Everyone with substance use disorder has the opportunity for a fresh start in life. There is a significant need for all types of addiction support from education and awareness to treatment and recovery. We want to change the conversation on how addiction is perceived by most as a moral failure, because addiction does not discriminate. Science doesn't lie. Epidemics don't happen by choice. Stop the judgment. Begin the healing.


We host fundraising events throughout the year and support other events, too. If there is relevant news to share, we will post it here. Our events promote addiction awareness and raise money to help those impacted by the disease of addiction.

SIGN UP to follow Mary’s blog and receive a free CFS t-shirt.


Mary Cucarola, Founder

Welcome to my blog.  This is a place where I can share what I have learned from the experience of losing my son to addiction.  My purpose is in giving a voice to Cody’s disease, which is so misunderstood.  Where the hope lies is in my story beginning again, “a fresh start”, and in giving hope to others in recovery.  I can advocate for change, and for not letting one more child die from a drug overdose or letting one more parent suffer in silence.

From time to time, I will be including guest blogs and other posts of relevance to share other’s similar experiences.

Mary Cucarola, Founder

Inspiring a Change

Mary Cucarola and Jackie Huban are available for speaking engagements.

With two unique perspectives and a common goal, Mary Cucarola and Jackie Huban share wisdom, heartbreak and hope in their presentations. Both are available for individual speaking dates or combined engagements where their overlapping, and yet distinct, experiences give a broader insight into the disease of addiction.


Learn the Facts about AddictionRISE ABOVE ADDICTION:

Learn the Facts about the Disease

Addiction is a disease and needs to be viewed and treated as one. Learn more about WHY it is a disease, WHAT are the risk factors and HOW it is treated by visiting this page:  LEARN THE FACTS

or you can download the pdf:   RISE ABOVE ADDICTION brochure


Angela’s story is one of heartbreak after she became addicted wanting to have gastric bypass surgery.  Here are her words:

I had been doing meth since 2009.  I have been obese all of my life and I wanted to have gastric bypass surgery.  In order for my medical insurance company to authorize the surgery, I had to lose 30 pounds beforehand.  I weighed around 325 pounds at that point.  I have been a phlebotomist since 1990 and worked in hospitals, prisons, and the downtown main jail, so I have seen what alcohol and drugs can do to a person.

  In fact, I got involved in drugs as a teenager and thought I was smarter than all my drug friends and quit and “got a life”.  I got married when I was 26 and had my first child at 32.  My daughter will be 17 next week.  I also got pregnant unexpectedly at 39 with my son, and he just turned 11.

  Anyway, I had a difficult time losing the 30 pounds.  I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to smoke meth for a couple of months to lose that weight.  It was easy to get and I liked that old feeling again.  When I met my boyfriend 4 years ago, he did it also and it became an all day habit.  I eventually got evicted from my beautiful home, where I had grown a garden, raised my kids for the past 5 years, and raised chickens.

  I moved in with my boyfriend’s parents, and asked my kids’ father to take the kids so I could go to rehab for 3 months.  But in reality, as guilty as I felt for giving up my kids, I kept doing drugs and telling people I was on waiting lists for rehabs…..

  The worst thing that finally happened was that my boyfriend suffered a fatal heart attack.  His parents kicked me out after he died and I was homeless.  I put myself into a county program and finished 30 days of treatment.  I found a transitional house, but it fell through.  I was homeless again.

  I reached out to a member of a church I used to attend and by word of mouth through the community; I found a transitional home, which Cody’s Fresh Start helped me get into by paying my rent.  I immediately started a Bible Study called “Search for Significance”.  I believe that was the perfect study for me.  I felt so torn down, guilty and shameful for everything that had went on…..

  Thank you so much for making this door open to me.  I never knew so much good could come from bringing Him into my life.  Thank you so much for this chance.

Angela P.

Tony's story is one of addiction, despair and redemption. Tony is one of many suffering from the disease of addiction. These are his words:

How I was introduced to Cody's Fresh Start is an absolute God thing. I was in a treatment center, that my insurance was helping pay for. Before the first three appointments I missed to check into detox I was homeless. Sleeping in a car I luckily still had. The daily struggle and hustle to eat and feed my addiction and the way logic was out the door whether drugs were more important than food, was killing me. I came into detox weighing 150 lbs. Towards the end of my 28 days I was weighing 175lbs. and looking at options for my discharge and found I didn't have many. I had burnt all bridges with my family to the point of them not wanting me in their lives. I had to ask though. Something was changing in me, I actually wanted to stay clean and sober. After exhausting my options with a bunch of no's, my brother offered to pay for a gym membership for me I use so I could shower, use the locker room to shave and look for work. While my sleeping arrangement was in the air, I realized I would be living out of my car again. This circumstance was stressful to say the least, especially being newly sober.

Four days before my discharge date a bed opened up in a sober living environment, I asked her to reserve it for me. I didn't have any money or way to back up my word. The next day, Mary got in touch with me, I don't even really know exactly how the grapevine got out to Colorado, but she told me who she was and told me about Cody's Fresh Start. I was in shock when I got off the phone, a counselor at my treatment had to ask me to snap out of it. I was able to move into the Sober Living I am still in today, thanks to the aid. I just recently became employed full time and I owe some money and have everyday Cadillac problems.

I’ll tell you something, the blessing of having a pillow to put my sober head on every night since 10/9/14 is beyond words. Coming from where I come from to what’s happening in my life now makes me smile. I really don’t know who reads this, and I don't have much experience writing or expressing how grateful I am for Cody's Fresh Start and by the grace of God another day clean and sober. Everything in between happens so fast and are blessings. So, I think I ranted, but I just want to say Thank You.

Sincerely, Tony

Comments 6

  1. Tony, you expressed yourself very well. Very heartfelt. I read this page and am always encouraged to hear who/how/what help was shared.
    Be proud of yourself and keep that smile on!

  2. Post
  3. Tony I want to thank you for telling your story. You never know who you have impacted and helped each time you tell it, so don’t stop! I know of many success stories and you will be one of them too. You can’t know what blessings are in store for you, but if you learn to put God first in every aspect of your life, you will find out, and be amazed. I know this to be true from personal experience, and many, many stories from others. May God bless you, and keep you safe!

  4. Thank you for sharing. My son is in a court ordered rehab and will go to sober living for 3 months after rehab but then what? He has also burnt bridges and will have nowhere to go. I hope he can find a sober living environment and move forward in his life and mend fences with his family. I know what will happen if he goes back to his old friends and places.

  5. Post

    I would suggest he stay in sober living for at least 6 months and possibly 1 year. That way he will immerse himself in a program and be with other people in recovery. He can work or go to school while he is living in the sober living home. Warmly, Mary

  6. Tony

    Fantastic, I am so happy to read your rant and beautiful story of recovery. It is what all mothers dream for their children. You are giving Hope Tony. GOD BLESS YOU
    and May you stay in his favor and walk with the Lord towards his plans for your life .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *