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Substance Use Disorder

“To be honest with you, that high chasing it it’s not worth it.”

Ashley Norton of Johnstown says in a few days, she’ll be three years clean from drugs.

“It’s not worth it to me. It is not worth me losing my life, losing everything I’ve worked for the past three years. It’s not worth it to me no more,”

Norton says she’s had drug abuse issues since her teen years, spending time in and out of rehab and prison.

Most recently in 2020, for running a meth lab at a home in Hornerstown, which is a case she’s still on probation for.

“I’m still not fully trusted. There’s still doubt there. I mean, look how many times I’ve fallen on my face. But at the end of the day, I know I wake up sober and I go to bed sober. That’s all that matters to me,”

Norton says she’s now been given a second chance.

She’s been working in the food industry on and off since she was 15 years old, and currently works as a cook at a local restaurant.

“I feel so good today. I’m a part of a business that I feel like is family. I feel like I fit in there. They’re major supporters,”

The restaurant industry has one of the highest rates of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) as compared to other jobs, according to state officials.

Norton says she’s seen it with her own eyes throughout the years, knowing many others in the industry with the same struggles as her.

“They were everywhere. I’d go in the bathrooms and there would be paraphernalia laying around and liquor bottles in the toilet,”

That’s what state officials worked to highlight Wednesday morning in Harrisburg during a news conference.

The Wolf Administration worked to shine a light on the help available for those working in the food industry battling SUD.

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