Scott’s Story – Reaching the Turning Point

Scott Coffman was typical of many young men in 1980. He had long hair, rode a Harley, and was into having a good time and partying with friends. He also started having trouble with the law. Then, an industrial accident that broke Scott’s back landed him in the hospital for 19 days. After his release, he found himself dependent on his pain medication as well as other substances.

Scott moved to Kentucky intending to start fresh. He wanted to get away from his lifestyle, drugs, and trouble with the law. The move was good for him until he discovered that he was becoming just as dependent on alcohol as he had been on drugs.

Scott tried to get clean. Numerous times he’d have success and then a lapse. Eventually, Scott started thinking there was no way out for him, that “this is just how I am.” After moving back to Dayton, Ohio, his troubles with the law got worse. Scott was in the chemical dependency program when the court sentenced him to six months in the workhouse. After seven days in the workhouse, a judge moved Scott to a minimum-security reform home, with the threat that he could always go back to jail.

The next six months initiated a dramatic change in Scott. He agreed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and enroll in Miami Valley Hospital's chemical dependency program, which today is called Turning Point. But all didn't start perfectly. Those caring for Scott found him to be unsettled, opinionated, and in denial that he really needed help. He didn’t see how anyone else could tell him how to fix his life or even determine that it needed fixing. 

An Important Breakthrough

Scott credits those overseeing his care as developing a well-choreographed recovery program for him. Knowing that he loved nothing better than riding his Harley, they arranged for him to get his license back. He received permission to ride his motorcycle, but only to AA meetings, the aftercare group at Turning Point, and his community service work. This seemed to be the key incentive Scott needed. His caregivers were willing to give some, so he became more willing to give and ultimately trust. Eventually, the relationship went from “them and me” to “us.” Scott still had some setbacks, but he got clean. He had done what he swore he couldn't do when he was at the bottom.

Recovery is not a cure. Every day for Scott and many others, there's the opportunity to give up the fight and retreat to old habits. Eventually, Scott realized that he may have something to give those who needed help. That included a personal experience and a personal success. Scott enrolled at Sinclair Community College and received his associate degree in Mental Health Technology. He received a job at Turning Point, the same program in which he found his own sobriety.

Turning Point is known for its high success rate, and the staff’s commitment is a large part of that. Scott felt it as a patient: “We won't give up on you.” Participants may slip back into their old habits, but many come back to Turning Point to try again and finally succeed. The staff members at Turning Point are sometimes the only people in their lives who believe in them, and this makes a difference.

For many people in our program, knowing there's someone who won't give up on you fuels the motivation to not give up. Scott is happy to share his story. He doesn’t usually tell patients he was once enrolled in the program. Many people figure out he once faced the same issues they face and is living proof that Turning Point can work for them, too.

It's been more than 30 years since Scott enrolled in Turning Point. Since then, he's earned a bachelor's degree at Antioch College and master's degrees at the University of Dayton and Antioch University McGregor. Scott is licensed as both an independent chemical dependency counselor and a professional clinical counselor. He manages Outpatient Behavioral Services and Turning Point.

There's quite a difference in the Scott of 1980 and the Scott of today. He's a happily married family man with a job he’s passionate about. When you compare the partying, long-haired motorcyclist to the clean cut, professional Scott of today, he admits that he’s “become the square I never wanted to be.” But Scott is fine with that.

Contact Us

If you or someone close to you is experiencing a crisis, call 911. If the crisis is serious but not life-threatening, you can directly call our inpatient behavioral health unit that’s closest to you:

We also can help you with a range of outpatient programs for alcohol, drug, and mental health issues:

  • Call Miami Valley Hospital Outpatient Behavioral Health Services for adults: (937) 208-6719(937) 208-6719
  • Call Samaritan Behavioral Health for ages 5 through adult: (937) 734-8333(937) 734-8333