From the August 2012 magazine.

August 2012: Back from Haiti

After 18 years, a disaster-relief nurse forgets her primary purpose

I landed in my first treatment center at the age of 14. After 61 days in rehab, I moved back to my small hometown of 7,000 people, where I found AA. At first, it was difficult for the older members in the group to accept me, and for me to accept them, but I stayed sober until my senior year of high school, when a novel thought came to me: my problem was drinking alcohol, so I decided nothing bad would happen if I smoked marihuana. Very soon I started drinking again. The next thing I know I came out of a blackout to discover my car was parked on a gravel road and I had a loaded gun in my...

-- Susan J.

Iowa City, Iowa