The Brass Tacks Recovery Team
Karifa Fofana – Case Manager
Long before I held the title of Case Manager, Client Advocate, or even Treatment Technician, I knew I was an alcoholic and an addict. My journey towards recovery began at the age of 13, with experimentation in marijuana and alcohol as a means to cope with the feeling that I did not “fit in” with the world.
My desire to become a musician only strengthened my resolve that I needed substances to illicit my best creative work. My failed attempts at launching my career led me to losing my sense of self and I became more enthralled with the lifestyle, rather than with the music. In 2011 at the age of 23 with no music career to speak of, I found myself struggling to go 24 hours without using a substance. I was in and out of jails and institutions. I did not understand how my life had gotten to this point. Only after being arrested for my 3rd DUI and facing prison time was able to finally admit and accept that I needed help. With the assistance of my parents, I was able to admit into a wonderful recovery program that was known for its unwavering support of men struggling with addiction. It was there that I was introduced to a 12- Step program way of living.
At the suggestion of those who had stood by me, I made a decision to reside in a transitional living home for a total of 19 months. During that time, I was able to develop and practice life skills that continue to be an integral piece in how I make life choices today. I learned how to maintain healthy boundaries with those that I lived with, which later provided me a blueprint to establish and nurture healthy relationships with my family. Also while I was living in that transitional home I began volunteering daily at the detox facility that I had successfully completed. It was there in that service of giving back to others that my passion for helping people recover from alcoholism and addiction began to blossom.
Still not knowing that a career in the field of addiction and recovery was possible for me, I utilized my background of working in the restaurant industry to secure a position as an Operations Manager for a quickly growing franchise. After two years of success within that company, I found myself disinterested in the work that I was doing. After consulting with my family and friends, it was suggested that I follow my passion for helping others. With no formal experience outside of my personal recovery and consistent volunteer work at the medical detox where my recovery began, I accepted a position at a treatment center as a Detox Treatment Technician. As a result of my innate ability to relate to clients, I was quickly promoted to the position of Client Advocate. Shortly thereafter, I began my training and education to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug counselor.
Over the course of the last four years, I have had the privilege of working with over a hundred clients and families to end the cycle of alcohol addiction and drug abuse. It truly is one of the reasons that working for Brass Tacks Recovery was a perfect fit. Their philosophy aligned with everything I believe in as a man in recovery, and a professional. I am blessed to practice transparent, honest, and direct conversations with the families we support. I believe that when these aspects are combined with compassion, individuals can recover from mental health and substance abuse issues.