Miqua Dorsey overcame a 40-year drug addiction.
Photo provided by The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center.
* In this four-part series, the Michigan Chronicle looks into how to revitalize, rethink and refresh your life as the Fall season is underway. In this final installment, the focus is on giving up addictions.
October 20, 2012.
That is a date that Detroit resident Miqua Dorsey, now in her 60s, will never forget for the rest of her life. It was that Fall day when she was incarcerated, and it was the beginning of the end of her drug addictions.
“My addiction spanned 40 years,” Dorsey said, adding that when she started getting clean during that time, shortly after that on November 7, 2012, she entered the Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) and her life changed for the better.
Dorsey said that the physical journey of withdrawing from a heroin and crack addiction was “not an easy process” she said, adding that she had experienced it before. “[This was] not my first time going through withdrawals.”
She added that she was “convicted” in her spirit that she was “finally done with drugs.”
Dorsey is a mother of three adult children (a son, 33, and two daughters, 28 and 29) who live in the metro Detroit area, who expressed to her that they are proud of their mother for overcoming. Due to Dorsey’s past drug addictions, some of her children were pulled out of her arms as babies and toddlers and raised by family members.
“My eldest son — I had him the first two years of his life and he was raised by his grandmother until she died — I didn’t really raise him,” she said, adding that both of her daughters were also adopted as babies. “One of my daughters [at] four months — they took her out of my arms and we were reunited in 2016,” Dorsey said. “You would never know we were separated to see us today. They both live with me.”
Dorsey said that she would encourage people with an addiction to place God at the center of their recovery efforts.
“Once you put God in your life and He is the head of your life, everything else will fall into place,” she said, adding that she has been “so blessed” since she started on this journey, which all started four decades ago because of peer pressure. “The biggest thing for me, I believe, was trying to fit in peer pressure… using drugs gave me a sense of confidence. A boost of my self-esteem in the beginning. If you’re going to follow something, make sure [it’s] something positive.”
From smoking marijuana at 16, moving on to prescription pills and then heroin at 18, her longing for a boost in self-esteem became a growing, desperate addiction that took a toll on her life. “My father was not in the picture so I left home at 16, hanging out and whatnot, feeling myself and thought I was grown. I moved out and harder stuff came afterward.”
Her life turned around decades later, with the help of the Salvation Army, which got her off on the right track through a sobriety program she completed, among other things, including earning a degree in college, and a job at the Salvation Army. “[I’ve been] so blessed in this process. The Salvation Army changed my life.”
Major Troy Barker, administrator of The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), and his wife, Major Linda Barker, have over 44 years of experience helping men and women who are struggling with addiction and alcoholism.
“Often, when individuals come to the ARC, they have lost the ability to cope with problems or can’t provide for themselves,” he said. “They have turned to drugs and alcohol to help them get through everyday life. The ARC provides substance-abuse rehabilitation, nutritious meals, work therapy, leisure activities, individual counseling and spiritual direction, along with resources to develop life skills and a personal relationship with God.”
He added that he and his wife have found “no greater joy” than helping reunite families and bring hope to those who have lost their way.
“The Salvation Army ARC is truly a place where miracles happen,” Barker said. He added that Fall is symbolic in relation to addiction rehabilitation in the sense that when on a journey toward recovery “You must shed the dead weights of old detrimental habits, lifestyle choices and vices in order for your body, mind and spirit to begin the process of healing and renewal. The ARC helps completely transform lives; the graduates from our program are truly given a second chance at life.”
“The Southeast Michigan ARC program is the only women’s ARC program in the Midwest, so a lot of the women beneficiaries are from out-of-state,” Barker said.
Dorsey said that the Fall, for her, is a time for renewal, regeneration and cleansing – also apt words to describe her recovery journey, for which she is very grateful.
“The missing component was God,” she said.
The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center can serve 250 individuals at a time through a 180-day residential program. It’s located at 1627 W. Fort Street in Detroit. Admissions are accepted 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please call 313-965-7760 ext. 234.