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Living the good life
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, November 13, 2008
"It was either quit drinking or lose my family," said Rogers.
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.