Meet Christina Sargent | A 2024 Hope Ambassador

This week, leaders from across the nation joined in Atlanta for Operation UNITE’s 2024 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. 

“Being nominated as a Hope Ambassador has been a huge answered prayer to help educate others of the effects addiction can have on someone with the lived experience to share hope and light with compassion over the subject and help reduce stigma.”

This is Christina’s Story …

For Christina Sargent, the path to recovery was challenging, but through perseverance and unwavering determination, she emerged victorious after a 14-year battle with addiction. 

“I hit rock bottom—lost custody of my daughter, endured homelessness, and faced countless brushes with death,” she reflects.

However, July 4, 2019, marked a pivotal moment. Pregnant with her son and desperate for change, Christina found solace in Karen’s Place Maternity Center. 

“I promised myself—I wouldn’t leave without a new life,” she recalls. 

Christina’s son was born on September 26, 2019, without withdrawal symptoms and provided her with the HOPE she needed. 

“It was a miracle,” she shared. 

Continuing her journey at KPMC, Christina immersed herself in self-help meetings, church, and the 12-step program, supported by peers and sponsors.

Today, nearly five years into recovery, Christina has reclaimed custody of her daughter and built a stable life. 

“My son has never witnessed my struggles, and I am blessed with a supportive husband,” she said. 

Recently certified as a CADC 1, Christina dedicates her career to helping others break free from addiction. Her story is a testament to the power of resilience and the possibility of redemption. 

What does being named a Hope Ambassador mean to you?

“To be a Hope Ambassador is very important. It has given me the stage I have prayed for since 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?

“I use my story to inspire others to see the light out of the darkness. Show love and kindness towards others who might feel alone in the dark. When I lost my youngest sister to an overdose, God gave my recovery a whole new meaning which is to be the voice for the ones who lost their voice to share hope encouragement, love, and support praying the ones struggling will prevent them from being the next lost family member from this crisis. Every person has a purpose, and I want to help others reach their full potential and discover theirs.”

When you think about the word HOPE, what does it mean to you?

“When I think of H.O.P.E I think of hold on pain ends. When in treatment, I continued to embrace my spirituality and pray and continue to do the next right thing. When things don’t go as planned or expected, I have a God that will get me through anything. When we feel pain, I look for the purpose and push through. Today is not my forever, but I can do something positive and make my day better for the future. “

What would you tell someone battling a substance use disorder who is considering treatment?

“I would listen if they needed to talk or answer questions. I encourage them to seek help. Walk them through the process for support. There is a whole new meaning to life than just existing. Treatment is an opportunity to learn the tools and skills to use when faced with triggers or situations. The drugs and alcohol don’t love you, but there are people out here that do. What is one year of your life vs the rest of your life? We recover together and no longer have to live this life alone. Most importantly, I love you! Even if you think I am crazy when you find recovery, then it will make sense why I love you. I was the same way at first.”

Tell us your most important advice to someone in early recovery.

“If you are in early recovery, keep pushing through the emotions and impulses. Find a higher power that loves you and pray before acting on emotions. There are twelve steps designed to help you change the old you to create a new, healthier you. It is okay not always to be okay. Open up, let go of the pain, and stay connected to the fellowship. Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are the key. Even when we disagree we can leave that where it is at and keep moving foward. No matter what happens in life, never forget where you come from; if you haven’t experienced something, your disease is the same. There is always a YET (you are eligible, too). We can relate to others and learn from others. This is a two-way street we help others and that helps our recovery. I am proud of you, and continue rocking your recovery.”