Assistant principal shares past alcohol addiction

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence drinking causes 88,000 deaths a year. April is Alcohol Awareness Month and News 25’s Gina Tomlinson spoke to an assistant principal in Ocean Springs who has an inspiring story for anyone looking to overcome addiction.

Bars and casinos are some of the top attractions on the Coast, making alcohol not too hard to find. “It’s a social norm now, especially on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Jon Wilson is the assistant principal at Upper Elementary School in Ocean Springs, Wilson knows what it’s like to work to the top but also what it’s like to hit rock bottom. “I was real close to losing my family and my children to alcohol.”

In 2005, Wilson lost his wife to breast cancer and his house to Hurricane Katrina. After that, he found comfort in drinking. “Alcohol became a bigger and bigger player in my life and before you know it, it had become an everyday player.”

In 2013, Wilson went to jail after being charged with public intoxication. The situation made him realize he needed help. Later that year, he joined Celebrate Recovery Program at Mosaic Church. For the past five years, Wilson has been sober. “It has been a big change in my life, turning your life over to the higher power, Jesus Christ.”

Experts say there’s a fine line in having fun and having a drink and need a drink to have fun.  Celebrate Recovery Program Leader Greg Bufkin said, “An alcoholic is going to drink at work or they’re going to drink throughout the week. They’re not going to be able to put down the alcohol and walk away from it.”

Excessive alcohol use can lead to numerous health issues, chronic diseases, brain impairments, and social problems. “Getting treatment is absolutely paramount.”

“I am just a broken man and if I can do it anyone can.”

Celebrate Recovery at Mosaic Church in Ocean Springs is one of the many ways to get help with addiction. For more information about treating alcoholism call 1-877-969-3174.

Categories: Featured, Jackson County, Local News, News

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