Midwest CEO, Matt Bell, on 4 Years of Sobriety
4 years ago, Midwest Recovery CEO and Team Recovery Co-Founder, Matt Bell, was contemplating suicide in his mothers’ garage. Bell recalls stealing a gun from someone he was using with and breaking into his mothers’ garage. For the past nine years, Bell had been using heroin. It all began after a baseball injury, a Percocet prescription and pain- both physical and emotional. In those 9 years Bell was arrested 13 times, overdosed, went to 28 different treatment centers, was homeless during a blizzard in Toledo, and hurt his friends and family all in the process.
This day was different. He did the last of his heroin and thought about the people he’s hurt, the damage he’s caused, and the trouble he was in. He says he didn’t pull the trigger because he didn’t want his mother finding him like that, so instead he called the police. Bell was ready to go to prison, and had multiple charges against him, but when police arrived, they showed him empathy, and brought him to his 28th drug treatment center.
That is when everything changed.
At the detox center, Bell met Joshua Dressel, who had been there a couple more days then him. They both attended group therapy where Bell stole Dressel’s snacks. Tired, sick and defeated, every morning they would put their hands in and chant “Team Recovery!” This began as a joke, a way for them to make it through another day, a way to feel hopeful about the future. All they knew at this time was that they never wanted to use again. After detox they went to the same recovery center and sober home. The two didn’t know then how important it was for their paths to be crossing.
Shortly after they discharged from detox, Bell and Dressel started on a journey together with a new goal: get Ohio pumped up for recovery and raise awareness about the opioid epidemic. Bell created a Facebook page for their new movement “Team Recovery.” The two held signs in downtown Toledo that said “F*ck Heroin” and “Honk if you hate heroin.” Shortly after this, their online presence and popularity in the community grew.
“I never thought I’d be opening up treatment centers, I never thought I would be where I am today.” Matt Bell has become the CEO of four drug treatment programs ranging from detox to outpatient, two of which are specifically for Ohio Medicaid recipients. Team Recovery has also become a nationally recognized nonprofit that Dressel and himself continue to oversee. Bell has shared his story throughout the community, in an attempt to show any suffering addict or alcoholic that recovery is possible.
Bell has four years clean and sober today, and “forever to go,” according to him.
“I don’t know how big of an impact I will make in the coming years, but I believe if I can help one more person, if there is one less overdose death, if one person relates to my story and feels hopeful again, that is enough.”
Midwest Recovery Center is subsidiary of Amatus Recovery Centers, a division of Amatus Health, which offers treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders in facilities across the country. From addiction treatment, to long-term after-care, Midwest Recovery Center offers individualized care for you or your loved one. No one’s story is the same, and neither should everyone’s recovery. To find out which level of care is right for you, call an admission specialist at 833-440-8648.