full circle: Rosanna Terrill’s journey into sobriety
“At 35 years old, I got addicted to methamphetamine. I
hadn’t heard of it,” said Rosanna Terrill.
Terrill is a recovery meth addict. On Jan. 6, 2005, she
was convicted on a charge of manufacture/delivery of a
controlled substance, among other charges, and she was
sentenced to two years in prison.
“I told the judge, “I’m not a criminal, I’m an addict.”
Well, he told me, ‘You’ll get a lot of treatment in
jail.’ I just wish everyone could get that out of
prison,” said Terrill.
While in prison at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in
Wilsonville, she received treatment for her addiction,
including coping skills, cognitive therapy, and a six
month dual diagnosis program.
“It took three months in prison before the stuff of life
hits you—there’s no pipe to hide behind. For 10 years I
was addicted. I had to deal with the things: I missed my
kids, my mother’s death, divorce and losing my kids, and
depression. All that pain had been there, and I didn’t
deal with it,” she said.
Terrill asserts that Dual Diagnosis Anonymous (DDA)
helped her overcome her addiction.
About Dual Diagnosis Anonymous
DDA is a peer support group based on an authorized
version of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, plus an
additional five steps that focus on dual-diagnosis
(mental illness and substance abuse). The five
additional steps for individuals include acceptance of
one’s mental illness and emphasize taking their
Corbett Monica developed DDA in 1996 to address the
relationship between substance abuse and underlying
mental health issues that can contribute to addiction.
When both the addiction and cause are addressed,
treatment can be more successful.
Upon Terrill’s release from prison in July 2007—after
serving a 19-month sentence for delivery of meth—she
arrived at the Ken Trueman Recovery Center in Newport.
“I walked out of prison with only a sweat suit…they
clothed me when I didn’t have any money. They met my
mental health needs helping with my medication, and in
two weeks I found a job,” said Terrill.
The Trueman Center supplies Terrill with the tools to
stay sober and a free place to live for a year through
the Passport Program.
About Passport Program
The Passport Program works with parole officers to help
people who were incarcerated avoid becoming homeless.
Mary-Rose Pearsall, clinical supervisor at Trueman,
explained that there are five beds available through the
Passport Program at Trueman, which are full at the
Pearsall said, “It is a long-term residential treatment
program that helps people get work, pay of their fines,
and make their way back into the community.”
Starting DDA in Newport
Initially, Terrill was concerned about returning to the
area with no dual-diagnosis anonymous group, so she made
her own DDA with approval from the staff at Trueman.
Pearsall said, “Rosie spoke very eloquently of how
helpful these groups had been to her, and at the time,
clients wanted a different 12-Step program.”
Pearsall noted that co-occurring issues are often
interrelated, and she encouraged those who feel they are
suffering from addiction and a mental health issue,
whether diagnosed or not, to consider DDA.
Corbett Monica of DDA came to Newport to help her start
the program in the area.
Monica said, “I met her (Terrill) at the institution
(Coffee Creek) where I focus on the hospitals and
institutions to introduce people to the 12-Step programs
of support. Rosie is the quintessential example of
following through on her promise.”
He explained that Terrill committed to start a 12-Step
program in Newport and that this action is an important
step in recovery.
Terrill said, “I was nervous to come back here, but DDA
is an opportunity for me to give back to the community
what I took away from it.”
Initially, the DDA group was for Trueman Center clients,
but now it is open to the public for those with dual
Terrill said, “I’m now in a maintenance stage of
recovery. There are five stages, and I’m in the last
part. The support group is to reflect back on it. It
took me two and a half years to get here.”
Why did Terrill start using?
As a mother with four young children whose husband was
frequently traveling, Terrill was dealing with
depression from losing both her mother and her best
friend to suicide.
“My best friend at the time brought drugs over, and it
took eight years and going to prison to quit. Meth is a
powerful drug. I could have all the visitations I wanted
with my children, but I was too ashamed to be around my
children while high. I wanted to be high rather than
deal with the pain I caused them. As a mom, I wasn’t
there for them, and there’s no excuse for being a lousy
mother…they still love me, so I guess I did something
right,” said Terrill.
Terrill supported her meth addict as a drug dealer.
While in prison, she became sober and started therapy
and counseling to address her addiction and depression.
She learned coping skills to deal with the pain she had
been ignoring in her life.
“If I had these skills 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be where
I am. Coping skills teach you how to deal with stressful
things,” she explained.
Terrill’s four children are now 15 to 21 years old, and
their father has raised them for the last 10 years. “My
daughter, who is 21, gave me a card for Christmas that
said, ‘Mom, the best thing you gave me for Christmas is
you.’ “You can’t get those years back,” Terrill said.
Day to Day
Terrill works full time, and her long-term goal is to
save enough money to move to Portland to be closer to
her family. She is slowly rebuilding her family’s trust
with help from therapy.
“It was the focus I needed,” she said. “With family
groups, we discuss addiction. It opens an addict’s mind
to the pain they’ve caused their family. It doesn’t
matter how close you are—if there’s an addict in your
family it effects the whole cycle of things.”
She attends multiple group therapy and individual
therapy sessions at Trueman, where she finds the support
she needs. In July, her year in the Passport Program
will be up.
“Life in recovery is facing your demons,” said Terrill.
DDA meets every Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Trueman
Recovery Center, located at 351 SW 7th St., Newport.
During a meeting, the five rules of DDA respect are
read, introductions are given, a preamble is read and
the chairperson (Terrill) chooses a topic or opens the
meeting to discuss a personal experience of strength and
hope in dual-diagnosis anonymous recovery.
“Everyone is at a different point, and it helps to
understand what all this is about—self-forgiveness,” she
This peer-based support group isn’t attended by the
Trueman staff, which allows clients and guests anonymity
to discuss their addictions.
“I find it very rewarding in that I have a lot that I
can give. People are coming through here for hope. It’s
nice to have some part of someone else’s recovery,”
Terrill said. “Hope is always something you can spare
for someone, and it’s hope that helps you succeed.
There’s a lot of hope in here.”
For more information on DDA, call the Trueman Recovery
Center at 265-2971. For more information on the Dual
Diagnosis Program, call (503) 7373-4126 or visit the
Terrill concluded, “I was in the paper two times before
(in this county), and now I’m coming full circle with
it. There’s no drug out there that can make me feel as
good as I do now.”
Elizabeth Chapman is a reporter with the News-Times. She
can be reached at 265-8571 ext. 217 or firstname.lastname@example.org