Denver drug treatment center opens with recovering woman at the helm

DENVER (KDVR) — A Colorado native who battled drug and alcohol addiction most of her life is now a survivor. She uses her own recovery to help others struggling with addiction and mental health by opening a treatment center in the River North Art District.

Kristabell Stansbury started using as a child and continued through her teens, twenties and early thirties. She is now almost 40, sober and CEO of her own treatment center. On International Women’s Day, she shares her inspirational story of beating the odds.

On Tuesday, Stansbury showed FOX31 photos of herself from childhood through adulthood, and what you don’t see behind the smiles and blonde hair is the pain she says she endured.

“I started using substances to fill that need, to numb myself to whatever was going on around me,” Stansbury explained.

She shared that she grew up in Conifer and from childhood trauma, anxiety and depression found solace in alcohol and drugs. Stansbury said she started using when she was just 11 years old.

“Alcohol, marijuana and then quickly I went on meth,” Stansbury said. “I was addicted.”

From preteen to adulthood, Stansbury battled addiction and said the underlying issues were not healing from his trauma or finding tools to deal with it.

“There was a time in my use where I didn’t want to be on this planet anymore. I would walk on bridges and just want to jump off the bridge. I hoped the police would arrest me because I couldn’t stop. I would overdose because I just couldn’t stop,” Stansbury said.

Trying for so many years to get clean, Stansbury was in and out of sobriety and said a big reason was the birth of her child and choosing to love herself. Stansbury has been clean for almost five years now with no relapses, and a big part of that is healing and finding your purpose while living your passion.

She did this by opening Chrysalis Continuing CARE, an outpatient mental health and addiction treatment center on Larimer Street. On Tuesday, the busy entrepreneur and mother walked through FOX31 in the center and it was filled with butterflies, symbolizing transformation.

Stansbury said it was “beautiful” and “priceless” to see clients improve, open up and reinvent their lives.

“We are all so complex and different. We all come from all these different backgrounds, and we have different things that happen to us in our lives and so we’re not all the same,” Stansbury said. “Don’t stop trying to get help. Even if you fell 100 times. If you’re still alive and breathing, keep going.

The CEO, now healthy and happy, is using her own battle and recovery to provide specialist care to those in need, with a personalized touch – she’s been there. Stansbury changed his life against all odds and serves as an example that it can be done.

If you would like to learn about Chrysalis’ services, click here or call 1-800-910-3896.

“The fact that I’m here and breathing, I’m so grateful,” Stansbury said.

Battling addiction, the Colorado native is no stranger to adversity. She laughed as she told FOX31 that she opened the treatment center in November 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, and it’s now thriving.

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