Ellen Carol Campbell

Ellen Carol Campbell, an addiction counselor and former drug addict, was the guest speaker Saturday at the second annual Recovery in the Park.

BULLHEAD CITY — Saturday brought another annual Recovery in the Park event that aims to help people with addictions to find piece of mind and freedom. 

Local group MAPPED (Mohave Area Partnership Promoting Educated Decisions) hosted the second annual event at Community Park and drew a very large crowd that filled the covered pavilion. The event began with an Air Force JROTC color guard presenting the American flag and the Arizona state flag, followed by a playing of the national anthem on bugle, a Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. 

Mayor Tom Brady addressed the crowd, stating the importance of the annual event in helping many people to find the path to freedom from addiction. He told his own story of how addiction has touched his life. Brady said his brother had an addiction problem related to alcohol which eventually took his life, adding that “it cost him not just his happiness during his lifetime but eventually his life itself.”

Karole Finkelstein, president and treasurer of MAPPED, spoke of the group’s main directive — helping people recover that which they have lost, be it self control to drugs, passion for life or even their sanity. 

Finkelstein then introduced the speaker of the day, Bullhead City resident and addiction specialist Ellen Carol Campbell, who is in the business of helping people free themselves from drug and alcohol addiction. She told her own tale, giving her title as a counselor and then stating “I am a drug addict.’ ” 

Campbell went on to tell the many groups and individuals assembled that “Addiction doesn’t care what you do, what you have, or what you want, it wants to kill you after draining your dignity, money, and connection to life.” She explained that she works with addicts out of Needles as well as Rialto, California, in that effort. She said she had lost one of her brothers to drugs last Wednesday, and that she herself didn’t even know he was addicted until a search of his room after his death. She also lost a son to drug addiction last year, adding that another of her brothers was just involved in a serious car crash in Los Angeles last week and is in intensive care awaiting surgery. 

These things, she said, in the past would have triggered her into a binge of drugs or alcohol, and that she might well have used them as an excuse to act out in that manner as many times people use tragedies or simply bad days as an excuse to indulge in addictive behaviors. Campbell also stated that, often, complaining to others about such occurrences triggers them into offering a means to escape the pain through drugs, which also leads to addictive behaviors and bad decisions that can have tragic results. 

She recounted how she used to go on drug and or alcohol binges while running her husband’s law practice and being a mother of five children. She said it nearly killed her and that she realized that a higher calling was meant for her. Campbell then pointed out the many different groups who had stands and tables at the event to help anyone in need to find their own path out of that dark world, and encouraged those in attendance to mill about and check out the organizations at the event so that they might find their way out of such a life. 

In attendance this year were Narcotics Anonymous, Mohave Communtiy College Substance Abuse Counseling group, Christian-based organizations such as Celebrate Recovery, civic organizations such as Mohave County Search and Rescue, Bullhead City Police Department and many others, all of which deal with addictions in some way and their negative effects on local lives.

(1) comment


Hi it was an honor and a privilege to be your keynote speaker I do want to make a few corrections. One, I want to note that I am not working as a counselor, but I used to. I work with attics through 12 step programs and I place people in treatment through word-of-mouth on the street or through our business . I am a paralegal/administrative legal assistant and I am 26 years in recovery. ( I gave up getting drunk for any reason, good times or bad times, in1983.) The tragedies in my life that led me to escape through drugs and alcohol happened in 1973 when my fiancé died in a tragic fire, and then 1983 my husband died after a 3 1/2 year battle with cancer. In 1993, after a year of addiction, I made the decision to go into recovery and it was the best decision I ever made in my life . Fortunately I found a better way to live and a way to deal with my past and let go of everything that was not my baggage . I still work in my husbands office but I never ran amok in it .... I’m very thankful for that . It was my foster child who committed suicide six years ago, and it did cause three of my children to lose their minds. My nephew killed himself 7 months later. I spent a very rough three years after that.

It’s easy when you’re taking notes on someone who speaks as quickly as I do to confuse some facts. I do want to thank you for the opportunity to come and show that addiction touches all walks of life and that there is hope and there is Recovery available to anyone who seeks it .

remember if you, anyone you know, or anyone your love suffers from addiction of any kind, there is help. There’s even help for the family members of those who need help. Reach out .

Warmest regards, Ellen Campbell

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