Healthy minds for healthy lives


Jonathan Goyer Gives Back After Battle with Addiction

Posted: Thu, March 16, 2017

Jonathan Goyer was introduced to marijuana when he was seven. When he took his first hit of acid when he was 12, he knew his life would never be the same.

Soon the crippling grips of addiction took hold of his life. He became completely fixated on getting “the next high.”

Addiction was also a family affair.

His dad left when Jonathan was only two years old.  His father was in and out of jail for most of his childhood.  When he was finally released, he tried to be a good father, but feeding his own addiction quickly became the priority. 

Longing for his father’s love, Jonathan bonded with his dad the only way he had the opportunity to – through using drugs. 

He thought everything would be alright.  But it wasn’t.

When Jonathan was 17, he lost his dad to a heroin overdose and just 5 years later, he lost his brother from a heroin overdose as well. These deaths did little to deter his unstoppable drug habit.   

Jonathan dropped out of school, and ended up homeless on the streets of Providence for years.

Finally, after a high-speed car chase with the police, Jonathan was arrested again. This time, we was oddly relieved.  Relieved he didn’t kill anyone, and relieved that he was alive.  Relieved that in jail he might finally get clean.  

Upon release, Jonathan successfully completed rehab and went to live in a sober house, but that’s when the real struggle began.

Now sober, he was overwhelmed.  He was trying to deal with the wreckage of everything he had done. The people he had hurt, the lies he had told, the relationships he had ruined.  The barriers to finding employment were very discouraging.  He felt hopeless and decided to numb the pain the only way he knew how. 

He bought heroin, shot up and within seconds passed out.

Jonathan’s housemates just happened to come home and found him on his knees, face on the floor, skin turning blue, with a syringe at his side.  They called 911 and administered Narcan.  EMT’s arrived and administered more Narcan and brought him back to life.

While in the hospital, his close friends reached out to The Providence Center for help.  He was transferred to The Providence Center’s Crisis Stabilization Unit.  That’s where, thanks to donors like you, Jonathan received the critical individual and group therapy he needed to get his future back on track.  Staff pushed him to be a better person.  They gave him hope and helped him to finally feel safe.  Slowly his hope turned into faith that he could get his life back, and he has been thriving ever since. 

“If it wasn’t for the use of Narcan, and for the dedicated staff at The Providence Center giving me the right supports at the right time, in the right way, I wouldn’t be alive,” said Jonathan.  

Jonathan is thankful for his new lease on life and is dedicated to paying it forward.  Paying it forward to his mom for standing by him time and time again throughout his journey towards recovery, and to all those who haven’t found recovery yet.

With two and half years clean and sober, The Providence Center asked Jonathan to lead Anchor More, a new street outreach program staffed by peer recovery coaches – people that are in long-term recovery themselves and have received specialized training.  “We go out into the streets, into hospital emergency rooms, soup kitchens, bus terminals, and homeless shelters – wherever people in crisis may need us, to offer hope and support, and to engage them in treatment and recovery.

Using real-time data, Jonathan’s team immediately dispatches to areas in the state that are experiencing opioid overdoses, preventing as many additional deaths as possible.

When looking back, Jonathan is incredibly grateful.  “Innovative recovery supports like Anchor MORE weren’t available for my father.  They weren’t available for my brother, but thanks to the generosity of people like you, they are available now. Your gifts to The Providence Center are critically important.  Together, we can continue to change lives, even save thousands of lives.”

Your support helps families reconnect just like Jonathan and his mother. 

Pictured above: (left to right) Jonathan’s mother Maureen Goyer along with Lisa Desbiens, Chief Development Officer at The Providence Center and Jonathan Goyer