In Atlanta this week, leaders from across the nation joined together in Atlanta for Operation UNITE’s 2023 Rx and Illicit Drug Summit. Each year they name Hope Ambassadors, which highlights stories of people in recovery, and those who have impacted the recovery journey of others.
"My family was right. I needed God in my life all this time. He is what I was missing every time I had gone to treatment."
This is Shannon Hall’s Story …
For years Shannon spent time battling the disease of addiction. It would take more than one hand to count all the times he entered treatment, relapsed, and entered treatment again. No path to recovery is the same. There are different highs and different lows. However, one thing is a constant once you find hope, the opportunities are endless.
“In our beds at night, I would see some of the men on their knees praying and then again in the mornings,” Shannon explained. “See, I had some major resentments towards God because, in 2012, I laid my 2-year-old son to rest due to surgery complications, and then the courts took my daughters from me in 2017.”
By 2018 his family took a stand and encouraged him to enter treatment at Addiction Recovery Care. Shannon was complacent but decided to give it a shot. While there, he wanted to leave, but his family refused to pick him up. He spent 11 months at Lake Hill Oasis in Somerset, ARC helped him navigate the court system, and Shannon made his faith a cornerstone of his recovery journey.
“This is a perfect example of God working all things together for the greater good,” added Shannon. “God has been so, so good to me, and I am so, so undeserving.”
In February, Shannon celebrated five years of recovery. Recently ARC leadership promoted him to spiritual life coach at Creekside, a treatment facility for men. Later this year, Shannon will graduate with a degree in Human Services. He married the love of his life and bought a home together. Shannon also regained custody of his daughters.
What does being named a Hope Ambassador mean to you?
“To be a Hope Ambassador is very important. It has given me the stage that I have prayed for since being in recovery. This is the ultimate stage to reach people in addiction and instill hope, that we do recover and if I can do this so can anyone.”
How have you used your story to inspire others?
“Being a peer support specialist, I get the opportunity to share my story each and every day. My story shows that God is real and he’s waiting to do for you as he has done for me. It shows that God still works miracles in the lives of addicts and that we do have worth. My story is like 2 Corinthians 5:17 Any man in Christ is a new creation; the old is gone and the new is here.”
When you think about the word HOPE, what does it mean to you?
“Hope to me is, the confident expectation of what God has promised, and its strength is in his faithfulness.”
What would you tell someone battling a substance use disorder who is considering treatment?
“I would tell them. I know you’re afraid and that’s okay but do it afraid. Going to treatment was one of the single greatest decisions of my life.”
Tell us your most important advice to someone in early recovery.
“Be honest with yourself; nobody knows you like you and focus on your gratitude, because true gratitude changes everything. Recovery is about perspective and gratitude changes perspective.”