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September 1st, 2015

‘Recovery’s Got Talent’ Event Helps Remove the Stigma of Addiction

By In the Loop

"Recovery's Got Talent" was created to help people discover — or re-discover — talents that had been hidden by addiction.Before she fell into drug addiction 20 years ago, Jayne Stout loved to sing. "I was a wedding and funeral singer," she says. "I did that for about three years." But when she started using methamphetamine, or meth, Jayne's singing — and everything else she loved doing — stopped. "I dropped all of my hobbies," she says. "Meth takes a hold of you... It's a very powerful disease."

That hold began to loosen the day Jayne stepped inside Fountain Centers, a Mayo Clinic Health System facility for substance abuse and addiction. There she received not just treatment but the ongoing support she needed. "Everyone there treats you like a human being," she says. "They're all very understanding and deeply invested in seeing you succeed. That, for me, has been the key."

In the more than 3 years since, through social events, talking on the phone, or having a cup of coffee with her, the staff at Fountain Centers has continued that support. And it's helped Jayne put the pieces of her life back together. "My life has changed completely since Fountain Centers," she says. "I couldn't hold a job before, and I wasn't a very good parent. But now I have a good job, a new car, and everything has fallen back into place."

That includes her singing. Last year, she got back on stage to share that gift during an event called "Recovery's Got Talent." Fountain Centers Outreach Specialist Jenine Koziolek tells us the event was created to help others like Jayne discover — or re-discover — talents that had been hidden by addiction. "So often, when individuals are first in recovery, they're coming out of the fog of addiction," Koziolek says. And because of that fog, people often "don't even realize they have these talents."

For Jayne, winning last year's competition with her rendition of Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee" was an opportunity to show the world she's a new person. "There's a lot of embarrassment and shame that goes with addiction," she says. "Being able to turn that around with this event is pretty amazing. It proves change is possible."

Others will get that same chance in "Recovery's Got Talent" events on Friday, Sept. 4, at Northfield Arts Guild in Northfield, Minnesota, and Thursday, Sept. 10, at C4 Creative Salon in Rochester. Finalists will compete in this year's finale on Friday, Sept. 11, at C4 Creative Salon, for a shot at a $500 grand prize. Participation and attendance is open to anyone who's currently in recovery or who supports those who are. For more information, or to sign up, contact Koziolek at 507-377-6747 or koziolek.jenine@mayo.edu.

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Tags: Fountain Centers, Mayo Clinic Health System, Patient Stories

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