts
 Readers comment
 Find a job
 Market reports
 Northern mining
 Oil & Gas
 Handy Links
 Construction (PDF)
 Opportunities North
 Best of Bush
 Tourism guides
 Feature Issues
 Today's weather
 Leave a message

NNSL Photo/Graphic

NNSL Logo .
Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall text Text size Email this articleE-mail this page

Living the good life

Brodie Thomas
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, November 13, 2008

INUVIK - Hank Rogers has been living the good life for close to 30 years now. At the age of 28, he made the decision to quit drinking for the sake of his family. He has never looked back.

"It was either quit drinking or lose my family," said Rogers.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Hank Rogers said giving up the bottle wasn't easy, but he is glad he did. Rogers gave up drinking for the sake of his family and his own health. He said he is now living the good life. He spends time with his family and often travels out on the land to tend his trap line. - Brodie Thomas/NNSL photo

Next week is National Addictions Awareness Week and Rogers has been chosen to be Inuvik's role model for the week. He is putting himself forward as an example of what can happen when an addict makes the decision to get help.

Rogers said he started drinking at an early age. His parents also drank, and he said he didn't realize it was a problem at first because it was all he had known.

When his family started falling apart, he realized he needed help. The turning point came after he was offered work at one of the oil camps.

"Before I left for work I was on a pretty good toot - maybe six months I was going at it," said Rogers.

He said it took him three or four days to sober up and get rid of the shakes so he could go to work.

Once at the camp, Rogers had no access to alcohol. He said that helped him though the first few weeks.

"I kept a picture of my son by my bed and I looked at that picture every day for three weeks," said Rogers. "I knew if I wanted to keep my family, I knew I had to make that choice."

Rogers quit drinking cold turkey. Once he got back to Inuvik his friends encouraged him to come to church and for the first few years the church helped him on his journey.

Now 57 and semi-retired, Rogers has also turned to the land to help him live the good life. He finds peace out at his trapline. He took up trapping earlier this year and he has already won an award.

"The land is my big open church," he said.

He is encouraging people who are thinking about quitting to seek help from one of the many programs, but he said it is always up to the individual to make the choice.

"Your first choice is to say no and from there you're going to get stronger every day," he said.

There will be several events to celebrate National Addictions Awareness Week in Inuvik, including a Sober Walk starting at Ingamo Hall at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. There will be displays at Aurora College all week and a wrap-up event at the Inuvik Youth Centre on Friday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.