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‘I lost everything’: Recovering addict shares story of hope, helping others in Las Vegas

By Alexis Fernandez

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    LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KVVU) — On any given day, hundreds of people live out of sight in a network of tunnels that run below the shining lights of Las Vegas.

Some of those individuals are struggling with drug addiction or mental health problems.

America DePasquale, who once lived in the tunnels, is now helping others climb out.

“When I think of my life now, I am just extremely grateful, very humble to be even sitting here at this moment,” DePasquale said.

DePasquale is now 15 months sober.

“I am in long-term recovery, I have dealt with homelessness, chronic homelessness, I have dealt with addiction, mental health issues,” DePasquale said. “I lost everything, I lost my relationships with my kids, with my family.”

She says she was able to get help thanks to the Shine A Light organization and the LIMA diversion program, which is run by a Nevada court.

“You are only ready when you are truly ready, it took a couple of relapses to really get the hang of being in recovery,” she added.

DePasquale currently has a job as case manager at a homeless resource center.

“Help is always available, you just got to pick up the phone and call, reach out,” she said.

DePasquale is also working to get her life back. “I am just excited to see what the future brings, because I wasn’t sure if I would ever have a future,” she said.

DePasquale also has a recovery team in place in case she relapses.

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