Sept. 3, 2021 – “I just grew up around drinking,” Howes said. “Most of my aunts and uncles are all alcoholics … That’s something I took up with them. They were allowing me to drink as a young teenager, and I drank heavily with them on the weekends and stuff. I guess at the time I thought it was normal.

“And since I work in the trades, every day after work you get home, you go out with the boys and you start to drink with them. That’s what you’re supposed to do.”It started innocuous enough for the Longmont native, as is the case with many young people experimenting with alcohol in their high school years. But things didn’t stay that way.

He developed an alcohol use disorder, and soon he was drinking just to stop himself from going into withdrawal. At some point, he began using cocaine to stay awake. For 12 years, people in his life tried to talk to him about his addiction, but he would brush off their remarks.  It wasn’t until his second DUI about six months later when he took it as a sign from the universe, or the courts, that maybe it was time to take a deeper look at himself.“I think that was kind of the point where I knew I was going to be facing jail time,“ he said. ”And I knew this might be the best chance I have at drying up — being away from toxic people, toxic environments and really using jail to my benefit as a first step in starting to be sober.”

Cain moved to Summit County after his release from jail. Today, he is more than 2 1/2 years sober.

Cain’s addiction isn’t unique. He’s just one of millions of Americans with a substance use disorder. What is special about his story, and others like him, is he found a way out.


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