Here is an excerpt from a news story from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’ve known Chris for years and I’m celebrating her appointment to the National Advisory Council on Substance Abuse. Sober 25 years Chris is clearly “out of the woods” but still and always able to tell a story on herself. You just have to love dog people and addicts!
“Chris Wendel hasn't touched a drop of liquor or smoked dope or snorted cocaine or "tripped" in 25 years. Instead she has made it her mission to help others who are still struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. "My passion is my sobriety and other people's sobriety," Wendel said. "That is my passion."
As chairwoman of the state Behavioral Health Planning Council, Wendel has spent the past three years organizing and directing the group of consumers, family members, advocates and providers who advise the state Behavioral Health Collaborative on how best to spend millions of dollars worth of federal grant money earmarked to address Behavioral Health issues in New Mexico. Soon, she'll have even wider influence. She was chosen to sit on the advisory council for the national Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
Wendel feels her experience as an ex-addict is one of her greatest qualifications for the work the she does.
When Wendel's dog had surgery a while back, the vet prescribed a narcotic similar to Valium for the dog. Wendel said she immediately started calculating her weight compared to the weight of her dog and figured she could probably "get off" by taking four times the dose prescribed for her pet.
"I'm 25-years sober and I'm thinking about stealing meds from my dog," Wendel said. "My first reaction to every situation will always be that of an addict. But now I wait for the second reaction."