WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Myste Wentz doesn’t see achieving sobriety as a goal she accomplished seven years ago—she sees it as a life mission.

She describes herself as having been an active heroin addict for 15 years, in which time she was revived with Narcan four separate times and landed in federal prison for several years.

But she remembers the exact day that the stranglehold of addiction began to lose its grip.

“And on March 13, 2016, I woke up and was just like, ‘If I’m no good in here, I’m definitely no good out there.'”

Myste Wentz, Help4WV Helpline Specialist, recovered from addiction

And after a period of readjusting, reconnecting and recovering, she’s made it her vocation to guide others out of the shadows.

Her work as a Help 4 West Virginia helpline specialist covers some of their 25,000 calls per year.

She guides those who reach out to the resources they need with empathy and experience—something she wishes she had on her journey.

“That was a lot of things that I was told when I was in active addiction. ‘I just don’t understand why you can’t quit. I don’t understand why you do this.’ Well, you don’t unless you’ve been there, done that, or you’re in those shoes.”

Myste Wentz, Help4WV Helpline Specialist, recovered from addiction

Wentz says factors like transportation and insurance don’t put up as much of a barrier to freedom as shame does.

That’s why when callers learn of her past struggles and victory, she says she can feel the comfort on the other side of the phone.

“It’s a sigh of relief when we’re like, I can relate, we can get you there today. It’s okay to be scared.”

Myste Wentz, Help4WV Helpline Specialist, recovered from addiction

They can even get you in within 24 hours of dialing their number.

They have a fund to help you if you don’t have insurance, and there are more than 15-hundred beds available for Medicaid patients alone.

“I’ve heard many people say that, oh, there’s no treatment around here. But that’s really not true. We do have treatment. I’ve heard people say it’s going to take you forever to find a bed. That’s not true.”

Sheila Moran, Director of Communications & Marketing, First Choice Services

As the cloud of addiction dissipates, she finds that another mindset settles in: one of ‘living recovery.’

Walking away from drug dependency is now seen as an accomplishment rather than something to hide.

And with any hope, it’s a trend that will lead others to choose tomorrow’s promise over today’s misery.

Help4WV can be called or texted at (844) 435-7498 whenever you’re ready for their help.

And remember, you can call on behalf of a loved one.