Dose of Reality: Homeless teen saved by nuns, becomes executive with 3 masters degrees


“My drug of choice was whadda ya got?”

Stephanie Campbell's battle with substance abuse began when she was just old enough to get her driver's permit.

“I started using at 16, I went right into pretty committed use,” Campbell said.

That use, led her to a life on the streets, and that’s where she says she tried heroin for the first time.

“I moved to NYC at 18, I ended up being homeless,” Campbell said.

But after two years with no place to go, Stephanie says she was saved with help from a group of nuns.

“Someone looked in my eyes and said you don’t have to live like this anymore, and I was 20 years old. Those nuns literally detoxed me in the residency,” Campbell said.

Stephanie went on to attend Bard College, Columbia University, and the University at Albany even landing a third masters degree at NYU. She worked in government, became a teacher, and even a journalist.

“I’ve have just had an amazing life,” Campbell said.

Now, she helps others struggling with addiction as the executive director of Friends of Recovery New York in Albany. She says the person who reached out to her and the nuns in New York City showed her how lives can be transformed, if someone takes the chance to help.

“It’s a gamechanger, and that’s why it’s so critical that we have this conversation about recovery,” Campbell said.

Stephanie shares her story to inspire others that they can beat addiction, and even go on to live out their dreams in recovery if given the opportunity and the resources they need. She says recovery has given her the ability to live her life.

We have a list of resources for those struggling with addiction at under the Dose of Reality tab.

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